In Sports

A Super Bowl rematch could boost interest in this planned documentary.

Packers/Chiefs rematch could boost interest in rare film of first Super Bowl

This Sunday, both the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs are vying for Super Bowl spots. If each wins its conference championship, Super Bowl LIV will be a rematch of the very first Super Bowl, in which the Packers topped the Chiefs, 35-10, in January 1967.

Despite the long-lived and ongoing sports media blitz, you'd be hard-pressed to find a full video of that first-ever NFL Super Bowl.

That's because after CBS recorded it, the company later erased the game by taping soap operas over it. NBC also recorded, and failed to preserve, the game.

A film of Super Bowl I has been called the Holy Grail of American sports video.

However, it seems that a film of the entire game does exist, and September Club, the documentary film group where Milwaukee's Dan Didier works – you may remember Didier from his years as the drummer in The Promise Ring and Maritime – is working on a project to make it available.

The project, which was featured recently in an article Jared Diamond wrote for the Wall Street Journal, is currently trying to raise funds via Kickstarter.

"Turns out one football fan did record Super Bowl I in 1967 and left it to his family after his death," reads the Kickstarter page for the project. "It is the only known copy of the broadcast. In a true David vs. Goliath fight, the NFL has threatened to sue the family if they do anything with the recording, so it sits in a vault unseen.

"If enough of us fans unite together in this campaign, we can make the Super Bowl I broadcast recording available for everyone to watch for the first time in over 50 years!"

Pennsylvanian Troy Haupt found a copy of the entire game, which his father had filmed in 1967.

"After storing the tape at the Paley Center vault in New York, Troy and his family offered to sell it to the group they thought would be most interested ... the NFL," notes the Kickstarter campaign page. "To their surprise, the NFL initially only offered them $30,000 for the million-dollar tape, which they said was the equivalent of what it would cost them to sue Troy and his family to take possession of the recording which the NFL dubiously claims they own due to copyright laws.

"For now, the tape remains in a legal stalemate, sitting in the vaults of the Paley Center, unseen by football fans, under legal threats by the NFL. We want to change that."

"It's a story that becomes even more interesting if both the Chiefs and the Packers win on Sunday," says Didier.

With 28 days left on the campaign, the project has 74 backers who have pledged $6,526 of the $50,000 goal.

If the right goals get scored this weekend, those numbers could get a big boost.


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