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You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  2,266 ratings  ·  326 reviews
In this highly entertaining and insightful memoir, one of television’s most respected broadcasters interweaves the story of his life and career with lively firsthand tales of some of the most thrilling events and fascinating figures in modern sports.

No sportscaster has covered more major sporting events than Al Michaels. Over the course of his forty-plus year career, he ha
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published November 18th 2014 by William Morrow
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  2,266 ratings  ·  326 reviews

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Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great stories, well told!

What a class act!!!

Thanks Al... Aloha!
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great look at the history of American sports and sports broadcasting from about the 1950s on from one of the top broadcasters ever. Having grown up listening to sports and following it on tv (though there was less on then), I loved all the name dropping--players in all kinds of sports, Olympians, baseball players, football players and more--and the trip down memory lane. He is, of course, the man who ad-libbed one of the most famous lines in sports broadcasting: "Do you believe in miracles? Yes! ...more
Nick Devlin
Nov 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
More a recitation of dates and names than a deep-digging memoir. The Miracle on Ice chapter is outstanding, and it's funny how much resentment he still carries over his work on Baseketball. The lack of anything approaching self-criticism, however, makes it less compelling than his typical broadcast. ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it
I recently saw a clip of Al Michaels on Jimmy Kimmel's show which found him regaling the audience with a story about Howard Cosell that was so meandering and pace-less, nobody seemed to know when it was over, even Kimmel. That's kind of how Michaels' book is throughout, but it's still an enjoyable read if you're a fan of sports and sports history. Reading his stories of rising through the broadcast ranks, from calling baseball games on student radio at the University of Arizona to announcing the ...more
Phil Clymer
Nov 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just about any sports fan will want to read this book. The work is solid and recounts the many highlights (and a few low-lights) of a remarkable career. The athletes and coaches Mr. Michaels crossed paths with is a virtual Who's Who of modern sports. I highly recommend this book. ...more
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about the people and connections within sports. I never knew Howard Cosell was a lawyer. Easy read.
Milton Public Library
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I didn't really have any expectations for this book going in, and boy was I surprised! I really enjoyed all of the stories and behind the scenes information from Al. I love football and listen to Al during regular sportscasts. I didn't know that he called the Miracle on Ice hockey game, and hearing him describe it is very exciting! (That is of course if you get the audiobook!) He also gets into his relationship with O.J. Simpson, covers many Olympic games, and much more! As a Packer fan I enjoye ...more
Jim Beatty
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Never become jaded.
Jan 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
If, like me, you remember exactly where you were when the 1980 U.S. Mens Olympic Hockey team defeated the mighty Russians in Lake Placid to advance to the gold medal round, you likely remember it was Al Michaels of ABC Sports who narrated that incredible event. As fate would have it, Michaels would play a key role in so many other indelible sports moments over the next four decades, including the earthquake-marred World Series of 1989 between San Francisco and Oakland, for which Michaels’ work w ...more
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I was honestly close to giving this five stars. It really is a fantastic read. It flies by, and is a great example of what I would call "breezy" writing. Super easy to read.
I can't very well plunk down five stars though for a sports memoir, with a co-writer nonetheless! Or can I... No!! Close, but not quite.
So I picked this one up while looking for a free e-book from the library, and I recommend anyone else do the same if given the chance. If you have even a cursory interest in sports, this will
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Curt Gowdy once warned Al Michaels, "Don't get jaded." This memoir is proof that Michaels took the advice to heart. He clearly has joy in his work. Sure there is a lot of name-dropping and humble-bragging, but how can you tell the story of such a great life without doing such things?

The strengths of the work are descriptions of men Michaels has worked with, and great stories he has covered/experienced. He describes his ascension as the best play-by-play man in America (ESWP's own words) well, wi
Anup Sinha
Nov 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent read for a sentimental sports fan like myself who not only respects Al Michaels but has intersected with him many times through the silver screen. I am a huge sports fan and he was front and center at countless events that meant a lot to me. Few if any have his perspective and perhaps nobody can put it into words like him. He says that his mentor, the legendary announcer Curt Gowdy, advised him early to never get jaded. Well, his enthusiasm and passion for sports comes throu ...more
Edgar Yu
May 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s perhaps silly but for sure amazing; Al Michaels has lived my dream life. In the past 45 years he has been up-close and personal to so many defining and history making sporting events. As the anecdotes came one by one I was instantly flushed with vivid recollections and remember my amazement and disbelief. It is very gratifying to have Al Michaels provide the inside scoop and the behind scenes.
At times you think the author is egocentric with so much namedropping and personal lambasting going
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
I love sports and have always admired Al Michaels throughout his career especially when he did Wide World of Sports. We all listened to his book on our weekend road trip, really well done and loved his imitations of Howard Cosell. I recommend it.
Mr. Harry Grose
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really good story about the life of a broadcaster and the history that he witnessed in sports. A lot of these events from the book I remember them happening, so it was enjoyable to look back on things from say 5-10-20 years ago.
Feb 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well told stories and an easy read. You have to be a sports fan to read this one.
Ron Barker
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Al is much more humble than I anticipated. Good story teller with some interesting facts about some of the sporting events he has covered.
Will Herman
Jun 05, 2015 is currently reading it
Shelves: non-fiction, sports
This is a life history of Al Michaels told through anecdotes nicely woven together. Michaels is a true sports fan and is indicative of the small group of people who are successful in sports as a result of taking some natural talent and working their asses off to create a success in the business. Michaels gives us a peek into the effort it takes to be successful, some of the risks that have to be taken to put oneself at the right place at the right time and some of the mishaps and out-of-the-blue ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it liked it

While most kids dreamt about playing in the World Series, young Al Michaels wanted to announce it. He followed his dream to being the voice of a minor league baseball team in Hawaii in the 60s. Then the major league came calling but required him to move his family from Hawaii to Ohio - oh, the horror!

He moved up from there to a place announcing all types of sports including football, horse racing, and motorcycle racing on ice.

He covered hockey at the Olympics including the dramatic 'Miracle on
Steven Hummer
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: autobigography
I've always enjoyed listening to sports broadcasters. In many ways I am a bigger fan of them than I am a fan of the team or the sport they're a part of. I've always enjoyed watching Al call football games with his sidekicks John Madden and Chris Collinsworth.
If you are studying broadcast journalism you need to pick this book up as it's loaded with advice and plenty of tips that Al has learned from his years behind the microphone.
The chapter about the miracle on ice hockey game is fantastic and
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fun read. You will enjoy this book much more if you were born in 1965 or earlier. Al Michaels clearly tells many behind the microphone stories that are fun to read about if you are a sports fan. Also, you get a glimpse inside personalities like: Roone Arledge, John Madden, Howard Cosell, Chris Collinsworth, OJ Simpson and many more Michaels clearly does not like the ESPN network and its leaders, however, other than this grudge, he goes flies fairly level and sticks to telling stories from his ca ...more
Scott Martin
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
(Audiobook). For any sports fan, a worthwhile read. You get an autobiographical perspective from one of the premier play-by-play men in sports. From his earliest beginnings, you get an insight not only into the life of one of the top sports broadcasters, but you also get a unique perspective on some of the biggest sports events over the past 45 years. From his time as an employee of the LA Lakers to his time at ABC Sports (Monday Night Football, the Olympics, World Series, etc) to his current ro ...more
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Needed something on the lighter side after some relative heavyweights, so I slipped in this book. I'll admit to being enough of a sports fan (on and off, but more on than off lately), and I definitely like Al Michaels, particularly in his current work with Chris Collingsworth on Sunday Night Football, when I can stay awake late enough to watch part of a game.

Michaels has seen it all, met everyone, and has had some big moments, notably the famous "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" (1980 Olympics
Jan 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very easy read. I'm a sports fan, but was surprised by and highly enjoyed intricate details from big games and events. It was nice to share things with my husband that he may not have known. The opening Kings playoff game, the "miracle" call, telecasts with Howard Cosell and John Madden... So many great stories! Also love his writing style. Super wordy, and never sparing any detail.

Couple of cons: Al is sometimes conceited on his telecasts, but his writing in this book seems a tad self-righteou
Riley Webster
Apr 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read the book "You Can't Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television" by Al Michaels and L. Jon Wertheim. It was published in 2014 and is a memoir about the sports announcer Al Michaels and what he has accomplished throughout his career. Overall, I thought the book was interesting, especially to see how the relevance of sports in our daily lives has changed over the years. One of the aspects that made this book interesting is the different characters tha ...more
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Monday/Sunday night football fans, John Madden fans
Recommended to Mike by: no one
As I enjoy autobiographies of various sports figures, I also love reading the stories of the voices behind the microphone and how they got to be the well-known figures today.

Al Michaels is one such may tune into NFL Sunday Night Football and have heard him or you may have heard him in the recent telecasts of the a trusted friend you have come to rely on for years.

This is his story...of his rise from local sports in California to ABC and now NBC sports. You read of
Nov 08, 2015 rated it liked it
I have slowly been reading about sportscasters whose careers have coincided with my life. Howard Cosell and Curt Gowdy to name a few. There are several others I have and want to read including Frank Gifford, Don Meredith and Keith Jackson. This book which was released last year, was fairly decent. He was set on his career path early on, and was not to be deterred. His career has been one of utmost professionalism, and I of course have enjoyed his work. I found his criticism of Howard Cosell a li ...more
Brandon Anderson
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was a lot of fun to read. It's amazing all the places Al Michaels has been in his career, and it feels like this book only even scratches the surface. I don't even remember Al Michaels covering the OJ Simpson news, yet here you get to read about his close personal friendship with OJ, his neighbor, and the pretty candid insights he has into that whole thing. You'll read about his rise to stardom through various (but equally amazing) sportscasting jobs and then recap some of his most memorabl ...more
Sep 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable memoir. Al Michaels is one of the great sports broadcasters, and it was interesting to see behind the scenes of the many sporting events he's covered. Having just come off an Olympics, it was interesting to read about how the Olympics have been covered over the years. Al was there for many of the great moments in sports, and it was fun to relive them through his eyes. He's also friends with lots of athletes and celebrities, so there are lots of anecdotes about them as well. ...more
Nov 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff

It's a well-written book about a very long career in broadcasting. Al Michaels basically invented the role of network play-by-play announcer. He has worked hard and taken a very unconventional path to where he is now. It is a road paved with a lot of hard work and a lot of small towns at the beginning. He has great stories, and it's interesting to see his views on certain people he has worked with over the years. For the most part, he has favorable things to say. But, there are instanc
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #3 You Can't Make This Up 1 3 Jan 17, 2015 03:57PM  

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