Al Michaels says calling ‘dreadful’ ‘Thursday Night Football’ games was like trying to sell ‘used car’

 

Legendary sports broadcaster Al Michaels just wrapped up his first season calling NFL games for Amazon Prime Video on Thursday nights, and while he spent nearly four decades of his career calling some of the biggest games in the sport, Michaels reflected on some of the lackluster games he was charged with handling.

Michaels, 78, recalled one specific game where fans at home seemingly picked up on his impression of the game during an interview with The Athletic.

Kirk Herbstreit, Al Michaels and Roger Goodell speak on stage during Amazon Presentation At 2022 IAB NewFronts on May 2, 2022, in New York City.
(Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Amazon)

“I think I’m to the point in my life and career, having watched sports since I was six years old, I feel what the crowd feels,” he told the outlet.

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“The Denver-Indianapolis game (in) Week 4 was a dreadful game. No other way to describe it. No touchdowns. In fact, at one point during the game, I said to (analyst) Kirk (Herbstreit), ‘Is it possible this game could be so bad that it’s actually good?’ He’d never heard that from a partner and went, ‘No!'”

During the broadcast of the game, Michaels went on to say the game was “sort of bad” but added during the third quarter: “Who knows, maybe the game will break out here.”

The Colts went on to immediately disappoint Michaels with a loss of five yards, followed by Matt Ryan throwing an interception.

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“A lot of people said, ‘Al’s bored, Al’s pissed off that he’s doing this.’ Not the case. Monday nights, Sunday night, I did things like this. Maybe not to that degree, but I try to echo the feelings of what the fan feels, because I’m a fan,” he told the outlet.

Chase McLaughlin, #7 of the Indianapolis Colts, kicks a field goal during a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on October 6, 2022, in Denver, Colorado.
(Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Michaels applauded the team at Amazon for supporting him, adding, “I think they understood what this was.”

“We’re making the most of it. I mean, you just can’t oversell something. Do you want me to sell you a 20-year-old Mazda? That’s what you’re asking me to do. I can’t sell you a used car,” he continued.

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“I’ve kind of gone down that road a little bit in games that have been bad in the past. But this game was horrifically bad. What were you supposed to do at that point? And away I went.”

NBC commentator Al Michaels on the field during an NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019.
(Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

Michaels said he will be “resting” between now and August but not before calling Saturday’s Wild-Card game against the Los Angeles Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I’m looking at this game and thinking this is one of the spotlight games of this weekend,” he said.