NFL Network to rebroadcast classic games

The NFL Network will be rebroadcasting four of the greatest
come-from-behind victories in league history, beginning Thursday with last
season’s Bears win at


24-23 decision over the Cardinals will be followed on May 17 by Indianapolis’
rally to a 38-35 overtime win against Tampa Bay in 2003; the New York Jets’
“Monday Night Miracle” 40-37 overtime win against Miami, to be aired
on May 24; and the record comeback by the Bills in the playoffs following the
1992 season, when Buffalo was down 35-3 in the second half to the Houston
Oilers and won 41-38 in OT. That will be televised May 31.

games never have been replayed in their entirety on television because the
league never allowed it — until now, on its own network.

first few are games either football fans will know by memory, or they have
compelling story lines,” said Charles Coplin, vice president of
programming for the NFL. “Last year’s Bears-Cardinals was one of the games
that was a factor in the Bears’ run to the NFC championship. Fans remember it
because of Dennis Green’s rough news conference after the fact.

have what many call the best Monday night football game of all time, and we
have that great Frank Reich-led comeback by the Bills in the wild-card game.
These are games we think are really memorable in terms of the results, and they
are part of the lore of football.”

decades, the NFL has been reluctant to replay anything but highlights from its
classics. But with the advent of NFL Network, it not only has a place to show
them, but an audience seeking such programming.

Last year,
the league rebroadcast five top games each week, but in condensed form, on its
“NFL Replay” show. When that proved popular, the NFL began planning
its abbreviated “NFL Classic” series for this month.

will be cut out, but otherwise these are the original broadcasts done by ABC,

not everything is in the archives. While more than 12,000 regular-season and
400 postseason games have been played, the library of film and tape is limited.

At some
point, NFL Network hopes to uncover many of those broadcasts, perhaps of the
Ice Bowl between
Dallas and
Bay in 1967, or the Immaculate Reception game between
Pittsburgh and

in the playoffs following the 1972 season.

lot of this stuff we’re still trying to find if it exists, and if so, is it in
an airable form?” Coplin said. “We’re trying to comb through with our
broadcast partners what is available. We don’t have an accurate accounting of
the inventory right now.

a shame how many things are not still available or have not been found.”

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