Friday, January 15, 2016

The LuLac Edition #3121, January 15th, 2016

Then Reverend Joseph J. Super (Photo: circa 1967, LuLac archives)

It was Sunday January 15th, 1967 and the Yonki family was firmly ensconced in pew number three, left side at St. John the Baptist Church in Pittston. We always attended 9:30 Mass and the usual suspects were there. Or parishioners.
The Dellartes were on the opposite side of the church, pew 7, and the Andy Zavadas were right behind us. The Mass started and the Pastor, Father Super gave the homily. He intoned right from the start that the great football game to be played that afternoon, the actual day, was named after him. Super Sunday. It was not yet the Super Bowl yet. Super Sunday came from the LaMarr Hunt family. One of Hunt’s sons said that the Super Ball (a round object that bounced very high and was very popular) would be a great name for this Sunday.
It was a regular Sunday in January but you knew this would not be just another game. This would be akin to a World Championship of two leagues in its most basic form.
Well maybe. Despite my enthusiasm as a Packer fan and the fact that two networks were covering this, the game itself was pretty anti climatic. The Packers won 35-10 over Kansas City, Father Super had his Super Sunday as did most Americans and life went on.
Life went on so mundanely that the two networks who broadcast the games erased footage of what they had. That’s how unimportant they thought the game was. Now the game was not erased by accident. When I began in broadcasting, it took much effort to erase a tape. You had this bulky eraser and had to go over the tape for at least 5 minutes making sure every section of the magnetic tape was erased.
Through the years Super Sunday has morphed into The Super Bowl, a national holiday of incredible economic and pop cultural proportions. That’s why it is that much sweeter this year that on the 49th anniversary the NFL Network actually pieced the original game back together.
The audio comes from a radio broadcast featuring NBC Radio. In an exhaustive process that took months to complete, NFL Films searched its enormous archives of footage and were able to locate all 145 plays from Super Bowl I from more than a couple dozen disparate sources. Once all the plays were located, NFL Films was able to put the plays in order and stitch them together while fully restoring, re-mastering, and color correcting the footage. Finally, audio from the NBC Sports radio broadcast featuring announcers Jim Simpson and George Ratterman was layered on top of the footage to complete the broadcast.
The final result represents the only known video footage of the entire action from Super Bowl 1 and NFL Network will show it to the world for the first time on the 49th anniversary of the game between the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs, January 15.
The game is being broadcast as we put this up but will be repeated on the NFL Network at midnight. Even though I watched that first game, it will be refreshing to see what they call “The Lost Game” on Reverend J.J. Super’s Sunday.


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