They say that smell is the sense with the strongest hooks into memory. Or maybe it isn’t. For some reason I imagine that I’ve heard it said before, but memory is a moving target.
For that same reason, I’m not sure of this next memory, but it is vivid.
It begins with a sound, and that sound is the disembodied voice of Harry Kalas, or John Facenda, like the voice of History itself. The next sound I hear is the music: sweeping strings, blaring horns, unabashedly martial and military in its cadence and themes.
The visuals play at half speed, maybe slower, with the desaturated color palette of a ’60s Super 8mm home movie. Even in slow motion, I can tell that the giant men in uniforms lumber the way people do when they’ve run their body at high speeds into other solid objects, mostly human beings, sometimes the earth, for years and years. Their breaths appear with metronomic rhythm like contrails in what must be bitter cold winter air, giving the impression that they are not people but steam powered machines.
There might not be a sports organization that better mythologizes its past in video than the NFL (play word association with any pro football fan and more often than not, if you say “Lambeau Field,” they’ll come back with “frozen tundra”), but you can judge for yourself today as we’ve partnered with the NFL Network to bring classics from the NFL Films Archive to Hulu.
Whether you’re looking for footage on your favorite team, classic games, specific seasons, or Super Bowls past, the NFL Network on Hulu has it covered. In recent seasons, the NFL has even managed to turn training camp (training camp?!) into gripping entertainment in the form of Hard Knocks.
When I say the NFL has these games covered, I’m underselling it. This isn’t just recycled game footage but reveals angles and shots you’ve never seen before. Watching any of these videos, it’s stunning to realize just how many high speed cameras were planted all over the stadium. It seems like there’s a camera trained on every player and one tracking the football itself.
Being a Chicago boy, the first video I sought out was a profile of the only Bears team in my lifetime to win the Super Bowl, the 1985 Bears of the Super Bowl Shuffle fame. Lo and behold, who should have done the voiceover than an old Hulu friend, Alec Baldwin. It’s as if this partnership was meant to be.
From the frozen tundra of, well, sunny Los Angeles,