Like most people who watched last night's typically dull "Monday Night Football" finale, we enjoyed all the old clips from years past, the Howard Cosells, the Dandy Dons, the O.J. Simpsons, oh, how we loved the O.J. Simpsons. (And of course, Dennis Miller, whose "dark" sarcastic edge was wasted by "Monday Night Football" and is now being used, to much more caustic, revolutionary effect, in gripping NetZero commercials.)
But, really, it was just another clip package. To anyone who didn't happen to work for ABC, one had to wonder what the big deal was. Next year, the game is shifting to ESPN which, for people who remember when you had to turn the top dial to "U" so you could turn the bottom dial to stations larger than "13," is apparently some loss of innocence for the institution, shifting to pay cable and all. But the rest of us? "Monday Night Football" is not changing its day of the week, its time or its assured propensity for late season games; it's just changing a position on the dial. (Oh, and Joe Theismann will now be haunting games a night later.) The NFL opened the door to pay cable years ago, and hardcore NFL fans no longer feel the slightest bit inconvenienced. And we've always connected ABC and ESPN anyway. You didn't exactly fool us there.
People kept saying, "it'll never be the same." But why? The only difference between this year's "Monday Night Football" and next year's will be the announcing team. And MNF was more famous for shifting announcers than anything else. We do like the yellow sports jackets. But spare us if we don't get all teary eyed about, when you break it down, is just a company's shift of its money from one side of the paper to the other.
Monday Nightmare In ABC Finale [NY Daily News]