Al Michaels provided the exclamation point for viewer’s at home witnessing one of the greatest moments in U.S. sports history. On February 22, 1980, with three seconds left in the third period of the U.S. Men’s Hockey team’s semifinal game against the Soviet Union, Michaels made arguably the greatest sports call in history.
The U.S. won that game 4-3 and would later comeback to defeat Finland 4-2 to secure Gold.
The Miracle On Ice was very early in Michaels’ career, but that call was certainly a catalyst for things to come, including two decades as the play-by-play man for Monday Night Football. But it’s that famous call from the Winter of 1980 that Michaels remembers best, considering he’s heard “about 10,000 times.”
“When I hear it, I’m in the third person. Of course I know what’s going to come,” says Michaels. “I want to just enjoy it as a fan… it’s like, ‘wow, somebody else is doing this thing,’ and I just want to exalt in it.”
“And the great thing to me is,” says Michaels, who was recently in Boston and met fans outside of the hotel. “Even to this day… people who want autographs, they all have pictures of that moment… and they want me to sign it and put, ‘Do you believe in miracles?” on it and I see how happy they are and it’s a source of joy to me to this day.”
“It’s the story that just lives, and lives, and lives,” Michaels adds.
Stories from Michaels’ 40-plus year career in broadcasting are detailed in his book, You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television, available through Amazonand your local retailers.
Michaels will call Super Bowl XLIX — his ninth time — at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 1 alongside Cris Collinsworth.
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