John Lennon and … Howard Cosell? | Solid State

John Lennon and … Howard Cosell?

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Maybe you've heard, but December 8 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the day John Lennon was murdered. Obviously, there are tributes almost anywhere you look today — including a Lennon tribute night at Parima this evening with Aaron Flinn, Joshua Glass and Scott Mangan, FYI. And with good reason. You'd be hard pressed to name any single artist whose impact on the landscape of pop music and culture was as profound.

But few folks remember that news of Lennon's death was first broken not by a news icon such as Walter Cronkite or Ted Koppel, but by, of all people, legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell during a Monday Night Football broadcast. (I don't remember it either. I was two at the time.) Cosell learned of the news at the end of a game between the New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins. And were it left up to him, he might not have passed it along as the game was tied with 13 seconds remaining setting the stage for a potential winning field goal. Fortunately, a younger, hipper Frank Gifford understood the gravity of the situation and persuaded Cosell otherwise.

Below is a behind the scenes clip from ESPN in which Gifford convinces Cosell that Lennon's death is kind of a big deal. And here is a link to Cosell's delivery of the news.

 

 

 

 

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