Upton is the son of the First Great Commissioner of the NFL Bert Bell. He joins us to share stories from his book: Present at the Creation – My Life in the NFL and the Rise of America’s Game. Upton’s book walks you through a journey in the history of the NFL unlike anyone else can.
He had a first-hand glimpse of the beginning of the NFL when he was the son of Bert Bell, the first Great Commissioner. Upton was at a crossroads when his father passed away and ended up working for the Baltimore Colts and the Great Don Shula.
He was the youngest GM in the NFL at the time when he took over for the then, Boston Patriots. He later owned the Charlotte Hornets, a World Football League organization. And as if that wasn’t enough of a diverse background, he worked his way into the media as a sportscaster.
Oh, by the way, he interviewed some of the greatest people in the nation at the time. Some include George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and Stephen Hawking. This is the 10,000 foot Eagle Eye View of Upton’s life, and there’s no way I could do it justice, so let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
We talk about many of Upton’s stories from his life during the interview, but to get a full understanding of how unique and interesting his life in football was, you should really purchase the book. You can do so by clicking on the photo to the right.
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My First Interaction With Upton
Upton reached out to me after someone shared this Bert Bell posting over at Flurry Sports. He called the phone number found on my Contact Page and left a voicemail letting me know he was thankful I covered an episode on his father. I can remember the conversation I had with Upton like it happened yesterday.
I called him on my way to the gym, and he answered the phone with just telling me how many times he’s been to Michigan for football games. At first, it caught me off guard, but then I was able to start a conversation that would ultimately change the direction of my podcast.
I was so interested and excited that I pulled over into this hotel parking lot right next to the local Subway. Upton proceeded to tell me so many stories about his life, told me he thinks podcasts are the way of the future, and then we ended it by him telling me to send him my address to get his book my way.
Flash forward, the book shows up to a different post office box, because the last few digits are barely off. I waited forever for that book. Finally, I got it, and I couldn’t put it down. Then the real fun was about to happen. I had the killer interview with Upton, and it was even better than I could have imagined. Again, a HUGE thank you to Upton for helping me out.