So ESPN mainstay Chris Berman was tapped to announce the first two rounds of the U.S. Open next week, and aside from the golf folks at Torrey Pines putting on the event, no one’s really happy about that.
Compare that to the populace in Canada, who were only too happy to welcome the burly, balding broadcaster at a recent CFL practice.
In an interview with Jay Posner of SIGN ON SAN DIEGO.COM, Berman swears that he’s doing the Lord’s work and that all of his detractors are unfairly out to get him:
“You can’t fault me. I’ve been doing it for 28½ years, but maybe this guy heard it for the first time. I view myself as not a rock star, but if you go to see Rod Stewart, at some point you want to hear him sing ‘Maggie May.’ You don’t want to hear him sing ‘Maggie May’ 50 times. But I owe it to the audience to sing ‘Maggie May.’
“I still put a smile on people’s faces. I’ll never be Willie Mays falling down in center field. I’ll know way before anybody else that it’s time to go. So, sure, there’s going to be shots like ‘Yeah, we’ve heard it,’ but what do you expect? What do you want? You want somebody else, then get somebody else.”
“If you listen to the six hours and are fair, you wouldn’t write what you’ve written. You’d say, ‘Boy, this guy did his homework.’ The history of it is intriguing to me. The players, many of whom I know personally, and the caddies. I go out and I play the course. I’m just having a good time.”
North of the border, however, is a different story. LARRY BROWN SPORTS tells us that he’s as popular over there as Canadian bacon; perhaps there’s a physical resemblance? From the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS:
Berman, the long-time, gravelly-voiced host of ESPN’s expansive NFL coverage, is in Winnipeg as guest speaker at tonight’s YMHA dinner.
ESPN football broadcaster Chris Berman met Milt Stegall after he was presented with Winnipeg Blue Bomber at training camp this morning.
He showed up at Bomber practice and was presented with a team jersey with his name and Stegall’s No. 85 on it by club president/CEO Lyle Bauer. Then he chatted with Stegall and, later, Berry in the end zone while the practice was still on.
Berman probably gets a bad rap since he has been on TV here for almost 30 years. But since the U.S. dollar is in such terrible shape, maybe we can sell him up there and get some fair value in return. Bringing Don Cherry down to Bristol fulltime would be a nice treat, perhaps along with an overzealous, ego-centric play-by-play man to be named later.