Is there too much NFL on the air? Are we oversaturated with pro football and that’s why ratings for NFL telecasts are down this season? If you believe that, you’re not alone in that opinion. NBC’s Sunday Night Football play-by-play broadcasting legend Al Michaels is right there with you.
Along with the usual Sunday slate we’re accustomed to, NFL games are on Thursday nights, Sunday nights and Monday nights. Not only have those night games often suffered with subpar matchups (Thursdays and Mondays more so than Sunday nights, which have become the league’s showcase), but fans may have already overdosed on NFL football during the day on Sunday. Especially if they fully immerse themselves with NFL RedZone.
Michaels appeared with colleague Bob Costas on HBO’s Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons. Simmons referenced a piece by Kevin Clark on The Ringer arguing that our culture is suffering from NFL oversaturation, and asked Michaels and Costas for their thoughts on the matter. Michaels acknowledged that Sunday Night Football has kind of sucked the air out of the room, taking the best games and forcing Monday Night Football to settle for what’s left.
But his opinions on the NFL’s Thursday night offerings and their “Color Rush” gimmick were far more compelling.
“One of the problems they have is a team can only play one,” Michaels said. “The other thing is you can really caca it up by putting—Color Rush uniforms? Excuse me?” He went on to complain that he couldn’t see any of the players’ numbers during the 49ers-Cardinals Thursday night matchup. But Michaels wasn’t done yet.
“Here’s the point: ESPN has a college game on that night, and I went back and forth a little bit. The college game looked like the pro game. The pro game had the cockamamie uniforms. So who is that? Is that the yuppies in the marketing department? Whose idea is this thing and what is it going to mean?”
Note to friends of Al Michaels: Don’t get him a Color Rush jersey for a holiday gift. (Although one of those 49er jerseys with the invisible numbers might be a funny gag gift.) And we can safely assume that you will not be seeing Color Rush uniforms on Sunday Night Football. The No. 1 show on television doesn’t need such a gimmick anyway.