No biographical memoir is more aptly titled than Upton Bell’s ‘Present at the Creation, My Life in the NFL and the Rise of America’s Game’. Everyone knows about what a great monolithic beast the NFL is today. Unfortunately fewer people know, and those who don’t should, that Upton’s father Bert, was the first great commissioner in league history. Much of what we take for granted today was initiated by Bert Bell and young Upton could be found at his knee.
Upton never says ‘hello’ when he picks up a phone, rather rolls immediately into an anecdote that reflects the news of the day. One of America’s most treasured story tellers, Upton was a longtime scout personnel director and front office executive with the Baltimore Colts and New England Patriots. He also headed up the Carolina franchise in the WFL and in recent years is best known as the popular long time host of a number of New England TV and radio shows.