25 years in primetime for Al Michaels

Thursday night September 9th the 2010 NFL season will begin with an NFC Championship game rematch between Minnesota and New Orleans. The broadcast duo of Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth will kick off another season of “NBC Sunday Night Football with a special Thursday night edition.”
This marks the 25th season Michaels has served as the prime-time voice of the NFL, first on ABC’s “Monday Night Football” and now on NBC.
Simply put, Michaels is the best play-by-play man of his generation and is the gold standard by which others are measured. He has the distinction of being the only man to call a Super Bowl, a World Series, an NBA Finals, a Stanley Cup Finals and also be part of an Olympics broadcast for two networks. I don’t have enough room in this column to list the awards he has won, and in our Monday conversation, Michaels and I talked about his career.
Michaels on what drives him » I’m lucky. I love what I do. I have a job that people would die for and I understand that. I work with some phenomenal people. It’s a wonderful thing to go to work every week and be in an environment where the stadium is always full, the lights are on, and you know that a lot of people are watching. I’m like a fan; I’m excited for the season to start. I love sports, I love football, I love the strategy, I love when we get down to the final two minutes of a half or the end of the game when you’re trying to think along with the coach and all of that. That to me is what drives me and I’m still a kid at heart in that regard. I don’t want to come back in a next life because I’ll be in Mongolia in a sulfur mine working the night shift.
Michaels on the biggest broadcast change in the game » Technologically, it’s been phenomenal through the years. When I started on “Monday Night Football” in 1986 there was no such thing as Cable Cam or SkyCam. There was no HD. I think those are two of the contributing factors right now. Football is such a visual treat. The images are so sharp. The camera above the huddle is incredible and the way we have the ability to isolate almost everything and anything.
Michaels on Brett Favre » As compelling a story as any in the NFL this season.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

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