|America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions|
|Created by||NFL Films|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||52|
|Running time||44 minutes|
|Original network||NFL Network|
|Original release||November 17, 2006 -|
America's Game: The Super Bowl Champions is an annual documentary series created by NFL Films (broadcast on NFL Network and CBS). Its 53 installments profile the first 53 winning teams of the National Football League's annual Super Bowl championship game; each episode chronicles an individual team.
America's Game weaves together archival NFL Films footage, videotape, audio clips, and interviews into a new program with new talking head style interviews from three or more of the winning team (players, coaches, or administrators) and narration from a celebrity.
In instances of teams winning multiple Super Bowls closely together different people are interviewed for each episode. For example, though Bill Belichick coached the New England Patriots to three Super Bowls in four years (2001, 2003, and 2004) he was only interviewed for the episode on the 2004 team. For the original run of 40 episodes, only two subjects were interviewed twice: Bill Curry (1966 Green Bay Packers and 1970 Baltimore Colts) and Joe Greene (1974 and 1978 Pittsburgh Steelers). Recurring interviewers would become more commonplace when the show resumed on an annual format: Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin (2007 and 2011 New York Giants), Ray Lewis (2000 and 2012 Baltimore Ravens), Peyton Manning (2006 Indianapolis Colts and 2015 Denver Broncos), Julian Edelman (2014, 2016 and 2018 New England Patriots), LeGarrette Blount (2016 New England Patriots and 2017 Philadelphia Eagles), Rob Gronkowski and Devin McCourty (2014 and 2018 New England Patriots). Ernie Accorsi and Rich Dalrymple are the only non-players or coaches to be interviewed for the series--both were team administrators.
Of the "Blue Ribbon" top 20 teams, the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys are represented most often as a franchise with three championship teams each. The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders are each represented twice.
According to Steve Sabol, president of NFL Films, only 20 teams were ranked instead of 40 because they feared negative mail from fans of the franchise whose team was ranked the lowest. Sabol stated that, while the panel chose the 1972 Dolphins as the #1 team, several voters hedged and said Miami's unbeaten season was "the greatest team achievement." Of the voting methods, Sabol said, "That's what I think people were voting on, rather than, 'Could this team beat the '85 Bears?'"
For its initial airings the show was divided into two waves, with the first series being a weekly series counting down the top 20 winning teams, as selected by a 53-person panel of "Blue Ribbon" experts on the NFL. The first 18 episodes aired on NFL Network beginning in November 2006 and the final two programs on CBS the day before Super Bowl XLI in February 2007.
The remaining 20 champions' episodes aired during the NFL's off-season, February through April, before the 2007 season began. The first episode of the remaining 20 champions aired on Thursday, February 8, 2007.
The show began its run with a one-hour "preview special" at 8:30 p.m. Eastern time on November 17, 2006, followed by the first of the countdown shows the following week. The "official" premiere episode aired on November 24, the day after the first live regular season game telecast on NFL Network.
After some speculation on the future of the series, the 2006 Indianapolis Colts, winners of Super Bowl XLI had their episode air on September 5, 2007, one night before the season opener. The 2007 New York Giants also received an episode, signaling the series' will be annually renewed at the beginning of the next NFL season; the most recent episode, covering the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, debuted on September 5, 2018.
The following list compiles the top 20 Super Bowl teams, as determined by the experts. The teams listed below were revealed in countdown form in the weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLI. The first 18 episodes aired on NFL Network, while the top two teams' specials were shown on CBS on February 3, the day before Super Bowl XLI. Each episode in the top 20 would be introduced with, "NFL Network presents America's Game, a countdown of the 20 greatest Super Bowl champions, and now its number ___"
|Rank||Year||Team||Game||Narrator||Team Commentary||Air Date|
|20||1983||Los Angeles Raiders||Super Bowl XVIII||Alec Baldwin||Marcus Allen, Todd Christensen and Howie Long||November 24, 2006|
|19||1999||St. Louis Rams||Super Bowl XXXIV||Martin Sheen||D'Marco Farr, Dick Vermeil and Kurt Warner||December 1, 2006|
|18||1969||Kansas City Chiefs||Super Bowl IV||Martin Sheen||Len Dawson, Willie Lanier and Jim Lynch||December 8, 2006|
|17||1994||San Francisco 49ers||Super Bowl XXIX||Bruce Willis||Steve Young, Brent Jones and Merton Hanks||December 15, 2006|
|16||1996||Green Bay Packers||Super Bowl XXXI||Kevin Bacon||Brett Favre, Mike Holmgren and Desmond Howard||December 22, 2006|
|15||1971||Dallas Cowboys||Super Bowl VI||Martin Sheen||Bob Lilly, Roger Staubach and Duane Thomas||January 5, 2007|
|14||1991||Washington Redskins||Super Bowl XXVI||Donald Sutherland||Joe Gibbs, Mark Rypien and Charles Mann||January 12, 2007|
|13||1986||New York Giants||Super Bowl XXI||Laurence Fishburne||Bill Parcells, Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor||January 19, 2007|
|12||1998||Denver Broncos||Super Bowl XXXIII||Kevin Bacon||Terrell Davis, Mark Schlereth and Shannon Sharpe||January 26, 2007|
|11||1977||Dallas Cowboys||Super Bowl XII||Laurence Fishburne||Thomas Henderson, Tony Dorsett, Drew Pearson and Charlie Waters||January 27, 2007|
|10||1976||Oakland Raiders||Super Bowl XI||Laurence Fishburne||John Madden, Ken Stabler and Phil Villapiano||January 27, 2007|
|09||2004||New England Patriots||Super Bowl XXXIX||Laurence Fishburne||Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi and Bill Belichick||January 28, 2007|
|08||1984||San Francisco 49ers||Super Bowl XIX||Gene Hackman||Russ Francis, Keena Turner and Dwight Hicks||January 29, 2007|
|07||1975||Pittsburgh Steelers||Super Bowl X||Bruce Willis||Lynn Swann, Dwight White and Mike Wagner||January 29, 2007|
|06||1966||Green Bay Packers||Super Bowl I||Donald Sutherland||Bill Curry, Willie Davis and Bart Starr||January 30, 2007|
|05||1992||Dallas Cowboys||Super Bowl XXVII||Alec Baldwin||Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin and Ken Norton, Jr.||January 31, 2007|
|04||1989||San Francisco 49ers||Super Bowl XXIV||Gene Hackman||Tom Rathman, George Seifert and Jerry Rice||February 2, 2007|
|03||1978||Pittsburgh Steelers||Super Bowl XIII||Bruce Willis||Rocky Bleier, Mel Blount, Randy Grossman and Joe Greene||February 2, 2007|
|02||1985||Chicago Bears||Super Bowl XX||Alec Baldwin||Mike Ditka, Jim McMahon and Mike Singletary||February 3, 2007 on CBS|
|01||1972||Miami Dolphins||Super Bowl VII||Alec Baldwin||Manny Fernandez, Don Shula and Larry Csonka||February 3, 2007 on CBS|
Beginning February 8, NFL Network began to broadcast the remaining twenty champions' episodes. The 2005 Steelers were not eligible to be in the Top 20 as the voting was done prior to Super Bowl XL.
|Eps||Year||Team||Game||Narrator||Team Commentary||Air Date|
|1||1970||Baltimore Colts||Super Bowl V||Ed Harris||Bill Curry, Mike Curtis, Bubba Smith and Ernie Accorsi||February 9, 2007|
|2||1980||Oakland Raiders||Super Bowl XV||Ed Harris||Jim Plunkett, Gene Upshaw and Matt Millen||February 16, 2007|
|3||1990||New York Giants||Super Bowl XXV||Alec Baldwin||Ottis Anderson, Carl Banks and Jeff Hostetler||December 29, 2006|
re-aired February 15, 2007
|4||2001||New England Patriots||Super Bowl XXXVI||Martin Sheen||Tom Brady, Lawyer Milloy and Adam Vinatieri||February 8, 2007|
|5||1993||Dallas Cowboys||Super Bowl XXVIII||Ed Harris||Bill Bates, Emmitt Smith and Jimmy Johnson||February 22, 2007|
|6||1979||Pittsburgh Steelers||Super Bowl XIV||Ed Harris||John Banaszak, L. C. Greenwood and John Stallworth||February 23, 2007|
|7||1973||Miami Dolphins||Super Bowl VIII||Ed Harris||Dick Anderson, Bob Kuechenberg and Mercury Morris||March 1, 2007|
|8||1987||Washington Redskins||Super Bowl XXII||Gene Hackman||Doug Williams, Jeff Bostic and Darrell Green||March 2, 2007|
|9||1988||San Francisco 49ers||Super Bowl XXIII||Ed Harris||Bill Walsh, Harris Barton and Roger Craig||March 8, 2007|
|10||1974||Pittsburgh Steelers||Super Bowl IX||Ed Harris||Franco Harris, Joe Greene and Andy Russell||March 9, 2007|
|11||2000||Baltimore Ravens||Super Bowl XXXV||Alec Baldwin||Brian Billick, Trent Dilfer and Ray Lewis||March 15, 2007|
|12||1995||Dallas Cowboys||Super Bowl XXX||Ed Harris||Darren Woodson, Rich Dalrymple, Daryl Johnston and Larry Brown||March 16, 2007|
|13||1982||Washington Redskins||Super Bowl XVII||Alec Baldwin||Russ Grimm, Joe Theismann and Rick Walker||March 22, 2007|
|14||1981||San Francisco 49ers||Super Bowl XVI||Gene Hackman||Dwight Clark, Ronnie Lott and Randy Cross||March 23, 2007|
|15||1997||Denver Broncos||Super Bowl XXXII||Alec Baldwin||John Elway, Howard Griffith and Neil Smith||March 29, 2007|
|16||1968||New York Jets||Super Bowl III||Alec Baldwin||Joe Namath, Gerry Philbin and Don Maynard||April 2, 2007|
|17||2005||Pittsburgh Steelers||Super Bowl XL||Tom Selleck||Jerome Bettis, Joey Porter and Bill Cowher||April 9, 2007|
|18||1967||Green Bay Packers||Super Bowl II||Tom Selleck||Chuck Mercein, Dave Robinson and Jerry Kramer||April 16, 2007|
|19||2002||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Super Bowl XXXVII||Laurence Fishburne||Warren Sapp, Jon Gruden and John Lynch||April 23, 2007|
|20||2003||New England Patriots||Super Bowl XXXVIII||Tom Selleck||Charlie Weis, Rodney Harrison and Willie McGinest||April 30, 2007|
Following the original 40-episode run, the show took on an annual format. Beginning with Super Bowl XLI and the 2006 Indianapolis Colts, a new episode would air the following September on NFL Network in order to commemorate the reigning Super Bowl Champions.
|Eps||Year||Team||Game||Narrator||Team Commentary||Air Date|
|1||2006||Indianapolis Colts||Super Bowl XLI||Donald Sutherland||Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy and Jeff Saturday||September 5, 2007|
|2||2007||New York Giants||Super Bowl XLII||James Gandolfini||Eli Manning, Tom Coughlin and Michael Strahan||September 3, 2008|
|3||2008||Pittsburgh Steelers||Super Bowl XLIII||Jon Hamm||Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin and Troy Polamalu||September 9, 2009|
|4||2009||New Orleans Saints||Super Bowl XLIV||Brad Pitt||Sean Payton, Drew Brees and Jonathan Vilma||September 8, 2010|
|5||2010||Green Bay Packers||Super Bowl XLV||John Slattery||Mike McCarthy, Aaron Rodgers and Charles Woodson||September 7, 2011|
|6||2011||New York Giants||Super Bowl XLVI||Alec Baldwin||Eli Manning, Victor Cruz, Tom Coughlin and Justin Tuck||September 4, 2012|
|7||2012||Baltimore Ravens||Super Bowl XLVII||Edward Norton||Joe Flacco, John Harbaugh, and Ray Lewis||September 2, 2013|
|8||2013||Seattle Seahawks||Super Bowl XLVIII||Jim Caviezel||Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman, and Pete Carroll||September 3, 2014|
|9||2014||New England Patriots||Super Bowl XLIX||Chris Evans||Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman, and Devin McCourty||September 8, 2015|
|10||2015||Denver Broncos||Super Bowl 50||Trey Parker||DeMarcus Ware, Von Miller, and Peyton Manning||September 7, 2016|
|11||2016||New England Patriots||Super Bowl LI||Chris Evans||LeGarrette Blount, Julian Edelman, and Dont'a Hightower||September 6, 2017|
|12||2017||Philadelphia Eagles||Super Bowl LII||David Boreanaz||Carson Wentz, Nick Foles, Brandon Graham, and LeGarrette Blount||September 5, 2018|
|13||2018||New England Patriots||Super Bowl LIII||John Cena||Julian Edelman, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, and Rob Gronkowski||September 4, 2019|
A spinoff series, America's Game: The Missing Rings, debuted on September 18, 2008 and aired for five consecutive Thursdays after that, starting at 10 p.m. ET. In this series, the producers picked five teams that did not win the Super Bowl and devoted an hour to each of them. The basic format of the show was the same. However, the theme song cut off abruptly before the show started, symbolizing the unfinished goals of the teams being profiled.
|Eps||Year||Team||Narrator||Team Commentary||Air Date|
|1||1981||San Diego Chargers||Tom Selleck||Dan Fouts, Hank Bauer, and Kellen Winslow||September 18, 2008|
|2||1969||Minnesota Vikings||Tom Selleck||Jim Marshall, Joe Kapp and Bud Grant||September 25, 2008|
|3||1990||Buffalo Bills||Alec Baldwin||Marv Levy, Jim Kelly, and Darryl Talley||October 2, 2008|
|4||1988||Cincinnati Bengals||Jeffrey Wright||Boomer Esiason, Sam Wyche and Tim Krumrie||October 9, 2008|
|5||1998||Minnesota Vikings||James Gandolfini||Dennis Green, Cris Carter, and John Randle||October 16, 2008|