news that one of my all-time football heroes and
TV football broadcasters had passed filled me
with sadness. Frank Gifford was a class act.
Number 16 will be missed.
When I began work on my soon to
be published When It Was Just a Game:
Remembering the First Super Bowl, I reached out
to Frank to do the foreword for the book and be
one of the many oral history voices.
A great football hero and top
notch announcer on Monday Night Football, Frank
was in the booth and on the field that January
day in 1967.
His insightful comments about the
game and the personalities involved in it and
compelling and insightful
foreword, added immensely to the depth and
breadth of my book. I will always be in his debt
to the kindly and considerate gentleman.
Below is the foreword by Frank
Gifford that leads off When It Was Just a Game:
It was long ago and far away that
I was at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a
field I had played football on as a college
All-American. Now I was there this January 15,
1967 in the beginning stages of what would
become for me a long and highly successful
television broadcasting career.
I was a member of the CBS team
that along with NBC, was televising the game.
That itself was something new for this newest of
football games that pitted the Kansas City
Chiefs of the American Football League against
the Green Bay Packers of the National Football
No one really knew what to
expect. No one expected the contest officially
called the AFL-NFL World Championship Football
game to become what it became—the Super Bowl,
the greatest sports event in history. No one
perhaps except for NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle,
who wanted it to become bigger than the World
I am one of the more than 50 oral
history voices in the book talking about the
game, the action and remembering my experiences
with the great Vince Lombardi pre-game and
post-game. You can read about those book-ended
moments in the book. Pre-game was much more of a
challenge as you will see than was post-game
when I was there with Pete Rozelle and my former
Coach “Vinny,” as he was presented with the
championship trophy made by Tiffany that just a
couple of years later would be named for him as
the Lombardi Trophy.
In this detailed oral and
narrative history, author Harvey Frommer
dramatically creates a narrative arc that brings
back the time. The merger of the American
Football League and the National Football
League, a chapter focused on the coaches, Vince
Lombardi of Green Bay and Hank Stram of Kansas
City, the pre-game preparations and struggles,
the game itself on that sunny day in Los Angeles
and a detailed look at the action on the field
of play, the post-game fallout and a special
chapter on what happened to many of the
Through many exclusive interviews
with players, coaches, media, viewers of the
game, we are there reliving a special time in
American sports and culture. It all makes for
the definitive book on that first Super Bowl.