With the New England-New York Jets game tonight comes the end of a broadcasting era on ABC-TV.
Monday Night Football, as we've known it for the past...36...seasons...is leaving over-the-air television (being shifted to Disney's ESPN next season).
These days it's really no big deal. But there was a time when MNF drew fans and non-fans alike to the set, back to a time when there were only three channels available in a lot of areas. Folks used to tune in for the antics of Frank Gifford, How-wud Coh-sell and Dandy Don Mererdith even more than for the game they were broadcasting.
These days its just another game among the dozens in different sports available every week. Still, it's a milestone worthy of note.
Keith Jackson was the first play by play guy in 1970...Gifford came in the next season.
Among other guys in the booth between those days and the current Al Michaels and John Madden...
Fred "The Hammer" Williamson, Joe Namath, O.J. Simpson, and Dan Dierdorf...Dennis Miller...( I think Alex Karras was on for a year or two)...
But for those of us who have watched from the very first night when the Browns beat the Jets in Cleveland, MNF will always mean Gifford, Cosell, and Dandy Don.
About the title of this thread? Each week, when the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt, Meredith would croon the words of a Willie Nelson tune in his own inimitable voice...
"Turn out the liiiiights...the party's over...they say that awwlll...good things must end..."
P.S. Nice job by MNF on the retrospective pieces in its final telecast.