In a surprising decision that is sure to please at least some football fans, NBC has decided to exclude the legendary Al Michaels from its NFL playoff coverage this season.
The 79-year-old Michaels is widely regarded as one of the greatest play-by-play announcers of all-time.
Despite making the move from NBC’s Sunday Night Football to Amazon’s Thursday Night Football, it was reportedly in his contract that he was to call one of NBC’s playoff games each season.
According to the New York Post, that won’t be the case this season as NBC decided to pull the plug on Michaels.
It may be a good decision but he gave the impression he knew nothing about it. If true, letting him know through the press is disrespectful to such a great broadcaster.
— DOUG 24 (@Doug24Seven) December 13, 2023
The decision comes after Michaels and analyst Tony Dungy received harsh criticism for their perceived lack of enthusiasm during last year’s Jaguars comeback win over the Chargers.
Jacksonville capped off the historic comeback, digging out of a massive 27-0 hole and kicking the game winning field goal at the end of the game … However, based on the energy Michaels and Dungy were projecting, you would have thought it was a preseason game rather than a sudden-death playoff game.
Unfortunately, that sort of trend has seemed to continue on Amazon’s Thursday Night Football.
Very few people love and respect Michaels as much as I do, but you’re in denial if you don’t think he has lost a good 20 miles off his fastball.
NBC made the tough decision to kick Michaels out of their playoff plans – but sadly, it seemed like Michaels himself was one of the last people to hear about it.
When asked for comment about the reported decision last month, Michaels told the New York Post he was completely unaware of the development.
“It’s in my deal. Where are you hearing that from? That’s part of my deal. Are you hearing something that I’m not hearing?” he responded to the Post at the time.
— OutKick (@Outkick) December 12, 2023
Tensions between Michaels and top NBC executives have reportedly been longstanding, despite attempts to hide any drama from public view.
Michaels had a storied run at ABC and NBC, calling prime-time football before moving to “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video last season.
Next month, NBC has three playoff games – Its #1 team, Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth from “Sunday Night Football,” will handle two of them.
NBC’s newly-formed college football team, consisting of Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge, will handle the other.
— Dean Cain (@RealDeanCain) December 13, 2023
Michaels had expressed interest in replacing Joe Buck at FOX and was ESPN’s second choice for “Monday Night Football” if Buck didn’t join.
He eventually landed at Amazon Prime Video, where he has been calling “Thursday Night Football” alongside Kirk Herbstreit.
As hard as Herbie tries, it’s been a difficult task to bring much energy and enthusiasm out of Michaels on Thursday nights.
Michaels still has one more year on his Amazon deal and reportedly plans on returning.
What are your thoughts on Michaels?
Do you agree that he’s lost a good amount of his fastball?
Taking a step back, where do you rank him among the best play-by-play announcers in football history?
Who is the best play-by-player nowadays???
One of the greatest calls in sports history from the great Al Michaels.
"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"pic.twitter.com/yYefaXEcSy
— LaDarius Brown (@ladarius_brown) February 22, 2023