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Entry from February 24, 2014
War Room (a team’s player draft headquarters)

A “war room” is a room where war plans are made, but, by extension, “war room” has also meant a room where business plans are made. Sports teams have their “war rooms” to discuss game strategy or to make player selections in league drafts.

“It is the Dallas Cowboys’ war room, that space set aside for the collegiate football draft” was cited in print in August 1968. Player selections are electronically sent from these team “war rooms” to a central location such as New York City, where the National Football League and the National Basketball Association are based and where the NFL and NBA player drafts are often held. “Tom Landry, Gil Brandt and some of Brandt’s scouts gather around a table in what is called the war room at Cowboy offices and make their picks” was cited in print in January 1969.

The use of “war room” meaning a place where game plan strategy is formed was cited in print in October 1969, in an article titled “LA Plots Football Strategy In The War Room.”

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
war room noun
1:  a room at a military headquarters where maps showing the current status of troops in battle are maintained
2:  a room (as at a business headquarters) used for conferences and planning that is often specially equipped (as with computers, or charts)
First Known Use of WAR ROOM

16 August 1968, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Pleasant Cowboys Surprise: Hawaii’s Cole May Be Starter on Defense” by Bob St. John, pg. 1B, col. 3:
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.—The assumption was as logical as the reason. It is the Dallas Cowboys’ war room, that space set aside for the collegiate football draft.

19 January 1969, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Cowboys Launch Manhunt: Banner Crop of Collegiate Talent Available for Draft” by Bob St. John, pg. 3B, col. 1:
Tom Landry, Gil Brandt and some of Brandt’s scouts gather around a table in what is called the war room at Cowboy offices and make their picks. Ordinarily, you would visualize this room as being smoke filled but it is not, because neither Landry nor Brand smokes.

23 October 1969, Lawton (OK) Constitution, “LA Plots Football Strategy In The War Room” by Bob Myers, pg. 23, cols. 2-3:
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP)—The door was kept closed, if not locked, and it led to the inner sanctum of the innermost sanctum, sort of like the sacrosanct War Room of the Pentagon.

Inside the immense, dimly lit room figures hovered around a movie projector and figures on the screen leaped forward, jerked back, stopped, then again ahead, only a few frames at a time.

This was a production of the Los Angeles Rams, at their training camp in Long Beach Recreation Park.

And what they were doing was making up something in football they call the “game plan.”

Sports Illustrated
November 14, 1983
The Class Of Their Class
Eric Dickerson, Curt Warner and Dan Marino are the cream of the NFL’s deepest crop of rookies ever

Paul Zimmerman
In the war room in Miami, Don Shula stared at the board in disbelief. He had been thinking about defensive-line help. The Dolphins had the 27th selection.

Sports Illustrated
April 30, 1990
The NFL Draft
Peter King
When the first five rounds of the NFL draft ended on Sunday, the new brain trust of the Chargers emerged frowning from their war room at San Diego Jack Murphy Stadium. General manager Bobby Beathard and aides Dick Daniels and Billy Devaney looked like California kids who had just had their skateboards ripped off. “Frustrating day,” Devaney said. “We were offering our next year’s one [the Chargers’ 1991 first-round pick] around the league and getting no response. None.”

OCLC WorldCat record
War Room : the legacy of Bill Belichick and the art of building the perfect team
Author: Michael Holley
Publisher: New York : Harpercollins, ©2011.
Edition/Format: Book : English
Database: WorldCat
Bill Belichick is one of the titans of today’s game of football. The author, a sports commentator follows three NFL teams, the New England Patriots, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons, from training camp 2010 through the Super Bowl and into the April draft, opening a new window into Belichick’s influence on the game. This exploration takes football fans behind the scenes of the most popular sport in America, with insider access to the head coaches, scouts, trainers, and players who make the game what it is, including new insights from Bill Parcells, Todd and Dick Haley, and Belichick himself.

Tales from the war room
How the Packers angered Favre, ignored Romo and nearly missed Rodgers

Originally Published: April 24, 2012
By Andrew Brandt | ESPN.com
The war room has become synonymous with power and strategy in the NFL. Who wouldn’t want a peek inside?

At the Packers, we actually had two rooms. The traditional one featured the usual measurables—height, weight, speed, vertical. Then there was a financial room that I designed focused on salary, cap number, acceleration, contract year, agent and team charts showing cash/cap by position, offense/defense and trends. This space was a favorite of Commissioner Roger Goodell and the late Gene Upshaw, who wanted to design a similar room at NFLPA headquarters.

The war room also featured “ready” lists and depth charts, although its most celebrated use is the draft, where decisions affect franchises’ fortunes.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Monday, February 24, 2014 • Permalink