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12 November 2014

Happy Birthday, Mr Michaels

Al Michaels, a sportscaster who has reputedly covered more major sporting events than any other, celebrates his 72nd birthday today.  And, he has a memoir out, You Can't Make This Up, excerpted in Sports Illustrated, which was what Larry read as his advanced reader copy before bringing the title in for stock even while true sportswriting (versus books of photographs of the Bears and Cubs) do not sell.  This memoir perhaps is not so much sportswriting as storytelling.

He was especially entertained by Michaels's recounting of on-air give-and-take between Howard Cosell and Bob Ueker, two other contemporary sportscasters.  Cosell was not a sportscaster per se.  He was a personality.  I think he made his mark announcing boxing or football, or following larger-than-life stars like Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath.  He created/made popular the non-word "irregardless."  I recall he became so larger-than-life himself that he had his own summer television variety show at a time when variety shows were big (think Carol Burnett and Sonny & Cher).  Gee, I didn't mean to take away from Al Michaels's story, but I am sure Mr Michaels as well as any good storyteller realizes that the people and events surrounding him are what makes the telling interesting.

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