STUDIO: Warner Bros.
MSRP: $19.98
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 164 Minutes
SPECIAL FEATURES: Several Player and Team "Featurettes"

The Pitch

"Yeah so we got all these NFL Documentaries lying around. What do ya wanna do with ‘em?" "Eh…just stick em in storage. NO! Wait! Let’s release em on DVD! But let’s disguise them as documentaries about specific teams!"

Finders Keepers!
"Hey! Did one of you guys lose this?"

The Humans

NFL Players from across the league from the ’76, ’80 and ’82 seasons. And a VO Guy with a really dramatic voice.

The Nutshell

32 teams play 16 games a piece in an attempt to make it to and subsequently win the Super Bowl. The Oakland Raiders were successful three times. This is their story. Well…sorta.

With the re-enactment and the county fair scheduled for the same weekend, the Revolutionary War enthusiasts had to find a new "battlefield." It didn’t help when the fans already in the stands kept throwing beers and shouting "Start the damn game already!"

The Package

The artwork follows the same pattern as the other 6 Super Bowl Champions sets (3 of them reviewed by CHUD – here, here and here). It’s sleek and a little iconic, with the Raiders logo on black with the Vince Lombardi trophy overlaid in the background. The connecting element, the vertical silver stripe on the left, is here as well, labeling this as part of the Super Bowl Champions Collectors’ Series. I like it, especially since I could see it being very easy for someone to create some weird montage thing. With the housing, you get a standard amaray in a slipcover. However (and this is one of my pet peeves), the case and the slipcover share the same artwork. Such a waste of good real estate. Anyway, the sensory pleasure ends with the nice artwork. The transfer is crap, with no effort at all being made in restoring these old documentaries. The film is grainy, dirty and scratched badly and the audio is at times muffled and distant. There’s a Dolby 2.0 track but I wouldn’t have cared if it was released in full-mix mono. I doubt it would have sounded any worse.

Unfortuantely the camera moved right before this gentleman fell to his death. Any of those three men could have been responsible. Hell I would have done it too. The moral? Don’t stand unless everyone else is standing, or someone will push you to your death. We don’t pay out of our asses to stare at yours.

The Lowdown

Deception. This is what I think of when I think about these sets. Artistically, they’re designed to make you think you’re purchasing a disc all about your favorite team. And egads! There’s 2-Discs of goodness! You get it home, hack the security system known as the packaging label and put it in the player. Wait…what’s this? This isn’t a documentary about the Raiders at all! This is an NFL Yearbook! Says so right at the beginning – "NFL ’76." So you get to watch a complete documentary about the 1976 NFL Season (and 1980 and ’82 as well). Sure, the Raiders are mentioned, but no more than any other team. Well, at least during the regular season and playoff sections. Once you get to the Super Bowl coverage you get some great Raiders moments, but that’s because these documentaries are from the three years in which the Raiders won the shiny namesake of Vince Lombardi.

Don’t get me wrong now, as these are some nice documentaries. They’re well edited and informative. Dramatic when they need to be and damn if they’re not all-inclusive. But that’s where the problem lies. Raiders fans aren’t paying to see "All-Inclusive." Raiders fans are paying to see the Raiders. I really feel they should have taken all of these Super Bowl Champions Collector’s Series and repackaged them as anything but team specific. Football fans would still buy em, and they’d still be decent documentaries, but at least you’d know what you were in for from the moment you picked up the disc at the retailer.

Tardy!  Tardy!
We knew why he was sad. He was late to Uniform Day and all the good ones had been claimed. He was stuck with the last one available and it didn’t fit. Don’t be this guy, kids. Get to school on time.

But, since this is the avenue they took at least they had the wherewithal to include a few 10 Minute NFL Channel Bumper Segments…err…um…featurettes about the Raiders and various players who played during the Super Bowl Years.

4.0 out of 10