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|12-26-2005, 11:12 AM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 03, 2001
ABC Bids Farewell to Monday Night Football
ABC Bids Farewell to Monday Night Football
(AP) Monday Night Football's Dennis Miller, right, talks with the shows director of information Steve...
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - If you were ready for some football, it was the place to be for 35 seasons on Monday nights. Tonight, the NFL bids farewell to ABC, with the New England Patriots playing the New York Jets.
The second longest-running series on network TV shifts to ESPN beginning next season.
The series began in 1970, with Keith Jackson handling the play-by-play. ESPN is paying about $1.1 billion over eight seasons for the Monday night contract.
|12-26-2005, 11:30 AM||#2|
Join Date: Jul 14, 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Clock runs out for 'MNF'
After a 35-yr. run, it's leaving ABC
While every other network this evening is showing reruns, ABC is airing something that's not only original, and live, but the swan song of a TV institution.
"Monday Night Football," after 35 years, is down to its last four quarters starting at 9 p.m.
The predictable, even inevitable signoff, is the country-and-Western lyric "Turn out the lights, the party's over," which Don Meredith used to sing at the first sign of a blowout (often to the annoyance of more serious announcing booth mate Howard Cosell). And Meredith will show up tonight to do just that, and to help open the show - though not, reportedly, in person.
Former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Meredith, and famously abrasive yet talented sportscaster Cosell, were two-thirds of the unprecedentedly crowded booth fielded by ABC executive Roone Arledge for that first game on Sept. 21, 1970. ABC's Keith Jackson was the other - replaced, the following year, by Frank Gifford. They're the troika that made "MNF" must-See TV regardless of which teams were playing.
There was Cosell's eagerly awaited halftime package of highlights from the previous day's games. Hard to imagine, but in those pre-ESPN days, that was considered a breathlessly fast turnaround - and breathlessly is precisely how Cosell narrated the clips. Also, there was the byplay in the booth, especially the antagonistic banter between Meredith and Cosell, that had to be heard, just as the drop-in special guests - including John Lennon - had to be seen.
(It was Cosell on "Monday Night Football," in fact, who announced to the nation Lennon's shooting during a December game in 1980.)
The Cosell-Meredith-Gifford troika was the show's all-time best announcing team, followed by the current team of Al Michaels and John Madden.
All-time worst? Twenty years ago, for a single stinker of a season, Gifford had to deal with both Joe Namath and O.J. Simpson.
It was an enjoyable show to watch, and often as much the source of water-cooler talk the next day as "Desperate Housewives" is today. It first cracked the Top 10 during the 1982-83 season, and has been up in, or hovering near, that ratings stratosphere ever since. And in terms of a continually running prime-time series still on the air, only "60 Minutes," which premiered two years before, is older.
All these achievements and elements are scheduled to be saluted tonight, the last night before the "MNF" moves to ESPN next season. As for the game itself, the New England Patriots and New York Jets are on the field - but with one team a playoff lock and the other locked out, the real interest here will be in the final "MNF" packaging around the event.
|12-26-2005, 09:15 PM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 12, 2003
Location: Seymour, TN
The names that were associated with the show other than Cosell, Gifford, and Meredeth also were Al Michaels.
Those four names were and always will be familiar with MNF!
Don't Have a Blue Christmas!
|12-27-2005, 09:09 PM||#4|
Join Date: Jul 14, 2003
Location: Brooklyn, NY USA
Turn out the lights!
Jets ban beer sales as curtain comes
down on ABC's 'Monday Night Football'
BY LEO STANDORA
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Jets fans quaffed soda and bottled water last night to toast the finale of "Monday Night Football" on ABC, as booze was banned while their snake-bitten team took on the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
With the Jets' season devastated by injuries to key players, some fans could have used a beer to cry in as the Pats won last night's game, 31-21.
But John Speranza found a bright side.
"If you're not drinking, you remember more," the 38-year-old PSE&G electrical chief said with a sly smile.
The Meadowlands stadium became a booze-free zone for the first time in four years in an effort to curtail rowdy behavior by fans.
In the Jets' last prime-time game at home, Nov. 27 against the Saints, nine fans were arrested. One was charged with stabbing two fans in a rest room. Also, a state trooper broke a leg while trying to eject a fan who threw a beer bottle.
Jets spokesman Ron Colangelo said the alcohol ban, made in conjunction with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, is designed to "provide for the safety and comfort of our fans."
During the game, some fans walked by and looked wistfully at the shuttered beer stands, but most said the ban on booze didn't matter much to them.
However, tailgaters had mixed feelings about the ban.
"I think it's almost worse because you have to get as tanked as possible outside instead of pacing yourself," said Nat Wong, 28, a television producer and Pats fan from Massachusetts.
"But," he said with a grin, "it's a lot cheaper for us."
Reaction to the end of ABC's 35-year-run with "Monday Night Football" ranged from no big deal to downright anger.
"It's like taking down the Rockefeller Center tree," said Long Island print shop owner John Pinto, 44, who was at the game with his 7-year-old son. "It's a tradition you don't like to see go."
Others said they won't miss the ABC broadcast because the Monday night games will be on ESPN.
But Kenny Beers, a 42-year-old Queens electrician, said some fans are going to miss out.
"You take some poor schmuck who doesn't have cable and now what's he gonna watch?"
Party's over: Top 10 moments in MNF history
What we'll remember, according to Entertainment Weekly:
1. Nov. 18, 1985: Washington Redskins' quarterback Joe Theismann is hit by Giants legend Lawrence Taylor, and the audience sees Theismann's right leg snap below the knee, bone sticking out of the skin. Theisman was finished as a player, but next year, he'll be hosting Monday night NFL games on ESPN.
2. Nov. 15, 2004: A racy pregame skit outraged some viewers, who saw Terrell Owens trying to spurn the advances of "Desperate Housewives" star Nicollette Sheridan, saying he had a game to play. Sheridan turned up the heat by dropping her towel - as well as Owens' jaw.
3. Sept. 5, 1983: Howard Cosell ignited protest after calling Redskins wideout Alvin Garrett a "little monkey." Cosell, who had been outspoken on civil rights issues, insists he did not mean it as a racial insult. Garrett says he takes no offense, but Cosell quit before the next season.
4. Dec. 8, 1980: Cosell interrupts the broadcast to tell fans "An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City." John Lennon had been killed by a crazed fan outside his Central Park West apartment building.
5. Sept. 3, 1979: After being paralyzed in a 1978 preseason game, Patriots wideout Darryl Stingley returns to Schaeffer Stadium for the 1979 opener against the Steelers, where he received a standing ovation from both players and fans.
6. Dec. 2, 1985: The eventual Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears took a 12-0 record into Miami, the only franchise to ever go undefeated. Miami wins, 38-24, to keep the 1972 Dolphins in the record books.
7. Nov. 23, 1970: Cosell slurs his words during an Eagles-Giants game, then exits early. He later denies he was affected by martinis sent by the Eagles' owner, blaming his demeanor on the effects of "a virulent virus."
8. Oct. 14, 2002: Owens, then playing for San Francisco, scores a touchdown, then whips out a marker from his sock, and signs the ball for a fan.
9. Dec. 22, 2003: Packers quarterback Brett Favre suits up against the Raiders a day after his father died of a heart attack. Favre throws for four touchdowns in a 41-7 blowout.
10. July 31, 2000: Seeking a broader appeal, ABC taps comedian Dennis Miller to join the announcers' booth. The experiment lasts just two seasons.
|12-27-2005, 09:58 PM||#5|
Hats for Bats
Join Date: Jan 23, 2001
Location: northeast Ohio.
I can still feel it everytime I see it. That hurt me like hell, I can't imagine what Theisman felt like.
Who ate all the pecan Sandies??
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