Christopher ("Boomer") James Berman (born May 10, 1955 in Greenwich, Connecticut) is an American sportscaster. He anchors SportsCenter, Monday Night Countdown, Sunday NFL Countdown, Baseball Tonight, U.S. Open golf, the Stanley Cup Finals and other programming on ESPN and ABC Sports.
Early life and education
Berman was raised in Cheshire, Connecticut
. He attended the Hackley School
and Brown University
and majored in History, from which he graduated in 1977.
In 1970 Chris was confirmed at Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester.
He then moved to WNVR (Waterbury, CT). At WNVR he worked with several well known names in broadcasting. The Program Director was Joe Mcoy. McCoy worked at WNBC-AM & WCBS-FM. Other jocks on WNVR included Dave Feda (WICC & WABC-AM fame) and Sebastian (WCCC in Hartford fame). Chris would do traffic reports from a car. The traffic in Waterbury is about the same everyday. He got hired at Hartford's WVIT-TV to do weekend sports at $23 per shift. He joined ESPN in 1979 a month after its founding and has been with the network since. Along with Bob Ley
, he is one of ESPN's longest-tenured employees. Berman, who is generally known to be heavy-set
, often jokes that he now uses his original ESPN jacket from 1979 when he was much skinnier as a dish rag
He is well known for his various catch-phrases and player nicknames. His rendition of, "He could...go...all...the...way!" is borrowed from Howard Cosell while his, "Back-back-back-back" comes from Red Barber. Some of his well-known nicknames include: The "Well Dressed" Amani Toomer, Steve (Rainbow) Trout, Kevin (Smallmouth) Bass, Dwight (Johnny B.) Gooden, Tom (Leave it to) Seaver, Curtis "My Favorite" Martin, Mike "You're in Good Hands with" Alstott, Bert "Be Home" Blyleven, Eric "Sleeping with" Bienemy, Kyle "I shoulda been a bowler" Boller, Joseph "Live and Let" Addai, Ben "Winter" Coates, Ricky Proehl "Shampoo", Jake "daylight come and you gotta" Delhomme, Andre "Bad Moon" Rison, Albert "Winnie the" Pujols, Mark "Yellow Rose of" Teixeira, Jason "You Can't Always Get What" Avant, Rafael "Emerson, Lake and" Palmeiro, John "All in all it's just another brick in the" Vanderwal, and Danny "Erie" Kanell. Berman also goes by his alter ego, "The Swami," when making prognostications on Sunday NFL Countdown. He is the new host of Monday Night Countdown, replacing previous host Stuart Scott. In 1988 and 1989, he hosted ESPN's first game show, Boardwalk and Baseball's Super Bowl of Sports Trivia which was taped at the now-defunct Boardwalk and Baseball amusement park in Orlando, Florida, hence the name.
In February 2008, videos of Berman on the ABC Monday Night Football
set appeared on the video sharing site YouTube
. The videos, filmed in 2000
, when Berman anchored the MNF
halftime show, depicted Berman using off-color language and flirting with a female member of the broadcast crew during commercial breaks. Berman acknowledged the authenticity of the videos, but commented, "Do I wish I didn't say a few things nine years ago? Yes. But if that's the worst thing I ever did, I can live with it."
In other media
- Berman lent his voice to the videogame ESPN NFL 2K5 and hosts the pregame show. As a hidden feature, Berman appears as a free agent quarterback in season mode, and also has his own team in the game, the Bristol Swamis, named after Bristol, Connecticut, where ESPN headquarters are located and his nickname, "the Swami."
- Berman appeared in the remake of The Longest Yard with Adam Sandler in 2005. He played himself as the play-by-play announcer of the prison football game. Berman also appeared as himself in Necessary Roughness in 1991, Little Big League in 1994, and Eddie and Kingpin in 1996, as well as the 1995 Hootie and the Blowfish video for the single, "Only Wanna Be With You."
- Berman has cameoed on various episodes of Even Stevens as a SportsCenter anchor.
- During a segment of the "Chase the Cheese" event on an episode of Sesame Street, Berman voiced the sports announcer.
- Berman had a cameo appearance in the MTV animated series Clone High. He, along with Dan Patrick provided commentary for the school's basketball game until he was eaten at the end of the episode by the rival school's mascot.
- Berman appears in Nutrisystem commercials with Don Shula, Dan Marino, and Mike Golic using some of his trademark phrases and nicknames who show how much weight they lost.
Berman and his family live in Cheshire, Connecticut
He is an avid fan of the Buffalo Bills
. He usually states in support "No one circles the wagons... like the Buffalo Bills".