The broadcaster’s energy as Jacksonville closed out a historic comeback left a lot to be desired.
Play-by-play broadcaster Al Michaels made a special return to NBC on Saturday night alongside Tony Dungy for an AFC wild-card thriller between the Jaguars and the Chargers. Jacksonville mounted the third-largest comeback in NFL playoff history, capping off a 31–30 victory at home with a 36-yard field goal off the foot of kicker Riley Patterson.
Though it was difficult not to be excited about–or at the very least invested in–the dramatic finish, Michaels’s call of the game-winning kick left quite a bit to be desired.
To begin with, Michaels was referring to a seemingly unrelated subject with three seconds left and the ball in the process of being snapped. He managed to pick up the action just in time for Patterson to boot the game-winner, but he fell silent as the ball was in the air.
As the crowd screamed in jubilation upon seeing the ball pass through the uprights, Michaels was subdued, pointing out the Patterson had made the kick but that there was a flag on the play. Jaguars players were running around on the field and wildly celebrating as the broadcast crew tried to decipher the penalty, which ultimately was called on the defense and had no effect on the outcome of the play.
While Michaels can’t be blamed for trying to provide accurate information to the viewers, his tone during the most important moment of the evening fell completely flat and failed to capture the impact of Jacksonville’s historic comeback. Media members and fans took note of the underwhelming broadcast finish and took to social media to air their grievances with the crew.
While Michaels and Dungy may have come up short on their own broadcast, Jaguars radio play-by-play voice Frankie Fergie did not. Fergie provided the ideal soundtrack to one of the most memorable moments in Jacksonville’s franchise history with his electric call of Patterson’s game-winner.
This content was originally published here.