November 17 - 1968 - The Heidi Game

The New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders were the two best teams in the American Football League, and they had developed an intense rivalry, which made their November 1968 matchup hugely anticipated. The two teams delivered on the promise of the game with an intense game, and the Raiders managed to score two touchdowns in the final minute to not only win but beat the gambling spread. And the eastern half of the country did not see the finish. Instead, NBC went to its planned programming of the made for TV movie Heidi. This made football fans absolutely livid. Remarkably, all of the important NBC executives wanted to stop this exact problem, but various problems with telephones prevented this order from getting through to the people who needed to stop the broadcast switching to Heidi. The strong reaction caused a major shift in the way that football and all sports would be treated on television.

William Floyd