Berman could go all the way…to becoming the most polarizing announcer in sports

Go away for a couple of days, and what do they do? ESPN lets Chris Berman call an NFL game.

Reaction was intense yesterday with the news that Berman will do play-by-play for the San Diego-Oakland game on the Sept. 10, the second game of ESPN’s opening Monday night doubleheader.

Fortunately, ESPN didn’t name Skip Bayless as the analyst for that game. Twitter might have exploded. Instead, Trent Dilfer will be working with Boomer.

Coming off the heels of Berman’s agonizing presence at the U.S. Open, the idea that he actually will call an NFL game did not meet with universal approval to say the least.

Here’s a sample of the outrage.

awfulannouncing Reactions to the ChrisBerman MNF announcement range from “why why why” to “Dear God why?” to “GOD NOOOOO!!!”

BobVorwald Honey, you can have the TV all night on Sep 10 RT

richarddeitsch All we ask as viewers is not to be hoodwinked. So pls. don’t say ChrisBerman on SD-OAK is for fans. It’s a vanity play, pure & simple

Drew Magary of Deadspin did a post ripping apart Berman.

Berman is intolerable even as studio host, even when he’s on the mere fringes of a sporting event. Every time Tirico throws to Berman for a halftime preview during MNF, I tear both labrums reaching for the mute button. Now he’s gonna throw his gunt around and commandeer the booth for a whole game? Christ, that’s the worst.

SportsbyBrooks, which broke the story last week, almost pulled a Twitter groin with a series of angry tweets.

SPORTSbyBROOKS ESPN knows 1) it is indulging Berman 2) he campaigned for it 3) fans lose. Berman’s elaborate denial = PR ruse

The reaction clearly shows that plenty of people really don’t like the guy. The shelf life for his act probably was 20 years. It was fun for a while, but there’s a quota on cute name variations.

Listen, I’m not outraged that ESPN wanted to throw Berman a bone and let him call an NFL game. It’s the second game of a doubleheader, and most people in the East and Midwest time zones probably will be asleep for most of his call.

However, as a golf fan, I have this wish. I hope ESPN said to Berman, “We’ll give you an NFL game in exchange for taking you off the U.S. Open for the rest of time.”

ESPN’s Season-Opening MNF Doubleheader Commentator Teams (2006-present):

Year Game ESPN Commentators
2006 San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Brad Nessler, Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil
2007 Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka
2008 Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders Greenberg, Golic and Ditka
2009 San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Greenberg, Golic and Steve Young
2010 San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs Nessler and Trent Dilfer
2011 Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos Nessler and Dilfer
2012 San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Chris Berman and Dilfer





One thought on “Berman could go all the way…to becoming the most polarizing announcer in sports

  1. Ed, it would make for a fascinating read if you were to do a long-form piece on Brad Nessler and his time at Disney. When he was brought in, he was gonna be the next Musberger. He got first-tier assignments. Then, something happened. I wish I knew what it was. Now he suffers the indignity of getting pulled from an NFL game.

    The guy is very good calling live events. Perhaps you disagree with this? In any event, his downward trajectory after a much ballyhooed start is fact.

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