The Seven Stages Of Chris Berman Twitter Hate
It's indisputable that America loves its football.
Ow, my freakin' ears.
The boffo television ratings, the exploding rights fees for broadcasts, the jam packed stadiums every Saturday and Sunday, we just can't get enough. Our appetite for football is insatiable.
On the first Monday of every NFL season, the league finds it in their heart to give us something we don't get any other Monday -- two NFL games. Given the sport's popularity, I've always wondered why ESPN and the league don't do this at least a couple more times during the regular season. The demand has to be there, right?
So I put it to my listening audience on Tuesday afternoon: "Should the NFL go with weekly, or at least semi-regular, Monday night doubleheaders?" The answer I got back spoke volumes on one particular topic, and it wasn't football.
The nearly universal answer was "Not if we have to endure three hours of Chris Berman on play-by-play."
So offensive to the senses are the gravely, tone deaf play by play chops (or lack thereof) of the longtime ESPN mainstay (some would say ESPN overstay) that he actually smothered America's love for football.
It was the second game Monday night, the one between the Texans and the Chargers, which featured Berman's play by play description, the verbal equivalent of battery acid in the face. While the best play by play guys help conduct the story of the game and set up their color analyst to showcase his knowledge and enlighten the viewer, Berman's commentary is just a sea of metaphorical vomit, a verbal diarrhea explosion of outdated rock and roll references, tired middle names, and hyperbolic distance references employing surrounding suburb names (Randy Bullock has leg strength that can reach Escondido, Trent!).
The whole experience is a ruthless siege upon everyone's auditory sense, to the extent that by the time the second half of the game rolls around, your ears are bleeding so badly, you need to tie a tourniquet around your neck to stop the damage, and bonus, perhaps you might kill yourself, sparing you the throbbing pain of another quarter of "HE.... COULD ....GO ....ALL ....THE ....WAY ...."
Why ESPN continues to trot him out there for events like this, baseball play by play, and the least explicable of all, golf tournaments, is beyond me. Berman's commentary is so woefully out of touch with anything resembling the twenty first century that he is either the least self-aware personality in all of sports media, or the greatest troll on sports television.
It's one or the other with no in between.
I found out Monday night where most of you stand on this topic.
It started with a text from my buddy Andrew, which I've attached to a tweet that I subsequently sent to all of you that follow me on Twitter as the game was going on:
Just got this text from my buddy Andrew. How bad is it? Tweets encouraged.. pic.twitter.com/CIVb4GlPq5— Sean Pendergast (@SeanCablinasian) September 10, 2013
What followed was a Twitter wave of hate and frustration that should be cut, pasted, and turned into a PDF file that can be printed a thousand times and wallpapered all over the office of every decision maker at ESPN. This is just my small corner of the social media universe, but it echoes the opinion of every sane human being I've interacted with over the last few years, and it is this:
Chris Berman is hated.
And it's not just a latent, simmering hate like you would have for static cling or Ashton Kutcher. This is an acute loathing, like some Kathie Lee Gifford type shit.
So in an effort to try to make the world a better place, here are the tweets encapsulating the opinion of my constituency of the internet, my 0.0000001% of the web universe. The Pendergast Precinct has spoken, and it's not good for Mr. Berman.