BEHIND THE SCENES of “Alan Page: A Football Life”

A Football Life, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings


Click below to see the trailer “Alan Page: A Football Life.”

Defensive tackle Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings heads upfield after the ball in a 1970 game. (AP Photo/Vernon Biever)

Defensive tackle Alan Page of the Minnesota Vikings heads upfield after the ball in a 1970 game. (AP Photo/Vernon Biever)

By David Plaut, Co-Producer

All-American on Notre Dame’s 1966 national championship team.  1967 First-round draft choice of the Minnesota Vikings.  Nine-time Pro Bowl selection.  Member of four Super Bowl teams.  First defensive player ever to win league MVP honors. And the only man to have helped build and be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  That’s Alan Page.

First NFL player ever to run in a marathon.  Players Association activist.  Lawyer. Assistant Attorney-General to the State of Minnesota.  The sixth-longest seated member of the Minnesota Supreme Court in modern times.  Creator of the Page Education Foundation.  Author of children’s books.  Antique and toy car hobbyist.  Avid collector of African American and Jim Crow era memorabilia. That’s Alan Page too.

His story is almost too big to cram into one television hour, but NFL Films made its best attempt to do so in the new episode of A Football Life: Alan Page, premiering Friday, October 16 at 9 PM Eastern on NFL Network.

Since early March, NFL Films has followed Page and his family through a calendar year of activity, chronicling the final months of his tenure on the Supreme Court bench, prior to his mandatory retirement at age 70.  Granted unprecedented access, crews tagged along for such events as his University of Minnesota law school commencement speech, a book-reading at a Minneapolis pre-school center, winter vacation at the family cabin in northern Minnesota, an actual case hearing in the statehouse courtroom, the Page Foundation awards ceremony, a visit to Vikings training camp, a thunderous farewell pre-game ceremony at the Vikings 2015 home opener and Page’s traditional appearance as a tuba-toting icon at the Twins Cities Marathon.   The Page family also opened its home for crews to capture hundreds of family portraits and mementoes on film to round out the narrative.

Page agreed to sit down for no less than a half-dozen different interviews over a six-month period.  In each one he displays his candor, wisdom, self-effacement, wry sense of humor and contemplative thinking.  Most of these interviews often ended with Page and the film crew sharing one of the many delicious home-made pies baked by his wife Diane.  Her insights into her husband’s life and their many adventures in 40+ years of marriage add more texture to the narrative.

Dozens of additional interviews were also conducted to further enrich Page’s portrait, including former teammates and his head coach, sportswriters,  two of his children, Minnesota’s governor, two U.S. senators, three former state Supreme Court justices, a Minnesota political operative and the woman high school principal who served as his Hall of Fame presenter.

There has never been an NFL player quite like Alan Page. He is a man who, in the words of one of his judicial colleagues, ”overcame his fame as a superstar athlete to become a great Supreme Court judge, philanthropist and humanitarian.”  Page’s story stands out as one of the most distinctive in the A Football Life series.

Here’s a sneak peek at some of the remarkable scenes that we captured with Alan Page during production.  

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To see how he carved a path to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Minnesota Supreme Court, watch “ALAN PAGE: A Football Life” Friday October 16th, at 9:00PM/ET on NFL Network.



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