ABC'S NFL "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20
9:00 P.M., ET
ABC TELEVISION NETWORK
ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football," the most successful and longest-running primetime sports series, continues its 35th anniversary season with a showdown featuring two of the NFL's top teams and four of the NFL's marquee players, as QB Daunte Culpepper and WR Randy Moss lead the Minnesota Vikings into Philadelphia to take on QB Donovan McNabb, new WR Terrell Owens and the Eagles. Coverage from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia begins MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, at 9:00 p.m., ET, on the ABC Television Network.
The 2003 MNF regular season continues on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, with one of the NFL's greatest rivalries, as Bill Parcells leads his Dallas Cowboys into the Nation's capital to take on Joe Gibbs' Washington Redskins.
Emmy Award-winning announcer Al Michaels is now in his 19th consecutive season as the play-by-play voice of "Monday Night Football." Michaels, one of television's most respected journalists, has appeared on live, primetime, over-the-air television more than anyone in the history of the medium, with the approximate total number of hours now approaching 2,000.
Joining him for his third season on MNF is the legendary John Madden. Madden recently won his unprecedented 14th Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
New to the MNF team this year is sideline reporter Michele Tafoya, who has been the courtside reporter for ABC's coverage of the NBA Finals the last two seasons.
MICHAELS AND MADDEN MOST POPULAR:
Al Michaels and John Madden were voted the No. 1 favorite NFL announcing team by a TV Guide poll. They were selected No. 1 by 47% of the country. Their closest competitors were the Fox team of Joe Buck, Chris Collinsworth and Troy Aikman, with 24%.
Additionally, in a Sports Illustrated year-long poll to find America's favorite sportscaster, the magazine polled readers from each state, asking among other questions, "Who is your favorite announcer?" "Monday Night Football" analyst John Madden was voted No 1 in 39 states and No. 2 in 10 states. In all, Madden and partner Al Michaels were voted the top two most popular sportscasters in America.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS VS. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES:
This is the 19th regular-season meeting between these two teams dating back to 1962. The Vikings hold an 11-7 edge in the regular season, although the Eagles have won four of the last five games, including a 48-17 victory in 2001 in Philadelphia. The Eagles won the only post-season match-up of these two teams, a 31-16 victory in the NFC Divisional Playoffs in 1980.
Minnesota Vikings (1-0)
The Vikings started out the season on the right foot by stomping Bill Parcells' Dallas Cowboys 35-17 at the Metrodome in Week 1. QB Daunte Culpepper completed 17 of 23 passes for 242 yards and five touchdowns passes to four different receivers, including two to WR Randy Moss.
The Vikings return to "Monday Night Football" for the first time since the 2001 season. They hold a 21-20 overall record on MNF and will appear once more this season, in Week 9, when they travel to Indianapolis to talk on the Colts.
Philadelphia Eagles (1-0)
The Eagles won a key division game when they beat the New York Giants 31-17. QB Donovan McNabb threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, three of them to his newest weapon, WR Terrell Owens.
The Eagles are 20-16 all-time on "Monday Night Football," including a 5-1 record over the past two seasons. The Eagles will appear twice more on MNF this season -- in a Week 10 game against the Chiefs in Kansas City and a Week 17 game against the Rams in St. Louis.
STYLE AND SUBSTANCE:
The opening tease for this week's "Monday Night Football" game will feature comedian/actor Bernie Mac and singer/actress Angela Bassett debating the virtues of Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, two of the NFL's top receivers.
MIKE TICE AND THE MINNESOT VIKINGS: "7 DAYS TO MONDAY NIGHT":
Halftime of this week's game will see a return to the popular segment, "7 Days to Monday Night." "Monday Night Football" will follow head coach Mike Tice and the Minnesota Vikings through the week of preparation for Monday night's match-up against the Eagles. The popular halftime segment, "7 Days to Monday Night" has, in the past, featured the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs, as well as individual players, including former Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe, Giants DE Michael Strahan, Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Redskins LB Lavar Arrington, Steelers QB Tommy Maddox and Rams receiver Torry Holt.
"Max Stats" is an ABC innovation that measures relative speeds. This week "Max Stats" will measure the burst speeds off the line of scrimmage of wide receivers Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, and the first-step speed of Eagles DE Jevon Kearse. In the last two games "Max Stats" measured the speed on quarterback passes relative to the speed of a major league baseball fastball.
MNF IN HDTV:
The entire schedule of ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football" is available in HDTV.
ABC Sports will feature "SkyCam" throughout the season on "Monday Night Football." "SkyCam" is a camera suspended over the field on a series of cables. The camera, which runs both the length and width of the field, will provide viewers with unique angles.
Fred Gaudelli is the producer and Drew Esocoff is the director of ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football".