Pasadena, Calif. — The NFL has been surrounded by controversy since the beginning of the season, with scandals involving Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson.
“It’s been a year that the NFL in many regards would love to forget,” said Al Michaels Thursday at the TCA winter press tour.
The legendary announcer will be calling his ninth Super Bowl when NBC broadcasts Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1. He was joined by coordinating producer Fred Gaudelli for a Q&A.
When an issue comes up, Gaudelli said, “we try to deal with it as succinctly as we possibly can and get back to the game, because while we do have a responsibility to make sure people are aware of what’s going on, we don’t want to intrude too much on the game itself.”
Michaels said that while they have a duty to address such issues, they want to report what is “brand new and not just rehashing things.”
He said that he has been asked if people will lost interest in the league. “I think fans have compartmentalized a lot of this,” he said. Fans know the NFL needs to be “cleaned up,” he added, but they still tune in each weekend.
Other highlights from the panel included:
—Michaels said he attended the first Super Bowl Jan. 15, 1967 at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 48 years ago to the day that Michaels answered questions at the TCA winter press tour. It is possible he could be seeing the Packers again. Nevertheless, there is no specific matchup he wants to see, he said, especially since each of the four teams remaining has a big-name quarterback. “It really doesn’t matter,” he said. “We’ve got a marquee name no matter who it is.”