Len Berman on Sports for the Non-Sport Fan

January 15, 2014 at 4:03 pm

I have a theory. There are more non-sports fans than sports fanatics out there. But because of all the 24-hour and tabloid media, the non-sports fan is intimidated into thinking that he’s in the minority. Not true.

For nearly 40 years I’ve been a sportscaster on newscasts. It turns out most people watching the newscast showed up for the weather report or they wanted to be early for Johnny or Jay. Consequently I was broadcasting sports for the “sports impaired.”

That’s one of the reasons I developed the sports blooper segment “Spanning the World” which still airs on NBC’s Today Show. The most common reaction I get to “Spanning,” is “I’m not a sports fan but I love it anyway.”

The truth is most people DO want to know what all those sports nuts are talking about. Toward that end, I write a daily e-mail called “Len’s Top 5.”  It’s your basic water cooler sports stuff. What people are talking about in the office. It allows the non-sports fans to at least figure out what’s going on even if they don’t want to participate. I’ve also written a number of sports books, mostly for young readers.

Berman invited NPR commentator Frank DeFord and Wall Street Journal Sports Editor Sam Walker to take a look ahead at sports in 2104 in a special segment for MetroFocus. The trio took on the Super Bowl – the first in the New York area since 1962 and the first Super Bowl held in cold city at a non-domed stadium – pro football concussions, ticket prices and soccer.