Rush Limbaugh describes his friend Al Michaels' new book about events and people in his sports broadcasting career. Limbaugh was at a restaurant in Kansas City with George Brett when he first met Michaels
"Now, we're coming up on Thanksgiving and the holiday season. I want to take a brief moment to tell you a little bit about a friend of mine that you all know but you don't know. And his name is Al Michaels. I got to know Al Michaels some years ago. It was at a restaurant in Kansas City. It was not long after this program birthed. I was in Kansas City, I think for a Rush to Excellence Tour or some such thing, with George Brett.
I stopped in Indiana to pick him up at a popcorn factory. He was doing a public appearance. We stopped, went to a restaurant in Kansas City, Plaza III, which, when I lived there, it was a treat. I mean, it still is, one of the best restaurants in town, of so many. They had the greatest Plaza III salad, the salad dressing. I don't know if it's still the same, but back then -- talking seventies and eighties -- it was just out of this world.
So, anyway, we're in there, and I think the Chiefs are playing the Steelers. I think it's a playoff game on the following Saturday. This might have been a Thursday night or Friday night, I forget which. Anyway, we're walking out, and Dan Dierdorf comes over, says, "I've got somebody that would love to meet." It was Al Michaels. I met Al and we've become fast friends, golf buddies now and then. Al was prominent at our wedding. He's just a great guy, but, you know, you don't know him because he's such a consummate professional.
I know a lot of people in media, of course, and particularly in sports broadcasting, and a lot of them are really good. Jim Nantz is a great guy and a huge talent. It's a field, you know, you've got two or three that are really exceptional, and Al Michaels is probably the leader of that pack. They're all great people. They do their jobs so well that you don't know them....If you had the chance to meet Al Michaels, I guarantee you he would be exactly what you would hope he would be.
You see him on television every Sunday night doing Sunday Night Football. You see him on Monday Night Football and Monday Night Baseball, start Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants baseball.
He's been doing this for years and years, and he's just a consummate professional, and as such you don't learn much about him because he's not the story. You don't get to know Al. He becomes your friend. You become totally trusting. You respect and understand his authority.
He's one of the few that makes the event bigger than it is by his presence. You could put Al Michaels on the worst Sunday afternoon game on an NFL schedule and it would become the biggest, and there aren't too many who've done what Al does that you could say that about. You could say that about Cosell. You could say it about Jim Nantz at CBS. There aren't too many, but Al is at the peak here.
He's funny. He's happy. He's a great citizen. He's reliable, trustworthy, but the point is he's written a book.
People have been after him to do this for years and he's always resisted. He's not the story, doesn't want to become the story. He does not take advantage of all of this airtime he's had. I mean, I can remember two occasions where Al Michaels has said something in relationship to taxes or something that everybody agreed with, and I was swamped with e-mail: "Hey, even Al Michaels last night, did you hear what he said about taxes?" Just a five-second line about it.
But he's written a book. He's finally relented and succumbed to the pressure to write a book of his experiences and the people he's known and the stories that are just out of this world. Stories about all the people he's worked with, many of the athletes, some of the other fellow broadcasters. And he doesn't pull any punches on any of these. He's not like a jock, a former player gets a gig in the booth and then immediately shuts up so as not to offend friends that are still players and, you know, gets vanilla.
This book is not vanilla. It's funny, it's outrageous, but it's got some hard hitting stuff in it, too, things that you will never know unless you read the book. Things that you'll never hear about. And if you're a sports fan, you're gonna eat all of this up. You're gonna hear some of the truthful reactions that Al had to Cosell. You're gonna hear about things that happened in the Monday Night Football booth that you will never hear about anywhere else but this book....
I'll tell you something else about Al Michaels. He makes everybody that works with him better just by virtue of his presence. He elevates everybody else's work. It's not too many people that have achieved this pinnacle, particularly in broadcasting. And he never calls in sick. He's there. He shows up. He's dependable as can be, and when Al is there, you know it's big, and it has that feel, it has that aura about it.
The book is called -- I have it right here. I've got my official copy, and it is called "You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television."...
But even if you're not a full-fledged sports fan, if you're just interested in stories about people in the media and particularly in this case the sports media, and want to learn some things that you'll never know by just watching, you -- and Al's doing some interviews talking about the book. So he's talking about some of these things now, but on Sunday Night Football he will not say a thing about this unless they do a special segment about it a in a pregame show. He will never intrude on the game.
That's a remarkable thing. It's remarkable professionalism, and it's a throwback mentality about respect for the game, for the job....
It's gutsy he's done this with still a lot of years left in his career. He doesn't pull any punches. I mean, he even goes after Costas in this book over a couple things. Not Costas per se, but an event that involved Costas and salary and baseball. It's good. You'll like it. So while you're out there populating your Christmas baskets with Rush Revere and the American Revolution, check out Al Michaels and You Can't Make This Up, because you can't."
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