Even before kick-off, his title song has delighted football fans for generations.
The fanfare of “Monday Night Football” is so iconic that even the people who run the show remain in awe.
“I remember the first game we recalled the first week and this theme song for ‘Monday Night Football’ came on and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up,” said Monday Night Football analyst Troy Aikman “Nightline”.
Nightline went behind the scenes of the operation in September and spoke to the new hosts about continuing their legacy.
“Monday Night Football” first aired on ABC in 1970 and later switched to ESPN in 2005. Both stations are owned by the Walt Disney Company.
That season, Aikman and Joe Buck were hired as the show’s match analysts and play-by-play commentators, respectively.
The pair have been broadcasting football games on Fox Sports for over 20 years and have worked together on six Super Bowls. Buck told Nightline that the move was emotional for him as he was following in the footsteps of his father, the late sportscaster Jack Buck.
“My father would be so proud. He passed away 20 years ago, but he’d be so proud… to have his ‘puppy’ do ‘Monday Night Football’ on TV,” Buck told Nightline.
Like many of his former NFL colleagues-turned-Monday Night Football commentators, Aikman said he’s proud of the producers, editors and other crew members who help build production.
“There are a lot of people behind the scenes who aren’t talked about enough, but it takes an army to pull this off,” he said.
Six production trucks travel with the crew to each game each week and are home to over 125 crew members. Jimmy Platt, the director of Monday Night Football, told Nightline that there’s a sense of calm the day before games that carries over into game time.
“In the heat of in-game chaos … if you let the game speed you up, you end up making mistakes or things fall through the cracks,” he told Nightline.
In the booth, both commentators said they spend a lot of time preparing for coverage of the action. Aikman, a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, says Buck “watches countless hours of film to prepare for every game.”
When asked about pregame rituals, Aikman nodded to his Dallas Cowboy days but said he hadn’t carried any over to his Monday night routine.
“I ate the same meal before the game and every week the same player had my jersey pulled over my shoulder pads,” he said.
Buck joked that he’s now taken on that role as Aikman’s “street girl.”
“I put his coat on, put his shirt on,” laughed Buck.
Aikman noted that his stand partner also has a hardworking routine.
“You can’t be Joe Buck without putting in the time and effort and being meticulous, and he is,” he said.
While calling up the games for the 18 weeks out of the year can be exhausting, Aikman and Buck said they’re ready to carry the show’s legacy for generations to come.
“The moment the camera goes off, this tie comes undone and I’m going to drag myself back to the car and I’m going to be tired in the car when I get out of here and it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s next week,'” he said.
ABC News’ Sally Hawkins and Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.