Monday Night Countdown
|Monday Night Countdown|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||120 min.|
|Original network||ESPN (1993–present)|
|Original release||September 6, 1993 (as NFL Prime Monday) – Present|
Monday Night Countdown, which debuted in 1993 on ESPN, is a television program featuring analysis and news on that night's NFL match to be broadcast on ESPN. The show was originally titled NFL Prime Monday from 1993-97 before it was renamed Monday Night Countdown in 1998. The official name of the show is Monday Night Countdown served by Applebee's. The show's previous sponsor was UPS.
When it debuted, it was one of the first cross-pollinations between ESPN and ABC Sports, which each largely operated under separate management at the time.
Monday Night Football on ABC era
The show was initially hosted by Mike Tirico along with analysts Joe Theismann, Craig James, Phil Simms and Ron Jaworski. Mike Ditka also discusses certain topics and Chris Mortensen brings news and rumors from around the league. John Clayton is also a regular guest on the show. Former presenters include Mike Tirico, Bill Parcells, Michael Irvin, and Sterling Sharpe. During the 2005 season, it enjoyed its best ratings ever and was the highest-rated studio sports show on cable television. On occasion, the crew appeared on-site at the game, but for the most part the show is aired from the studios in Bristol, Connecticut.
Monday Night Football moves to ESPN
In 2006, the show began appearing at the Monday Night Football site live as the game moved to ESPN from ABC. Stuart Scott moved to host of NFL Primetime which precedes Monday Night Countdown and Chris Berman moved from NFL Primetime to Monday Night Countdown and was joined by returning analysts Tom Jackson and Michael Irvin along with new analyst from Sunday NFL Countdown Steve Young. Ron Jaworski also contributed to the show along with Chris Mortensen, Ed Werder and Sal Paolantonio. Also, in 2006 Monday Night Countdown introduced a new logo and new graphics as part of The Syndicate's new NFL package for ESPN. In the same fashion as all ESPN NFL studio shows, Monday Night Countdown adopted ABC's alternate football musical theme, though presented as a shuffle.
Beginning with the 2007, the show cutback its onsite presence by having its main anchor team at ESPN studio's in Bristol, but still kept a set at the actual game site.
On September 17, 2012, Monday Night Countdown moved up to the 6:30 ET timeslot and expanded to 2 hours. As a result, SportsCenter Monday Kickoff had its runtime cut in half, from 60 minutes to 30 minutes only. Additionally, Monday Night Countdown debuted a new program logo that closely resembles that of Monday Night Football and a new graphics scheme package matching that of Monday Night Football. Also, Monday Night Countdown began using MNF's "Heavy Action" theme music as this program's own theme music.
Ray Lewis is added to the on-site team after his retirement from the NFL in 2012.
On December 23, 2013, the final scheduled Monday Night Football broadcast of that season, Chris Berman was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco covering the 49ers' final home game in that stadium, while Stuart Scott was at ESPN's Bristol studios. The 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons, 34-24, in the MNF season finale. That game was also the 36th and final Monday Night Football game — and the last NFL game — ever played at Candlestick Park.
On September 8, 2014, Monday Night Countdown moved to a brand-new set inside Digital Center 2 of ESPN's Bristol studios, which shares the same set as Sunday NFL Countdown and NFL Primetime. However, the Monday Night Football graphics package is still used, but the rundown graphic was changed to match the one used on SportsCenter. 1 week later (September 15, 2014), Monday Night Countdown moved up to the 6:00 p.m. ET timeslot, which resulted in SportsCenter Monday Kickoff not returning for the 2014 season and moving the 6:00 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter to ESPN2 on Mondays during the NFL season.
Suzy Kolber, who substituted for the then-ailing Stuart Scott during most of the 2014 season, took over Scott's role permanently as an on-site host. She was previously a sideline reporter for Monday Night Football from 2006-2010. Additionally, Monday Night Countdown debuted a new logo resembling its other NFL-themed studio-show properties, along with a new graphics package that is also used for MNF.
With the exception of Chris Berman (who remained in the Bristol studio), the entire Monday Night Countdown crew were moved to the Monday Night Football game site, joining on-site host Suzy Kolber. Meanwhile, Berman is joined in the Bristol studio each week by former analysts who had previously worked at ESPN. However, Berman and the Countdown crew did the show on November 21 from Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.
This is a list of personalities that currently or formerly appeared on Monday Night Countdown.
- Suzy Kolber: (Host, 2015–present)
- Steve Young (Analyst, 2006–present)
- Trent Dilfer: (Analyst, 2011–present)
- Matt Hasselbeck: (Analyst, 2016–present)
- Randy Moss: (Analyst, 2016–present)
- Charles Woodson: (Analyst, 2016–present)
- Chris Berman: (Host, 2006–2016)
- Sal Paolantonio: (Contributor, 2006–present)
- Ed Werder: (Contributor, 2006–present)
- Michelle Beisner: (Contributor, 2016–present)
- Lisa Salters: (Sideline reporter, 2012–present)
- Cris Carter: (Analyst, 2008–2015)
- Mike Ditka: (Contributor, 2004–2005; 2007) (Analyst, 2008–2015)
- Michael Irvin: (Analyst, 2003–2006)
- Tom Jackson: (Analyst, 2006–2015)
- Craig James: (Analyst, 1993–)
- Ron Jaworski: (Analyst, –2005)
- Keyshawn Johnson: (Analyst, 2007–2015)
- Ray Lewis: (Analyst, 2013–2015)
- Matt Millen: (Analyst 2009–2010)
- Bill Parcells: (Analyst, 2007)
- Rick Reilly: (Contributor, 2008–2015)
- Stuart Scott: (Host, 2002–2005, 2007–2014)^
- Sterling Sharpe: (Analyst, 1995–2002)
- Phil Simms: (Analyst, 1994)
- Emmitt Smith: (Analyst, 2007–2008)
- Michele Tafoya: (Contributor, 2006–2011)
- Joe Theismann: (Analyst, 1993–1997)
- Mike Tirico: (Host, 1993–2001)
- Playmaking Made Easy: The presenters of the program are seen outside giving a full demonstration of how to perform certain moves.
- Sunday Drive: Ron Jaworski provides a look inside the game, breaking down a key scoring drive from start to finish.
- Field Pass: Players are seen warming up for the game. It is sponsored by Dunkin' Donuts.
- Chalk Talk: Jon Gruden interviews a player or coach playing in the night's game. It is presently sponsored by Dick's Sporting Goods; it was previously sponsored by Corona and Burger King.
- C'mon Man!: Introduced on October 27, 2008. During the show, they will each describe a play or series of plays that made them scratch their heads and say "C'Mon Man!". They range from plays on the field to actions by fans and other people present at the game. This includes plays from games in the NFL, college football, and the Canadian Football League. Derivative of Ed Lover's popular webseries C'mon Son! "C'mon Man!", which is similar to the weekly "Not Top Plays" segment on SportsCenter, is sponsored by GEICO.
- You Got Mossed!: Introduced in 2016, this segment features highlights of catches by wide receivers in high school football, the CFL, college football & the NFL, while the defenders are being described as getting "mossed" (hence the term named after ESPN NFL analyst & former NFL wide receiver Randy Moss).
- Dilfer's Dimes: Dilfer shows the best passes from the week's action from the NFL and college football. The segment was on SportsCenter Sunday nights before it moved to Monday Night Countdown for the 2016 season.
- In the Pocket: Former quarterback Steve Young cast his eye on the best and worst quartebacking performances of the week.
- Teams at 20: Every twenty minutes, reporters Tafoya and Kolber updated news from the teams in preparations for the game.
- The Mort Report: Chris Mortensen broke down trade rumors, coaching changes and injuries.
- Playmakers: Michael Irvin reviewed the players who made the biggest difference in Sunday's NFL action.
- Jacked Up: At the end of the show Tom Jackson counted down the top five biggest hits of the week. In 2006, the format went to 6, and 6 to 4 were done on the show, and 3 to 1 were done at halftime. Only hits that did not result in a penalty or injury were featured in this segment. It was discontinued and replaced by the "C'Mon Man!" segment at the request of the NFL. This was probably due to the growing concern about concussions and other player safety issues which the segment indirectly celebrated.
- Sorry Bro!: Aired only once, on September 21, 2015. Kolber, Young, Lewis and Dilfer did a segment (similar to C'mon Man!) of plays from the previous day's action where players got hurt. Each analyst concluded the segment with "Sorry Bro!".
- Press Release: ESPN'S 2006 NFL LINEUP SURROUNDS MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL WITH 188 YEARS OF GRIDIRON EXPERIENCE