by Bob Berger
September 12, 02012
IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY
I remember early last football season, during the Arian Foster show that I hosted on Yahoo Sports Radio, asking the Texans’ running back how many weeks into the season can one draw an accurate read on what a team will be over the long haul. He rolled his eyes, shook his head and wondered why “you guys” could not just wait until the end of the season to make such determinations. I answered “it doesn’t work that way”.
Many professional athletes in all sports did not grow up as fans. They do what they do because they can, and we can’t. The joy of fandom is in the angst and elation, or as Howard Cosell use to say, the ebb and flow. From pitch to pitch, from snap to snap, our emotions are on edge. For hours on a Sunday our lives are invested in the outcome of the game. After the game, the emotions seek an outlet. It could be sitting home alone talking to yourself, picking up the phone and calling your sports radio station to cheer or vent, tweeting, blogging and all other sorts of stuff to tell us how you feel. There is also the sense of community. Needing to find out how your fellow fans are feeling.
OVERREACTION IS THE RIGHT REACTION
Fans and media have much in common. In fact I find those in the media who have remained fans the most enjoyable to listen to or read. In all the years on the air, I never shied away from my love of the Yankees and N.Y. Giants. I viewed my teams not with the glass half empty, but rather completely empty. I think that’s the typical New York view, not only of our sports teams but of life in general..
Without wanting to draw conclusions, sometimes on an hourly basis, where’s the fun? I buried my Giants many times during last season and was more than happy to be wrong.
Being wrong was something I never had a problem admitting.
WEEK ONE OVERREACTION
Robert Griffin right now is the best Redskins quarterback since Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgenson. Actually this reaction is probably correct, even after just one game. Consider this: The Redskins quarterbacks since Sonny have been Billy Kilmer, Joe Theisman, Jay Schroeder, Doug Williams, Mark Rypien, Heath Shuler. Gus Frerotte, Trent Green, Brad Johnson, Tony Banks, Patrick Ramsey, Mark Brunell, Jason Campbell, Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman.
Is RGIII the best Redskins quarterback since Sonny Jurgenson? It's never too early to speculate.
Jimmy Kimmel was very funny. Frank Caliendo was funny too. Rob Riggle, the latest comedian on the FOX pre-game show wasn’t funny, and I know funny. I’m jewish and spent every summer of my life until I went to college in the cradle of comedy the Catskill Mountains.
NOT QUITE IN MID-SEASON FORM
Aside from Rob Riggle’s skit not being filled with yuks (I imagine/hope the bits will get funnier with each passing week) it seemed the FOX pre-game show was a little off, but not quite as off as CBS. Dan Marino had to correct himself on what game in his rookie season he became a starter. Bill Cowher fumbled through what division he thought was the toughest in the league. What FOX has over CBS is better chemistry. For my money, no matter the changes over the years (and there have been many), CBS has yet to hit on a combination that’s jelled. James Brown has helped and the show is fine. But it’s not special. FOX may be somewhat tattered and tired after all these years but there is a sense of drama when they hit the air (could be the music).
IT’S LIKE GOING “BACK, BACK, BACK” TO THE FUTURE
Chris Berman has signed a contract extension that will keep him at ESPN for many more years. To think that he’ll be on the job around 40 years is a remarkable feat. While I, like some others, aren’t enamored with all he does, the fact that his schtick has not only lasted but flourished for four decades is a testament to his likability that comes through the TV screen. My knock, and it isn’t against Berman (if someone would let me call baseball games and major golf championships, I’d do it too), is against ESPN. Sometimes think of the viewer and what serves him best and not the ego or needs of the announcer. Berman on the NFL is entertaining. On baseball and golf - oy vey.
HE”S STILL GOT IT
He looked like the old Peyton Manning (shouldn’t that be the young Manning?) on Sunday night, though time will tell if he can lead the Broncos to the Super Bowl. However, Manning’s already delivered big time for NBC. Denver-Pittsburgh was the highest rated Sunday night game ever. Manning and the Broncos are scheduled for four more prime time appearances, including this Monday night at Atlanta.
Bob Berger is a 35-year veteran of sports radio. For the last 18 seasons Bob hosted "Around The NFL" on Network Radio. He's on the Panel of Voters for the Associated Press NFL All-Pro team and post season awards. In recent years Bob hosted weekends on Yahoo Sports Radio, Sporting News Radio and One On One Sports. He is a graduate of the University of Miami.