A toast to Monday Night Football


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Oct 27, 2005
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I am going to miss Monday Night Football. It won't be the same when it's on ESPN. Al Michaels basically said that on HBO. I am hoping the NFL will have the best teams on Sunday Night Football next season as NBC has the rights. It's time to start a new tradition.

As a kid growing up, I always watched Monday Night Football. It was simply a tradition with me. I would do my homework during class, study hall, or as soon as I came from home so I can go watch Monday Night Football. I got to enjoy watching Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, and Dan Dierdorf back then. Those three were fun to listen to. Those three were the voice of fall and winter. Those three were hardcore football guys. They eat, sleep, and drink football. They just love the sport and you can just tell from listening to them. Those guys never made themselves the story. They painted the picture well. I think when Frank was let go from the show, it was beginning of the end for MNF. It just wasn't the same with Al and Dan in the booth and it showed in the ratings. It got worse when ABC tried Boomer Esasion and Dennis Miller. Boomer never clicked with Al and Dennis Miller acted like an idiot on MNF. Dennis rarely talked much football and his jokes were garbage. He added nothing. Dan Fouts did good though. I had no idea why ABC dumped Fouts. I thought Fouts and John Madden would have done well with Al Michaels.

Obviously, there were lot of great games on MNF over the years. It helped that you would see great teams like the Niners, Cowboys, Packers, Broncos, Giants, Raiders, Steelers, Dolphins and other teams in their glory days and they would rise to the occassion. While parity has helped the NFL, it has not really helped Monday Night Football mainly because you never know how a team does year in or year out thanks to the salary cap as teams lose their best players or role players. Those teams that do well one year tend to fizzle the next year hence why lot of MNF games have been stinkers over the years and it has hurt the ratings. Back then, you know the Cowboys, Packers, and the Niners would constantly win year in and year out since they would buy players and such hence why MNF did well with those teams year in and year out. It's a whole different show now hence why ABC wanted out since they would never get the ratings due to uncertainities of the team rosters.

I have seen lot of great games over the years on MNF. Who can remember the Jets coming from way behind to beat the Dolphins in 2000? Who can remember Brett Favre play through tragedy of his father's death out in Oakland on Monday night? How about when the Vikings humiliated the Pack on MNF during the 1998 season? How about Joe Montana leading the Chiefs in a comeback against the Broncos? How about in 2000 when the Rams and Broncos had a shootout in the first game of the 2000 season on MNF? How about the Colts coming from behind to beat the Bucs in 2003 in Tony Dungy's return to Tampa Bay? That was the game when Keyshawn Johnson mocked Marvin Harrison and Harrison scored the tying game then. I thought the Bucs would blow out the Colts in that game. They were leading big. Vikings and Packers has had some memorable MNF memories.

I am sad to see this end. I really am. You would think MNF would last forever on ABC, but nowadays, it's all about which network would give out the most dough to get the NFL rights. As a kid, I used to think NFL would be on CBS and NBC forever and ever. I learned that the hard way in 1994 when FOX brought the rights to air the NFL. I thought that was blasphemy back then. I did not think it made sense. NFL and CBS had great history. Eventually, CBS got the NFL back, but it's not the same when they used to have exclusive rights to the NFC games which FOX has. I learned that there is no loyalty to TV rights. The NFL only cares about money and when NBC and ESPN stepped up to get NFL TV rights, it was the beginning of the end for ABC and MNF. My only regret of not watching MNF on ABC was not listening to Howard Cossell. I heard Howard was a character then. I really wish I got to listen to him.

A toast to MNF on ABC and thanks for the memories. It's too bad the party is over.
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