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Former Sports Announcer Al Michaels Talks About Howard Cosell, O.J

Al Michaels

Legendary sports announcer, Al Michaels has put his tales from the industry in a memoir, “You can’t make this up.” Michaels was a play by play announcer for the Reds when they made it to the World Series in the 1980s, and then became the leading sports voice on ABC. His voice can be heard on Miracle on Ice and the story of the 1980 U.S. Hockey team. He spoke with Mac Engel of the Bic Mac Blog.

He explained the main difference between Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, him and other sports announcers in the “old days” and now is that “we were light, not heat. Now it’s about making heat, forget about the light.” He also said the tendency to want to get noticed can detract from professionalism.

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When asked why Howard Cosell became so bitter towards the end of career, Michaels said Cosell didn’t seem to like football anymore and didn’t think he was getting the respect he deserved. “He didn’t want to be there and was hard on everyone. He would show up in a foul mood.”

Michaels continued, “He felt sports was the toy department of life, and he was trying to elevate the conversation. He would bring up the 1972 Olympics–the Munich massacre–all the time.”

When asked how he felt about the O.J. Simpson murder case, “The whole first week was surreal. Having known Nicole Simpson, and she was dead, for starters, it was surreal. What happened. It was ‘Nicole got murdered?’ I’m thinking, ‘How did O.J find out about it.”

Al Michaels grew up in a Jewish family in Brooklyn and was an avid Brooklyn Dodgers fan.



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