CHRISTOPHER JAMES BERMAN (born May 10, 1955), nicknamed BOOMER, is an
American sportscaster. He has been an anchor for
SportsCenter on ESPN
since 1979, joining a month after its initial launch, and hosted the
Sunday NFL Countdown program from 1985 to 2016. He has also
Monday Night Countdown , U.S. Open golf, the Stanley Cup
Finals , and other programming on
ABC Sports . Berman calls
play-by-play of select Major League Baseball games for ESPN, which
Home Run Derby until 2016. A six-time honoree of the
National Sports Media Association 's "National Sportscaster of the
Year" award, Berman was instrumental in establishing ESPN's lasting
popularity during the network's formative years. He is well known for
his various catchphrases and quirky demeanor. In January 2017, it was
announced that Berman would be stepping down from several NFL-related
roles at ESPN, but would be remaining at the company.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Career (1977–present)
* 2.1 Style
* 2.2 In other media
* 3 Personal life
* 4 Honors
* 5 Career timeline
* 6 See also
* 7 References
* 8 External links
Berman was born in
Greenwich, Connecticut , the son of Peggy Shevell
(née Tenenbaum), who worked as a reporter-researcher for Time
magazine, and James Keliner Berman, a corporate executive vice
president. Berman grew up in Irvington , New York . He was raised
Jewish . During his childhood, he went to Camp Winnebago in Fayette,
Maine . He enrolled at the
Hackley School in 1970, and graduated Brown
University in 1977 with a degree in history, where he was the sports
director of the school's radio station,
Berman sings "Walking on a Thin Line" with Huey Lewis and the
News on stage
Berman's sportscasting career began at
WVIT -TV as a
weekend sports anchor. He joined
ESPN in 1979, a month after its
founding, and has been with the network ever since. Along with Bob Ley
, he is one of ESPN's longest-tenured employees. Berman and Ley are
the only remaining
SportsCenter anchors from 1979. He spent 31 years
as the host of both
Sunday NFL Countdown , and ten years hosting
Monday Night Countdown . In addition, during the NFL season, he hosts
SportsCenter (airing generally at either 7:30 PM Eastern
Time or 11 PM Eastern Time) along with
Herm Edwards , who replaced Tom
Jackson for the 2016 season. Berman often appears on Sportscenter at
night (midnight to 1 a.m.) hosting brief segments called "Chris
Berman's two-minute drill". From 1988-1989, he hosted ESPN's first
game show, Boardwalk and Baseball's Super Bowl of Sports Trivia.
By 1993, Berman was described as the leader of the
ESPN team and one
of the most recognizable sportscasters in the business. "The true test
is when Chris is on, turn down your TV and open your window. You will
hear him. The microphone is nothing but a prop," said fellow ESPN
Keith Olbermann . In December 2008, the
Associated Press ran a
long retrospective on Berman's 30-year career with ESPN. "He is our
most important person," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's vice president
of production. "He is the face of ESPN," he added. At the time, Berman
noted that his contract with
ESPN would expire on his 55th birthday,
and that he did not see himself broadcasting into his 60s. In April
ESPN extended Berman's contract for an undisclosed
period of time, only noting that it was a multi-year deal. The
contract was eventually revealed to expire at the end of 2016.
Berman was a season ticket holder for the
Hartford Whalers , and was
a strong supporter of the team's staying in Connecticut. He
occasionally makes reference to the team, sometimes even by humming
the team's theme song,
Brass Bonanza . Berman has also become a strong
backer of the
Buffalo Bills in recent years. In an interview with
Buffalo Bills reporter and play-by-play voice John Murphy on July 26,
2012, Berman acknowledged that you could call him a "Bills Booster".
This sentiment is also echoed in Berman's on-air phrase, "No one
circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!" In addition, he has been
involved with several events relating to the Bills, such as team
founder Ralph Wilson 's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame,
and Bruce Smith 's Bills Hall of Fame induction in September 2016.
Berman signed a new contract in January 2017 for a reduced schedule,
but remains at ESPN.
Berman is well known for his various catchphrases and player
* His mid-play prediction of a touchdown run as "He
could...go...all...the...way!" is perhaps his most famous phrase, and
one of the first he adopted. It was featured on the Jock Rock, Volume
2 compilation album.
* His home run calls of "Back, back, back, back...Gone!", which he
implements most commonly during the MLB
Home Run Derby , are drawn
Red Barber .
* A "Whoop!" is uttered during highlights when a player makes a
quick move or causes someone to miss or make a mistake.
* "Tick, tick, tick, tick tick tick tick..." during a post-game
recap, for a play or moment in which the clock is a factor.
* When a large player such as a lineman runs with the football,
Berman describes him as "rumblin', bumblin', stumblin'".
* He has also been known for using a kind of low questioning voice
when a team that is not doing well in a season ends up doing very well
in a game; "Liioonns ? Brroowwwnnnss ?"
* Berman is known for integrating puns into player nicknames,
dubbing former Minnesota Twins pitcher
Bert Blyleven "Bert Be Home
Berman adopts the persona of his alter ego , "The
Swami ," to make
predictions on Sunday NFL Countdown. For seven consecutive years "The
Swami" predicted a Super Bowl between the
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers and the
Buffalo Bills , one or the other – but never both – making it
during that span.
IN OTHER MEDIA
Berman appeared in
Adam Sandler 's 1998 comedy
The Waterboy as well
as Sandler's The Longest Yard in 2005, playing himself as the
play-by-play announcer of the prison football game. Berman also
appeared as himself in Necessary Roughness in 1991, The Program in
1993 (though was a little out of place doing college football ),
Little Big League in 1994, as well as Eddie and Kingpin in 1996. He
made a cameo appearance in the 1995
Hootie and the Blowfish
Hootie and the Blowfish video for
the single "
Only Wanna Be With You ." Berman made a cameo in the 2013
Grown Ups 2 . Berman appears in
Nutrisystem commercials with
Don Shula ,
Dan Marino ,
Terry Bradshaw , and
Mike Golic , using some
of his trademark phrases and nicknames to show how much weight they
Berman married Katherine "Kathy" Alexinski in 1983. She died in a
traffic collision in Woodbury on May 10, 2017. The couple has two
Berman speaks at
Brown University before receiving his honorary
degree in 2007
National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association National
Sportscaster of the Year (1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2001)
American Sportscasters Association Sportscaster of the Year –
Studio Host (1995, 1997, 1998)
CableACE Award Best Cable Sportscaster 1987, 1988, 1990
* 1997 "TV's Most Fascinating Stars" from People
Maxwell Football Club 's Reds Bagnell Award
* 2007 honorary degree from
Brown University .
* 2009 Presented
Ralph C. Wilson Jr. into the Pro Football Hall of
* Received star on the
Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame on May 24, 2010
* Received the
Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award on July 12, 2010
SportsCenter anchor (occasionally since 1990)
Sunday NFL Countdown host
* 1985–2016: NFL Draft host
* 1986–2014: U.S. Open nightly show host
NFL Primetime host (Postgame host during playoffs,
ESPN Sunday Night Football halftime host
Baseball Tonight host (occasional)
* 1990–present: MLB on
ESPN play-by-play (selected games)
Home Run Derby play-by-play
* 1996–1999, 2006–2016, and during NFL playoff between 1998 and
Monday Night Football halftime host
* 1999–present: Master of Ceremonies for the Pro Football Hall of
* 2003–2014: U.S. Open host
* 2003–2004: NHL on
NHL on ABC studio co-host (Stanley
Monday Night Countdown host
Monday Night Football No. 2 play-by-play
Monday Night Countdown panelist
* You\'re with me, leather
* ^ A B Jenks, Jim (December 19, 1993). "At ESPN, it\'s all play
and all work for \'Boomer\'". The Daily Gazette. p. D6. Retrieved
October 5, 2016.
* ^ "
Chris Berman leaving
ESPN NFL studio, stays with network in
new role". ESPN.com. January 6, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
* ^ A B "Katherine Alexinski Wed to Christopher Berman".
NYTimes.com. 1983-07-24. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
* ^ Sean Dillon, Staff Writer (April 15, 2010). "CSULB professor
explores baseball\'s impact on
Jewish Americans". Daily 49er.
* ^ Arace, Michael (October 14, 1993). "Chris Berman: Regular Guy
With a National Following". Gainesville Sun. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
* ^ Schwartzapfel, Beth (January 2006). "Radio Heads".
brownalumnimagazine.com. Retrieved 2015-12-12.
* ^ Murphy, Brian. "The Super Bowl... of Sports Trivia". ESPN
Page2. Retrieved May 5, 2013.
* ^ Berman set to embark on 30th year at
ESPN Archived September
10, 2012, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ "
ESPN to extend Chris Berman\'s contract - NFL - Sporting
News". Aol.sportingnews.com. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2013-11-10.
* ^ McIntyre, Jason (May 26, 2016). "Chris Berman\'s Contract
Won\'t Be Renewed at ESPN, Who Replaces Him?". USA Today. Retrieved
May 26, 2016.
* ^ A B Wilson request stunned Berman Archived July 6, 2009, at the
Wayback Machine .
* ^ Arkush, Arthur (May 27, 2016). "ESPN\'s
Chris Berman reportedly
retiring after 2016 NFL season". Pro Football Weekly. Retrieved
October 5, 2016.
* ^ A B C Doyle, Bill (October 14, 2011). "ESPN\'s
Chris Berman is
serious about having fun". Telegram & Gazette. Retrieved October 5,
* ^ Lomartire, Paul (December 13, 1996). "
ESPN hits the music
charts". Rome News-Tribune. Cox News Service. p. 45. Retrieved October
* ^ Cunningham, Dave (September 13, 1998). "Announcers Hit Home
Runs With Their Calls Of Long Ball". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved
October 5, 2016.
* ^ Akers, David (2016). Winning in Spite Of: Nine Biblical
Principles for Turning Hard Times into Personal Growth, Increased
Impact, and Abundant Life. Redemption Press. ISBN 1683141067 .
Retrieved October 5, 2016.
* ^ Holmgren, Ryan (September 6, 2013). "Bishop Ryan has hands full
with Kindred\'s Bachmeier". Minot Daily News. Retrieved October 5,
* ^ Chase Stuart (7 October 2012). "San Francisco sets record in
Chris Berman\'s mythical Super Bowl". footballperspective.com.
* ^ Altimari, Dave; Dempsey, Christine (May 11, 2017). "Wife Of
Chris Berman Dies In Double Fatal Crash". Courant .
Hartford, Connecticut . Retrieved 2017-08-16.
* ^ "Cafe under investigation in death of
Associated Press . 2017-08-15.
* ^ Goodman, Mark. "Sonic Boomer". People.com. Retrieved October
* ^ "
ESPN TV Listings - ESPN". Sports.espn.go.com. Retrieved
* ^ Stoneberg, Allie (January 5, 2017). "
Chris Berman to Assume New
ESPN Role after NFL Season".
ESPN Media Zone. Retrieved May 14, 2017.
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