It was 30 years ago tonight that Howard Cosell announced the death of John Lennon during the final moments of regulation during a Monday Night Football game between the Dolphins and Patriots (above is Cosell’s 1974 interview with Lennon, the MNF clip with the announcement is here).
Over the last couple of days, ESPN has been running an “Outside the Lines” about the Patriots’ British kicker John Smith and how ABC was able to break the news: an ABC News staffer was hospitalized after a car accident, and Lennon’s body was wheeled past him. More from ESPN:
As fans watching the game on TV listened to Cosell deliver the stunning news, all they saw was Smith preparing for a field goal attempt. Meanwhile, players and fans inside the stadium were not aware of what Cosell had just announced on national television. There was no public-address announcement or murmur through the crowd, like there would have been today with people scanning social-networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.
“Dude, John Lennon totally would have been trending on Twitter if microblogging platforms and smart phones had been around 30 years ago.”
Anyway, I guess we’re all supposed to reminisce or whatever. I don’t know about you, but I responded to this news by crying and crapping my pants. But that’s because I was two years old at the time. It wasn’t exactly a special event to me.