How A Sports Broadcaster Announced Osama Bin Laden’s Death
When an announcer has to inform an audience of an important event outside the bubble of the sports world, it’s known as a “Howard Cosell Moment.”
On the night of December 8, 1980, during a nationally-televised Monday Night Football game, Cosell stunned America when he announced the murder of John Lennon. Since MNF was one of the most-watched programs in the US, and iPhones and Droids did not exist, Cosell essentially broke the news to millions.
We obviously live in much different times now, and news of bin Laden’s death spread quickly through Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia last night during the Phillies-Mets game. Nevertheless, WFAN’s Howie Rose had to address the increasingly loud chants of “U-S-A” for his radio audience. Here’s how he handled his Howard Cosell Moment.