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Tom Noonan Interview: More from Tom

Update 4/11/22

As much as you and I tried, Bill, 15 minutes were simply not enough time to tell the NFL Broadcast story. So I will fill in some of the details that were left out.

To do the telecasts of the games in a professional manner, I had to give to Walter Silva, during the first months of our project, several tutorials about the rules of American Football and its place in the panorama of American professional sports. Additionally, I created a 10-page bilingual summary of all the names of the positions, offense and defense, and a detailed glossary of the the 50 most common plays, both running and passing, utilized by all of the NFL teams.

Walter was a quick learner: within three months he understood reasonably well the basic pre-packaged plays and the responsibilities of both the offensive and defensive positions.

After our first 2 broadcasts, we started receiving a lot of fan mail loaded with questions. The first two telecasts were 2 hours in length. After the fan mail reached about 500 per week, we convinced the bosses at TV Tupy to give us an extra 30 minutes, 10 minutes during which Walter would ask me questions about the two teams we were about to see that day and their superstars, and about 20 minutes of X’s and O’s wherein I would explain in detail 2/3 plays per week on a white board and show the responsibilities of all 22 players, 11 on offense and 11 on defense.

We began the telecasts in September, 1969. In June and July of 1970 we paused for 2 months because the World Cup in Soccer monopolized all television networks for the entire event. Brazil won its third World Cup that year, beating Italy 4-1 in the final.

We resumed our telecasts in August of 1970 and went to September, 1971. At that time TV Tupy was having financial problems and decided to devote our spot to additional novelas (soap operas) which brought them more advertising revenue than we generated.

I hope this answers some of the questions that you weren’t able to ask because of our time constraint.



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