Cris Collinsworth was “playing hurt” in the Sunday Night Football broadcast, and  NFL Twitter didn’t hold back from giving him a hard time. 

If something sounded a little off about the Sunday Night Football broadcast in Week 1, you weren’t the only one that noticed.

When Cris Collinsworth did his famous slide into our living rooms on Sunday night, it sounded like he maybe should have cleared his throat first. As the Cowboys-Bucs broadcast continued it was pretty clear that something was up with Collinsworth’s voice, as though he had a cold or was suffering from a sore throat.

Just listening to him we all started to get Phantom Phlem, as we’ve all had a hoarse voice like Collinsworth had whenever we’ve caught a gnarly fall cold.

Mike Tirico wanted to clarify on the broadcast that Collinsworth wasn’t being a Typhoid Mary and bringing something other than his talents into the booth for Sunday night. Rather than being sick, Collinsworth was simply dealing with a strained voice at the tail end of some serious work travel.

With our conscious cleared, it was time to get some jokes off. And folks were in midseason meme form at the expense of Collinsworth:

What happened to Al Michaels?

While we’re here explaining things that seem a little off about the Sunday Night Football booth, there’s an obvious thing that sticks out. Hoarse voice aside, Collinsworth was at least in the booth; Al Michaels was not there.

That’s because Michaels left NBC at the end of last season when his contract expired. It wasn’t something that came as a terrible shock, as the Super Bowl broadcast was widely seen as Michaels’ swan song.

Rather than retiring, Michaels took his talents to Amazon as the new voice of Thursday Night Football, which will stream on Amazon Prime starting this season. There were rumors he could move to ESPN and become the voice of Monday Night Football — again. Michaels manned the MNF booth from 1986 until 2005 when he made the move to Sunday Night Football with John Madden.


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