The NFL is Modern Cousin of ‘I Love Lucy’


Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday would have been today, and the Internet is chock full of enough Lucy stories to satisfy even the most ardent fan of the zany red-head.   It’s hard remember the impact that she had on American society from our vantage point here in 2011, but Lucy truly was a pioneer of television, and her “I Love Lucy” was the original must-see TV show.   If you were alive and conscious during the 1950s, you knew where you’d be on Monday nights at 9 PM:  in front of a television set watching “I Love Lucy.”

And tell me, football fans, where will you be on Monday nights at 9 PM this fall?    I’d be willing to bet that most of us will be in front of  a TV set watching “Monday Night Football.”    It’s probably not a coincidence that our weekly football masterpiece occupies the same time slot that Lucy brought to prominence 60 years ago.   When Monday night rolls around, we’ve been through a full day of work, the weekend is four long days off and we need something to salve our wounds.    Once upon a time, it was the laugh track of “I Love Lucy” that did the trick.  Now, it’s smash-mouth football.

Happy birthday, Lucy!   Modern America, and football fans, owe you more than we probably know.