Al Michaels Tells Hilarious Story of Lost Tom Brady Bet

Tim Kelly
April 10, 2020 - 8:00 am

Long before sports betting was legalized in large swaths of the country, iconic broadcaster Al Michaels made terms like "backdoor cover" part of his vocabulary while calling NFL games.

However, while Michaels may have always been aware of the spread of games he was calling, he told a story recently to NBC's Mike Tirico that makes you think placing futures bets isn't his specialty.

Michaels says that in his meeting with Tom Brady before the New England Patriots-Baltimore Ravens Sunday Night Football tilt in Week 9, he expressed to Brady that he couldn't imagine him ever leaving the team that he had led to six Super Bowl titles. Brady may have chosen to plead the fifth on Michaels' observation, but someone on NBC's team half-jokingly laid down $2 on the astronomical odds that the broadcaster put on No. 12 suiting up for another team.

"I said to him, 'look, I know you're not going to answer this question, but I just can't imagine you being in any other uniform but New England's uniform.' And he kind of laughed, and I said 'in fact, Tom, I'm going to give you odds of 43,000-1.' And one of our great research people, Andy Freeland, then plunked down $2 on the table to take the bet. So I now owe Andy Freeland $86,000 when we do our first Tampa Bay game this year. And, by the way, it will be installment payments of about $3 a year."

In all seriousness, Michaels says he should have been aware of the possibility that Brady was headed for a split with New England. Even though the Patriots entered the aforementioned matchup as the defending Super Bowl Champions and undefeated in the 2019 regular season, Brady referred to himself as "the most unhappy 8-0 quarterback in football."

The Patriots were ultimately throttled in Baltimore that Sunday, 37-20, with Ravens' quarterback Lamar Jackson emerging as the favorite for the NFL MVP. After an 8-0 start, the Patriots went just 4-4 in the second-half of the 2019 regular season. With perhaps the weakest group of skill-position talent that he's ever had, Brady presided over an offense that finished the season as just the 15th overall unit in the sport. The Patriots were ultimately upset in Foxborough by the Tennessee Titans on Wild Card Weekend, scoring just 13 points in what proved to be Brady's final game with the team.

After 20 seasons with the Patriots, Brady left in free agency last month to sign a two-year/$50 million deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll join an offense with two star wide receivers, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Buccaneers, who went 7-9 a season ago, now have +2500 odds to win Super Bowl LV. Those odds are the fifth best in the sport, one spot ahead of Brady's old team, the Patriots.

There's no word on if Michaels has put any money down on the Buccaneers' odds in an attempt to recoup his $86,000.

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