The famous but devastating news flash on MNF
Dec 8, 2010
This is one of those weeks where you get caught up remembering two of the more tragic days in American history.
Tuesday was the 69th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombings, one of the more unspeakable tragedies in our nation's history. Thousands lost their lives in an event that drove the United States to join World War II.
One man died on December 8, 1980 but the cultural significance of John Lennon's murder was historic in its own way — and it's linked to sports.
As seen above, Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford delivered the news near the end of the Patriots-Dolphins Monday Night Football game.
Pats kicker John Smith (also of the snowplow game) was the only English player in the NFL at the time and is a Beatles fan. The kick was blocked and the Dolphins won 16-13.
What isn't as well known is the off-camera conversation Cosell and Gifford had before the announcement about how, and if, they should deliver the news. If it were up to Cosell they wouldn't have fit the news in before the end, but Gifford told him, "We gotta do it. This is gonna shake up the whole world."
They announced it exactly 30 years ago.