Al Michaels went on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss his new book, You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television. He recounted his experiences from his time in the journalism field.
Michaels and Patrick discussed how a truly great sportscaster can get excited about any game, any day of the week, and how that passion and excitement should still be heard in their voices, even if it is a game that is not considered a big rivalry game. It made me think about when Auburn won the Iron Bowl in 2013, when Chris Davis ran the length of the field and scored the final touchdown. When I saw replays of that run, the announcers saying “there goes Davis” and screaming about how “Auburn’s gonna win the football game” made me think about how the announcers’ voices and their excitement can help create very memorable lines and moments in sports’ history.
Patrick asked Michaels about the strangest event that he ever covered. Michaels said it was an ice motorcycle race in Germany. The producer wanted Michaels to actually get on the motorcycle to do something different than just a regular announcement of where they were at. He wanted Michaels to ride down the straightaway and then get off the motorcycle while making the announcement. Michaels had never been on a motorcycle before. However, they decided that that wasn’t a good idea and Michaels was just to do a regular announcement. He was getting ready to make the announcement when something was announced over the speakers in German. All of a sudden he had bottles thrown at him by fans. The producer had told an announcer to ask the fans to wait a few more minutes because American television needed about ten more minutes to get ready.
I think it is important to realize that you never know what can happen on the job. As a reporter, you might have someone on staff ask you to do something different from the ordinary, like the situation where Michaels was asked to ride the motorcycle. You have to be careful of whatever a situation could throw at you.
When Patrick asked Michaels to pick a final game to cover, Michaels responded with the Superbowl 2047. He would want it to be L.A. vs L.A.
Bob Costas also visited The Dan Patrick Show.
Patrick asked Costas what was the toughest interview that he’d ever done. Costas spoke about the tense Vince McMann interview on HBO and the “tight-rope walk” interview of Jerry Sandusky, but he said the toughest interviews are when “the person is just boring or unresponsive, if you can’t get anything.”
This essay was written for the JRNL2310 Reporting course at Auburn University in fall 2014.