After watching an entire season of football and all the instant replays that go along with them I began to wonder when all the non-sense began. Doing some research I found out the first televised use of instant replay was during the December 7th, 1963 Army-Navy game.
Oddly enough this game was originally to be played on November 30th but because of President Kennedy’s assassination on November 22nd the game was rescheduled. Kennedy was a huge fan of the Army-Navy game attending the two previous years as the the official pre-game coin tosser.
So the first ever replay to be broadcast was Army’s Quarterback, Rollie Stichweh’s touchdown in the forth quarter of their 21-15 loss, which he faked a hand-off and ran off-tackle for the score. Announcer Lindsey Nelson fearing the viewers wouldn’t realize it was a replay stated, “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!” The run was played back at full speed.
Unfortunately the tape of the original replay has been lost and will never be able to be replayed again but I did find some footage from that game to give you an idea of the footage that was taken during that time period.
It was replayed at the original speed, with commentator Lindsey Nelson advising viewers “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!
UPDATE: Watching the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics I heard mention that instant replay was “invented” by CBS during the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley:
On the slopes, two skiers came westward from Hanover: Tom Corcoran ‘54 and Chick Igaya ‘57. Corcoran placed ninth in the slalom event, a race which is believed to be the origin of instant replay when CBS producers were asked for a tape of the race by officials, to settle an argument.
This was use by officials to determine the winner of the race and was not used during a broadcast. The Army-Navy game was the first use of instant replay viewable by the audience whereas the Squaw Valley use was the first known use for officiating.