This Date in Football: NFL Films Lands on Spaceship Earth

Baltimore Colts, Cleveland Browns, TCIPF Staff, This Day in NFL History, Uncategorized

What’s the longest-running, most widely-seen show in NFL Films history?

There’s a good chance it’s “Anatomy of a Championship” – the 1964 NFL Championship Game film.

30 years ago today, EPCOT opened at Walt Disney World in Florida.  Among its main attractions was “Spaceship Earth,” a towering geodesic sphere that provides park-goers with a 16-minute journey through the history of human communication – from prehistoric times to today and beyond.  A scene near the end of the ride featured an animatronic family surrounded by multiple TVs in a groovy 1982 living room. On one of them, a snippet from the beginning of “Anatomy of a Championship” played on a loop (look closely here).

Before any Super Bowl-winning player declared his desire to go to Disney World, it was Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown who began a near never-ending battle for a title there.  “Anatomy of a Championship” ran inside Spaceship Earth for 25 years and was seen by millions of riders – if only for a few seconds at a time – before a 2007 renovation modernized the end of the ride and finally let the Browns and Colts rest.

It’s pretty cool that when the storytellers at Disney sought to portray the pinnacle of human communication, they included the storytellers from NFL Films.  Here’s the first segment of “Anatomy of a Championship,” parts of which ran for a very long time inside a giant ball in central Florida:

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