The National Football League announced Chris Berman as recipient of the Pete Rozelle award, an award designed to enshrine significant contributors to the sport of football other than players, coaches, and owners. Most of the recipients are journalists and broadcasters.x
From this writer's perspective, Berman is a blowhard's blowhard, a bag of hot gas hell-bent on self-infatuation who perhaps had some value in the early days of ESPN but has long worn out his welcome.x
His football credentials consist of anchoring ESPN's Sunday morning pre-game show, ESPN NFL Countdown, and post game programming Sunday nights. Few presentations in sports broadcasting are more annoying than Berman's boorish highlight segmens complete with highly predictable schtick where Berman employs a variety of annoying and sophomoric routines from singing "tra-la's" to the tune of "If Only I Had a Brain" from the "Wizard of Oz," to his screams and "wappa-wappas," and his signature, "He....could....go....all....the.....waaaayyyyy!" Not a Berman orginal, that call goes to Howard Cosell. What's more annoying than his high pitched screams of "WHOOP!"?x
He's also been a major part of ESPN baseball coverage too. Naturally, when covering homeruns, his signature call is, "It....could....go...all...the....waaayyy!" Add to that something stolen from legendary broadcaster, Red Barber, he also calls homeruns with a call of, "back, back, back, back....!" (quite annoying) He also became well known for his bizarre player nicknames like Eddie "let's eat, drink, and be" Murray, Bert "be home by eleven," for Bert Blyleven, Brady "bunch" Anderson, Doyle "brandy" Alexander, Mike "enough" Aldretti, Barry "savings" Bonds, "Hey You Get Off of" Mike Cloud and John "I am not a" Kruk. HAR-HAR-HAR Another Bermanism features his uncanny ability to slip in bizarre cross references to rock n roll songs. To be fair when ESPN first launched in 1979 for the first few years, Berman was a fun character with a refreshing approach to presenting sports but as time went by his work showed no professional growth as he became increasingly more self-absorbed and tedious.
Surely, there must be a loyal audience for Berman's frat-boy wannabe insanity. Almost certainly, the more alcohol one consumes and the less one appreciates the nuances of sports, the more appealing the Berman Blowhard might appear.