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#pounditWednesday, February 21, 2024

Al Michaels responds to critics of his broadcasting energy

Al Michaels on the field

Aug 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Network television commentator Al Michaels before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Al Michaels is arguably the greatest play-by-play announcer in sports television history, but that does not make him immune to criticism. The 78-year-old still insists he is not bothered by any of it.

Many NFL fans felt Michaels lacked energy with a lot of his calls last season. A big reason for that may have been that he went from calling some of the best games of the week on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” to working sometimes painfully boring matchups on Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football” package last season alongside Kirk Herbstreit.

Though, Michaels and NBC color analyst Tony Dungy were also criticized for not showing more enthusiasm during the Jacksonville Jaguars’ thrilling playoff comeback against the Los Angeles Chargers last season.

In an interview with Tom Friend of Sports Business Journal that was published on Monday, Michaels essentially said he is not bothered by what a bunch of nobodies on Twitter have to say about him.

“Look, sometimes I’ll take some s—. People say, ‘He didn’t get excited enough.’ What do you want me to do? Scream, holler, yell the game? That ain’t me,” Michaels said. “That ain’t (Joe) Buck, that ain’t (Jim) Nantz. I can’t pay attention to anti–social media. We live in a country with 330 million people. And if eight people rip you on social media, I’m going, ‘Huh?’ Now anybody sitting in a basement has a platform. You can’t let things like that distress you. I’ve been doing this for so long. And I wouldn’t be here at this point still doing a major package if I was doing it the wrong way.”

The Jaguars made history with their 27-point comeback against the Chargers in the Wild Card round last season. Michaels was very reserved with his calls of some of the biggest moments in that game (video here). He was dismissive of his critics then, too.

Michaels and other great broadcasters know that it is important to let the moment speak for itself when something great happens. The worst thing an announcer can do is try to compete with an electric atmosphere.

There may have been times last season where Michaels was a bit more muted without longtime partner Cris Collinsworth, but he remains one of the best at what he does.

H/T Awful Announcing

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