Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Are You Ready for Some Football?

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

As you may have heard by now, the NFL is shaking up Monday Night Football. Gone after 35 years is Monday Night Football on ABC. Coming in is MNF on ESPN and NBC is taking over Sunday Night Football. ESPN or no ESPN, Monday Night Football is dead. ESPN may have two revenue streams, allowing it to pay $1.1 billion, but it's going to seem no different from a Thursday night or any other weeknight football game.

MNF was a lot of fun with Howard Cosell and Dandy Don, and Al Michaels is the best play-by-play man in football. But over the years, MNF had lost its luster. For some reason, critics love to take every stab they can at it. Whether it was Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Easison, Brent Musberger, Chris Berman, Eric Dickerson, Lisa Guerrero, Dan Fouts, or Dennis Miller, nothing ever fit this perfect image of "Monday Night Football." Then we finally get the best team possible, with Michaels and John Madden, but people complained that the games weren't good enough. Our expectations for Monday Night Football were just too high.

Losing Monday Night Football on ABC is like the girlfriend you break up with, who's great in bed, but her personality has gone stale. The new MNF on ESPN could very well have Michaels and Madden, and it will be a solid viewing experience for the hardcore football fan, nothing more.

Support for LAist comes from

In the meantime, Sunday Night Football is now where it's at. NBC will get preference on games for the final seven weeks, and they'll broadcast the nation's most popular sport to the largest possible weekly audience. We expect Bob Costas to have a role on the new SNF, probably as play-by-play man. Expect NBC to make a play for Madden. If he doesn't come through, they might bring back Paul McGuire, and potentially add a third man. In the meantime, we feel horrible for Mike Patrick, an excellent broadcaster on ESPN's Sunday Night Football, who at the moment is left out in the cold. We're sure he'll find another great job though.