The Reason No One Has Ever Seen A Replay Of Super Bowl 1 Is Because The NFL Refuses To Pay Up For It
Yahoo- However, a tape of the original broadcast exists. And that tale of the tape is equal parts intriguing and maddening.
A Pennsylvania resident, who has remained anonymous to this day, had a copy of the original broadcast and brought it to the Paley Center for Media in New York. The Paley Center vetted it on a two-inch-tape machine. According to Paley Center curator Ron Simon, the footage is fascinating. This was at the dawn of instant replay, so the broadcasters are heard reassuring viewers that they were not looking at game action but rather a capture of previous plays. Slow motion was still a new trick. Frank Gifford, then only 36 years old, provided color commentary. Pat Summerall handled the trophy presentation. The commercials were not at all like what we'll see next month: ads for Black Label beer, shampoo, and cigarettes. The cost of a 30-second ad was $42,000 (compared to today's millions). It's TV gold.
So the Paley Center gave it to the NFL and it was shown to the world, right? Well, no. Because the tape was so rare and valuable, the fan wanted money for it. He threw out a number: $1 million.
The NFL came back with a far lower number, "low five-figures," according to the tape-holder's lawyer, Steve Harwood.
"The reaction was: it's their game and they did not want to pay for something they felt was theirs," he says.
Uhh, does the NFL not understand how ransom works, or is the concept of sentimental value just completely foreign to them? Do I really care all that much that I have never seen footage of Super Bowl 1? Not really. I suppose it would be kind of cool to watch for the novelty of it. You know, until you feel asleep five minutes in because every play was a run and the video quality resembled that of a convenience store surveillance tape. So yeah, maybe the actual product - in and of itself - isn't worth the million dollars these people are asking for it, but it's still pretty frugal for the NFL to refuse to pay up. We are talking about a tape of the inauguration of what has become the biggest sporting event of the year. One would think that would, or should, be worth a little more fiscally because of what it represents. The NFL is a multi-billion dollar business, and they offered up what amounts to pocket change for the sole copy of one of the most important moments in their existence. This would be like your neighbor stealing the VHS of your child's first birthday and asking for $10 in exchange for it's return, but instead of paying it you just sent a return letter with a counter offer of one penny.
If the NFL was a person he would be a middle aged rich white guy that's perpetually single and had a vasectomy before he lost his virginity. Probably be the type to re-gift on Christmas too. Wives, kids, and presents cost money, and it's money that would have to be spent in the interest of others. The NFL doesn't sacrifice their bottomline for anyone but themselves. Who cares about their fans that might actually like to witness a historical event? Doesn't matter if those fans get to watch Super Bowl 1 or not, they aren't going anywhere. They aren't putting any less money in Roger Goodell's pocket. Again, Super Bowl 1 means next to nothing to me and would probably only be able to hold my attention until the first underwhelming commercial break. That doesn't make it any less ridiculous that a corporation that wipes their ass with money is too cheap to provide me the ability to decide against watching it in full.