If all goes well for the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs this weekend, Super Bowl LIV will be a rematch of the very first Super Bowl game in 1967.
But anyone who wants to rewatch that game will have a hard time: Both NBC and CBS covered it, but later recorded over their broadcasts.
As a result, the Super Bowl I broadcast has long been considered one of the top lost treasures in sports. Although one tape of it is known to exist, a legal standoff with the NFL is keeping it from public view.
However, film producer Jeremy Coon (“Napoleon Dynamite”) is hoping a Kickstarter-funded documentary about the lost tape will kickstart the release of this rare piece of football history.
Coon is currently raising $50,000 to complete a documentary about the twisted history behind the only known recording of Super Bowl I. Once the film is finished, he then hopes to raise $1.5 million from ticket sales or selling distribution or streaming rights to purchase the tape from owner Troy Haupt.
“We’re going to pay $750,000 for the film and set the rest aside for any legal challenges,” Coon told HuffPost.
A little backstory about the rare tape: Haupt discovered it in 2005 in the attic of his mom’s home in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.
The Haupt family hoped to sell the tape to the NFL for its estimated value of $1 million. Instead, officials claimed the NFL owned the recording and offered a paltry $30,000, according to The Wall Street Journal. The league also threatened legal action in response to any release of the recording.
Haupt’s tape was restored by the Paley Center for Media in New York, where it is currently in a vault until he and the NFL come to an agreement.
Coon says anyone who wants to see that first big game has to get direct permission from Haupt. The original film shows how TV coverage of football has changed in the last 50 years.
“The reffing is really exaggerated, almost like they’re dancing. It’s very odd,” Coon said. “And the LA Coliseum is half-filled at best ― not what you’d expect.”
Currently, Coon has raised $6,817 toward the initial $50,000 goal, with 28 more days in the campaign. He’s confident he can raise the money because “a lot of people are donating just because they like the idea of the film.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Wall Street Journal the League was unaware of the film, “but we continue to reassert our rights to enforce and protect our intellectual property.”
You can see the Kickstarter campaign video about the film below.
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