Published November 02, 2012
NFL Films has compiled a Super Bowl collection with 45 hours of content that features highlights from all 46 of the games.
The 23 DVDs and a 26-page retrospective book with a foreword by the late Steve Sabol will be released through Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment on Nov. 13. It also includes an NFL Network program counting down the top 10 Super Bowls, and a year-in-review film for each team that lifted the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Since 1965, NFL Films has been a ground breaker in telling the stories of the league. It has won 107 Emmy awards.
Founded by Ed Sabol, his son Steve began as a cinematographer and eventually became president of the company. Steve Sabol died in September, a year after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"Steve always loved the Super Bowl films," said Todd Schmidt, senior producer at NFL Films. "He either cut them himself or put one of the top producers on it. Steve knew that the Super Bowl transcended the average football fan and he wanted films that told the story in historical context with an emphasis on the personal triumph on the largest stage imaginable."
Sabol was one of a handful of people who attended every Super Bowl. So his perspective from the days of Paul Hornung and Joe Namath to the Steel Curtain, the West Coast offense and the Mannings at quarterback was particularly insightful.
"The first law in the entertainment business is that you have to know how to put on a big show," Sabol wrote in the foreword. "After 46 years, the Super Bowl isn't merely big, it's an enormous, excessive, preposterous extravaganza — which is what's so great about it."
NICE INTERCEPTION: Once again, Denver Broncos receiver Brandon Stokley had to serve as a father figure for young receivers about to do something silly on the football field.
Demaryius Thomas caught a 1-yard touchdown pass Sunday night that extended Denver's lead over New Orleans to 24-7 and he flipped the ball to Eric Decker. The two had concocted a plan at halftime that if either one scored, they'd do an alley-oop dunk over the crossbar.
Stokley quickly sniffed out the scheme, which could have cost them a fine and a flag.
So, when Decker positioned himself under the goal posts after Peyton Manning's TD throw and was about to underhand the ball to the leaping Thomas, Stokley ran over and swiped it away.
"I saw it unfolding, and being the older guy in the room, I had to put a stop to it," said Stokley, who's 36 and in his 14th NFL season.
His actions were reminiscent of 2008, when Brandon Marshall was going to pull out a black glove after scoring a touchdown to symbolize his support for Barack Obama, who had been elected the nation's first black president 48 hours earlier. Stokley talked him out of it.
"Yeah, I'm 2 for 2," Stokley said. "He sent me a text, too. He said I'm a celebration killer. But I've got to do what I've got to do."
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR: Dre Kirkpatrick watched more than just cornerbacks when he was growing up. The Bengals rookie also paid attention to the guys trying to take advantage of them.
His favorite NFL quarterback? Peyton Manning.
"I always wanted to go against Peyton because I felt like he was one of the best," Kirkpatrick said.
He could very well get his chance in his NFL debut. The Bengals were preparing Kirkpatrick to play on Sunday against Manning's Denver Broncos. The 17th overall draft pick hadn't played in a game yet because of a knee injury over the summer.
How coincidental that he could be across the line from Manning when he lines up for his first play. Kirkpatrick learned a lot from watching him on television.
"He controlled the game," Kirkpatrick said. "He had self-control. He never gets outside his game. Even if it is going bad, he always looks like he's on top of things."
And if Kirkpatrick gets on the field, he knows who will be looking right back at him.
"If I am out there, I already know he's going to see the weak link," Kirkpatrick said. "He's going to picture me as the weak link because it's my first game out there. So I'm pretty sure he's going to try to come over my way. Only thing I can do is be ready."
INSPIRED 49ERS: Call it a mutual admiration society, the San Francisco 49ers and World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Alex Smith has been known to wear a Giants hat, and Giants players sport 49ers jerseys and sent Smith a signed cap.
Leave it to coach Jim Harbaugh to find some motivation from the city's other star sports team.
San Francisco's players watched the Game 4 World Series clincher in Detroit from their hotel rooms in Arizona last Sunday night before a 24-3 Monday night romp of the division rival Cardinals.
"Just fantastic. The team's really gained a lot of inspiration from what the Giants have done this year," Harbaugh said. "So many great team stories. So many great individual stories. And just champions. These leagues, I think the baseball, maybe it's the same as the football league. But, it's a process as the season goes on. There are just so many ways that there's an attack on the team mentality, the team concept, from so many different directions. ... And the team that won't be divided, that stays together, fights for each other — that one team at the end of the season, they're the champions."
Harbaugh hopes his 49ers (6-2), who had a bye this weekend, will be able to say the same thing one day soon. San Francisco lost 20-17 in overtime of the NFC title game to the eventual champion New York Giants last January. The Niners want another shot.
And Harbaugh will use any example necessary to get them there. Hall of Famer Willie Mays stopped by team headquarters recently, but Harbaugh is yet to meet Giants manager Bruce Bochy. They have traded messages.
"I've not met Bruce Bochy. I'd like to," he said.
COVER BOY: Texans defensive end J.J. Watt was as surprised as anyone to see his likeness on the cover of this week's Sports Illustrated.
The 2011 first-round pick spotted the cover photo above the headline "Mega Watt" on Tuesday, when friends started sending it to his Twitter account.
"I had to check with a couple of different sources to make sure it was real," Watt said. "I didn't know they were going to do that."
The 6-foot-5 Watt leads the league with 9½ sacks and 15 tackles for loss. He also leads defensive linemen with 10 passes defensed. But the closest thing he remembers to being on a magazine cover was posing for mock-up photos on family vacations.
"When I was a kid, we would go to Disney World and do those photos where you put your face on the SI cover," Watt said. "Now my face is actually on the SI cover. It's pretty cool, it's surreal, it's an honor. It's just one of those things you dream about as a kid."
The SI cover has become notoriously linked to a "jinx," dooming teams and athletes to setbacks shortly after they appeared on it. Watt isn't buying it.
The Texans (6-1) play Buffalo (3-4) on Sunday.
"I believe hard work cures everything," Watt said. "I don't believe in jinxes, I don't believe in sophomore slumps, I don't believe in any of that. I believe that if you work hard, and you do things the right way, everything will be just fine."
AP Pro Football Writers Barry Wilner and Arnie Stapleton, and Sports Writers Janie McCauley, Kristie Rieken and Joe Kay contributed to this story.
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