December 28 - 1958 - The 1958 NFL Championship Game

In 1958, professional football was still decidedly a second class citizen on the American sports scene, but things had begun to change. Football was a great sport to watch on television, and it had developed into an extremely exciting sport. This got showcased in the 1958 NFL Championship Game between the Baltimore Colts and the New York Giants, which took place in Yankee Stadium and was broadcast nationally by NBC. The game itself was also exciting, as it was a back and forth affair featuring quarterback Johnny Unitas for the Colts and running back Frank Gifford for the Giants. Unitas would lead a game tying field goal drive in the last minutes. This created an unprecedented scenario: the sudden death overtime, which had never happened in an NFL game. So not only did a national audience see an exciting championship game, they also saw the NFL at its most interesting, leading to a boost in the NFL's popularity.

William Floyd