Monday, October 1, 2012

EPCOT and the '64 NFL Championship Game film

NFL Films' blog discusses the connection between EPCOT and the third NFL Championship Game film produced by Blair Motion Pictures, aka NFL Films:

Monday, September 24, 2012

R.I.P., Steve

When I heard the news last week, I felt as though I'd lost a friend. NFL Films tribute promo:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blair Motion Pictures becomes NFL Films

NFL Films has its own blog now, as you may be aware. I'll post here periodically as I find items of interest, but it seems appropriate and necessary to link to the NFL Films blog in recognition of the day Blair Motion Pictures became NFL Films.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

1966 -- Impressively ambitious

In 1966 only, NFL Films produced a "Game of the Week" program for nearly every game played. Six or seven games each week, according to the Game of the Week special-order page at It's worth noting that the league had 15 teams that season -- it was Atlanta's first year in the league, and New Orleans did not join until 1967. As post-merger interleague play (Super Bowl excepted) took place only in the preseason, and not at all in 1966, one NFL team had a bye each week of the season. So on weeks where seven games are listed, that means that each of that week's games was given a "Game of the Week" treatment. (I haven't been able to determine why, for some weeks, only six games are listed.) Here's an example of the "Game of the Week" in the 1966 style. If you watch it -- and I know you will -- you'll see that there was very little music incorporated into the production. It looks like they edited the film, had the narrator come in to record, then rushed the prints to the respective affiliate stations: I know they were sending a crew to each game at this point, but to produce a 25- to 28-minute program for each of those games? I'm guessing they hired a lot of freelancers that season.
I'll bet that, having clicked on this blog, you recognize this song. Used prominently for the first time, and perhaps for the first time at all in an NFL Films production, in "They Call It Pro Football:"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

1967 Sports Illustrated feature on Ed Sabol

From the Nov. 20, 1967 issue:

It's great fun to take a look at the early days of NFL Films, when "They Call It Pro Football" was something they'd made earlier that year. But here's an intriguing bit, from that article:

All of the NFL highlight recaps one sees on television this season are the work of Sabol. So is the official NFL championship game film. His off-season show, Edwin Sabol Presents, muscled into prime time last spring and ran all summer.

In an earlier post on this blog, I shared what I'd found in the New York Times TV listings from the spring and summer of '67. But it's only in this article that I've seen the weekly show described as "Edwin Sabol Presents."

The credits sequences on the team highlights for the '66 season -- those that I've seen, that weren't omitted from videotapes issued by NFL Films -- are for a show called "NFL Action." There's a quick-edit sequence of about 5 seconds, and then you see the film's introduction by Frank Gifford. (I picture Frank hopping from city to city in the spring of '67.)

I'm mystified. Was Sabol pulling the SI writer's leg? Was the series actually called "Edwin Sabol Presents" in 1967? I lean toward the former, since there's no evidence of the latter.