Monday Night Football began in 1970 airing on ABC. It is the second longest running prime time TV show in America. Monday Night Football was moved from ABC to ESPN in 2006.
Monday Night Football is one of the most popular TV shows of all time.
It was originally produced by Roone Arledge and directed by Chet Forte. The first broadcast team of Monday Night Football was Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. Arledge originally tried to get Curt Gowdy and Vin Scully but couldn’t get either of them out of their contracts to NBC and the Dodgers. The first Monday Night Football game was on September 21, 1970 between the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns. The Browns beat the Jets 31-21 and Monday Night Football betting was born.
Monday Night Football has continually changed announcing teams throughout the years. Keith Jackson only did the first year before going back to college football. The Monday Night Football team from 1971-1973 was Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell and Don Meredith. Gifford and Cosell stayed on the team until 1984 while
Meredith was off and on. Also added during that time were the failed Alex Karras, Fred Williamson and Fran Tarkenton. In 1984 Cosell was dropped and Monday Night Football was never the same. Meredith and O.J. Simpson combined with Gifford in 1984 while 1985 had Gifford, Simpson and Joe Namath.
Stability finally came back to the Monday Night Football announcing team as in 1987 a new three man booth was born of Al Michaels, Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf. This combination proved effective, although not to the extent of Gifford, Cosell and Meredith. The Michaels, Gifford and Dierdorf team did have the longest run together of 11 years on Monday Night Football before Gifford retired. In 1998 Boomer Esiason replaced Gifford on Monday Night Football while the following year saw Dierdorf move on. In 2000 Michaels was joined on Monday Night Football by Dan Fouts and Dennis Miller. That failed combination lasted two years. In 2002 Monday Night Football saw Al Michaels and John Madden team up and they lasted until 2006 when ABC moved Monday Night Football to ESPN. Michaels and Madden then moved to NBC while ESPN went with Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser. Theismann and Kornheiser never clicked and Theismann was replaced by Ron Jaworski for the 2007 Monday Night Football season.
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