Berman heads to the Monday night booth

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It’s officially time to break out the Deux Deux Deuxs.

ESPN has announced that Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer will call the second game of the season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader, when the Raiders host the Chargers.

The official announcement includes a “podcast” from Berman, who likely still thinks that term is a reference to the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, in which he explains how the decision came to be.

“Our president John Skipper, our executive V.P. of production John Wildhack, we were together, and midway through an interesting evening they said, ‘We’d like you to call the second Monday night game,'” Berman says.

“I went, ‘Now, wow.  There’s something I never really thought about.’  Of course, I’ve thought about calling NFL games my whole life, but given what I do and Sunday duties, the normal ones, and it’s Week One of the season and you get your hands full and we’re all excited and we’re trying to do our best in the studio, etc.  I didn’t see it coming.

“I said, ‘I gotta give you guys credit.  So, you understand I haven’t called a football game in a while, although I’ve called many baseball games and U.S. Open golf, etc., etc.  I was really surprised and excited about hearing it, to be honest with you.  Really excited.  It’s nice to be surprised after 32 years, it really is.”

This explanation implies that Berman had done no lobbying whatsoever for the gig.  Which some people will believe, and plenty of people won’t.

To get ready for the regular-season assignment, Berman and Dilfer will handle the Titans-Cardinals game on August 23.

Per ESPN, Berman will host Sunday NFL Countdown on Week One, then fly to Oakland to prepare for the Monday night game.  There’s no specific word yet on who will replace Berman for The Blitz, Berman’s SportsCenter-embedded review of game highlights with Tom Jackson.

And that’s perhaps the real news.  For the first time in a quarter-century, someone other than Berman will get the opportunity to narrate the extended highlights packages from the games of the Sunday that was.  To give up those reins, Berman must have really wanted to get in to the booth.

UPDATE 10:50 a.m. ET:  ESPN spokesman Bill Hofheimer says that the host of The Blitz has not yet been determined.  With Berman absent, Suzy Kolber will host Monday Night Countdown from Bristol.

96 responses to “Berman heads to the Monday night booth

  1. No !!!!!!!!!!!! Say it’s a joke. He’s so pathetic I could never listen to his non stop blather for 3 hours. I can’t watch the draft on ESPN with him or anything else he works.

    Don’t ESPN and the NFL keep up with the public’s opinion? Every time his name’s mentioned there’s a huge negative reaction.

    It’s the end of the world!

  2. I’ve never understood the Berman hate. Brings a lot of character and energy to his work. Him and Tom Jackson are the only reason I watch any ESPN coverage.

  3. Like you questioned, Berman didn’t lobby for this? My BS detector is on high alert.

    Berman is the flag-carrier for the WWL; he’s practically synonymous with their brand. He just is. The idea that somehow a major decision like that could have been contemplated, vetted and then brought to him like an unexpected birthday present is ridiculous.

    Maybe he’s just greasing the rails for a head-held-high exit if he sucks at play-by-play.

  4. Time for a trip to Canada to pick up some of those pills with a “little” bit of codiene…lol. Berman makes me sick. I hope he falls flat on his face.

  5. Great, another vain “personality” I’m going to be forced to tolerate through his made-up catchphrases and self-inflicted nicknames. He is the Grandad of sportscasters who mistakenly believe that people are watching sports for the announcer, and not for the sport itself.

    Never mind that when he talks he sounds so incredibly constipated you’d swear he’s about to unload in his undies at any second.

  6. Don’t hate Berman. Hate ESPN. I don’t think he’s been the same since ESPN abruptly ended his 7:00 show on Sunday nights and replaced it would in and out blurbs on SportsCenter.

  7. I’ve never understood the Berman hate. Brings a lot of character and energy to his work. Him and Tom Jackson are the only reason I watch any ESPN coverage.

    ——————————–

    It’s because he is all form and no substance, affectations without any warmth. It’s like he’s in on a joke, and the joke is on you. He’s just not warm and engaging like a Dick Enberg.

  8. As long as he explains to everyone how the Raiders own the ringless Chargers, then I’m fine with it. 🙂

  9. I`ve always like Berman doing the news and game highlights However I`ve never cared for him doing play by play. It seems by late in the game his voice is so hoarse that it`s bothersome listening to him

  10. When I saw the headline, I nearly had a heart attack, then I remembered it was only for one game.

    So I had a stroke instead.

  11. Fans are to smart these days and he offers nothing as an analyst.. I bet $1000 that he can’t differentiate between secondary coverages

  12. Kind of a misleading title and article, he’s only doing one game.

    I wonder what’s to gain by showing the deux… clip anyway.

  13. I don’t mind Berman as much as I do Dilfer. His misplaced arrogance is flat-out annoying. Berman’s play-by-play skills are probably rusty, but Dilfer makes this broadcast a “must-miss.”

  14. Glad he’s doing the late game between 2 teams I don’t care about. Good reason to go to bed early.

  15. Whoever invented the mute button is now a national hero. ESPN stop forcing him down our throats, his act ran its course 10 years ago.

  16. Berman need to stay where he at I’d much rather listen to somebody that not so in love with his own voices. He dosen’t like the Raiders, he an east cost guy let him stay there, he just to one side for me, I think I’ll find me a radio station the broadcasting the game and listen to them and watch the game with the TV turn down. I’m a long time football fan and a Raider fan and it sure seem like it falling all apart anyway to many dump fine bad calls, if it hadn’t been for direct TV lowering the price this year I was going to dump them because of the bad thing going on and now I have to listen to Berman, who next Obama play by play

  17. BWOOP! BWOOOOOP! BWOOOOOOP!!
    BOOMPH….BOOMPH….BOOMP!!!!
    WOOOOOOP! WOOOOP!
    WUB WUB WUB WUB……

    And whatever other stupid unspellable noises that will inevitably dominate the telecast.

  18. So as a Raider fan I have to sit through a Wednesday night game, nine 1:00 games, three 4:00 games, one 8:30 game, one Monday Night game and then get to watch the Raiders for a fifth straight year.

    As if this was not bad enough, now I get the honor and privilege of having Berman clean out my ear like a Q-Tip from hell? Let me guess Emmitt Smith will be on the sidelines so as to prove that yes, ESPN can provide coverage that makes even Tony Siragusa look brilliant.

  19. I believe that since Berman has been with ESPN when it started he is allowed to do the US Open, The Homerun Hitting Contest and now NFL Football. He has made his money I wish he would just move on but since he will not, I thank God that I can mute.

  20. Thank god for the mute button, Dilfer and Berman, two of the biggest egomaniacs on ESPN. only thing that could be worse is Berman and Gruden.

    “Rumbling bumbling stumbling! Whoop” followed up with “Let me tell you about this guy Darren McFadden, he’s just a heck of a football player”

    Terrible

  21. Anything is better than Greenberg/Golic. Their shtick is soooo played.

    Greenberg: “I’m an effeminite wussy”

    Golic: “I’m a big tough jock who played in the NFL for 10 minutes.

    Together: “We’re awesome!”

    Ugh.

  22. I will be skipping that game no matter how much fantasy impala cations I might have riding on that game! I would encourage everyone to do the same otherwise they will continue to thrust this blow hard on us at every chance they get! The only way it gets worse for that game is if they have Mike Greenburg doing sideline reports!

  23. clownsfan says:
    Jun 27, 2012 11:27 AM
    Anything is better than Greenberg/Golic. Their shtick is soooo played.

    Greenberg: “I’m an effeminite wussy”

    Golic: “I’m a big tough jock who played in the NFL for 10 minutes.

    Together: “We’re awesome!”

    Ugh.
    ==============

    I agree in general with your sentiment. But I do need to clear one thing up: Mike Golic played in the NFL for NINE YEARS, not 10 minutes. That’s well over twice the average NFL career length.

  24. “I said, ‘I gotta give you guys credit. So, you understand I haven’t called a football game in a while, although I’ve called many baseball games and U.S. Open golf, etc., etc. ”

    Yes you have…and all quite badly!

  25. Sunday Night Football is the far superior program and one reason is that they don’t need a revolving door of gimmick color commentators.

    Hiring Berman and his goofy “sound effects” to what already was the worst of the 4 football programs (behind NBC, Fox, and CBS) just makes this game that much easier to skip.

    SNF should be the model for ESPN.

  26. Just when I was looking for an excuse to not watch the 2nd half of the MNF double header, I need look no longer.

    Berman was horrible calling the opening rounds of the US Open, and he will be horrible doing this. He must have some serious dirt on whoever runs ESPN. The guy’s time has come and gone. Please go away, Berman.

  27. jjrs89 says:
    Jun 27, 2012 10:37 AM
    Its hard for me to like Berman after seeing that YouTube video of him losing his cool

    While it seemed unprofessional, anybody who has had to work in front of a camera or give an important brief to a bunch of people and had someone unnecessarily distract them can sympathize. Walking in front of the camera/teleprompter during a broadcast, even ducking underneath, is a huge no no.

  28. Dilfer? Ugh. Terrific.

    Whats the over/under for how many times we hear that somebody just “dropped a dime”.

  29. I don’t care, as long as whoever I bet that night covers. I mean, I will watch the game for pure entertainment. There is no gambling on football.

  30. This is horrible news. Berman has to be the second most annoying person on that God awful network, first being Stuart Scott of course. I do like Dilfer though, but his voice will be drowned out by the “Swammi”, or whatever he calls himself. Horrible….

  31. I’ve never understood the Berman hate. Brings a lot of character and energy to his work. Him and Tom Jackson are the only reason I watch any ESPN

    Yeah if your 13.

  32. Let’s get Berman and Madden together! A big stuttering, word-jumbling, slobberfest! Unfortunately I’d still watch, it is week one after-all!

  33. If you like Berman you’re probably not over the age of 22…and that’s being generous.

    Give it a few more years of intolerable, gutteral, cigar voiced, pointless commentary, overly played highlight sound effects such as “doink!” and “rumblin’ bumblin’ stumblin’!”….and his insufferably inacurate football insight…and you too will be tired of him.

    For the rest of us, it got old…back in 1998. Or was it 1988?

    I just don’t know how many “Swammy” score predicitons of 19-11 I can take…uggggh.

  34. Gotta do something to try and drum up fan interest in a game between the Raiders and Chargers…….

  35. tatatoothy says: Jun 27, 2012 10:49 AM

    Don’t hate Berman. Hate ESPN. I don’t think he’s been the same since ESPN abruptly ended his 7:00 show on Sunday nights and replaced it would in and out blurbs on SportsCenter.
    ————————————
    ESPN didn’t “abruptly end” Prime Time. It was part of the change in NFL TV contracts when NBC got the Sunday night package and Disney offered ESPN instead of ABC for Monday Night Football. As part of that new contract (beginning with the 2006 season), NBC was granted the 7 pm highlight show.

  36. The only duos I could think of that would be more annoying would be:

    Shannon Sharpe & Michael Irvin,
    Dan Fouts & Steve Young, and finally
    Tiki Barber & Madonna.

  37. Berman is so horrible, I question the level of stupidity of the morons that comment that they actually like him..

    his act was funny for 5 minutes, has been terrible for 10 years.

    I turn off anything with him on it.

  38. Wow, ONE freaking game. Three hours of your lives and people are acting like this is the end of the world. You have to listen to Gruden every week, that is way worse.

  39. Not only is Berman irritating but the information he tries to convey is almost incomprehensible. How he lasted more than 10 minutes in sports broadcasting is beyond the understanding of mere mortals.

  40. Did Mike Patrick run over ESPN president’s dog or something? I never understood why the Sunday Night Football team wasn’t just ported over to Monday nights when ESPN got the rights several years ago. I always liked that trio – and yes, I’m aware it included Joe Theismann.

    But more to the point, I thought Mike Patrick was great at calling games, and I don’t get why he wouldn’t get the gig calling the second Monday night game to kick off the season.

  41. i liked berman years ago with the tag lines and stuff but 15 years later I reall cant stand the same stupid lines over and over and over…plus he sounds like he has to spit out phlegm all the time….will be worse than the dennis miller experiment in my humble opinion

  42. professorcolumbus says:
    Jun 27, 2012 1:00 PM

    “Wow, ONE freaking game. Three hours of your lives and people are acting like this is the end of the world. You have to listen to Gruden every week, that is way worse.”

    You are absolutely right.

    However, this is the first article we have seen about Berman on PFT. Therefore, we have a chance to voice our pure dislike of this overplayed a**clown. Now hurry up and get back to Sportcenter. You’ve already missed hours of the same overhyped highlights.

  43. If there only was a clip featuring Dan Patrick and Rich Eisen impersonating Berman adjusting himself in a chair while it’s 95 degrees.

  44. It takes him 20 minutes to announce a highlight that already happened and he already watched. How long will it take him to announce live tv?

  45. He was babbling during the US Open. A golf tournament. And they think he can handle a MNF game 4 hours past his bedtime?

    I like it for comedy’s sake

    They’re putting Dilfer through the gauntlet to see how he handles it. he’ll be in the main MNF booth eventually in my opinion

  46. Brett Favre ought to just go away–Tony Romo is not as greedy as Breet Favre–Favre played for himself–he took as much from the game that he could get and he never gave pack–he was the “classic pig” and I also dont think Tony texted his “junk” to anyone. He will probably talk about making a comeback–and his wife should have left him–he is only about himself.

  47. Here’s a “reality check” 4 you: Golic played from ’86 until ’93. That’s 7 years w/49 starts & 11.5 sacks. He’s hardly an authority. However I do feel he has more credibility than Ross Tucker. But I hold Ross Tucker in the same regard that I hold Ryan Stewart.

  48. juvenaldelinquent says: Jun 27, 2012 10:50 AM

    I’ve never understood the Berman hate. Brings a lot of character and energy to his work. Him and Tom Jackson are the only reason I watch any ESPN coverage.

    ——————————–

    It’s because he is all form and no substance, affectations without any warmth. It’s like he’s in on a joke, and the joke is on you. He’s just not warm and engaging like a Dick Enberg.

    ____________________________________

    The joke is on you, if you need to be coddled and held during an NFL telecast… Warm and engaging? Grow a pair dude.

  49. Have you ever noticed how Berman runs out of breath halfway through a sentence and then forces out the next 10 words? Well, if you haven’t, you will now and you’ll hate listening to him even more. There’s nothing quite like hearing him struggle to get out that 20 year old schtick punch line.

  50. Rather hear the sound of whistle blowing n crowd noise then this clown announcing a NFL game

  51. Thank god it’s the late game. I won’t feel bad turning it off. Espn, pay attention to your audience. Berman is a punch line. Get some talent and let me watch the first two days of the U.S. Open, I can’t watch the hr derby contest. Take him back back back back, and he’s out of here!

  52. His act is soooooo tired.

    At least have somebody else do the rundown of games so we don’t have to hear his “WHOOOOOOP!!!!” or “Could-Go-All-The-Way!”

    Something fresh would be nice.

    Berman is like gum in your mouth you have been chewing for six hours but can’t find anyplace to get rid of it.

  53. Please tell me it’s not true, God this is worse than Dennis Miller. No sound on MNF Evere Again. I will never hear those Commercials, do you get this NFL!!! You Suck!!!! Time for a new Commisioner!!!!!

  54. “Its hard for me to like Berman after seeing that YouTube video of him losing his cool”

    It’s easier for me to like Berman “because” of the utube videos of him losing his cool. Not only were they hilarious, it shows he is just like the rest of us and allowed to be short fused under pressure occasionally because of someone else lack of attention to detail.

    🙂

  55. The last time I saw him call a game, it was embarassingly bad. He started doing his “rumbling bumbling stumbling” idiocy during a play. The other announcers responded with silence.

  56. tatatoothy says:
    Jun 27, 2012 10:49 AM
    Don’t hate Berman. Hate ESPN. I don’t think he’s been the same since ESPN abruptly ended his 7:00 show on Sunday nights and replaced it would in and out blurbs on SportsCenter.

    NFL Primetime at 7pm on sundays was by far my favorite nfl highlight show – thought berman and crew were awesome for many years.
    He is SO MUCH more enjoyable to listen to when compared to stuart scott, john gruden and some of these other clowns on espn –
    BTW – wasn’t dennis miller on monday night football for a few years???? ’nuff said……
    But that’s just my 2 cents (if it even gets posted on here…..)

  57. Just one game, don’t care. Can take or leave the bad case of whoop whoop whoop too. More clown than commentator for my liking but should do well as the NFL dumbs down for the kiddies.

  58. Do Skipper and Wilhack understand that Berman puts himself ahead of anything he covers. He isn’t funny and doesn’t come across, like he did thirty years ago, as a guy you’d chug a beer.

    He has ZERO self-awareness at this point.

  59. I like Chris Berman it’s a fumble, he could all way, whoop whoop whoop on final seconds of game. It’s only one game in booth no big deal.

  60. I think people take Chris Berman too seriously. He’s a goofy, funny, character. I think hes engaging and hilarious. Maybe its just that I grew up watching him on Primetime. Like jg725 said, it was the best NFL highlight show.

    You’re with me Leather!

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