BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — No one outside of Atlanta was more disappointed in the way last year’s Super Bowl played out than Al Michaels.
“I always wanted to do the first overtime Super Bowl and I was not a happy camper last year when I saw that coin flip,” he said of the game between the Patriots and Falcons that needed an extra few minutes to decide a champion. “I was sitting on my couch at home going ‘Wait a second, this should be our game not theirs!’ Especially after it was 28-3.”
This year it is his game. Michaels will be calling the play-by-play for NBC’s broadcast of Super Bowl LII on Sunday between the Patriots and the Eagles. And while he has no rooting interest in the outcome, there is something he is pulling for.
“The only thing left now is to do the longest game in the history of football,” he said on Tuesday. “So I’d like to see it go to triple OT . . . You go into a game like this and all you really want as a broadcaster is for it to be exciting, dramatic, close, with memorable plays.”
Michaels has had his share of those already.
“I’ve had a chance to do Super Bowls, a couple of them, that ended either on the last play of the game or very close to the last play of the game,” he said. “Kevin Dyson almost getting in the end zone in ’99, a few yards short, the Rams won the game. Malcolm Butler’s interception [in Super Bowl XLIX].”
If this one comes down to a similar play — whether at the end of regulation or beyond — Michaels said he doesn’t want to script what he’ll say.
“The problem is you don’t know how the game is going to end,” he said. “I can’t predict these things before the game, they just happen. With Butler, I was able to call the play and then my inner being said ‘This is unreal.’ And that’s the word that came out. It was unreal. So you have to let your emotions take over at that point and pretty much call it with your heart and not your head.”
Michaels has had a number of those memorable calls throughout his career.
“Nothing can top Lake Placid,” he said.
Triple overtime on Sunday might come close.