Chris Berman's Top 25 Nicknames
I was saddened to hear of the death of ESPN's Chris Berman's wife in a car accident in Connecticut a few months ago.
Chris Berman changed the sports landscape when he joined ESPN a few months after the network launched in 1979.
The sports landscape in 1979 and well into the 1980’s was a very different place.
You had to wait until the 10:00 news on KTVU to get any scores, and as a kid I couldn't stay up that late.
So you would have to wait until the morning paper the next day and cross your fingers that they got the late west coast games in there.
Games were routinely tape delayed.
Wimbledon and French Open…tape delayed.
NBA playoffs, tape delayed. (Game 3 of the 1986 conference finals between the Rockets and Lakers was the last NBA playoff game ever showed tape delayed on CBS).
March Madness, tape delayed on CBS at 11:30 p.m.
Even the Miracle on Ice game was tape delayed.
ESPN and Berman came on the scene and all that changed.
Every big game was shown live, regardless of the time.
I got cable in 1988 and the thing I was most excited about was Chris Berman's nicknames on ESPN SportsCenter.
Berman semi-retired from ESPN this year. He will no longer do NFL Primetime, the NFL Draft, or the Home Run Derby (thankfully we won't have to hear his "back back back back" call).
But love him or hate him, Berman was the key figure in the key network that made things better for every sports fan.
For everyone that dislikes Chris Berman or ESPN for what they have become, just remember what it was like in 1979 and how much things in sports have changed for the better.
ESPN showed every match at Wimbledon live this year.
I got to watch my favorite tennis player Roger Federer win his 19th Major LIVE.
In 1980 NBC showed my then favorite player Bjorn Borg win Wimbledon in the greatest match ever in 5 sets over John McEnroe TAPE DELAYED.
I would have woke up early to watch the live match, but NBC deprived me and other tennis fans by showing the match tape delayed.
In fact NBC was showing Wimbledon and the French Open on tape delay up until a few years ago when ESPN bought out their rights.
And the Miracle on Ice game...well my Uncle told me the result of the game before ABC showed it tape delayed many hours later.
So much for that.
Regardless of how annoying ESPN can be with all the talking heads and shouting sports opinions and 7 man NFL pre-game shows laughing at their own jokes, I will always remember what it was like in 1979 and be grateful for that.
So in tribute to the Berman family during this difficult time in dealing with their loss, here are the Web Site Guy's Top 25 Chris Berman nicknames.
Chris Berman, one of my favorite sports broadcasters of all time.
He had the worst comb over of any sports broadcaster ever.
But he did the best football highlights.
He made the NFL Draft an event.
He had the best catch phrases.
He was the best SportsCenter anchor.
He loved gambling.
And he was a true original.
Nobody circled the wagons like Chris Berman.
25. AJ “Touchy” Feely
24. Delino “Decoconut” Deshields
23. “Hey! You! Get Off Of” Mike Cloud
22. Greg “The Wrath Of” Zahn
21. “Ground Control To” David Toms
20. Bert “Be Home” Blyleven
19. Bernard “Innocent Until Proven” Gilkey
18. Brook Jacoby “Wan Kanobi”
17. John “I Am Not A” Kruk
16. Chuck “New Kids On” Knoblauch
15. Eric “Sleeping With” Bienemy
14. Todd “Snap Crackle” VanPopple
13. Rene “La Kook” Arocha
12. Joey “Cask of” Amalfatano
11. Mike “Enough” Aldrete
10. Bruce “Two Minutes For” Ruffin
9. Jim “Saturday Night” LeFebvre
8. Sean “Personal” Landeta
7. Joe “Actual Retail” Price
6. Andre “Bad Moon” Rison
5. Gary Sheffield “Of Dreams”
4. Mike “Lego My” Gallego
3. Oddibe “Young Again” McDowell
2. Lance “You Sunk My” Blankenship
1. John “Tonight, Let It Be” Lowenstein