NBC’s Al Michaels Attended the 1st Super Bowl and Will Tie a Broadcasting Record in the 56th

Longtime NBC Sports announcer Al Michaels is all too familiar with a Los Angeles-based Super Bowl — and not only because Super Bowl 56 will mark his 11th time calling the Big Game.

Over two decades before he dressed in his finest suit and called the now-Washington Commanders’ 42-10 rout over John Elway’s Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 22, Michaels settled into a comfortable position and watched the AFL-NFL World Championship Game at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Jan. 15, 1967.

You might now know that game, won handily by the Green Bay Packers, as Super Bowl 1.

Al Michaels attended the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game, later known as Super Bowl 1

When Michaels grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the NFL — much as it is now — was the only reputable professional football show around. Everything changed in 1960 when the American Football League, featuring teams based everywhere from New York to Dallas, launched and appeared determined to stick around by any means necessary.

By January 1967, Michaels was 22 years old, married, and still several years away from rising to prominence calling Cincinnati Reds baseball games. Nonetheless, he and his younger brother, David, secured tickets to watch the AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Both had followed the “renegade league” since its inception, as Michaels recalled in his 2014 book, You Can’t Make This Up.

“My dad wound up with two 50-yard line tickets for us,” Michaels wrote. “Tremendous.”

Super Bowl I, as we now know it, was nothing like the future title games Michaels called while at ABC and NBC. The future Pro Football Hall of Famer recalled seeing more than 30,000 empty seats in the Coliseum, which held nearly 94,000 people at the time.

“And with the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs matching up in Los Angeles, for the most part, the crowd consisted of mainly neutral observers and was relatively absent of passion. Today at NFL games, you might have catering by Bobby Flay or Wolfgang Puck. But that afternoon, it was just your basic hot dogs and Cokes at the concession stands.”

Al Michaels

Something tells us the prices for those hot dogs and Cokes were far cheaper in 1967 than they’ll be at Super Bowl 56.

Nearly 60 years later, Michaels will tie a Super Bowl broadcasting record

When Michaels attended Super Bowl 1, he was still yet to truly embark on a legendary broadcasting career. In fact, he didn’t obtain a sportscasting role until he began working for the Los Angeles Lakers later that year.

Nearly 60 years later, Michaels will tie Pat Summerall on Sunday for the most Super Bowls an announcer has worked as a play-by-play announcer. Although Summerall technically worked 16 total Super Bowls, he served in one (Super Bowl 1, fittingly enough) as a sideline reporter and worked his next four as a color commentator. It wasn’t until Super Bowl 10 that the former New York Giants kicker called the Big Game as the play-by-play voice.

Super Bowl 56 will technically mark the 12th such game Michaels has worked in his long broadcasting career. He co-hosted Super Bowl 19’s pregame show with Jim Lampley, former Buffalo Bills running back O.J. Simpson, and then-Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry on Jan. 20, 1985. Talk about a stacked lineup.

Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, the oldest player participating in Super Bowl 56, was 3 years old at the time. Rams head coach Sean McVay didn’t enter the world until Jan. 24, 1986.

Football fans can only hope Super Bowl 56 is as memorable as other title games Michaels has called

For all intents and purposes, Super Bowl 22 was over at halftime. Washington scored 35 points in the second quarter en route to a blowout victory. There would be no fourth-quarter excitement for Michaels that night.

However, that hasn’t been the case for Michaels in the last 30 years. Of the 10 Super Bowls that Michaels has called thus far, six have either come down to the final minute or were decided on the last play. It all began in Super Bowl 25 when Buffalo Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a field goal as time expired. The New York Giants won 20-19 in January 1991.

Nearly a decade later, St. Louis Rams safety Mike Jones tackled Tennessee Titans receiver Kevin Dyson at the 1-yard line as time expired in Super Bowl 34. The Titans trailed 23-16, and either would have kicked for overtime or gone for two to win;

Flash forward to Super Bowl 43. Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes caught the game-winning touchdown in the final minute and ended the Arizona Cardinals’ furious hopes of an upset.

Three years later, Eli Manning led the New York Giants on a late — and accidental — touchdown drive against Tom Brady’s New England Patriots. Brady couldn’t connect with tight end Aaron Hernandez on a game-winning Hail Mary, and the Giants clinched their second Super Bowl victory in five seasons.

Then came Super Bowl 49, when Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and quarterback Russell Wilson opted to throw instead of handing the ball off to Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch at the goal line. In came Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler and out went the Seahawks’ hopes of a second straight Lombardi Trophy.

Most recently, there was Super Bowl 52 in February 2018. As with Super Bowl 46, Brady failed to connect on a Hail Mary in the closing seconds of a 41-33 loss. Had Brady hit his receiver, he still would have needed to convert a two-point conversion against the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense.

All of this means the Cincinnati Bengals will dominate the Los Angeles Rams in a rout on Sunday night. Maybe if Michaels is lucky, he’ll get to enjoy some of Bobby Flay’s cooking during the blowout.

Like Sportscasting on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sportscasting19.

RELATED: Al Michaels Cost Himself $5,000 With a Single Swing as a High School Student