Al Michaels, the legendary sports broadcaster who began his career in the 1960s, is once again be in the NBC Sunday Night Football booth with Cris Collinsworth this season. Michaels and his wife, Linda Anne Stamaton, have been married for over 50 years and are the parents of Jennifer and Steven.
The 72-year-old Michaels began his television career with Chuck Barris on game shows before he got a job with the Los Angeles Lakers public relations team.
In 1968, he began calling games in Hawaii and moved to Cincinnati in 1971 to become the lead announced for the Reds. From 1977 to 2006, he worked for ABC, famously calling Monday Night Football. He also called one of the most famous games in sports history, the 1980 Winter Olympics “Miracle On Ice” hockey game between the Soviet Union and the U.S. Since 2006, Michaels has been at NBC.
Michaels has an estimated net worth of $20 million, Celebrity Net Worth estimates.
Here’s what you need to know about Michaels’ wife and family.
1. Linda & Al First Met When They Were 15 Years Old
Michaels and Linda have known each other since they were 15 years old.
“Linda and I met in the 10th grade so we have known each other since we were 15. She is the love of my life. She is just the greatest. That is the biggest piece of luck that ever came down the pike for me,” Michaels told Sports Illustrated in a 2014 interview.
While we think of Michaels as a legend of sports broadcasting today, he got his start on television with the late game show icon Chuck Barris. Barris, who died in March 2017, is best known for creating The Gong Show, The Dating Game and other 1960s and ’70s hits.
Barris also had a role in Michaels’ private life. According to a 2003 Los Angeles Times profile, Michaels and Linda both worked for Barris. Michaels helped pick the women who appeared on The Dating Game, while Anne was an assistant prize coordinator for The Newlywed Game, another Barris creation.
After his time with Barris, Michaels worked for the Los Angeles Lakers in their public relations department. He also worked as Chick Hearn‘s first color commentator for eight games before he was fired.
In 1966, Linda and Michaels married. Two years later, they found themselves in Hawaii, where Michaels called games for the Pacific Coast League Hawaii Islanders baseball team. He also called University of Hawaii games. In 1971, Michaels headed to Cincinnati to call games for the Reds. Michaels also called games for the San Francisco Giants, UCLA, NBC’s NFL coverage and CBS NFL coverage before he signed with ABC Sports in 1977.
2. Linda Says She’s Never Seen Michaels Eat a Vegetable Since They Met
At 72, one of the reasons why Michaels continues to work every Sunday night is because he’s in great health. However, a 2016 Bleacher Report profile notes that he never eats vegetables.
“Since the day I met him—when I was 15 years old—he never had a vegetable,” Linda told Bleacher Report. “Not even a salad. When he was a baby, you know how you don’t want your vegetables? I think his mother let him get away with it.”
So how does he stay healthy? “He eats all his fruits. And he takes vitamins. And he drinks V8,” Linda told the site.
Michaels told Bleacher Report that he won’t even have lettuce and tomato on a hamburger. He won’t even eat a Philly Cheesesteak because he hates “those onions.”
Michaels’ obsession with avoiding vegetables is legendary and known to be one of the stranger celebrity food habits.
“I don’t eat any vegetables. None. I have never eaten vegetables,” Michaels told the New York Times in 2012. “As I grew older, I just would not even look at them. If I died right now, I might be the human being who lived the longest without ever eating a vegetable.”
3. Linda & Michaels Are Los Angeles Kings Fans & Went to the First Game in Franchise History
Michaels and Linda, who live in Brentwood, have been Los Angeles Kings fans since the NHL franchise has existed. Michaels told Newsday in 2014 that he took Linda on dates to Los Angeles Blades games. When the Kings began their first season on October 14, 1967 at Long Beach Arena, Michaels and Linda were in the stands.
Michaels told Newsday that he laughs whenever he’s lumped in with other celebrity bandwagon Kings fans. He’s spent $350,000 on season tickets, and even attended games when the Kinds were terrible between the 1993 Stanley Cup Final and the 2012 Stanley Cup victory.
“We would walk out of the building after so many games and say, ‘Why can’t we ever be the Red Wings?'” Michaels said in 2014. “In 2012 we morphed into the Red Wings.”
The Kings won the Stanley Cup after the 2011-12 and 2013-14 seasons. However, they haven’t made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season.
4. They Were Friends With O.J. Simpson & Had Dinner With Simpson & Nicole Brown
The Michaels family lives in Brentwood, the same Los Angeles neighborhood where O.J. Simpson lived with Nicole Brown Simpson. Linda and Michaels were friends with Simpson and Nicole Brown, often going out to dinner together.
In a 2014 interview with Sports Illustrated, Michaels said of Simpson:
I think everything became surreal after that night in June 1994. You could not believe what you were hearing, none of us could who knew him. You could not believe how it played out and I still can’t believe it right now. You don’t think as you are going along in life that you will know the people part of what some consider the murder of the century. This is something you read about or hear about that takes place in a foreign land or on the other side of the country. Now, it involves your friend and in your neighborhood and you know everyone involved except Ron Goldman.
A 1994 New York Daily News profile noted that Michales’ Brentwood home is three-quarters of a mile from where Simpson lived. After Nicole Brown’s death, Michaels and Linda drove by her apartment.
“This whole thing has played out so crazily and publicly, there’s been no time to mourn,” Michaels said in 1994. “We stopped the car and said a prayer. It was the first time we had a chance to think about Nicole and the kids.”
5. Michaels & Linda Have 2 Children, Steve Michaels & Jennifer Michaels Cohn
Michaels and Linda have two children, Steve Michaels and Jennifer Michaels Cohn.
The 46-year-old Steve is the CEO and President of Asylum Entertainment, a TV studio acquired by Legendary in 2013. The company’s projects include The Kennedys, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Tonya & Nancy: The Price of Gold, Happy Valley and Beverly Hills Pawn.
According to the 2003 Los Angeles Times profile, the 42-year-old Jennifer Michaels Cohn worked as a director of corporate communications for the Game Show Network at the time.
In his 2014 Sports Illustrated interview, Michaels said he didn’t have any souvenir from calling the famous “Miracle on Ice” game. However, Linda bought a painting the same day of the game.
“She comes back to show me and says, ‘Look at this. They have already painted a scene from last night’s game!’ I said, ‘Honey, they are wearing the wrong uniforms. This is from some previous U.S.-Soviet game at a previous Olympics. We got duped,'” he recalled with a laugh. “I think that painting wound up in our garage.”
Michaels wrote about his life in his 2014 memoir written with L. Jon Wertheim, You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television.