It was only a matter of time, but the 1958 NFL Championship game between the New York Giants and Baltimore Colts, also known as "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and which spawned the book "The Glory Game: How the 1958 NFL Championship Change Football Forever," will now be made into a movie courtesy of HBO.
The movie will be produced by Gene Kirkwood, Ross Elliott and Cody Gifford, Frank's 24-year-old son. Gifford, meanwhile, will be given the title "Executive Producer."
Casting for the film has not yet begun.
“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 1958 NFL Championship game, which was won by the Colts 23-17, was the league's very first sudden-death overtime playoff game and featured 17 future Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees, including Gifford, Sam Huff and Emlen Tunnell, among many others.
“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,” says Frank 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.”
Despite the polarizing popularity of the game, Gifford has long maintained it wasn't his greatest game ever played. But, he admits, that his two fumbles helped create the game and the subsequent results are hard to argue with. It may not be a game for his record books and it may not be a game his team won, but it did help propel the NFL into what we see today and for that reason alone, it deserves its own movie.
No expected release date has been given.
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Tags: Emlen Tunnell, Football, Frank Gifford, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Sam Huff