Monday Night Football, because it is shown in prime time, has long been considered the largest stage of the regular season that a football player or team can play on. During its thirty-six years on ABC, Monday Night Football became the second-longest primetime show in history, behind just 60 Minutes. Throughout its career, Monday Night Football has played host to some of the best and most competitive games in the NFL. Here’s a look at some of the most memorable games played, as well as relived moments, on Monday Night Football.
The first Monday Night Football game was played on September 21, 1970 and pitted the Cleveland Browns against the New York Jets in Cleveland. The Browns won 31-21 over New York and the rest is history.
During an October 29, 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 Mile High City, and I sure am.” .
On November 27, 1978, the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers; That same day, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and City Superintendent Harvey Milk had been assassinated.
During a Miami Dolphins vs. At the New England Patriots game on December 8, 1980, announcer Howard Cosell broke the news to the entire nation that former Beatle John Lennon had been murdered outside his apartment in New York City.
Midway through the December 5, 1983 game between the Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys, Howard Cosell referred to Redskins wide receiver Alvin Garret (who is African American) as a “little monkey.” The commotion surrounding this event led Cosell to leave Monday Night Football after the 1983 season.
On October 17, 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.
A week later, on October 24, 1983, the New York Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals played the first and only tied game in Monday Night Football history with a score of 20-20 after overtime.
The famous 1985 game between the Redskins and the Giants, in which Lawrence Taylor fired Joe Theismann, broke his leg and ended his career, was shown on Monday Night Football.
Later, in 1985, Monday Night Football would be the setting 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 make Monday Night Football history again next year when they were part of Monday Night Football’s biggest setback. The Dolphins played the New York Jets 10-1 but defeated them by a score of 45-3.
On October 17, 1994, Monday Night Football organized a duel for all ages. Joe Montana led his Kansas City Chiefs to a game against the Denver Broncos led by John Elway. The Broncos trailed 24-21 with 1:29 to play when Elway ran the ball into the end zone from four yards, giving his team a 28-24 lead. Joe Montana then led his team to a 75-yard drive that ended with a touchdown with 8 seconds left in the game, giving the Chiefs a 31-28 victory.
On October 23, 2000, the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets would once again participate in a memorable battle. In the fourth quarter the score was 30-7 in favor of the Miami Dolphins. Vinny Testaverde went on to lead the Jets by scoring 23 consecutive points in the fourth quarter to tie the game. Then Jets kicker John Hall kicked a field goal in overtime for the victory, making it not only the longest comeback in the fourth quarter in Monday Night Football history, but also the longest comeback in the fourth quarter in Monday Night Football history. second longest in NFL history.
In an October 6, 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, Packers’ Brett Favre dismantled the Oakland Raiders throwing for four touchdowns in the first half and 399 yards in the game, resulting in a 41-7 victory. This game came a day after Favre’s father died.
On December 5, 2005, the Seahawks’ shutout of the Eagles by a score of 42-0 tied the mark at the time for the largest margin of victory in a Monday Night Football game. The game featured the Seahawks scoring three defensive touchdowns.
Monday Night Football has played host to some of the best games and most memorable moments in NFL history. Although the game is now brought to us by ESPN, soccer fans everywhere hope the tradition remains the same.