Chris Berman’s Wince-Inducing ‘Down Goes Frazier’ Call Marks, Thankfully, His Last Home Run Derby
Rick Chandler 04:50 pm, July 12th, 2016
It's come to my attention that many of you aren't aware that ESPN is putting Chris Berman out to pasture in 2017 -- meaning that this was (most likely) the final Home Run Derby assignment of his career. ESPN's decision has come way too late for me -- Berman is The Steve Miller Band of sports broadcasters -- relevant and even innovative for a moment in the 1980s, but now long past his expiration date.
Case in point: his cliched, rather sad performance broadcasting Monday's Home Run Derby, particularly this awkward, wince-inducing line about Muhammad Ali:
I could hardly believe it when I heard him say it, and it sounds no better now.
The Home Run Derby has always been an ho-hum event for me anyway -- it reminds me of the kid across the street using a Louisville Slugger to hit golf balls into the park behind his house. After a few swings, it's like, yeah, we get it. He hit it a long way under artificial conditions.
This was actually more entertaining:
Putting young Andy Reid out there among little girls seems reckless and unwise in retrospect.
And that's a good metaphor for Berman, actually. For several years now he's been the oaf that ESPN has trotted out for no good reason other than he's big. Berman is in the final year of his contract, which ESPN said will not be renewed. Whether that means he'll limp into semi-retirement, or switch networks entirely, is still uncertain.
So I won't say that our long national nightmare is finally over, but there is certainly now that fervent hope.
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