Christopher James Berman (born May 10, 1955) was nicknamed Boomer….is an American sportscaster who has been an anchor for SportsCenter on ESPN since 1979….joining a month after its initial launch…. plus he hosted the network’s Sunday NFL Countdown program from 1985 to 2016. He has also anchored Monday Night Countdown….U.S. Open golf….the Stanley Cup Finals….and other programming on ESPN and ABC Sports….as Berman 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….Berman was instrumental in establishing ESPN’s lasting popularity during the network’s formative years….as he has always been well known for his various catchphrases and quirky demeanor.
Steve Sabol began working at NFL Films as a cameraman alongside his father Ed Sabol after graduating from college. He started in the filming industry when his father got the rights to the 1962 NFL Championship Game played in Yankee Stadium on December 30. This company eventually grew into NFL Films….with Steve Sabol serving mainly as a cameraman, editor, and writer in the 1960’s and 1970’s. When ESPN was founded 1979….they soon signed NFL Films as a production company….after which Steve Sabol became an on-air personality in the 1980’s….evidenced by him co-hosting ESPN Monday Night MatchUp with Berman and Sherman in the mid-1980’s. Steve Sabol won 35 Emmy Awards….and had a documentary about him air on 60 Minutes. Steve Sabol played a part in founding the NFL Network…and was the author of the poem “The Autumn Wind“….which later was adopted by the Oakland Raiders as an unofficial anthem.
During the 1980’s and early 1990’s, Allie Sherman became the first pre-game pro football analyst and a frequent guest on the nascent ESPN and the networks. He also helped create what became NFL Films. In 1962….as Sherman’s friend and Giants fan Ed Sabol asked Sherman and Mara for exclusive rights to film game and off-field footage. Sabol would rush the film reels out of Yankee Stadium in team laundry baskets….spend all night developing them….and create special content for network sports shows. This enterprise evolved into NFL Films….eventually under Sabol’s son Steve….with its large NFL catalog and unique programming.
In 1985 Sabol and Sherman co-created and produced a new type of show, Monday Night Matchup …. which was shown on ESPN just before ABC’s national Monday Night game….where Sherman and his co-hosts would break down the teams into key match-ups….using stop-action film and graphics to analyze the upcoming game. This format later became a standard feature in ESPN’s and the networks’ sports programming.