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It's not just about all the Super Bowls he's broadcast (seven) or the decades he spent as the voice of the most prestigious job in all of professional sports broadcasting, Monday Night Football, or the fact that he's sat alongside some of the best color analysts ever.
Instead, I tab Michaels as the greatest of all time because he so perfectly knows how to talk to his audience.
Sometimes we as viewers/fans want the loud, excitable broadcaster. Sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we as viewers/fans want the insightful, historical context. Sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we as viewers/fans want the banter with the broadcasting partner. Sometimes we don't.
Michaels somehow (not always, but the majority of the time) picks the right places to drop in a joke with Cris Collinsworth or John Madden or Frank Gifford.
Drop in a reference to Bart Starr or Earl Campbell. Drop in a "HE DID WHAT!" following Antonio Freeman's wacky grab that rainy night in Green Bay.
People always play the hypothetical "2 minutes to go, down by 4-points game, who do you want under center? Who do you want as your head coach? Who do you want on defense?"
If nothing else, I want Michaels at the mic.