It rates a 'pass' from Berman

November 12, 1996|By Milton Kent

Asking Chris Berman to comment on your "SportsCenter" audition tape is a lot like getting a grade on a fingerpainting from Michelangelo. Berman is, after all, the master of the form. But in true, nice-guy fashion, he was willing to give my tape a thorough going-over as we sat together in an ESPN office last Friday.

Right off the bat, he noticed a resemblance to Denver defensive lineman Michael Dean Perry, and gave me a "Good job" on my intro to the Dallas-Indianapolis football highlight.

I earned my first demerit for being caught on camera looking down at the monitor in the desk as I prepared to narrate the highlights. "Don't look down until the camera goes off, but that's a subtlety. It's OK," Berman soothingly said.

A few seconds later, Berman gently chided me for inserting a sound effect as Dallas kicker Chris Boniol's attempted 57-yard, game-winning field goal ticked off the cross bar as time ran out, giving the Colts the win.

"Got to match the 'doink' to the hit, otherwise don't do it, but

that's all right. Not bad. If you're not on it, let it go. It's all right. Sometimes you get behind and you have to let the picture say it," said Berman.

On the second highlight, Berman, an American history minor, gave a "Wow" on an analogy I made, equating the Seattle-Houston NBA matchup to the 19th century duel between former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and Vice President Aaron Burr.

"He [Hamilton] is on the $10 bill? I didn't know that. That's good."

The rest of the piece is uneventful until the end, when I get a cocked eyebrow because I read the wrong game score on the air.

The final grade?

"You were, at times, surprised by some things. Other times, you were on it. Good on-camera stuff. You had a little smile at the beginning. You can do this. You've been writing this column long enough," said Berman.

Pub Date: 11/12/96

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