Monday Night FootballLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 11/29/18 at 7:15PM EST
Monday Night Football is too obsessed with itself and its former glory
Monday Night Football was a groundbreaking sports broadcast in the 1970s, thanks to Howard Cosell. But nowadays, ESPN is too busy living in Monday Night Football's glorious past, trying to turn the franchise into an event with needless innovations and halftime concerts -- like The Chainsmokers during last week's Rams-Chiefs game. "All of those efforts to recapture MNF’s magic failed, but that hasn’t stopped ESPN from continuously trying to doctor up ways to make the game as much of an EVENT as it was back in the 1970s. This is a show imprisoned by its own history," says Drew Magary. "They still have pictures of Cosell adorning the MNF production trucks. They still use the theme. They dragged Hank out of racist mothballs to sing his stupid f*cking song from the ’80s salad days. They still use ancient clips of Cosell slurring “He could go all the way” and 'What a game this turned out to be' and all that nonsense. They refer to Monday records as if they are hallowed... None of that has stopped ESPN from still trying desperately to make Monday Night Football a thing. In the process, they’ve in fact cheapened the product."
Posted Tuesday 11/20/18 at 1:24PM EST
Monday Night Football's historic game gets monster ratings, topping all primetime shows
The Kansas City Chiefs vs. Los Angeles Rams game, which was originally scheduled to be played in Mexico City, was moved to L.A. due to unsafe field conditions. That gave the Rams the chance to honor the victims of the recent Thousand Oaks shooting, which happened four miles from the team's practice facility, and the first responders from the Southern California wildfires. The crazy 54-51 game, the first in NFL history in which both teams topped 50 points, wreaked havoc on the networks' primetime schedules. ALSO: ESPN exposed for pretending a Mexico City Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant was "Alboa Bar."
Posted Tuesday 11/13/18 at 2:46PM EST
Monday Night Football's Mexico City playing field is a mess: Will next week's game be moved to Los Angeles?
Source: Yahoo! Sports
The 9-1 Los Angeles Rams and the 9-1 Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to meet next Monday in one of the most hotly anticipated NFL games of the season. Yet the field at Estadio Azteca is currently in terrible condition following a recent soccer game and Shakira concert, leading to concerns over player safety. The NFL may decide whether to move the game to Los Angeles, or proceed as planned in Mexico City. In the meantime, workers are installing new sod at the stadium while ESPN is reporting that several Rams and Chiefs players may refuse to play if it means risking their health. The Rams had to give up a home game to play an NFL International Series game in Mexico City as part of the agreement to allow the team to move from St. Louis to L.A. in 2016. UPDATE: NFL announces that next week's Monday Night Football game between the Rams and Chiefs will move from Mexico City to L.A. due to poor field conditions: The NFL said the field at Estadio Azteca "does not meet NFL standards for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday."
Posted Tuesday 10/30/18 at 6:44AM EDT
Monday Night Football modifies Booger McFarland's "BoogMobile" after backlash
Source: The Big Lead
The mobile unit, introduced this season, caused controversy because it blocked the view of paying customers with a large-screen TV set on the back. ESPN replaced the TV screen with a clear panel for Monday's game so it would be less obtrusive.
Posted Tuesday 10/23/18 at 2:36PM EDT
Monday Night Football's "BoogMobile" is ticking off NFL fans who attend games
Source: New York Post
Fans attending Monday Night Football games aren't happy with ESPN's decision this season to put new analyst Booger McFarland in a raised on-field mobile platform, nicknamed "BoogMobile," that blocks the crowd's view of the field.
Posted Tuesday 10/09/18 at 12:15PM EDT
Study: President Trump's effect on NFL ratings was "weak" -- quality of football is likely to blame for viewership decline
Source: USA Today
USA Today "dove into the numbers" to see why ratings for the NFL actually declined in recent years, and whether Colin Kaepernick and President Trump were really to blame. "We examined TV viewership for Sunday Night Football in 37 markets in 2016 and 2017," said USA Today. "The data, courtesy of Comscore, shows the percent of TVs in a market that were tuned to the big game. Then, we looked at how people in those places voted in the last Presidential election — plus a bunch of football factors. There was some evidence of a Trump effect. But it was, at best, weak. What really stood out was that people stuck with football if there was a 'football reason' to watch. The data show that quality football and home team loyalty drove the TV audience far more than political tribalism." The study also found that areas of high Trump support received bad football games, including Arizona, Indianapolis and Houston. ALSO: Network executives explain why NFL ratings are up 1% this year.
Posted Monday 9/24/18 at 9:40PM EDT
San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo being out for the season is a "primetime nightmare"
Source: The Big Lead
The hype generated late last season by the 49ers quarterback (and former Tom Brady backup) prompted the NFL to schedule the 49ers in primetime -- on Thursday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Sunday Night Football -- for four weeks over a five-week period starting in mid-October. With Garoppolo out for the season with a torn ACL, those primetime NFL games are likely to become ratings losers -- unless, perhaps, the 49ers re-sign Colin Kaepernick.
Posted Tuesday 9/18/18 at 10:47PM EDT
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards looked like the worst Emmys ever
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The 60th Primetime Emmy Awards 10 years ago featured the debacle of five reality TV hosts co-hosting, but this year's ceremony was much worse. "It was," says Tim Goodman, "the worst Emmys telecast I've ever seen. That's not hyperbole. (Maybe there was a telecast as bad when I was a teenager and wasn't paying attention?) It was lifeless, it was dull, it was poorly produced, terribly written and it had hosts who should not have been hosting (they aren't well-known enough and, last night, were not funny enough and not engaging enough). The pairing of presenters was ill-conceived. The material given them was pathetic. Nearly every 'bit' in the show imploded upon itself. The staging looked like it came from 1978. People looked like they didn't want to be there. The fact that the television industry, on a night when it is supposed to celebrate its own achievements, can't actually make a TV event that is interesting is really pathetic." Goodman blamed the Television Academy. "It needs more oversight," he says. "It can't just let Lorne Michaels and NBC take over the Emmys and bore the life out of the country.
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel's Amy Sherman-Palladino appears to be the first person to win the writing and directing Emmy in the same year
- ESPN boasts that Monday Night Football beat the Emmys -- even though MNF had its worst Week 2 ratings ever
- #OscarsSoWhite creator pushes for Emmys diversity: "How many non-Black people of color do you remember during @TheEmmys last night?"
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Barry stars won because Emmy voters love shows about show business
- Hannah Gadsby's brief appearance was a welcome detour from the pre-chewed and inoffensive banter of SNL
- Black-ish's Jenifer Lewis wore Nike on the red carpet to show her support for Colin Kaepernick
- Pre-taped categories robbed viewers of hearing celebrities mispronounce nominee names
- Angela Bassett responded to The New York Times mistaking her with Omarosa with an Olivia Pope GIF
# TOPICS: 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, ESPN, NBC, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Monday Night Football, Saturday Night Live, Amy Sherman-Palladino, Angela Bassett, Hannah Gadsby, Jenifer Lewis, Award Shows, NFL, Ratings
Posted Monday 9/10/18 at 8:51PM EDT
Monday Night Football paying tribute to Aretha Franklin
Source: USA Today
The Queen of Soul will be honored tonight with a two-minute video featuring Boyz II Men and Tori Kelly performing Franklin's "Rock Steady" at spots around Detroit.
Posted Wednesday 8/22/18 at 6:30PM EDT
President Trump launches a petition to urge "spineless" ESPN to play the National Anthem before Monday Night Football games
"I’m calling on you to join me in denouncing this SPINELESS surrender to the politically correct liberal mob," Trump said in a letter sent to his supporters. "I was the first person to sign this petition. Now I need you to follow my lead and be the second." As previously reported, ESPN and other NFL broadcasters rarely show the National Anthem before games.
Posted Tuesday 8/21/18 at 10:26PM EDT
President Trump slams ESPN for not broadcasting the National Anthem during Monday Night Football
Source: USA Today
ESPN, like other NFL broadcasters, usually doesn't show the National Anthem before NFL games. But Monday Night Football featured the anthem before three games last season: on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attack, when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his players in kneeling following the president's attack on players kneeling, and following the Las Vegas shooting massacre. On Tuesday night, while speaking at a West Virginia rally, Trump latched on to ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro's announcement last week that Monday Night Football won't show the anthem. “You’re proud of our country, you’re proud of our history, and unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag,” Trump said. “It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that.”
Posted Friday 8/17/18 at 1:55PM EDT
ESPN won't air the National Anthem during Monday Night Football
Source: NBC Sports
ESPN will avoid the National Anthem kneeling controversy this season by not showing the anthem. ESPN president James Pitaro said at today's media day: "We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don't think that will change this year. Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem .... again that could change. It's unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we're not. We have communicated that back to the NF. They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners we have let them know what our plans are."
Posted Thursday 8/16/18 at 10:40PM EDT
New Monday Night Football announcer Joe Tessitore credits Anthony Bourdain for helping revive his career
Source: The Ringer
In a profile of "the Frank Sinatra of the broadcast booth," Bryan Curtis explains how Tessitore -- who makes his NFL calling debut tonight -- changed his career trajectory thanks to Bourdain. "Eight years ago, when Tessitore felt his career was stagnating, he paid a visit to Anthony Bourdain’s New York production company," says Curtis. "Tessitore felt Bourdain was a role model. Here was a guy extracting his authentic self and putting it on TV. Watching Bourdain match his words to the pictures, Tessitore said, 'was the moment that all clicked.'" ALSO: New MNF sideline reporter Booger McFarland will work from a raised platform on the field.
Posted Monday 5/07/18 at 12:30PM EDT
ESPN adds Booger McFarland as Monday Night Football's first on-field analyst
Source: New York Post
The former NFL player will round out the MNF cast, joining Lisa Salters on the field as Joe Tessitore and Jason Witten work from the booth.
Posted Friday 5/04/18 at 1:46AM EDT
ESPN auditioned a slew of people for Monday Night Football before zeroing in on Jason Witten
Source: New York Post
Pro Football Hall of Famers Randy Moss and Kurt Warner were among the people who auditioned to be MNF's color analyst with new play-by-play announcer Joe Tessitore. ALSO: ESPN offer changed Witten's mind about playing for the Dallas Cowboys for a 16th season.