Was there an NFL game in the 1980s that had no play-by-play commentary?
It seems to me that in the 1980s the NFL televised a game where the only audio came from the sidelines and PA system. There were no play-by-play commentators. Did this game ever take place or was I dreaming?
— Wilbert Dill, Warwick, Md.
Wilbert, you weren’t dreaming. But for the guys over at AwfulAnnouncing.com, who track the follies and flubs of the talking heads of sports, this had to be a dream game. No blathering from Dan Dierdorf about his playing days; no nonsensical pontificating from Matt Millen. NBC’s Don Ohlmeyer tried the bold experiment for a matchup between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins on Dec. 20, 1980. Bryant Gumbel set up the stunt with a brief intro, and then, the sounds of the stadium took over, punctuated only by on-screen graphics. The Jets won 24–17 in front of a larger audience than normal for a meaningless matchup, but while there was some positive reaction from fans, it proved to be a one-time experiment.
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