When Football Was Football

When Football Was Football Summary

Each episode takes the listener back to the very early days of the National Football League. Author Joe Ziemba will share a forgotten or lost story from one of the NFL’s two oldest teams: The Bears and the Cardinals. Team championships, individual exploits, or long-buried items of interest from the earliest years of the NFL will be dusted off and resurrected for the listener. Not for the football faint-of-heart since these programs will document when the struggling Bears nearly went out of business or when Cardinals’ players earned $15 a game and were proud of it! It’s NFL history—with a twist!

Host – Joe Ziemba

Recognized as one of the leading authorities on the history of professional football in the country, Joe Ziemba is the award-winning author of the books When Football Was Football: The Chicago Cardinals and the Birth of the NFL and Cadets, Cannons, and Legends: The Football History of Morgan Park Military Academy.

A life-long resident of the south side of Chicago, Joe first became interested in the history of pro football after discovering that his father was a draft choice of the Chicago (now Arizona) Cardinals in the 1940s. Because of his knowledge of the early days of the professional game, Joe has been a resource for articles or reports in Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Daily Southtown, NBC Sunday Night Football, and many others. Joe has appeared on the WGN documentary “Football in Chicago,” a Comcast Sports special on the Chicago Bears, on radio stations such as WBBM and WSCR in Chicago, as well as the Global Sports Broadcasting Network.  In October of 2018, he was the featured guest on the telecast of “Beyond the Game” in White Plains, NY.

In April of 2016, “The Football Journal” released a list (prepared by Chris Willis of NFL Films) which identified the top 100 books ever written about pro football. When Football Was Football was included on this list at the #32 spot.