I’ve always thought the home run derby was the perfect event for Chris Berman to broadcast. I’m not sure if that’s a bigger indictment of the derby or of Berman, but either way it’s an occasion more about style than sport, more about pageantry than performance, priorities better suited to Boomer’s modus operandi as an announcer. While it may be the one night of the year where forced puns can replace coherent analysis it still doesn’t make it any less trying an experience for the people at home. That’s why I’ve come up with this game to hopefully help making viewing the derby a little bit more tolerable.
Every summer, Boomer finds it clever to pepper the names of surrounding towns into his home run calls. Last year, for example, after a long David Wright shot that Berman excalimed “he hit that one all the way to Sewickley!” Sewickley, in case you were wondering, is a suburb of Pittsburgh about a 45 minute drive away from PNC Park. In other words David Wright hit that ball really, really far. The whole bit may have been funnier and cuter in the days before you could use google maps and mapquest to find a list of surrounding towns in in under a minute, but I’m somewhat dubious about that too.
Anyway, the game goes something like this. Everyone kicks in a certain amount of cash (or potato chips or m&m’s, cause you know, betting money is illegal) then you go around the room with everyone selecting two suburbs of the All-Star city. The person who has the first suburb or surrounding town that Berman uses in one of his home run calls wins the stash. Sound simple? It is, but I guarantee it’s one of the few ways to make you hang on every word during the broadcast.
Oh, and in case you’re not familiar with northern California geography, here are some possibilities:
Which one’s it gonna be first, Boomer?