Front & Center: Chris Berman

ESPN's Chris Berman

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Six-time National Sportscaster of the Year Chris Berman has been the face of ESPN’s NFL coverage for nearly three decades.

The 2012 season will be Berman’s 28th as host of Sunday NFL Countdown. He’s also hosted ESPN’s NFL Draft and Super Bowl week coverage and he continues to emcee the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio.

In fact, Berman himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame as the Pete Rozelle Radio-TV Award recipient in 2010.

But this coming NFL season, Berman will try something he’s never done before — call an NFL game.

He and analyst Trent Dilfer have been assigned to the booth for the San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders game as part of ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 10.

Berman will host the three-hour Countdown in Bristol on the opening NFL Sunday.

After the show, he’ll fly cross country for this AFC West rivalry game the next night (10:15 p.m. ET). The West Coast game will follow the Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens opener, which will be called by the regular MNF team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden (7 p.m.).

In preparation for the assignment, Berman and Dilfer also will call the Arizona Cardinals-Tennessee Titans MNFpreseason game on Aug. 23 (8 p.m.).

“I have worked with Boom for four years now and I’ve never been around someone who loves the NFL more than him,” said Dilfer. “I firmly believe that his passion and mine for the game of football will translate to the audience.”

In the podcast above, Berman discusses this unique and unexpected opportunity, some of the play-by-play voices he admires and his early thoughts on the Chargers-Raiders contest.

ESPN’s Season-Opening MNF Doubleheader Commentator Teams (2006-present):

YearGame ESPN Commentators
2006San Diego Chargers at Oakland RaidersBrad Nessler, Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil
2007Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ersMike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka
2008Denver Broncos at Oakland RaidersGreenberg, Golic and Ditka
2009San Diego Chargers at Oakland RaidersGreenberg, Golic and Steve Young
2010San Diego Chargers at Kansas City ChiefsNessler and Trent Dilfer
2011Oakland Raiders at Denver BroncosNessler and Dilfer
2012San Diego Chargers at Oakland RaidersChris Berman and Dilfer
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  • Angela Andrews

    Chris Berman has always been one of my favorites!

    The timber in his voice makes him easy to listen too. He has experience, poise and finese that gives him the know how of when to input his thoughts and when to wait for his moment to speak. He is polite and doesn’t engage in some of the “let’s see who can talk loudest over the other guy” matches that breakout from time to time during pre-game and halftime. He does however posess the unique ability to bring these competive guys back down to earth and get them back on track and back in order again so as to keep the original or next topic of conversation moving .

    He appears to be very knowledgable about the team’s coaching staff and players. Yet while stating facts regarding the particular team he is commenting on, he is also frank about the coaching staff and highlighted players, and typically his commentary about such is dead on. I find it impressive he keeps a positive attitude at game time hoping the best for both teams regardless.

    On camera Chris seems not only highly intellegent in football stats and talk, but he seems to really care about the players and the families of those who have lost their ability to play via injury on or off the field. He exudes compassion for those who have found themselves in trouble off the field or who have lost their lives. He sends sincere condolences to their families, not hesitating to say our prayers are with you (no matter how politocally incorrect that may be.)

    Mr Berman appears to be an all around, upright guy and his love for people, players and the game will make him a great MNF sportscaster.

    I watch football every night that it is on, not college football but pro football! I am however known as a Monday night football girl, and if I miss the kick off, the game is ruined for me! I want to see every second, every hit, flag, red challenge flag, every good and bad call, every great play and every missed block…all of it!!!

    My family and friends know that I turn my cell phone off on Monday night and that they are not to call, text, or “pop in for a visit” on Monday Nights during football season. With Chris Berman in place I am even more excited for football season to start!

    Thanks for reading my comment. Shout out to Mr. Berman for joining Monday Night Football

    Thanks again,

    Angi Andrews
    Angi.andrews@facebook.com
    Angi.andrews@live.com

  • E Smith

    I go way ‘back,back,back’ with Boomer at ESPN; he not only is the funniest dude i have ever met-he is also the most generous; Boomer was so happy about the ESPN ‘Blue Lunch’ team softball reunion picnic i organized a few years back that he sent my wife and i a card with a hand-written thanks you and dinner gift certicate at The Old Mill in Southington…Happy to hear LA BOOM! is getting chance to call an NFL game w Trent…Eric Smith