NFL Monday Night Football (1970– )

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Coverage of professional football featuring teams from the National Football League airing on Monday nights during the NFL's regular season.

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 2 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »
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Series cast summary:
 Himself - Play-by-Play Announcer / ... (413 episodes, 1971-1997)
Al Michaels ...
 Himself - Play-by-Play Announcer / ... (333 episodes, 1986-2005)
Dan Dierdorf ...
 Himself - Color Commentator / ... (202 episodes, 1974-1998)
Howard Cosell ...
 Himself - Color Commentator / ... (194 episodes, 1970-1983)
 Himself - Color Commentator / ... (170 episodes, 1970-1984)


"Are you ready for some football?!" That six-word lyric, as bellowed out each week by country music superstar Hank Williams Jr., preluded each "NFL Monday Night Football" game, the first successful attempt to air a National Football League (NFL) football game in prime-time. Each week, two teams (as chosen months in advance by the NFL) met in what has become a Monday night tradition. Usually, a trio of sports-casters (a play-by-play announcer joined by a color commentator and an analyst) called the action. Half-time interviews with coaches and players, and sideline reports after outstanding plays were also innovations that contributed to the appeal of these games. Many of the games proved to be exciting, though sometimes the games were boring (especially if the teams were a mismatch or not very good, a necessary risk since the games were scheduled months in advance). Often serving as part of the announcing team were former NFL greats including OJ Simpson, Dan Dierdorf, Joe Namath and ... Written by Brian Rathjen <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Are you ready for some football? (20th season) See more »



Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

21 September 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

ABC Monday Night Football  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Another unknown game is believed to be Miami Dolphins versus Arizona Cardinals, when two Monday Night Football games occurred, at the same time on Monday, December 26th, 2005. The game is listed as season #36.16 on Monday, December 26th, 2005, the same Monday evening of the televised New England Patriots & New York Jets game. See more »


Promised Land
Written by Jesse Blaze Snider and Frederick Scott
Performed by Jesse Blaze Snider
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User Reviews

Extending the Weekend and changing America's Viewing and Social Habits Forever More! But just Where and When was "the Dress Reheasal"? Read on, Schultz!
13 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"T.G.I.F." had long been a common expression widely used by all manner of exponents of the American-English vulgate; when someone came up with the brainstorm to use it as the name of a restaurant chain, TGIF (or Thank God It's Friday, in the long form.). Together with its antithesis of an acronym in "O.S.I.M." (Oh Sh*t, It's Monday!), forms the Alpha and Omega of the moods that manipulate the Work Force one end of the week to the next.

It has been said that the NFL'S Monday NIGHT FOOTBALL (1970-?) has been a surefire method of brightening-up the gloomy old nasty killjoy of day; at least giving us a reason to rejoice in the day's arriving right behind the days of usual rest and worship. At best, it can transform the bland blahs to the greatest festive occasions if your team is being featured.

Being it that the Monday Night Game is the only one being played then, it is usually a very interesting, often crucial meeting. The boys over at the NFL Scheduling Office try to draw-up what should be a very favorable list of contests covering the whole Football Season to maintain a high level of positive anticipation with Mr. and Mrs. Average Football Fan.

Although the enthusiasm had cooled down some in recent years, the Monday Telecasts continue to be a favourite to the Nation. The Disney Organization decided a couple of years ago to relegate its familiar slot from the 9:00 P.M.on ABC Network to the same slot, but on ESPN Cable Network. (Both Companies, of course, are wholly owned Subsidiaries of Disney.) There was a time, when, like all new or "unorthodox" ideas come along, that the thought of the extending Pro Football's iron fisted grip on our Television Sets for another day wasn't considered to be a possibility, let alone a likelihood. In order to fully understand and appreciate all that went on behind the scenes, we have to take the Old "Wayback" Machine to the year of 1967.

In January of '67, the very first "World Championship of Professional Football" was played on January 15th in the Los Angeles Coliseum. This was the initial game celebrating the merger agreed on the previous year. Now, there was to be one Professional Football World and everything would be honky-dory! But the public was not solid on this idea overnight; as they had witnessed the previous years since the birth of the Junior Circuit's first season in 1960; and it was filled with as much a War of rhetoric as it was with the judgment of on field performance. Hence, the staging of Super Bowl I* was found to be less than a sell-out event.

The merger plans had called for the mingling of the 2 separate, but not-necessarily equal Leagues to be gradual. There would be no inter-league play during the regular season** and the identities, the variant rules (which were infinitesimally insignificant ) and the day to day business would go on as usual. It would not be until the 1970 season that American Football League Commissioner, Bob Fosse would hand over his scepter to NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle; thus proclaiming Rozelle to be "Czar of All Footballs".

Meanwhile, the AFL would scrap its own AFL All-Star Game, "merging" it with the long standing, previously inter-Divisional competition (Eastern vs. Western) Pro Bowl. Also (and this was the main reason the NFL "came to reason with the upstart organization), there would now be a common draft of the incoming collegiate talent. There would be no more competitive Bidding Wars, which of course escalated all players $allarie$.

But lost in all of this was a plan that had been sitting around the NFL's League HQ for some time. It was the blueprint of a new way of packaging the TV deals. It was the asserted proposal calling for games to be played and televised during the work week of the whole regular season. It was the Genises of Monday Night & the Thursday Night "Special Edition" telecasts. As it stood then (in 1966) both the National (CBS) and the American (NBC) had exclusive telecasting contracts.

But they would both be open for re-negotiation by the all-important 1970 season. It was time to run a "Pilot" episode for the weekday games, to test the waters and find an interested TV outlet for the regular telecasting of games featuring all teams of the "new" NFL's American Conference and National Conference.

So, somebody gave the okay. It was at the CBS Sorts Department where they agreed with Rozelle's office to make it a network telecast, seen by the entire country. The date and location were agreed upon It was set for Halloween, Monday night, October 31, 1967. The site was St. Louis and the opponents would be the two oldest franchises, the visiting Chicago Bears and the home St. Louis Cardinals. Both were Charter members of the American Professional Football Association (the original moniker of the NFL's first couple of seasons). The time was set in the prime-time, at either a 7 or 8 O'clock P.M. EST start.

We honestly do not remember who won this one, nor what the Nielsens said about their "shares" of the viewing public. We do know that Monday Night Football started its long and possibly near-everlasting run in the Fall of 1970 on ABC, who had originally had the first deal with the AFL, before losing it to a Super Mega-Buck$ deal with NBC.

This we remember well, as it was the first year of our Marriage; and it gave the Bride and Meself something to look forward to on Monday evenings. Besides, uh, you know!

NOTE* It was Kansas City Chiefs'owner Lamar Hunt, who dubbed the game as The Super Bowl after his daughter received a bouncy "Superball".

NOTE **That didn't include the pre-season and the inter-league "exhibitions" turned into real battles.

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