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Mike Greenberg Says Chris Berman Helped Keep Him At ESPN

Greeny called Berman “one of the most important sports announcers in the industry’s history because of what ESPN was when he started and what ESPN became and the enormous role he played in that.”

Ricky Keeler

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On the latest episode of his I’m Interested podcast, Mike Greenberg was joined by one of the legends in the sports broadcasting industry, Chris Berman. For Greeny, this was a special interview for him to do considering how important Berman was to him in his career. 

Greeny called Berman “one of the most important sports announcers in the industry’s history because of what ESPN was when he started and what ESPN became and the enormous role he played in that.” He would go on to tell a personal story about how Berman helped him when he started at ESPN.

“When I first came to ESPN (end of August 1996). When I moved to Bristol from Chicago where I had been working, I left behind my girlfriend then, Stacey, and it was difficult to do. As a consequence of that, I worked weekends at ESPN for about the first year. I wanted to fly to Chicago as often as I could to see my girlfriend.

“For a period of time, I questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing. One day that I will never forget, I had just landed in Providence and raced towards the studios at ESPN. I’m in the men’s room and I am shaving in the sink in the bathroom with no shirt. The door opens and here comes Chris Berman.” 

Later on in the bathroom, Berman goes to him and says “how are you doing, Greeny.” After Greenberg explains his situation to him, Berman said “Well, welcome home.” It was at that moment, Greenberg mentioned, that ESPN felt like his home and where he should be.

Berman gave some great stories during this podcast, including the one on the first time that he gave his signature play-on-words after players’ names during a broadcast, which he has become famous for until this day: 

“In those early days, there might be 5 games that were on TV. Here was the rest of the games and here was the score panel. You are not as much entertaining people, but you are trying to give a little flair or color and describe the game. One night, working at 2:30 in the morning, I had done these nicknames in college out of the box score and 1 or 2 of them came out. This was not a plan…People seem to really respond.”

One interesting question Greeny asked Berman during this fun podcast of looking back at old memories of when ESPN first started and famous moments in his career was Berman’s thought on the role ESPN has had on sports in America.

“In some ways, we were a microcosm of the growth of cable in the 1980s. Therefore, we helped connect sports to fans by showing as much as was out there or if someone was traveling, we were like your home radio station. I think we, in a very good and positive way, kind of brought some folks together, including those in the games, not even necessarily the players. We helped people see what was going on. In our own way, we have our own sense of community. What I never knew when I signed up for the job was that sports would be such a melting pot. I believe certainly in this day and age, we can use a little something that is common ground.” 

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Bomani Jones: Chris Canty Made Me Rethink How I Look At This Job

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job.”

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The Right Time with Bomani Jones has been one of ESPN’s most successful podcasts recently. Part of the appeal is that the conversations can go anywhere. Jones and his guests talk plenty about sports, but they will venture into pop culture, current events, and more. When it is “Foxworth Friday”, there is a good chance that the show will give some insight on other ESPN personalities.

On the most recent edition of The Right Time, Bomani Jones and Domonique Foxworth discussed how hard it can be to come up with a unique view on a topic every single time you are asked to talk about it. When Foxworth said that ESPN Radio’s Chris Canty makes it a little easier for him to be entertaining in those moments, Jones added to the praise.

He discussed a conversation he and Canty had at a Halloween party hosted by FOX’s Nick Wright.

“You’ve heard me say this before. I have a particular respect for former athletes that get in and treat this job with care like in the same way they would the other job,” Jones said. “Chris was like ‘Hey man’. You know, he’s got a Super Bowl ring, but he’s like ‘I didn’t get a gold jacket. I wasn’t great at that. But this? I have a chance to be great at something else.’”

Bomani Jones was impressed by that attitude. He admitted that it was eye-opening.

“That really made me look back at how I do my job and was like ‘Yo, I need to be looking at this in a very similar way.’”

Foxworth agreed. He said that it isn’t hard to believe that Chris Canty wants to be great on TV and radio. It is easy to see when he is making an effort to get better.

“He works at it and he doesn’t rely on just one move,” Foxworth said. “Using the basketball analogy, he’s adding new stuff to his game.”

Chris Canty clearly has fans in Bristol. ESPN keeps finding ways to use him across multiple platforms. In addition to his daily ESPN Radio show with Chris Carlin, he also makes regular appearances on Get Up with Mike Greenberg.

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Dave Portnoy Drops Appeal Of Lawsuit Against Business Insider

“In dropping the suit, both Portnoy and Insider have agreed to pay their own legal fees according to Awful Announcing.”

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Dave Portnoy is done with his legal fight against Insider. He filed an appeal after a judge dismissed his initial defamation suit in November. That appeal has been dropped.

Nich Carlson, the Global Editor-in-Chief of Insider, took to Twitter Friday to announce that the legal standoff had come to an end. He also notes that Insider is not surprised by the decision. The company stands by the reporting in the initial story, in which multiple women alleged that sexual encounters with Portnoy turned “violent and humiliating”. It was one of two stories the site published featuring these kinds of accusations against Portnoy.

Both sides will move on. In dropping the suit, both Portnoy and Insider have agreed to pay their own legal fees according to Awful Announcing.

In November, a Massachusetts judge ruled that Portnoy would have to prove that Insider acted with “actual malice” in publishing the stories. That was going to be a high bar considering that Dave Portnoy is a public figure.

Neither he nor his legal team have publicly commented about the status of the lawsuit.

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Nick Wright: Majority of Media Got Tom Brady Retirement Story Wrong

“I don’t think people understand that these are not easy decisions.”

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The news of the retirement of Tom Brady wasn’t the most shocking development, but FS1 host Nick Wright believes the way some of media coverage around Brady evolved wasn’t handled correctly.

During his What’s Wright? with Nick Wright podcast, Wright argued that those who have been given tremendous talents are put in different situations than those who weren’t, stopping just short of saying Brady had a duty to continue to perform his craft. He later added that those joking about Brady’s marriage failing for an extra season in the league weren’t viewing the entire picture, and that the divorce wasn’t something worth joking about.

“I see a lot of stuff people are saying about Brady, and I think it’s bullshit,” Wright said. “‘Oh, you sacrificed your marriage to 8-9’. And I don’t think people understand that these are not easy decisions. These are not easy things, and people know we know we are at times putting yourself first, in a selfish way that you’re not supposed to as a parent.”

The First Things First host then said the situation is similar to one he experienced as a child, but grew to realize there were bigger things than simply being a parent.

“It’s what I learned from my own dad. My own dad — who I have massive admiration for — absolutely put me and my sister — at times — on the backburner to negotatioting the best bargain possible for the Kansas City Firefighters. His legacy — he’s a great dad, who I adore — (but) his life’s legacy is not the things he did for me and my sister, his real legacy is the things he did for those firefighters and their families. You have those push and pull things and you make decisions and you deal with the fallout of it. It’s really sad that he and Gisele didn’t make it.”

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