In 1957 the United States was still in the midst of a post-World War II euphoria. General Dwight Eisenhower, leader of the allied troops in the war was a popular bi-partisan President. Returning veterans were getting reestablished in civilian life. Baby boomers and the economy were well: booming. Sports were all the rage. Baseball, boxing and horse racing ruled the roost but soon they all would have another sport to content with, football. Within 15 years, football would leave them all in the dust. Looking back and wondering what the lords of football did so right, Lamar’s Gamble tells the story of those men, and how the foresight of one exceptional man, Lamar Hunt, forged a merger between the growing National Football League and his own upstart American Football League.
Lamar Hunt didn’t know what he was getting into when he tried to buy into the more established NFL in 1957. Lamar’s Gamble: A Tale of the AFL-NFL Merger is a story rife with gamblers, and hard drinkers who were womanizers, racists, misogynists and maybe — just maybe – even murderers. Many team owners were in it for the money, and there was plenty of that to go around. Lamar Hunt persevered against the wishes of his father: oil barron, H.L Hunt, and the skepticism of the media who labeled Lamar Hunt and the other AFL co-owners, The Losers Club. Still, Lamar Hunt persevered. Just how he did it, well, that is our story.