Turn out the lights, the party’s over.

(ESPN) After 36 years on ABC, the television phenomenon known as “Monday Night Football” concluded its network run with a game between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets.

The best highlights, however, were provided not by players in helmets and pads — but characters in yellow blazers and outdated hairdos, talking into ancient microphones and chomping cigars. The broadcast started with — who else? — the most recognizable voice in “Monday Night Football” history:

Howard Cosell.

Thus began what would be an ongoing highlight reel. All throughout the broadcast, ABC sprinkled in bits of footage that defined the show through the years, from Cosell’s outrageous pontificating to Don Meredith’s drawling serenades. Meredith and Frank Gifford helped play-by-play announcer Al Michaels with the opener, which closed with a twist on the program’s signature motto:

“And now for those of us lucky enough to have represented [series creator] Roone Arledge’s original inspiration over the years, there’s only one thing left to say,” Michaels said.

So Don Meredith asked one last time…

“Are you ready for some football?”

The list of announcers throughout the years:

1970: Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, Don Merideth

1971-1973: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Merideth

1974: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Fred Williamson

1974-1976: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Alex Karras

1977-1979: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Merideth

1979-1982: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell,Don Merideth, Fran Tarkenton

1983: Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Merideth

1983-1984: Frank Gifford, Don Merideth, O.J. Simpson

1985: Frank Gifford, Joe Namath, O.J. Simpson

1986: Frank Gifford, Al Michaels

1987-1997: Frank Gifford, Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf

1998: Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason

1999-2001: Al Michaels, Dennis Miller, Boomer Esiason

2001-2002: Al Michaels, Dennis Miller, John Madden

2002-2003: Al Michaels, John Madden
2003-2004: Al Michaels, John Madden
2004-2005: Al Michaels, John Madden

Posted on December 27, 2005, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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