Veteran sports broadcaster Al Michaels says his most famous on-air remark — "Do you believe in miracles? YES!" — was not scripted and came straight from the heart.
Michael's made the famous quip on Feb. 22, 1980, as the clock ran out in a match between the Soviet Union and U.S. Olympic hockey teams at Lake Placid and the Americans won 4-3.
"I'm just calling the game and that thing came out of my heart. Nobody's really doing things for posterity, there were no home VCRs in those years so it's not as if you're thinking, 'Oh my God this thing is going to be played back forever and ever,'" Michaels said Friday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
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"No, I'm just calling the game and as that game wound down, I'm trying to just stay in the play by play and people have said, 'Well, did you think about it beforehand?'
"And I said, 'Are you kidding?' I thought the U.S. was going to lose like 14-2 and how stupid would it have sounded if I had thought of something and as I'm saying something at the end of the game the Soviets scored to tie the game? That would have been one for the ages."
Michaels — author of the new book "You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television," written with L. Jon Wertheim and published by William Morrow — said he tries to keep politics out of his play-by-play.
"There are places for that and the places would be outside the game itself, pre-game shows, HBO shows, other shows," he said.
"My feeling is that if people have tuned in, they want to watch the game. They don't want to be lectured, they don't want to be told what they should think, they don't want to see necessarily both sides of some issue that has permeated the news for six days.
"When it gets to Sunday night, people tune in and they say I want my football. They want the game and that's what I do."
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