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Howard Stern Says Al Michaels Should Tell Viewers to Get Vaccinated, Rips NBC

“I think it’s a big f—ing error. It’s just like New England letting Brady go. Dude, I don’t get it.”

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Leading up to what could be his final Super Bowl telecast in a long, accomplished broadcast career, Al Michaels has appeared on a variety of media outlets to look back at his years of calling The Big Game for ABC and NBC.

On Tuesday, that “farewell tour,” if that’s what to call it, stopped at The Howard Stern Show. Anyone who’s listened to Stern over the decades or appeared for an interview knows that the infamous radio personality could touch on any topic and take the conversation in many different directions. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when Stern put Michaels on the spot.

First, Stern voiced his disbelief that NBC could possibly let Michaels go when his contract expires after Super Bowl LVI. The expectation throughout the sports media industry is that the veteran broadcaster will move to Amazon to call play-by-play for Thursday Night Football.

“Really? NBC is gonna let you walk out the door?” Stern said to Michaels (via Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina). “I think it’s a big f—ing error. It’s just like New England letting Brady go. Dude, I don’t get it. I think I’m in shock. This is bulls—. Everyone loves you. You’re doing great. What are they changing things up for? You got the No. 1 show.”

As could be expected, Michaels didn’t take the opportunity to criticize NBC. He didn’t feel “betrayed,” as Stern speculated, and went on to explain the thinking.

“I feel that the decision was made predicated on making sure there was a succession plan in place,” said Michaels.

Looking back, it’s entirely possible this is a plan Michaels thought was a good idea until getting to this point and realizing he still had plenty left as a broadcaster and might want to continue at NBC.

But if Michaels thought he was off the hook after evading Stern’s attempts to goad him into ripping his NBC bosses, the conversation eventually moved to another topic: the COVID-19 vaccine. With a worldwide audience of 100 million, Stern implored Michaels to encourage viewers to get vaccinated.

Listen to the clip from Mediaite (via The Big Lead):

“Do you ever feel, and I know with sports you can’t be controversial,” said Stern. “No one’s there to hear your opinion; I get all that. But Al, please — when you’re on there and you got 100 million people, tell them to get vaccinated for Christ’s sake, you know what I mean?”

Michaels didn’t take the bait there, either.

“You’re right when people tune in to watch the game, they want to watch the game,” Michaels said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on in sports around the game.”

We don’t know what Michaels’ stance is on getting vaccinated and aren’t likely to find out since it’s such an inflammatory topic for some viewers. However, Michaels did make his irritation over having to wear a mask on the air apparent during a 2020 Eagles-49ers broadcast. A Santa Clara county mandate required it.

“We’re good boys, though,” Michaels said during the NBC telecast. “We’re going to get lollipops at the end of the game tonight.” He later added that he’d ditch the mask as soon as Sunday Night Football signed off.

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Peter Rosenberg: Gio’s Rant ‘Gimmick Infringement’ of Don La Greca

The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay.

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The war of words between WFAN’s Boomer & Gio and 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show continued Monday, with a quip from Peter Rosenberg about a rant from Gregg Giannotti.

Giannotti, a Vikings fan, was discussing his viewing situation during Monday morning’s show as the franchise played the New York Giants. His wife, two daughters, mother, mother-in-law, and best friend joined him to watch the Super Wild Card game, and the WFAN host detailed that the situation grew more tense with each passing moment due to comments made by those in attendance.

Giannotti eventually admitted to yelling at his friend, and jokingly shouted “Not the time, Louise!” after his mother-in-law commented about how good the Giants had gotten during a Saquon Barkley touchdown run.

The rant didn’t go unnoticed by Rosenberg, however, and he replied to Giannotti’s video clip of the segment by saying “Fake Don Lagrecca (sic) much? This is called gimmick infringement”.

The comment from Rosenberg comes after Giannotti was critical of he and La Greca last week. Giannotti claimed the pair were “bootlicking” Michael Kay after walking back comments he made about getting a producer at the station fired by calling them “performance art”.

While criticising Kay, Giannotti could not identify Rosenberg, only calling him “whatever his face”.

“He’s gonna retire. It doesn’t matter whether you kiss his ass or not, it’s not gonna be the difference in you getting that job when he leaves,” Giannotti said of La Greca and Rosenberg. “Just stop it. Just stop kissing his ass.”

Rosenberg responded to the disapproval from Giannotti last week by tweeting “My favorite part of the trash talk from the guy on the fan is ‘pick on someone your own size Michael Kay… pick on me’…LOL who are you?!!!!”

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Jim Rome: Sad Paul Allen Is The Saddest Thing Ever

“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down.”

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One of Super Wild Card Weekend’s biggest upsets came in the Giants/Vikings game on Sunday afternoon, and Vikings radio voice Paul Allen obviously wasn’t thrilled about the final offensive play.

Jim Rome picked up on that listening to Allen’s call of Kirk Cousins finding T.J. Hockenson short of the line to gain, ending Minnesota’s season.

Rome said he hurt for Allen, who like many followers of the Vikings were shocked to see the second seed in the NFC playoffs bounced the first weekend.

“On the one hand sad P.A. is the saddest thing ever. I hate that so much,” Rome said Monday. “But he turns into pissed P.A. too. I mean that is a brutal way to lose. And what’s sadder than sad P.A.?”

Allen went viral halfway through the 2022-23 season, with his calls of a wild game against the Buffalo Bills on November 13. Allen went through a complete roller coaster of emotions as Buffalo fought to win 33-30 in overtime.

Rome added that he thought disappointing Allen was the worst of all for the NFC North champs.

“Never mind letting yourselves down, never mind letting your employer down, never mind letting your fans down, you let the great P.A. down,” he said.

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Angelo Cataldi: Could Al Michaels Just Quit Already?

“How do you go from ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ to “There’s a flag on the field’?”

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Angelo Cataldi has never been one to shy away from his feelings about any topic, and has been especially outspoken on his criticism of different broadcasters. Al Michaels was the target of Cataldi’s ire Monday morning for his lackluster performance during the Super Wild Card matchup on NBC Saturday.

“This is not easy for me. The man is an icon. I gotta tell ya, Al Michaels sucked the life out of the game he did,” Cataldi said. “This is the first thing I don’t understand: Al Michaels — even though now he’s on Amazon — still did an NBC game. They made sure he was getting one playoff game, but they didn’t bring the partner from Amazon, Kirk Herbstreit. They brought in someone who doesn’t do color analysis in Tony Dungy. I love Tony Dungy, but not in that role. Tony Dungy is bland and boring in that role. He was bland and boring and it was awful!

“It’s 27-0 and Al Michaels is in a bad mood. And Al Michaels is talking about the overtime rules, and he says ‘We won’t have to worry about that in this game’. He’s dissing the game! A few weeks ago, he went crazy on a bad game and just ripped it apart. He said ‘I’m not here to sell a used car’. He said this on the air! Then you get to the end of the game, it’s a thriller. A great comeback by Doug Pederson! The fourth down chances he takes, the brilliant decisions he makes. And they’re lining up for the field goal, and I want you to hear how he sucked the life out of the moment,” Cataldi said before playing the clip of Michaels’ game-winning call.

“The guy’s an icon!,” Cataldi shouted. “A Hall of Fame broadcaster, and he never even called the play! He never told you who won the game! It was unbelievably brutal! How do you go from ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ to ‘There’s a flag on the field’?”

Cataldi concluded by saying the 78-year-old Michaels needs to retire if that’s the best effort he can muster. The 94WIP host then compared the call from Michaels to that of Jaguars radio announcer Frank Frangie.

Michaels was not the only NFL announcer to feel Cataldi’s wrath Monday morning. He also criticized Tony Romo, as well as Daryl “Moose” Johnston, and Cris Collinsworth.

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