Why Is Mike Tirico Calling ‘Sunday Night Football’ With Cris Collinsworth in Week 14?

Football fans shouldn’t blame NBC announcer Mike Tirico if he requests a nap in the coming weeks.

Tirico, a beloved sports media figure, has been a busy bee lately. The veteran announcer will continue his packed schedule by joining Cris Collinsworth and Kathryn Tappen on Sunday Night Football in Week 14.

Why is it Tirico, and not Al Michaels, on the microphone for this week’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Buffalo Bills? We have the answer. 

Mike Tirico has been a busy man for NBC lately

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No one can ever say that Mike Tirico didn’t spend the final weeks of 2020 working every job imaginable.

Let’s look at everything Tirico has done over the last two weeks. Tirico hosted a Sunday Night Football game — one where Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdowns — on November 29.

Three days later, Tirico and Cris Collinsworth called an ultra-rare Wednesday night afternoon game between the Steelers and Ravens. That game, originally scheduled for Thanksgiving Day, had been pushed back nearly a week because of COVID problems inside the Ravens’ building.

Tirico returned to the studio in Week 13, working with the normal crew — and newcomer Steve Kornacki — to discuss the latest NFL ongoings on Football Night in America.

Tirico is calling Sunday Night Football in Week 14

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For the third time in 14 days, Mike Tirico is calling an NFL game on NBC.

Tirico, Cris Collinsworth, and sideline reporter Kathryn Tappen will team up for the Week 14 showdown between Pittsburgh (11-1) and Buffalo (8-4).

Tirico and Tappen already work together on NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame football. The duo, along with legendary NFL head coach Tony Dungy, called the Bears-Packers game in Week 12.

Dungy will remain in the studio on Football Night in America this week. Tirico and Collinsworth called the Ravens-Steelers game on December 2.

Anyone concerned about regular ‘SNF’ play-by-play announcer Al Michaels can rest easy this weekend. NBC announced before the season began that Michaels would have at least three “bye weeks” this year.

Tirico called a Packers-Saints game in Week 3 in place of Michaels.

Football fans should expect to see Al Michaels soon

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Mike Tirico is expected to replace Al Michaels in the Sunday Night Football booth permanently when Michaels retires.

Michaels’ contract with NBC expires after the 2021 season. He turned 76 in November and, if he doesn’t extend his deal, would call his final game at Super Bowl 56 in February 2022. 

Michaels still has unfinished business, however. If everything goes to plan — in 2020, anything can change in an instant — Michaels should be on the microphone in Week 17 and the NFL postseason.

Tirico will call one of the two wild-card round games on NBC. Michaels and the ‘A’ team are expected to work the other game.

It is not yet known if Michaels will call games in Week 15 or Week 16, or if NBC will give him extra bye weeks.

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