Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Aug 2012

SITE NEWS: Seeking 1990 NFL Gamebooks or Tapes

So, we've run into a stumbling block in our continued effort to transcribe old NFL play-by-play, with eight 1990 games that we can't find. I've made one last effort to find out if the teams in question have old gamebooks or tapes of these games. I know that these games are not posted on the NFL GSIS (stat archive for the media) and the Hall of Fame doesn't have them. I even was able to contact NFL Films and they only have ONE of these eight games, and they would charge me $200 to get the DVDs. So I am looking for any way to get play-by-play of these games -- old gamebooks or videotapes so I can transcribe the play-by-play myself. The games we are missing:

Week 3 Dallas at Washington
Week 5 Cincinnati at Los Angeles Rams
Week 7 Atlanta at Los Angeles Rams
Week 8 Cincinnati at Atlanta
Week 11 Dallas at Los Angeles Rams
Week 16 Los Angeles Rams at Atlanta
Week 17 Dallas at Atlanta
Week 17 Los Angeles Rams at New Orleans (only missing second quarter)

I guess the next step might be to try to contact the networks, but do CBS and NBC really keep tapes of 22-year old broadcasts? I doubt it. Anyway, there has to be a way to find this play-by-play. I knew when we hit the 70s we would have games we couldn't find, but it would be pretty surprising if we couldn't find every game from 1990 SOMEWHERE.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 01 Aug 2012

22 comments, Last at 07 Aug 2012, 4:20am by Eggwasp


by Guido Merkens :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:34am

Man, the NFL really hates the Rams. Although to be fair, the 1990 Rams were pretty depressing.

by Podge (not verified) :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:49am

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:58am

The problem is the Rams getting rid of files when they moved in 1994. They have all their gamebooks since then.

by tuluse :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 11:38am

"do CBS and NBC really keep tapes of 22-year old broadcasts? I doubt it"

They might, but there are probably really messy licensing problems.

by D :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:35pm

I actually would be surprised if they didn't, but I'm not sure how keen they would be on sharing those.

by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:51pm

Well, if anyone has contacts at CBS or NBC, please send them to me. I don't want the videos to distribute; I just want to watch them and mark play-by-play. I'm happy to go to CBS or NBC HQ to watch so they know I'm not "re-distributing content" or anything like that.

by grady graddy (not verified) :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 1:33pm

1990 really was the beginning of the end for the LA Rams. From '66 to '89, they had only four losing seasons, the latter two of which were in the strike years of '82 and '87. They gave John Robinson another year after '90, his only losing season that didn't hinge on replacement players to that point, before turning to the original Schottenheimer again in '92, Chuck Knox. Knox's Rams teams of the '70's had only lost 20 games in five seasons, including their annual playoff exits that hastened Knox's departure to Buffalo. Knox's second Rams stint contributed 33 losses in 3 years, with their record getting worse each year and leading to the St. Louis reboot. The Rams' streak of losing seasons extended to 9, with the St. Louis team similarly declining in record each year over the first four seasons. Fortunately, the next year began the Kurt Warner-Marshall Faulk era with the franchise's first Super Bowl win. Though now if they don't reach 9 wins this year, it'll be 9 straight seasons without a winning record.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 1:34pm

Chuck Knox has got blue socks :-)

by Eggwasp (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 4:20am

Andy Crane has got no brain

by AnonymousD (not verified) :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:11pm

I have a recording of the Week 3 Cowboys @ Redskins game, and would gladly share it with the fine folks at Football Outsiders

Do I need to e-mail Aaron?

by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:46pm

Yay! That's one! Yes, e-mail us at info-at-footballoutsiders.com. As long as we're at it, I'll send you a list of missing 87-89 games in case you have any of those. We're missing Dallas at Washington in all those years.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:37pm

Will see if have them but not holding out major joep

by Eddo :: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 2:27pm

joep /ˈjōp/
noun A feeling of expectation and desire that Raiderjoe will make an appearance in a Football Outsiders thread.
- "I'm not sure about this Raiders running backs top five list - I have joep that RJ will give his opinion."

by PatsFan :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:53pm

I even was able to contact NFL Films and they only have ONE of these eight games, and they would charge me $200 to get the DVDs

Wait, what?? People can get DVDs of entire regular season games from NFL Films? (Even if at exorbitant rates)

by Aaron Schatz :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 2:58pm

You have to sign a contract stating you are using the footage for research purposes only.

by NoBetterThanSolid (not verified) :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 3:01pm

Week 3, Cowboys at Redskins: http://tenyardtracker.com/details.php?id=16476 (registration required)

I didn't see any of the other games listed.

by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 08/03/2012 - 12:35pm

I've never been able to do that torrents stuff. I can never get it to work.

If some reader sees this and knows how to do torrents, I would love for somebody to download that game for me. You could either send me a DVD or I could send you instructions to mark the PBP yourself. Either way. The anonymous guy above who said he had the game never e-mailed us, so I need this one.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 9:18pm

Don't have yime to look for gamebooks. Getting ready to go on trip to Canton for hall of Fame weekend. But will look when return.

by Mike Kinkade (not verified) :: Wed, 08/01/2012 - 9:35pm

Why doesn't the NFL put out a DVD package of all the games for a particular season, at a reasonable rate ? $200 a game is too much.

by Dean :: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 8:35am

It's not too much if people are willing to pay it.

by Bright Blue Shorts :: Thu, 08/02/2012 - 1:33pm

Britain's Channel Four aired the week 17 Dallas - Atlanta game and I have a grainy copy somewhere. However they typically used to miss series and join the game live somewhere in the 2nd half so I doubt it is the entire game - particularly as there is only about 1hr15 of footage.

by Jim in NYC (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:31pm

If you know the game book numbers for the other games that week, you should be able to guess the number for the one you want, no?