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October 9, 2015

Onion A.V. Club picks its favorite Super Bowl highlight films

by Joel Keller, posted Jan 25th 2006 8:28PM
NFL FilmsToday was a very good day for the Onion A.V. Club. Not only do they have a great interview with Stephen Colbert, but they also list their twelve (or, in this case, XII) favorite Super Bowl highlight reels. You know the ones I'm talking about; they're the ones produced by NFL Films that ESPN used to show in order right before the current Super Bowl kicks off. This year, they'll be showing Supes I through XXXVIII in order on ESPN Classic from Saturday, 2/4, from 3 AM until 11 PM, then ESPN2 shows I through XXXIX out of order from 11 PM on  Saturday, 2/4, until 6 PM on Sunday, 2/5 (ESPN will have a five hour (!) pre-game show on Sunday, from noon to 5 PM).

Why "the Deuce" is playing the videos out of order, I don't know. Maybe they're playing it in the order of how exciting each game was. Of course, as the A.V. Club article points out, the quality of the game had nothing to do with how the highlight reel would turn out. With their grainy slow-mo camera work, rousing music, and the "Voice of God" narration -- first John Facenda, then a number of other deep-voiced narrators -- NFL Films made even the crappiest game into a work of art. Although I will say that in recent years, the highlight reels didn't have the flair that they had in the Sixties and Seventies; the music is more authoritative than funky, and technology has rendered the picture much less weathered and aged. The A.V. guys agree with me, as most of their top XII contain films from the Facenda era, which ended when he died in 1984. This will be a good guide, though, to let you know which shows to tape and watch later.

(And don't forget to enter our Super Bowl Squares game!)

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