Lost footage of Super Bowl 1 proves God wants the Packers to win in 2011

TAGs: Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, super bowl xlv

Way back in 1098, a bunch of those crazy Crusader types were holed up in the walled city of Antioch, while an angry army of Muslims waited outside, sharpening their beheading tools. Things looked pretty grim for the Jesus fish crowd. Then, one of the Crusaders claimed to have had a dream that the Roman lance that had pierced Christ’s side while He hung on the Cross was buried somewhere in a cathedral inside Antioch. A search was launched, a spear tip was found, and thus, inspired that God was on their side, the outnumbered Crusaders went out and kicked some Saracen ass. What the hell does that have to do with football, you ask? Consider the following…

lost-footage-super-bowl-packersDespite the first ever Super Bowl being broadcast by two networks, neither apparently considered the occasion worthy of preserving for posterity. The only known surviving footage of the game was the slo-mo sideline stuff shot by NFL films. An exhaustive search was eventually conducted by the NFL, the two networks and (probably) Indiana Jones, but no film was ever found. As HBO executive Rick Bernstein told the Wall Street Journal, “it’s the Holy Grail.”

And then, a miracle. A man walked into the Paley Center for Media in New York holding a shopping bag, in which he claimed to have a two-inch videotape copy of the original CBS broadcast. The man’s father had recorded the broadcast from a CBS affiliate in Scranton, PA on a reel-to-reel video recorder (which was probably the size of a small car), then kept the tapes in his attic for four decades in the hope that they’d someday be worth something.

Enter Sports Illustrated, and their 2005 estimation that the missing broadcast was worth more than (paging Dr. Evil) one million dollars. So the guy gets the tapes down from the attic, strolls on over to the Paley Center and suggests they might be interested in professionally restoring the footage. The Paley people report that the tapes were in bad shape, with a major hunk of the third quarter missing, not to mention the entire half-time show. (Deal with it, University of Arizona and Grambling State University marching bands!)

Despite these imperfections, 7/8 of a Grail is still pretty Holy. But apparently not to the NFL, who offered the tape owner a mere $30k. The unnamed tape owner declined, prompting the NFL to issue a letter restating that old “this broadcast is the exclusive property of the National Football League” disclaimer, and there we stand. Until the issue is resolved, we, the public can’t enjoy this slice of football history. Seriously, just pay the man already.

Anyway, back to our Crusaders. Think of the parallels. On the eve of a Super Bowl clash between the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers, we get a story about the discovery of football’s Holy Grail in video form — the first ever Super Bowl, in which the Packers crushed the Chiefs 35-10. Add 35 + 10 and you get 45 — Super Bowl XLV! Clearly, this is the Packers’ Antioch moment. But wait, the tapes were kept in an attic in Pennsylvania… So does that mean the Steelers should be divinely inspired? Hang on… Wait, which team are the Saracens again? Fucking poorly thought-out metaphors…


views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of