"The best of the 4 Giants Championship Videos"
That sounds like a rave review, why such high praise. Well, as I had said when I first started this blog, during much of my formative years as a football fan, and a Giants fan in particular, there was no internet available to the masses. So when the Giants would play, I would tape their games and go back and watch them, and I was starved for more information. Yes, ESPN did have highlights, but back then, ESPN wasn't the 24 hour Sportscenter world it is today. So I bought books, magazines, etc. But the most influential was the NFL Films videos.
The Sabol family and NFL Films were, and continue to be a God send. I would watch the highlights made available on the This is the NFL series, the team yearbooks, the Game of the Week highlights. The best, in my opinion, was the HBO Inside the NFL weekly show hosted by Len Dawson and Nick Bouniconti. It was perfection. From the football centric conversation, the interviews, the picks, etc. Of course, the best of all were the highlights. The NFL Films music, the camera work, the tight angles and slow motion, and Harry Kalas' voice over work. I had several episodes taped between 1986-1991, and sadly lost most of my 1987 and 1988 collection, as well as a good chunk of 1986. I used to watch those tapes to the point where I would nearly break the tape by getting it chewed up in the VCR from rewinding over and over my favorite parts.
And of course, that would lead us to the offshoots from NFL Films, the Giants Championship videos. Fortunately, as a Giants fan, we have 4 to choose from. The 1986 one, Giants Among Men, as the quote above shows, I think was the finest of them all. It not only showed the highlights, it told the story of the team, the franchise and history. It focused on individual players that were well edited and interspliced into the video. And this one had the benefit of not only the music, but former Giant, and late/great broadcaster Pat Summerall doing the narration. So while the 2007 and 2011 versions had much better quality video and sound, those videos really were just game highlight compilations. And while I do love the America's Game videos, still the top of all of it was the first of them, the 1986 Giants Among Men.