Al Michaels Lost 2 Years of His Freedom Because of an Untimely U-Turn
For more than 50 years, Al Michaels has traveled across across the United States covering some of the biggest sporting events in history.
However, the decorated sports media icon suffered a blow to his reputation and his freedom because of his actions behind the wheel.
Because on April 19, 2013, Michaels made the most costly U-turn of his life.
Al Michaels garners widespread respect for his contributions to the sports media world
When it comes to play-by-play announcers, Al Michaels ranks among the very best to ever grace television audiences.
Generations of sports fans grew up watching and listening to the legendary broadcaster call NFL games for ABC Sports. Of course, Michaels will be most remembered for his famous “Do you believe in miracles?” line that he delivered during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
But after working for ABC Sports since 1976, the father of two took his talents to a major competitor in 2006.
NBC Sports added Michaels to its Sunday Night Football lineup. Although he originally worked alongside John Madden, Michaels got a new partner in the booth when Cris Collinsworth came aboard in 2009.
During his illustrious career, Michaels has earned plenty of accolades that reflect his impact on the industry. He earned a spot in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame as part of the 1998 class. He also won the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2002.
The-five time Emmy Award winner even has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Ironically, though, an incident in California ended up costing him two years of his freedom.
The broadcasting legend paid a steep price for an untimely U-turn
Al Michaels steers audiences in the right direction. However, the sports media icon took a wrong turn on April 19, 2013, that cost him dearly.
According to USA Today, Michaels got arrested around 9:30 p.m. on DUI charges after he allegedly made a U-turn in Santa Monica, Calif.
Santa Monica Police Department public information officer Sgt. Richard Lewis delivered some more details on how the incident occurred.
“He makes an illegal U-turn in a business district. Two motor officers see that. They’re staged in a gas station lot. They see the illegal U-turn, and they go after him,” he told USA Today Sports two days after Michaels got arrested. “They do a traffic stop. During that stop, they smell alcohol and determine he is under the influence. They do a field sobriety (test) and they arrest him.”
Michaels was released about six to eight hours after he got booked at Santa Monica Jail. No specifics were given about his blood-alcohol level at the time of his arrest.
Although he avoided jail time, he still paid a steep price for his untimely U-turn while under the influence.
In August 2013, TMZ Sports reported that Michaels struck a plea deal that resulted in two years of probation. He plead no contest to reckless driving and received 80 hours of community service as part of his sentence.
His DUI arrest hasn’t stopped him from continuing to earn a lucrative living
Al Michaels may have taken a wrong turn back in 2013, but he’s managed to put that incident behind him and continue to earn a lucrative living as one of the most recognizable figures in the sports media industry.
According to a 2019 report from Business Insider, Michaels has an estimated annual income of $6 million. That puts him slightly behind Bob Costas, who makes about $7 million a year.
Thanks to his longevity and skill, the Television Academy Hall of Fame inductee has amassed an estimated net worth of $30 million.
And as long as he stays out of trouble, Michaels should continue to add to that figure. Because even at age 76, the iconic sportscaster still delivers top-notch calls from the booth.
For his sake, let’s hope his career keeps moving forward.
After all, a wrong turn (or an untimely U-turn) can lead to major consequences.
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