Monday, September 25

Before Al Michaels called Super Bowls, he called a world record at ASU

Memory is a funny thing.

I could have sworn that years ago, as a TV critic, circumstances led to me talking with Al Michaels, generally consider the greatest play-by-play announcer of all time, in a bar when he related a stunning story.

Michaels, who will call his 11th Super Bowl Sunday when NBC broadcasts the game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the LA Rams, has been on the mike for some of the best moments in sports. The biggest, of course, was the U.S. hockey team’s monumental upset of the Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

But Michaels said, as I recalled, that the greatest sporting event he’d ever called was when the performance of the men’s mile relay team at Arizona State University years before.


A dream team:The best NFL broadcast team ever? This bunch

Michaels still remembers ASU’s mile-relay record time — from 1963

“Not the most exciting thing I called — I mean, nothing beats Lake Placid — I’ve called a lot of exciting stuff,” Michaels said between Super Bowl production meetings Tuesday. “I said one of the most amazing things that never gets enough publicity is when the Arizona State mile relay team set the world record at the Mt. San Antonio (College) Relays, 3:04.5, and they broke the world record which was held by the Olympic team by 1.1 seconds.”

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