Thursday, April 15, 2010
An Evening With the Swami
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the sports management program at the University of New Haven, the school hosted an evening with Chris Berman. The format was a sort of running conversation with a UNH grad whom also works at ESPN, along with some time allotted for questions from the audience. I was going to ask for him to give a shout out to UNH at the NFL Draft next week, but unfortunately two jerks decided not to wait their turn and cut me off. The program ended right after that and I was basically left with my dick in my hands. Nonetheless, it was an interesting lecture and it was good to see a different side of the Swami.
Over the past few years, the Swami has been given a bad rap by a lot of people, myself included, but when he is able to let his guard down he's not such a bad guy. Granted the questions Berman was asked were scripted, but I think for the most part he is a pretty genuine guy. A lot of stuff about him has just been blown out of proportion. Tonight, Berman was in a pretty jovial mood. He made fun of himself for plugging both Applebee's and Nutrisystem, and also asked the audience if they thought he was a short fat guy. He is in fact 6'4", a tall fat guy.
The Swami also forecasted his predictions for the baseball season, prophesying a Phillies/Twins World Series. He mentioned that his most memorable experience ever was announcing Cal Ripken's 2,131st game in a row, a game in which he also interviewed President Clinton (he recalled telling Buck Martinez during the game that there were snipers on the roof aimed at both of them should they make any sudden movements when Clinton was in the booth). A close second and third were covering "The Catch" and "The Earthquake." His favorite nickname, which he said started by accident when he said "Frank Tanana Daquiri" on a 3 a.m. Sportscenter episode, is in fact Bert "Be Home" Blyleven. Lastly, Berman said to remember that the sports business is a people business, something that I won't soon forget.
My opinion changed drastically on the Swami over the 2 hour program. He is probably considered such a dick in real life because he has to spout out that stupid shit all the time to appease the people on ESPN, and it puts him in a bad mood. But when he gets to be himself, Boomer is a real funny guy with some very interesting things to say, and some unique life experiences. SportsCenter still blows though.