Potty Talk with Chris Berman

A Day in the Life of an ESPN Production Assistant

It’s the first Sunday of the NFL season, and I’m completely exhausted already. Saturdays are a weekend day of relaxation for most, but for those of us in Sports television Saturdays in the fall means a non-stop work day revolving around College Football.

By the time my Sunday shift starts I’m literally going on three hours of sleep. After about two hours prepping video for NFL Countdown & the afternoon SportsCenter it’s time for a quick break.  As I head towards the bathroom to splash some water on my face, hoping it provides a pick-me-up, I hear a bellowing voice from around the corner announce, “GOOD TO HAVE YOU BACK SUZ!!!”

ESPN Sportscaster Chris Berman (Photo Courtesy StitchKingdom.com)

A shadow, with an unmistakable voice attached to it, starts to come around the corner.

I quickly dart into the restroom, sheepishly avoiding contact with the man I have admired for years, but am not prepared to meet.  I park myself at the first urinal, but the Godzilla-like footsteps continue closer causing just a bit more anxiety with each pounding thud.

I’m nervous.

I hope those footsteps travel right past the restroom, but no such luck. I hear the first door, “Bang, bang” then the second door, “Bang, Bang” and the  quickly moves to the stall next to me.

My first thought – wow he’s really tall –  then, in theatrical slow motion he speaks in my direction, “Mannn…I’ve just been sitting on that set, THINKING about this moment for the past 3 hours.

“YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, RIGHT??!!” Shouting, as if I wasn’t already hanging on his every word and might not be paying attention.

With a nervous, reddish face, I turn to him and see the face. The face of NFL Primetime. Curly hair off to the side and all, this face was staring right back at me. Chris Berman.

Really? These are the conditions I meet Chris Berman? In the bathroom, hands occupied, going on three hours of sleep. Great.

“Yesss, sir, I know what you mean.” I answer him and sound like a panicked kid who had just come out of a Halloween Haunted House. He scared me so much, I couldn’t go. It felt like I had left for a restroom break hours ago.

He continues, “Where are you from?” I was blown away he was caring about me! How awesome!

“Northern New Jersey, in Mahwah” I replied. “Kind of where you are from, in that general area.”

I had read about how he grew up in Westchester County, New York and announced his friend’s games at a grassy field they called Berman Stadium.

“Ohh, okay, Yes. I know. Everything in your area, it’s always gotta be an exit!” I smiled back at him and laughed.

Thankfully we didn’t have any pictures of him in the bathroom (Photo Courtesy BusinessInsider.com)

I had to tell him my next thought. I just had to. “Ever since the first grade….”

He quickly whipped his head around right back at me and goes “Ahhh….Fu** it! You’re not that old, are you?”

“Nooooo!!! Nooooo!!!”

He quickly replies, “If you are that old, than that makes ME old!”

“No, No, No, I meant to say ever since I was little going back to first grade, I always watched your show, NFL Primetime. It was one of my favorites; I never missed an episode until they took it off the air.” He appreciated my compliment.

He finishes up, and I still can’t go. I was simply too star struck to do anything. “Alright, once we’re done here, I’ll shake your hand.”

I leave my stall as he heads over to the sink. He finishes up drying his hands as I finish up washing mine.

He then extends his hand far and wide right towards me and announces, “I’m Chris Berman, Welcome to ESPN!”

I honestly can’t believe all of this – I pause, “okay, well I need to dry my hands” (pointing to the paper towel dispenser).

“Ohhh, I don’t care about wet hands!” He quickly motions his hands to shake mine, and I do just that. He leaves the restroom and goes around the corner, while I head back to the urinal.

Finally the stage fright is gone, my shoulders relax, and I can go without a single problem.

No doubt, it was what you would call a WELCOME TO ESPN kind of moment.


Will Robertson graduated from the University of Arizona in December of 2010. For the latter part of 2011, he was hired as a project employee for ESPN to work in Bristol, Connecticut during ESPN’s College Football Season. He is now looking for his next position in sports media or in television. You can follow him on twitter @ robertson_will.

Subscribe / Share

Article by Brian Clapp

Authors bio is coming up shortly. Brian Clapp tagged this post with: , , , Read 112 articles by
Why not leave a comment?

Leave a Reply

Find Sports TV Jobs

Job Category:

Sports TV Jobs Recommended Vendors

Most Popular Posts