If you do, then you must have been at the game because those watching at home didn’t get to see it.

The Jets-Raiders had a rivalry, one that was always a war, so it made for must see TV on NBC before there was must see TV.

The November 17 game at Oakland started at 4:00 PM eastern standard time with NBC televising the game to most of the country as a lead in to their evening programing. They anticipated a good game, which would hopefully cause the audience to stay and watch a network special presentation of ‘Heidi’, the Johanna Spyri children’s classic, which was scheduled to start at 7:00 PM, after the game.

‘Heidi’ was heavily promoted by NBC with advertisements in newspapers and on TV hoping to gain a large audience, especially among families.

As part of a deal with Timex, NBC would only show their commercials during the entire broadcast of the movie and had to go to air promptly at 7:00 PM eastern. That meant the movie could not be delayed or joined in progress for any reason.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, the game featured numerous penalties and time outs that slowed down the game. (I am glad to see that somethings never change in the game.)

The two team traded points the entire game and with about a minute to go the Jets took the lead with a field goal. On the ensuing kickoff, Oakland returned the kick and NBC went to commercial. Only, the game never returned. It was seven o’clock and it was time with Heidi, so a push of a button and Heidi and her grandfather were seen scaling the mountain side.

Meanwhile, back in Oakland, the Raiders started at their own 22-yard line and moved the ball down the field, taking the lead on Charlie Smith’s touchdown.

With 42 seconds remaining, the Raiders kicked off to the Jets who still had time to score. However, New York’s Earl Christy fumbled the ball at his own 12-yard line which was picked up by Preston Ridlehuber and taken to the house. It was Oakland’s second touchdown in nine seconds.

The Raiders would kickoff again, but the Jets could do little with the ball in the final seconds and the game ended. With the broadcasters and everybody in the stadium knowing who won, but those at home not knowing of the amazing happenings in the final minute.

Those fans could have seen the game as NBS executives were talking via phone in the final half hour of the broadcast and agreed to show the rest of the game and delay the start of Heidi. The only problem was when an executive called NBC’s Burbank Broadcast Operation Center the person on the other line did not know who he was and refused his order to let the game finish on the network then go to the movie.

To add to the matter, NBC switchboards were blowing fuses due to football fans and families calling wanting to know would the movie go on right at seven or would the game be shown to its completion. This hampered the NBC execs from reaching each other.

While NBC did run a scroll on the screen during the movie with the final score, the actions of that day made way for how we see sports today.

In the weeks after the game, more football games were running long. This prompted NBC to adopt the rule that the broadcast of the game goes right to the end before going to the regularly scheduled program. That included an NBC special presentation of Pinocchio which was a live-action show.

In subsequent television contracts, the now merged NFL (along with many other sports leagues) added clauses that networks were obliged to show the games to completion in the road team’s television market.

To this day, The Heidi Game is still one of the biggest debacles in television history.