Kirk Herbstreit receives high marks from Al Michaels: 'Hey, this is gonna work'
Kirk Herbstreit is taking on a new challenge this season as he pairs with Al Michaels on Amazon’s “Thursday Night Football,” and after their debut together during the NFL preseason, Michaels is looking forward to more.
As they get set for the first regular season game in Week 2, Michaels shared with Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated that the chemistry is already off to a good start. Michaels also revealed that they did a practice game earlier.
“What we had done was 6 days before, in Los Angeles, the Rams played the Texans at SoFi,” Michaels said. “We did a telecast that went to a veritable tape machine. It didn’t go out over the air anywhere. We wanted to get the crew together, top to bottom, all the cameramen, all the tape operators, all the ancillary people who do every job imaginable on that show, I’d say about 90 to 100 people and how is this going to work. And we started to do the game and right off the bat, I felt very comfortable with Kirk.”
Michaels and Herbstreit will get their season started in Week 2 with the Chargers visiting the Chiefs.
It didn’t take long during the practice game for Michaels to realize the partnership is a good fit.
“By the end of the first quarter, I said, ‘This is really working extremely well,’ and then we did 3 1/2 quarters that night. We didn’t take the game to its conclusion because we said, ‘Hey, this is gonna work.’ We went down to Houston to do a real game—a preseason game, anyway—that went out on the air, and it felt very very comfortable.”
Michaels said he only got to know Herbstreit in April, and they had several meetings and phone calls.
“I don’t want to say I was shocked by it, but I was very pleasantly surprised and walked away from the booth that night saying, ‘You know, for a preseason game where you’re not talking about any strategy and it’s the Wild West in a way, and we’re going to the sideline reporter, Kaylee Hartung, a lot, it’s not like a regular-season game,” Michaels said. “But I feel really comfortable going into that Chargers-Chiefs game next week.”