Al Michaels Bio: Early Life, ABC, NBC & Net Worth

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Alan Richard Michaels is an American sportscaster currently working as the play-by-play announcer for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and an emeritus for NBC Sports. On his return to Saturday Night Football on January 15, 2023, netizens bashed him for his bland commentary.

“Do you believe in miracles? Yes!” The 80’s Olympic fans could not forget this final-second exclamation.

The line was delivered by one of the greatest sportscasters of the generation Al Michaels at the 1980 Winter Olympic hockey game between the US and the Soviet Union.

The American sportscaster is also the first to cover all four top sports competitions in the US; NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB.

Many National Football League fans may know him for calling play-by-play at Monday Night Football on ABC and Sunday Night Football on NBC.

Al Michaels, An American Sportscaster
Al Michaels, An American Sportscaster (Source: Sports Illustrated)

Michaels is also known for famous calls in other sports, including the earthquake-interrupted Game 3 of the 1989 World Series and the Miracle on Ice at the 1980 Winter Olympics. 

His voice might be familiar to almost every NFL fan, as he has been calling NFL games since 1986.

In this article, we have shed light on his personal and professional life. So follow through to the end to know everything about this wonderful personnel. But first, let’s look at the quick facts table;

Quick Facts

Full Name Alan Richard Michaels
Birth Date November 12, 1944
Birth Place Brooklyn, New York City, U.S. A
Nick Name Al Michaels
Religion Christianity
Nationality American
Ethnicity White
Education Alexander Hamilton High School
Arizona State University
Horoscope Scorpio
Father’s Name Jay Leonard Michaels
Mother’s Name Lila Roginsky
Siblings Two
Age 79 Years Old
Height 5’8″/1.78 m/178 cm
Weight 81 kg/178 lb.
Sexual Orientation Straight
Hair Color Light Brown
Eye Color Dark Brown
Build Chubby
Marital Status Married
Spouse Linda Anne Stamaton (m. 1966)
Children Jennifer Michaels, Steven Michaels
Profession Sportscaster, Commentator
Active years 1964–present
Net Worth $40 million
Salary $1 million per game (with Amazon)
Broadcasting Affiliations NBC, ABC, CBS, Amazon
Social Media Twitter
Merch Books, Autographs
Last Update  February, 2024

Where Is Al Michaels From? Early Life, Professional Career, Family, And Education

Alan Richard Michaels, aka Al Michaels, was born in Brooklyn, New York, to his parents, Jay Leonard Michaels and Lila Roginsky.

Besides his parents, Al grew up with his brother David Michaels and sister Susan Michaels.

Michaels went to Alexander Hamilton High School in Elmsford, New York. With economic instability, the family had to move to Los Angeles.

Al During His Youth
Al During His Youth (Source: New York Post)

Later, after graduating high school, he joined Arizona State University, where he took radio and television as majors, and journalism as a minor.

In his college days, Michaels was a sportswriter for the university’s independent student newspaper, The State Press.

Besides, Michaels called football, basketball, and baseball games of the Sun Devils (the university’s athletic team) for the campus radio station.

Early Career

Michael began his career in sportscasting for the Los Angeles Lakers in 1967 as a color commentator.

He served there with Chick Hearn on the team’s radio broadcasting for a brief period. A year later, he moved to Honolulu to work for KHVH-TV as a sports anchor.

The American sportscaster called play-by-play for the Hawaii Islanders baseball team, the football and basketball teams of the University of Hawaii, and some other local high school football games. He was named Hawaii’s “Sportscaster of the Year” in 1969.

In 1972, Michaels was the play-by-play commentator for NBC Sport’s hockey coverage at the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan.

Besides, he also aided in the network’s coverage of the Fall Classic of the World Baseball Series for MLB’s Cincinnati Reds.

Similarly, in 1974, Michaels called the San Francisco Giants and UCLA’s basketball games. After leaving NBC, he joined CBS Sports in 1975 as the regional NFL announcer.

ABC Sports

In 1976, Michaels signed for ABC Sports as a backup announcer for Monday Night Baseball. Eventually becoming the lead baseball announcer in 1983, he covered many sports for ABC during three decades of his tenure there.

The 1980 Winter Olympics

At the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, Michael called the ice hockey match between the US and the Soviet Union.

He was chosen for the game due to his prior experience at a similar game in the 1972 Winter Olympics.

It was during this game Michael gave his most memorable call, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

The line suited the atmosphere as an unheard group of college lads from the US team had secured the gold against the favorites, the Soviet team.

Michaels even stated, “When I look back, obviously, Lake Placid would be the highlight of my career. I can’t think of anything that would ever top it.”

The game is remembered with the nickname “The Miracle on Ice” due to Michaels’ famous phrase.

Baseball Broadcasts

Michaels covered Major League Baseball games in 1985. He called Game 5 of the American League Championship Series between California Angles and the Boston Red Sox along with Jim Palmer.

He also had a one-time appearance on ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball in 2003 as a guest commentator.

al-michaels-and-jim-palmer.
Al Michaels And Jim Palmer Calling MLB 1995 At ABC studio (Source: Twitter)

The earthquake hit during the 1989 World Series between the Giants and the Oakland Athletics. Michaels and his partner Palmer were left with bruises while reporting.

This dedication provoked his nomination for Emmy Awards for news broadcasting.

Monday Night Football

Michaels served as a play-by-play announcer for ABC Sport’s Monday Night Football broadcast for 20 seasons since 1986. He called Super Bowl in 1988 and 1991.

Dan Dierdorf and Frank Gifford assisted him until the 1997 season. After that, Boomer Esiason replaced Frank Gifford on September 7, 1998, and remained with the panel until 1999. 

Further, John Madden and Michaels duo gained immense popularity after Madden joined the show in 2002.

NBA Broadcasts

Michaels joined as the lead broadcaster of the NBA on ABC in the 2003-04 season. Doc Rivers worked with him until Hubie Brown replaced Doc during the Shaquille O’Neal vs. Kobe Bryant game on Christmas Day 2004.

Later, the duo became ABC’s number one broadcast team. However, Michaels received numerous criticisms for not being “a basketball guy” and lacking enthusiasm and confidence.

Some also said that he made very long explanations and was thus suited for baseball and football broadcasts.

NBC Sports

Monday Night Football moved from ABC to ESPN before the 2006 season. Thus, Michaels ended his 30 years of tenure with ABC and 20 years with Monday Night Football to join Madden on Sunday Night Football on NBC.

al-michaels-sunday-night-football
Al Michaels With Chris Collinsworth At Sunday Night Football (Source: Twitter)

The Michaels-Madden pair called together until 2009. After that, Cris Collinsworth replaced Madden. Michaels has called Super Bowls XLII, XLVI, XLIX, LII, and LVI for NBC.

[A quick fact about Michaels, he eats his dinner during his telecast.]

Olympic host

Michaels was the daytime host for the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage and co-hosted the closing ceremony for NBC.

He was also given a similar role in the 2012 Summer Olympics. He also hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics on weekdays and daytime on weekends on NBCSN.

Michaels also hosted daytime coverage of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Besides, Michaels presented the Premier Boxing Championship on NBC Saturday nights.

MLB Network

Michaels, with Bob Costas, called the baseball game between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants in 2011 for MLB Network. He appeared as a primary announce since Game 5 of the 1995 World Series on ABC.

Second Stint On Saturday Night

On January 15, 2023, Al Michaels made a return to NBC on Saturday Night Football. He, alongside Tony Dungy, called an AFC wild-card thriller between the Jaguars and the Chargers.

Almost during the final seconds of the game, Jaguars made an impossible come-back and bagged the win 31-30 against the Chargers. 

Michaels was bashed for his plain commentary during the Jaguars’ win. He was providing accurate information about the game as a flag was lifted, and the Jaguars’ players were already celebrating.

Al was waiting for confirmation about the foul but netizens were quick to judge the announcer about his bland commentary. Later, Jacksonville Jaguars were given the points as the foul was called on the defense.

Achievements And Honors

The five-time Emmy Award winner has been awarded the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s National Sportscaster of the Year title three times.

He was also inducted into the NSSA Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 2013. Similarly, he has also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The American Sportscasters Association’s and Washington Journalism Review’s Sportscaster of the Year has also received the Pete Rozelle Radio & Television Award.

He was awarded the Rozelle Award on Aug 2, 2013, during the annual Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner in Canton. Interestingly, that event is also where the Hall of Fame Class of 2013 received their gold Pro Football Hall of Fame jackets.

Moreover, Michales was also awarded Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism in 2002.

Not to mention, Alexander Hamilton High School’s football stadium in Los Angeles was also named after Al as Al Michaels Field.

Films

Michaels had a role in an episode of Hawaii Five-O. He also featured himself in the films Jerry Maguire and BASEketball, and the TV shows such as Coach and Spin City.

Al’s voice can be heard during his call to recreate the 1980 Olympics game victory of the US hockey team in the movie Miracle.

Moreover, he has also appeared in two episodes of the cable television series Arliss, portraying the older cousin of sports agent Arliss Michaels.

Michaels has also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Show in 2015. His voice features in the computer game Hardball 3 and the Madden NFL series from 2003-2009.

Net Worth And Salary

Al Michaels easily falls on the list of the highest-paid individual on sports television. With a long career in broadcasting on ABC and NBC, Michaels has accumulated a good sum of wealth and rightly deserves considering his long career.

Al Michaels has a net worth of about $40 million as of 2024.

al-michaels-book
Al Michaels’s Autobiography (Source: Pinterest)

Michaels has published an autobiography, “You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television,” in 2014. The book was on the Bestseller List of The New York Times.

Wife And Children

Michaels married Linda Anne Stamaton in August 1966. Linda and Al both attended Hamilton High School in Los Angeles, where they met each other for the first time.

Besides being one of the greatest sportscasters, Al is also a caring husband and a great father. The couple has two children; Jennifer Michaels and Steven Michaels.

Both of his children are already married. Michaels’ son Steven is the president and CEO of Asylum Entertainment, an independent film company in Los Angeles.

Michaels With His Wife
Michaels With His Wife (Source: The US Sun)

Al and Linda currently reside in Los Angeles. The couple spends most of their time with their grandchildren.

They were also spotted taking their grandchildren to hockey games. They have a hockey-obsessed grandson, though.

Social Media Presence

Al Michaels has an unverified Twitter account as his only social media handle, but he seems to be inactive since 2018.

Twitter: 1,296 Followers

Popularity

Serving as the sportscaster for almost 47 years, he has earned many fans and is considered one of the greatest sportscasters.

Al Michaels' Popularity Graph
Al Michaels’ Popularity Graph (Source: Google Trends)

The above image illustrates the popularity trend of Al Michaels based on Google searches in the United States over a year.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is David Michaels a brother of Al Michaels?

David Michaels is Al’s younger brother. He is a television producer who produced NBC’s Coverage of the Olympic Games, Fox Sport’s Beyond the Glory series, and other sports shows.

Why was Al Michaels arrested?

Al Michaels was arrested in April 2013 and was charged with driving under the influence. The police released him after five hours.

What is Al Michaels’ role in the movie Miracle?

In the 2004 movie Miracle, Michaels recreated the legendary 1980 Olympics commentary with his broadcasting partner Ken Dryden. In the movie, the director used the last 10 seconds of the original call, “Do you believe in miracles? YES!”

What is Al Michaels' food habit?

Al Michael is a vegetarian. He also takes alcohol but does not smoke.

Why was Al Michaels pulled from Sunday Night Football in week 15?

Al Michaels was pulled from Sunday Night Football in week 15 due to NBCUniversal Covid-19 safety protocols.

Who did Disney trade for Oswald?

Al Michaels made the Disney trade for Oswald. Oswald is a cartoon character created in 1927 by Walt Disney for Universal Pictures. Likewise, it belonged to Universal for a long time, until 2006. In February 2006, Disney CEO Bob Iger decided to get Oswald back and initiated a trade with NBC Universal. The trade involved sending sportscaster Al Michaels from ABC/ESPN to NBC Sports. About the trade, Al Michaels said, “I’m going to be a trivia answer someday.”

Aaditya Bhatta
Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta is a dynamic writer and sports enthusiast, whose passion for both realms is reflected in his work. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Aaditya brings a unique perspective to his writing, captivating readers with his engaging content.

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Aaditya's journey as a writer and sports aficionado began at a young age when he discovered his passion for both pursuits. Throughout his academic and professional endeavors, Aaditya has honed his skills in content creation and sports analysis, immersing himself in the intricacies of the games he loves.

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