The very first Monday Night Football game aired 42 years ago today - ESPN  Front Row

Hans Remembers- Monday September 21, 1970- 50 Years Ago.

  • 50 Years ago today- Monday Night Football made it’s debut on ABC- there were those within the league who thought this was a bad idea- but it turned out to be a genius move. The first game- the Cleveland Browns- this was your grandfather’s Cleveland Browns- not the pathetic franchise of the past couple decades- defeated the New York Jets 31-21. I didn’t get to see this game -we didn’t have cable yet in my hometown-and we couldn’t pick up the Pittsburgh ABC station- but I listening to the game on the radio. 2/3rds of the iconic Monday Night Football broadcasting booth were there in year one- Humble Howard Cosell, Dandy Don Meredith in year one the great Keith Jackson was also in the booth- to be replaced in year two by Faultless Frank Gifford. There have no been 718 Monday Night Football games-over the past 50 years. The hey-day of MNF- was the Cosell/ Meredith and Gifford years- when they were the show- especially the banter between Howard and Dandy Don.
  • Samantha Power English-Irish born U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 2013-2017-born in London.
  • Dying at the age of 85- Dorita Fairlie Bruce-British author of books for girls- creator of the Dimsie series.
  • Gong Peng- China’s first woman to direct a division -as head of the Bureau of Information- dead at 55.
  • The New York Times started the first modern op-ed page.
  • Vida Blue the sensational rookie for the Oakland A’s pitched a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins. Blue became the youngest pitcher to pitch a no-hitter since Paul Dean-who pitched a no-hitter 36 years earlier to the day.


  1. I can vividly recall watching the debut of MNF over at my buddy’s house who was a Jets fan. What I remember most was how nervous Don Meredith was as he stammered and stuttered over his words.

    • I can only think of two announcers who clearly didn’t do much preparing for their games- who still were able to pull it off- Dandy Don and doing basketball Al McGuire.

    • Yeah, Dandy Don went on to become a valuable asset to the MNF team with his comical ad libbing, but his opening night stage fright for the Browns-Jets game was something to behold. My immediate thought as a 14-year-old was that some ABC exec really goofed by selecting this amateur.

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