NFL fans have become accustomed to Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth’s commentary at the booth when NBC airs a game.
That won’t be the clutch fans heard on Thanksgiving night, though.
Instead, Mike Tirico will play play-by-play with former Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees who provides commentary for NBC’s broadcast of the Bills-Saints game, NBC announced.
Why is this going to be the Thanksgiving couple? Sports news dives in.
MORE: Why Did Drew Brees Retired from the NFL?
Why are Drew Brees and Mike Tirico calling the Thanksgiving Night game?
It’s not too surprising to see Tirico on the call for the Thanksgiving night game.
This will be his fifth time in the Turkey Day booth, as he has named the 2016 Thanksgiving Game, as well as any game since 2018.
However, this will be Brees’ first time on the stand to comment on an NFL game. Brees was an analyst alongside Tirico on NBC’s Sunday night pregame show, “Football Night in America,” in its first season off the field.
Brees got a bit of a warm up for standings this season as he has provided color commentary for Notre Dame college football games this season.
MORE: What Happened to Drew Brees’ Hair?
There are probably a few other factors that go into having Brees in the booth. For starters, the game will take place in New Orleans, where Brees spent 15 of the 20 seasons as a future Hall of Fame NFL quarterback. The Saints announced on November 17ththat Brees will be honored at halftime, with fans receiving a “Thank You Drew” rally towel and video messages to be displayed during the match.
“My family and I are eternally grateful for all the incredible moments we shared with the City of New Orleans and Who Dat Nation,” Brees said in the press release. “What an incredible moment it will be, back in the Dome with the biggest fans in the world.”
The move also continues to fuel speculation that Brees and Tirico could be a future NBC maternity pair, especially as Michaels is in the final year of his contract with NBC and Collinsworth has just two years left on his deal.
NBC has announced that Mike Tirico and Drew Brees are… @Bills–@Saints Thanksgiving Night Game at 8 p.m. ET on NBC and Peacock. There is no doubt that Brees was hired with a long-term view of sitting next to Tirico in the post-Michaels-Collinsworth era.
Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) Nov 18, 2021
Where will Al Michaels be in 2022?
After the end of the 2021 season, Michaels’ contract will expire and as Super Bowl LVI approaches, it seems increasingly likely that he will leave the network.
Michaels has been linked with Amazon, which is looking for a broadcast crew for “Thursday Night Football” games. A report earlier in the year from the New York Post said Amazon is 90 percent certain Michaels will land for the play-by-play role.
When speaking with Jimmy Traina of Sports Illustrated on the “Sports Illustrated Media Podcast,” Michaels said he’s “playing out this year” and said NBC has been great for him.
“If there’s a combination for production between Amazon and NBC, that creates another template here,” Michaels told Traina. “Because we would basically be looking at two packages. It’s not a deal yet. I know it’s being discussed. Amazon will probably need a partner for production and see what happens by the end of the year.
There is no official deal between Amazon and Michaels.
Should he leave to join Amazon, it looks like Michaels will be replaced by Tirico on the “Sunday Night Football” boradcast.
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