Howard Cosell Broke the News of John Lennon's Death on Monday Night Football 40 Years Ago

Stephen Douglas
John Lennon
John Lennon / Rowland Scherman/Getty Images

On December 8, 1980, the Miami Dolphins beat the New England Patriots, 16-13, in overtime on Monday Night Football. That entirely forgettable football game will be forever remembered because during the fourth quarter, Howard Cosell, calling the game with Frank Gifford, Don Meredith and Fran Tarkenton, broke the news that John Lennon had been shot and died.

Just a remarkable and sad moment in history as the world began to learn that John Lennon had been murdered. In a very different media era, this was an incredible moment. News so big that it overshadowed everything else. With Howard Cosell trying to remind everyone that sports don't actually matter.

The next day Jimmy Breslin would write the story of the police who found Lennon and transported him to the hospital where he died. Three days earlier, Rolling Stone conducted the last interview with Lennon.