Bill Rycek will talk about the history of semipro and pro football in Connecticut. This narrative of minor league football teams in Connecticut in the 1960s and 1970s is based on extensive newspaper and periodical research and interviews with nearly 70 former players, broadcasters and journalists. Only a few players – like Marv Hubbard, Lou Piccone and Bob Tucker – made it to the NFL, but many more played for as little as $25 per game in their quest to make it big or just have fun. Wealthy men like Pete Savin and Frank D’Addario owned teams in Hartford and Bridgeport. In the days before cable television saturated the media with live sports, small town fans turned out to support their local heroes, often men who worked on construction crews during the week and stopped by the diner Sunday morning to talk football. Now in their 60s, 70s and 80s, these men share their stories of a simpler era: the good times, like the Hartford Knights’ 1968 ACFL championship season and the long bus rides and missed paydays that were as much a part of minor league ball as first downs and interceptions. Bill is a finance professional from Wallingford who has written eight books on sports history, including a trilogy on 19th century baseball, three books on baseball during the 1960s and two books on professional football in the 1960s. His work has earned a number of awards, and he has edited and contributed to other books and publications on the history of sports.

Arranged by Gehr Brown