The cast of NFL Network’s Good Morning Football have come up with some remarkably hilarious things since their August 2016 start, from GoldenEye to the Oscars to Star Wars, but their latest very funny thing is actually just airing an old NFL Films feature. As part of their weekly History Science Theater segment, Peter Schrager managed to obtain a 1988 NFL Films feature on fantasy football, and while it’s real and serious, parts of it feel like someone was making a modern mockumentary about what things were like in the 80s:
Incredible footage from @NFLFilms.
The origins of fantasy football unearthed ?⬇️
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) August 31, 2017
There are so many highlights here, from the crazy dissolve effect leading into the guy in a tuxedo with a cigar (2:20) to players like Herschel Walker (3:35) , John Elway and Boomer Esiason talking about being drafted by teams with names like “Yesterday’s Underwear,” “Rubber Wee Wee Sheets” and “Third And Wrong” to the postmen delaying the mail for this (5:45) to the Franchise Football League’s computer tabulation program (6:10, seen above)), which had their president say “We even contacted the Pentagon, and they were very enthusiastic about it, because now troops in France, Germany, throughout the world can play fantasy football” (6:30). Are we absolutely sure this isn’t an Andy Samberg mockumentary on what things used to be like? If not, he probably can’t do one now, because this has pretty much everything you’d want in it.
There are past and present media connections here, too. As Schrager notes (4:20), “That league is made up of all NFL Films producers. It started in 1984, and the young child who’s on the man’s knee? He’s now a NFL Films producer, he’s 33 years old, he works in Mount Laurel.” That’s amazing. And it’s also remarkable, as they note near the end, that for all the changes (no more hand tabulation of scores, for one thing, and virtual drafts as well as in-person ones) since then, some elements of fantasy football (silly team names, people drafting someone already taken, trash talk) remain exactly the same. It’s much easier to play fantasy football these days, but this is an incredible look back at what it used to be like, and it’s surprising that so much hasn’t changed.
[NFL Network on Twitter]