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For the second straight year, the one and only Chris Berman will call play-by-play for the San Diego Chargers season opener. Even though he is one of the most distinct sports television personalities in the country, it will mark only the fourth time he’ll ever call a game.
The third time comes tonight.
I had the chance to talk with Berman face-to-face on the eve of his third game broadcast and we discussed everything from his experiences as a TV commentator, what he thinks about calling three Chargers games in the last 12 months and his thoughts about the 2013 Bolts.
Here is what he had to say:
“After the passing of our good friend, the late great Charlie Jones, maybe I’m becoming the national voice of the Chargers! But really, it’s just the way it’s worked out. I don’t do games. By the time the Houston-San Diego game happens I’ll have only done four games in my life other than Browns football in the 1970s. And three of those four are the Chargers and I am happy that’s the way it’s worked out. I do own a bunch of powder blue shirts, and everybody knows I’m very fond of the Chargers. It’s fun because even though the Chargers are changing a lot, it’s a team I kind of keep tabs on. And that is helpful for me because honestly, I’m a neophyte at this. I cover football but I don’t do this. But I like doing Chargers games because I have a very good relationship with the franchise. Now that doesn’t make me a homer, but for a national guy who doesn’t live in San Diego, I like to feel maybe I’ll have a better chance of conveying their story nationally. So it’s a lot of fun.
I am a fan of the changes they’ve made. I’ve known of Mike McCoy for a while but I had never met him until this evening. But even before today, seeing his work under John Fox I was a fan of his work. I’m anxious to see what his arrival does for Philip Rivers. Philip has had a great career under his previous coaches, which speaks for itself, but sometimes changes and new challenges of teaching an old dog new tricks is a good thing. There’s more than one way to play quarterback, and I’m sure Philip has embraced the change being the son of a coach. For the Chargers sake I hope they have enough playmakers, which I look forward to seeing. The line is young. I love Antonio Gates. Last year he was great, this year maybe he’ll be awesome. Defensively is the same thing. I hope they have enough playmakers. Dwight Freeney can certainly be one. Eric Weddle can certainly be one. Donald Butler is probably the best player nobody knows about in this country. The team doesn’t need a guy to have 10 interceptions. They need to have difference makers. And they very well might. I’m hopeful that they do. San Diego fans love their football. Philip is someone they’ve trusted and loved, and rightfully so, but I think this team may be one they fall in love with as it plays out. We’ll see how it works out with a new coach and new general manager. None of this is against the guys who were in charge in the past, but maybe this is a team the fans can fall in love with. I think that’s what the fans are waiting for.” Read