Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Last night, somewhere between the fifth and four hundred and fifth "BACK, BACK, BACK," I began to wonder when, exactly, Chris Berman decided that it was okay to be an asshole, that giving a shit became too much, that he was perfectly okay with his legacy being the high-pitched "WOOOP!" guy.

It's amazing, really. As unoriginal and repetitive as he is today, Chris Berman was once part of an ESPN SportsCenter crew that churned out fresh, new catchphrases on a daily basis. Even if you hated that sort of thing, you had to at least admire the effort that went into the craft. And now, here we are, almost twenty years later, and Chris Berman is still lazily reaching into his same old tired BAG, BAG, BAG of home run calls. When he wasn't employing his now-infamous "Triple-BACK" method of calling shots last night, his larynx was simply producing a series of noises, none of which ever formed a complete word or thought. Perhaps that's for the better.

You have to marvel at his laziness, though. Three hundred and sixty-four days. That's how long Chris Berman had to think of something—ANYTHING—new to say. It's not like "BACK, BACK, BACK" had to be retired, but over the course of a full calendar year, it'd be almost impossible to not accidentally think of a new catchphrase for something that happens at least once a night in a sport you get paid to talk about. But, nothing. Berman is basically telling you that since last July, he hasn't had a single original home run call enter his brain. And if by some miracle one did, he wasn't about to put down the ham sandwich in order to write it down.

I think Mitch Hedberg described Berman best when he joked, "Sometimes in the middle of the night, I think of something that's funny, then I go get a pen and I write it down. Or if the pen's too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain't funny."

Berman's the hipster of lazy. He was lazy before lazy was lazy.

For the sake of comparison, in a sport that's roughly a million times faster than baseball, where an exciting moment can happen in an instant, where the job of a play-by-play guy is infinitely more difficult, Randy Moller somehow managed to do this:

By comparison, Chris Berman spent three hours watching an event where nothing unexpected happened. Literally, the only thing he had to do was wait for someone to hit the ball really, really far. No drama. No surprise. Just home run after home run after home run after home run. And still…

Assuming you're someone who enjoys the Home Run Derby, there's probably nothing any broadcaster can say or do to make the event any more entertaining. So, placed in a situation that should take exactly zero effort on his part, this bloated walrus put forth negative effort.

If baseball were porn, Chris Berman would be the anti-boner. Berman at the Home Run Derby is exactly what it would be like to start watching a porn movie, only to realize that the girl in it has Down syndrome.

Seriously, I know it's been said before by many people, many times, but it deserves to be repeated: FUCK THIS GUY.

It's internet protocol to whine about Joe Buck, but at least Buck's monotone, gives-no-shits style stays the fuck out of the way. Berman, on the other hand—that super-sized, lazy, waste of sperm—takes his shtick, beats it off in front of you, then wipes it across your cheek. It's as if the WOOOP! Master thinks his "BACK, BACK, BACK" is some iconic call that will be revered by the masses when he's gone, rather than it being an all-out ear assault that causes normally sane people to want to stab him in the throat with a dull pencil.

Please, Chris Berman. Just go away. BACK, BACK, BACK to wherever the fuck you came from.

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