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[04/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Monday Night Football Celebrates Its 36th Season with a Blockbuster Schedule, Including the Opening NFL Game of the Season and Super Bowl Xl

[via press release from ABC]

"MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL" CELEBRATES ITS 36th SEASON WITH A BLOCKBUSTER SCHEDULE, INCLUDING THE OPENING NFL GAME OF THE SEASON AND SUPER BOWL XL

Game Slate Includes Multiple Appearances by League's Elite: Super Bowl Champion Patriots, NFC Champion Eagles, NFC North Champion Packers, AFC North Champion Steelers, AFC South Champion Colts and NFC South Champion Falcons

Season Concludes with Super Bowl XL from Detroit, Michigan, Sunday, February 5, 2006

ABC's NFL "Monday Night Football," the most successful and longest-running primetime sports series in television history, celebrates its 36th season with a blockbuster schedule for 2005.

The elite teams in the NFL will have multiple appearances on "Monday Night Football" this fall, including three each by the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers, the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts, the NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons and the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers who, behind rookie QB Ben Roethlisberger, went 15-1 last season.

Emmy Award-winning announcer Al Michaels returns for his 20th anniversary season as the play-by-play voice of "Monday Night Football." Joining him for his fourth season on "MNF" is the legendary John Madden. Both Michaels and Madden were nominated for Emmy Awards again this year, with Madden going for an unprecedented 15th Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality/Sports Event Analyst. Reporter Michele Tafoya returns for her second season roaming the sidelines for "MNF."

The 2005 "MNF" campaign begins with the opening NFL game of the season, as the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, led by two-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, host the Oakland Raiders with new WR Randy Moss on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8. The 2005 schedule continues on MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, as Michael Vick and the NFC South champion Atlanta Falcons host Donovan McNabb, Terrell Owens and the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles in a rematch of last year's NFC Championship game.

The schedule continues with a traditional NFC East battle, when Bill Parcells and his Dallas Cowboys host the Washington Redskins on SEPTEMBER 19. That's followed by an AFC West classic as Jake Plummer and the Denver Broncos host Priest Holmes and the Kansas City Chiefs on SEPTEMBER 26. On OCTOBER 3 Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers make their first "MNF" appearance of the season, as they travel to Carolina to take on Jake Delhomme and the Panthers.

In addition to the opening NFL Thursday night game with the Raiders, the Super Bowl champion Patriots host Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts on OCTOBER 17, and travel to the Meadowlands to meet the Jets in a key AFC East match-up on DECEMBER 26, the final "MNF" game of the season.

Other "MNF" match-ups this season include the resurgent AFC West champion San Diego Chargers hosting the AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers on OCTOBER 10, the NFC champion Eagles hosting the Cowboys on NOVEMBER 14, and the NFC South champion Colts hosting the Steelers on NOVEMBER 28. Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens make two appearances, traveling to Pittsburgh on OCTOBER 31 and hosting the Packers on DECEMBER 19.

The schedule continues with a wild-card playoff doubleheader on SATURDAY, JANUARY 7, 2006, and concludes with ABC Sports' telecast of Super Bowl XL from Detroit, Michigan on SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5, 2006.

During last season, "Monday Night Football" finished in the Top 10 (6th) among all primetime shows on network television for the 15th consecutive season among households, viewers and all key adult and men demographics. In fact, once again it finished first in the key male demographics.

All "Monday Night Football" games will be broadcast in HDTV.

The following is the 2005 ABC NFL "Monday Night Football" schedule:

(All games air Mondays at 9:00 p.m., ET, except where noted)

SEPTEMBER 8 Oakland Raiders vs. New England Patriots (Thursday Night)
SEPTEMBER 12 Philadelphia Eagles vs. Atlanta Falcons
SEPTEMBER 19 Washington Redskins vs. Dallas Cowboys
SEPTEMBER 26 Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos
OCTOBER 3 Green Bay Packers vs. Carolina Panthers
OCTOBER 10 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. San Diego Chargers
OCTOBER 17 St. Louis Rams vs. Indianapolis Colts
OCTOBER 24 New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons<>
OCTOBER 31 Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
NOVEMBER 7 Indianapolis Colts vs. New England Patriots
NOVEMBER 14 Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles
NOVEMBER 21 Minnesota Vikings vs. Green Bay Packers
NOVEMBER 28 Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Indianapolis Colts
DECEMBER 5 Seattle Seahawks vs. Philadelphia Eagles
DECEMBER 12 New Orleans Saints vs. Atlanta Falcons
DECEMBER 19 Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens
DECEMBER 26 New England Patriots vs. New York Jets

SAT., JAN. 7, 2006 NFL Wild-Card Playoff Doubleheader

SUN., FEB. 5, 2006 SUPER BOWL XL





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