I've made it no secret I'm a junkie for original televised footage of classic sporting events. Back in the day when ESPN Classic actually showed classic games I would love watching classic games from the 70's and 80's. I was thrilled when two years ago MLB started releasing complete World Series boxsets of the 1975, 1979, and 1986 World Series which I promptly bought all three and did write ups of all three sets on the blog. Last year two more World Series sets were released, 1977 and 1987 but I have yet to start watching either. Considering how bad the A's will be this season I might finally crack those sets open when looking for alternative things to watch during the baseball season. Both the NBA and NHL have followed suit although I'm not as interested in those sets as I am for baseball and football, but I would pick up the 1987 NBA Finals set if they ever release it as I have fond memories of it as a bandwagon Laker fan when I was younger. There has even been a set of "classic" Notre Dame games released which I did a write up the Cathlolics vs. Convicts game but haven't gotten around to viewing any of other the games.
The NFL had been a long time holdout when it comes to airing any classic games, even on their own channel, but last year around the Super Bowl they finally started re-airing original Super Bowl broadcasts which continued this year. Also this past Fall they released a handful of DVD sets and individual DVDs with "classic" games. Their choices so far have been a bit odd. They released three sets of every playoff game from the 1999 Rams, 2000 Ravens, and 2002 Bucs seasons. The '99 Rams set would be kinda interesting as that year's Super Bowl had probably the best finish ever in a Super Bowl but I really have no interest in anything from the last ten years and there's nothing "classic" on either '00 Ravens or '02 Bucs set. They also released the 1980 NFC Championship game between the Eagles and Cowboys. Now that'd be a must have for an Eagles fan but the game was not particularly competitive and why release that game instead of the 1981 NFC Championship featuring "The Catch"? In addition there is a three game set of "classic" Cleveland Browns games (yes I know, what classic Browns games?) but the three games they picked left a lot to be desired. One of the games is a regular season blowout from 1989 against the Steelers and another is a playoff clinching win against the Falcons from 2002. If they swapped out either of those games for their double overtime win in the '86 playoffs against the Jets I would have bought it.
Now there were two others that I did decide to pick up, the 1992 AFC Wild Card Game featuring the Bills record comeback against the Oilers and they released an 11 game set of the 1985 Chicago Bears season. I actually haven't received the Bears set yet as I got in on backorder from DeepDiscountDVD.com when it was on sale for only $44 a month ago but should be receiving it any day now. Now there are not any real "classics" on that Bears set but the '85 Bears always held a special place in my childhood because the Bears were the first "it" team for me that you just had to watch and as I've mentioned before my earliest sports memory is watching Super Bowl XX. On the set there is their MNF loss to the Dolphins that ended their undefeated season, which is actually kind of surprising as these sets are of course marketed to the fans of the teams but having that game on the set made it an automatic purchase for me as I don't know if I ever watched the original live game.
So here's my complete list of of sports DVDs, that have original games on them:
1975 World Series
1977 World Series
1979 World Series
1986 World Series
1987 World Series
Notre Dame Collector's Edition (7 Games)
1992 AFC Wild Card Bills vs. Oilers
1985 Chicago Bears (11 Games)
In April MLB will be releasing the 2001 World Series boxset but again I'm not particularly interested in anything from the last decade, especially something that was televised by FOX, so I'm not sure if I'm going to pick that one up even if it was a true classic. Before then in early March there will be another World Series boxset released and, well....there's no fucking way I'm going to buy it.