Following the publication of an ESPN report chronicling Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder allegedly bragging about collecting “dirt” on his fellow owners and calling the NFL “a mafia,” legendary broadcaster Al Michaels made an out-of-character move and addressed the situation during Thursday Night Football on Amazon Prime.
Michaels, who was probably very bored watching a brutal game between the wretched Chicago Bears and a horrible Commanders team that Washington won 12-7, made it a point to bring Snyder up during the broadcast despite controversial topics generally being avoided during NFL telecasts.
“Just my feeling, I think what the league would love is for Snyder to sell the team,” he said as cameras showed Snyder with team president Jason Wright in a suite at Soldier Field. “Not have to go to a vote, but just sell the team. Because it’s become a major problem around the league, obviously. And we’ll see what happens. I think it’s got a long way to go, and Dan is very well known for digging his heels into the ground.”
As ProFootballTalk points out, Michaels probably knows what he’s talking about. “Given Al’s connections at the highest levels of the NFL, his words — carefully couched as speculation — seem to reflect accurately the mood of the powers that be,” per PFT.
Michaels’ connections are certainly worth considering as is the fact he chose to bring Snyder up during an Amazon broadcast given that Jeff Bezos has been connected to purchasing Washington’s NFL team in the past. If Bezos, who already has a strong connection to D.C. as the owner of The Washington Post and was reportedly interested in purchasing the Denver Broncos before they were sold, still has an interest in buying Snyder’s team, raking the beleaguered 57-year-old owner over the coals on Amazon while his team is playing like crap in front of a national audience was a pretty shrewd move by Michaels. Not that Michaels has to worry about job security, but getting further into the good graces of the third-wealthiest person in the world ($139 billion) probably isn’t the worst idea in the world. The same can be said for reporter Michael Smith, who said during the pregame show that he had talked to a high-ranking league official who told him it was “50-50 that Snyder survives these scandals.”
Of course, it could all be a coincidence and Snyder could end up keeping the team or selling it to someone who isn’t Bezos. But, if the “Sell the team” chanters who could be heard during Amazon’s on-field postgame show end up getting their wish and the buyer is Bezos, last night’s game will be notable for something other than horrible football.