Ah, the Monday Night Football of our youth. A 4-year-old RandBall would lay on the couch, watching MNF on a tiny black and white TV (seriously. This is not so much an indictment of our mid-30s age so much as an acknowledgement that TV just didn't mean all that much to our family in the early 1980s). We would try every week to at least stay awake through the first half in order to see the halftime highlights. Because back then, at least for us, there was no other way to see what had happened in the rest of the NFL that week. And yes, even at that age we cared.
In a larger context, even back then we could tell that Monday Night Football was an event -- something people took genuine time to watch and a thing around which plans were made. And sure, there were blowouts and dud matchups along the way. That's the luck of the draw when you try to predict matchups before a season starts. And sure, we're probably projecting some false general nostalgia here since we're remembering a very specific time in our life, not everyone's life.
But we just don't get the sense that Monday Night Football is that big of a deal anymore. The Sunday night package has far more to offer in terms of both matchups (thanks to flex scheduling) and now seems to be the primetime event around which evenings are planned. Last night, we flipped on MNF at a certain point out of habit/default and noticed just how bad the matchup and the action really were. Rams vs. Seahawks! Are you ready for some football?!?!
Looking ahead, the MNF schedule brightens in the next two weeks: Steelers/49ers followed by Falcons/Saints. Even then, though, we can no longer imagine the Monday Night game feeling like anything other than just another game.