Happy Birthday: Al Michaels joins the 70s club

Al Michaels hits the big 7-0 today.

Michaels now is a member of the 70s-club in sports TV. As I wrote earlier this year in USA Today, he has something in common with the rest of the esteemed fraternity that includes Brent Musburger, Dick Vitale, Verne Lundquist, Marv Albert and many others:

No desire to retire anytime soon.

Richard Deitsch of SI.com did a long two-part interview with Michaels this week on the eve of the publication of his autobiography. It included this passage.

Q: I imagine most NFL viewers would say you are still at the top of your craft, but nobody outlasts Father Time. How much have you thought about when you want to stop broadcasting?

Michaels: Thank God, knock on wood, I feel good. I’m healthy, everything is fine. I take Advil once every other day for golf and that’s it. That part is out of my hands and as long as that is good, I do love what I do. I still get a big thrill of being on the air, doing games, working with my crew, loving the drama, loving the feel in the stadium. It is a great job. It doesn’t require a lot of physical exertion There is a travel component I’m not happy about because I’m always on the road so that is a downer but nothing is perfect.

I have not thought about a timeline. When I cannot do a telecast the way I want to do it and the way I think I have done it, and not be at a level I must do it at, I will never risk having people say “What’s wrong with him?” or “What happened to him?” or “I don’t want to listen to him anymore.” That won’t happen because I’m going to see that before anyone else and before it happens, I’ll pull the plug. Look, I am lucky. I have the best producer who ever lived in Fred Gaudelli and the best director ever in Drew Esocoff. I have Cris Collinsworth who followed John Madden so I have had 13 years of the best analysts. I have Michelle Tafoya on the sidelines. I mean, I know everyone loves their own people but this is my crew and I love them. I love working with them. It is such a pleasure. Everyone has everybody’s back. So as we sit here in November, I feel good, I love doing it and I can still do it the way I want to do it so I’d like to put the future on hold. I know it will come but as long as I am this side of the deep divot and feel good, I’ll keep going.

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