Mentioned this the other night in the very brief Doug Pederson post, but Al Michaels called that Jag-wires/Chargers game with the excitement of exhibition Mahjong at the Florida retirement community. Listen to how mundane this call is:

“Here we go… for the win… got it but there’s a flag down…”

Thing about Michaels is that he’s been calling games like this for some time now. If you go back and watch the Eagles’ Super Bowl win, the biggest plays fall relatively flat, considering the enormity of the respective moments. The Philly Special elicited some excitement, but nothing really unique about the play-by-play. Same with the Brandon Graham strip sack, where Michaels’ voice peaked, but he was just talking through what happened on the field in a rather rudimentary way.

I’ll throw Michaels a bone in terms of the Jags game, because it’s not like Tony Dungy was full of energy doing color commentary. He may have even been less enthusiastic overall. Normally the analyst will get jacked and add some flavor to the game, then the energy is shared and cycled through the booth, but that reciprocity was nonexistent in this case. It sounded like they were broadcasting a bereavement session.

Michaels called the criticism “internet compost,” and while there certainly is plenty of excrement on the world wide web, comments like this were widespread as he got crushed by the larger NFL community:

Al Michaels is a legend, but if the case is that his passion for the game is gone, then he should probably step aside. Let someone else do it. The broadcast has to have juice, and when you watch someone like Kevin Harlan, for instance, you just get sucked into it because the enthusiasm is contagious. I’d get excited for the world paint drying championship if Harlan was doing play-by-play. That guy can make anything sound compelling.