NFL fans were used to the commentary by Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth in the booth when NBC was broadcasting a game.
However, that won’t be what fans of the couple hear on Thanksgiving night.
Instead, Mike Tirico will play game by game with former Saints defender Drew Brees, providing commentary for NBC’s Bills-Saints game broadcast, NBC announced.
Why would this be the Thanksgiving couple? Sporting News dives in.
Why do Drew Brees and Mike Tirico call the game Thanksgiving night?
It’s not too surprising to see Tirico called up for the Thanksgiving night game.
This will be his fifth time in the booth on Turkey Day, as he has called the 2016 Thanksgiving game, as well as this one since 2018.
However, this will be the first time Brees has been in the booth to comment for an NFL game. Brees was an analyst alongside Tirico on NBC’s Sunday night pregnancy show, “Football Night in America,” during his first season off the field.
Brees received a bit of a warm-up for this season’s booth duties as he provided color commentary for this season’s college Notre Dame football games.
There could be some other element to having Brees in the stall. For starters, the game will be in New Orleans, where Brees has spent 15 of his 20 seasons as a future Hall of Fame NFL fullback. The Saints to be announced on November 17 that Brees will be honored at halftime, with fans receiving a “Thank You Drew” rally towel and video message set to display throughout the game.
“My family and I are forever grateful for all the incredible moments we shared together with the city of New Orleans and the Who Dat Nation,” Brees said in a statement. “What an incredible moment to be back at the Dome with the greatest fans in the world.”
The move also further fuels speculation that Brees and Tirico could be NBC’s booth couple in the future, particularly as Michaels is in the final year of his contract with NBC and with Collinsworth only two years left. in his contract.
NBC announced that Mike Tirico and Drew Brees will be calling @Receipt–@Saint Thanksgiving Night Game at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. There is no doubt that Brees was hired with a long-term eye on him to sit alongside Tirico in the post-Michaels-Collinsworth era.
– Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) November 18, 2021
Where will Al Michaels be in 2022?
Following the end of the 2021 season, Michaels’ contract will expire, and as Super Bowl LVI draws to a close, it seems increasingly likely that he will leave the network.
Michaels has been linked with Amazon, which is looking for a broadcast team for the “Thursday Night Football” game. A report earlier this year from the New York Post said Amazon was 90% certain that they would cast Michaels in the role one by one.
When talking to Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated on “Sports Illustrated Media Podcast,” Michaels says he’s been “playing well this year” and says NBC has been great for him.
“If there’s a mix of production between Amazon and NBC, that would create a different pattern here,” Michaels told Traina. “Because we’re actually going to end up monitoring two packages. It’s not an agreement yet. I know it’s being discussed. Amazon will probably need a manufacturing partner and we’ll see. what will happen at the end of this year.”
There is no formal agreement between Amazon and Michaels.
If he leaves to join Amazon’s broadcast team, Michaels is likely to be replaced by Tirico on the “Sunday Night Football” boradcast.