For the last fifteen years on Sundays at approximately 8:15 p.m. EST, NBC has televised Sunday Night Football. This season has brought many thrilling moments and exciting finishes and behind the mic through it all has been the legendary Al Michaels.
On Tuesday afternoon, Al Michaels joined Roggin and Rodney on AM 570 LA Sports to talk about his future broadcasting NFL games. His contract with NBC Sports expires following this season.
Coming off of a year where fan capacity was strictly limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic that ended in Tom Brady winning his seventh Super Bowl championship, and first with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Michaels realizes the high amount of dramatic finishes that have occurred around the league during this season in particular.
“It’s crazy in the sense that there have been so many games that did not turn out [how] we thought they would,” said Michaels. “It just speaks to what the NFL is – obviously, it’s a parody-driven league, [and] it’s set up that way because [of] the way the draft is done, the salary cap and all the rest.”
Michaels has a nascent love for sports largely due to his father taking him to Ebbets Field at 6 years old while growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. His experience in watching a wide array of professional sports has allowed him to understand the ebbs and flows of the game, or as he describes it, acting as a songwriter who is able to provide the right lyrics that align with the melody of the game itself.
While there has been recent speculation that this year’s Super Bowl on NBC could be his last broadcast for the network, or even altogether, Michaels could be heading to Amazon’s new Thursday Night Football broadcasts starting next season. Wherever he ends up though, Michaels just hopes to remain behind the microphone next season so long as his health remains optimal.
“My contract is up, but we’re still talking about the future and a couple of other things are out there. I, at this moment in time, hope to be doing games next year.”
After Fred Roggin asked Michaels to list his top five moments he has witnessed over his time broadcasting the National Football League, he and co-host Rodney Peete marveled at their guest’s encyclopedic knowledge and passion for the game.
“It feels like you remember those games that you called,” said Peete, who played in the NFL for fifteen seasons as a quarterback, “and so vividly. [The] details that you gave us [were] incredible.”
For Michaels, his ability to vividly recall moments off the top of his head, as he did during this interview, encapsulates why he hopes to remain on the call next season.
“This is why I love what I do, and I want to continue doing it because it’s exciting to me,” said Michaels. “I’m kind-of blessed with some sort of chip in my brain that enables me to kind-of see [the games] in my mind’s eye, and I can see all of those plays and remember how it felt.”
Tony Bruno Relives Favorite Moments With Angelo Cataldi on 94 WIP
“I loved every day. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that.”
Tony Bruno has been a staple of the sports radio business for decades. Bruno is from Philadelphia and was teamed up in the early nineties with a duo still dominating the local airwaves there today, Angelo Cataldi and Al Morganti. The three reunited Thursday morning on 94 WIP to remember the glory days of their partnership and friendship.
One of the first moments Cataldi asked Bruno if he remembered was the update he did from a tree outside of their studio and the answer was an emphatic yes.
“Absolutely, it’s one of the highlights of my life – other than interviewing four Presidents and every sports athlete in history – there’s no bigger moment than me climbing up in the tree, which was obstructing our view of William Penn and the city skyline. That’s what I do, I was a man of action. I’m not one of these guys that talks the talk, I climb the tree to do whatever is necessary.”
More frivolity followed when Cataldi harkened back to a segment of ‘Damsels in Distress’ and a time in which Bruno was sent on the street during a snowstorm to help shovel people out of their driveways. Bruno quickly recalled, “Man of the people. I should run for – I should of run for Governor of Pennsylvania or Senate or something.”
Bruno added that his favorite rant (and one that Cataldi loved too) wasn’t about the Cowboys or sports at all. “My favorite was my Infinity Broadcasting rant where I went on one day and even ripped our bosses, all the way up to the top of Infinity Broadcasting.” Cataldi cackled and praised Bruno’s rants more before being interrupted by Bruno saying, “yeah, my only regret is I never really ripped Al (Morganti) the way I should have ripped him. I let him of the hook so many times.”
An insightful moment came at the end of the call when Cataldi asked rhetorically if Bruno ever thought they (Cataldi & Morganti) would still be doing this thirty years later and then asked if Tony ever regretted leaving.
“It was a tough decision, Ang,” Bruno answered. “I was given an ultimatum. When I came to work with you guys, I loved every day. Every day we had fun. We did stuff that put Sports Radio in Philly on the map and I’m proud of that. It wasn’t one of those, ‘oh I got to go; I’m too big for these guys’. I even turned the ESPN job down a couple of times.
“My kids were still younger then, I didn’t want to move. I didn’t have to move. They said just come up here on weekends and that’s how ESPN Radio started. So I was doing weekends and Tom Bigby (Program Director) didn’t like that either, told me it wasn’t going to work. It was a philosophical thing. When he told me, ‘you should go because we are not going to pay you what they’re paying you,’ I said ok.
Cataldi began to sign off with Bruno with genuine thanks: “I got to tell you something Tone, we are indebted to you for the rest of our lives because we both learned so much from you and you are one of the great talents that radio has ever had.”
Dodgers Temporarily Pull Broadcasters Off Road
“If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road.”
When the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the East Coast later this week, the men that call the action on TV and radio will not be with them. The games will instead be broadcast on AM570 LA Sports and SportsNet LA from their respective studios.
“Due to a few members of the Dodgers’ broadcast team having recently tested positive for COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Dodgers have decided to not travel their broadcasters to upcoming games in Philadelphia and Washington,” the Dodgers announced in a statement. Similar to the 2020 and 2021 MLB seasons, the games will be broadcast from Los Angeles,” reads a statement on the team’s Twitter account.
No further details are available, so the severity and the number of cases remain unknown.
Last September, both members of the Dodgers’ television play-by-play crew were forced into quarantine. Joe Davis was the first to test positive, followed later that month by Orel Hershiser.
On Wednesday, manager Dave Roberts told the media that the Dodgers’ roster and coaching staff are not effected.
“There’s there’s no symptoms in the clubhouse. I think that as far as the upstairs, as an organization, we’re all just trying to be very cautious. But as far as in the clubhouse, coaches, training staff, nothing like that.”
If the broadcasters’ are not dealing with severe cases of Covid and they have cleared health and safety protocols, it appears the team is open to sending them back out on the road. 2022 was supposed to be a return to normal for the Dodgers and many other teams after not letting broadcasters travel in 2020 and 2021.
Pat McAfee: ‘No One Will Disrespect Jim Rome On My Show’
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle.”
Jim Rome is a sports radio icon and Pat McAfee recognizes that.
On The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday, McAfee was talking to co-host A.J. Hawk about how Rome trended recently on Twitter.
This happened after news of Tom Brady’s FOX Sports deal surfaced, and a list of the top paid sports media personalities was compiled. Rome came in behind Brady at number two making a reported $30 million a year, and many were surprised by that number. McAfee wasn’t.
“That’s because you need to respect the f–king jungle,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for Jim Rome.”
McAfee gave props to Rome, 57, saying he’s been doing sports talk probably longer than anyone. He’s one of the most widely distributed hosts in the country. Pat said he won’t tolerate anyone talking smack about the Smack-Off King.
“No disrespect will be said on this show of Jim Rome, ever,” he said. “Love that man.”