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This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. November Learn how and when to remove this template message To avoid any scheduling unfairness where, just before the first playoff game, a team may have five days off and others six, there is no Monday night game during the final week of the regular season.
From to , one game was played on Thursday and another Monday under the Monday Night Football banner. Starting in , when the series moved to cable, two games are played on the opening Monday night to capitalize on fan interest during " NFL Kickoff Weekend ". Monday night games early in the season are often highly anticipated since records are new, teams usually are showcasing fresh talent and potential, and storylines coming into the season are often played out as fans try to see if these hyped teams are up to form.
Since no one knows during the first month of the season if a team is indeed good, or will rebound from a difficult start, interest is usually high for the first few weeks of the MNF season. Since the MNF schedule is set in April and cannot be changed, the league and network cannot guarantee a late season matchup will have any significance or be highly anticipated.
Teams thought to be good during the off-season could be out of playoff contention by the middle of the season; a prime example occurred in , when the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons both entered the season's final MNF game with 4—11 records.
It had seemed like a good pre-season matchup since the Falcons had played in the previous season's Super Bowl and the 49ers coming into the season had posted 16 consecutive win seasons. It is also possible for a team like the St.
Louis Rams not to be scheduled for a Monday night game because of its dismal record the year before, and many other NFL teams such as the San Diego Chargers, with zero primetime games have had huge unforeseen turnarounds that result in lack of MNF attention these teams generally receive multiple MNF spots the year after their breakout success, which is great for viewers if those teams continue to play well, and not so great if they return to mediocrity or worse.
However, the forecasting abilities of the NFL's scheduling officials have exhibited uncanny proficiency. Many MNF games occurring later in the season feature at least one team that is either headed to the playoffs or must win the MNF game to clinch a playoff spot.
The problem of having a national spotlight game which during the season's most critical weeks late in the year probably would not show the most important game of the week was long known by the league and network. As a result of this, the NFL wished to move the "Game of the Week" idea to Sunday nights as to make flex scheduling possible.
The league currently has no interest in expanding flexible scheduling to include Monday Night Football, citing the logistical issues of moving games back and forth between Sundays and Mondays. Franchises with the most appearances[ edit ] The franchise with the most Monday night appearances is the Miami Dolphins.
The most common Monday Night Football pairings are Broncos vs. Raiders 19 times as of [a] and Cowboys vs. Redskins 17 match-ups as of The defunct Candlestick Park in San Francisco currently holds the record for hosting the most Monday Night Football games, including its 36th and final Monday night game on December 23, Among the active stadiums following the conclusion of the season, Miami Gardens, Florida 's Hard Rock Stadium has hosted the most games with In addition to the extra cameras, the program has also pioneered technological broadcast innovations, such as the use of enhanced slow motion replays and computerized graphics.
The December 9, contest featured a rare instance of two celebrities entering the booth, with Lennon being interviewed by Howard Cosell and California governor Ronald Reagan speaking with Frank Gifford , with Reagan explaining the rules of American football off-camera to Lennon as the game went along.
However, the late s and early s saw an even more increased reliance on the entertainment factor. Some halftime shows, featuring popular music stars, were broadcast in their entirety rather than being ignored in favor of analysis of the game by the commentators, as in previous seasons.
Monday Night Football was the first national broadcast to announce his death. It was during one of these teases that Barack Obama spoofed his announcement for the Presidential candidacy in favor of his hometown Chicago Bears in their game against the St.
Louis Rams. It features computer-generated imagery showing a city being transformed into a football stadium and passers-by on the street turning into players, coaches, fans and officials set to an updated orchestral treatment of the "Heavy Action" theme song. The sequence began every week with a different celebrity walking down the street, picking up a glowing football helmet with the ESPN logo on the side and saying, "I'm ready for some football!
Are you? Williams Jr.
The Syndicate's computer-generated tease was dropped and replaced by short pre-taped films focusing on a team or player in the game. Some of them have featured actor Jamie Foxx. The guest visits continued: Barkley returned to the booth on September 17 in Philadelphia. In addition, Gordon was a halftime guest on the game just before the season-ending Ford and was joined by teammate Jimmie Johnson.
At the end of each game, Williams returned to say, "See you in city that is the site of the next week's game.
This time, the opening sequence was set in a private residence. At the end of the song, Williams Jr. The helmets were launched from the home toward the stadium at which the game was held.
Through computer-generated imagery, the helmets "land" at midfield during a live shot, and then explode. The "exploding helmets" gimmick was also used at various times in the s and s during the pre-game tease. ESPN also continued to promote upcoming albums through its use in bumper music.
Monday Night Football celebrated its th game broadcast on October 20, in a game which the New England Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos , 41—7. The transition to Williams Jr. As with the previous season as mentioned above , the helmets "land" at midfield during a live shot and then crashed into each other.
After that, the picture was freezeframed and the shot zoomed out to the book, which showed the freezeframed picture as part of a page.
As this happened, the NFL end-of-game bumper music was played and the book closed, revealing a golden NFL logo on the back cover and signifying the end of the "chapter", or game. The scene was filmed in the summer of at The Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee.
Before Williams Jr. The telecast ended with a vignette that featured Gifford taking a look back at highlights from the previous four decades — and the 40th season — of MNF, after which the book closed, signifying the end of the season. This time, Williams Jr. In one other minor difference, the chapter numbers in the "book" were changed from Roman to Arabic numerals.
Gifford provided new vignettes and the Parthenon scenes were repeated from the year before. The season marked Williams' 22nd as part of the telecast's open. In an unusual coincidence, both games which had the New York Jets as a home team at New Meadowlands Stadium now MetLife Stadium were delayed because of heavy rain and lightning in the area.
In the first instance, the September 13 game against the Baltimore Ravens , it was delayed 25 minutes; the second delay, prior to the October 11 contest against the Minnesota Vikings , lasted for 40 minutes.
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