Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

ESPN's Berman praises the CFL

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Football media personality Chris Berman of ESPN met Milt Stegall and Winnipeg Blue Bombers' head coach Doug Berry at the CFL club's practice today. And he crowed about what a CFL fan he is.

VIDEO: Interview with Chris Berman

Berman, the long-time, gravelly-voiced host of ESPN's expansive NFL coverage, is in Winnipeg as guest speaker at tonight's YMHA dinner.

He showed up at Bomber practice and was presented with a team jersey with his name and Stegall's No. 85 on it by club president/CEO Lyle Bauer. Then he chatted with Stegall and, later, Berry in the end zone while the practice was still on.

"I do know that Bud Grant coached here," said Berman, who often refers to the CFL in his broadcasts. "He brought Joe Kapp with him and then all of a sudden... it was hard for us to understand that anybody came south to Minnesota... like, from where?"

"And I know that all of a sudden it became a real good team and a Super Bowl team and I know they came from Winnipeg. I know Bill Polian was here...and I certainly know about Milt Stegall and his record-setting career and I kind of wondered why we never saw him in the NFL."

Berman said he likes the Canadian game because "there's six guys in motion at once, four going forward. We don't watch it every week...I like when they tell you to go long in the CFL, you've got a 20-yard end zone -- you can go long and I like that."

And he said while he supports the NFL's Buffalo Bills playing some regular season games and exhibition games in Toronto to expand Buffalo's fan base, he doesn't believe the Bills will ever move to the home of the Argonauts.

"I think the NFL, as far as an expansion team in Canada, has no business doing that. And I think they know that."

chris.cariou@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 3, 2008

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