What I Know: Al Michaels

This month, he’ll work his eighth Super Bowl.

AGE: 67  GIG: NBC Sports broadcaster  SUPER MAN: Michaels has called the NFL’s biggest games since 1986, making him one of sport’s icons. He even played himself in Jerry Maguire. This month, he’ll work his eighth Super Bowl.

My father took me to Ebbets Field in Brooklyn when I was 6 years old, and I fell in love with baseball—and all sports, as it turned out. I’ve been lucky to make it my career.

People would die for this job. Millions of people. And they tell me that, too. I don’t want to come back in the next life, because I’m screwed.

I’ve covered a lot of stuff in Indianapolis. I covered minor-league baseball while I was with the Cincinnati Reds, and we did an exhibition game at old Bush Stadium, against the Indians. I’ve covered and been to the 500 a number of times. Did Reggie Miller’s last game in the NBA. Pacers against Detroit in the playoffs one year.

And a ton of football, going back to 1998 on Halloween night, when everybody was wearing Dierdorf, Gifford, and Michaels masks at the RCA Dome.

One of the good things about playing the Super Bowl in Indianapolis: It’s like New Orleans geographically. In New Orleans, almost everyone can walk to the stadium. And in Indianapolis, in that downtown area, you’ve got all the hotels right there.

It’s an exciting place to be. It’s not spread out, and I think they’ll do a very good job. I’m glad to see it’s here.

The weather hasn’t always been great, even in cities where you would be warmer. I don’t think it’s going to matter.

You’ve got a roof, so the game’s going to be played in perfect conditions.

Lucas Oil Stadium looks a little better from the inside than it does from the outside.

Most teams would like an owner like Jim Irsay because the Colts have had such success with their team during the Jimmy Irsay years.

No matter what you want to say about him, there are a lot of teams that would trade their owner for Jim Irsay. That’s all I know.

The minute you think you can’t get better, you stop working. And I can’t let myself get to that point.

You know what? I’m the most self-critical person you can imagine. So let me put it this way: I’m never happy with my performance. Never. I’m still a work in progress.

—as told to Marc D. Allan


Image courtesy NBC Universal

This article originally appeared in the February 2012 issue.