End near for ABC

ROB LONGLEY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

A pair of NFL institutions may be winding down in the final two weeks of the season and both have something in common: They are going out with a wimper.

Monday will mark the final Monday Night Football telecast on ABC, ending a 36-year run as one of the most popular prime-time shows on U.S. television.

It is official that MNF and all its music, hype and colour will move to ESPN, marking the end of an era that included announcers Howard Cosell, Keith Jackson, O.J. Simpson, Dan Diedorf, Al Michaels and the forgettable Dennis Miller.

Unlucky scheduling will see the show bow out with a four-week run of clunkers, ending with Monday's meeting between the lowly New York Jets and the New England Patriots, who have nothing to play for.

Meanwhile, the way things have been going for Brett Favre and the Green Bay Packers this season, no one would be surprised if Favre made his departure official soon after the season ends.

The sure-fire Hall of Famer struggled in a loss to the Baltimore Ravens this past Monday, a sight all too familiar the past two years.

Worse for Favre is that with a suspect offensive line and struggling receivers, there is little prospect of things inproving in the near future.

"There's no guarantee next year will be any better," Favre said recently.

COLTS WITHOUT HARRISON

Three injured Colts starters -- record-setting receiver Marvin Harrison, Pro Bowl linebacker Cato June and starting right tackle Ryan Diem -- will not travel to Seattle for Indianapolis' game against the Seahawks today.

Harrison broke a bone in his right hand and did not practice all week. June has been spent the past two months dealing with a sports hernia, a sore knee and a sore ankle.

WAIT FOR DUNGY RESULTS

A Florida medical examiner's preliminary report yesterday confirmed that James Dungy, the 18-year-old son of Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy took his own life, although the cause of death will not be determined for four to six weeks.


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