Air Date: Monday, November 08, 2004
Time Slot: 9:00 PM-12:07 AM EST on ABC
Episode Title: (#3510) "Minnesota Vikings @ Indianapolis Colts"
[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]



ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football," the most successful and longest-running primetime sports series, continues its 35th anniversary season with a much anticipated match-up featuring two of the NFL's highest-scoring offenses, as Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts host Daunte Culpepper and the Minnesota Vikings. Coverage from The RCA Dome in Indianapolis, Indiana, begins MONDAY, NOVEMBER 8, at 9:00 p.m., ET, on the ABC Television Network.

This will be Al Michaels' 300th game as the play-by-play voice of ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football".

The 2004 MNF regular season continues on MONDAY, NOVEMBER 15 with a classic NFC East rivalry, as the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles head to Dallas to take on Bill Parcells and the Cowboys.

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. Michaels was recently honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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.

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.

The Colts lead the regular-season series 12-7-1 and won the only post-season match-up back in 1968 for the Western Conference Championship. This is the first meeting between these teams since the Colts defeated the Vikings 31-10 late in the 2000 season to clinch a playoff spot. These teams met twice annually from 1961-66, and once a year from 1967-69, but the series has been contested only five times since the 1970 NFL Merger (1971, 1982, 1988, 1997, 2000).

Minnesota Vikings (5-2, 1st place in NFC North)
The Vikings returned to "Monday Night Football" for the first time since the 2001 season, when they lost to the Eagles 27-16 back in week 2. Prior to 2001 they had been on MNF every season since 1987. The Vikings' overall record on MNF stands at 21-21. Prior to this season, their last MNF game was the last Monday of the 2001 season, when they lost to the Baltimore Ravens 19-3. That game was originally scheduled for Monday, September 17 but was postponed until the end of the season due to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

Indianapolis Colts (4-3, T-2nd place in AFC East)
The Colts are 13-10 overall on "Monday Night Football." This is their first MNF appearance since their history-making effort at Tampa Bay on October 6, 2003. In that game, the Colts overcame a 35-14 deficit with four minutes left for a 38-35 overtime win. It marked the first time in NFL history that a team erased a 21-point deficit in the final four minutes to win a game. This is the first home Colts MNF game since December 11, 2000, a 44-20 win over Buffalo. The Colts played in the first NFL game of the season tis year, a 27-24 loss to the Super Bowl champion Patriots on Thursday, September 9 on ABC.

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 Seahawks DE Grant Wistrom is sacked by teammate QB Trent Dilfer and the group Mini Kiss

So far on "You've Been Sacked," St. Louis Rams Pro Bowl wide receiver Torry Holt was set up by his teammates, Adam Timmerman and Andy McCollum, Ravens DB Gary Baxter was "sacked" by teammate Ray Lewis, Patriots WR Troy Brown got his teammate, DT Richard Seymour, and Dolphins LB Junior Seau sacked fellow LB Morlon Greenwood. This is the fifth of eight scheduled "You've Been Sacked" episodes that will run at various MNF halftimes throughout the season.

Vikings center Matt Birk, a Harvard graduate, will wear a wireless microphone during the game to provide sounds of the game for the MNF telecast. Other players to be "mic'd up" this season include Jets center Kevin Mawae, Broncos safety John Lynch, Ravens LB Ray Lewis, Buccaneers CB Ronde Barber and Vikings WR Randy Moss.

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."

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