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Culture / Sporting Life

Chris Berman Absolutely Loves Houston’s Party Scene

Inside the Controversial ESPN Icon’s Super Bowl Swan Song

BY // 02.01.17

Chris Berman is known for having a good time on the screen and off, which makes Houston just about the perfect setting for The Swami’s swan song. ESPN’s larger than life personality — who’s either being forced into semi-retirement or stepping back, depending on who you want to believe — seems determined to squeeze everything he can out of this Super Bowl week.

Which means plenty of time out at Houston’s better restaurants and nightspots. If you don’t run into Chris Berman at some point this week, you’re not really trying.

“The people are very welcoming here,” Berman tells PaperCity. “They throw one heck of a party.”

The 61-year-old Berman insists his TV party is not truly ending, even if he and his omnipresent catchphrases are being moved out of his regular longtime hosting gigs after this Super Bowl by ESPN.

“I’m not going away,” Berman insists. “I’ll just wear more Hawaiian shirts, but that’s OK.”

Whatever you think of Berman — and there’s no doubt that plenty have long felt that his shtick is tired and that he’s ruined events like Home Run Derby with his over-the-top-theatrics — there is no debating the man’s role in helping to build ESPN. He probably deserves a week of partying — and shameless reminiscing.

Thankfully for his sake, he got Houston.

Berman’s been one of the more noticeable presences early in this Super Bowl week. And he’s soaking up the love. Former ESPN trendsetter Dan Patrick had him on his radio show for a feel-good look back. Peter King and Sports Illustrated went as far as calling him, “The Vin Scully of the NFL.” All this as Berman prepares to transition to doing occasional TV spots for ESPN and making public appearances for the company.

And Berman has all those Houston restaurants and hotspots to choose from. Berman will be back for future Super Bowls, but he will not have a high-profile hosting role next time. Houston’s his finish there. Why not embrace it? This is a guy who walks around like he’s the mayor of every town he’s in. After all, Chris Berman is more instantly recognizable than most of the nation’s local leaders.

Yes, Chris Berman loves Houston. Are you really surprised?

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