03 Jun Chris Berman
ESPN lead talent; Hosts Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown; Play-by-play for MLB coverage. 6-time Sportscaster of the Year
A Conversation with Chris Berman
In October 1979 — one month after its inception — ESPN hired a little known 24-year-old sports anchor named Chris Berman. For the next quarter century and running, Berman has become one of America’s most respected, popular, and in many ways, most beloved sportscasters of his era. With his trademark combination of genuine enthusiasm, knowledge and wit, he has come to embody ESPN in its dedication to entertaining and informing sports fans across the country. He is best known for his signature delivery of highlights of every sport, most notably on NFL Sundays.
Six times the versatile Berman has been selected the National Sportscaster of the Year by the members of the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Berman, who in 1989 became the first cable sportscaster to win the award, ranks second among sportscasters in winning this award from the NSSA. Berman and his various shows have won nine Emmy Awards and 12 CableACEs.
It’s hard to imagine NFL Sundays before Berman. The 2005 season marks his 20th consecutive as studio host of Sunday NFL Countdown, having surpassed Brent Musburger’s 15-year record in 2001 as the longest running host of a weekly pro football studio show. Berman has worked alongside Tom Jackson for all but one of those years, first teaming in 1987, when ESPN first acquired the rights to carry the NFL. He is now a veteran of 23 Super Bowls beginning with the 49ers’ first NFL Championship in Super Bowl XVI.
Since 1990, Berman has served as a play-by-play commentator for ESPN Major League Baseball games, including division playoff coverage starting in 1996. He also hosts Baseball Tonight, the network’s nightly compendium of Major League Baseball highlights, news and features that won a Sports Emmy in 2003. Since 1986, Berman has covered the U.S. Open, a role that he relishes, including the “NFL PrimeTime of golf,” the nightly U.S. Open highlights show and has hosted ESPN’s coverage of the first two rounds. In 2003, he added play-by-play duties for the U.S. Open on ESPN. Berman continues to broaden his reach. In yet another new venture, Berman brought his passion and appreciation for hockey to the 2003 and 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs as co-host of ESPN’s and ABC’s telecasts.
Berman is famous for his use of nicknames while voicing over Major League Baseball highlights. Throughout his career he has been praised by the media, viewers and players across the country for his lighthearted and humorous approach.
A long-time aficionado of rock and roll, Berman has appeared on stage singing with Huey Lewis and the News over a half-dozen times. In addition, he sang twice with Eddie Money, appeared in a video with Hootie and the Blowfish, and was joined by Glenn Frey of the Eagles for a special “Hotel California” Super Bowl edition of “The Swami.”
Chris Berman has played himself in 11 motion pictures, including The Longest Yard (May ’05), Little Big League, Necessary Roughness, Eddie, The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon, Big Daddy, Second String, Even Steven, Kingpin, The Program, etc.
A Conversation with Chris Berman