i A Time and a Place...: The End of an Era...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The End of an Era...

Monday Night Football...is off the air. The familiar saying,"That's a wrap," in this case, really is a wrap. Al Michaels announced last night that the end had come for Monday Night Football. A good reason for having the ABC Television Network on my TV lineup was getting to listen to Al Michaels and John Maddens' reparte. If a couple of men have ever been skilled as chatterers, it is Al and John!
And who didn't enjoy listening to Dandy Don Meredith and Frank Gifford. And then, there was Howard Cosell, the king of fling!

And, of course, Hank Williams, Junior helped make Monday Night Football more enjoyable with his, "Are you ready for some football?" Not all people approved when Hank first shouted/sang that now famous phrase.

A St. Petersburg Times article asked, "What's with this Hank Williams Jr. opening each and every show with a bunch of apparently semi-soused yahoos yelping in the background?"
Semi-soused, maybe, and yelping yahoos for sure but after that fateful day in 1989 when Hank first asked the question, "Are you ready for some football?" who of us didn't listen for it expectantly each Monday just as the game was ready to start? And, by the way,after that day, whoever heard of that St. Petersburg Times reporter again? No one that I know of!

Eras come and eras go. I can attest to that. Who else remembers from 1948 to 1955, CBS' boxing show, "The Pabst Blue Ribbon Bouts are on the air!?"..."What'll you have,-Pabst Blue Ribbon...Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer."

Or, about the same time, NBC's "Gillette Cavalcade of Sports,"- "Look sharp,...feel sharp,...be sharp..." with a Gillette Razor.
"And, the Friday Night Fights are on the air!"

Then, maybe the most famous spot of all, ABC's, "Wide World of Sports," with announcer extraordinaire, Jim McKay.

..."The Thrill of Victory,...the Agony of Defeat." It would be impossible to hear that phrase without thinking of Jim McKay and the Wide World of Sports.
And what a thrill it was to watch as the program unfolded!

Maybe this is the end of an era. I don't know of a program now that has me anxiously waiting for the 'intro' to the show; at least not a sports program.

About the nearest thing to it is Michael Buffer announcing, "Let's get ready to rumble," before a big fight. But that's a few and far between thing.

A lot has changed from the days when things like, "Mr. District Attorney; Champion of Justice, defender of human rights..." etc, and, "Return with us, now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear; when out of the past come the hoofbeats of the great horse, Silver...The Lone Ranger Rides Again," rang through the airwaves.

There are many more programs, radio programs as well as TV shows that spark memories. The radio shows were the most memorable because they made us 'live' the stories in our minds.

For the kids there was, "Let's Pretend," and, "I'm Buster Brown, I live in a shoe; that's my dog, Tyge, look for him in there, too," with (sproingoing) Froggy the Gremlin.

And for the girls there was, Stella Dallas and Ma Perkins, to laugh and cry with and Young Doctor Malone to ease the pain, and many others.

Those days are gone forever, I'm sorry to say. But now we have, "Law and Order," and the Simpsons.(I have yet to watch a Simpson program all the way through) Sadly, I can't now remember hurrying home to catch a 'favorite' show on TV. And the radio is strictly for traveling.

I guess this is for sure the end of an era.I think the monday night game may be on an espn channel beginning next year but don't take that as fact. If so, I hope Al and John are there, too.-and Hank.

You know, there is one thing about the end of Monday Night Football as it was; Now there is no good reason for me to have the ABC Network on my TV lineup!



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