NFL Week 4 Report: Michaels, Collinsworth Wear Masks For "SNF"
NBC's Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth "wore surgical masks" to call Eagles-49ers on "SNF" last night, because Santa Clara County "required them to cover their faces," according to Rachel Swan of the S.F. CHRONICLE. The masked broadcast "immediately sowed divisions on Twitter, where some people scolded the two men for appearing reluctant to follow a health order, while others accused the county of being oppressive." Others "saw an opportunity to mock the men or complain that their voices were muffled." After a few minutes, Collinsworth "allowed the mask to hang below his nose." Meanwhile, others in the booth with Michaels and Collinsworth were "wearing face shields with their masks." Santa Clara County Exec Dr. Jeffrey Smith said that he was "not aware that anyone from the county had specifically asked the broadcasters to don facial coverings" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/5). In N.Y., Dennis Young writes Michaels and Collinsworth could "not stop complaining about the light surgical masks they were apparently required to wear." Michaels is a "known conservative; his stance was unsurprising, if off-putting." He said, “We’re good boys, though. We’re going to get lollipops at the end of the game tonight.” Collinsworth "kept griping too, at one point complaining that his ears hurt" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/5). Michaels said, “No, we are not auditioning for ‘The Masked Singer.’ Santa Clara County officials have compelled us to wear masks during the game” (“FNIA,” NBC, 10/4).
WRONG CHOICE OF WORDS: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal notes CBS analyst Rich Gannon during Colts-Bears tried to describe “what it’s like when one loses his starting job the way the Bears' Mitch Trubisky has.” But he dropped a “bit of ordinarily imagery that unfortunately is tainted for now by what’s gone on the last few months.” Gannon said, “It’s almost as if he got a contagious disease.” Rosenthal writes it is “easy to understand why that might be front-of-mind, especially over the course of a live telecast, but that’s why it was a mistake.” Rosenthal: “Just as news events render sports references to battles, bombs and getting torched at times inappropriate, a ‘contagious disease’ isn’t a great go-to comparison amid the ongoing pandemic” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/5).
GREAT GAME FOR ARCHULETA: In Buffalo, Alan Pergament writes CBS' Adam Archuleta "likely had one of his largest audiences for any NFL game" after Bills-Raiders was moved to most of the country following the postponement of Patriots-Chiefs, and he "once again illustrated that he is one of the most underrated NFL analysts." Archuleta sees "just about everything, including why receivers get open, obvious defensive mismatches and key blocks even before the replays are shown to confirm his analysis." He is "especially good at explaining coverage in the secondary against man-to-man and zone," while he also is "quick to have opinions on coaching decisions." Archuleta also has made broadcast partner Spero Dedes a "stronger play-by-play announcer" (BUFFALO NEWS, 10/5).