5 Facts About Monday Night Football


Since the 1970 NFL season, Monday Night Football has been one of the premiere broadcasts in all of sports. Now that the NFL season is finally here, so here are five fun facts about Monday Night Football.

5 Monday Night Football Facts

    1. The most watched Monday Night Football game ever happened in 1985. (source) It was in the 1985 NFL season that the highest rated Monday Night Football game ever went down. The Chicago Bears had been dominating the National Football League that season, and would eventually go on to win the Super Bowl that year. However, late in the season when the Bears sat atop the league with a 12-0 record, they were set to face the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football from the Orange Bowl in Miami. The Dolphins upset the Bears 38-24 to end Chicago’s undefeated season. Today, it remains the most watched Monday Night Football game ever, with a 29.6 television rating and a 46 share.
    1. The first ever Monday Night Football game saw the New York Jets against the Cleveland Browns in 1970. (source) The Browns won the game by a score of 31-21 in front of more than 85,000 fans at Cleveland Stadium. In its infancy, Monday Night Football aired exclusively on ABC, and the deal between ABC and the NFL was for $8.5 million for that inaugural season. Adjusted for inflation, that deal for the first year of Monday Night Football would have been worth $56.9 million today!
    1. In the first 30 seasons of Monday Night Football (1970-1999), the Cardinals won the fewest games. (source) During the first thirty years of Monday Night Football, the Cardinals posted an overall record of 5-10-1. The franchise’s five total wins was the fewest in the National Football League during that span, just slightly below the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons (both with six victories) and the Cincinnati Bengals (with seven wins).
    1. Monday Night Football broke the news of John Lennon’s murder. (source) It was on December 8, 1980 that world famous musician John Lennon was murdered in New York. It was Monday Night Football announcer Howard Cosell who first broke the news to a national audience during a game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. Cosell said, “We have to say it. Remember, this is just a football game. No matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City. John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City, the most famous, perhaps of all of the Beatles, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital, dead on arrival. Hard to go back to the game after that news flash.”
    1. The highest scoring Monday Night Football game ever happened in 2018. (source) In Week 11 of the 2018 NFL Season, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Los Angeles Rams put on a show in Los Angeles. In what was the highest scoring Monday Night Football game ever, the Los Angeles Rams defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 54-51. Both starting quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff combined for an outstanding ten touchdown passes. Following this game, the Rams would eventually go on to the Super Bowl that season.

The history of Monday Night Football now spans more than 50 years! What are some of your favorite games from Monday Night Football’s storied history?

Featured image photo credit: Eric Drost, 2015. Originally found on Wikimedia. Image was resized and cropped. Creative Commons 2.0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *