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.

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