Amazon Prime’s Al Michaels isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon: ‘I still love this job’


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Al Michaels, in an interview with USA TODAY Sports, says he plans to work his third year with Amazon Prime. “We’ll see after that.”

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Al Michaels wants you to know something. He’s happy. He feels good and he’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Two weeks ago the New York Post first reported that NBC was removing Michaels from its NFL playoff coverage. In his first public comments since that happened, Michaels told USA TODAY Sports he plans to finish his Amazon contract, which has one more year remaining on it. Perhaps most importantly, Michaels made it clear how much he still loves doing his job.

“I feel good,” Michaels said. “I feel healthy. I feel fine. I told Amazon that I’d do three years and next year will be three, and I’m definitely doing it. We’ll see after that.”

“I still love this job. I still get a charge out of going into a stadium and watching the best in the world do what they do. I’m still really happy so that’s the big thing.”

Michaels was named into an emeritus role at NBC after departing last year following the end of his contract. Michaels, 79, then joined Amazon Prime, but he was scheduled to return to NBC to do one of the network’s two Wild Card games. Then NBC decided Michaels wasn’t doing the playoff games. It was fairly disgraceful treatment of a broadcasting legend.

Michaels declined to comment on NBC’s move.

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“Amazon has been really great to me and I’m appreciative that I’ve been a part of helping them grow their NFL presence,” Michaels said.

Michaels has actually been a miracle for Amazon Prime. He meshes well with analyst Kirk Herbstreit who isn’t flashy but his straightforward bluntness with little bombast is refreshing.

“Kirk has been wonderful to work with,” said Michaels.

Herbstreit earlier this month defended Michaels from criticism that some of his broadcasts lacked energy.

“He hears the noise. I don’t think he’s like, ‘I’ll show them. I’m going to really bring it this week.’ He’s definitely not doing that,” Herbstreit said. “He has more of an ‘F you’ attitude about it than ‘I’m going to show them.’ He thinks it’s a bunch of bullsh–. I think it’s a bunch of bullsh–. And I think it’s just a narrative that social media’s kind of running with.”

The broadcast itself makes good use of technological gizmos like the way during Thursday night’s game between the Browns and Jets it highlighted potential blitzing players pre-snap.

Also, Michaels’ trademark cornball humor is still intact. During Thursday night’s game, and after hearing fans making banging noises, Michaels said: ” “Somebody’s pounding on that trash can. The Astros must be in town.”

He was of course referring to the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing enterprise from their 2017 season.

After a few seconds, Michaels added: “I’m sorry. Don’t rip me.”

I won’t. It was funny.

Overall, Amazon’s broadcast is smart and fun. In fact, it might be the best NFL broadcast going. A big reason why is Michaels.

I’ve been somewhat alone with this but as I’ve stated before, Michaels is still the best at what he does. This is my hill. I will be deceased on it.

One of the more important things to me about Michaels was hearing him talk about happiness. Sometimes we see broadcasters the way we see players. They are just there. We get lost in their voices or the errors they make. We judge their knowledge and energy. We don’t care how they feel.

But I actually do care what’s happening with Michaels. He’s been a credit to the broadcasting profession. He’s sharp at near 80. I’m not trying to make Michaels out to be like he stormed Normandy but in the same way Michaels said he likes to watch the best, so do broadcast nerds like me. Many of us still want to see Michaels do his job. Because, well, he’s still the best.

Michaels is still fighting the great fight and doing it at a high level.

So what’s next for Michaels?

“I’m going to keep doing the job I love,” he said.


Amazon Prime’s Al Michaels isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon: ‘I still love this job’

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