Thursday, November 10, 2022

1975: NFL Monday Night Football

After getting Cardinals over Eagles on Channel 12 and Colts over Bills and then Dolphins over Jets on Channel 6 on Sunday afternoon, now we have Cowboys at Chiefs on Channel 3 on Monday night to close Week 8 action in the National Football League. But, in fact, I'm not optimistic about getting to watch much of tonight's game given the short-fuse deadline on this writing assignment from Frank Gifford ...

Here are the previous and future 1975 reports.


  1. I wonder who in Winona, Minnesota, had the gig of judging these 500-to-750-word essays on "the NFL's role in American history." Maybe Winona Ryder's parents.

  2. Howard Cosell can sure get a fella fired up! It's clean-cut Roger Staubach against curly-haired, bearded Mike Livingston, who actually looks a good bit like Mike Stivic over on Channel 12.

  3. The Chiefs are 3-4 under their second-ever head coach, Paul Wiggin. Kansas City lost its first three games of NFL75, won its second three and lost last week. Frank tells us he's a "fine, young coach." Alex Karras, however, adds that he was a dirty player, having once sat on him during a game in the 1960s.

    1. "Spat" on Karras, not "sat" on him. He brought it up a couple of more times during the broadcast, and Alex is clearly saying "spat." Which makes a lot more sense, given the "dirty player" label.

  4. The Cowboys are 5-2 and remain under their first-ever head coach, Tom Landry. Dallas has 12 rookies on its roster--"more than any other contender," Frank says.

  5. This game is being contested at 65,675-seat Texas Stadium in Irving--the Cowboys' home field since moving out of the Cotton Bowl in October 1971. Howard notes that his and Frank's former co-host, Don Meredith, described Texas Stadium as "typically Texan. They built it, but they didn't finish it--they left a hole in it."

  6. On Kansas City's first possession, Ed Podolak sprints through a huge hole opened by the Chiefs' line, is smashed on either side by Harvey Martin and Benny Barnes and emits the football. Dallas recovers the fumble just on the K.C. side of the 50, and now the Cowboys are gashing through the Chiefs' defense with runs by Doug Dennison and Robert Newhouse. Dallas faces a third-and-inches inside the Kansas City 1 ...

  7. Staubach bobbles a handoff to Dennison, and Emmitt Thomas pounces on the loose ball.

  8. Kansas City can't get anything going, and Jerrel Wilson's heavily pressured punt from the back of the end zone shanks out of bounds around the 30. I think we might have a roughing call, but now here's Joe Dimaggio for Mr. Coffee, "the greatest coffee-brewing system ever." I once had a Mr. Coffee, and it did a great job. I'm getting pretty close to needing a new coffee maker, so I might go back to a Mr. Coffee. Thanks for the reminder, Joltin' Joe!

  9. The penalty was on Kansas City, and Dallas declined.

  10. Dallas's possession stalls, and then Kansas City BLOCKS a field-goal try. We have about eight minutes to go in the first quarter and no score in Texas Stadium.


  11. Now Kansas City's drive stalls as Ed Jones flattens a Chief offensive lineman, hurdles him and then leaps to swat Livingston's third-down pass from midfield out of bounds. "He's going to be a great one," Alex says of "Too Tall," pointing out, however, that Jones would be quicker to the quarter if he would take shorter steps than his typical long strides.

    Interesting! I very much enjoy Alex Karras. He was great in the CBS made-for-TV movie about Babe Didrikson Zaharis a few weeks ago. Susan Clark and him made a very convincing couple.

  12. 3-0, Chiefs, still in the first quarter after a 51-yard Jan Stenerud field goal.

  13. And now here's a few words from Willie Lanier for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

  14. Staubach, 33, looks past his prime. He flubbed that handoff. Even when he's completing passes, they are off-target enough that his receivers are not in position to much advance the ball. He appears to be befuddled by Kansas City's pass rush and secondary defense, and, scrambling out of the pocket a couple of plays ago, the Heisman Trophy winner of 12 years ago was caught from behind by a Chiefs defensive lineman. Now he's doubled over in pain after he barely made the corner of the end zone on what appeared to be a wide-open bootleg brilliantly called by Landry.

    I wonder how close Landry is to turning in his youth overhaul to Clint Longley, his second-year reserve quarterback who starred in Dallas's Thanksgiving win over Washington in NFL74.

  15. Well, now here's Danny Thomas for Norelco coffee makers, and this gives me pause for my Christmas22 shopping-list considerations. "Take a tip from Danny boy--if you compare like I do, you will buy a Norelco coffee maker."

    Danny Thomas was an original owner of the Miami Dolphins, so he makes a good point.

  16. After the Dallas touchdown, Kansas City fumbles the ensuing kickoff. But ol' Roger fails to get anything going, and the Cowboys settle for a field goal as Texas Stadium boos disapproval on the 10-3 Dallas advantage.

  17. Frank tempts us with the scheduled guest list for this week's Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell (7 p.m. Central on Channel 3), including Andy Williams, Norm Crosby and "one of the most outstanding acrobatic groups in the entire world, if not the most outstanding," the Chinese Acrobats of Taiwan.

  18. Meanwhile, the original episodes of the other new Saturday Night, the one at 11 p.m. Central on Channel 6, are available in full on Peacock, and I've been watching those. They are uneven shows, of course, but they are very often fantastic. There was an amazing conversation between Candice Bergen and Gilda Radner last week about the Equal Rights Amendment, civic participation and media consumption. It's really neat to see Lorne Michaels figuring out what he's doing in real time.

  19. Oh, my gosh, in the five days since I posted the link to the full broadcast of this NFL Monday Night Football episode, the YouTube user has been banished!

    "This video is no longer available because the YouTube account associated with this video has been terminated."

  20. I got through a lot of the game Saturday. I wasn't in position to post, but I'd taken some notes for continuing this thread this week:

    Cosell says that Jim Braxton has a tendency to fumble. Is that true? ... Doug Denison, as well?… John Matuszak can’t tackle, Alex says. Is that true?

    MacArthur Lane fumbles, and then Doug Denison fumbles, and John Matuszak recovers for a touchdown. So now it’s 10 to 10 about midway through the second quarter. If Landry sees Tony Dorsett on TV some Saturday, Doug Denison might be written out of his second half of his 70s plan for the Cowboys.

  21. One more:

    Frank says Emmitt Thomas makes big plays but allows them, too--true?

  22. I was listening to this video on my phone Saturday while I drove from Dawson Springs, through Princeton and Draffenville and on to Briensburg. What a glorious age it is in which we live!

  23. The Chiefs ended up leading, 24-17, at halftime, and then winning, 34-31, as Dallas committed seven turnovers--at least two of them being Dennison fumbles. By the middle of the week following, Landry is sticking up for Dennison in press conferences, noting that the first fumble did not appear to be the running back's faul. (Nonetheless, I bet Landry is going to be setting an alarm on his phone to watch the Saturday, Nov. 22, Pitt-Penn State game on Channel 3 and see what all the hubbub is about this Dorsett dude.)

  24. In any event, the Cowboys seem to be a pretender in NFL75—in a limbo between old, fading hands like Staubach and this bumper crop of promising rookies. Paul Wiggin and Mike Livingston, meanwhile, appear to have the Chiefs back on the bubble of contention in the AFC. Here are the NFL75 standings through Week 8:

    AFC East
    Dolphins 7-1
    Bills 5-3
    Colts 4-4
    Patriots 3-5
    Jets 2-6

    AFC Central
    Steelers 7-1
    Bengals 7-1
    Oilers 6-2
    Browns 0-8

    AFC West
    Raiders 6-2
    Chiefs 4-4
    Broncos 3-5
    Chargers 0-8

    NFC East
    Redskins 6-2
    Cardinals 6-2
    Cowboys 5-3
    Giants 3-5
    Eagles 1-7

    NFC Central
    Vikings 8-0
    Lions 5-3
    Bears 2-6
    Packers 1-7

    NFC West
    Rams 6-2
    49ers 3-5
    Saints 2-6
    Falcons 2-6

  25. In conclusion, I do want to say that I'm sorry to the generous user who posted that wonderful full broadcast. I apologize for getting you thrown in YouTube jail.

  26. And, as a postscript, even at the risk of outing "Classic Sports," I commend to you this condensed video of the Chiefs' win and call to attention just how infrequently we hear Cosell in this version. There's a lot of joshing about Cosell's constant babble throughout MNF, but, as this shortened video shows, he really stays out of Gifford's lane. Almost every play, Howard remains silent throughout Frank's play-by-play and waits his turn to add his mustard to the hot dog. If anyone steps on anyone else's line, it tends to be newcomer Karras, whom I think is going to be excellent with experience. Gifford and especially Cosell already are old pros.