Photo courtesy NBC

Photo courtesy NBC

In news that got sorely overshadowed by the manhunt for the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombings, Al Michaels was arrested Friday night on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Out of left field, right? By comparison, the 1980 Miracle on Ice (which Michaels famously called, by the way) seems a virtual sure thing.

The 68-year-old who has been calling games since 1964 has never — I mean NEVER — had run-ins with the law. Or, for that matter, made ANY headlines outside of what he’s does in the broadcast booth for years. You could probably guess 100 nationally-known sportscasters that you’d expect to “blow over the limit” before Michaels.

It’s not that Michaels is infallible (we’re all human, we all make mistakes) but his ability to stay out of the limelight when the cameras aren’t intentionally on him make him the least-likely of main characters for this strange tale.

And it’s a strange tale, indeed. First of all, Michaels was not pulled over, he voluntarily drove through a sobriety checkpoint set up by Santa Monica police. Second, Michaels blew a .08, which is the legal limit. I guess the catchphrase “over the limit, under arrest” is actually MORE strenuous than it implies.

According to reports, Michaels was stopped and arrested around 10 P.M. Friday night and was released with a citation sometime around 3 or 4 A.M. By all accounts, Michaels was extremely cooperative through the entire incident.

So what happens now? That’s not immediately clear. All NBC has said is that they are “aware” of the situation (wouldn’t be funny if they found out just now?) and that they have been in contact with Michaels. Although, if they contacted Michaels on his way home, I hope he was using a hands-free device as using a handheld phone while driving is ALSO illegal in California.

What we do know is that Michaels has a court date for June 26th. In the sports world, that’s the final day of the college world series and smack dab in the middle of Wimbledon. Michaels doesn’t appear to have any broadcast obligations before the start of the NFL season and it’s more than likely that NBC is just assuming this whole thing will blow over by then.

Obviously, I’m not condoning drunk driving, but everyone makes mistakes. And while I’m no lawyer, I’m assuming hitting the legal limit isn’t the same as blowing (pun intended) way past it. Maybe Mr. Michaels should have had one less glass of wine (or whatever) at dinner, yes, but this is not the same as other sports-related DUI’s we’ve watched happen in the past.

Still, considering Michaels is one of the best play-by-play guys currently active, I’d say this is news in the truest sense of the word.

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NOTE: This story was originally published on SportsHead. To read this article and others click here.
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