He coined the phrase, "On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team." The Bert Bell Benefit Bowl, coloquially referred to as the Playoff Bowl and first played in 1960 (the year after Bell's death), was named for him.
In 1918, Bell served in France with the 20th General Field Hospital, a mobile unit that had been formed at Penn. He was cited by the United States and France for bravery at the mobile unit which, at times, was under constant shelling by the Germans.
That's one reason BertBell probably happened to be in the end zone stands at Franklin Field in Philadelphia when he died.
Bell, the 64-year-old Commissioner of the National Football League, suffered a fatal heart attack, proving once again that irony and destiny are not always strange bedfellows.
DeBenneville (Bert) Bell (February 25, 1895 - October 11, 1959) was co-founder of the Philadelphia Eagles, co-owner and coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and commissioner of the National Football League from 1946 until his death.
Bell died of a heart attack on October 11, 1959 at Philadelphia's Franklin Field, while watching a game between the team he co-founded, the Eagles, and the Steelers, which he had co-owned from 1941 to 1946.
The BertBell Benefit Bowl, informally referred to as the Playoff Bowl and first played in 1960 (the year after his death), was named for him.
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