Al Michaels will finally be able to call the Super Bowl in Los Angeles. He will tie Pat Summerall’s record for most lead announcers on television.
Everyone wants to know: Will this be Michaels’ last assignment at NBC?
Michaels has been the “Sunday Night Football’ lead announcer since 2006. His contract will expire after the matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals. Although he has not yet indicated his future plans for the show, the 77-year-old said that he enjoys being a free agent after a long career that spans more than 50 years.
Michaels stated earlier this week that he doesn’t know what he’ll do, but he does know that if I have the chance to continue and want to, he will. “I feel great. I am blessed with good health and love what I do.
“The time is now, after the Super Bowl, where I will be thinking about many things. I have a few people who are very close to me that I trust in their judgement, insight, and what they will say about the future.
This is Michaels 11th Super Bowl and his fifth for NBC.
In 2018, NBC signed Mike Tirico to host the Olympics and then succeed Michaels on “Sunday Night Football.” This offseason could be a transition period, with Michaels’ contract ending and NBC still having the Super Bowl in Los Angeles.
Tirico has been calling some NFL games over the past few seasons and will be doing double duty next weekend, hosting NBC’s prime time coverage of the Beijing Games, as well as the Super Bowl Pregame Show. Cris Collinsworth is Michaels’ broadcast partner from 2009 and will be present in the SNF booth.
Michaels stated that he knew from the beginning that he wanted to enjoy the season because it was the end for this particular deal. “I knew that if I became distracted by other things, it could take away from the joy of working with my colleagues and having a great time. That’s what I have been able do.”
If NBC decides to move on from Michaels it could be Amazon Prime which will become the exclusive provider of “Thursday Night Football”.
Michaels laughed when asked whether a deal with Amazon could include additional elements to “Thursday Night Football,” such a reunion with Bob Costas for a sequel or remake to 1998’s “Basketball.”
Only the third time Michaels hasn’t called Cincinnati’s game before the Super Bowl, this is Cincinnati’s first appearance. The Bengals last appearance on NBC’s Sunday Night Package was against Kansas City in 2018.
ABC’s Monday Night Football didn’t feature the Rams or Tennessee Titans in 1999, and the Arizona Cardinals didn’t make an appearance on NBC in 2008.
Michaels stated that he has been able to see enough Bengals games over the years so that he doesn’t come in cold. This is unlike 1999, when watching on-demand or streaming games was a dream. Michaels stated that the Bengals rank low on his list of favorite teams when it comes down to the number of times they’ve been seen over the years, despite calling prime-time games.
Ironically, his rise in prominence started in Cincinnati in 1971, when he was the Reds announcer.
He said, “It’s almost like starting from scratch.” “One of the best things about the Cincinnati Bengals is that we can introduce them and their players to the majority of the country, as opposed to a Kansas City team where many people are familiar with (Patrick) Mahomes (Travis Kelce) and (Tyreek (Hill) Hill.”
The Hollywood Park stadium complex, where the Super Bowl will take place, is just 8 miles from Michaels’ house. It marks the perfect end to the season. The first game on NBC was the Rams hosting Chicago Bears.
He said, “Most of me life has been here, even though my family was from New York.” “I was there with my brother to watch the Super Bowl in January 1967. It was amazing to be able to go to the first Super Bowl and to then broadcast it. What can I say? It’s been quite an experience. It’s something that I truly appreciate more than anyone else.