Chris Berman, who joined ESPN a month after its launch in 1979 and has been the face of its NFL coverage for decades, has re-upped with the sports giant in a multiyear deal. But there’s a catch: He won’t be hosting any NFL shows after this season.

ESPN sports analyst Chris Berman looks at the draft board while on camera during the 1987 NFL Draft on April 28, 1987 in New York. (Paul Spinelli via AP)
Chris Berman at the 1987 NFL Draft on ESPN
Associated Press

The man who made sports nicknames fun again — who can forget Oddibe “Young Again” McDowell? — is taking on a new role at ESPN: The Worldwide Leader sad today that he “will make appearances on-air and will also serve in public-facing roles on behalf of the company.” He also will do play-by-play for ESPN Radio during the MLB Divisional Playoffs and participate in ESPN’s annual ESPY Awards.

“The whole experience here has been a dream come true,” said Berman, a six-time National Sportscaster of the Year who has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. “When we started in 1979, I was just 24. Nobody knew if ESPN would make it, or, for that matter, if cable TV would make it. I certainly wasn’t sure I would make it, but I really didn’t care. We were too busy having a blast. … I’ve been lucky enough to spend almost two-thirds of my life at ESPN, and I am honored to have lent a small hand in laying the cornerstone for what has truly become a beacon in sports.”

ESPN will air an hour-long show documenting Berman’s career and impact – titled “He Did Go All the Way,” a riff on his famous Howard Cosell “Halftime Highlights” impression – at 10:30 PM February 2.