Happy anniversary, NFL commissioner’s office

Getty Images

Seventy-three years ago today, the NFL named one of Notre Dame’s famed “Four Horsemen” as its first commissioner.

Then-Notre Dame athletic director Elmer Layden, who coached and played for the Fighting Irish, was tabbed as league commissioner on March 1, 1941.

According to “The Pro Football Chronicle,” Layden beat out two other candidates, including John B. Kelly, the father of actress Grace Kelly.

Before Layden’s hire, the NFL had three league presidents: Jim Thorpe (1920), Joe Carr (1921-1939) and Carl Storck (1939-1941).

Layden held the role of commissioner until 1946, when he went into private business, according to Notre Dame. Layden’s tenure was the shortest of any commissioner in any league history. Bert Bell (1946-1959), Pete Rozelle (1960-1989), Paul Tagliabue (1989-2006) and Roger Goodell (2006-present) have followed in Layden’s footsteps as commissioner.

12 responses to “Happy anniversary, NFL commissioner’s office

  1. The Vikings will never duplicate the success of the 98 team and so you’re saying we’re stuck with Goodell for another 15 years.

  2. I bet all those previous guys are spinning in their grave at the horrible job tyrant Goodell is doing.

  3. Say what you want but most popular game in South America is soccer, the real futbol. Arriba.

  4. luz56 says:
    Mar 1, 2014 7:26 PM
    Say what you want but most popular game in North America largely due to the commissioners.
    Yes. Previous commissioners. Not Der Führer Güdell.

  5. For all the hate he gets (including the undeniable fact that nobody can say they deserve that kind of salary and keep a straight face), the changes to the game aren’t his fault.

    It’s easier to blame a single person than “society at large.” In today’s culture of lawsuits and congressional hearings, the game of pro football was going to change. Props to Goodell for not being afraid to be the bad guy, changing it on his own terms instead of allowing bureaucracy and concussion lawyers to change it in ways that he would not be able to control. You can shout from the mountaintops how “the players know the risks,” but the fact is that if he had not taken steps to beef up player safety, somebody else would have stepped in and neutered the game in ways far worse than what people complain about now.

    To quote a brilliant philosopher:
    “Don’t hate the player, hate the game.”

  6. Only 8 years of Goodell? Amazing that he’s done so much damage to the NFL in such a short period of time. Are he and Obama in some kind of destruction competition?

  7. ?? I thought the original Four Horsemen were Ric Flair, Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson & Ole Anderson?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!