Joe Buck addresses NBC moving on from Al Michaels in their NFL playoff coverage Photo credit: Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast

Al Michaels won’t be calling an NFL playoff game on NBC for the first time since 2006 and Joe Buck hopes he wasn’t blindsided by the network’s decision.

Last month, Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported Michaels wasn’t in NBC’s playoff plans this season, despite NBC/Peacock carrying three games during Wild Card weekend. Buck co-hosted Marchand’s Sports Media Podcast this week, with John Ourand’s future still in limbo, and during the show, he questioned the way it appeared NBC informed Michaels of the move.

“How was he told that he was not doing this playoff game?” Buck asked. “If you tell me he’s known forever and this is the deal, this is the deal that he signed, well that’s one thing. But to find out publicly, and you’re Al Michaels…How was he alerted to this? Was this in his deal, did he know beforehand, did he find out through social media or through you? And if the answer is that he found out through you [Marchand] or social media, then I think that sucks.”

In November, Marchand interviewed Michaels and asked about the prospect of being removed from NBC’s NFL playoff coverage this season.

“It’s in my deal,” Michaels answered during his November conversation with The Post. “Where are you hearing that from? That’s part of my deal. Are you hearing something that I’m not hearing?”

Despite Michaels’ on the record response, Marchand found it hard to believe he knew a playoff change was on the horizon for NBC before the 79-year-old broadcaster did. But the November interview certainly read like Michaels was just then learning that his NBC deal might be changing.

“It’s more a question of how he found out,” Buck reiterated. “And if you are to take him at his word, and that’s the way it went down, I think that’s embarrassing an all-time talent and weak. But if he was aware and he wasn’t willing to admit that, that’s another situation altogether. I will miss him because I really enjoy watching him do games. It’s pleasant to me, it feels big and it feels pleasant to me.”

Considering his illustrious career, Michaels welcoming an audience to any broadcast will always feel big. But in recent years, Michaels has been criticized for lacking enthusiasm in the booth once the game kicks off. Some of those criticisms might justify why NBC sought to move on from Michaels in the playoffs this season. It wouldn’t justify “embarrassing an all-time talent” by allowing Marchand to be the bearer of bad news.

“The only part to me that kills me,” Buck continued. “If he found out about that publicly and didn’t know, then I think that’s bad business.”

[Marchand and Ourand]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to