San Francisco 49ersDownload App

San Francisco 49ers and the Return of Monday Night Football

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 30:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers huddles up his team during their game against the Cleveland Browns at Candlestick Park on October 30, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Jason HooverCorrespondent INovember 16, 2016

Monday Night Football once meant something. The best teams played each other in the most competitive and anticipated game of the week. The Monday workday wasn't nearly as soul-crushing when you knew that, come 6 p.m., you'd be greeted by the familiar cowboy hat and rock tones of Bocephus. Monday night was a time when even casual fans could hover above a mountain of chicken wings and enjoy the spectacle.

The San Francisco 49ers once meant something, a team that was among the leagues elite every year. The 49ers won 10 or more games every season from 1983 to 1998. The city of San Francisco was awash with red and gold jackets. During football season, you couldn't walk down the street or enter a bar without hearing a familiar rallying cry.

Then, a few years back, the Monday Night franchise began to die out. Blame Dennis Miller, poor team matchups or simply a shift in NFL game-of-the-week strategy. Monday Night Football has become a shell of what it once was. It's joined by a 49ers franchise that hasn't made the playoffs or won more than eight games since 2002. Two emblematic NFL mainstays, dead.

Tonight could mark a rebirth in the history of these two great franchises. This is only the fourth time two 10-win teams have met each other on Monday Night Football. Two of the previous times, the 49ers were involved.

The 49ers have been thrust into the national spotlight several times during their run of mediocrity. And each time, the game has been met with a groan. Little has been at stake for the once dominant team since 2002. Meanwhile, Monday Night Football has churned out a season of lopsided finishes and meaningless games. The point differential in the last five Monday Night contests comes out to a snooze-worthy 196-61.

If the 49ers' recent Thanksgiving game rating is any indication, the NFL fans' eye of Sauron is now affixed firmly on them. A game against the equally matched 10-win Pittsburgh Steelers could be just the shot in the arm that the Monday Night Football franchise and the San Francisco 49ers franchise need to thrust them back into the limelight.   

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices