NFL

ESPN closes out 2013 MNF schedule and San Francisco’s Candlestick Park

Tonight’s Atlanta Falcons versus San Francisco 49ers matchup (8:25 p.m. ET, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN) is ESPN’s 2013 Monday Night Football season finale and the final regular-season NFL game ever at Candlestick Park. Opened in 1960 and the 49ers’ home since 1971, Candlestick has played host to many memorable events – not to mention more MNF games than any other NFL stadium (tonight is its 36th).

In addition to covering this rematch of last year’s NFC Championship, ESPN will pay tribute to “The Stick” tonight throughout the game telecast and Monday Night Countdown (6:30 p.m.). In the video above, ESPN analyst Steve Young shares his memories of the stadium he called home during his Hall of Fame career as the 49ers quarterback. Below is a rundown of some of the special programming fans can look forward to seeing tonight in what could be the very last event in the stadium’s 53 years of operation.

Monday Night Countdown:
Chris Berman, who covered “The Catch” from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship for ESPN, returns to Candlestick one last time with analysts Keyshawn Johnson, Ray Lewis and Young. Highlights:

Greatest Moments at Candlestick: Berman (who shared his Candlestick memories in this Front and Center podcast and with the San Francisco Chronicle) relives some of the stadium’s great moments, while Young recreates his game-winning touchdown pass to Terrell Owens in the 1998 NFC playoffs.

Rick Reilly Feature: Essayist Rick Reilly examines the history of Candlestick and some of the best athletes in American sports who called it home – Willie Mays, Montana, Jerry Rice and others.

Soundtracks: From Montana and Young to Colin Kaepernick, Countdown relives Candlestick’s history with in-game audio of past and present 49ers quarterbacks.

Gruden’s Extra: MNF’s Jon Gruden interviews former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who helped guide the franchise to five Super Bowl titles from 1977-2000.

Monday Night Football:
ESPN’s MNF team of Mike Tirico, Gruden and reporter Lisa Salters will call the Falcons-49ers game. In the third quarter, Hall of Fame 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice will join Tirico and Gruden in the booth to share his Candlestick memories.

Editor’s Note: For more remembrances, visit ESPN Media Zone and listen to this week’s MNF Preview podcast, where Tirico speaks with Gruden, former 49ers Clark and Young, and former MNF voice Al Michaels, now of NBC.

Video produced by Tory Zawacki

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