Sure, life as the best ever to do it in your chosen profession might seem like a great existence, but it's not all it's cracked up to be. Mel Brooks' King Louis XVI might have said, "It's good to be the king." But it was Shakespeare's King Henry IV who said, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." When you're top of the heap, A-Number One, everyone is constantly coming after you. Such is the case with the sportscasting GOAT, Al Michaels.
For example, there was his objectively terrible, Low-T call of the Jaguars comeback Wild Card win over the Chargers:
And now it's this brain shart he had last night:
Source - As the third quarter was getting underway, Michaels welcomed viewers to “Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.” …
The Eagles did used to play at Veterans Stadium, it’s just been a while. A baby born on the day the Eagles played the final NFL game at Veterans Stadium will be able to legally buy a drink in all 50 US states on Jan. 19, 2024. MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies, who shared Veterans Stadium with the Eagles, played their through 2003.
Which, Michaels being the big, slow-moving target that he is, drew withering fire from the great unwashed masses on the internet:
There are thousands more, but there's no need to belabor the point.
Listen, puny humans, and you listen good. You don't retire Al fecking Michaels; he retires you. Got it?
This isn't about forgetting the name of a stadium. Not even a stadium you broadcast the opening of. I may be someone of a certain age who's finding more and more that I mess up the names of certain proper nouns. Places. People. Teams. I may occasionally have to catch myself as I go to identify the city the Chargers, Rams or Raiders play in. And Al is a product of a time when stadia were routinely given lofty, noble, honorific names. Where they were civic buildings, meant to pay tribute to the best among us. Of course, Veterans Stadium. But also Soldier Field. War Memorial Coliseum and the like, that were meant to last. In Michaels' prime, venue names weren't bought and sold to the highest bidder every few years to some bank or insurance company like they're sponsoring some Little League team. (That trend began with the Patriots, by the way. In 1971 they opened their first official home, Schaefer Stadium, named after the worst swill that has ever been brewed and put into a can. It's motto was, "The one beer to have, when you're having more than one." Imagine trying to slip that on past Mothers Against Drunk Driving today.) But this isn't about me trying to defend an older gentleman's right to have a sometimes faulty memory.
It's me defending an older gentleman's right to halfass his job.
What's the point of being successful if you can't coast a while? Enjoy the fruit of your labors? Rest on your laurels? Al Michaels is taking a paycheck at Jeff Bezos' little side hustle. He's not calling the Super Bowl or even Monday Night Football. He's on a streaming service that most people his age can't even find, even though they're signed up. He's past his prime, mailing it in on Prime. What do we expect, he's going to put in the same effort he did when he was calling the US-USSR game with Ken Dryden 43 years ago? Get bent.
Hell, this country is being run by people who are standing in their own graves. Republicans who go catatonic in the middle of press conferences. Others with the vocabulary of toddlers. Democrats who can't form a sentence that isn't written out for them, and even then it's a coin flip as to whether they'll make it to the end. But you're honestly worried about a guy just exercising his right as an American to quietly quit?
I support Al Michaels' privilege to take Bezos' money and not put in the effort to actually earn it. Mostly because that's my career goal as well. Do you think I want to keep churning out four to five blogs every day for the rest of my life? These 1,200-2,400 word opuses where I agonize over each paragraph to come up with some unique way to say a thing and rewrite sentences so they don't sound like ones from earlier? You think I intend to keep trying to stay at or near the top of Barstool's pageviews week after week? Hell, no. I very much look forward to the Al Michaels Amazon phase of my career. Where I milk it for all its worth, burp out lazy, perfunctory, sloppy drivel, then spend the rest of the day smoking cigars on the back patio and counting my Portnoy Bucks for as long as I can get away with it. So keep it up, Al. You're my inspiration.