11/17/1968 - The Heidi Game
The Jets with Joe Namath went on to win the championship that season, possibly the greatest upset in football history and the first take-it-all game to be called a Super Bowl.
"The year was 1968. A minute and five seconds remained in the fourth quarter between the New York Jets and Oakland Raiders. It was close throughout, and Jim Turner had just kicked a 26-yard field goal to give the Jets a 32-29 lead. As millions of viewers anxiously anticipated the conclusion of the two heated rivals, something unimaginable happened.
In the middle of what was Oakland's go-ahead drive, NBC suddenly switched to the television adaptation of Heidi -- the story of a young, orphaned Swiss girl. It had just turned 7 o'clock and NBC had prior arrangements to air the movie regardless of the score. Several NBC execs attempted to tell the switchboard manager to delay the start of Heidi, but the vast number of phone calls demanding that the game go on or requesting Heidi to air instead prevented them from getting through."
"The switchboard just blew up, so no one could call in to me, and I couldn't call out to anyone."
"And so it was with 65 seconds remaining that millions of viewers were suddenly thrust into the European Alps, where Heidi was scaling the mountainside with her grandfather. The child-friendly film was not an appropriate substitute to the beer-guzzling tailgaters now cursing at their television sets.
Meanwhile, the Raiders were busy making NBC's decision look even worse. Raiders quarterback Daryle Lamonica threw a 43-yard touchdown to Charlie Smith, giving Oakland the lead with still 42 seconds on the clock. The Jets fumbled the following kickoff and it was recovered by Preston Ridlehuber for the TD. The Raiders had scored two touchdowns in a quaint nine seconds to win the game 43-32, though the outcome was still unknown to the majority of the public."
"The next day the New York Daily News covered it with the headline, "Jets 32, Raiders 29, Heidi 14."