Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Last night, ABC aired its final episode of Monday Night Football. Monday Night Football will still continue, but it will be shown on ESPN next season (NBC will get the Sunday night game). Though it will still be shown, MNF will never be the same.
I tried explaining this to a female cousin over the holiday weekend and she didn't get it. This is mostly because she was completely shit-bombed at the time. Also, I've been sleeping about three hours a night as of late, so when I drink I'll have four beers and turn into Drunky McPassOut, meaning my powers of elocution have suffered.
But it's also it's just a difficult thing to explain. I won't try to either, because there's nothing I can say that hasn't been already said, either during the show last night or in this article. Also, I'm only 26 and have no knowledge of MNF pre-mid 80's, so I can't offer a proper retrospective. But it goes without saying that MNF was more than just another game. It was an event.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve MNF. For my birthday, probably when I turned 7 or 8, my dad got me a handheld black and white TV (kinda like this one, but much more primitive). My bedtime was 9:30, but every Monday night during football season I'd tune in to watch Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf and whatever two teams were battling it out. I can still see images from those MNF games in my head. I'd hid under the covers, the glow of my lil' TV emanating in the dark, watching those games until I fell asleep (usually with the TV on). I miss those nights, and I suppose by extension those better times.
[Actually, that's not true. At this point in my life, I have a good job, live it up in NYC, and am adored by tens, possibly dozens, of people. Back then, my parents were going through a terrible divorce, I was disregarded by many of my peers because I could do things like "read" and "multiply", and I beat up my brother almost daily so that he'd go to the store and use the food stamps that we had, since I was too embarrassed to use them. So strike the second half of that last sentence.]
[Thus concludes out Pity Party.]
The point is that last night I was genuinely moved, and I can't really explain why. MNF football is gone. Maybe I'm just delirious right now, what with all the painkillers coursing through me, but I am genuinely saddened by this. It's not like the loss in the "death of a loved one" sense, or even in the "friend moves away" sense. I think it's somewhere between "Princess Di is dead" sad and "The Ranch One by my work is closing" sad.
"What is the point of this post?" you might ask. Well, there is no point. I just wanted to give a lil' shout out to Monday Night Football. And I know it sounds strange, but I'd like to thank it for being there for me on all those Monday nights when I was a kid as I sat in my bed, watching it on my little TV, thinking I was the baddest dude in the world for secretly staying up late. Though I continued to watch it as an adult, it was just as big a part of my childhood as my GI Joes, wiffleball, cartoons, and the ice cream man with the HUGE veiney penis. And for that I am grateful.