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October 9, 2015
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Newly Released Audio Spotlights 'Monday Night Football's' Decision to Announce John Lennon's Death During Game Broadcast (VIDEO)

by Nick Zaino, posted Dec 8th 2010 1:20PM
Announcement of John Lennon's death on 'Monday Night Football'Just about every angle concerning the 30th anniversary of John Lennon's death has been covered exhaustively, but ESPN found a new one that 'Access Hollywood Live' (Weekdays, Syndicated on NBC) picked up on today -- the debate inside the 'Monday Night Football' broadcast booth about whether to announce the news that Lennon had been shot.

ESPN's 'Outside the Lines' discovered the previously un-aired conversation between sportscasters Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford, in which Cosell, ever focused on the game, wondering during a commercial break whether to break the news when the New England Patriots were setting up for a crucial field goal against the Miami Dolphins.

Gifford was the one who convinced him to do it, even insisting on it, saying, "You've got to do it," and adding, "It's a tragic moment and this is going to shake up the world."

Cosell did wind up announcing the news, and did so eloquently, telling fans to remember that this "is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses," and calling Lennon's assassination "an unspeakable tragedy."

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