Muppet Night Football
|Date||December 21, 2020|
|Stadium||Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio|
|Favorite||Steelers by 9.5|
|TV in the United States|
|Announcers||Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Riddick|
Muppet Night Football was an American football contest played on December 21, 2020, between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League. As the game was played on Christmas week, the ESPN television network broadcast used the Muppets as an installment during the Monday Night Football broadcast. The Bengals won the game in a 27–17 upset victory.
In the previous two editions of Monday Night Football, on Christmas week, ESPN had holiday themed broadcasts based on A Christmas Carol and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. ESPN producers believed that the Muppets would be a natural fit for Monday Night Football given that they are both owned by Disney.
The Muppet Night Football telecast featured Muppet characters including Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Statler and Waldorf. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the segments involving the Muppets were shot with puppeteers in front of a green screen at home.
In the opening broadcast of the game, Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy served as announcers from the booth while Fozzie Bear reported from the sidelines. After their appearance in the opening broadcast, the Muppets soon re-appeared with Rowlf the Dog, Scooter, Gonzo, Animal, Beaker, the Swedish Chef and others singing a football-themed rendition Carol of the Bells.
The game's announcers also made reference to the Muppets, at times, such as when color commentator Brian Griese stated "I just hope that Statler and Waldorf don't throw tomatoes at us like they do Fozzie Bear."
Cincinnati started the game strong by recovering a botched Ben Roethlisberger snap inside of the Steelers 20 yard line. This led to a short Bengals field goal to go up 3–0. Soon after, the Bengals recovered a fumble off of a scorching hit from safety Vonn Bell on JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Bengals led 17–0 at the half and in the second half they added a third touchdown and a late field goal a 27–17 win.
In an upset win, the Bengals defeated the Steelers 27–17 to get their third win of the season. The victory snapped the Bengals's 11 game losing streak to the Steelers and marked their first home win against the Steelers since 2013 season.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol
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