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Monday Night Football

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Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006. It’s still football, it’s still the NFL, but it’s not the same as it was. Uploaded by

It’s gone from groundbreaking, ratings-busting, TV sports institution to just another night of football in recent years. Shoot, Sunday Night Football is now the premier vehicle for the NFL. But for most of its 30+ years on the air, Monday Night Football was must-see TV for Americans, and we watched with true devotion.

Monday Night Football,

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The answer to a good trivia question: Keith Jackson. The question: Who was the play-by-play announcer of Monday Night Football in 1970, its first season? Most people would guess Frank Gifford, but he joined the team of Howard Cosell and Don Meredith beginning in the second year. Another good question: Which team has made the most appearances on Monday Night? No, not the Cowboys, they’re second. It’s the Miami Dolphins. I think the show’s producers just liked going to Miami when the rest of the country got cold.

MNF spent most of its existence on ABC, but switched to ESPN in 2006. Despite the decline in ratings and prestige that the major networks have suffered in recent years, and as ubiquitous as ESPN is these days, the game still experienced a drop in prestige when it moved to cable. Who the game’s broadcasters were used to fascinate the country; now probably less than 25 percent could name those in the booth. (Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden.) But it’s football, it’s the NFL, it’s Monday night. We’ll still be there…awake through the first half, at least.

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