There was a time – before “Sunday Night Football” was invented – when being on “Monday Night Football” was bigger than Taylor Swift’s bank account.
It’s where NFL teams went when they had made it. Now, it’s where teams go to get Grudened.
The way the Panthers and Eagles are going, it’s going to be a long time before they’re invited to play on Monday night again. It’s not the showcase Sunday night has become, but it’s still a big deal and not a place the NFL likes to put two teams with five combined victories in the last week of November.
This one may not be a ratings bonanza for ESPN, which will still find a way to tie it all to Tim Tebow.
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Consider the other viewing options Monday night:
“A Few Good Men” is on. Again.
“Finding Bigfoot” is on. Insert your own placekicker crack here.
“Everybody Loves Raymond” is on. It’s on so often that most people just like Raymond now.
“Almost Famous” is on one of the HBO channels. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing a good one.
And, if you look deep enough in your program guide for Monday night, you can find “Good Times.”
Just not on ESPN.
CAROLINA at PHILADELPHIA: My story and I’m sticking to it. Panthers 23, Eagles 20.
SEATTLE at MIAMI: It is 2,734 air miles from Seattle to Miami, making this the NFL’s longest road trip in the continental United States. It’s almost as far as the Dolphins are from their glory days. Seahawks 20, Dolphins 17.
ATLANTA at TAMPA BAY: The Bucs have won five of their past six, but are they playoff good? This one might answer the question. Falcons 24, Bucs 20.
OAKLAND at CINCINNATI: The Raiders have allowed 135 points over the past three games. Nice defense. Bengals 35, Raiders 21.
PITTSBURGH at CLEVELAND: If Roger Goodell does nothing else as commissioner, he should make it a rule that the Steelers may not ever again wear those bumblebee throwback uniforms they’ve worn twice this season. Unnecessary ugliness. Browns 14, Steelers 10.
TENNESSEE at JACKSONVILLE: Aka leftovers. Titans 29, Jags 17.
DENVER at KANSAS CITY: In my very unofficial ranking system, the Broncos are now the best team in the NFL. The Chiefs are their opposite. Broncos 31, Chiefs 10.
MINNESOTA at CHICAGO: Classic black and blue division game. Should be as competitive as Black Friday bargain hunters. Bears 24, Vikings 17.
BALTIMORE at SAN DIEGO: Just about time for the Chargers to play like world beaters again. It happens once in a while. Chargers 34, Ravens 17.
SAN FRANCISCO at NEW ORLEANS: Things that might never have been said before – I’ll take Colin Kaepernick over Drew Brees. Okay, not exactly, but I’ll take Kaepernick’s team in this one. 49ers 26, Saints 21.
ST. LOUIS at ARIZONA: The Cardinals have lost six in a row but they’re talking about winning their last six to make the playoffs. Sounds like the golfer who hits his tee shot 170 yards but waits for the green to clear 250 yards away before hitting his approach shot. Cardinals 31, Rams 24.
GREEN BAY at NEW YORK GIANTS: The only reason the Giants are leading the NFC East with a 6-4 record is because the other teams in the division are lousy – or worse. Of course, the Giants proved last year that winning the Super Bowl doesn’t require a good regular season. Packers 27, Giants 24.
Last week: 9-4