Al Michaels to Call 25TH SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL Game
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL, NBC
When NBC's Sunday Night Football kicks off this week with the Chicago Bears visiting the Pittsburgh Steelers, Al Michaels will be at the microphone for his 25th Primetime Steelers game in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers are the seventh NFL team to host at least 25 Primetime games called by Michaels. (Note: Michaels has also called 25 Hall of Fame Games at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio).
In his record 28thseason as the play-by-play voice for the NFL's premier Primetime package, Michaels joined NBC's Sunday Night Football when the network acquired the package in 2006. Previously, he called ABC's Monday Night Football for 20 seasons (1986-2005). Michaels' former Monday Night Football colleague Frank Gifford was in the MNF booth for 27 seasons (1971-97).
Michaels' partner in the Sunday Night Football booth is former Bengals receiver Cris Collinsworth, who had 32 catches for 447 yards in seven career games in Pittsburgh from 1981-87 - ranking second in both categories among all visiting players in the 1980s, behind only Hall of Fame tight end Ozzie Newsome (44 catches for 573 yards in 10 games).
Football Night in America analyst Hines Ward played 14 seasons for the Steelers, winning MVP honors in Pittsburgh's Super Bowl XL victory over Seattle. Ward is one of five players in NFL history to have 1,000 catches for one team (Jerry Rice, 49ers; Marvin Harrison, Colts; Tim Brown, Raiders; Cris Carter, Vikings).
In addition to his 25 Steelers games in Pittsburgh, Michaels also called the team's two most recent Super Bowl victories.
"There has been no better NFL game for me than Pittsburgh-Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII," Michaels said. "That was the No. 1 game in terms of drama and excitement. There is always an argument about which Super Bowl is best. But how many Super Bowls have not one, but two, plays for the ages - James Harrison's interception-return touchdown just before halftime and Santonio Holmes' touchdown catch in the waning seconds in the corner of the end zone to culminate a long Ben Roethlisberger drive. Those two plays are as iconic as any I have ever seen."
Following are the NFL teams to host the most Primetime games (includes pre-season and post-season) called by Al Michaels:
Host Team # of games
Miami Dolphins 37
Denver Broncos 36
Dallas Cowboys 32
New York Giants 26
Green Bay Packers 25
San Francisco 49ers 25
Pittsburgh Steelers 25*
*includes Sunday's game
A seven-time Emmy Award-winner (including earlier this year for Outstanding Sports Personality - Play-by-Play), Michaels was inducted in March 2013 into the Television Academy Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which annually recognizes television's most distinguished "innovators and icons."
This past summer, Michaels was honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the prestigious Pete Rozelle Radio & Television Award. Presented annually by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the award distinguishes long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.
The Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame recently recognized Michaels for his "excellence and lifetime achievement", and announced that he will be a member of their 2013 Hall of Fame Class, with induction at a December ceremony in New York.
The #1 Primetime show for the last two television seasons, Sunday Night Football is averaging nearly 24 million viewers after three 2013 games.
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