NBC’s top football broadcasters Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were less than thrilled to be wearing face masks Sunday while calling the Eagles-49ers game, hosted by San Francisco. “The Santa Clara County officials have compelled us to wear masks during the game. And so that is the story,” Al Michaels said through his muffling mask during the Sunday Night Football opening.
“I’m Al Michaels, you are?” Michaels asked Collinsworth sarcastically.
“I don’t know who I am,” joked Collinsworth.
Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth asked to wear masks for NBC broadcast by Santa Clara county officials 😷 pic.twitter.com/jP43I5aXJE
— The IC Workstation (@ClippelBoardy) October 5, 2020
It is unclear which county officials forced the pair to wear masks. Michaels and Collinsworth were not compelled to wear masks during previous “Sunday Night Football” games this season in Kansas City, Los Angeles, Seattle, and New Orleans.
Santa Clara County chief executive Jeffrey Smith fired back at the broadcasters, telling the San Francisco Chronicle, “We wouldn’t want them to end up like the president.”
Michaels closed out the broadcast by taking another jab at masks, saying “That’s it, folks. We’ll get rid of these things as soon as we possibly can.”
Al Michaels, in the booth with Cris Collinsworth, expressed frustration tonight after being required by local California Santa Clara county officials to wear masks on set pic.twitter.com/0A02nVELJV
— Hocus Focus (@ImTheRightThing) October 5, 2020
Most of the NFL mask controversies have centered on coaches and other team personnel. This season, the league slammed several coaches with six-figure fines for being on the sidelines without masks on and even threatened to dock draft picks for further violations.
Most notably, Ravens coach John Harbaugh stormed up to an official, lowered his mask, and yelled in his face last Monday. The incident scandalized the NFL referees’ union, which lobbied the league for a new unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for coaches who violate mask rules.