By Patrick Imig
Cold Hard Football Facts' baron of boomer-bashing
If you stayed up late to watch the Chargers and Raiders, and had the volume up, you were smothered by the suffocating play-by-play of Chris Berman. This was the broadcasting equivalent of the '85 Bears defense and we, the pigskin-loving public, were Tony Eason and Steve Grogan at the Super Bowl.
Following the game on the field was excruciatingly difficult and equally painful. It didn't help that the Chargers and Raiders were playing on a baseball diamond, nor did the rusty performances of the Chargers' rushing attack and the Raiders discipline (can you be rusty if you've never been disciplined?).
But this isn't about the game. This is about too much Boomer.
I beg of you, ESPN, please: remove Chris Berman from all future NFL broadcasts.
Relieve him of his duties at golf's U.S. Open. Remove him from the Home Run Derby.
You'll save a lot of the joy that comes from viewing sports on television we would otherwise lose. He's not a play-by-play guy.
A play-by-play man doesn't yell "Look Out!" when a handful of Raiders blitz Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (yes, this really happened).
He's Chris Berman.
He's Chris Berman all the time. And that's the problem.
When he shows up to call events, he shows up as the host, Chris Berman. He doesn't accept the responsibility to broadcast the event, he accepts the responsibility to host the event. He accepts the false notion that viewers tune in to see him.
You can hear and see it on nights like Monday in Oakland.
It's not just calling Suzy Kolber "Suz" or Rachel Nichols "Rach" and it's not just having a slow response to the action on the field. It's not even the fact that he's the annoying uncle who does those quarter-behind-the-ear jokes to all the nephews. It's the accumulation of all things Berman.
And it's too much to handle.
Keep him in the studio for the NFL. Give him a few MLB bones here and there. But please, don't let him in the broadcast booth for Monday Night Football.
Even the Applebee's chef in the TV commercial says Berman is exhausting. (This leads to another point: several years ago he was a bombastic pitchman for Weight Watchers and now he's hawking Applebee's 2-for-$20s ... Reports that he's being paid in a lifetime supply of shrimp scampi are unconfirmed).
But back to the matter at hand: you, ESPN, need to save Chris Berman from himself. Giving the viewing public less "Boomer" will improve the viewer experience and increase Berman's approval rating.
He's going to do the nicknames and the back-back-back-back-back; we got it. But don't let him ruin a real NFL game.
This isn't MNF Live Hosted by Chris Berman.
This is the N-F-L which stands for not-for-long as far as attention to the game on the field when Berman is calling the action.
BTW: Berman has signed a contract extension that will keep him with his corporate fan club in Bristol from now until the end of time.