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Colts-Giants the 'Greatest Game Ever?' You can decide

The Colts and Giants during the "Greatest Game Ever Played."

ESPN is airing a documentary on the 1958 New York Giants-Baltimore Colts NFL championship game that has been called the greatest game ever played. Not coincidentally, that's the name of the ESPN program that will be broadcast at 6 p.m. PT on Saturday.

The game was played 50 years ago, on Dec. 28, 1958, at Yankee Stadium. It was the first, and only, NFL championship game to go into overtime. Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas led a score-tying field-goal drive at the end of regulation to make the score 17-17. Unitas then threw often to Raymond Berry while moving the Colts 80 yards. Alan Ameche scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run.

There were 12 future Hall of Famers playing on a field that was covered in ice. Fans' breath on the cold day almost formed fog. It was a Sports Illustrated headline that first dubbed the game as the greatest ever.

It seemed like championship football the way it was meant to be played: raw, hard-hitting, wintry, tingling and filled with adversity for players and fans.

The game was watched by 45 million viewers on NBC, and witnessed live by 65,000 at the stadium.

Here's some of what Giants tight end, kicker and future broadcaster Pat Summerall had to say during an ESPN conference call this week.

To call it the greatest game ever played? I don't think any of us realized it would be labeled that way. The first time I heard it called that, it was a week later. But I was still dejected because we lost.

The documentary is two hours long and well worth setting the DVR to record.

-- Diane Pucin

Photo: The Colts and Giants during the "Greatest Game Ever Played." Credit: ESPN

 
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