NBC Thanksgiving Announcers: Why is Drew Brees calling Bills vs. Saints on Thanksgiving with Mike Tirico?

NBC's Sunday Night Football announcers will be Drew Brees and Mike Tirico. Why is Brees calling Bills vs. Saints on Thanksgiving night?

On Thanksgiving this year, there will be one significant change for football fans, and it won’t be on the field. NBC’s Thanksgiving broadcast will have two announcers from their usual Sunday Night Football team when former New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees pairs up with Mike Tirico to call the Buffalo Bills vs New Orleans Saints game. Traditionally, SNF on NBC is covered by announcers Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth. So, why is Drew Brees calling Bills vs. Saints this year?

NBC Thanksgiving Announcers: Why is Drew Brees calling Bills vs. Saints this year?

NBC announced early last week that the Thanksgiving announcers would be Brees and Tirico. The two have shown great chemistry together and currently work on Football Night in America, which is America’s most-watched weekly studio show, and Notre Dame Football game broadcasts.

This is actually the fifth time that Tirico has been involved with NBC’s Thanksgiving NFL game (2016, 2018-20). However, it will be a first for Brees who retired from the NFL last season and has since started his broadcasting career. it will also be the first time that Brees is up in the booth to provide commentary for an NFL game.

Drew Brees to be honored at halftime

There are likely a few reasons why Brees is calling the Bills vs. Saints game tonight. Not only are he and Tirico rumored to be NBC’s potential replacements for Michaels and Collinsworth, but the Saints also announced that they would be honoring the future Hall of Fame QB at halftime.

“Drew Brees will always be considered one of the greatest Saints in the history of the organization,” said Saints owner Gayle Benson. “While we look forward to one day welcoming Drew back as a Hall of Famer and a member of our Ring of Honor, Thanksgiving night is the perfect opportunity for us to say thank you to Drew and his family the right way- on the field and in front of 70,000 of the best fans in football. We were blessed to have Drew as a member of our team for 15 years. The record-breaking impact he had on the field is legendary, as is the impact he, Brittany, and the Brees family continue to have on our community.”

In addition to a halftime presentation that will include Thank You messages from Saints fans, everyone in attendance will receive a commemorative “Thank You Drew” rally towel.

Brees ended his NFL career after 20 seasons, winning one Super Bowl over the Colts in 2010. He had a career regular-season winning percentage of .601 and held the record for most career passing yards (80,358), now second behind Tom Brady. He also had 571 passing touchdowns, behind only Brady.

The history of NBC’s Sunday Night Football announcers

NBC’s Sunday Night Football began airing on August 6, 2006, with the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, which opened that year’s preseason. NBC took over the rights to the Sunday prime time game telecasts from ESPN, which carried the broadcasts from 1987 to 2005.

The first three years of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, John Madden was the color commentator with Michaels serving as the play-by-play announcer. Madden retired prior to the 2009 season and was succeeded in that role by Collinsworth.

Where will Al Michaels be in 2022?

As mentioned above, there is a possibility that Michaels and Collinsworth could eventually be replaced by Brees and Tirico as the Sunday Night Football announcers. Michaels’ contract is up at the end of this season, and Collinsworth will follow suit after 2022.

With Amazon obtaining the rights to Thursday Night Football, they are currently in the process of putting together their talent. Michaels has been rumored as the front runner to become their new play-by-play announcer. If that is the case, we can expect to hear a lot more of Brees and Tirico moving forward.

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