Sports

Al Michaels, ‘Thursday Night Football’ announcer, shrugs off criticism of boring calls

Al Michaels may be on the Mount Rushmore of broadcasting, but even he isn’t immune to criticism.

He called the “Miracle on Ice,” along with eight World Series, a dozen Super Bowls and plenty other notable contests. 

Michaels was tapped as the play-by-play announcer for “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video last year, and it seemed like every game on the streaming service was a dud.

TV broadcaster Al Michaels looks on before a game

Television broadcaster Al Michaels prior to a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium Nov. 3, 2019, in Baltimore. (Will Newton/Getty Images)

Social media users suggested Michaels seemed bored during the games.

Most notably, Michaels took some heat for a somewhat bland call in the AFC wild-card game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars, when the Jags overcame a 27-0 deficit on a walk-off field goal.

But the veteran of over 50 years of broadcasting doesn’t seem too concerned about what social media has to say.

Al Michaels in 2019

Sunday Night Football commentator Al Michaels during a game between the Buffalo Bills and Pittsburgh Steelers Dec. 15, 2019, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.  (Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“Look, sometimes I’ll take some s—,” Michaels told the Sports Business Journal. “People say, ‘He didn’t get excited enough.’ What do you want me to do? Scream, holler, yell the game? That ain’t me. 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. 

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“You can’t let things like that distress you,” he added. “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 early slate for “TNF” this year looks better than last year’s, and Michaels will be calling games involving five playoff teams from last year the first three weeks.

Al Michaels on the field before a game

NBC sportscaster Al Michaels on the field before a game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Oct. 20, 2019, in Arlington, Texas. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

The first broadcast on Prime will be in Week 2 when the Minnesota Vikings take on the defending NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles. Week 3 features the New York Giants traveling to San Francisco to take on the Niners, and Week 4 will be an NFC North matchup between the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers.

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