Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mediocrity Is Given It's Due

Chris Berman is going into the Hall of Fame.

The talentless blowhard Hall of Fame?


The Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yep, the big one, in Canton, Ohio.

The one we like to think is reserved for the giants who played the game, and the men of vision who were instrumental in the league's success.


But then again, with Dick Vitale having recently been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass, we now have a matching set.

I'll give Berman this much. It's remarkable how somebody with so little actual television talent could ride it that long. He's been on the football set for ESPN for 25 years now, and to some (I don't know WHO, exactly) he remains a likeable fella with a "passion" for the game.

Hey, who doesn't have a "passion" for the NFL?

Besides Albert Haynesworth, that is.

You can say this post is my pure jealousy shining through. I'll admit to that. I am jealous of his current job, and his career.

But it doesn't make me wrong.

If Chris Berman is the beacon of how to be a top flight TV sports talent, then how come we aren't seeing more of him come through the pipeline?

Where are similar guys like him, who don't write for broadcast very well, who stumble on delivering simple questions and introductions to set pieces in a show, and who make cable-access caliber hand gestures while talking?

There are talents at ESPN who do what Berman does, that are truly skilled broadcasters. Their writing (yes, that's part of the job, and it is difficult to do!) is crisp and thoughtful. They deliver those words almost flawlessly, and can ad lib in a fluid situation or during an analyst focused give-and-take without blu-blu-blubbering away like Berman does.

Their "passion" for a sport shines through by the amount of preparation that goes into a show, not by sheer volume or nicknames.

A perfect example of all of this is Chris Fowler, host of College Football Gameday. He's so good, it's almost freaky.

By contrast, Berman is a nickname spewing galoot. I won't make any personal attacks on his girth, baldness, or ego, because from what I've been told he's a relatively likeable fella.

I just think his work sucks. And that's not me saying I could do it better, that's me just watching the other guys on the set in Bristol.

For ESPN to keep Berman around all these years, long after the novelty of "Albert 'Winnie the' Pujols!" has worn off, is on them. They like Boomer, and think he still draws fans. Fine.

But why the Pro Football Hall of Fame felt compelled to honor him is beyond me. Surely, there were more worthy broadcasters out there.


  1. How about Cosell, or jimmy the Greek, are they in the Hall. Those names are more familiar with football than "Boomer". He is nothing more than a novelty much like Michael Irvin and Keyshon Johnson.

  2. Broadcasters should never be in the NFL Hall of Fame.
    Let's put the chain gang crew, cheerleaders, athletic trainers, fans, and vendors in as well.

  3. I agree on no broadcasters, but if the HOF is going to tread there, they owe our loveable uncle Brent Musburger a slot. He was truly the iconic announcer for (my era) of the NFL and was also absolute pro in preparation and delivery.

    What's next, putting the whole Fox Team in there as well (oh yeah, three of them are already there).

  4. How the hell are broadcasters even eligible when coordinators and specialty coaches aren't?
    So Berman, and even Musburger or Cosell, are more worthy than Tom Moore or Dick LeBeau? Tom Moore is truly a legend and LeBeau deserves to be in for his D-Coordinating skills more than his playing skills.

  5. Don Coryell is not in the Pro Football HOF, and this guy IS?

  6. Do you think Berman makes people call him Boomer? It sounds so forced when E Andrews throws it back to the desk with "back to you Boom."

  7. Sounds like some ones a little "salty". In the early years, before the nfl network...primetime was the shit. Some people just have the "it" factor...unexplained success.

  8. While we're at it, I nominate LINDA COHEN for the POST OFFICE HALL OF FAME in recognition of of how well she "MAILS IT IN." If she's doing more than 10 minutes of prep work for her SportsCenter slots, it must all be spent in the make-up room.

  9. If it means he's retiring, i say "Put him in!". it's a small price to pay...

  10. Berman was good when ESPN wasn't a household name, but as the network and viewer-ship grew, so did Berman's ego. Most guys my age (40) idolized him growing up, but I remember being in the college dorm about 20 years ago watching him on the very first ESPY's show and telling my roommates that his ego was getting out of control and that he wasn't as cool as he used to be. They scoffed at the notion, but they all eventually came around to the same point of view as well. The guy has been doing the same exact schtick for 30 years now. Talk about a tired act.

  11. Everything in our society has been devalued and hype and bluster has overtaken substance and performance. Look all around you, from the highest levels of sports to the arts, television and the government...


  13. The White Whale in the HoF. Hayzeus Marimba. Thank GOD Art Monk managed to get in before this hack. His hijacking of major events at the 4-letter is disgusting and I can't stand him. His only real contribution is providing employment to every speech-impeded, lisping wanna-be sportscaster in America. It's almost as despicable as Omar Minaya stocking my Mets with every unemployed Latin player in the world.

  14. @ LEX REX
    Latin players can play. One can't hate on that.

  15. OH, NO QUESTION, D. Whet. Perhaps I should have been more specific - Omar signs every "has been" early/mid-thirties unemployed Latin player. I'm a huge fan of ALL who can play the game I played and love. I just don't need to see over-the-hill players being signed by my favorite team. If he could sign the YOUNG GREAT Latin players I'd be thrilled.