The most coveted moving images in NFL history are alive and well.
The actual broadcast tape of Super Bowl I has been found.
Repeat: THIS IS NOT A DRILL! This is real....
Wall Street Journal - In a bizarre confluence of events, neither network preserved a tape. All that survived of this broadcast is sideline footage shot by NFL Films and roughly 30 seconds of footage CBS included in a pre-game show for Super Bowl XXV. Somehow, an historic football game that was seen by 26.8 million people had, for all intents and purposes, vanished.
The long search may finally be over. The Paley Center for Media in New York, which had searched for the game footage for some time, has restored what it believes to be a genuine copy of the CBS broadcast. The 94-minute tape, which has never been shown to the public, was donated to the center by its owner in return for having it restored. It was originally recorded on bulky two-inch video and had been stored in an attic in Pennsylvania for nearly 38 years, the Paley Center says.
You can read the entire Wall Street Journal piece right here, as well as watch some actual footage that has been restored. In fact, you should. No, you must. To think that on Super Bowl morning, 2011, with the Packers ready to play the Steelers, you can see the famous Max McGee touchdown in fast motion - not the stylized NFL Films treatment which is all we had to use for years - is simply amazing.
Of course, if you watch the video piece, you will find one very predictable element of this story. As soon as the owner of this tape came forward, the NFL claims they own the rights to it. To which, I suppose in a legal sense, may be technically true.
But since the NFL didn't see fit to keep at least ONE clean copy for themselves, somewhere, somehow, I defer to the non-legal premise of "screw you, you had your chance!"
I hope the owners make a mint off of this sucker. Well done, sirs!