Chris Berman has finally been phased out of ESPN’s coverage of things. After a three-decade run that felt way longer, he will no longer host Sunday NFL Countdown, NFL PrimeTime andMonday Night Countdown along with the Home Run Derby at the MLB All-Star Game and the NFL Draft.
Who will replace Berman? The plan at ESPN is to divvy up his duties and, according to the Sporting News, Samantha Ponder could be the one to take over Sunday NFL Countdown instead of Trey Wingo or Suzy Kolber.
While Ponder (who’s married to NFL quarterback Christian Ponder) is described as a “strong candidate,” nothing has been finalized, sources said. If Ponder does land the lead chair on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” she won’t take over Berman’s other duties such as hosting Day One of NFL Draft coverage, according to sources.
Ponder serves as a contributor to ESPN’s Emmy-winning “College Gameday” and as a sideline reporter for college football/basketball coverage. She also works with Kirk Herbstreit and Chris Fowler for ABC’s “Saturday Night Football” coverage. The Phoenix native previously served as a host/reporter for Fox Sports.
The story says Ponder taking over Countdown would “come as a shocker,” like she’s a 16-seed beating a 1-seed, but why not her? The argument against placing her on Countdown probably means taking her away from College GameDay, which is very good and should not be touched. The argument for placing her on Countdown is she’ll be good at it.
It’s also odd that it’s March and ESPN hasn’t decide this yet. Berman announced he was retiring forever ago, officially stepped down after the Super Bowl and still nothing? We’re still months away from football season but ESPN couldn’t figure this out by now? They’re still floating names through the media to get the public’s reaction?
You could describe the situation as… ponderous.