Thursday, December 9, 2010


30 years ago yesterday, John Lennon was shot in front of his apartment building and rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival. Mark David Chapman became one of the most hated men of all time that night and the world was shattered.

The thing I found most surprising about all of this, was that a great deal of people found out about the shooting during a close Monday Night Football game on ABC. The New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins were tied with time running down when Howard Cosell broke the news.

Now, since he wasn't the president, they didn't break away to a tearful Walter Cronkite like they did when JFK was shot. They had the information, they shared it and went back to the game. And had the game not gone in to overtime, I'm sure that they would have cut to the local news for updates almost immediately.

What I didn't know until yesterday though, was that Cosell wasn't sure if he should even make the announcement during the game. Things were getting down to the wire and Frank Gifford had to basically force him to share the information.

(There's a quick ad at the front of this, by the way. Sorry.)

That is stunning to me. Cosell couldn't see the game situation allowing for the announcement that one of the most revered musicians of an entire generation had been murdered? Cosell had information to break one of the biggest stories of all time and he had to be talked into doing it! That seems like the type of information that every man or woman that's ever sat behind a microphone on live television had dreamed of delivering. And he didn't want to do it because the Pats were about to attempt a field goal!

He must have hated the White Album or something.

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