Friday, May 6, 2011

Look at That Little Monkey Run! - Howard Cosell










"SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT"
Howard Cosell: A much-neglected and misunderstood media giant
who created his own mold, and then broke it when he was finished.
Howard Cosell has yet to win the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
See: Pro Football Hall of Fame


Sports Illustrated Article
Howard Cosell is a legendary sportscaster who rose to celebrity pop culture status and changed the course of sports in America. Two of the more well-known trademark catchphrases of Howard Cosell were "What is popular isn't always right, and what is right isn't always popular" and "I'm just telling it like it is." That is just what this web site attempts to do here as well... tell it like it is. Howard Cosell was a successful lawyer, a good family man and inarguably the "lightning rod" of Monday Night Football. There are far too many factual errors in Internet forums, blogs, books, and other media forms. The goal of this website blog is to clarify "WHAT" Howard Cosell said, and "WHEN" he said it. Howard Cosell made at least four "little monkey" comments, but it is important to put those comments in proper context. He often fondly referred to his own grandchildren using words like "little monkey" as terms of endearment for them. The comments that included the term "little monkey" were made in different games, about white and black players, in different decades, with entirely different media reactions. When you are done reading you can, return here to leave a Comment.



"Little Monkey" Comments Timeline (1970-1983)



Grandchildren
(1970)
Mike Adamle
(1972)
Glenn Hubbard
(1982)
Alvin Garrett
(1983)




QUESTION: What player was Howard Cosell really talking about when he said "Look at that little monkey run!" (People answer this question incorrectly 99.9% of the time)


"LITTLE MONKEY" COMMENT FACTS:

1. Howard Cosell used the phrase "little monkey" as a term of endearment and began affectionately referring to his own grandchildren as "little monkeys" from the time they were able to walk and playfully scramble around.

2. In 1972 Howard Cosell said, "That little monkey --- you know, the theorem was that he was too small for pro football" referring to white Kansas City Chiefs running back Mike Adamle after a short off-tackle run in the fourth quarter of the July 29, 1972 "Hall of Fame" game at Fawcett Stadium in Canton Ohio.

3. In 1973 Howard Cosell said "Look at that little monkey run!" about Herb Mul-key of the Washington Redskins referring to his 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the St. Louis Cardinals.  Mul-Key's touchdown occurred during the game played on Sunday, but the comment was not made until the next evening by Cosell on Monday Night Football, (New Orleans Saints @ Dallas Cowboys) September 24, 1973 during his "Halftime Highlights" voice-over game recaps.

4. In 1982, Cosell called white Atlanta Braves second baseman Glenn Hubbard a "little monkey" while praising his fielding skills, saying "That little monkey can really pick it."

5. In 1983 Howard Cosell said, "Joe Gibbs wanted that kid, and that little monkey gets loose doesn't he" when referring to Washington Redskins wide receiver Alvin Garrett after his sixth pass reception with 3:18 remaining in the first quarter during an ABC Monday Night Football (MNF) game on September 5th, 1983 between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

6. Howard Cosell never said "Look at that little monkey run!" about running back Joe Washington during the September 18, 1978 Monday night game between the Colts @ Patriots or in any other game.

7. Howard Cosell never said, "Look at that little monkey run" about Washington Redskins wide-receiver Alvin Garrett during an ABC Monday Night Football (MNF) game on September 5th, 1983 between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins.

8. Howard Cosell did NOT get fired for any of his "little monkey" comments. The decision to retire from ABC Monday Night Football was his due to a combination of his waning interest in football broadcasts, frustration with relentless print media criticisms, and a desire to spend less time on-the-road, and more time at home with the family.



CONCLUSIONS:


Howard Cosell, Frank Gifford, and Don Meredith made ABC's Monday Night Football memorable, and the memories of those early years of ABC's Monday Night Football are still widely talked about. The legendary sports broadcasting trio of Cosell, Meredith, and Gifford remains larger than life. A unique chemistry existed among them, often with a tension in the booth that equaled that of the playing field combatants. Over the years enemies became friends, and friend became enemies. It was that volatile chemistry of early personalities from 1970-1983 that made ABC Monday Night Football legendary.

Cosell became a legendary figure because he was admittedly verbose, arrogant, egotistical, and outspoken about controversial issues. Add to these attributes his intelligence, work ethic, commitment, and ability to entertain us and you have the definition of Howard Cosell.

Cosell turned Monday Night Football into a mainstream event that is now part of American pop culture by venturing where few others in the sports media had the courage to go. Cosell entertained his audience as part linguist and part word-smith with a distinctive staccato delivery that demanded the audience's attention. People who speak out on issues as Cosell did invariably pay a price for their courage. Howard Cosell was more than a reporter, he was a purveyor of truth, unafraid to offend those who would take offense. Cosell had such courage whether its was a discussion of athletes of color in sports, free-agency, illegal drugs in sports, anti-trust laws, player strikes, owners unjustly moving teams, increasing fan violence, or parity in the NFL. Cosell was an advocate of the fans, and despite pressures from a powerful NFL hierarchy, Cosell maintained his social sense of purpose, and his conservative belief in basic American rights, such as due process and freedom of speech. One of his most famous and enduring catchphrases was, "I'm just telling it like it is." Seriously, were people expecting anything less? He was after all, the one and only - Howard Cosell, an iconic legend of sports-broadcasting and sports-journalism.



Football might not be what it is today without Howard Cosell

Cosell was an iconic combination of pioneering sports journalist, color commentator and broadcast legend. True sports enthusiasts remember Howard Cosell for many different reasons. To some Cosell is remembered for his notable commentary covering Muhammad Ali and the world of boxing at large, and still others for Cosell's interviewing John Lennon of the Beatles during a MNF game on December 9th, 1974, and almost exactly six years later, sadly announcing Lennon's death during another MNF game on December 8th, 1980. The exciting manner with which Cosell delivered his weekly "Halftime Highlights" recap of Sunday's games from the day before is still viewed with reverence in the sports broadcasting industry today. Hollywood actors and actresses, governors, and Presidents would seek out Cosell in the ABC broadcast booth just for an interview. Howard Cosell likely interviewed more professional athletes than any other sportscaster in history. Who else but Cosell had interviews with the great NFL players and coaches like Roger Staubach, Joe Namath, Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw, Fran Tarkenton, Franco Harris, O.J. Simpson, Don Shula, Vince Lombardi, Tom Landry, NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle and many others.


Howard Cosell had a strong civil-rights record. It has already been proven that his "little monkey" comments had nothing to do with racism. Cosell was a staunch supporter of all athletes including Curt Flood, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Arthur Ashe, Muhammed Ali, and John Carlos/Tommy Smith (1968 Olympics) among others. We are not likely to experience this same level of color-commentary genius ever again. As Howard Cosell would say, that's "Telling it like it is."




"He's a seminal figure not only in sports, but all of television."
--Dick Ebersol, former president of NBC Sports





"If Howard said, `I'm going to get the newspaper,' it sounded like an exciting event."
-- Producer, director, Woody Allen





"Howard Cosell was Monday Night Football. Without Howard Cosell, there was no Monday Night Football."
-- Chet Forte, former Director of ABC Monday Night Football






"No one has had a greater impact on sportscasting and television sports journalism."
-- George Steinbrenner, N.Y. Yankees






"When the complete book on sportscasting in the 20th Century is composed, Howard Cosell has earned the longest chapter. His influence in sportscasting has been profound."
-- Sportscaster, Dick Enberg






"If Howard Cosell picked you for a Monday Night Football highlight, you were big."
-- Matt Millen






"Cosell is the franchise. He may also be the most valuable property in American sports. There's no question that Howard Cosell was the most important sports journalist of our time, and because so much of what he did transcended sports, he was one of the most important journalists... period."
-- Sports Journalist, SportsWorld Magazine, Robert Lipsyte






"I remember him as someone who was an important journalistic figure, and I think to deny that is to let your prejudices get in the way."
-- Author, Frank Deford






"He became a giant by the simple act of telling the truth in an industry that was not used to hearing it and considered it revolutionary."
-- Monday Night Football Creator and former President of ABC Sports, Roone Arledge








Howard was a true original. He rose like a screeching comet and left a trail that no modern broadcaster has ever dared to follow. There will never be another like him.
-- NFL Films, Steve Sabol






"He was a fine gentleman."
-- Russ Francis, receiver, former New England Patriots






"I found him to be genuine in his compassion. I'll never forget him for that."
-- Daryl Stingley, former New England Patriots






"Howard Cosell was a colorful guy. The broadcaster's death is a sad day for sports. I did not, and do not, take exception to anything he said about me in the broadcast. Matter of fact, I am pleased that he singled me out for such favorable attention."
-- Washington Redskins wide-receiver, Alvin Garrett






"Howard Cosell was a good man and he lived a good life. I have been interviewed by many people, but I enjoyed interviews with Howard the best. We always put on a good show. I hope to meet him one day in the hereafter. I can hear Howard now saying, Muhammad, you're not the man you used to be. I pray that he is in God's hands. I will miss him."
-- Former heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali 




HOWARD COSELL VIDEO CLIPS



"It's just monkey business"
Pregame commentary (September 11, 1983)



"What is popular is not always right, and what is right is not always popular."
-- Howard Cosell




"Every person working in sports journalism today owes a tremendous debt to Howard Cosell. His greatest contribution was elevating sports reporting out of daily play-by-play and placing it in the larger context of society."
-- Roone Arledge, former President of ABC Sports



This website is deemed to be 100% factual and authoritative with reference to Howard Cosell's comments.


Disclaimer: Exhaustive Internet and paid newspaper archival research was used to collect the information for this website blog. The images, videos and sound clips used on this website were obtained from the public domain or submitted to the webmaster and may not necessarily be authentic or original representations of the actual people or places involved. When otherwise unavailable, some items were purchased and then photographic digital images made. This website is not-for-profit, educational use only and no copyright infringement is intended.

Subject to "Fair Use" limitations as found in section 107 of U.S. copyright law (Title 17, U. S. Code).



126 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am not sure how and where you dug up all this old data on those games but its nice that you did it. I never forgot hearing Cosell say those things but never knew which games until now. A cool memory! "Look at that little monkey run!"

Anonymous said...

This is a VERY COOL website. Never seen it before!

Jason Scott said...

Not sure how you got your hands on all of these things but its been a long time since this subject has been dealt with so nicely. Looking forward to coming back to see that old Mike Adamle clip. You should have a subscribe feature or newsletter on your blog!

Tom said...

Very nice page. Now just looking forward to seeing the video of Mr. Cosell saying look at the little monkey run. never knew he said it about a white player!

Anonymous said...

Wow. There is so much misleading information out there regarding this. I thought he said look at that little monkey run about Alvin Garrett too. I am going to research this more....

Donnie said...

I doub't it very much if Cosell was a racist especially owing to his support of black athletes. Looking forward to seeing that old clip again...saw it on TV when he said it.

Roger said...

Don't forget the fact that Alvin Garrett himself stated for the record that he never felt it was a racial slur, don't forget the fact that Cosell used the term "little monkey" as a term of endearment to describe his own grandsons as well as smaller stature players of all ethnicities (as he did in '72 about Caucasian player Mike Adamle of the Kansas City Chiefs some 11 years before the 1983 incident), dont forget the fact that his best friend in the sporting world was Black Muslim, Muhammed Ali.

Clearly, Cosell was no bigot, no racist. Many years later after the damage had been done, the Reverend Joseph Lowery expressed regret that he had chosen to single out Cosell over this, stating that he simply wanted to see more "people of color" in the broadcast booth. R.I.P.

Maury D. said...

To be fair regarding the latter incident, Cosell used the comment in praise of Garrett's abilities and was known to use the term to describe everyone from white athletes to his own grandchildren. Cosell's legacy concerning race relations is above reproach, and such notables as olympic runner Harry Edwards, politician Jesse Jackson and Garrett himself stood behind Cosell in the days following the remark.

Mike Monroe said...

This 1983 incident alone is NOT what led to Cosell leaving MNF. The Tex Cobb boxing thing upset Cosell enough to give up broadcasting boxing matches - and boxing is what he loved! The monkey thing was just the final straw and he bacme even more frustrated with the criticism he got. He was way ahead of his time. Have you heard of an announcer named Gus Johnson? There is a double standard when black announcers say what they say.

Anonymous said...

Mike Adamle was the first player Cosell ever referred to as a little monkey. I remember it and never gave it a second thought, although it was an interesting choice of words. Nothing wrong with that. It was just part of the controversy that Made Howard Cosell the legend he was (and is). I am sure his name will live on forever. Nice job on the website!

Ron Coats said...

"The smartest, most entertaining and unforgettable television broadcaster in the history of sports — a superb reporter who worked harder and asked better and tougher questions than anyone else who'd ever worn headphones.

Carl Redman said...

In my opinion, Cosell belongs on the media Mount Rushmore of NFL history next to Roone Arledge, creator of Monday Night Football and Ed Sabol of NFL Films.

Tim Evanston said...

No way he was a racist. Guys and girls,, Cosell was the most vocal supporter of Muhammed Ali through the turbulent era of the sixties when Ali refused to enter the war and go to Vietnam.

LocoArts said...

Well in a documentary they showed a clip of him saying this about a White Football Player in the early 1970's.

I just got the 'Battle of the Network Stars' dvd's... there is 18 of them and I'd say probably 15 TIMES in these 18 episodes, Howard calls white actors a MONKEY.

He calls Scott Baio a monkey at least 10 Times!

SO NO he wasn't racist. I wish that documentary on his career, included these examples because he said it anytime someone was doing well and moving fast!

Anonymous said...

Listening to Howard Cosell, the public’s vocabulary expanded exponentially!

ps: Can't wait to see that video clip again. I saw it as a young girl.

Dan Cochran said...

Watching Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football was a perfect reason for our weekly football party in the 1970s. Those great days are gone. Please post the video of Howard saying "Look at that little monkey go!!!" Thank you for this website.

Anonymous said...

The controversy surrounding his alleged description of a black football player as "little monkey" was definitely overblown, and if anything, revealed Howard Cosell's "colorblindness" rather than any hidden racism.

Mimi Grimes said...

Everyone from John Lennon, President Nixon, VP Spiro Agnew, Ronald Reagan, Richard Long, Farrah Fawcett, Bo Derek and Burt Reynolds visited the broadcast booth. Monday Night Football (MNF) became the place to see and be seen.

Anonymous said...

Howard Cosell was a national treasure. The 70's and 80's was a golden age for sports. OK... so when is the video from 1972? I remember that one. People need to see that since they are so focused on the Alvin Garrett incident.

Dave said...

Where is the video of him saying that about the white player? I never knew about that one! Thanks, Dave.

Rachelle Owens said...

It may be a case where those doing the talking did not intend them to be racist. IMHO that is why you have to be very careful, everyone knows they should not say racist things, but it is not only what you think is racist, but what others think and interpret.

Given Cosell's support of boxer Muhammed Ali, I always found it hard to believe that monkey comment was racially motivated.

Mike Henson said...

I totally love this website blog!!! Great soundbites and interesting videos. When R U going to put up the one where it says "reserved"? That will prove to the naysayers that Cosell's comment was not racially motivated once and for all. We all need an education and I will keep checking back so please get it posted. Thanks!!!

Milton said...

If the mockers, bloggers and columnists who jumped on Howard Cosell don't jump with at least equal fervor on Andrew Young, then their political bias is showing.

Mark Ballentine said...

I see lots of sound clips but nothing here showing him having actually said "Look at that little monkey run." Isn't that what your website is about???

Mark Ballentine said...

You also don't have any clips of Howard saying his classic line "He could go all the way." Everyone my age thinks Chris Berman coined that phrase. I know he got it from Howard but many don't. You better get that clip uploaded too. Regards.

Anonymous said...

He did say it. I have heard Chris Berman say that. "He could ... go ... all ... the ... way!"

Monica said...

Fans either loved him or hated him - but either way, they tuned in! I loved him and I am so glad I found this website.

mark said...

Howard Cosell will never be forgotten!

Don Bettis said...

This is all very interesting because I was watching the first incident on TV in 1972 when it happened and didn't think a thing about it, except perhaps that it was an 'interesting' choice of words to use. I never even knew about the Alvin Garrett incident in 83 until finding this website. Knowing Howard Cosell's wide ranging support for black athletes, there is absolutely no way that there was even a hint of racist intention in his comment about Alvin Garrett. To the contrary, Cosell was always tring to set the record straight and was a civic and societal proponent. I am looking forward to seeing the 'reserved' video replaced by the actual one. I will be back.....

Bart Wilson said...

Your webpage is really coming together. I will tell some friends about it and keep checking back for the Mike Adamle video.

ps: I am not affiliated with NFL Films in any way but I put that link with my name because I love the work both Ed and Steve Sabol have done over the years.

Matt said...

Nice sound clips Chuck!

Sam Schwartz said...

Right. That has got to be one of the most famous catch phrases in sports. The originator is the late, great Howard Cosell. The credit goes to him.

Anonymous said...

Not sure but I think Berman also stole "back... back... back... back" from Howard Cosell as well!

Anonymous said...

Finally.....a blog that provides accurate information. You are setting the record straight!!!!! I've been enlightened with all the information you've researched and posted. Great work!!!

Bart said...

Not sure of the exact date, but I saw that Cosell was placed as number one on David J. Halberstam's list of Top 50 All Time Network Television Sports Announcers on Yahoo! Sports.

Anonymous said...

No surprise that he was rated #1. Cosell was simply the most famous sportscaster of all time and the lead of the classic Monday Night Football broadcast team of the 1970s and '80s.

Anonymous said...

Even though I was not a huge Howard Cosell fan, even most 'haters' will admit that Howard Cosell deserves the Hall of Fame Pete Rozelle award for his contributions. Time for the NFL to make things right, Howard Cosell should be a Pete Rozell winner, in fact, they ought to rename it for Howard Cosell.

Tim said...

I second that last comment!

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2010/football/nfl/08/02/cosell/index.html

Anonymous said...

I can't believe Berman got the award in 2010 but Cosell hasn't. This is so wrong! Just about everything Berman does is ripped off from someone else.

"He...could...go...all...the...way!" ripped off from Cosell. "Back, Back, Back, Back" ripped off from Red Barber. He has also tried to copy the great John Facenda. Most of the stuff he's "famous" for, has been copied from somebody else.

Anonymous said...

I know this is about football, but I remember him as one of the best boxing announcers ever.

Anonymous said...

I really want to see the video from 1972. When are you going to post it? Howard Cosell sure as heck wasn't a racist. Another FACT: Howard Cosell was never fired. He decided to quit Monday Night Football due to his frustrations over being misunderstood.

Anonymous said...

It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to watch Howard Cosell as a sportscaster. Missing forever is his television personality, his Brooklyn accent, his ego, the arrogance, and his sense of social calling. A legend.

Anonymous said...

When Cosell left Monday Night Football, watching NFL games on Monday nights lost its "must-see" TV appeal to me. What a shame, not as much what he said but how people accused him of being a racist. Come on! Think about it... how could a racist also be accused of being an "N" lover in the same breath? Sorry... just trying to make a point.

Tina said...

Thank you. This sort of website about Howard Cosell was greatly needed! Sadly, many young people don't even know what, I mean "who" they missed not growing up in the 1970's with Howard Cosell. I agree with the other person who said that Mr. Cosell was greatly misunderstood. He was much more professional and prepared than some of the other announcers today. Just listen to this clip of Chris Berman I found on youtube!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_BWBKF9I5Q

Anonymous said...

OMG! Howard Cosell "MADE" Monday Night Football. The combination of Gifford and Meredith with Cosell in the middle stirring things up boosted the ratings and helped to make the NFL even more popular and to become the institution it is today.

How can he not be in the HOF as a Rozelle award recipient?

Steve said...

I believe that it was TV-Guide Magazine that did a poll back in the '70's that determined that Howard Cosell was BOTH unquestionably the most hated and most loved sports announcer of all time.

He was loved for his intelligence, his preparedness, his take no BS approach and for his support of athletes.

The reason(s) he was hated were totally ridiculous and uninformed.

1. He was so smart that he intimidated regular people with his vocabulary.

2. He got unfairly blamed by sports fans around the country for not selecting the proper game clips to review during his Monday Night Football "Halftime Highlights." The thing is, he didn't have any control over which clips were selected by his ABC producers.

3. He supported Black athletes like Jackie Robinson that were trying to break the racial barrier and enter into sports.

4. He defended 'Cassius Clay' a.k.a. Muhammed Ali's decision to boycott the Vietnam War.

5. Howard Cosell was a lawyer first, and he also supported baseball players Curt Flood's rights to free-agency.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, the only reason that Cosell hasn't gotten a Rozelle awared is because he "Never played the game." He didn't mean the game of football, but the "game" of corporate politics that is apparently required. he made some harsh comments about the NFL establishment most of all were probably accurate. Thats's the only way they can get back at him by keeping him out. He might be gone now, but his fans, and he had many, will never let his memory die though.

Anonymous said...

Howard Cosell changed the "voice" of boxing and revitalized the ratings with his own style. When it comes to football, I agree that Cosell was unfairly judged by fans because they thought he was the one picking the halftime lights and if their team didn't make it they got pis*ed! The other thing he probably shouldn't have done is say what fans percieved as negative comments about their teams that they were so passionate about. He was extremely interesting to hear and I wish there were more videos of him in existence. Thank you for this website and please get more videos of him posted, especially so younger people will know who he is and was! The 1972 Chiefs (Adamle) game will show critics that he really did use the words "little monkey" about a white guy after all. This should have been out there for everyone to see years ago! Good job.

Rosemary said...

Really? I wasn't even ever aware of Howard Cosell saying what he said about any white football player. Looking forward to seeing the video of that. Where has this information been until now? That will settle that racist nonsense and help to exonerate him.

Anonymous said...

The 10 greatest network announcers of all-time (in order):

1. Howard Cosell
2. John Madden
3. Brent Musburger
4. Al Michaels
5. Dick Enberg
6. Curt Gowdy
7. Keith Jackson
8. Bob Costas
9. Jim McKay
10. Pat Summerall
-----------------

Tracy V. said...

I have to tell you that I am blown away by this. I never knew that Howard Cosell used this comment in reference to a white player. Would love to see that video. It would also "offset" the video where he says it about the black Redskins player. Also, after looking around, I think this is the only website on the entire internet that addresses this whole thing accurately. I am sure Howard is looking down on you right now with a smile.

Jason - (Click here) said...

To the people on May 13 and May 19th, Cosell was rated #1 here:

http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ys-top50announcers013009

Anonymous said...

He was one of a kind and pushed the envelope. I remember one baseball game Cosell was in the booth with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer during coverage of the Royals and Twins game leading a pointed discussion of baseball's drug dilemma. He was unparalleled in his ability to think on his feet in an informed manner owing to his rigorous preparation.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Cosell was added to the NFL's Alumni "Order of the Leather Helmet" in 1986 along with Vince Lombardi. I'd say that was some pretty good company!

It's not about all the awards anyway. It's about the legend that is Howard Cosell. He might not been admired by everyone, but he was respected.

Paul said...

See the TNT movie named "Monday Night Mayhem" which is all about the behind-the-scenes events of the real "Monday Night Football".

I copied the following about it since it is written much better thsn I could write it:

"Roone Arledge (John Heard) had a crazy, costly idea in the early 1970s to bring pro football to the ABC network by airing it on Monday nights. The project required a big production with more camera angles and even a broadcasting team of three in the booth. The trio turned out to be "Dandy" Don Meredith (Brad Beyer), Frank Gifford (Kevin Anderson), and the brash Brooklynite Howard Cosell (John Turturro). Cosell's outspoken demeanor and intellectual edge on his ex-athlete partners built rivalries causing all parties to feel a lack of respect. Add to this mess, a gambling addicted director in Chet Forte (Nicholas Turturro) and scandals revolving everything from racial slurs to alcoholic miscues and it is amazing that such a show could steer clear of failure. On the contrary, MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL completely changed sports broadcasting."

Keith Bickel said...

According to the American Sportscasters Association (ASA) committee, the top 10 broadcasters of all time are Vin Scully, Mel Allen, Red Barber, Curt Gowdy, Howard Cosell, Bob Costas, Jim McKay, Keith Jackson, Al Michaels and Dick Enberg.

Also, please set up your comments section so that people can reply directly to other peoples comments. Otherwise, its hard to refer to whom you want to comment or reply back to. Thanks for a great positive site on Howard Cosell. He deserves this.

Paula said...

A decent write-up here -

http://www.novelguide.com/a/discover/nspf_01/nspf_01_00120.html

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there are not enough NFL football memories of Howard Cosell available on the internet. There are more boxing related videos and Battle of the Network Stars videos on youtube. Your website is a great "find" and I had hoped to see an actual video of Cosell saying "Look at that little monkey run". Yes, I also remember Howard Cosell for telling things just the way they were without pulling any punches.

I will check back and hope to find more Howard Cosell videos. Please help to keep his memory alive!

Max said...

Some of the old audio clips are nice but you don't appear to have either of the video clips you say this website is about. Because of that I am disappointed. This website is nice, but this is exactly why Cosell isn't in the mainstream anymore, not enough archival footage of him other than Wikipedia.

Chuck said...

This website/blog is a work in progress. I appreciate everyones patience on the issue of the missing videos that I am still researching. I am making every attempt to locate them, and hope to have them soon. Please understand that it takes a lot of time and effort to locate game films that are over 40 years old and then review them. Keep checking back. Chuck

Anonymous said...

I am pleasantly surprised that all the comments here seem to be so positive about Cosell. I too am one who believes that Cosell positively impacted sports journalism with his willingness to assume stances on issues larger than the sports he covered.

Steve Glickman said...

I remember back in 1974 while hosting his show "Sportsbeat," Howard Cosell did a investigative piece on a rise in sporting event fan violence. "Fan violence is becoming a growing problem in our society..." After watching the recent news of the S.F. Giants fan Bryan Stow who was attacked and severely beaten at Dodger Stadium in the parking lot after the first game of the Dodgers' and Giants' season on March 31, It looks like Cosell might have been right.

Marc Glickman said...

I love the Dick Enberg commentary video. Where did you find that? I am very sure that even Howard Cosell himself would appreciate your "Telling it like it is," and the factual information you provide here is way OVERDUE. As an informed sports enthusiast and Howard Cosell follower, and staunch supporter of his memory, I want to thank you for compiling this information and finally getting it out there for people to see. I have not found this type of information anywhere else in any form of media, and this is a major "jump start" in the direction of setting things straight.

Since leaving the world of sports journalism in a vacuum with his absence, I believe there has been a gradual deterioration of Cosell's image because of the errant slant of information in existing media sources on this matter of him making a racist remark. I have always believed that because of the lack of accurate information on this "monkey" subject, much of the public continues to unfairly misunderstand Cosell. The worst thing that could happen is that his contributions to sports become diminished over time, or inaccurately documented. Everyone seems to believe that there was only ONE comment, about a black player, and that the one comment was "Look at that little monkey run!" on Monday Night Football. That's All 100% FALSE as you have documented.

So what is the status of the '72 video? People should have seen this years ago. Many people, especially younger sports followers don't even know that Cosell also used this term in that earlier NFL game. Nearly 90% of existing Internet websites contain incorrect textual references, claiming that Howard Cosell said "Look at that little monkey run" about Redskins player Alvin Garrett on that season-opening Monday Night Football game in September of 1983. Despite the fact that the information is WRONG, if people believe it is accurate, it continues to provide momentum, however inaccurately, in the wrong direction to uninformed public. In support of Cosell, you have provided PROOF of his statements by virtue of having provided the 1983 Monday Night Football game footage of Cosell actually saying "Gibbs wanted to get that kid, and that little monkey gets loose doesn't he?" about Garrett.

The 1972 clip of Adamle, along with the '83 clip of Garrett will show that Howard Cosell did indeed also use an innocent "little monkey" phrase in his commentary about a Caucasian football player (a.k.a. Mike Adamle) who had physical attributes comparable to Alvin Garrett's. Educated and informed people already understand that Cosell was no "racist." Unfortunately there are far too many others out there who still need to see it to understand what was said, and about who, and when. Again, where has this exhonerating information been hiding since 1983? (rhetorical)

Anonymous said...

Cosell was way ahead of his time. Rightly or wrongly, Howard Cosell was percieved as a threat to broadcast contemporaries, print journalists, NFL team owners, the NFL Commissioner (Rozelle), and the NFL establishment as a whole because he was willing to say "The Emperor has no clothes."

Anonymous said...

Howard Cosell racist? LOL! In fact, it's probably the people making those claims, thinking with their own predjudice mindsets that are most guilty of prejudice.

Rick Thomas said...

Fan violence? SportsBeat? OMG. That show won an Emmy award in a category that had to be created just for him called "Outstanding Achievement in Sports Journalism." It was a half-hour program on Saturday afternoons, exploring some of the major issues in sports and had respected journalists of the time on its staff. Cosell continued to do a daily sportscast, "Speaking of Sports," and a weekly 30-minute interview program, "Speaking of Everything" on ABC radio before retiring in early 1992.

Anonymous said...

I hope that everyone realizes that one man, just one racist man himself, the Reverend Joseph Lowrey of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta, GA sparked all of this "racist" controversy BS. Of course the media piled on because they love a hot story, and afterall isn't that how they earn their income? It was the media alone that fanned the flames of Cosell's innocent "little monkey" remark. How absolutely and totally ridiculous of Lowery to accuse Howard Cosell of being a racist! If there is such a thing, Cosell was the exact opposite of a racist. Cosell paved the way for Black athletes in sports, and spoke openly to right the wrongs that existed at that time, actively supporting Black athletes. Way to go Lowery, you in effect "lit the fuse" on the bomb that was the begining of the end, the final straw in Cosell's mind that enough was enough. You lost one of your finest supporters when you decided to attack Howard Cosell. R.I.P. Howard Cosell!

Dodge said...

Everybody likes to copy Howard Cosell. Whether it's Chris Berman saying "He could go all the way" or Mike Tirico on ESPN using the name "SportsBeat" which was the name of the show Howard Cosell had on ABC in the mid 1980's.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting some of these clips. Though he was great as a boxing commentator, I think he reached his ultimate peak of fame from 1970-1984, when he was the color commentator for ABC's Monday Night Football. I loved his "Halftime Highlights."

Mark said...

Cosell had a sense of social purpose. He transformed sports television to expose social and political issues attached to key athletes in sports. He was not a bad guy and wasn't afraid to ask very tough questions.

Anonymous said...

Nice work!

Anonymous said...

I would like to say that, contrary to the belief of multitudes of Internet bloggers and forum readers everywhere, Howard Cosell was never fired because of his comment. He was growing tired of the way baseball and football owners treated loyal fans by just moving their teams to other cities at will with little regard for fans loyalties. It was Cosell who made the ultimate decision to leave the broadcast booth because it involved too much travel time, valuable time away from the family life he appreciated. You definitely need the video added here. Many nice comments.

Anonymous said...

I remember the summer of 2000 when Sports Illustrated had Dennis Miller's photo on the cover with a headline of "Can Dennis Miller Save Monday Night Football?" The first thing it made me think of was Cosell.

Anonymous said...

Adamle clip???

Anonymous said...

There is no Howard Cosell of today, no "tell-it-like-it-is" commentary, no replacement, nobody even close and probably never will be in this day of PC "political-correctness." Instead we have in his place nearly total predictability, with bland commentary in all of televised sports. I miss you Howard.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people did not like Howard, but his "tell it like it is" style really impressed me. He made "Monday Night Football" interesting to watch. As the years go by, I think more and more people have realized that he were not as bad as people thought. I want to see the first "Little Monkey" video again. I saw it when it happened. It was cute! (Shirley)

Anonymous said...

Cosell was a rare sports journalist, with a strong sense of social calling, and a man that had no fear of telling the truth as he believed it to be. He reinvented sports television, forever changed the medium, and blazed the way for sports announcers and broadcasters that will never be equaled. As others have said, I think Cosell will be remembered as a man who was as good at creating his audience following as he was alienating it. Either way he will always be remembered, and whats wrong with that?

Ronnie said...

Nice site! Can't wait to see the clip of the white guy! Yep - Cosell will forever be remembered as the one man who was as good at creating an audience as he was at alienating it, and that, is why his name has gone down in sportcasting history and we are still talking about him.

Anonymous said...

YEP. HE WAS A COOL GUY!

Anonymous said...

From his Halftime Highlights I remember him saying

And then...

But...

That Man...

Look at that!...

Thomas V. said...

Ah yes! As color commentator, no matter the sport he covered, Cosell's trademark was a steady flow of language unmatched in his use of new and unfamiliar, but interesting words into his color commentary. THUMBS UP!

Marion Rodgers said...

I did a search and see that Howard was inducted into the The American Sportscasters Association (ASA) Hall of Fame in 1993. Since the ASA was established to honor sportscasters who have achieved excellence in the field of sportscasting. If he could get into this HOF, he surely should get a Pete Rozelle Award. There is no doubt in my mind that he will eventually.

Anonymous said...

I have been checking back here about once a week to see the "Look at that little monkey run" video. I still dont see it anywhere. When is it coming?

Anonymous said...

He was definitely one of the great personalities of the 1970's and early 1980's.

Jason Perry said...

His voice cadence was unmatched in the television trade. His popularity was such that George Steinbrenner, Pete Rozelle, John Lennon, Andy Williams, Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Bo Derek and many others would come into the ABC broadcast booth, to be interviewed.

Anonymous said...

I liked Cosell, but I also know that to others he was probably the most polarizing figure in sports history. As others have said, you either loved him or hated him. But whether it was a Monday Night Football game, or a championship boxing match, when Cosell was behind the microphone, his dramatic style totally enhanced the caliber of the whole event.

Anonymous said...

Howard Cosell was one of the best announcers of all time period. Now as far as NFL only is concerned I would have to say Madden ranked up there with him. If things keep going the way they are now we won't even have any NFL or NBA games to watch!

Anonymous said...

Howard, helped me build up a good vocabulary when I was in junior high and high school. I always looked up those new words he used.

Anonymous said...

Why do you have Chris Berman's catchphrase "He could go all the way" associated with Howard Cosell??? As you can clearly see by your own websites sample video clips, the closest thing Cosell ever said to that was something like "He's going to go all the way."

To be fair to Berman, you really need to change the title caption on this page to something else

http://howardcosell-littlemonkeycomment.blogspot.com/p/he-could-go-all-way.html

Anonymous said...

No matter how much I disliked Cosell at times, I think the halftime highlights portion on monday night football was one of the best there's ever been. My memory fails me as to whether or not he said actually said "He could go all the way" but I did hear him say "Look at that little monkey run." No harm in that. Everything should be taken in the context in which it was intended. Calm down people!

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

He seemed pretty sure of himself but he was great at his halftime highlights reviews. Where have all of those gone and why????

Mitch said...

Until now I never noticed just how close those catchphrases of Cosell and Berman were! Nice that Berman wanted to keep the phrase going in memory of Howard. Very cool.

Mark said...

I like the Howard He's going to go all the way" clips!

Mike Barer said...

You broke the mold when it comes to personal blogs. This is excellently written and informative!

Anonymous said...

I remember the glory days of MNF under the leadership of Arledge and on-air legends like Howard Cosell.

Sam said...

This link is kinda about Madden, but it also talks about Cosell being the best announcer. I have to agree with that.

Anonymous said...

I like the inclusion of the Mike Adamle clips. Just a good way to balance the blog for those who maintain Cosell meant the comment about Garrett to be racist. That was total NONSENSE. Good blog.

Anonymous said...

My favorite quote that Cosell used was, "What's right isn't always popular, and what's popular isn't always right." He always seemed to try to do what was right, not what was popular.

Ryan Wagner said...

Obviously more well known for his boxing and football broadcasts, Cosell was just as influential calling baseball games for ABC in the 70's and 80's. He was always a controversial figure, simply because his broadcasting style was never about adoration, but more analytical and direct. Cosell changed the way that sports were broadcast by simply being himself and never pulling his punches. His distinctive voice can be heard describing the action of the greatest moments in sports history, and people of all ages have been trying to duplicate that voice for decades. Quite simply, Cosell is the Godfather of modern broadcasting, and the fact that he is as well known and was as effective calling multiple sports is a testament to how talented the man truly was. It is astoundingly sad to me that, even though Cosell was an integral part of putting the NFL and Monday Night Football on the map with his broadcasts, he is not enshrined in their Hall of Fame. It's quite an oversight, and hopefully will be corrected soon. That being said, if there was a Hall of Fame for sports in general, Howard would be in about four times over. The guy was a Titan.

Anonymous said...

Arledge wanted the prime time show to become an event that transcended game of football. Cosell was the perfect man for the task. For 14 seasons (1970-83), Cosell made wide-ranging opinions, often sarcastic critique. He seemed to hold animosity for the sportswriting profession that made the show “must-see” viewing regardless of the teams playing.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. If ESPN is looking for something to replace the Hank Williams intro on MNF, why not go with some "retro" flashback openingings from the 70's ABC era of Monday Night Football? It would be a great way to attract old fans and provide a bit of history of MNF at the same time. How about some old "Halftime Highlights" footage from Howard Cosell? Run the NFL "Heavy Action" theme song and then "Roll tape... take take!" - Chet Forte

Phil Simms said...

To those of us who have been watching Monday Night Football since its inception in 1970, the more we watch Monday Night Football, the more it becomes clear that what drove its popularity wasn't primetime, or football on a Monday, or a nationally televised game, — it was Howard Cosell. We know this because the show hasn't really been worth watching since he left. His Halftime Highlights are legendary.

Just about every event he covered, he made more important, more interesting, more legendary, by the force of his words and personality. Considered by some to be a journalistic genius, Cosell became legendary and was made famous for being outspoken, opinionated, and unafraid to ask the right questions. In the near term, popular opinion seems to be split on the matter, but, sports programs seem to be obsessed with finding the next Cosell.

Davin said...

Indeed, it is a rare ability for a sportscaster to overshadow the game itself. By all accounts, Cosell had this singular ability.

Anonymous said...

Howard Cosell was like the king of sportscasters to me when I was a kid. I remember him mostly from Monday Night Football. I liked him not only on how he reported sports, but how he spoke with that hesitating iconic voice we have all become so familiar with. So many people try to imitate his voice. The sports world lost a great one when they lost him.

Anonymous said...

Cosell was the very reason why America tuned into MNF in the first place.

Anonymous said...

I can remember when Howard Cosell used to call the 2B Hubbard of the Atlanta Braves a little monkey. Nobody said anything because hubbard was white.

Anonymous said...

This might be this blog's best piece of writing I have read!

Marvin Hedges said...

Was what Howard Cosell said racist? Certainly not from his perspective, but, the recipient of the comment dictates what is offensive and what is not. This is clearly a case where a simple "This is a term that I use all of the time. I did not mean anything by it, and if I offended anyone I am sorry" would have been sufficient to end the controversy.

Anonymous said...

He called it as he saw it, and wasn't afraid of controversy. A no BS type of guy.

Anonymous said...

Cosell made games seem like they really mattered and added big time excitement to them.

Anonymous said...

Appearing on a panel with sportscaster Howard Cosell, George Steinbrenner was told that polls indicated Cosell was the most liked and disliked man in sportscasting.

Steinbrenner's response: "The most important thing is to be noticed."

Independent Researcher said...

Howard Cosell turned Monday Night Football into an event that is now part of American pop culture.

Anonymous said...

In 1982, Cosell called white Atlanta Braves second baseman Glenn Hubbard a "little monkey" while praising his fielding skills, saying something along the lines of "that little monkey can really pick it."

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Michael said...

When ESPN’s Chris Berman goes into his “He . . . could . . . go . . . all . . . the . . . way!” shtick, while showing football highlights, he is paying intentional homage to Howard Cosell, who did precisely the same shtick narrating halftime highlights on Monday Night Football.

Anonymous said...

What we should remember about Cosell is the impact he had on sports. Whether you liked him, or disliked him, no one can dispute that Cosell left his mark on sports. Such a man deserves induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

One of the good qualities a society can have is to forgive and forget. Let’s forgive him for what he said in his later years, but let’s never forget the impact he had on professional football. That can only be achieved if he gets what he deserves, induction into the HOF in Canton.

Devon Thomas said...

Over the past few years there has been a surge of interest in Howard Cosell. Beginning in 2006 with Dave Kindred’s biography of Howard Cosell and Muhammad Ali entitled Sound and Fury, writers have turned more attention to the career of the pop-culture icon and legendary sportscaster. Robert Lipsyte devotes a chapter named 'Uncle Howard' to Cosell in his recently published memoir, An Accidental Sportswriter. There have been two new biographies of Howard Cosell published in the past year, There You Have It: The Life, Legacy, and Legend of Howard Cosell, and most recently, Mark Ribowsky’s Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth, and the Transformation of American Sports. After reading these I have a more positive and clearer understanding of the man nicknamed 'COACH' by the late Vince Lombardi.

Anonymous said...

If it wasn’t for Howard Cosell, we’d have had no John Madden, no Bob Costas, no Al Michaels. The grand-daddy of the sportscaster personality is none other than Howard Cosell, but he was much more than an iconic voice. This book tells his incredible story and chronicles the far-reaching effects of his influence in sports broadcasting.

Anonymous said...

Howard nearly blew it when he called a black Redskins player a little monkey, but he moved forward and left sports as one of the most recognizable announcers on the planet.

claymonster said...

What's even sadder than the original misunderstanding of Cosell's comment and subsequent retirement is that it set a "false precedent" for sports announcers. As in "Say anything that could be construed as racially motivated and you must be fired."
When Rush Limbaugh made his comment about the press & the NFL pinning their hopes of an elite, black quarterback on Donovan McNabb, he had to leave during the ensuing uproar as well. Even though what he said was 100% true.

chiefs tickets said...

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Anonymous said...

I remember the player as being Herb Mulkey of the Washington Redskins in 1973 or so when Mul-key made a huge kickoff return for a TD.

Ryan said...

AWESOME! I knew there was somebody else around the '73 timeframe. I never knew it was Mulkey though.

Larry Geist said...

Great job with the Howard Cosell website.

As you recently discovered, it was not Alvin Garrett that Howard Cosell said "Look at that little monkey run" about. It turns out that the player Cosell was actually referring to was another Washington Redskins player named Herb Mul-Key as he was doing his voice-over play recaps during Halftime Highlights on ABC Monday Night Football in 1973. The play in question was Mul-Keys 97-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, September 23, 1973.

In the Sunday game, two 97-yard kickoff returns for touchdowns were made back-to-back, one by Don Shy of the Cardinals, followed by Redskins wide-receiver and kickoff return specialist Herb Mul-Key. The 97-yard kickoff return took place in the regular season Sunday game between the Redskins and Cardinals, but the Cosell comment wasn't made until the next evening during the Halftime Highlights segment of the Monday Night Football game between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys on September 24, 1973.

The Alvin Garrett comment came almost exactly ten years later, on September 5th, 1983 during live play action of the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Redskins game, when Howard Cosell made his most memorable reference to Redskins player Alvin Garrett, saying "Joe Gibbs wanted that kid, and that little monkey gets loose doesn't he."

Until Mul-Key's name was uncovered, both comments were inaccurately associated with Alvin Garrett. After all these years, the name Herb Mul-Key has come to light, correcting the long-standing controversy of who Howard Cosell was referring to when he said Look at that little monkey run.

Rich Baker said...

Howard Cosell was a champion of the people.