NFL Network will re-air Super Bowl I to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Super Bowl this Friday at 8pm EST. The ninety-minute program will include NFL Films footage of the game, along with the original NBC Radio call by Jim Simpson and George Ratterman, with an introduction by Chris Rose at the beginning of the broadcast and at the beginning of the second half.
This re-airing is not the first, but the second re-airing of the game this year by NFL Network, the first of which was botched by the network. More from Awful Announcing:
In an article in the New York Times, a producer for NFL Network promised, “We’ll make sure we don’t ruin anything with the chatter.” Well, apparently after that article was published, NFL Network decided that chatter is exactly what America needed for the Super Bowl I broadcast. Choosing to downplay the footage and the Jim Simpson call, NFL Network elected to have host Chris Rose carry the broadcast with a panel of six analysts including Steve Mariucci, Steve Wyche, Willie McGinest and Elliot Harrison. Instead of allowing the audience to hear the NBC Radio broadcast overlaid on top of the NFL Films footage, viewers heard the NFL Network panel talk over the footage with a few instances to listen to Simpson.
It went like this for most of the broadcast which lasted for three hours. It was a big disappointment for viewers who were hoping to see what the fuss over the lost footage was about. There were interviews with former Chiefs players like Len Dawson, Mike Garrett and Fred Williamson, but those segments were interspersed with the talk from the panel. Those studio segments went too long and failed to add any perspective to the game. Asides from Mariucci who grew up a Packers fan and watched Super Bowl I and Steve Wyche, none of the panel could give any personal historical anecdotes. In addition, NFL Network did a screen showing SB I footage in one box, a smaller box in the upper right hand corner showing the panel and below that, some tweets or facts about the broadcast.
NFL Network did add a scorebug that appeared at times over the footage, but that only made rare appearances. Overall, the Super Bowl I program turned out to be a three-hour highlight program rather than a re-broadcast of the NFL Films footage and it evolved into a chat fest between Rose and the analysts. After being quite excited to see what NFL Network had promised to be a look at the lost footage, it resulted in what could have easily been confused for a local cable access discussion.
Here’s hoping this time around, the archival footage will be allowed to stand on its own. NFL Network is channel 212 on DIRECTV.