NFL Monday Night Football (TV Series 1970– ) Poster

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The Days Of "Frank, Howard and Dandy Don" Never Been Equaled
ccthemovieman-11 April 2007
As someone who has watched this program since its inception, it's kind of sad now to look back at its history. Those who didn't grow up with this "phenomenan," as it was called in the '70s, can't realize how big a deal this sports program was at one time.

In its glory days, "Monday Night Football" was THE event on television each week for any football fan. It wasn't the individual game that particular night. It made no difference who was playing - it was a chance to hear what humorous and/or controversial things Howard Cosell and "Dandy" Don Meredith would say each week. The play-by-play announcer, Frank Gifford (Keith Jackson the first year) was just a "straight man" for Cosell and Meredith.

Cosell played the bad guy and loved it, and Meredith played the "good 'ole boy," and had a pretty good time himself. I can say the latter because I was in the press box for a few Monday night games in Buffalo and "Dandy Don" was feeling no pain, let's just leave it at that. The ratings were so high that celebrities and politicians would frequently enter the booth for a halftime interview.

The significance of the sporting event went downhill when those guys left and it has never really recovered. In fact, as you know, it left ABC for ESPN several years ago. It also has a had numerous "color" guys. Few of them have ever been very popular and some were downright horrible.

I will have always have great memories of Frank, Howard and Don when this program was truly exciting and all of us fans couldn't wait for Monday night.
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I Miss It!!!
dataconflossmoor16 March 2008
Nothing use to touch Monday Night Football when it aired for over 38 seasons!! The other two major networks would try different approaches to Monday night programming and to no avail!! The initial idea to Monday Night Football was that Monday was the day of returning to reveille, kids back in school, everybody back to work, and just a naturally depressing day for everyone!! Once Monday Night Football came on the scene, Bars were having drink specials, friends were getting together for football parties at their homes and there now entered a little lilt in everybody's monotonous Monday blues schedule!! I counted on some of the best games in the NFL to be on Monday Night Football, and it was a real treat if they had the Dallas Cowboys' games!! I am a big Dallas Cowboy fan!! I also thought they should have given a fat contract to Mike Barz for being the new host of Monday Night Football, bringing him on would have been great!! "Monday Night Football" was a spectacular idea, the new Monday Night Football is not as good, but, it fills the void somewhat!! My bone of contention with "Monday Night Football" on ABC: BRING IT BACK!!!!
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ABC's Monday Night Football (1970-2005)
Gary M. James21 December 2005
What started as an oddity in 1970 and became a national tradition on television on Monday nights from September through January is leaving ABC after 35 seasons. Having lived on the east coast for many years, I always found it frustrating not being able to stay up to watch the end of many games, especially the competitive ones.

I'll always remember yelling "Shut up!" to Howard Cosell despite some of his interesting observations and reports. I'll remember how much I liked play-by-play announcers Frank Gifford and Al Michaels. I'll always wonder why a 3rd announcer was needed when only two announcers were enough.

The baby of the late ABC Sports executive Roone Arledge, ABC's Monday Night Football became appointment television. You made time to check out which teams were playing.

With the increase of other media sources and more competitive scheduling by other networks, it was determined by the NFL to air Monday Night Football on ESPN. NBC will air Sunday Night Football starting in the fall of 2006.

R.I.P. ABC's Monday Night Football
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Monday Night Football just got better ( No Miller )
beaver052430 August 2002
ABC made a smart choice in kicking Dan Fouts and DENNIS MILLER! Dan was O.K. But Dennis, Hey, let's face it, he was never a good fit.

ABC brings probably the smartest man in the NFL today, John Madden. With Al Michaels and John Madden in the booth, look forward to a great season on Monday Night Football
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Best it gets for football
Maniac-94 September 2000
Monday Night Football is definitely the best game sports programming on television. Now that they have Dennis Miller onboard he should take it to new levels of entertainment not done before in pro football broadcasting. Plus with a top of the line play-by-play announcer like Al Michaels and also Dan Fouts. Short of John Madden and Pat Summerall this has to be the best broadcasting team in football.
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The good the bad and the ugly of M N F!
mm-3931 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The good the bad and the ugly of M N F! The Howard Cosell Gifford and Meredith era where golden. The colourful Cosell mixed well with Gifford's great play by play that was complemented with Meredith comic relief. Meredith's turn out the lights this party is over line rang humorously when the score was lopsided. The Monday night game was alway prime time. Top teams of Dallas, Raiders and Washington where always on. Raiders at one time never lost on M N F! Many times M N F had the best game of the week. After the loss of Meredith and Cosell M N F suffered under the poor commentary of Theisman and others. The game quality and rating went down after the golden era. Al Michaels and Madden tried to save M N F! Regrettably the game cards where awful. Detroit, Arizona etc cellar dwellers where on the card. M N F could not be save showing the dog of the week games. Regretablly the end of era! M N F went to E S P N!
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"Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL"
mikerichter35xl10 February 2003
Those words are spoken by Rockin Randall Hank Williams every Monday night at 9:00 September through December. What i don't understand is why the ratings are down on MNF, they still put on great games and with Al Michaels and John Madden calling the action, how could you not watch, of course Michaels and Madden are no Cosell and Meredith. Think of the history behind MNF, the memorable games: 1978 Miami at Houston, Cosell annoucing to most the death of John Lennon in 1980,1983 Dallas at Washington,1994 Kansas City at Denver, and of course being a Jets fan my personal favorite 2000 Miami at New York Jets.
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Before he saved NBC with Must See TV, Don Ohlmeyer saved ABC with Monday Night Football...
justin-fencsak11 September 2017
Monday night football games have been around even before ABC made it a mainstay in popular culture in the fall of 1970 with Monday Night Football, a three hour NFL show featuring a marquee matchup that blended sports with celebrities, music, and fun. One of the driving forces behind this was the late Don Ohlmeyer, who would go on to save NBC from extinction with Must See TV thursdays and who would supervise Sunday Night Football for NBC, which remains the most watched weekly sports show on network TV despite ratings shortfalls due to the players.
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A good reason to go to bed early.
O2D2 May 2017
Monday Night Football has a long history of employing idiots to talk about football.Starting with the monotone mush mouth Howard Cosell, they have been hell bent on delivering unintelligible broadcasts for almost half a century.They continued the nonsense trend with several years of John Madden spewing lies when he wasn't stuttering like a fool.Then at the turn of the century they decided they needed a change so they brought in Dennis Miller.While Miller is great at rambling about things that don't matter, everything he says is 50 IQ points above anything a football fan can understand, so it was no surprise that he didn't last long.Now they have added the mental midget Jon Gruden.This fool can rarely finish a sentence.One time he said the quarterback was going to use the entire shot clock?WTF is a shot clock?As dumb as he is, at least he's not Madden.As a sports organization they need to set some higher standards for hiring broadcasters.The first rule should be don't hire anyone who spells John without an h.Second, take a look at the person's haircut.If it looks like they did it themselves, they may not be right for the job.The best thing about MNF is that it moved to ESPN and for years I didn't have to see it.Looking back on a lifetime of Monday night sadness, it's clear to see the NFL has been headed down the wrong path for decades.A path that ends with football being irrelevant and unwatchable.
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Miss It on ABC!
ShelbyTMItchell17 October 2009
It would had been a ten out of ten for ABC. But I give it a eight out of nine. As I wasn't around for the Cosell-Gifford-Meredeth era. But heard a lot of awesome things and thanks to Youtube, you get to see it as well. Gifford did play the straight man with Cosell the bad cop and Meredith the good ole boy. While Michaels was a better play-by-play man than Gifford was. Gifford's name is synonymous with MNF! When they got rid of Gifford and Dierdorf, it all went downhill a bit for the next couple of years. Let's face it, Miller isn't Cosell despite not being a Cosell fan either. But with Madden and Michaels, both had the second best combo in MNF history. Don't like it on ESPN but now am beginning to like it since they got rid of Kornheiser. ESPN play-by-play man Tierco is OK. But glad they added Jarwoski and Gruden, who is an up and comer IMHO! It's OK on ESPN but on ABC, it is an original that can't be replaced despite new network.
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bill-tsiu20 November 2008
This is really nice. It is exciting to see something classical! The Giants must maintain ball control to keep Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner and Arizona's high-powered offense on the sidelines. The Giants will attempt to run the ball over and over and chew up large chunks of time and yardage. The Giants' defense will have to deal with the Warner passing show and give the ball back to the offense in reasonable field position. Arizona's passing offense is its key to success, with such outstanding receivers as Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston. Fitzgerald has 67 receptions for 939 yards and six touchdowns, Boldin has 62 catches for 792 yards and 10 scores. Breaston, a second-year player, has 48 receptions for 642 yards and one touchdown. Arizona is undefeated in four games at home this season.

BTW, saw some cool widgets at statbeast. Take a look!
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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!
John T. Ryan13 January 2008
"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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Espn Monday Night is OK
DKosty1239 December 2006
I like Espn's current version of this enough to give it a 6 rating. I am old enough to remember 1970 - the 1st season. Now that is when I would have given it an 8 and here is why.

When ABC first started the Monday Night Football Series, it became the first network to add extra cameras & angles to the game to bring it up to where it is today. They were first to use extra slow motion & instant replays. The late Roone Arledge was a real innovator.

The original announcing team for the 1st season was Keith Jackson ( not Fautless Frank Gifford), Howard Cosell & Dandy Don Meredith. This was the best announcing team. They only slipped a little with Gifford, but the early games with Jackson were gems because Jackson would do great play by play & ignore the other 2 clowns in the booth. This was the magic that made the first season a ratings sensation.

When season 2 came along, Gifford came in & it slipped to about a 7.5. It stayed there a long time & even when Meredith first left, it still was a seven although his rotating replacements like Alex Karras, & Fred the Hammer Williamson were a notch below Meredith. Giffords play by play started to slip a little too.

Then, Howard Cosell got canned due to a racist media. This is when the series really got unhinged & slipped below a 5 rating. It stayed there until after Dennis Miller bowed out. Bringing in John Madden took it back to 6 & it is staying there now because the announcers are OK, & the fastest 3 minutes are keeping it there. Actually, the Monday night team is doing better than NBC is on Sunday Nights with Madden.

That being said, this can never again be the sensation it was when it started. My all time rating for the best announcing was no doubt the original team. Keith Jackson with Howard & Don was the chemistry that made it, all the rest of the folks have been riding long coat tails since 1970.

At least it has come back as when Dennis Miller was on, I thought I was going to hear Don Meredith start singing "Turn out the lights, the parties over."
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Dennis Miller is a fresh addition
Robby-227 September 2000
Those who feel or prefer that commentators of Football stick to statistics are more than likely not listening to any of them anyway, or at least not remembering any of them. I may note that there are 2 other commentators there to provide such or they can be gathered almost anywhere. Read the paper. I find Dennis Miller a fresh relief from some often boring material concerning # of 1st downs made by such and such on 3 & 7's during home games over the last 4 years only to find the stats irrelevant in this particular situation at this time against this new defense and with this new offense. Give him a chance. He isn't ignorant concerning the game either but just likes to give others their chance and expects the same from themand you.
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