Legendary broadcaster Al Michaels called his first NFL postseason game back in 1988, when he was on the call for ABC for Super Bowl XXII. While he had already established himself as one of the premier play-by-play announcers in all of sports, it was his first taste of NFL playoff action since taking over on Monday Night Football for the 1986 season.
While that was his first NFL playoff game, we now have reason to believe that last year’s Jaguars-Chargers tilt could be his last.
According to Andrew Marchand, who covers sports media for The New York Post, Michaels was left off NBC’s playoff roster for the upcoming NFL playoffs. Furthermore, the move came as a surprise to Michaels. As described by Marchand in the Post:
Michaels’ swap-out by NBC has been in the works for awhile, though Michaels was apparently caught off guard.
During an early November interview with The Post, Michaels said he believed that he was still going to call the game on NBC, but did not know whom he would be working with.
When informed by The Post about it being in limbo, Michaels sounded unaware of the possibility.
“It’s in my deal,” Michaels said. “Where are you hearing that from? That’s part of my deal. Are you hearing something that I’m not hearing?”
There has long been tension between Michaels and top NBC executives, though they have done their best to hide it from public view, even giving Michaels an emeritus title when he was replaced. There was a failure to truly define what the emeritus role really meant, except for calling the playoff game.
NBC is slated to broadcast four playoff games this season, with one of those exclusive to Peacock, the network’s streaming service. Their primary announcing team, Mike Tirico and Cris Collinsworth from Sunday Night Football, will handle three of those. However, on the opening weekend of the playoffs the network has two games, and instead of having Michaels on the call for one of those, NBC is turning to its top college pairing. Noah Eagle and Todd Blackledge, along with sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen, will be on the call.
Michaels, along with Kirk Herbstreit, are still slated to be on the call for the final three Thursday Night Football games of the season on Amazon Prime.
Source : SBNation