I originally wrote this review before the 2010 season began, but then forgot all about it. Suddenly, Oklahoma history is in fashion again!
This is a review of a DVD of the 1959 Nebraska - Oklahoma game, available from Husker Video for $19.95.
This is not a review of the actual game action, but a review of the earliest footage of an entire Husker football game widely available. On top of that, the 1959 victory over Oklahoma is widely considered the greatest upset win in Husker history. Oklahoma came into the game with an amazing 74-game conference win streak, a span of 13 years (seriously, wow!) Nebraska hadn't beaten Oklahoma in 17 years (those were the days.... before Bob Devaney).
The Sooners are in white, and the Huskers are in.... black. The video isn't the crystal clear (especially since we're used to watching HD broadcasts), and the audio is a little tinny, but what do you expect - it's from 50 years ago, for crying out loud.
It's both hilarious and interesting watching the crowd shots that are interspersed with game action. Not only are there crowd shots (the cheerleaders, male - they actually wore those outfits?), but producer Paul "Jake" Jacobson took the took the time to find old advertisements that matched the radio broadcast.
I'm not going to kid you. The DVD can be hard to watch unless you're a total Husker nutcase. On the other hand, if you're wondering what you're going to get your grandfather for Christmas, his birthday, or something just to be nice during the offseason.
It's one thing to see a write-up of an old game, but it's another thing entirely to have the opportunity to watch it. For example, an article might talk about the Oklahoma unbalanced line used in the game, but when you see how the Sooners line up, and how Nebraska defends, you know you're watching football from another era. There is proof that they ran the spread, though, as the announcer at one point says:
"...spread formation - the ends are split wide..."
Another indication that you're watching a different era comes when the Nebraska announcer mentions "36,000 homecoming fans".
Here's a hint though - don't watch this with an 11-year old, as least not if you value your sanity. The questions will drive you crazy. At the least, don't try explanations. When he says "the crowd is full of nerds", just let it go.
The production - including the old ads and the radio broadcast, takes you back in time and is really well done. For $19.95, probably less than a case of beer in most places, it's easily worth the purchase. Bottom line - if you're a true Husker nutcase, this is a must have.