The Lineup: ESPN

The NFL Draft is one of ESPN’s few all-hands-on-deck personnel emergencies. Just so you won’t be shocked at some of the horror to come, let’s review the dramatis personae.

Chris Berman. “The BURGH BLAH HURNGY BHLARGH BURNGH

Tendencies: Loud. Ill-prepared. Stammers frequently. Has not acquired a new cultural touchstone to reference on-air since 1987. Will sometimes appear to have had a stroke on air during long silences. If he’s the bus driver of the team, he’s the one who skips up on the curb and takes out the bus stop in the process.

Quote:BELLOWING NOISE.”

Signature move: The horrible outro.

Chris Mortensen. “The Mimeograph”

Tendencies: Being very certain at all times. Avoiding any and all disagreement with anyone at all times. Taking what general managers tell him, writing it down, and then saying it on the air. In that sense, less an analyst, and more of a human voicemail service for the NFL.

Quote: “[Insert Source’s Quote Here] is what he said, and I trust him.”

Signature move: Addressing Berman as “Boomer,” which may induce nausea in new viewers.

Steve Young. “The Excitable Boy”

Tendencies. Busts in to make his point like a jittery honors student. Often has no idea where the camera is, and thus flits around looking for the red light like he’s reading a zone blitz. Talks over people and out of turn like a bad dinner party guest after coffee and dessert.

Quote: “I actually kind of know what I’m doing here.”

SIgnature Move: The Dramatic Chipmunk, turning toward the camera that’s actually on with a quickness.

Tom Jackson. “The Prisoner.”

Tendencies: Sober commentary. Quiet loathing of the bellowing fat man to his left he’s been chained to for over two decades.

Quote: “Please, kill me. Hell can’t be worse than this.”

Signature move: The tasteful hand chop to emphasize a point.

Mel Kiper “Mel Kiper”

Tendencies: THE KIPER 83000 NOW SPEAKS AT 348 WORDS A MINUTE AND REQUIRES NO CHARGING DUE TO THE NEW NUCLEAR GENERATOR MOUNTED IN THE HIP UNIT.

Quote: [RUN DATA SET 380=“TEBOW/ANALYSIS”] [GO]

Signature move: Program glitch in mispronouncing strength as “strinth,” a move to fool humans into thinking he is flawed, and therefore one of them.

John Gruden. "THAT GUY"

Tendencies: Loud noises. Hammering the second and third words of every sentence like they're nails on his worst enemy's coffin. Smirking. Squinting. 

Quote: "THIS GUY." 

Signature move: Winking to end a sentence and initiate segue. 

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