BTW I was even surprised to hear they record football games at all let alone on FILM, I thought I was confused at first and that NFL was some other thing... So they actually RECORD and save whole football games? Why? ....
Most elite-level athletic performances have a beauty when viewed in ultra-slow motion that often escapes the eye at normal speeds. American football is one. Basketball more so. Even baseball, that slowest and most asymmetric of all games.
Have you ever watched an ultra-slow motion major league pitcher's curve ball from the batter's point-of-view? It's an astounding visual to actually see the "red dot" that elite hitters can pick out with ease, judge its location on the ball during only a tiny fraction of a second, then adjust their bat motion as they uncoil, and majestically pull that pitch 435-feet over the left field fence.
Even if one doesn't like American football, for similar reasons watching NFL Films can be a visual joy to behold.
"They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."
— Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs
If you guys had watched some of the NFL Films stuff you wouldn't be wondering what the big deal is. Even if you're not a football fan you'd appreciate what they're doing, it's unique in pro sports and it is really well done.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2