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Christopher James "Chris" Berman also known by the nickname Boomer (born May 10, 1955 in Greenwich, Connecticutmarker) is an Americanmarker sportscaster. He anchors SportsCenter, Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown, Baseball Tonight, U.S. Open golf, the Stanley Cup Finals and other programming on ESPN and ABC Sports.

Biography

Early life and education

Berman was raised in Cheshiremarker, Connecticutmarker. During his childhood he went to Camp Winnebago in Fayette, Maine. In 1970. He attended the Hackley School and Brown Universitymarker where he majored in History, graduating in 1977.

Career

Berman then moved to WNVRmarker in Waterburymarker, Connecticutmarker. Berman was eventually hired at Hartford's WVIT-TV to do weekend sports at $23 per shift. He joined ESPN in 1979 a month after its founding and has been with the network since. Along with Bob Ley, he is one of ESPN's longest-tenured employees. Berman, who is generally known to be heavy-set, often jokes that he now uses his original ESPN jacket from 1979 when he was much skinnier. He is the host of Monday Night Countdown, replacing previous host Stuart Scott. In 1988 and 1989, he hosted ESPN's first game show, Boardwalk and Baseball's Super Bowl of Sports Trivia which was taped at the now-defunct Boardwalk and Baseball amusement park in Orlandomarker, Floridamarker.

He is well known for his various catch-phrases and player nicknames. His rendition of, "He could...go...all...the...way!" is borrowed from Howard Cosell, while another of his famous calls, "Back-back-back-back" comes from Red Barber. This strategic and often complicated call is usually screamed by Berman when a baseball is hit a very long way, and is followed by "Gone!" when the ball leaves the field of play. Another catch-phrase: "WHOOP!" during highlights when a player makes a quick move or causes someone to miss or make a mistake. He is most known for the use of puns to make nicknames for certain players, i.e. one of his more famous involves former Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Bert Blyleven calling him Bert "Be Home" Blyleven (a pun on the phrase "be home by eleven").

Berman also goes by his alter ego, "The Swami," when making prognostications on Sunday NFL Countdown.

In December 2008 the Associated Press ran a long retrospective on Berman's 30 year career with ESPN. [57436] “He is our most important person,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s vice president of production. “He is the face of ESPN,” he added. Berman noted that his contract with ESPN expired on his 55th birthday, and that he did not see himself broadcasting into his 60's.

Despite being born in Connecticut, Berman has become a strong backer of the Buffalo Bills in recent years.[57437] This sentiment is echoed in Berman's on-air phrase, "No One Circles the Wagons Like the Buffalo Bills."

In other media



Honors



Career timeline



Personal

Berman with his wife Kathy and their family live in Cheshire, Connecticutmarker. [57438]

Controversy

In February 2008, videos of Berman on the ABC Monday Night Football set appeared on the video sharing site YouTube. The videos, filmed in 2000, when Berman anchored the MNF halftime show, depicted Berman using off-color language and flirting with a female member of the broadcast crew during commercial breaks. Lines of his included insults on random subjects (including Rudolph) and insults on the games, including, "Well, it's the same (bleep)in thing every week. Good Rams, good Colts!" Berman acknowledged the authenticity of the videos, but commented, "Do I wish I didn't say a few things nine years ago? Yes. But if that's the worst thing I ever did, I can live with it."

See also



Notes

  1. ESPNtv.com - The People
  2. Two bad - Sports, Nevada, National Football League - baltimoresun.com
  3. On Sports Media: 'Big Brother' watches, listens - 02/22/2008 - MiamiHerald.com


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