PFRA: An Excellent Resource for Pro Football History in America

The PFRA was founded on June 22, 1979 in the Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.  What a fitting place to build an association dedicated to preserving the same history the Hall of Fame does.  Let’s just say football history in America would soon be uncovered like never before. 

Just like Ralph Hay’s gang, there was a group we can call the founding fathers.  Six were named by the site:

  • Bob Carroll – the first President
  • Bob Braunwart – the first Vice President
  • Vic Frolund – the first Secretary/Treasurer
  • Joe Horrigan – ended up becoming Secretary later
  • Tom Nikitas
  • Jim Stewart

From the PFRA Website, this was the original purpose of the organization:

“The purposes of the organization are to foster the study of professional football as a significant and athletic institution; to establish an accurate historical account of professional football; and to disseminate research information. “

Throughout The Football History Dude podcast, I am sure I will interview many members and officers of the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) and this page will continue to grow with each interview.  Below you will find the interviews in chronological order (most recent at the top).

George Bozeka - Executive Director of the PFRA

The primary reason to bring George on the show was to talk about the upcoming PFRA Convention in Canton, OH to celebrate the 100th birthday of the NFL (unfortunately it was delayed a year due to COVID).  We chat about many things beyond

George Bozeka is the Executive Director of the Professional Football Researchers Association, an organization dedicated to preserving the rich history of professional football. The organization was founded on June 22, 1979, in the birth city of the NFL, which also happens to be the location of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. George grew up right down the road from the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and he remembers the 1964 Hall of Fame game being one of those moments where he really took a liking to the sport. There happened to be a guy by the name of Johnny Unitas playing in that game. And wouldn’t you know it, he was hooked and enamored by his first big-time NFL player. From there, the love of the sport never stopped.

In this interview, George and I get into many topics, such as:

  • Why he thinks organizations such as the PFRA are so important
  • How and when he joined the PFRA
  • What the Biography Committee of the PFRA is all about (he is a co-chairman)
  • An inside look at what we can expect from the 2021 PFRA Convention in Canton, OH
  • Which 4 NFL figures in all of NFL history he’s going “pick up in my DeLorean” and bring with him to this year’s PFRA Convention
  • We introduced a new “Rapid Blitz Round” to ask him what the most interesting thing he learned about from the following 3 books he was/is a part of
  • 1958 Baltimore Colts: Profiles of the NFL’s First Sudden Death Champions
  • The 1966 Green Bay Packers: Profiles of Vince Lombardi’s Super Bowl I Champions
  • 1951 Los Angeles Rams (book forthcoming)
  • What NFL Moment he’s going to take my DeLorean back to be present for
  • So much more

George also joined another podcast on the Sports History Network (Pigskin Dispatch).  Check out his interview below and then don’t forget to head over to PigskinDispatch.com page for PFRA Convention information and much more.  While you’re over there, you can learn so much about the history of professional football.

Ken Crippen - President of the PFRA

Ken Crippen stops by the show to share the history of the Professional Football Researchers Association.  This site is one of the most extensive resources for pro football history in America, which is what I focus on in this show.  I give major credit to the PFRA for helping me in the beginning stages of my podcast, and I still use the site to this day when researching the yesteryear of the gridiron.

Ken is the president and former executive director of the Professional Football Researchers Association. He has been researching and writing about pro football history for over twenty years. In that time, he has published two books and numerous articles. He has also won multiple writing awards, the latest being the 2012 PFWA Dick Connor Writing Award for Feature Writing. In 2011, he was awarded the Ralph Hay award by the PFRA for lifetime achievement in pro football history. His writing has been featured on National Football Post, Cold Hard Football Facts, The Packer Report and Coffin Corner. I have also appeared on Fox Sports Radio, ESPN Radio and WGR (Buffalo).

Bio photo of Ken Crippen - President of Pro Football Researchers Association
Photo Courtesy: Ken Crippen

Ken Crippen Books

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2020 Hall of Fame Fact Sheets

We discussed how the PFRA has been responsible for getting much deserved men elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  This past year, the PFRA sent four fact sheets of the players they endorsed to the senior committee for review.  Ken sent us over the links for you to take a look at and make a decision for yourself if you think they should have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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