ESPN has contributed their significant share of videos in this ImaSportsphile museum of ours….but none more valuable than this “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage content….cuz this is virtual hour of SportsCenter features legendary sportscaster Chris “Boomer / The Swami” Berman…..along with the “always beautiful” outstanding female sportscaster, Gayle Gardner, from the last of her three years spent at the SportsCenter desk….with a cameo appearance of Lou Palmer….who was at ESPN from 1978 (one year before the network launched on cable television) to 1985….where he covered many top sports events and was a SportsCenter anchor and reporter.
Gayle Gardner is an American sportscaster who worked for ESPN from 1983 to 1986….and NBC Sports beginning in 1987 until 1993….as Gardner is considered a pioneer in sports broadcasting by having been the first female sports anchor to appear weekly on a major network.
After being hired by ESPN in 1983, Gardner served as a SportsCenter anchor for three years….when after moving to NBC from 1987…her assignments included anchoring NBC’s New Year’s Day college football bowl game coverage….NFL Live!….MLB: An Inside Look….NBC’s 1988 and 1992 Summer Olympics coverage….the French Open and Wimbledon tennis….and NBC’s “Prudential Sports Updates”.
In January, 1989, Gardner was a member of the NBC broadcast team for Super Bowl XXIII (San Francisco vs. Cincinnati)…and on August 3, 1993, became the first woman to do televised play-by-play of a baseball game when she called the action of a game between the Colorado Rockies verses the Cincinnati Reds….Gardner later worked for three years on the Food Network….before writing a screenplay. In 2004 (to celebrate the 25th anniversary of SportsCenter), Gardner returned to anchor a special “old school” edition of SportsCenter alongside Stuart Scott.
Chris Berman, nicknamed Boomer, is an American sportscaster….who has been an anchor for SportsCenter on ESPN since 1979, joining a month after its initial launch….in a career where he has hosted the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown program from 1985 to 2016. He has also anchored Monday Night Countdown….the U.S. Open golf….the Stanley Cup Finals….along with many other programs on ESPN and ABC Sports….plus Boomer calls play-by-play of select Major League Baseball games for ESPN, which included the Home Run Derby until 2016. A six-time honoree of the National Sports Media Association’s “National Sportscaster of the Year” award….for Berman was instrumental in establishing ESPN’s lasting popularity during the network’s formative years….who became well known for his various catchphrases and quirky demeanor. In January 2017, it was announced that Berman would be stepping down from several NFL-related roles at ESPN….but has remained with ESPN for special programs.
All of this adds up to the fact that this is historic footage of three of ESPN’s original sportscasters….which makes this video well worth the watch.