By John Strege
Chris Berman was never going to go quietly, of course, but the noise for which ESPN’s bombastic Boomer was responsible in his U.S. Open farewell on Friday was coming not from him, but at him.
Twitter, whatever one’s opinion of the social medium, has given the public an opportunity to talk back, and on the subject of Berman it countered in a loud unified voice that stated in the strongest possible terms that he has been an earsore and would not be missed on the golf beat.
You can see for yourself here, though be advised that some of the language is not acceptable in polite company.
Here, meanwhile, is a sampling of the somewhat more muted responses to Berman working the Open:
Rejoice! Today is Chris Berman's last day doing the US Open!— Eddie Bajek (@ebajek85) June 13, 2014
@wingoz Things none of us will miss: Chris Berman doing golf.— Real Matt Cassell (@MatthewCassell1) June 13, 2014
Chris Berman covering golf is a prime example of everything that's wrong in this world.— J Moore (@BrOhioGate) June 13, 2014
Berman has worked 29 consecutive U.S. Opens for ESPN, which no longer will participate in Open telecasts as Fox Sports takes over in 2015. His merits as a broadcaster of other sports notwithstanding, Berman never seemed to have endeared himself to viewers of golf.
“Quite simply, Berman and his schtick are an ill-fit for golf,” Ed Sherman, author of the Sherman Report and a respected and long-time observer of sports media, wrote. “The gravelly-voice, the nicknames, forced phrases, and everything else are incredibly irritating for golf viewers who were weaned on the elegant style of Jim McKay.”
Berman, as though on cue, gave us one last “ground control to David Toms” during Friday’s telecast, a groaner that he had exceeded earlier. “Phil Mickelson on the putting green with that new claw approach,” he said, with the camera on Mickelson on the putting green using a conventional reverse-overlap putting grip.
At the end of Friday's broadcast, Berman, on behalf of ESPN, bid adieu to the U.S. Open. He said in part: “Our live coverage is about to end. I’ll admit we’re sad. We’re sad because we love the event and we’re sad because we loved bringing the event to you Frankly it’s been one of the best rides in the history of this network. Thanks for sharing it all with us.”
Golf, meanwhile, may have heard the last of him, but it probably hasn’t seen the last of him. Berman, a regular participant in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in recent years, likely will continue to play in the tournament.
(Getty Images photo)