Former University of Toledo defensive back Kelly Herndon is in his third year with the Denver Broncos. Every other week during the season, Herndon will offer Blade readers insights into the NFL that only players can have. Herndon played at UT from 1995-98, and was a member of the 1995 MAC championship team.
Outside of participating in the playoffs, every player in the NFL lives to play on Monday Night Football. This week we play the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium on Monday night and I can't wait.
There are some misconceptions about how a team gets ready for an appearance on Monday Night Football. First of all, people think we prepare differently for a game on Monday night. The only difference between playing on Monday is that we have an extra day to practice and study our opponents.
I love playing any day - Sunday, Monday or Thursday - but playing on Monday night is more exciting than playing on Sunday. The main reason the Monday night game is more exciting is because I know everybody is watching, and being the only football game on that day gives the game a playoff atmosphere. So, a Monday night game gets viewed as a playoff game.
This Monday night game is a little more special to me than the others I've played in because I'm playing in my home state. It is a great feeling to be able to play so close to home so all of my family and friends can have a chance to watch a game live, and experience the atmosphere of seeing me play in a Monday night game.
I probably will have close to 30 relatives and friends at the game. Among those who will be cheering me on will be my mother, Shirley, brothers, Jayson, Rashan, Stacy, and sister Jalane. Also at Paul Brown Stadium watching me play will be my aunties Betty, Dank, and Pat, uncle Charles and my boys Durb and Dek.
Even though I always watched football growing up, especially the games on Monday night, I really don't have a favorite memory of Monday Night Football from when I was young. I loved watching every Monday night game, I loved the game itself and it gave me a reason to stay up late on a school night.
Since I've played in a few Monday night games, I guess I can pass along my favorite moment during a Monday night game. My favorite Monday night memory as a player is pretty easy to recall. It happened last year in the game against Oakland. We dominated the game, I had an interception and we got a win. The win is the most important thing and I was glad to get a pick and play an important role in the victory.
When we aren't involved in the game, my friends on the team don't have a set routine to watch the game. Sometimes we may watch the game together, but most of the time we watch the game in peace by ourselves or with family.