ESPN History

#TBT: Marking the 26th anniversary of ESPN’s first regular-season NFL telecast

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Editor’s note: Welcome to another edition of Front Row’s #TBT: Throwback Thursday.

The 26th anniversary of ESPN’s first regular-season NFL telecast is tomorrow, Nov. 8. We dug up a shot of the announce booth from that first game and noticed Larry Csonka was our guest analyst. What a coincidence, we thought, as Monday Night Football features Csonka’s Dolphins visiting Tampa Bay (ESPN, 8:25 p.m. ET). Let’s see what other Larry Csonka/ESPN coincidences we can find:

Csonka, former Dolphins great, was a guest analyst in ESPN’s booth for its very first regular-season NFL telecast.
• Tomorrow, Nov. 8, is the anniversary of that telecast.
Csonka was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.
• 1987 is the year ESPN began televising NFL games.
Csonka also played for the N.Y. Giants.
• ESPN’s very first regular-season NFL telecast was New England at the Giants.

A fun fact of a different kind: The addition of the “Super Slo-Mo” camera, and replay machines, to the regular-season games brought the number of cameras employed up to 10. We now use around 35 cameras during Monday Night Football telecasts.

Enjoy the “then and now” shots from our truck, announce booth and NFL studio shows.

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