America's Game airs Friday, December 22 at 7:30 CT on NFL Network.
America's Game is the show football fans have been waiting for: 40 one-hour documentaries produced by NFL Films.
'America's Game' is not a Super Bowl recap, but a 40-part special that unveils team stories that have never before been seen or heard.
The top 20 air in order from No. 20 to No. 1, with the No. 1 ranked Super Bowl being revealed the week of Super Bowl XLI.
This week, America's Game turns its attention to the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl XXXI victory over the New England Patriots in New Orleans.
1996 GREEN BAY PACKERS RANKED #16 ON AMERICA'S GAME COUNTDOWN
*MIKE HOLMGREN'S INTRODUCTION TO GREEN BAY, BRETT FAVRE'S SUPER BOWL AUDIBLE AND DESMOND HOWARD'S NFC CHAMPIONSHIP TARDINESS
FAVRE, HOLMGREN AND HOWARD TELL THE STORY OF THE '96 PACKERS' ROAD TO THE SUPER BOWL*
Mike Holmgren reminisces about his unique introduction to the fans of Green Bay; Brett Favre explains how watching television prior to the Super Bowl contributed to one of the game's biggest plays and why Desmond Howard missed the second-half kickoff of the NFC Championship Game. Those stories and more will be chronicled this week on America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions airing Friday, December 22 at 7:30 PM CT exclusively on NFL Network.
The story of the 1996 Packers - ranked 16th among all Super Bowl winners by a 53-member blue ribbon panel of NFL experts - is told through the eyes of Favre, Holmgren and Howard, who provide an intimate portrait of how these players became Super Bowl champions. The show is narrated by Golden Globe-nominated actor Kevin Bacon.
From dynasties to one-shot wonders, from the undefeated to the unexpected, America's Game tells the stories behind the story of all 40 Super Bowl champions. Each episode is a 60-minute documentary (available in high definition) featuring key members of the winning team telling behind-the-scenes accounts from their championship season. With classic NFL Films action combined with news clips and photos, highlights from team radio broadcasts, footage from inside team meeting rooms, sideline audio and other exclusive features, America's Game will provide an epic and intimate portrait of 40 distinct championship teams, in one groundbreaking series.
Below is a sampling of what's notable and quotable from America's Game: 1996 Green Bay Packers:
Welcome to Green Bay
Holmgren was introduced to the passion of the Packers fans one month into his coaching tenure. "I'm in the market and I've got a little cart and I'm getting stuff," Holmgren remembers. "I'm going down the aisle and I see about 40 feet away a little old lady just looking over the edge of her cart coming at me. [She] reminded me of my grandma. I moved to the right, she moved over there. I moved over here, she moved over here. Pretty soon she's not going to let me by. Our carts go BANG. She looks at me and says, 'You're the new coach.' I said, 'Yes I am, ma'am.' She goes, 'Hey California, let's kick some butt.'"
A few hours prior to the start of Super Bowl XXXI, Favre relaxed in his hotel room watching television. What he saw on the screen would change the outcome of the upcoming game. "It was weird sitting in the hotel room before the Super Bowl. They keep showing the 49ers-Broncos Super Bowl (XXIV) over and over again. I keep seeing (49ers quarterback) Joe Montana checking to '59 Razor.' I was thinking about how awesome that had to be, checking to that play and guessing right. We had the same play, just with a changed number system. [In the Super Bowl] The Patriots are showing us the look that would be good to check to 'Razor.' So I take a gamble and check to it... and it works perfectly (54-yard touchdown pass to Andre Rison). I can't believe it worked. Of all plays to audible to in the Super Bowl and I've been watching it on TV all day long."
Howard became part of one of the most unusual blunders in playoff history as the second-half kickoff in the NFC Divisional Playoff landed around the Packers goal line and was recovered by the 49ers who scored on the next play. "I'm used to being one of the last guys out of the locker room. Now it's the start of the second half and I'm walking down the tunnel and hear a whistle. Next thing I know, I see the ball in the air. Now I'm jogging down the tunnel. I see a mad scramble for the ball with bodies flying everywhere. I'm going, 'How could they start this without me?'"
"[Howard] walks down the tunnel like it's a stroll in the park," Holmgren remembers. "[He] walks over to me. I said, 'Where have you been?' I said, 'You were supposed to be back there.' He said, 'Coach my jersey was all dirty. I had to change my clothes.' I said, 'Good. I'm really happy you're feeling better about how you look.' That's not exactly what I said!"
"After great wins I've had tear come out, after great losses I've had tears come out. Here I am in the greatest win of my career standing on the podium thinking, 'This is it?' I shouldn't be feeling this. I didn't want it to be over. What you remember is not the game, it's the journey. In the locker room afterwards, Mike's giving his speech and I slipped off into the showers. I just felt numb."
*-- Brett Favre *
"I was so mad that I couldn't function as a play-caller. I could hardly view the plays on my sheet. I was so ticked off about what was going on. So I told (offensive coordinator) Sherm Lewis, 'You call it.'"
-- Mike Holmgren during a poor Packers performance in the Week 12 game against the St. Louis Rams
"In some ways, that game [NFC Championship] meant more to me than the Super Bowl. It was football. It was cold. It was Green Bay. And it was all Packers fans. To us, that was our 'Ice Bowl.'"
-- Brett Favre
"On more than one occasion, he'd come to the sideline and I'd say, 'Ok, you're not going to throw another pass in the game. I'm going to hand the ball off the rest of the day.'"
-- Mike Holmgren on Favre's growing pains as a Quarterback
Previous Shows in the Top 20
20: 1983 Los Angeles Raiders
19: 1999 St. Louis Rams
18: 1969 Kansas City Chiefs
17: 1994 San Francisco 49ers
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