A Quick Chat with Chris Berman

Sam Claver

ESPN’s senior football analyst, Chris Berman, visited the University of New Haven on Apr. 15 for a question and answer forum. Chris first attended a lunch with potential sports management students, then made his way to North Campus for questions.

ESPN’s senior football analyst, Chris Berman, visited the University of New Haven on Apr. 15 for a question and answer forum.

Craig Mortali asked Berman various questions, which he then answered in front of a gym fill of students and faculty. Students had an opportunity to ask some of their own questions as well.

I had the fortunate opportunity to interview Chris with a few questions of my own before the event began. Most of the questions asked were asked again in front of everyone, but some of his answers are a little different.

At the end of the event, Chris was presented with his very own UNH Chargers’ football jersey and helmet.

Me: What are the pros and cons of working at ESPN?

Chris: Well the pros are that if you like sports, there’s nowhere else to work. Not many cons. There is something different every day. You never know what the day is like when you’re going to cover a game. So I mean, those are the pros, but uh…cons? Phhtt. I don’t think I have any cons. If I had cons, I would have been gone by now – believe me.

Me: Outside of ESPN, outside of your job, what are your hobbies?

Chris: I like peace and quiet, but I also like rock and roll music. I um…you know what I enjoy? I enjoy reading the paper. I read a few of them. USA Today, Hartford Current, Boston Globe, wherever I go, I always pick up a paper in the airport. And uh, I mean I know that’s boring. I don’t fly a plane, I don’t sky dive, I don’t uh, jump off cliffs, but you know, I like my rock and roll music, but I also like sitting on a beach and thinking. I like playing golf! I’m alright.

Me: You ever play golf with anyone important?

Chris: I play in these Pro Amateur tournaments sometimes. I played at Pebble Beach like 5 times.

Me: You meet all of these people, but have you ever been star struck?

Chris: You’re always star struck in the early days. I remember interviewing Jack Nicholas at about one year in. At about 5 years in, I interviewed this fellow who was named Walter Payton. And of course, my two idols, the reason that I do what I do: Joe Namath in football, and Willie Mays in baseball. Both of them I’ve become very friendly with so I kind of forget what it was like the very first few times I met them, you know? But I’d have to say Bill Clinton. We sat there for 10-15 minutes. Invited my wife and me to a steak dinner seven months later. Interviewed Obama and McCain before the election, but that was on satellite.

Me: NBA Playoffs, what’s your prediction?

Chris: Oh. I don’t care. NBA? Eh. I don’t care.

Me: Well, do you care about Hockey?

Chris: Oh yeah.

Me: What about your prediction for hockey?

Chris: I haven’t watched it that much this year. I’m interested to see how the two Olympic heroes, Crosby and Ryan Miller, and how they continue. (Pittsburgh won the series). But I know Washington and St. Jose are the two best teams. They’re out. (Washington was eliminated in the first round) So you’ve got to pick two of the other 14 teams. I’ll pick Pittsburgh even though they’re the defending champs.

Me: What do you predict is going to happen in the NFL Draft?

Chris: Sam Bradford. Because the lions took Stafford last year. The rams are wondering if they don’t get one now, what are they going to do.

Me: Do you think he’s going to be the biggest impact player?

Chris: In his first year? No. In his career…maybe.

Me: Favorite sport to watch?

Chris: Probably football. When you get up on Sunday, I get up at 6:00am. I know it is Sunday, it’s a different day, and you’re going to play football all day. It’s like, we’re going to go to the playground – we’re going to have recess all day.