The Kansas City Chiefs will clash heads with the San Francisco 49ers at Super Bowl LIV at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida this Sunday. More than a half-century earlier, the Chiefs lost 35-10 to the Green Bay Packers at the inaugural Super Bowl I at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
If fans wanted to review that game for historical purposes, they’ve largely been out of luck. Both CBS and NBC, which broadcast the event simultaneously, erased over their tapes to make room for soap operas, which was not an uncommon practice at the time. But a tape of the game does exist. And if you really want to see it, it looks like you’ll have to shell out a few bucks for the required effort.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a Kickstarter has been created to raise money for the fees associated with getting the privately owned tape from out under the thumb of the NFL and into circulation. Originally discovered in an attic in Shamokin, Pennsylvania in 2005, the tape—or tapes, as the game was recorded over two Quadruplex cassettes—is nearly complete, save for halftime and a portion of the third quarter.
A man named Martin Haupt recorded the game. His son, Troy Haupt, a nurse anesthetist, heard about a Sports Illustrated story valuing the “lost” game at $1 million and dug out the tapes. Haupt has long tried and failed to negotiate with the NFL to release the footage. They offered him $30,000, which he declined. In 2016, the NFL Network aired a cobbled-together version of the game using footage NFL Films captured with their own crew.
The NFL has asserted it owns the copyrighted content and has warned Haupt against doing anything with it. The coveted recording resides at the Paley Center for Media in Manhattan, the victim of a legal stand-off.
That’s where the Kickstarter comes in. Jeremy Coon, a filmmaker who produced 2004’s Napoleon Dynamite, and partner Tim Skousen are raising $50,000 for a documentary about the tape. But if the campaign meets a stretch goal of $1.5 million, Coon claims he will purchase the tape from Haupt for $750,000 and release it online for everyone to see. He also asserts he would use $100,000 toward any prospective legal fees incurred from the NFL challenging the release. The filmmakers believe the NFL has only a shaky claim to copyright because they have no physical copy of the footage.
Will crowdsourced demand be able to outwit the legal might of the NFL? That remains to be seen. The campaign, which now sits at nearly $10,000, runs through February 15.
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For decades, martial artist and actor Carlos Ray Norris Jr. has been kicking his way into the hearts of action film fans. In addition to his competitive karate career, Norris has starred in a string of successful movies as well as the long-running CBS drama Walker, Texas Ranger. With Norris having reached the milestone age of 80 years old back in March 2020, we’re taking a look at some of the more interesting facts about his life and career.
1. Chuck Norris is a military veteran.
Chuck Norris stars in Lone Wolf McQuade (1983).
MGM Home Entertainment
Born on March 10, 1940 in Ryan, Oklahoma, Norris was the oldest of three boys and a self-described “shy” child. After a move to California, Norris attended North Torrance High School. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Air Force, where he became a member of the military police in the hopes of pursuing a career in law enforcement. It was in the service, while being stationed at Osan Air Base in South Korea, that Norris first discovered the martial arts. When he once found himself unable to control a rowdy drunk in a bar while on patrol duty, Norris realized he needed combat skills. He studied Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do before returning to California. When he was discharged from the Air Force in 1962, Norris began teaching the skills he had acquired to students.
2. Steve McQueen got Chuck Norris into acting.
Norris became a world champion in karate contests, which lent credence to his abilities as a martial arts instructor. He taught several celebrities the finer points of self-defense, including the Osmonds, Priscilla Presley, and Steve McQueen. Norris even trainedPrice Is Right host Bob Barker. But not all his schools were doing well, and after retiring from competition in 1974, Norris was looking for other opportunities. McQueen suggested that Norris try his hand at acting. McQueen was right—eventually. It took several years and nine films, but Norris had a breakthrough with 1982’s Lone Wolf McQuade.
3. Chuck Norris needed to obey a producer’s request in order to face off against Bruce Lee.
While Norris didn’t become a household name until the 1980s, his turn as a villain in 1972’s Return of the Dragon (also known as Way of the Dragon) opposite Bruce Lee wound up being a seminal meeting of two onscreen martial arts legends. When Lee was looking for an adversary for the climactic fight, he called Norris, whom he knew and was friends with. But the film’s producer insisted that Norris gain 20 pounds so that he would appear to be much larger than Lee on camera. “That’s why I don’t do jump kicks [in the movie],” Norris told Empire in 2007. “I couldn’t get off the ground!”
4. Chuck Norris founded his own martial arts system.
Taking the knowledge he had acquired over many years of training in Tang Soo Do and Tae Kwon Do, Norris developed his own unique martial arts system and philosophy that he eventually dubbed Chun Kuk Do. In addition to combat techniques, the system encourages students to develop themselves to their maximum potential and look for the good in other people. It was renamed the Chuck Norris System in 2015.
5. Chuck Norris once marketed Chuck Norris Action Jeans.
Thanks to his fame in the martial arts world, Norris was sought after to endorse athletic products. In 1982, martial arts equipment company Century recruited Norris to be a spokesperson for their Karate Jeans, which featured flexible fabric sewn into the crotch that would presumably allow the wearer to deliver a bone-crunching kick while looking fashionable. Eventually renamed Action Jeans, Norris promoted them for years.
6. Chuck Norris had his own cartoon series.
At the height of his popularity in the 1980s, Norris teamed with animation company Ruby-Spears for an animated series, Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. The show featured Norris and a team of martial artists fighting villains like Superninja and The Claw. Although 65 shows were planned, just a few aired. “We only did six of them, and then a woman at CBS said, ‘Those are too violent,’” Norris told MTV News in 2009.
7. Chuck Norris is a real Texas Ranger.
For eight seasons, Norris pummeled bad guys as the star of the 1990s CBS television series Walker, Texas Ranger, which became the first primetime show shot on location in Texas at Norris’s insistence. In 2010, Norris was named an honorary member of the Texas Rangers by state governor Rick Perry in acknowledgment of Norris’s work in raising awareness for the elite unit and for his work helping underprivileged youths via martial arts programs. Norris’s brother, Aaron Norris, who was an executive producer on the show, also received the designation.
8. Chuck Norris’s role in Dodgeball was a surprise to Chuck Norris.
Norris is generally good-humored about his persona and is often willing to poke fun at himself. But when he was asked to do a cameo in the 2004 comedy Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, he passed because he didn’t feel like driving three hours to the movie’s set in Long Beach, California. When star Ben Stiller called to ask personally, Norris agreed, but didn’t read the script. He simply shot his scene where he offers a thumbs-up to the dodgeball competitors.
When Norris saw the movie in theaters, he was surprised at the context. “But in the end, when Ben’s a big fatty and watching TV, the last line of the whole movie is, ‘F***in’ Chuck Norris!,'” Norris told Empire in 2007. “My mouth fell open to here… I said, ‘Holy mackerel!’ That was a shock, Ben didn’t tell me about that!”