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OT: Al Michaels having second thought?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mikey, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. mikey

    mikey In the Starting Line-Up

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/01/24/sports/football/24sandomir.html

    January 24, 2006
    Sports Media and Business
    Is Michaels Having Second Thoughts?
    By RICHARD SANDOMIR

    In July, Al Michaels's future looked set: he would follow "Monday Night Football" to ESPN from ABC in a deal that lasts through 2013, thereby sticking with the series whose very name still sets his spine to tingling.

    But ever since November, there have been waves of speculative chatter that he wanted to get out of the contract and restart talks with NBC, whose offer he rejected. From his vacation yesterday, Michaels said nothing about his future, but through an ABC Sports spokesman, he said the "Monday Night" crew had "made a pact that no one would talk about next year."

    The next time we see and hear Michaels will be Feb. 5 at Super Bowl XL, ABC's farewell to the N.F.L. Michaels will be there beside John Madden, who is headed to NBC and its new Sunday night football broadcasts. Fred Gaudelli will produce the game and Drew Esocoff will direct it, then they will follow Madden to NBC.

    So why didn't Michaels join NBC when he had the first chance? Why would he break up with Madden, his best "Monday Night" partner, to join ESPN, which will not carry postseason games? Why would someone as savvy as Michaels surrender the chance to call Super Bowls until he is at least 69?

    Michaels said last July that he agreed to the ESPN deal because he remained tantalized by the "Monday Night Football" name and that he was not following it from ABC for financial reasons. ESPN is paying him $4 million, about $1 million more than the deal he rejected from NBC.

    At the time, he knew that Madden was leaving and that he would be working with Joe Theismann at ESPN. But he did not know that Gaudelli and Esocoff would also leave, meaning his comfort zone was departing, as a unit, without him.

    Whatever second thoughts Michaels has may be tied to mourning the end of "Monday Night" at the downsized ABC Sports while still being emotionally attached to the 36-year-old series. He may also be thinking about a busier existence at ESPN, which likes to use its game announcers on its studio programs as promotional devices.

    Michaels would be part of ESPN's plan to turn "Monday Night Football" from a stand-alone broadcast network program into a daylong hoo-ha on its TV and radio networks, Web site and new cellphone service, ESPN Mobile.

    George Bodenheimer, the president of ESPN and ABC Sports, offered a declarative, if not completely definitive, comment on Michaels last week.

    "Al has a contract, and yes, it is signed," he said by telephone, "and I fully expect him to honor his agreement with us."

    What is unknown is whether, or how doggedly, Michaels or his lawyers will lobby to leave the Walt Disney Company, owner of ESPN, which also pays him $2 million annually to be ABC's No. 1 N.B.A. announcer on a contract that expires after this season.

    If Michaels is persistent enough with Bodenheimer and his longtime friend Bob Iger, Disney's chairman, he may succeed in leaving. Why hold an unhappy announcer to a contract with a network without Super Bowls or the late-season flexible schedule that ABC coveted so much?

    ESPN could easily insert Mike Tirico, one of its most versatile and familiar voices, into the "Monday Night" slot.

    But any attempt to escape Disney carries risk: if Michaels leaves ESPN, will he do so in time to reunite at NBC with Madden, Gaudelli and Esocoff?

    NBC isn't twiddling teeny pigskins waiting for Michaels. For the past few months, NBC has been grooming Cris Collinsworth - who was to be its lead N.F.L. studio analyst, working with Bob Costas - as its play-by-play announcer. He has called several rehearsal games at stadiums - none of them televised - and another the weekend before last with Madden at Madden's Pleasanton, Calif., production facility, which was overseen by Dick Ebersol, chairman of NBC Universal Sports.

    Ebersol has orchestrated Collinsworth's play-by-play tutorial. One senses that he wanted Michaels, but didn't need him and opted to audition Collinsworth. But after NBC's voluntary eight-year exile from the N.F.L., Ebersol doubtlessly wants to return at full throttle, which he would do by bringing Madden and Michaels together. Interesting as a Madden-Collinsworth pairing may be, it would take time to jell.

    Ebersol has shown no inclination to accelerate his decision-making, and he departed yesterday for Turin, Italy, to produce the Winter Olympics. He can wait until the early summer to see how the Michaels situation unfolds. In this, his model is his mentor, Roone Arledge, who, when he ran ABC Sports, delayed decisions until events took their course, usually to his satisfaction.

    And then - who knows? - maybe he will choose Costas.

    NOTES

    SportsNet New York , the Mets' new cable channel, will make its debut March 16 with a Mets-Braves game, the first of its 11 spring-training broadcasts. ... NBA TV will show the Feb. 26 Rockets-Magic game without announcers but with enhanced courtside audio. ... NBC has added two hours to its Olympic coverage, bringing the total on broadcast and cable to 418.
    .
     
  2. PYPER

    PYPER Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Can someone please explain to me why Bob Costas is well respected? I think he's an arrogant pompous ass. He's a peon. They type of person who you just want to pee on. I can't stand him. He's already ruined Inside the NFL, now he's going to ruin Sunday Night Football.
     
  3. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I can. Because he's the most knowledgable, professional, objective and intelligent figure in sports announcing today and over the last 15-20 years, bar none. I don't know what the F you people think when you post crap like this - except maybe that you love to be contrarian about popular figures. The guy is incredibly dedicated to his job and talented in executing it.

    Who do you think is better or even close?
     
  4. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    I like Bob Costas, he is ok.. But If Al Michaels leaves to go to ABC, Please for the love of football fans every where, no more Mike Patrick, Paul Mcguire, and Thiesman... Thiesman is bad enough... Mike Tirico , Mike Ditka and Sterling Sharpe would be a good 3 man booth...
     
  5. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    He looks and acts like a douchebag.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    TOTALLY disagree! Costas is an avowed baseball guy and has freely admitted it's his first love above all other sports. I hate seeing him involved in football, he just doesn't have the insight or savvy.
     
  7. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    But how long does it take him to gain that insight or savvy? Al Michaels was still best known as the guy that called the US upset over the USSR in the 1980 Olympics hockey game, when he took over MNF. Still, I know what people mean when they say Costas is out of place in football. Does everybody agree that Michaels is the best, though? I think he is. And, I don't see (hear) anyone coming up to replace him as the best when he calls it quits. Joe Buck, nah! I hate to use the word wimp, but if Costas is, Buck is.
     
  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    But who does? At least Costas is bright, articulate and well-prepared. I agree that baseball is his strong suit, but I'll still take him over the pointless hollering and chest-beating of a Fox-style studio gang. (And does anybody else feel drowsy every time Greg Gumbel appears on screen?)
     
  9. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Yes, I never cared for either of the Gumbels.
     
  10. T-ShirtDynasty

    T-ShirtDynasty Moderator

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    Costas annoys the snot outta me, but Joe Buck is singularly the worst no-talent hack that has ever accosted my ears. His gross over-reaction to Randy Moss' fake mooning of Green Bay will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in broadcast history.
     
  11. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'm sorry, I didn't get your drift. What exactly do you feel about these two guys? :rofl:

    I agree about Buck's over-reaction to the fake moon thing. He couldn't have sounded more like a complete prude if he said "Oh my goodneth graceth me." Actually, maybe he did say that.
     
  12. Tunescribe

    Tunescribe PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #61 Jersey

    What I don't understand is why the networks bring baseball announcers in to do NFL football games. A guy like Joe Buck SOUNDS like he's calling a baseball game when doing the NFL. His delivery is droll and matter-of-fact, never energetic or excited. When was the last time you heard a football announcer do baseball? Costas doesn't fit the NFL either. I'm sure there are numerous football-only guys out there who know the game and have passion for it that would be head and shoulders above the likes of Buck and Costas. Oh, for the days of Lindsey Nelson and Ray Scott! One current guy who goes unrecognized, in my opinion, is Verne Lundquist.
     
  13. Fanfrom1960

    Fanfrom1960 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Some great ones there. I miss Pat Sumerall. To me, turning on the TV on a fall or winter afternoon and hearing his strong voice and knowledgable call, now that was pro football.
     
  14. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There is no announcer or color guy that is on my "can't wait to hear/see list'

    In my view they fall into the following: 1. total scumbags 2. really, really bad 3. bad 4.can listen to without getting pissed off.

    It's the game that's important and not he bozo calling it. The coolest invention of modern times is the mute button.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2006
  15. festy1986

    festy1986 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    #12 Jersey

    I beg to differ, sunday night football is already ruinined.

    Joe Thiesmann, who happens to be the worst NFL brodcaster ever is the one hold over for ESPN?

    This has to be why Michaels want's out, I personally can't stand Michaels but he is much better then Theismann.

    As Patriot fans were lucky, 12 or so of our games are on CBS and usually we get Phil Simms and Jim Natz who happen to be the best duo in the sport. Although it was much better Simms and Gumble.
     
  16. cubedoggy

    cubedoggy On the Game Day Roster

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    What about Keith Jackson?

    To me, like, John Facenda, his voice IS football.
     
  17. Sean Pa Patriot

    Sean Pa Patriot Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    #12 Jersey

    Agreed that Simms and Nantz are the best broadcasting team, bar none.

    5 worse announcers in the NFL

    5 Paul Mcguire
    4 Dick Endberg( was the best ,but he lost it)
    3 Joe Buck
    2 Joe Thiesman
    1 Mike Patrick
     
  18. Bill's Girl

    Bill's Girl Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Sterling Sharpe?? I would rather poke my eyes out with a stick......

    Why aren't there any newer broadcasters coming out?? It just seems like we keep dancing with the same people over and over??
     
  19. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Look for whoever loses in the SB to have the first NBC Sunday night game. In years past the loser has got the MNF contest, but with the switch to NBC for SNF and MNF going to a cable network, the league's premier game of the week will now be on Sunday night instead of Monday night.
     
  20. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Keith, Fuuuumble, Jackson. As good as any and better than the vast majority.

    I never decide to watch a game based on who the announcer is going to be.
     

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