Big news out of the broadcast world. ESPN has the now annual Monday Night Football doubleheader, and on Tuesday they released the names of who will call the latter game. The “A” crew will call the Steelers-Washington game at 4:10 p.m. PT, but the B crew for the 49ers-Rams game will be Chris Berman and Steve Young, with Lindsay Czarniak handling sideline duties.
I’m pleased with this decision. Well, to a certain extent. Berman can be obnoxious in play-by-play these days, but getting Young on as the color commentator is fantastic news. He is incredibly knowledgeable and articulate, and he has history and relationships with the 49ers to provide some useful context.
I attended last year’s MNF opener against the Minnesota Vikings, and so I did not hear the Berman-Dilfer duo. I have heard them in the past, and together they can be brutal. Dilfer is a smart guy who knows football, but he sometimes appears to be a sycophant for the 49ers organization. We don’t know how Young will do in the role, but I’m excited to see what he brings to the table. He is already a great listen on his weekly call-in to KNBR, so I look forward to this.
I will offer up one little story about Young and Berman. I was at the final game at Candlestick Park, and ESPN had a huge set-up before the game. I was walking to leave the field before the game and was walking by the ESPN booth as Berman was taping something. Young was walking by and accidentally walked in front of the camera. He realized his mistake and seemed to feel bad about it. When it happened, the look on Berman’s face as he filled with fury was priceless. He didn’t say anything, but he was so pissed while Young offered up a sort of chagrined smile. Considering Berman’s history in losing it during disruptions to his broadcast, it was amusing to observe it in action.