JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Super Bowl Sunday

When I was a kid growing up in Mahopac, N.Y., Super Bowl Sunday was one of my favorite days of the year. Yes, I loved the game. And sure, it was cool having Scott Choy and John Ballerini and Jon Powell and the gang come over for pizza, soda and the big game. But the best—absolute best—part of Super Bowl Sunday was that, leading up to the game, you could always find a channel that showed the NFL Film highlight videos from the past events.

Man, I looooooooooooove those films. Doesn’t matter if the games were superb (Super Bowl III) or blowouts (Super Bowl XX). I love the slow motion; the deep voice; the classical music as footballs soar through the air. This was long before I covered sports for a living, and it all seemed so regal and elegant. At that point, I’d never had an athlete fart in my face or tell me to go bite myself. They were gladiators, and nothing else. Terry Bradshaw. Wendell Tyler. Kenny King. Joe Montana. John Riggins. The names go on and on, and they evoke something truly special in my mind.

Now, the videos have been largely shelved.

My day ain’t the same.