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Old 04-20-2005, 12:51 AM  
Nzoner Nzoner is offline
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Monday Night Memories...with article

The following article brought back some memories of many a Monday night tuned in to ABC for MNF.The '85 undefeated Bears playing Miami and Cosell announcing that John Lennon had just been shot(in article) as well as my personal memories of the Chiefs throttling the undefeated Bills 33-6,Vanover taking the OT kick-off to the house for the winning td against the Chargers and of course Montana's last drive in Denver on that wonderful October evening in 1994.

Anyhow here's the article


What are some of your Monday Night Football memories.


Sportview: 'MNF' Switch Changes Everything

Tue Apr 19, 8:47 PM ET


By TIM DAHLBERG, AP Sports Columnist

It really shouldn't matter that much, yet somehow it does. There will still be football on Monday night, but now that "Monday Night Football" is moving from network TV to basic cable, everything has changed.

Dick Ebersol was thinking about that, euphoric though he was after negotiating the deal that would mean the end of the franchise his late boss, Roone Arledge, developed.

"In my happiness that the prime-time broadcast is moving to NBC, I couldn't help but think how sad Roone would be at this point," said Ebersol, chairman of NBC Sports.

Emotion, though, doesn't go far in the television business. Numbers are what count, and it's the numbers that convinced ABC that it was finally time to do away with an institution that once changed the way America spent its Monday nights.

The network was losing money and viewers, and even gimmicks like comedian Dennis Miller and sideline personality Lisa Guerrero couldn't help stem the tide.

Still, the gamble Arledge took in 1970 will have lasted 36 years by the time "Monday Night Football" takes a victory lap this final season on ABC. It is second only to "60 Minutes" in network longevity, surviving from the early days of the bombastic Howard Cosell to the current musings of John Madden.

Football now moves to ESPN on Monday nights, while NBC gets the Sunday night game ESPN now carries. Meanwhile, ABC will likely try to clone its "Desperate Housewives" franchise to compete in a time slot it once ruled.

Before "Monday Night Football" fades from the national consciousness, though, take some time to remember what it once meant.

It was 1970, the same year Apollo 13 made its fateful voyage to the moon, and the first 747 flew across the Atlantic. Richard Nixon was president, the war was raging in Vietnam, and if you wanted to watch television in America you had three options: ABC, CBS or NBC. Cable was in its infancy, and the idea of an all-sports network like ESPN was still years away.

The World Series was played by daylight, television sports was still mostly a weekend affair, and Ed Sullivan was still doing his Sunday night show.

That all began to change on Sept. 21, when ABC aired a game between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. Remote control was still a novelty, but anyone looking for an alternative to the lineup of "Mayberry R.F.D," "The Doris Day Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show" on CBS could get out of the easy chair to change the channel.

"Monday Night Football" stumbled at first. Critics hated Cosell at the outset, blasting his "tell it like it is" persona, and advertisers wondered how the strange collection of talent in the booth would mesh with the actual game.

It wasn't long, though before people began to plan their Monday nights around the games. On the West Coast, they rushed home from work to watch. On the East Coast, they stayed up past midnight and often arrived at work late the next day.

With a game to look forward to at night, the first day of the work week didn't seem all that bad anymore.

By the end of the first season, MNF was the third-highest rated show in the country. In the second season, it was first.

The games weren't all that memorable for the most part, and when they were real dogs, Cosell, "Dandy" Don Meredith and Frank Gifford simply worked harder. Cosell brought guests into the booth for interviews who had nothing to do with football, and took delight in the thought that he was intellectually superior to Meredith and Gifford.

On one sad Monday night in December 1980, it was Cosell who informed the nation that John Lennon had been shot and killed in New York City.

As the years went on, though, Monday night wasn't so special anymore. The NFL sold ESPN a Sunday night package, and MNF now had to compete against a hundred or so cable networks for the audience it once took for granted.

At its peak, nearly half of all American households with their sets on were tuned in to the show's most watched game ever, a December 1985 matchup between previously unbeaten Chicago and Miami. Last year, only one in nine American households had "Monday Night Football" on the set.

Those numbers are good on cable, but don't pay the bills for the top four networks. Ironically, a sports network that didn't exist until MNF's 10th season on air came up with a bid of $1.1 billion for the Monday night games.

"Who would have thought 25 years ago we'd have 'Monday Night Football,' an American institution, on ESPN?" asked George Bodenheimer, president of both ESPN and ABC Sports.

The question now is what ESPN will do with the games. Madden and Al Michaels technically work for the same company and would likely be available, but Bodenheimer said no plans have been made to fill the broadcast booth just yet.

The other question is, will all of Hank Williams Jr.'s rowdy friends still be there for Monday night?
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:02 AM   #2
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I guarantee John Madden won't be out of a job with ABC out of the picture.

I remember back when my dad would be mad at Cosell because he would always favor the Raiders over the Chiefs all the time when he was on.

You could always tell which team he liked when he announced.
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Old 04-20-2005, 08:25 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairplay
I remember back when my dad would be mad at Cosell because he would always favor the Raiders over the Chiefs all the time when he was on.
Yeah,I remember as a kid coming home on Monday nights from this or that and there'd be pop on the couch with the game on usually giving back his 2 cents about something or another.
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Old 04-20-2005, 12:44 PM   #4
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Cosell is the one that taught me to turn the TV audio off and turn the radio on. Now I would like to hear the old fart again. I really enjoyed Dandy Don. ESPN has come a long way since I first started watching them and they had "Austrailian Rules Football." I wonder what the chances of Chris Berrman being the Monday Night Host are?
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:11 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiEd
Cosell is the one that taught me to turn the TV audio off and turn the radio on. Now I would like to hear the old fart again. I really enjoyed Dandy Don. ESPN has come a long way since I first started watching them and they had "Austrailian Rules Football." I wonder what the chances of Chris Berrman being the Monday Night Host are?
I'd like to do that to Madden but then I get to listen to Esiason and Dandy Don with turn out the lights was good stuff.As for Berman,I just don't see it.
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:15 PM   #6
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nzoner 338
I'd like to do that to Madden but then I get to listen to Esiason and Dandy Don with turn out the lights was good stuff.As for Berman,I just don't see it.

I actually enjoy Madden, even though he still has a little Raider stinch left over. He is one of the best they have ever had IMO. The Dennis Miller thing was a total bust for me as I do not think he is the least bit funny.
Do you remember when ESPN tried to boot Berman? Early 80s late 70s I think, there was a major movement to keep him by the viewers. Just a thought, he has carried a big fat stick there every since.
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Old 04-20-2005, 01:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HemiEd
I actually enjoy Madden, even though he still has a little Raider stinch left over. He is one of the best they have ever had IMO. The Dennis Miller thing was a total bust for me as I do not think he is the least bit funny.
Do you remember when ESPN tried to boot Berman? Early 80s late 70s I think, there was a major movement to keep him by the viewers. Just a thought, he has carried a big fat stick there every since.
I don't remember the Berman thing and don't get me wrong I like Boomer alot,hell who knows he might be great at it.
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