Monday Night Football, because of it being shown in prime time, has long been considered the biggest regular season stage a football player or team can play on. During its thirty-six year stint on ABC, Monday Night Football became the second longest running prime time show in history, behind only 60 Minutes. Throughout its run, Monday Night Football has played host to some of the best and most competitive NFL games ever. Here is a look at some of the more memorable games played, as well as moments relived, on Monday Night Football.
-The first Monday Night Football game was played on September 21st, 1970 and pitted the Cleveland Browns against the New York Jets in Cleveland. The Browns won by a score of 31-21 over New York and the rest was history.
-During an October 29th, 1973 game between the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs, MNF announcer “Dandy” Don Meredith had been drinking and uttered the infamous phrase “We’re in the Mile High City, and I sure am”.
-During a Miami Dolphins vs. New England Patriots game on December 8th, 1980, announcer Howard Cosell broke the news to the entire nation that former Beatle John Lennon had been murdered in front of his apartment in New York City.
-Midway through the December 5th, 1983 game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, Howard Cosell referred to Redskins receiver Alvin Garret (who is African American) as a “little monkey”. The commotion surrounding this event led to Cosell stepping down from Monday Night Football following the 1983 season.
-On October 17th, 1983 the Packers and Redskins played the highest scoring game in Monday Night Football history with the Packers winning by a score of 48-47.
-One week later, on October 24th, 1983 the New York Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals played to the first and only tie game in Monday Night Football history with score being 20-20 after overtime.
-The famous 1985 game between the Redskins and the Giants where Lawrence Taylor sacked Joe Theismann, breaking his leg and ending his career was shown on Monday Night Football.
-Later in 1985, Monday Night Football would be the stage where the unbeaten 1985 Chicago Bears, on their way to a Super Bowl Championship, would sustain their only loss of the season to the Miami Dolphins.
-The Dolphins would again make Monday Night Football history the very next year when they were part of the biggest blow out ever on Monday Night Football. The Dolphins played the 10-1 New York Jets but defeated them by a score of 45-3.
-On October 17th, 1994 Monday Night Football hosted a duel for the ages. Joe Montana brought his Kansas City Chiefs into a game against the Denver Broncos led by John Elway. The Broncos were trailing 24-21 with 1:29 left in the game when Elway ran the ball into the end zone from four yards out giving his team the lead 28-24. Joe Montana then took his team on a 75 yard drive ending with a touchdown with 8 seconds remaining in the game giving the Chiefs a 31-28 victory.
-On October 23rd, 2000 the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets would again participate in a memorable battle. In the 4th quarter the score was 30-7 in favor of the Miami Dolphins. Vinny Testaverde went on to lead the Jets in scoring 23 consecutive 4th quarter points to tie the game up. Then, Jets kicker John Hall kicked an overtime field goal for the victory making it not only the longest 4th quarter comeback in Monday Night Football history, but the second longest in NFL history.
-In an October 6th, 2003 game between the Buccaneers and Colts, the Colts overcame a 35-14 deficit with 3:43 remaining to tie the game and then win it in overtime.
-On December 22, 2003, the Brett Favre of the Packers dismantled the Oakland Raiders by throwing for four first half touchdowns and 399 yards in the game resulting in a 41-7 victory. This game came one day after Favre’s father had passed away.
-On December 5th, 2005 the Seahawks shutout of the Eagles by a score of 42-0, tied the mark at the time for largest margin of victory in a Monday Night Football game. The game featured the Seahawks scoring three defensive touchdowns.
Monday Night Football has been host to some of the best games and most memorable moments in NFL history. Though the game is now brought to us by ESPN, football fans every where know that the tradition remains the same.