From Pine View Farm

End of a Sports Era 0

ABC says good-bye to Monday Night Football.

I used to watch a lot of football. When I was growing up, my brother and I would watch the college game on ABC on Saturdays and two pro games on Sundays. On Sundays, my father would join us in watching the pros. If was before the blackout rule–there would be four games on–two NFL games and two AFL games.

We had our own teams. I rooted for the Colts back in the Unitas days, before Irsay sneaked them out of Baltimore in the dead of night. (Trivia question: What’s the difference between George Steinbrenner and Robert Irsay? Steinbrenner is smart.)

In the AFL (this was before the merger) we rooted for the Jets in the glory days of Joe Namath, whose coach had also coached Unitas with the Colts.

Later, when I lived in the Washington area, I gradually got sucked into rooting for the Redskins, once that colossal jerk, George Allen, was no longer their coach. Those were good times. We’d watch the game on television and listen to it on radio, where commentary was provided by Frank Herzog (a local sportscaster), Sam Huff, and Sonny Jurgenson. I think everyone in the Washington area turned down the television and listened to Frank, Sam, and Sonny.

Of course, given where I live now, all I hear about is the Philadelphia Eagles. Every team I have ever rooted for has had me rooting against the Eagles. Nothing has changed that, though I did manage to root for them in the last Super Bowl.

But it ain’t the same.

I don’t watch much football any more, except for the New Year’s Day college bowl games and, natch, the Super Bowl.

Too many steroids, too packaged, too machine-like, too–hmmm, not sure of the word–perfect?

In the Olde Days, players from opposing teams would help each other up after a hit, shake each other’s hands after a game, and conduct themselves in victory or defeat, on or off the field, in a sportsmanlike manner.

And, in the Olde Days, quarterbacks were smart enough to call their own plays.

It’s too mechanized and not much fun any more.


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