Being part of The Feeling of Greatness production team has walked me down a lot of memory lanes.
There’s a nostalgic stroll on the Moe Norman documentary’s upcoming calendar that is not only significant to the movie but me. It’s an interview with ESPN’s Hall of Fame broadcaster, Chris Berman.
Chris and I have history, and it includes Moe too. How, you might ask? Well, Chris plays Moe’s way, and our friends had a lot to do with it.
So, for perspective, this is what’s in my version of Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine.
Chris Berman and I met in the summer of 1978 in the dusty attic of United Cable television in Plainville, CT, where ESPN was born. Chris was a weekend sport and weather reporter for the local UHF NBC affiliate.
Chris wanted to work for us. Lou Palmer, the network’s founding program director and I as its executive producer, took Chris to lunch at the nearby Corner House restaurant to let him down gently, telling him there was hardly enough money to pay us.
He promised to keep knocking on our door until we could hire him. He did.
Later, when ESPN was ably funded by Getty Oil dollars and hired away the losing half of NBC Sports power struggle, Chris was employed by the transplanted legendary producer Scotty Connal and Chris’s career matched the ESPN rocket ride.
Nearly 20 years later as Natural Golf’s communication guy, we were shopping for some star power to boost our profile. I leveraged my connection with Chris and asked if he would consider an assignment as a spokesperson.
He did, but with a caveat. If he were to speak to the benefits of Moe’s way of playing that Natural Golf espoused, he’d have to experience it.
The hard part about that was it was mid-January, and the Connecticut winter was nasty. So, Chris and I met in the barn loft of Hogan’s Cider Mill, which PGA Professional Chet Dunlop had converted into an indoor teaching facility.
Now I have to tread softly here, as Chris’s golf did have ample room for improvement. Well, with the sweet smell of Chet’s pot belly stove burning cedar in our nostrils, and Chris learning Moe’s way, his great golf feelings began to take shape.
When the weather warmed, we continued. We worked at his golf club in Connecticut and again at his Sanibel Island, Florida vacation destination.
Did he improve? Oh, yes.
And my favorite example of that occurred the day I walked, inside the ropes with him and his frequent pro-am partner professional Joey Sindelar at The Greater Hartford Open tournament.
Chris shot an incredible 39 on the tough front nine. Joey was amazed at Chris’s improvement, having been witness to his earlier travails.
Now, Chris Berman and his rendition of his Moe Norman influenced golf game will be the subject of an interview for The Feeling of Greatness Moe Norman documentary.
Chris has told the documentary team he wants to help the film. If you feel the same way you can offer assistance, too, by visiting at this link
Me? I can’t wait to re-connect with Boomer, because we go way back, back, again, back, back!
Nice story Peter! Chris Berman will be a great addition to the documentary.