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Michael Irvin’s Suits Have Elevated Him To The Next Level As A Broadcaster

“My suits are like my cape. They turn me into Superman. Without them, I really feel like Clark Kent.”

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As the Los Angeles Rams hoisted the historic Vince Lombardi Trophy on their home field at SoFi Stadium after their thrilling comeback in Super Bowl LVI, the conclusion of another football season had arrived.

A thrilling month-long stretch of close games, dating back to the Week 18 Sunday Night Football thriller in Las Vegas between the Raiders and Chargers with a playoff berth on the line, had perhaps launched the greatest stretch of big games the National Football League has ever seen in its 101 years of existence.

Whether it was three consecutive divisional round games ending on a field goal, the back-and-forth battle of AFC quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen decided in overtime, the late-game heroics of both the Bengals and Rams to secure conference championships, or what we just witnessed Sunday, these playoffs generated immense levels of excitement and engagement across multiple platforms of dissemination, leading to record ratings and revenue.

At the same time, the NFL had storylines surrounding the action both on and off the field, and there undoubtedly remains plenty to talk about over the coming months as the delay of baseball becomes more imminent. The retirement of Tom Brady has amplified debates regarding who the greatest athlete of all-time may be. Brian Flores’ lawsuit against the league alleging discrimination in hiring practices seeks to foster significant change to a system NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged as not doing enough in trying to promote diversity.

There’s also the injury to Odell Beckham, Jr., the nostalgic Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show, and uncertain future of Green Bay Packers quarterback and NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to talk about as well, just to name a few of the other storylines.

One of the people who will keep the football conversation alive is NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver and commentator for NFL Network and ESPN, Michael Irvin. Known for his flamboyance and passion for football, Irvin delivers his analysis and opinions about the game periodically, appearing alongside Stephen A. Smith on Mondays as a co-host on First Take, a show which has consistently improved its ratings since its reformatting in September.

Whenever he appears on camera, fans can look forward to seeing Irvin’s wardrobe for the day. On Tuesday’s Damon and Ratto on 95.7 The Game, Irvin said his suit gives him special powers.

“I didn’t have my suit on First Take last week because the box didn’t come,” explained Irvin. “My suits are like my cape. They turn me into Superman. Without them, I really feel like Clark Kent.”

Irvin’s father, Walter, was a roofer, and worked from sunrise to sundown every day. Growing up around him inspired Michael to work hard and make a good life for himself. After his father’s death, he used the clothes he wore when he helped his father as motivation to perform at the highest level on the field.

“I took the clothes [I wore] when I worked with him, sat them on the wall in college and said to myself: ‘Brother, if you don’t make it in this, you’re going back to that,’” Irvin reminisced. “Every time I saw a [defensive back] lined up, all I saw was [my father working] on that damn roof. I said: ‘Brother, I’m about to hurt you if you don’t get out the way. I’m not going to do that all my life.’”

Throughout his post-retirement job as a football analyst and commentator, Irvin strives to remain grateful for the opportunities he has been given and has worked hard to earn. Despite many long days, including the 8.5-hour NFL GameDay broadcast leading up to Super Bowl LVI, Irvin knows that if he told his father about his current occupation, his father would not be able to find any complaints.

“It’s the greatest job in the world,” said Irvin. “I just witnessed the greatest season, at least in the playoffs, in the world, right here as we came out of a pandemic. Sometimes it gets tough. Sometimes it gets hard. But man, it’s the greatest gig in the world.”

“They pay us to do it – it’s unbelievable,” added KNBR co-host Damon Bruce. “Michael, you’re the only man who sounds like he’s better dressed than everyone on the radio.”

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Ken Carman: Al Michaels ‘Feels Untethered’ On Amazon Prime Video

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

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The Cleveland Browns defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime Video. 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman applauded Al Michaels for his performance during the presentation.

“Al Michaels feels untethered for the first time. He’s not network television anymore and he can say whatever he wants. We interviewed him on the pregame show and I was nervous,” Carman said.

“He’s a legend,” co-host Anthony Lima added.

During the final play of the game, the Steelers fumbled a lateral into the endzone which the Browns recovered to make the final score 29-17. Michaels said “that may be meaningful to some of you. And you know who I mean”, alluding to people who had placed wagers on the game.

Carman, who hosts two-hours of pre-game coverage on the Browns Radio Network, continued to discuss how nervous he was interviewing Michaels. He also discussed how impressive Amazon’s behind-the-scenes production was, pointing out the only football broadcast with more cameras is the Super Bowl. More than 400 people work behind the scenes for Amazon Prime Video.

“The thing that stuck out was Kirk Herbstreit ripping the elf,” said Carman. “Don’t be ripping Brownie the Elf, man.”

Carman later said people angry that Michaels misspoke by saying the Pro Football Hall of Fame is “down I-71” instead of I-77 were unreasonable, and joked “Al Michaels hasn’t been on a highway in 20 years”.

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Boomer Esiason: Michael Kay ‘Swooping In’ On Stephen Nelson ‘Just Not Right’

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

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Boomer Esiason

Much has been made about the potential of New York Yankees television play-by-play announcer Michael Kay announcing Friday Night Baseball on AppleTV+ while slugger Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. During Boomer & Gio Friday morning, Boomer Esiason and Gregg Giannotti disagreed on whether Kay should have taken the gig from usual AppleTV+ announcer Stephen Nelson.

During a remote broadcast, they asked fans in attendance if they wanted to see Kay in the booth Friday night, which resulted in a resounding no.

“I bet he put that out there to see what the reaction would be,” Giannotti said of Kay’s comments that he would be “big-footing” Nelson by taking the assignment. “And the reaction was like that, and was like ‘You know, I’m kinda uncomfortable doing this. Maybe I shouldn’t do it’. And no one wanted to see it anyway.”

“They shouldn’t do it,” said Esiason of AppleTV+ allowing Kay to step in for Nelson.

“If the shoe was on the other foot, and let’s say it was Pete Alonso chasing this record and there was AppleTV for potentially 61 or 62, you’re telling me that you’d want a fella named (Stephen) Nelson over Gary Cohen? There’s no way in hell!”, Giannotti countered.

“I want what’s right,” Esiason said.

“AppleTV’s not right to begin with,” Giannotti replied.

“But Michael Kay swooping in on some kid named Nelson, that’s not right. That’s just not right. You just can’t do that!”, argued Esiason.

“Yeah, but the fact that it’s on AppleTV to begin with is annoying,” Giannotti concluded. “It’s just annoying.”

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Craig Carton: AppleTV+ Shouldn’t Have Answered The Phone For YES Network Trade

“This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week.”

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Craig Carton

A report from Andrew Marchand of The New York Post claimed YES Network, owned in-part by the New York Yankees, made several offers to AppleTV+ in regards to its scheduled broadcast of the Yankees and Boston Red Sox as Aaron Judge chases the franchise and American League record for home runs in a single season. WFAN host Craig Carton was dumbfounded by the proposals.

Carton originally blamed the Yankees greed for the game airing on AppleTV+, before co-host Evan Roberts set him straight.

“Because the New York Yankees sold their rights to everybody with a blank check in front of them, they are now faced with the reality that their greed is gonna result in a momentous, historical moment not being broadcast by their broadcast team,” Carton said.

“If you wanna blame every owner, and say ‘Hey, you all signed off on it’, I understand where you’re coming from on this. But Major League Baseball made the decision to cut a deal with AppleTV+,” Roberts countered.

Carton then pointed out how preposterous the idea was for YES Network to either air the game in conjunction with AppleTV+, or for Yankees television play-by-play announcer — and New York afternoon radio competitor — Michael Kay to call the game for the streaming platform.

“Memo to YES, and the New York Yankees, who own a piece of the YES Network: If I’m AppleTV+ — and whatever that check was that I wrote, it was big — this is the moment for me,” Carton said. “This is when I get to bring new people and new eyeballs to my streaming service. And I’m sure they’ll have more signups than they’ve had almost any other day of the week. If you’re AppleTV+, why would you even answer the phone if the YES Network calls?”

“Sometimes a guy calls you in Fantasy sports and says ‘I want your best player’, and you don’t even make a counter offer because you’re like ‘There’s literally nothing on your roster that would make me agree to this trade’,” Roberts hypothesized. “If I’m AppleTV+ — let’s play the negotiation game — is there anything that could be offered to you that would make you give up the exclusivity?”

“No! That’s what you paid for!”, Carton exclaimed. “Great luck! It worked out where you’re most likely gonna have a game on AppleTV+ where something historical is might happen!”

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