When former Newsday paper boy Al Michaels speaks about the growth of the Super Bowl, he knows firsthand of what he speaks. He was in the stands at the L.A. Coliseum for the very first edition in January of 1967.
“My father was out of town but he got my brother and me tickets on the 48-yard line,’’ he said. “I remember it was a beautiful day, with 30-some-odd thousand empty seats at the Coliseum.’’
Forty-five Super Bowls later, he will speak to well over 100 million people on NBC Sunday.
How does he do that without being intimidated by the size of the live audience?
Number one: Don’t necessarily tell me it’s not intimidating,’’ he said, laughing.
Michaels said being a play-by-play man for a big game is similar to being a player who might be “amped up’’ before it begins but gets into a relaxed rhythm when the action starts.
“Once the game starts, you’ve been there before,’’ he said. “But I will tell you there’s no question you are aware you’re doing it. I might, although I try not to think of it in these terms, have a higher degree of concentration than in other games. You try to get the synapses of your brain lined up the right way.’’