About This Greatest Highlight Nonsense

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I wrote something on Chris Berman's Greatest Highlight over at (the) Sporting News, and I wanted to share some of my thoughts here. When doing the massive amounts of research for the piece (going to Wikipedia) I came across a staggering number. There are 50 different Sports Center segments currently in play. 50! That number just blows my mind.

The newest gimmick is just one in a long line of pointless and inane wastes of time. Via TSB....

It's not that the concept is stale or that similar segments have been done before (see: Best Damn Sports Show's countdown specials) or that Berman is hosting the segment. No, the worst part is that ESPN is essentially taking clips that never originally aired on SportsCenter and claiming them for their own by adding the uber-annoying Berman yelling "back, back, back ... gone" over the top of them.

Consider the clip above. Both of those events took place before SportsCenter's inception in 1979. For the first few years of the show, they didn't even show highlights, it was just sports commentary. Now I know it's taboo to pick on ESPN these days, but I really find it hard when they try to past nonsense like this off as a segment.
Quoting yourself is the new hotness if you didn't know, and I couldn't agree with myself more. The fact that Berman is basically just doing voice overs for highlights that go back as far as 1932 just rubs me the wrong way.

If you missed the segment you can check the video out over at The Sporting Blog.

ESPN's Gimmicks Just Keep Getting Worse (Sporting News)
Chris Berman To Host New ESPN Series, Ruin The Best Highlights Ever (Awful Announcing)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 11:00 AM

19 Comments:

i caught it last night with hank aarons record breaking home run and i thought it was going to be the real call but it was berman doing it. it was terrible and frankly i think it cheapens the shit out of it. traditionally you shut the fuck up and listen to the original call. horrible.

Mike Georger said...
Feb 12, 2008, 11:27:00 AM  

i thought you dropped the "T" in "TSB"?

Or are you the Sons of Iraq now? All these name changes are killing me.

When are these videos getting Berman fired, or are they keeping him on long enough to do a "Greatest Berman Off Air You Tube Video" bracket?

Paterno Lives! said...
Feb 12, 2008, 11:32:00 AM  

I find it was really tacky to just have someone do a voiceover instead of the actual broadcast.

But after watching the Boomer vids, maybe he went on a tear.

ssreporters said...
Feb 12, 2008, 11:49:00 AM  

Paterno- It's technically Sporting News and The Sporting Blog. It's confusing I know. I always like the The but they decided to drop it.

SS- Tacky is definitely the word to describe it.

Feb 12, 2008, 11:52:00 AM  

I know, I find it tacky that ESPN was too lazy to send announcers to the basketball tournament in Las Vegas.

I would've loved to hear Dick Stockton's call on the Fisk homer.....as soon as I heard Boomer continue it, I turned off the TV.

ssreporters said...
Feb 12, 2008, 12:01:00 PM  

When I heard Berman doing Hank's #715 it made me long for Joe Buck's monotone David Tyree grab. Wow, at least buck's sucky call was actually during the game!

Jim said...
Feb 12, 2008, 12:16:00 PM  

I believe the "The" was dropped from "The Sporting News" about two decades ago.

(Granted, I didn't know either until I started working there three months ago.)

Chris Mottram said...
Feb 12, 2008, 12:28:00 PM  

I was just talking to folks about this... Saw Tiger's chip-in from the Masters and was stunned by this. Especially given the context of these leaked videos, having Berman do his terrible schtick over the top of what I recall being an excellent job of announcing originally... Galling.

Soul Glo said...
Feb 12, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

Its been said, but I need to say it for my own sanity, that the arrogance that not only Berman is showing, but ESPN is allowing is appalling.

I saw the first head-to-head, Flutie's hail mary against Tiger's crazy chip. Now there is no question the hail mary was better, but I was literally ashamed as a (small-time) broadcaster myself at Berman's call. It was pathetic and absolutely took a ton away from the play itself.

This whole concept is terrible, done by one of the worst announcers ESPN is currently imploring. The only time that Berman seems to have any sense of use to me is on The Blitz with him and Tom Jackson recapping action. He sucks in studio, he sucks in the booth, and he sucks at having hair.

Good day to you sir.

I said good day!

Mez said...
Feb 12, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

While flipping channels the other night, I ran into this awful bit and Berman's dated shtick. I just rolled my eyes, and kept flipping.

The ESPN mothership continues to spew nothing but utter crap. BS like this "Greatest Highlight" crapola has caused me to stop watching Sportscenter altogether. I don't miss it one bit.

My only question is, who's actually watching this tripe?

Big Al said...
Feb 12, 2008, 1:02:00 PM  

I wondered if i was the only person who hated this whole concept: the fact that ESPN is always trying the "which one is best over all the others" concept, or that Berman is hosting and more importantly, calling these moments. The BEST part of these moments, and THE main reason they are these moments, is that most of us can recall the highlights as they were WHEN WE SAW THEM! I don't think I've ever seen Hank's #715 call without immediately waiting to hear Curt Gowdy's call of it. When i heard that idot Berman's voice last night, it just ruined it...

jimisms said...
Feb 12, 2008, 2:11:00 PM  

To me, this is just ESPN's convenient excuse to not show highlights of 10 NHL games over the next month.

Chris said...
Feb 12, 2008, 3:47:00 PM  

@ chris, funny but true...the NHL left ESPN when the Whalers left Hartford.

GMoney said...
Feb 12, 2008, 3:55:00 PM  

The ass hat just did the voice over on the Cal-Stanford play.
Um, I'll take Joe Starkey.

MileHigh said...
Feb 12, 2008, 6:27:00 PM  

The BEST part of these moments, and THE main reason they are these moments, is that most of us can recall the highlights as they were WHEN WE SAW THEM!

Something that a lot of people don't seem to get. I understand the rights fees, but it still depresses me that whenever I see highlights of NFL games, old and new, I don't hear the call that the vast majority of people heard. One of the greatest moments in Seattle sports history is Edgar Martinez's double that put the Mariners in the 1995 ALCS (and may have kept them in Seattle); I almost always hear it replayed with the local radio announcers going all Gus Johnson rather than Brent Musberger's call that most people would have actually heard at the time.

Morgan Wick said...
Feb 12, 2008, 8:38:00 PM  

I can't wait to hear Berman's interpretation of Gibson's homer in the 88 series: "I don't believe that I just saw that ball go back-back-back-back-back".

Or the 86 Series: "A little roller up along first. WHOOOOP! It's behind the bag. It gets through Buckner".


The least Berman could do is color it up like on his You Tube videos. 1980 Olympic Hockey Team: "Do you believe in F'n Miracles?".

It's like stumbling into a sports history karaoke bar in hell. Please make the bad man stop.

Mal said...
Feb 12, 2008, 10:25:00 PM  

The concept: Replay the greatest sports moments with a narrative voice over by The Sweaty Swami. Does ESPN really need to keep this clown around bad enough to create a vehicle like this just for him? Berman must have some Grade A dirt on somebody at ESPN .

Anonymous said...
Feb 12, 2008, 11:36:00 PM  

Just add one to the unanimous voice of the entire SPORTSNATION (No, not ESPN's, but the real Sports Nation, of actual people who don't succomb to ESPN's crap) but what makes these highlights are the calls that go with them. God, I am DREADING Berman's take on the Miracle on Ice, especially since we know how he feels about Al Michaels. Leave it to ESPN to continue to bastardize everything we ever loved about sports. I remember when I HAD to watch SportsCenter, back when it was worth watching. All of these "Who's Now?", "The Ultimate Hightlight", "Budweiser Hot Seats", "Miller Lite Good Call/Bad Calls", and the "Coors Light Six Pack", besides all of these usually being annoying, how can they have the same type of sponsor on the same show? They have no loyalty to anyone but themselves. I think what really put me over the top with ESPN was when they switched everything on ABC to "ESPN on ABC" How stuck on themselves are they? I understand having your brand, but it's just getting out of hand. I know people on here aren't usually high on Tony Kornheiser, but he can only have a couple of people from ESPN on his radio, since it's not on ESPN, and ESPN personalities aren't allowed on non-ESPN radio. I'm not making it up. He had to get special permission to have people on. Sorry, end of rant.

Michael said...
Feb 12, 2008, 11:53:00 PM  

i just found out about it, the "it" being that these great moments in sports history are being cheapened by voiceovers! That really stinks; I wouldn't have watched it either. And can someone please tell me who is doing the voting here??! I mean OK, great play by Boise State, but c'mon!! Are you kidding me. Perhaps it should be in the final 1000, but the final two GREATEST sports moments in all of sports history! What a joke, really, and no offense to that team or its fans. Just that it was a low profile college football bowl game. There've been millions of those.

Anonymous said...
Feb 28, 2008, 4:33:00 PM  

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