Longtime ESPN personality Chris Berman is a divisive character among sports fans these days, as many people of all ages still love his goofy, affable and personable demeanor and relate with him as the blue-collared Joe, while others are exhausted by his repetitive schtick and meaningless commentary. I wouldn’t know, because I like to turn the sound down on any sporting events and pretend that I’m providing the play-by-play with my dog.
But I’d say the appreciation for Berman still outweighs anything else, at least with the older crowd, as he was selected by the faculty at Greenwich High School in Connecticut to be the commencement speaker at last Friday’s graduation. And to get an idea of that sort of disconnect that Berman might have with younger people, he was reportedly very poorly received.
“It was honestly the most random speech I’ve ever heard in my life,” said one graduate whom we’ll call Julie.
“It was the worst speech at the graduation—it had no point and it kept going on,” said her friend, another grad, whom we’ll call Molly.
The speech was bad from the get-go. “He started off his speech about how he worked at a toll booth and then it kind of went nowhere,” Molly said. “He kept going back to when he was young, and I guess that was the whole point of the speech. It was 30 minutes of going on about nothing.”
“Basically the whole thing just seemed like he wasn’t sure what to even say,” he emailed. “We noticed he didn’t have any notes with him (if he did he didn’t look at them once). I’m not sure how long he was on to be honest, it seemed like a really long time but it was realistically like 30 minutes or so probably.” (Via Deadspin)
Deadspin also has some Tweets posted from some of the students, including one who accused Berman of being drunk while he rambled on for “an hour and 45 minutes”. I couldn’t even tell you who the commencement speaker was at my graduation, but my class had about 900+ kids and if we had to listen to some guy ramble pointlessly for close to two hours, I’m pretty sure most of us would have just said, “Screw it” and let them keep the diplomas.
Additionally, Guyism dug up a small clip of the end of Berman’s speech, just so you can watch him deliver his catchphrase, “… go… all… the… way” and picture yourself sitting in the crowd with a bunch of kids who probably don’t even care what that means.