I10098 - Frank Gifford
“Governor Reagan had his arm around John Lennon and he was explaining American football to him. Only on 'Monday Night Football' would you get those two guys, who were poles apart, united.” - Frank Gifford
Frank Gifford saw the power of pro sports and broadcasting bringing people together as host of ABC’s ‘Monday Night Football’ between 1971 – 1998. “Before the first year, nobody gave it a chance. Now, 36 years later, everybody knows ‘Monday Night Football’”, said Gifford.
Before becoming a broadcaster, Gifford was a high school and University of Southern California (USC) football star. Playing both offense and defense, Gifford’s career as a celebrated NFL football player began in 1952. During his 12 seasons with the New York Giants, Gifford is credited with 3,609 rushing yards, 367 receptions, 484 points and played 8 pro bowls.
In 1960, Gifford retired from football for 18 months after receiving a severe head injury during a game. Gifford would later say, “Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors.”
Gifford returned to the Giants in 1962, changing positions from running back to wide receiver. His eight Pro Bowl selections came in three different positions: defensive back, running back, and wide receiver. Gifford retired from football in 1964, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.