Al Michaels: You Can’t Make This Up

If you haven’t had a chance to read Al Michael’s new book, you need to download it tonight or head to your local bookstore tomorrow. For me, great books is a concept associated with one person: Vivian Jennings and the fantastic Rainy Day Books. Mrs. Jennings is one of the last great booksellers.

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It is no surprise, then, that Mrs. Jennings also is smart enough to know that a Sunday night game between the Chiefs and the Broncos has Al Michaels in town. And with a couple of extra hours, he probably is looking for an opportunity to sell a few books. It offered this writer both the chance to get a book signed and to ask Mr Michaels a question or two about the great Lamar Hunt on the heels of my interview last week with author Michael MacCambridge (Lamar Hunt: A Life in Sports).

Editor: I loved your book. A great read.

Al Michaels: Thank you, Powers. Great name.

Editor: You met Lamar and Clark?

Al Michaels: Oh, yes. I have known Lamar since I was a teenager.

Editor: What was your general opinion of him?

Al Michaels: He was a man of elegance and class. He was a very caring man. He had a wonderful family…was a terrific guy…and probably would not see the Kansas City Chiefs in existence if it were not for Lamar Hunt….because he helped start the American Football League (AFL) and maybe was the most important guy in pro football at that period of time. A wonderful man.

Editor: Thank you for those insights.

I tore through You Can’t Make This Up in less than 24 hours. Here is what I liked about it. The book contained Michaels’ view on a multitude of topics like the Lake Placid ’80 Olympics and working MNF with the legendary Howard Cosell (including a amazing story following dinner at the Savoy Grill). The book managed to fairly tell Michaels’ side of the story without sounding biased. In all, this is a great read for anyone that likes sports and, in my opinion, edges out other books in this area such as Mark Ribowsky’s biography on Cosell, Howard Cosell: The Man, the Myth and the Transformation of American Sports.

Finally, let me extend my great thanks to Mrs Jennings for facilitating my interview with Al Michaels. In a year filled with a lot of sports highlight, it was a memorable moment in 2014.

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