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Why was Fran Tarkenton in MNF booth the night John Lennon died?

If you have watched the "Outside the Lines" piece on how "Monday Night Football" broke the news of John Lennon's death 30 years ago today, you might have wondered by Fran Tarkenton was in the booth with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford rather than Don Meredith.

Well, maybe not. But I did. So I asked in my role as Mr. Minutiae.

Turns out in that era ABC did some extra prime time games on other nights, and the total number of games exceeded what Meredith's contracted called for him to work.

So Tarkenton at times was used as a guest fill-in analyst.

Now you know. Carry on.

New York Sports