ABC'S NFL "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" PRE-SEASON SPECIAL:
HALL OF FAME GAME
LIVE FROM CANTON, OHIO
DENVER BRONCOS VS. WASHINGTON REDSKINS
MONDAY, AUGUST 9, 8:00 P.M., ET
ABC TELEVISION NETWORK
ABC Sports begins its 35th Anniversary season of "Monday Night Football" with live, exclusive coverage of the 42nd annual Hall of Fame game from Canton, Ohio, featuring head coach Joe Gibbs' return to the Washington Redskins as they battle the Denver Broncos. This traditional opener of the NFL's pre-season airs on ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football" MONDAY, AUGUST 9 (8:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2004 inductees John Elway, Barry Sanders, Carl Eller and Bob Brown will be enshrined at Canton, Ohio on SUNDAY, AUGUST 8. ESPN will air the Hall of Fame induction beginning at 1:00 p.m., ET.
ABC Sports continues its pre-season schedule on MONDAY, AUGUST 23 (8:00 p.m., ET) with a match-up of two of the leagues premiere offenses as Priest Holmes and the Kansas City Chiefs host Marshall Faulk and the St. Louis Rams. The third and final game in ABC's pre-season coverage will see the Bill Parcells and the Dallas Cowboys host NFL co-MVP Steve McNair and the Tennessee Titans on MONDAY, AUGUST 25 (8:00 p.m., ET). This will be the first time that Cowboys RB Eddie George will face his former team.
The 2004 MNF regular season campaign begins with the opening NFL game of the season, as the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots host NFL co-MVP Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 (9:00 p.m., ET). The 2003 schedule continues on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, as the NFC champion Carolina Panthers open their season hosting Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers.
Emmy Award winning announcer Al Michaels returns for 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. The approximate total number of hours is now approaching 2,000.
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.
HALL OF FAME GAME:
The AFC/NFC Hall of Fame Game will be broadcast live from Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, with the Washington Redskins taking on the Denver Broncos.
DENVER BRONCOS VS. WASHINGTON REDSKINS:
These two teams took part in one of the biggest trades in NFL history in the off-season as the Denver Broncos sent Pro-Bowl RB Clinton Portis to the Redskins for Pro-Bowl CB Champ Bailey and a 2nd round pick (RB Tatum Bell) in this year's NFL draft.
Denver Broncos (10-6, 2nd in AFC West, Wild Card Playoff team in 2003)
The Broncos returned to the playoffs last season for the first time since 2000, when they earned a wild card berth with a 10-6 record good for second place in the AFC West. They will, however, be without last year's fifth leading rusher Clinton Portis, who was traded in the off-season to the Redskins. QB Jake Plummer is now in his second season at the helm for the Broncos and had a decent first year with Denver, throwing for over 2,100 yards and 15 TDs.
This is the first appearance for the Broncos at the Hall of Fame Game since they were defeated by the Detroit Lions 14-3 in 1991.
Washington Redskins (5-11, 3rd in NFC East in 2003)
The Redskins were by all accounts a disappointment last season going 5-11 after signing multiple free agents in the off-season. The addition of Clinton Portis should certainly help their offensive attack, but they are questionable at QB. The Redskins signed free agent QB Mark Brunell to compete with incumbent Patrick Ramsey to lead the team.
The Redskins have not played in Canton since the 1989 season, when they defeatedBuffalo Bills 31-6.
HALFTIME WITH SANDERS AND ELWAY:
A special halftime segment will feature Hall-of-Fame inductees John Elway and Barry Sanders sitting down to watch the defining moments of their career's and talk about them in an edited piece produced in conjunction with NFL Films.
Fred Gaudelli is the producer and Drew Esocoff is the director of the Hall of Fame Game coverage.