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#pounditFriday, January 15, 2021

Here is why Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth did not call Bears-Packers game

Al Michaels

Those watching “Sunday Night Football” on NBC between the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears may have been surprised not to hear the usual announcing team of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. Instead, Mike Tirico and Tony Dungy served as the announcing team.

So what was going on?

Before the season, we learned that Michaels and Collinsworth would be taking some games off this season, giving an opportunity for Tirico to call them. The first time this happened was in a Week 3 contest between the Saints and Packers.

Michaels was also supposed to have Thanksgiving off, which would have put Tirico and Collinsworth on the call for the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers game originally scheduled for Thursday. However, that game has been moved to Tuesday. Michaels and Collinsworth were set to call the Tuesday game along with reporter Michele Tafoya. However, Tirico will now call the Tuesday game along with Collinsworth. Tirico and Dungy were originally scheduled to do the Sunday night game between the Bears and Packers and those plans remained.

Tirico, who was signed by NBC to call NFL games and be the face of their Olympics coverage, could take over as the network’s lead play-by-play man after Michaels’ contract expires following next season. Tirico is also scheduled to call one of NBC’s two playoff games.

Michaels, 76, says that he likes the schedule because it has helped him cut down on travel and that he helped formulate it.

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