Dear Haters, 6 Things More Annoying Than Chris Berman
When I was asked if I wanted to do a piece on Chris Berman leaving ESPN, I thought, “I think I’m one of the only guys left that still likes him, so nobody will want to read it.”
Then it dawned on me – that’s the angle I needed to take. While everyone else starts lining up to take potshots at the bombastic veteran, why not complain about them and a few other annoying sports things that we don't pay attention to.
Berman paved the way for the likes of Rich Eisen, Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick, Kenny Mayne, and Stuart Scott– all of which came well after Berman starred on SportsCenter in the ‘80s.
I get that Berman is from a different generation than 70 percent of his audience this days, but that doesn’t mean he can’t continue to be appreciated.
To me, he was always the older uncle that would come watch games at your house, and offer up fun comments every now and then. In his prime ESPN Sunday Prime Time days, he was thoughtful, insightful and entertaining. Sure, in his later years, he hasn’t quite been as sharp, and the comparisons to John Madden’s later years aren’t completely off base. But that shouldn’t matter.
6 Things More Annoying Than When Chris Berman Began in 1979
So I thought I’d come up with several things I personally find much more annoying than Chris “Mr. Boombastic” Berman.
1. People Complaining About Chris Berman’s Schtick
Exactly. We get it. His constant use off “Rumblin’, bumblin’, stumblin’” and “Back, back, back, back” gets under your skin. Why? Because you’ve heard it for 35 years and it got old. For me, it’s nostalgic hearing him say the things I remember hearing with my father when we watched Berman in the ‘80s and ‘90s. But hearing everyone complain about Berman is 10 times worse. Every time Berman says something or comes on at halftime, social media tears him up.
I’ll give you this one – he’s annoying during the Home Run Derby. But mainly, that’s because there’s a home run hit every 15 seconds, making us hear “Back, back, back, back” about 234 times in a two-hour period.
Other than that though, the complainers are all more annoying -- but they are funny, at least.
Chris Berman is retiring pic.twitter.com/sVeuG5d3g5
— Cincy vs. Everyone (@CincyvsEveryone) May 27, 2016
2. Everyone Getting a Voice
At least Berman has a background in sports, and he has turned his ability into an entertaining way to talk about the games much more different than his predecessors. But everyone else, from bloggers to tweeters to Facebookers – what the hell have we done? Have you noticed about 95 percent of tweets and FB posts about sports are just garbage? And the ones that aren’t are all just rehashed opinions using different letters. Berman was original at one time, and he gets my respect for that.
3. Player Movement
Our love affair of sports has slowly faded as free agency, along with short careers and owner families overtaken by corporations, has soured the general public. We have way too much access to players, coaches and teams, and we’re seeing that most of them aren’t what we thought. Add too much player movement, where foundation players are wearing three different jerseys in 10 years, and the games have just become brands.
The days of finding something awesome at a garage sale or having your dad give you something you’ll treasure for years is over. The first thing anyone asks you when they see a cool collectable is, “How much is it worth!?!?!?!” eBay has made everything accessible, which has pushed a dagger in the heart of sports memorabilia.
5. Advanced Statistics
At some point in the ‘90s, probably around the time the Internet suddenly became more than a passing fad, jocks turned into nerds. By that I mean – the people everyone looked up to went from the athletic gods to the computer gods. That’s all good – I’m an X-Men fan, a Star Wars nerd and I’m good on a computer. But then nerds get their hands on our sports, and old grizzly scouts got pushed aside by people with spreadsheets that have never tried to catch a curve ball or tackle a fullback.
There’s something fundamentally wrong about that. From broadcasters to writers to sideline reporters to general managers, our sports world has been inundated by people that have never played the games they’re handling – except maybe on Xbox. That’s like getting investment tips and marriage advice from the census bureau.
— AndrewJohn (@AngryWisco) January 24, 2016
6. Three Days of the NFL Draft
Watching Round 1 of the NFL Draft on a Thursday night is about as natural as playing football with a basketball. An entire Saturday afternoon used to be devoted for seven rounds (it used to be even more!) of NFL Draft action. That was like five holidays wrapped into one.
But the NFL figured out they can squeeze a billion more dollars of ad revenue out if they air it over three days. So we suffer with a diluted product that just doesn’t have the punch it once did.
So while you’re cynically celebrating the departure of a sports broadcasting icon, think back, back, back, back, to how sports has changed over the past 30-plus years – and not always for the better. I also understand that Berman has changed, too (and not for the better), but rather than taking time to crap on something today, how about celebrating something from yesterday.
Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn, Getty Images
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