ESPN’s Chris Berman may reportedly interview both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney on the network’s November 5 Monday Night Football broadcast.
John Ourand of Sports Business Daily notes that Berman interviewed President Obama and Senator John McCain four years ago during halftime of the Monday night game that was played the night before the 2008 presidential election.
His report quotes ESPN’s senior vice president and director of news Vince Doria as saying:
We’ve been approached and are strongly considering doing it again. If we do those, we will try to treat the candidates in a fair manner and try to find some questions that have a sports connection but have a substance to them.
Berman, as the lead broadcaster on the Monday Night Football halftime show, is likely to do the interview, but according to Ourand, no final decision has been made.
The election is gearing up to be an extremely close race, and Ourand notes that with an average of 13.8 million viewers, the weekly Monday night game attracts a larger audience than any other show on a cable network.
It does seem out of place for Berman, who has made his mark on sports broadcasting with catchphrases and strange noises, to interview the two men who are attempting to become the next leader of the free world. But this is a fantastic opportunity for both candidates to make a final statement to millions of Americans just hours before many hit the voting booth.
Four years ago, Berman proved that he did not need to yell “Whooop!” if his interviewee made a snappy remark, and in fact, he did a fine job keeping the conversation loosely centered around sports. He ceded most of the time to the candidates, allowing them to make their cases to the voters.
Expect more of the same this time around.