When Mike Tirico joined NBC after a lengthy tenure with ESPN, many expected the sportscaster to eventually fill the shoes of Al Michaels. The legendary sportscaster had held the top role with NBC since he moved from ABC in the mid-2000s. The famed ‘transaction’ for Michaels and John Madden (which also hilariously involved Oswald the Rabbit) gave way to Michaels calling Sunday Night Football on NBC, a position that Tirico appeared in line for after joining the network.
By now, you probably know the rest. Michaels eventually departed NBC for Amazon and its gaudy Thursday Night Football production. Tirico immediately assumed the role of lead play-by-play man for often one of the week’s most-watched football games. But it did take some time to get there. He joined the esteemed network in the summer of 2016 but didn’t replace him on Sunday Night Football until this past season. So, did that irritate Tirico at all?
The sportscaster joined Andrew Marchand on the Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast. On the call, he addressed this topic head-on and said that NBC still fulfilled his appetite anyway. Thus, Tirico felt that there wasn’t much to be irritated about.
— Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) July 26, 2023
“I probably would have gotten frustrated if we didn’t have the Olympics, Notre Dame football, and all the stuff that I’m involved with going on,” Tirico said. He rattled off the list of things NBC occupied him with: Hosting Football Night in America, calling Fighting Irish games, his involvement in the Indy 500, the horse racing Triple Crown, numerous PGA Tour events, and the Olympics. On the latter, he mentioned that working the Olympics as the primetime host was “a full-time job as it is.”
It’s not too hard to see how things went and come away believing that statement. While the top play-by-play man job is a coveted position, it’s not NBC kept him entirely away from doing stuff. And much of it was significant, too, as NBC typically holds its Triple Crown coverage and Olympics coverage as some of its crown jewels. Especially the Olympics, which has already gotten ad time a year away from the 2024 Olympics in Paris.