Chris Berman, who arrived at ESPN a month after the network launched in 1979, “will assume a new role for ESPN after the NFL season,” the sports network announced on Thursday.
The announcement continues, “Berman will continue to host ESPN’s ‘NFL PrimeTime’ highlights show from the field after the Super Bowl as well as the NFL Conference Championship games. He will also offer opinion and perspective on historical events in the NFL, including still appearing weekly on ‘Monday Night Countdown.’ In addition, he will handle play-by-play for ESPN Radio during the MLB Divisional Playoffs and participate in ESPN’s annual ESPYS Awards.The 2016-17 season is Berman’s 31st consecutive and final year as host of ‘Sunday NFL Countdown,’ more than double the previous record as the longest-running host of a weekly pro football studio show.”
Berman is quoted in the announcement saying, “The whole experience here has been a dream come true. When we started in 1979, I was just 24. Nobody knew if ESPN would make it, or, for that matter, if cable TV would make it. I certainly wasn’t sure I would make it, but I really didn’t care. We were too busy having a blast, talking sports with viewers who were just like us, even if it was during the wee hours of the morning. We got to band together here in Bristol, Connecticut, and put out a product of which we were all very proud.
“What I didn’t know I was signing up for was a lifetime of friendships and, I like to think, respect. Respect from those I have worked with and from those in sports I have covered, and respect from those viewers who welcomed us into their homes. That’s what hits me the most as I look back at these past 38 years – knowing that all of this happened while we were just having fun and trying to get it right.
“I’ve been lucky enough to spend almost two-thirds of my life at ESPN, and I am honored to have lent a small hand in laying the cornerstone for what has truly become a beacon in sports. I’m thrilled that this ride will continue, albeit differently. Today’s announcement allows me to fulfill perhaps my final professional goal – knowing that I will finish with the team I came in with.”
Here’s a five minute piece on Berman done by Lara Logan and ’60 Minutes on Showtime’ several years ago. We found it on YouTube: