BY DANE WINDISCH
Whenever the New England Patriots and New York Jets square off in a primetime game such as the one Sunday night, there are sure to be a lot of fireworks. The commentators for Sunday night were the usual tandem of the great Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth with Michelle Tafoya doing the on-field reporting. The entire broadcast from pre-game to halftime to the final whistle was an excellent broadcast, in my opinion, because of how positive Michaels and Collinsworth are for the duration of game.
Michaels is one of the most influential broadcasters of all time. He is also one of the most recognizable because of the most famous Olympic games ever, the 1980 USA Hockey team victory over the Soviet Union. For as long as Michaels has been broadcasting, he still shows the same type of enthusiasm and knowledge into every broadcast he does. While I was watching the game studying his language and timing after each play, what stands out to me is how well he does his commentary in a business-like fashion.
During the pre-game, Michaels gives great insight on the major story lines going into the game such as: Tom Brady and the Patriots last-ranked defense, the Jets being on a hot streak, and an array of facts and statistics involving the game. During pre-game commentary, Michaels and Collinsworth went through the years of the Jets and Patriots rivalry dating back to when Bill Parcells was with the Pats, the beginning of the Tom Brady era, the controversial ‘Spygate’ with Bill Belichick, and the recent Jets victory over the Patriots in last year’s playoffs. Even if you are not a fan of football and did not know any history about the Jets and Patriots, the broadcast at least showed you into the past and present for the simplest of football fans to gain knowledge.
Sunday Night Football’s halftime presentations are always watchable because the commentators go through the earlier action of the day, talk about some of the main story lines and Bob Costas has a special presentation. This night, the special presentation was on the Chicago Bears’ Devin Hester who added another punt return TD, his 12th, adding to his NFL record.
The game ended with a blowout in the Patriots favor and, in doing so, snapped the Jets three-game win streak. The Patriots won 37-16. Even though, at the very end, the game was getting out of hand and seemingly unwatchable, Michaels and Collinsworth did an excellent job keeping the audience glued to the television.