World War II obviously had a dramatic effect on the entire nation. It forced an immediate change in what was a peaceful way of life, including the concept of sports and how they would be presented and played. The NFL, in a March 24, 1942 news release, attempted to explain its plan and role during the national crisis.
The release stated that until federal authorities decided greater benefits would accrue from some other policy, professional football's wartime effort would center about normal operations with an emphasis on participation in civilian emergency activities.
Commissioner Elmer Layden offered the following statement:
"From Aristotle's time on down we have been told, and it has been demonstrated, that sports is necessary for the relaxation of the people in times of stress and worry. The National league will strive to help meet this need with the men the government has not yet called for combat service, either because of dependents, disabilities, or the luck of the draw in the Army draft."