It may not rank with his ''Do you believe in miracles?'' But Al Michaels couldn't have come up with a much better capsule description of the Rams' Super Bowl victory Sunday.
''There was a movie called 'The Longest Yard.' There is your sequel.''
This wasn't the United States defeating the Soviet Union in Olympic hockey, which prompted Michaels' famous call in 1980. But it was the most dramatic finish in the 34-game history of the Super Bowl.
After Kevin Dyson of the Tennessee Titans came up a yard short on the game's final play, Michaels put the winning touches on a good day for ABC. It wasn't ABC's fault the commercials, as a group, were the worst in Super Bowl history. And the ABC promos weren't much better.
Bad commercials and promos but a great game. That's a pretty fair trade-off.
Michaels, on the phone from Atlanta after the game, was feeling pretty good.
''This was the kind of game we've been waiting for,'' he said.
He said his ''Longest Yard'' line, referring to the old Burt Reynolds movie about a prison football game, just popped into his head. It was the same with ''Do You Believe in Miracles?''
And how does he rank the two?
'' 'Do you believe in miracles?' will always stand alone, at least during my lifetime,'' he said.
The byplay on the Titans' final drive shows that these two may turn out to be a pretty good announcing team after all.
When Steve McNair spiked the ball to stop the clock, Esiason suggested a timeout may have been better because he would have saved 10 seconds. Michaels disagreed, saying McNair did the right thing by saving the timeout because it would allow the Titans to try a pass down the middle.
Turned out Esiason had to admit Michaels was right.
After all the postgame festivities, ABC again turned to Michaels to summarize the evening.
As Dick Vermeil and Kurt Warner were shown hugging, Michaels said, ''This is the look of a fairy tale.'' He then told a story he had been saving about how owner Georgia Frontiere and Ram President John Shaw were in Los Angeles the night Trent Green suffered a season-ending injury in the exhibition season.
Frontiere and Shaw were to have dinner, and Shaw, feeling down, tried to beg off. But Frontiere insisted. ''Ten minutes in, Shaw almost has his head in his soup,'' Michaels said. ''Frontiere says, 'Come on John, perk up. You know this guy Warner? He might be the next Johnny Unitas.' Georgia believes in astrology. It must have been in the stars. How else do you explain that the St. Louis Rams are the Super Bowl champions?''
If the ABC brass still thinks the team of Michaels and Esiason needs some beefing up with a third member in the ''Monday Night Football'' booth, Steve Young could be their guy.
Young has not decided if he will return to the San Francisco 49ers, and if he retires, broadcasting awaits. Understandably, he was pretty raw during the four-hour pregame show. He looked into the wrong camera at one point, got lost a few times, and his voice began to crack during the fourth hour. So did Chris Berman's. A four-hour pregame show is too long for everyone. But overall, Young made good points, wasn't afraid to express an opinion and even added some levity.
Someone else who had a good day was Lynn Swann, turning in a couple of good features on the pregame show, offering good information during the game and nicely handling the losers' locker room. After halftime, the former USC star said Titan Coach Jeff Fisher, another former Trojan, told him it would take 24 points in the second half for the Titans to win.
Turns out Fisher was right.
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