HOWARD COSELL BREAKING THE NEWS ABOUT JOHN LENNON’S ASSASSINATION ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 11.8.1980

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I was watching the Monday Night Football game. It was a big game because my Steelers were fighting for a playoff spot [they wouldn’t get it- the dynasty was over} I can’t even remember who it was that we needed to win/lose in this game. It was late in the game and the news of John Lennon’s assassination broke during the game. This is still painful for me to hear 40 years later. This is the moment my childhood ended. I still think of it as one of the most devastating moments of my life. I love The Beatles and John Lennon was/is my favourite Beatle. I was going through the worst period in my life. I had just turned 20 and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with my life. This just made my depression worse. The entire winter would seem like one long day that would never end. I still can’t understand why anyone would want to kill John Lennon.

An interesting story on this. Howard Cosell was the greatest sports television journalist ever in my opinion. He was someone you loved or hated, sometimes someone you loved and hated. The story is they got the news in the booth during a commercial. Howard was hesitant on announcing it. Frank Gifford told him that we have to go with this story. Howard usually had great instincts for a story, but it was Frank who made the right call on this one.

6 responses to “HOWARD COSELL BREAKING THE NEWS ABOUT JOHN LENNON’S ASSASSINATION ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL 11.8.1980

  1. I usually would watched Monday Night Football at that time but on this night I didn’t because I was recording some radio program in my room.

    I don’t know why Cosell hesitated on this… the man did a lot of things but hesitating wasn’t one of them.

    • and Howard had a nose for news and big news this was. A lot of folks liked to poke fun at Frank -but he had the right instincts that night.

  2. Wow, I remember reading that story before! As I commented a few minutes ago on Max’s blog, while I was sad about John Lennon’s death, I wasn’t devastated. I think age had something to do with it and that I was still relatively early in my proactive music journey.

    I was 14 years at the time and much more into The Beatles than anything John, Paul, George or Ringo had done thereafter. I only started exploring their solo work later in my teens. Had The Beatles still been together when John was murdered, I think his death would have had a much bigger impact on me.

    • I had led a charmed life up until that point. I was 20- but had never had anyone close to me die- my grandparents were all still living- my parents – even though I had never met him of course- it was like a member of the family dying to me. I was in a bad funk for months. I’d still now at 60 rank it on my Mount Rushmore of Bad Days or whatever you’d list it as. No other celebrity passing has come close to it- maybe because of the tragic way in which he died.

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