Al Michaels Once Had to Be Ready to Evade Terrorists in His Super Bowl Broadcasting Booth

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NFL broadcaster Al Michaels during a pregame show prior to the start of the game between the Detroit Lions and the San Francisco 49ers

When you think of NFL primetime football, you might think of broadcaster Al Michaels. Heck, at this point, whenever you think of Super Bowls, you’ll likely think of him. Michaels has become one of the most prominent faces and voices in sports media.

However, life as a broadcaster hasn’t always been glorious for Michaels. In fact, before calling a Super Bowl, he once had to prepare for terrorists to invade his broadcasting booth.

Al Michaels has called 10 Super Bowls in his career

What might be the most incredible accomplishment of Michaels’ career is that he’s called 11 Super Bowls. 

During the 2017 NFL season, Michaels became the second TV commentator to do the play-by-play for 10 or more Super Bowls. The only other person to accomplish this was Pat Summerall, who did 11.

“As you get older and you get the opportunities to do these events, you probably savor it more,” Michaels said in 2018, according to USA Today. “When I look at guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees, as they get older, I think they begin to appreciate and savor the opportunities more because you’re closer to the end than you are to the beginning, and you never know how many more you have left.”

However, in one of those Super Bowls, Michaels had to prepare to evade terrorists.

Al Michaels was ready to evade terrorists

Michaels appeared on Mike Greenberg’s show Greeny in 2021 with an interesting story.

“The first time I ever did a game with really intense security was 1990, the Super Bowl in Tampa, and that’s the Giants-Bills game,” Michaels said on the Jan. 8 episode. “We had invaded Iraq about a week and a half before that. This is the first time I had shown up at a stadium, and these concrete barriers are all over the place. The night before the game — it’s nine o’clock — I’m doing the game with Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf, and we’re told by our boss … we have to come into this meeting with six local SWAT team members.”

Well, that sounds scary. So, why did they have to meet with members of the SWAT team?

“They then spend a half an hour telling us that if the booth is invaded by terrorists, here is what we need to do,” Michaels said. “So, we walk out of the room, and Dierdorf looked like, ‘Oh my God, this is crazy.’ I looked over at Gifford, and I said, ‘Frank, do you know what this is? Six guys want to get into the game for free and watch the game.’ Frank looks at me, and he goes, ‘1,000 percent.’ I mean, how ludicrous would it be that terrorists are going to come in and kidnap the announcers?”

So, Michaels just thinks that the SWAT team wanted to watch the game. When you think about it, he might be right.

At least it appears that everyone got out of that game safely, and Michaels has gone on to have an incredible career. It proves, though, that life as a sports broadcaster must never be dull.

Al Michaels is one of the most well-known broadcasters in sports

Al Michaels has lived a pretty interesting life as a sports broadcaster. He has seen some of the greatest games and greatest sporting events in American history and has been the voice that people think of when they reminisce about those events.

According to his NBC bio, in 1980, Michaels earned his first Sportscaster of the Year award. It was the same year he called the U.S. men’s hockey team’s upset win over the USSR at the Winter Olympics. He also later became the second sportscaster to earn a News Emmy nomination. The nomination was to ultimately recognize his work covering the earthquake in San Francisco during the 1989 World Series.

Since then, he has become one of the most accomplished sports broadcasters ever. Michaels has won eight Emmy Awards and is the only broadcaster to ever call the Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, and host the Stanley Cup Final. He’s ultimately covered more major sporting events than any other sports broadcaster.

What many people know him for now, though, is his NFL coverage. He did play-by-play on Monday Night Football for 20 years. He began calling Sunday Night Football on NBC in 2006, helping make it one of the most successful sports broadcasts on TV. In SNF‘s first 14 seasons on NBC, it ultimately won 28 Sports Emmys.

Michaels officially departed Sunday Night Football after the 2021 season. However, NBC gave him an “emeritus” role, so he’ll continue calling at least one NFL playoff game each season. In addition to his part-time NBC role, he serves as Thursday Night Football‘s play-by-play announced on Prime Video.

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