Al Michaels and Kirk Herbstreit on Amazon

Amazon’s Thursday Night Football schedule doesn’t kick in until Week 2 of the 2022 NFL season when the Los Angeles Chargers take on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, but announcer Al Michaels is already excited by the chemistry he has with analyst Kirk Herbstreit.

Michaels was the guest on this week’s SI Media Podcast with Jimmy Traina and, among the topics discussed, was his chemistry with new analyst partner Herbstreit and how surprised he was by how fast it came together. The duo made their debut with a preseason game a couple of weeks back and Michaels was impressed with how well they clicked early on.

“By the end of the first quarter, I said, ‘This is really working extremely well,’ and then we did 3 1/2 quarters that night,” Michaels said. “We didn’t take the game to its conclusion because we said, ‘Hey, this is gonna work.’ We went down to Houston to do a real game—a preseason game, anyway—that went out on the air, and it felt very very comfortable.”

Michaels noted that he and Herbstreit didn’t really have much of a relationship before the announcement that they’d be working together, but their camaraderie came together quickly.

“With Kirk, I didn’t really know him until April,” Michaels said. “And then we had a couple of days in New York together and a couple of other meals and meetings and phone calls, and I knew his rhythm and he knew mine. I don’t want to say I was shocked by it, but I was very pleasantly surprised and walked away from the booth that night saying, ‘You know, for a preseason game where you’re not talking about any strategy and it’s the Wild West in a way, and we’re going to the sideline reporter, Kaylee Hartung, a lot, it’s not like a regular-season game. But I feel really comfortable going into that Chargers-Chiefs game next week.”

Viewership numbers for Amazon’s preseason game were a mixed bag, but it will be interesting to see how the Chargers-Chiefs game compares.

[SI Media Podcast]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to