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Chris Berman to Quit ESPN

July 7, 2013


BRISTOL, CT — Long time ESPN sports anchor, Chris Berman, announced this week that he will be leaving his post of 34 years in order to devote all his time to various thoughts and prayers. This decision comes in the wake of a long list of recent tragedies, from Hurricane Sandy to Sandy Hook, from the tornadoes in Oklahoma to the quick exit from the NBA playoffs by the Oklahoma Thunder. Berman offered his thoughts and prayers to all the people in the regions affected by these atrocities.

Berman is celebrated — in sports bars and in the living rooms of lonely men across America — for giving funny nicknames to players. The list includes Vince Workman “My Way Back To You, Babe,” and Andre “Bad Moon” Risen. Now he wants to give only thoughts and prayers to those struck by tragedy, like Jane Austin “Powers” (a Beaumont, Texas slumlord who lost three rat-trap tenements in Katrina), and Joseph “Quit” Stalin (the father of the gardener at the home of the person who cuts the hair, at a dirt cheap price, of the lady known to cast horoscopes for a certain Yankees fan who had heard about the destruction of the Twin Towers from a friend who heard it from another friend).

Berman has enjoyed the reputation as a garrulous personality, bringing to NFL Primetime and Baseball Tonight wit, humor and a receding hairline that has extended the over/under of ten years to twenty-five years so long as one hair holds its position in the follicle trenches. His own nickname is “Boomer,” which various Berman-ites have modified to “Boomer-ang.” His versatility is such that he can switch gears, in an instant, from athletic ebullience to grave utterance at news of an untimely death or a mitotic cell run amok on its road to cancer and back to a rousing account of a player who “could…go…all the way!” Berman’s voice will assume all the solemn empathy of an undertaker trained by Oprah when mentioning the first or second Gulf Wars, or the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, or Katrina, or Emmitt Smith’s sick dog, and then he will end such postmortem excursions by offering his “thoughts and prayers” to all those involved in the tragedy of the moment. Suffice it to say, the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center led to Berman to utter those three words, “thoughts and prayers,” so many times that his agent suggested he trademark the phrase.

During the last five years, Berman has been spending more and more time with his thoughts and prayers. In the old days, the words “thoughts and prayers” were just something the kinetic sports anchor said as a prelude to that day’s Giants-Eagles game, or as a way to demonstrate his vocal range in the middle of calling a baseball game between the Mariners and the Angels – that is, they were just words to fill airtime.

All that began to change when, on a certain slow sports news day during the NBA playoffs, Boomer opened up a dictionary and looked up “thoughts,” then “prayers.” He realized that to really offer his thoughts and prayers, he would actually have to, one, focus all his mental strength imagining a widowed Japanese tsunami victim rending her garments in grief, and, two, stress out his bad knees praying fervently into the night that the widow in question find a new husband, or at least a sugar daddy.

Toward the end of the 2012-13 NFL season, Berman’s longtime co-host and friend, Tom Jackson, began receiving calls in the middle of the night. It would be Berman asking Jackson, “What are you thinking about?” “I’m not thinking about anything except sleeping. Why?” “Because Tommy “Stonewall” Jackson, today we offered our thoughts and prayers to our soldiers in Afghanistan. Both of us. I’m holding up my end over here, thinking and praying, thinking and praying. What about you?” What Berman did not know was that earlier when he had lowered his head toward the camera and intoned the promise of thoughts and prayers, Jackson was preoccupied watching a side monitor of the Dallas Cheerleaders revealing flat stomachs topped off by silicone-enhanced breasts. In fact, those images had been lulling him to sleep at the time of Boomer’s call.

Other associates, like Steve “Forever” Young and Mike “What a” Dikta, had noticed Boomer often muttering to himself, as if in prayer, with a lot of thoughts thrown in for good measure. His bosses began to question his commitment to announcing sports and coining funny nicknames.

Sources within the network say that Boomer saw the writing on the wall, the Wailing Wall. He thought and prayed on whether it was right to continue shouting out “Rumbling! Tumbling! Stumbling!” or “Back, back, back,” when there was so much tragedy in the world that demanded his intervention.

His post-sports casting plan is to sit atop Mount McKinley for the next decade to allow his various thoughts and prayers to rain down upon the suffering masses.

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  1. I can respect almost any decision Chris Berman makes regarding his career…except one. I am so disappointed about you putting Ray Lewis on Countdown that I am ready to quit watching after about 25 (?) years of joyful watching. I’m one of those who can’t forgive him, and his gorilla stomping rut rage is his only legacy. He would have learned more about leadership if he had served in the military.

  2. Iva Biggin permalink

    When he’s going to leave already? Arrogant POS.

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