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Kirk Herbstreit backs Al Michaels amid ‘Thursday Night Football’ criticism: ‘I think it’s a bunch of bulls—‘

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ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit defended legendary play-by-play announcer Al Michaels this week amid what Herbstreit called a continuing “narrative” surrounding his enthusiasm during “Thursday Night Football” games.

Herbstreit, speaking on the Barstool Sports’ podcast “Pardon My Take,” explained that the value of games being played on Thursday could be to blame.

Kirk Herbstreit looks on from the sideline prior to the “Thursday Night Football” game at FedEx Field on October 5, 2023, in Landover, Maryland. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

“I think Al, when he would do “Sunday Night Football” or “Monday Night Football,” those games were massive. You know, you’re doing big games and your voice projects based on the setting that you’re in.”

He continued, “And these Thursday night games, they’re good, they’re good atmospheres, but I don’t think they’re at the level of a Sunday night game or when I’m doing these Saturday night games. So, I think your voice always matches with what you’re doing.”

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Michaels came under fire last season when he was in the booth alongside Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy for an AFC wild-card game between the Los Angeles Chargers and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

FROM OUTKICK: AL MICHAELS HAS NO PLANS OF PREEMPTIVELY ANNOUNCING RETIREMENT AMID CURRENT CRITICISMS, WHICH IS A MOVE YOU HAVE TO RESPECT

He was also criticized for his enthusiasm during a Week 4 matchup between the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, which he later called “a dreadful game.”

TV broadcaster Al Michaels looks on before a game

Broadcaster Al Michaels is shown prior to the game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots at M&T Bank Stadium, November 3, 2019, in Baltimore. (Will Newton/Getty Images)

“It’s almost like they’re using those two examples to just say, ‘Al Michaels hates Thursday night. Al Michaels has lost it,’” Herbstreit said.

“I’ve noticed that Al Michaels is very much like me. When the game warrants excitement, he brings excitement.”

AL MICHAELS SAYS CALLING ‘DREADFUL’ ‘THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL’ GAMES WAS LIKE TRYING TO SELL ‘USED CAR’

Herbstreit took it one step further, calling the criticism of Michaels “bulls—.”

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“He hears the noise. I don’t think he’s like, ‘I’ll show them. I’m going to really bring it this week.’ He’s definitely not doing that. He has more of an ‘F you’ attitude about it than ‘I’m going to show them.’ He thinks it’s a bunch of bulls—. I think it’s a bunch of bulls—. And I think it’s just a narrative that social media’s kind of running with.”

Kirk Herbstreit, left, and Al Michaels are shown in the Amazon Prime TNF broadcast booth, November 9, 2023, in Chicago. (Cooper Neill/Getty Images)

Michaels has spoken out about the criticism in the past and is seemingly unfazed by it.

This week, the Dallas Cowboys host the Seattle Seahawks on “Thursday Night Football” on Amazon Prime Video.

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Source: Fox News

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