Five Houston Monday Night Football Highlights

The Texans go nationwide tonight with a Monday Night Football match-up against the Tennessee Titans. MNF isn't what it used to be since moving to ESPN, but it's still a big deal.

Houston, of course, has had some memorable moments on Monday night. Mostly involving the Oilers -- who are now the Titans -- of course, but still, they happened here. And yeah, they happened in the Astrodome, not Reliant Stadium, but stop being so goddamn picky, all right?

Here are the all-time Houston Monday Night Football highlights.

1. Earl.
Nothing can top this list, of course, but Earl Campbell's 81-yard fourth-quarter run against the Dolphins. This video looks like it comes from the Pleistocene Era, but then again it did happen more than 30 years ago.

2. The night Luv Ya Blue was born.
Yes, it gave us several hideous songs and somehow promulgated the idea that Carl Mauck was a fantastic player, but the Luv Ya Blue era did give us two great things: Now-State Senator Dan Patrick using his sportscaster analytical skills to paint himself blue on the air, and this terrific game against the hated Pittsburgh Steelers.

No video of that game, but this is what the Oilers took revenge for that night.


3. The legendary "Number One" salute.
It was 1972, and the hapless Oilres were getting their butts kicked by the Oakland Raiders. The MNF cameras panned the rows of empty seats and found one fan seemingly asleep. As the camera moved in, he slowly and defiantly gave a huge middle-finger to the world -- and this was back in the day when such things were pretty shocking for TV. Dandy Don Meredith saved the day, though: "Aw," he said, "he's just trying to tell everyone Houston's Number One."

4. Stabler.
They don;t make QBs like The Snake anymore -- he was always said to have studied his playbook by the light of a dive-bar jukebox. He threw as many INTs as TDs, and you never knew when he would implode, but in a 1980 MNF match-up against the Patriots he was on fire.The Patriots mounted a furious comeback, but the Oilers racked up a win thanks to the whiskey-soaked studying of Stabler.

Here's Stabler in a less-productive mode:


5. The Texans debut on MNF.
What a night that was. We'd remember it well, but we don't remember it at all. It was about a year ago, and they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, but we're not quite sure anyone was watching.

Hopefully tonight will be different.


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