Monday, 8 December 2014

AMERICA LEARNED OF JOHN’s MURDER FROM HOWARD COSELL (During Dec.8,1980 Monday Night Football broadcast)


America learned of John Lennon’s murder from legendary broadcaster Howard Cosell during a Dec. 8, 1980 Monday Night Football broadcast.
If you’re old enough to remember this, you’re probably old enough to remember where you were when it happened. But you might not remember who was playing that night: The New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins.

December 1980: A man and woman among the crowd in Central Park, New York, who have gathered to mourn the death of John Lennon. The man holds a picture of Lennon and Yoko Ono in bed during one of their 'love-in' peace protests. (Photo by Luiz Alberto/Keystone/Getty Images) December 1980: A man and woman among the crowd in Central Park, New York, who have gathered to mourn the death of John Lennon. The man holds a picture of John Lennon and Yoko Ono in bed during one of their 'love-in' peace protests











The Patriots were on third down with four yards to go. Co-host Frank Gifford transitioned from calling the game to setting up Cosell to deliver the news. Perhaps Gifford knew America needed to hear this from Cosell. “Time out is called. Three seconds remaining. John Smith is on the line. I don’t care what’s on the line Howard. You have got to say what we know in the booth,” said Gifford.”


Cosell took the ball. “We have to say it. Remember this is just a football game. No matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City. John Lennon. Outside of his apartment building on the West Side of New York City. The most famous perhaps of all of The Beatles. Shot twice in the back. Rushed to Roosevelt Hospital,” Cosell said.
He delivered the next three words as if spitting them against a hard wind. “Dead. On. Arrival.”
The consummate professional then returned to the job – but not before putting it in context with an incredibly efficient sentence that few broadcasters living or dead would be able to construct on the fly. “Hard to go back to the game after that news flash, which in duty bound, we had to take.”

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