ABC'S NFL "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL"
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS. ST. LOUIS RAMS
MONDAY, OCTOBER 18
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 classic "Monday Night Football" rivalry, as the St. Louis Rams host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. These two teams have met on MNF three times in the last four years. Coverage from the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Missouri begins MONDAY, OCTOBER 18, at 9:00 p.m., ET, on the ABC Television Network.
Look for another episode of "You've Been Sacked" at halftime of this week's game.
The 2004 MNF regular season continues on MONDAY, OCTOBER 25 when the Cincinnati Bengals return to MNF for the first time since 1992, hosting Jake Plummer and the Denver Broncos.
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.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS VS. ST. LOUIS RAMS:
The Rams lead the regular season series 8-6, and have defeated the Buccaneers in both of their post-season match-ups - 9-0 in the 1979 NFC Championship Game and 11-6 in the 1999 NFC Championship Game. The Buccaneers, however, have won the last three regular season games, all on "Monday Night Football" - 26-24 in 2002, 24-17 in 2001 and 38-35 in 2000.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-4, 4th place in NFC South)
The Buccaneers are 8-4 since 1998 on MNF, and 9-6 overall (2-3 on the road). They will make an appearance on MNF for the seventh consecutive season. Head Coach Jon Gruden is 4-4 all-time on "Monday Night Football," including 3-2 as coach of the Buccaneers. He is 1-2 in road games on MNF.
St. Louis Rams (3-2, 2nd place in NFC West)
The Rams will play on "Monday Night Football" for the 12th time since the 2000 season. They are 7-4 on MNF in that time, and are 24-24 all-time. The Rams were 1-2 on MNF in 2000, 2-1 in 2001, 2-1 in 2002 and 2-0 last season. This is their first of three MNF appearances this season. They will travel to Green Bay on November 29 and host Philadelphia on December 27.
PATRIOTS DT RICHARD SEYMOUR "SACKED" AT HALFTIME:
At halftime, "Monday Night Football" will present a new episode of the feature "You've Been Sacked" in which, week-to-week, NFL players play practical jokes on their teammates with the MNF cameras there to capture it all. The fun, entertaining feature promises to reveal something about the players' personalities off of the playing field.
This week Patriots DT Richard Seymour gets sacked by teammate, RB Troy Brown.
So far on "You've Been Sacked", St. Louis Rams Pro Bowl wide receiver Torry Holt was set up by his teammates, Adam Timmeman and Andy McCollum, and Ravens DB Gary Baxter was "sacked" by teammate Ray Lewis. This is the third of eight scheduled "You've Been Sacked" episodes that will run at various MNF halftimes throughout the season.
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."