The past month and today’s papers especially, have been filled with eulogies for ABC’s “Monday Night Football“, which comes to the end of its 35 year run on the network with tonight’s meaningless Patriots/Jets game at 9pm Eastern.
(believe it or not, this wasn’t even close to the worst thing John Turturro’s ever been in)
Sorry to diminsh the historical significance of said event, but MNF is merely moving from one Disney property (ABC) to another (ESPN) next season. Whether or not these primetime telecasts will ever again be part of the mainstream cultural fabric is, I suspect, down to the quality of the games on offer and has less to do with what network they appear on. That the terrestrial broadcasters reach more homes than basic cable is not something I wish to dispute, but ESPN is hardly the Outdoor Life Network. Or even the ESPN of 1995.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir ushers ABC out the door by forcing Joe Theismann to finally watch the replay of Lawrence Taylor breaking his leg. And if Joe watched it 10 times, that’s about a thousand times fewer than Kathy Lee Crosby’s seen the tape.