So total at the time was Cosell's saturation of culture that Irwin Weiner, an ABC Sports vice president for twenty years, once came up with a concept for a Saturday morning kids' series called "Monday Night Football: The Cartoon", one that would turn Cosell, Gifford and Meredith into animated characters. This isn't as bad an idea as it sounds, given the success of the Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" and the animation of Bill Cosby's "Fat Albert" and "The Harlem Globetrotters."

Weiner was told the first person he needed to get approval from was Cosell. Having never met him, Weiner swallowed hard and set up a meeting at Cosell's office. But he had barely begun to pitch the project when he was silenced.


"Young man," he was asked, "do you know whom you're speaking to? I am the biggest name in show business today. And you want to make a cartoon character out of me?"

—From Howard Cosell: The Man, The Myth and the Transformation of American Sports, by Mark Ribowsky

* * *

The following is an excerpt from the proposed pilot for Monday Night Football: The Cartoon:

Special thanks to Brian Musikoff of Manual Comics for his help in re-creating the long-lost animation cels from MNF: The Cartoon.

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Tom Scharpling is a staffer at The Classical. He is the host of The Best Show on WFMU and the music interview podcast Low Times. Follow him on Twitter @scharpling.

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