Al Michaels compares calling ‘Thursday Night Football’ to selling a used car after the first season with Amazon

Broadcasting legend Al Michaels has completed his first season calling NFL “Thursday Night Football” video games for Amazon, and the general consequence was a blended bag.

Michaels was his ordinary self, which is to say good. Color commentator Kirk Herbstreit was stable for a broadcaster with a background situated nearly completely in the realm of faculty soccer. The manufacturing values ​​have been immense exterior of some sound engineering hiccups, which isn’t any shock given the quantity Amazon has invested.

But, sadly, the complete crew nonetheless had to cowl “Thursday Night Football,” the primetime slate notorious for sometimes delivering duds between underprepared and/or fatigued groups. The 2022 season did nothing to dispel that stigma, even with Michaels alongside for the journey.

Michaels addressed the query of the TNF video games’ high quality in an interview with The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch revealed Thursday, and he did not sugarcoat his reply, particularly when it got here to the dud of all duds between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts:

“I believe I’m to the level in my life and profession, having watched sports activities since I used to be 6 years outdated, I really feel what the crowd feels. The Denver-Indianapolis recreation (in) Week 4 was a dreadful recreation. No different manner to describe it. No touchdowns. In truth, at one level throughout the recreation, I stated to (analyst) Kirk (Herbstreit), ‘Is it attainable this recreation might be so dangerous that it is truly good?’ He’d by no means heard that from a companion and went, ‘No!'”

Michaels is not improper there, neither is he alone in saying it. The recreation, a touchdown-less slog with 4 turnovers, was so unwatchable that a native Denver tv station apologized for airing it (TNF video games are nonetheless broadcast in native markets), with one commentator saying “It burns the retinas.”

There have been extra dangerous video games although. Michaels known as video games with three first-half factors, lopsided blowouts and performances so brutal they principally erased any optimism about a sure No. 2 general decide. Some video games have been good, most weren’t.

According to Michaels, Amazon took the concern in stride, which you’d hope they do contemplating they’re paying $1 billion a yr till 2033 for the privilege of streaming the video games:

Do you hear something from Amazon administration about this?

“From the Amazon folks, nothing however assist. I believe they understood what this was. We’re making the most of it. I imply, you simply cannot oversell one thing. Do you need me to promote you a 20-year- outdated Mazda? That’s what you are asking me to do. I am unable to promote you a used car. … I’ve type of gone down that street a little bit in video games which were dangerous in the previous. But this recreation was horrifically dangerous. What have been you supposed to do at that time? And away I went.”

Perhaps the “Thursday Night Football” video games will lastly get higher subsequent yr. Amazon would not be the first rights-holder to hope so.

Meanwhile, Michaels will a minimum of get to get pleasure from a playoff recreation, as NBC introduced Wednesday he would return to name the Los Angeles Chargers-Jacksonville Jaguars wild-card recreation on Saturday.

Al Michaels’ first season with Amazon was a blended bag, however that wasn’t his fault. (Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images)

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