Dec 21, 2023; Inglewood, California, USA; Thursday Night Football Amazon Prime play-by-play announcer Al Michaels during the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the New Orleans Saints at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Al Michaels continues to draw criticism for lack of enthusiasm during Prime Video’s Thursday Night Football. And while fans have expressed concern, there are no plans for the legendary play-by-play voice to step away anytime soon.

While baseball has been his comfort zone since he began his illustrious career, Michaels reached new heights thanks to his unforgettable “Do you believe in miracles?” call during the 1980 Winter Olympics. And while “Miracle on Ice” cemented his legacy, Michaels confessed to Dan Patrick that hockey offers him the most challenging play-by-play environment.

“Baseball is a different sport to do, obviously,” Michaels explained. “You have some time; it’s more relaxing. I mean, baseball was easy for me, and then a ton of football. I’ve done 900 NFL games and probably a couple hundred college games — I get how to do football. hockey is the hardest. Without question, hockey on radio is the hardest. Because if you’re in your car, you can picture a baseball game. This team’s at-bat, this team’s in the field. In football, this team has the ball, and this team’s on defense.

“In hockey, the change of possession is so quick and so rapid. You don’t get to see — like, if you’re a fan of the Rangers, but they’re playing Winnipeg, you know who your guys are; you have no idea who the other guys are. So, I think guys who do hockey on radio very well have a great deal of respect from me because I think it’s the toughest.”

Patrick and Michaels lauded Mike “Doc” Emrick for his talent of calling a fast-paced game on television without feeling the need to narrate every moment, allowing the audience to breathe.

“Doc Emrick had it down perfectly. He almost did a radio call on television; not exactly, ” said Michaels. “You want to keep up with the pace of the game. The pace of the game is so fast, with back and forth, change of possession, and almost scoring. So, hockey would be the closest to combining radio and television — the other sports are vastly different.”

Despite etching his name in history with a hockey call, Michaels himself admits that the sport’s frenetic pace makes it the toughest to call play-by-play.

[NBC Sports on YouTube]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.