Some may see this as the stuff of miracles, but that was always the plan.
Legendary broadcaster Al Michaels spent the 2022 season making the new era of broadcasting feel as familiar and comfortable as possible for those used to watching sports on TV. With the Amazon slate complete and NBC airing a pair of wild-card round games, Al Michaels will return to the booth for tonight’s Chargers-Jaguars game in Jacksonville.
through New York PostMichaels recently spoke with TheAthletic.com’s Richard Deitch regarding the first year of Ali’s Amazonian adventure.
Although the title to Post article paints too broad a brush (“Al Michaels rips ‘terrible’ Thursday night Amazon games: ‘I can’t sell a used car'”), Michaels did make pointed remarks about one particular Thursday night game that got him fired up; make pointed remarks in real time.
“I think the destination of my life and my career, watching sports since I was six years old, I feel what the crowd feels,” Michaels said, via Deitsch. Post. “Denver-Indianapolis game [in] Week 4 was a terrible game. There is no other way to describe it. No touch.
“Actually, I said it at one point during the game [analyst] Kirk [Herbstreit], “Could this game be bad enough to actually be good?” He had never heard that from a colleague and said, “No.”
The best broadcasters understand what their audience is thinking and have the courage to say it. That’s what Al did, all year long.
“We’re going to overtime and maybe a thousand people come out of the stadium,” Michaels said. “Then a shot of people going into the parking lot. Kirk said. “I can’t believe it’s overtime and they’re leaving.” I said they’ve seen enough. Sometimes you just have to beat the traffic. So, look, it was a ki? I guess in a way. But you can’t tell me that didn’t reflect the feelings of many, probably the majority of people watching that game. . . . Many said: “Al is bored. Al is angry that he is doing this.” It is not so. Monday night, Sunday night, I did things like this. Maybe not to that degree, but I try to replicate the feelings of what a fan feels, because I’m a fan.”
Millions of people continue to be fans of Al Michaels. While it’s common knowledge that Al will be back for tonight’s game, social media will no doubt be buzzing with his Saturday night return to NBC, which teamed up with Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy for the first time. (This also raises the question of whether there will be a first Dungy Slide.)
Throughout the 2022 season, Amazon wisely embraced Al’s sincerity, even .
“Nothing but support from the people at Amazon,” Michaels told Deitsch. “I think they understood what this is. We make the most of it. I mean, you just can’t oversell something. Do you want me to sell you a 20 year old Mazda? That’s what you’re asking me to do. I can’t sell you a used car. . . . I’ve gone down that road a bit in games that have been bad in the past. But this game was awfully bad. What should you have done at that moment? And I left.”
He will leave tonight. Hopefully Chargers-Jaguars will be more fun than Colts-Broncos. If not, Al will be ready to say what everyone else is thinking.