Review — You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
Al Michaels will always and forever be connected with some of the greatest moments in American sports. From the 11 Super Bowls he has announced to the Miracle on Ice, he’s been there for just about all of it. His book, ‘You Can’t Make This Stuff Up’, is essentially anecdote after anecdote of his career. It’s a nice long holiday or beach read and worth your time.
Look I enjoy books like this, especially when they touch on the persons early years. In this case Michaels was a broadcaster for the San Francisco Giants back in the early to mid 70’s. He doesn’t hold back in criticizing old Candlestick Park (nor should he as I logged enough games there to know first hand). Once he was doing the radio for the Giants on another freezing weekday night and instead of announcing the actual attendance, he just went “ well, why don’t I just tell you who’s here: Jim McAlphine has driven in from Atherton. Steven and Sue Waxman and their three kids have come up from San Jose…” and so on. If you’re an old school Giants fan this is hysterical because it’s so, so true. Candlestick was horrid…and freezing. It might have been hell.
He goes through the book pretty much in chronological order which means that the Miracle on Ice hits right about half way through. I’ll let him tell you the details but the interesting part is that he and Ken Dryden had to do the next game right after the greatest moment in American sports history. No time to reflect and take it in. And remember, that game was taped delayed so it was really awkward for them. The other cool part, Dryden drove to Ottawa one day and took the Canadian bar exam and passed. Impressive.
Michaels makes it clear that he is — or was — an old school broadcaster. ESPN, not for him. Some of the execs at ESPN, not for him. He wants the big stage and frankly deserves it. He has worked the biggest stages in American sports and worked with some of the best the broadcasting world has to offer. It’s a fun read and again one you can knock out over a holiday weekend.