Tuesday, July 15, 2014

HBO to produce movie about '58 NFL Championship game: Report

HBO has optioned “The Glory Game” and plans to make a movie based on New York Giants great Frank Gifford’s book recounting the iconic Giants-Colts 1958 NFL Championship game, which went into overtime and thrust the NFL into the modern television sports broadcasting era.

It has routinely been called "The Greatest Game Ever Played."

For those of you who only know Gifford as Kathy Lee's namesake and stay-at-home hubby, the former Giants running back was the glamor boy star of the Big Blue team that ruled Manhattan back in the Toots Shor saloon days and a time when the Colts were the toast of Baltimore.

The movie is being produced by Gene Kirkwood (“Rocky,” “The Pope of Greenwich Village”), Ross Elliott and Frank’s 24-year-old son, Cody Gifford, reported Michael Starr of the NY Post.

Gifford, the NFL Hall of Famer played in the legendary ’58 game and later became part of the original “Monday Night Football” trio with Howard Cosell and “Dandy Don” Meredith. 

He will be an executive producer on the movie.

“We’re not at the casting point right now but we’ve met with [writer John Richards] and we’re developing the story with him,” says Cody. “We’re kind of taking a hands-off approach but we’re giving him everything he needs. We’re focused right now on getting the best possible story out of the book.”

“The Glory Game,” published in 2009, tells the story of the Dec. 28, 1958, battle on the frozen Yankee Stadium turf, which aired nationally on NBC and was the first-ever NFL playoff game to go into sudden-death overtime.

The Colts won 23-17 on Alan Ameche’s famous one-yard touchdown run — and featured 17 future NFL Hall of Famers including Gifford, Johnny Unitas, Sam Huff, Don Maynard, Gino Marchetti, Emlen Tunnell and Rosey Brown.

“That overtime meant a lot and moved us into a time zone where people were turning on their TVs in California and seeing NFL football,” said Gifford. “Football, at that time, was a game that nobody talked about or watched on TV … and that game had a lot to do with bringing fans to the game. People turned on their TVs expecting to see the news, which was pre-empted by the game, and I think that had a lot to do with popularizing the NFL.”

Grab a stiff martini and bring out the camel-hair coats and fedoras for this one folks.

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