It wasn't always excellent....but it was always there.
Monday night's Patriots-Jets game will be the final MNF game on ABC. Next year, ABC will be football-less and their sister station ESPN will take over. To be honest, it saddens me.
I am 30 years old....so there has been MNF on ABC for as long as I've lived. When I was just learning the game, Howard Cosell was on the air [remember, it was a Redskin that he called a "little monkey"]. As I grew up, I was along the ride with "Frank and Al and Dan"....that's Gifford, Michaels and Deirdorf. I was hopeful that Dennis Miller [one of my favorite comedians] would bring a new zip to the show....but it came up horribly lame. Adding John Madden the last few years made for good telecasts.
But the games turned bad. One of the problems with the NFL becoming so even now-a-days is that a schedule made in April can turn into mush when the games actually arrive. In recent years, the NFL hasn't even scheduled a Monday night game for Week 17. Last night's game....the division winning Pats against the three-win Jets....was supposed to be a headlining game before the season began. Instead, it was a playoff team smacking down a dead team. Hey, last week we had cellar dwellers Baltimore and Green Bay...so this was actually an improvement.
Remember Super Bowl XXIV 1/2??? The Giants and Niners were the two best teams in the NFL when they met in 1990. Or that Dolphins-Bears game in 1985 that was the highest rated MNF game?? Sure, you get a Pats-Colts game [like earlier this year] that gets the hype...but that's not a good average.
So what are my favorite moments??
Going to break at 9:00 pm to watch the game.
That great Redskins comeback against the Cowboys earlier this season.
Bo Jackson running out of the Kingdome.
Joey T breaking his leg.
The Joe Montana-John Elway game.
That Bears fan jumping from his seat to catch a kick.
The first Monday Night game in Charlotte.
In 1988, the Redskins and Giantsplayed on the opening Monday Night....a matchup of the last two Super Bowl Champions.
In 1993, the Redskins smacking the defending Super Bowl champion Cowboys 35-16
Heck, any of the 53 Redskins appearances on Monday night [they played the Cowboys 14 times on MNF].
Now....while it is sad to see MNF off of ABC...the move to ESPN won't be some major life altering event. Al Michaels still will voice the games with [most likely] Joe Theismann being his wingman. Most people get ESPN....especially ones that are huge football fans. The paegentry will be gone....maybe Hank Williams Jr will be too....but the game will live on.
Even if the game sucks.