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Sunday, December 12, 2010
Sound of silence on Jets-Fins 30 years ago

By Tim Graham

Thirty years ago this month, the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets quietly played an historic football game at the Orange Bowl.

NBC Sports broadcast the game without announcers.

ESPN.com senior writer Greg Garber looked back on the unusual and controversial event for an "Outside the Lines" feature.

"All the stuff I've done in my career, and that's what I'm going to be remembered for," former NBC Sports chief Don Ohlmeyer said. "It serves me right."

When I think of Ohlmeyer, I think of "Monday Night Football." But the announcer-less game is a close second. He has produced Super Bowls, the Olympics, the "Wide World of Sports" and has won 16 Emmy Awards.

That's a lot of successes. The Jets at Dolphins game three decades ago was a weird thing.

"This was not some backroom experiment," said David Neal, an associate producer at the time who went on to direct NBC's Olympics programming. "This was network television at a time when network television was far more dominant than it was today. I think that NBC Sports that day really shone in a petri dish for all to see."