Since SportsbyBrooks tweeted last week that Chris Berman would call the opening week Monday Night Football late doubleheader game, we’ve been waiting for confirmation. Instead of receiving a press release, ESPN has chosen to confirm this through its public relations website, Front Row.
Over the last few years, Berman has been polarizing. His performances on the U.S. Open and All-Star Home Run Derby have been heavily criticized on social media sites. Now with Berman going to call two games, a preseason game between Arizona and Tennessee on August 23 and then the last game on Week 1 of the 2012 regular season, San Diego-Oakland at 10:15 p.m., Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Sulia and any other site within reach of fans could explode.
Berman will be teamed with Trent Dilfer who has been the analyst for the late Week 1 doubleheader game since 2010, paired with Brad Nessler. But with Nessler on NFL Network for 13 weeks, ESPN has chosen to go with the overbearing Berman for this year. If people thought the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic experience was bad from 2007 through 2009, they had better be ready for 2012′s edition of the late night train wreck.
So from ESPN Front Row, here’s a listing of the announcers for the Week 1 Monday Night Football late game since the doubleheaders began in 2006.
ESPN’s Season-Opening MNF Doubleheader Commentator Teams (2006-present):
|2006||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Brad Nessler, Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil|
|2007||Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka|
|2008||Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders||Greenberg, Golic and Ditka|
|2009||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Greenberg, Golic and Steve Young|
|2010||San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs||Nessler and Trent Dilfer|
|2011||Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos||Nessler and Dilfer|
|2012||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Chris Berman and Dilfer|
If it were up to me, I’d use one of ESPN’s college football primetime teams. Why not have Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews do the late night game? Brent has an NFL background from his days at CBS and also hosted Monday Night Football for a year. Kirk has seen many of the players before. And Brent could give us a betting line reference. It would be so fun.
But as I get back to reality and realize Chris Berman will call the game, I will be watching only for the potential train wreck value. I know my friends at ESPN PR won’t like that, but they have to know how polarizing Berman can be.
UPDATE, 10:18 a.m.: Just as I hit “Publish”, ESPN comes through with the press release. Here it is.
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 will also call the Arizona Cardinals-Tennessee Titans MNF preseason 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.”
That will be it.