Sportscaster Chris Berman Receives Walk of Fame Star
By STEVEN HERBERT, City News Service
HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – Sportscaster Chris Berman received the 2,409th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today, honoring his more than 30 years with ESPN.
“I can only hope that the previous 2,408 have had as much fun getting here as I have,'' Berman said at the conclusion of the late-morning ceremony on Hollywood Boulevard, near Vine Street.
Berman early noted off some of the famed entertainers his star is near — Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson, Kirk Douglas, Gary Cooper, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr., Mary Pickford and Katharine Hepburn.
“If these are my neighbors, what am I doing here?'' Berman said.
Berman said his star represents the efforts of his colleagues at ESPN, some of whom were present at the ceremony, including Professional Football Hall of Fame member Steve Young, Keyshawn Johnson and John Saunders.
“ESPN is truly one of the great success stories company-wise in the history of our country,'' said Berman, who joined ESPN in October 1979, less than a month after the all-sports cable channel began broadcasting.
“Thirty years ago we were just a pipe dream. Cable TV 1979, 1980, 1981 what the hell is that? Why would I pay 20 bucks a month for 36 channels? I already get six for free. I can't watch 36 channels at once.''
Tom Jackson, Berman's colleague on “Sunday NFL Countdown,'' called Berman “the face of ESPN for three decades.''
“The successes that we have had are all tied to Boom,'' said Jackson, using a shortened version of Berman's nickname Boomer.
Jackson said one of his favorite Berman moments came in 1995 when he was the play-by-play announcer on the game when Cal Ripken Jr. set Major League Baseball's consecutive games record.
“For 24 minutes, he didn't speak,'' Jackson said.
Berman also hosts “Monday Night Countdown''; the “Monday Night Football'' halftime show; the U.S. Open golf coverage, Major League Baseball's Home Run Derby, anchors the NFL draft coverage, and is a Major League Baseball play-by-play announcer.
Berman became the first cable sportscaster to be named National Sportscaster of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. He received the award five additional times, most recently in 2001.
“He is the best highlights man who ever lived,'' Jackson said. “I know that because I am with him when he does it and I've been with him for almost 25 years watching him do it.''
Berman is also known for the offbeat nicknames he has bestowed on more than 1,000 Major League Baseball players while narrating highlights. He has said his personal favorites include Roberto “Remember the'' Alomar; Bert “Be Home'' Blyleven, Jim “Two Silhouettes On'' Deshaies; and Fred “Crime Dog'' McGriff.
ESPN'S CHRIS BERMAN HONORED WITH 2,409TH STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME
Guest speakers: John Skipper, Executive Vice President, ESPN and Tom Jackson, NFL Analyst, ESPN
2,409th 6259 Hollywood Boulevard in front of Dillon's
on Monday, May 24, 2010