Mike Tirico to call some ‘Sunday Night Football’ games in place of Al Michaels
NBC’s plan when hiring Mike Tirico several years ago was to have him eventually replace Al Michaels as the lead play-by-play announcer for “Sunday Night Football,” and that transition is expected to begin this season.
On Thursday, NBC announced that Tirico will call some games in place of Michaels during the 2020 season. The network is calling them “bye weeks” for the 75-year-old, with the first coming in Week 3 when the New Orleans Saints host the Green Bay Packers. The schedule will be handled on a month by month basis after that.
Michaels told Andrew Marchand of the New York Post that he is in favor of the plan and helped formulate it.
“This is a great schedule for me,” Michaels said in a text message. “A lot of West Coast games and a couple of byes during the season to cut down on some travel, which is welcome for me. I was part of formulating the plan. I’m all in.”
Michaels will also have Thanksgiving off as he has in recent years, when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens on “Sunday Night Football.” Tirico will call one of the two games that NBC has playoff rights for, and he may fill in for other games as well.
Michaels’ current contract with NBC expires after the 2021 NFL season. His last broadcast would be the 2022 Super Bowl in his hometown of Los Angeles. It’s unclear if he will continue to work after that or retire.
Tirico is one of the best play-by-play announcers in sports, so the “Sunday Night Football” broadcast will be in good hands when he takes over for Michaels. The bigger concern for fans this season should be what is going on with the “Collinsworth Slide.“