Monday Night Football – a family tradition
Monday Night Football has been an American institution for over 40 years. It was a groundbreaking innovation in the worlds of sports and television. Part of its success is the populariity of the game itself, which became as popular as it is today partly because of Monday Night Football. And, in today’s world of televised sport supersaturation, its continued popularity is a tribute to the the quality of play in today’s NFL.
Monday’s game featuring New Orleans and Atlanta didn’t have the late-season tension of the winner advancing to the post season and the loser being forced to wait for better days. This was a matchup of two quality organizations and teams, both lead by terrific quarterbacks, and both already headed for the playoffs.
The added feature was the promise of the all-time single-season passing yardage record, a record that had stood for more than a quarter century, being broken, not by a quarterback widely considered the best in the game, but mearly one of the best.
At halftime, it seemed a foregone conclusion that Saints quarterback Drew Brees would take Dan Marino’s record with ease. But as the third quarter turned well into the fourth quarter, the remaining 30 passing yards needed looked like they might roll over to the Saints’ final game next Sunday.
One of the joys for me and my MNF experiences has been the countless games watched with family. That was especially true in the early years, starting with the very first MNF broadcast. I watched Joe Willie Namath and the Jets on that September evening with my parents and my brother.
So when Drew Brees hit Darren Sproles for a touchdown in the waining moments of the fourth quarter, it was like old times. Watching the telecast with my wife and my brother and his family, the
record-setting completion was met with an explosion of sound from the family room that seemed for the moment as loud as the Louisiana Superdome itself.
Part of that was fueled by the fact that my brother’s family are all Saints fans. But part was also fueled by the family setting itself — after a great home-cooked meal, we settled in for the evening to participate in that great American tradition that is also a great family tradition.
And we got to witness the record, which tasted as good as the icing on that home-made red velvet cake I had for dessert.