ABC'S NFL "MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" PRE-SEASON SPECIAL:
TENNESSEE TITANS VS. DALLAS COWBOYS
MONDAY, AUGUST 30, 8:00 P.M., ET
ABC TELEVISION NETWORK
ABC Sports continues its 35th anniversary season of "Monday Night Football" with a pre-season special, as Bill Parcells and his Dallas Cowboys host NFL co-MVP Steve McNair and the Tennessee Titans. Coverage for ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football" begins MONDAY, AUGUST 30 (8:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
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 9 (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 is now in 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, with the approximate total number of hours 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.
TENNESSEE TITANS VS. DALLAS COWBOYS:
Tennessee Titans (2003: 12-4, T-1st in AFC South, Earned Wild Card)
The Titans, behind NFL co-MVP Steve McNair, qualified for the playoffs for the second straight year and for the fourth time in five years as they tied the Indianapolis Colts for the division lead. The Colts took the division title based on tiebreakers. McNair had his best season as a pro, throwing for more than 3,200 yards and 27 TD. The Titans will look to second-year RB Chris Brown to pick up the slack for departed RB Eddie George.
Dallas Cowboys (2003: 10-6, 2nd in NFC East, Earned Wild Card)
The Cowboys, under head coach Bill Parcells, reached the playoffs for the first time since 1999 with a second-place finish in the NFC East, which was good enough for a wild card berth. Last year's starting QB, Quincy Carter, was released in training camp, and Parcels will hand the football over to veteran QB Vinny Testaverde. Also new on the team is former Titans RB Eddie George, who will face his former team for the first time in this game. The Cowboys' season ended with a 29-10 loss in the wild card round to the eventual NFC champion Carolina Panthers.
NFL OPENING KICKOFF:
An hour-long special on ABC, "NFL Opening Kickoff 2004," will salute the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots and feature a star-studded musical lineup, with performances from Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, and Jacksonville, Florida, site of Super Bowl XXXIX. The special will air on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET), on ABC and lead into the season opener between the Patriots and Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium (9:00 p.m., ET on ABC) - a re-match of last season's AFC Championship Game. It will air following the game in the Rocky Mountain and West Coast time zones.
The show will pay tribute to the Super Bowl champions and include performances from Gillette Stadium by MARY J. BLIGE, DESTINY'S CHILD, ELTON JOHN, TOBY KEITH and LENNY KRAVITZ. JESSICA SIMPSON will perform from Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, where the next Super Bowl champion will be crowned.
Fred Gaudelli is the producer and Drew Esocoff is the director of ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football."