Part 2: Anaconda Copper and the Rams – Six Degrees of Separation

We left off with the NFL scrambling to compete with the upstart All-America Football Conference in the mid 1940’s…

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Rams had consistently lost money, despite winning the 1945 NFL title. Furthermore, the local upstart competition already looked tough on the field and well funded, scaring the beJeezus out of owner Dan Reeves. Then-owner Arthur McBride was pouring tons of money into marketing the Browns, and legendary college coach Paul Brown was an Ohio icon. Hence, Reeves proposed to the NFL to move the Rams westward to Los Angeles.

The All America Football Conference, or AAFC, had aspirations to have a West Coast presence, with 2 teams proposed for California. The NFL was afraid of additional overhead expenses, rejecting Reeves’ move because of costs incurred by teams having to travel cross-country. The league then refused to entertain Reeves’ next proposal to move the Rams to Texas. At that point, Reeves began hinting at a defection to the AAFC. Having already lost Topping, the NFL rescinded its earlier decision and approved the move to burgeoning Los Angeles.

This decision allowed the NFL to face the upstart AAFC as a national rather than regional business rival, and the AAFC thusly would not have a stranglehold on pro football in California.


The Guru