But that's why I'm speaking to you. From the spectator's point of view, the kind of football you play makes a lousy show. It's dull, un-interesting, boring. The way I look at it, we're in show business. And when a show becomes boring to the public you throw it out and put a more interesting one in its place. That's why I want to change the rules. I want to give the public the kind of show they want." He wanted goal posts on the goal line to make field goals more important and other alterations. The next year, the NFL created a rules committee, and his proposals were adopted.
Boston was frustrating in one way or another. The story goes that Marshall trooped over to Harvard Yard to meet with the school's president. Marshall wanted to hire Eddie Casey, the football coach, and launched his plea without any indication of the sport he was talking about. "Casey? Casey?" Harvard President A. Lawrence Lowell said finally. "Doesn't he have something to do with one of our minor sports?
In Boston Marshall couldn't give away tickets and couldn't coax newspapermen to write about his team. He took this as a personal setback, because he had prided himself on his sales ability since his boyhood. He was born October 13, 1897 in Grafton, West Virginia, and at the age of 9 placed an ad for his pet rabbit in his father's newspaper. Young Marshall received no response. So he tried again, this time hyping the rabbit: "Fine Jacksonville hare for sale." He had three offers and sold to the highest bidder.
Marshall had done all he could to make a success in Boston. In 1936 he had stopped in New York to hire a football player for his team. That night Marshall was to join his new wife on the train from Washington, and together they would continue on to Boston. Marshall got on the train thinking football. Not so his bride.
"It was to be our first railroad trip together," she wrote. "Around one in the morning
Go to Page 16: Shirley Povich on George Preston Marshall