Roone Arledge (John Heard) had a crazy, costly idea in the early 1970s to bring pro football to the ABC network by airing it on Monday nights. The project required a big production with more camera angles and even a broadcasting team of three in the booth. The trio turned out to be "Dandy" Don Meredith (Brad Beyer), Frank Gifford (Kevin Anderson), and the brash Brooklynite Howard Cosell (John Turturro). Cosell's outspoken demeanor and intellectual edge on his ex-athlete partners built rivalries causing all parties to feel a lack of respect. Add to this mess, a gambling addicted director in Chet Forte (Nicholas Turturro) and scandals revolving everything from racial slurs to alcoholic miscues and it is amazing that such a show could steer clear of failure. On the contrary, MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL completely changed sports broadcasting. This TNT film dramatizes all the madness.
Cosell is the focus of the production, portrayed by Tuturro as a misunderstood intellectual who yearned to excel outside of sportscasting, a field dominated by dim bulb jocks. Ernest Dickerson (BONES) brings a knowledge of the game and a feel for the period to his direction.
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