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Is Football's Long, Glorious Reign Coming to an End?
By: Stuart Elliott
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Every December, sports media celebrates the anniversary of the 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, aka "the greatest game ever played." It was thrilling -- the first NFL playoff game to go into sudden-death overtime -- and 17 of the players wound up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

But what makes that game on Dec. 28, 1958 so outstanding in retrospect is that, as Sports Illustrated proclaims, it "put football on the map" and sparked the love affair between the sport and television. The game, which the Colts won, 23-17, was broadcast nationally, by NBC, and it marked the start of a surge in popularity that eventually took the NFL to the top of the heap among sports-mad Americans.

As pro football benefited, so, too, did TV, filling gazillions of hours of airtime with programming that viewers couldn't get enough of. And football coverage could be monetized like almost nothing else the networks offered, bringing in bagsful of ad dollars each season.

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About the Author
This content was originally published on MediaVillage by Stuart Elliott. A link to the original piece appears after the post. https://www.mediavillage.com
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