For fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the official NFL Films Super Bowl Champions DVD is an absolute must-own. For non-fans of the local pro-football franchise, this disc will come across as annoying and redundant. For fans of the Oakland Raiders, stop reading now — take some heavy medication and try to forget the pathetic performance your team gave Jan. 26 in San Diego.
That’s how it goes in life, and that’s certainly how it goes in football. But for Tampa Bay fans, this is a tangible item of immortality.
Each year, before the Super Bowl, ESPN airs the recap of Super Bowls past, and next year, regardless of where the Bucs will be watching the game, the 2002 Tampa Bay team will join the 36 other groups of players to hear the voice-over by Harry Kalas reliving their championship season.
And that’s the main feature on this three-hour DVD. It chronicles the disappointing loss in Philadelphia at the close of the 2001-02 season and the subsequent hiring of coach Jon Gruden. The season recap pushes the theme that it was Gruden who brought this team to the next level.
Games 1-16, the two playoff wins and the Super Bowl victory each get ample highlights, with the regal music and Kalas’ booming voice accentuating every defensive hit and Brad Johnson touchdown.
But only a small number of locker room speeches are interwoven through the highlights. That’s the disc’s main flaw — when a DVD such as this comes out, one expects more of what the average fan can’t see, not what the ultimate fan has already seen. A huge opportunity was missed to get more behind the scenes and see the players off the field.
In that regard, this is not the ultimate Champions DVD.
But with bonus features of the real-time Super Bowl game, ESPN’s NFL Matchups for pre- and post-Super Bowl analysis, a segment on the Super Bowl’s international coverage and a short documentary about the week in San Diego, the DVD does have enough extras to keep the disappointed fan happy.
The game itself is only an hour, as all commercials, timeouts and other delays are edited out for a “plain Jane” version of the Super Bowl. No pauses for the offense to huddle, no waiting on instant replay — just the game with overlapping NFC and AFC broadcasters doing the calls.
The ESPN episodes are a nice addition, but they don’t really provide anything new weeks and months after the big game. And Suzi Kolber’s absence on the post-game show takes away from the enjoyment of seeing her retract her prediction of a Raiders win.
Again, the DVD for the season recap and the fast-paced game footage are enough for any fan of the team. For $20, it’s a small price to pay to own a permanent reminder of the magical season and the Bucs’ total domination of Super Bowl XXXVII.
Contact Will Albritton at email@example.com