After numerous layoffs and program restructuring during the course of the last 12 months, the face of ESPN and their NFL coverage since 1987, Chris Berman, was left without a role. This past weekend, however, ESPN announced Chris Berman will return for a Sunday night edition of NFL PrimeTime following the Conference Championship games this weekend.
“Just mentioned on @ESPNNFL: Chris Berman and [Tom Jackson] will reunite on NFL PrimeTime [with Keyshawn Johnson] after the Conference Championship games next Sunday,” tweeted Bill Hofheimer, Senior Director of Communications for ESPN.
Still employed by ESPN, Boomer provided play-by-play for the early round of the Major League Baseball Playoffs on ESPN Radio, but needed to adjust to having so much free time in the fall. Berman was invited by friends to their annual golf trip in Ireland near the beginning of the NFL season.
“They said, ‘Are you interested?'” Berman said in a September interview with NFL.com. “I said, ‘I can’t even compute the question. I worked 40 Septembers in a row. I don’t even know what you’re asking.’ It’s really not about me dealing with withdrawal. It’s just a coincidence that it was the first Sunday of the season.”
As Hofheimer tweeted, Berman will be joined by longtime ESPN partner Tom Jackson who retired from ESPN in 2016. Boomer and Jackson were on NFL PrimeTime from 1987-2005 as well as ESPN pregame shows, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown until 2016.
Keyshawn Johnson, who hosts a morning radio show on ESPN Los Angeles, will also be a part of Sunday night’s NFL PrimeTime. Johnson joined ESPN in 2007 and left Sunday NFL Countdown in 2016.
No word as to whether or not the Championship Sunday edition of NFL Primetime could be a precursor to more NFL coverage from Berman and Jackson in the two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.
Joe Buck: ESPN Is Letting Us Set Tone For Monday Night Football
“It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
While Joe Buck and Troy Aikman will be calling football games on Monday nights for ESPN instead of Sunday afternoons for FOX this year, fans shouldn’t expect the broadcasts to be that much different, if at all, than what they’ve been used to over the last 20 years.
Buck was recently a guest on the Green Light with Chris Long podcast and said that ESPN knows that he and Aikman have to be comfortable in order for Monday Night Football to be a success.
“I know we are in the honeymoon phase. I’m not dumb. That stuff wears off after a while. They are like ‘however you guys have always done a game, that’s the way we want you to do a game whether it’s with regard to meetings vs. conference calls or when you guys show up, how you like the booth set up. However you want it, we are going to do it your way’ and that’s to their credit. It wasn’t well, you are at ESPN, you have to figure out how we do it.”
Buck and Aikman are obviously already very familiar with each other. Buck said that it will be important not to take that for granted or second guess what they already know.
“I think the one thing Troy and I have to avoid is trying to be different than we’ve been. They hired us based on what we’ve done and who we are and how we relate to each other and the way we see a game,” said Buck.
Mike Tirico, Tom Brady, Manningcast Win Sports Emmys
The annual Sports Emmys were handed out on Tuesday night, and some usual names and new names ended up taking home hardware.
Among the usual names were NBC’s Mike Tirico, who won for Outstanding Personality/Studio Host, and soon-to-be Sunday Night Football broadcast colleague Cris Collinsworth, who was named Outstanding Personality/Sports Event Analyst.
But among the new names as Sports Emmy winners include Tom Brady and both Eli and Peyton Manning.
Brady’s Man in the Arena saga won Outstanding Documentary Series, while the Mannings were rewarded for their work on the Monday Night Football Manningcast, which won Outstanding Live Series.
Here’s a rundown of some of the key Sports Emmy winners:
Here is a full list of winners and nominees for the 2022 ceremony.
Joe Buck Says He Won’t Miss World Series
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game.”
Among the bigger chain reactions set off by Joe Buck leaving FOX for ESPN was the sudden vacancy in FOX’s main MLB broadcast booth.
The 2022 World Series will mark the first time since 1995 that Buck will not be on the microphone.
Speaking to Chris Long on his podcast Green Light, Buck hopes to be in a more exotic location watching World Series games this fall.
“I would like to be in Cabo San Lucas with a margarita in my hand and a half-smoked cigar watching Game 7 of the World Series,” Buck said. “Cheering on Joe Davis and John Smoltz, and Ken Rosenthal, and Tom Verducci, and Pete Macheska and Matt Gangl and right on down the line.”
Buck added he’ll take pleasure in turning the broadcast off if it’s Game 7 and there’s an insurmountable lead. But the broadcasting legend said even on a bigger scale, not calling any baseball games at all this season, let alone the World Series, is a bit surreal after covering the sport for so long.
“This is the first time since I was 18-years-old, and I’m 53, that I’m not doing a baseball game,” he said. “And that’s really weird to me, but I walk away really proud of what I and we did.”
He added that he will not miss the opportunity, because he does not feel like he will “leave any unfinished business” in FOX’s MLB booth.
Buck further praised his FOX colleagues and said it was time for a change. He knows Joe Davis will thrive in the opportunity.