5 Things You Didn't Know About Monday Night Football

On September 21, 1970, football fans were thrilled to tune into the first NFL “Monday Night Football," which debuted on ABC. Here's are 5 interesting things you didn't know about "Monday Night Football"...


The First Televised Game Featured the Browns and the Jets The New York Jets, with their superstar quarterback Joe Namath, went head-to-head against the Cleveland Browns before television viewers and a live audience of about 80,000 cheering fans. The number of cameras normally used to cover a game was doubled, and sportscasters Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, and Keith Jackson were there to cover the plays. The Browns won the game 31 to 21, and “Monday Night Football” went on to become the longest running sports show in the history of television.

In 1999, Viewers Saw a Player Punt the Ball 83 Yards Jaguars fans were yelling themselves hoarse during the October 11 game between Jacksonville and the NY Jets when Jaguar Bryan Barker punted the football an incredible 83 yards. The punt was made from his team’s 5-yard line all the way to the 12-yard line of the Jets. That record still holds as the longest punt ever made.


One Team Didn’t Make it Onto “Monday Night Football” for Nearly 15 Years Because of injuries and changes in personnel, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had an embarrassing season in 1983 but played against the Green Bay Packers. The Packers won the game 12 to 9 in overtime, and the Buccaneers didn’t appear on “Monday Night Football” again until 1998. This was a game against the Detroit Lions, and the Buccs lost that one by a score of 27 to 6.

Two Football Records Were Telecast During One Game On December 11, 1989, in a game between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers, Joe Montana completed 30 out of 42 passes for a record 458 yards as well as three touchdowns. John Taylor, a wide receiver with the 49ers, broke a record with 11 catches that totaled 186 yards. A teammate of Taylor’s, Jerry Rice broke that record a few years later.

Only Two Quarterbacks Threw Passes for Five Touchdowns Live on “Monday Night Football” Although they were different games, Dave Krieg, a quarterback with the Seattle Seahawks, threw five touchdown passes in a game against the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988. Jim Kelly, a quarterback for the Buffalo Bills, threw five touchdown passes in 1991 in a game with the Cincinnati Bengals. Both the Seahawks and Bills won those games.