Chris Berman excited to have Tom Jackson back for one night
Back in August, an emotional Chris Berman told his retiring partner, Tom Jackson, "I really don't know what I'm going to do without you."
After a preseason shakeup of the "Monday Night Countdown" crew, ESPN has paired Berman with a rotating cast of NFL legends this season that has included former Eagles coach Dick Vermeil and ex-Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin, among others.
Tonight, it's Jackson who returns to join his former partner to "reunite and reminisce" ahead of a matchup between the Panthers and Washington.
"It will be like driving a car that you have driven all of your life," Berman said ahead of tonight's game. "For 29 years, we've completed each other's sentences; we've laughed at each other's jokes even if they weren't that funny. I don't know that I'll be able to speak right away because I'll be smiling too much."
Berman remains close to Jackson, saying he speaks to his former co-host every week about football, politics and life.
"He's one of the greatest people of all time, and football or not, we're friends for life," Berman said.
"Monday Night Countdown" will air at 6 p.m. tonight on ESPN.
The two became household names thanks to their hosting duties on "NFL Primetime," the long-running highlights show that matched Berman's catch phrases and nicknames ("Jeff 'Philadelphia' Feagles," "'The Well Dressed' Amani Toomer") with Jackson's solid, no-nonsense analysis.
"NFL Primetime" ended in 2006, when NBC acquired the exclusive rights for extended highlights on Sunday nights as part of its NFL broadcasts. Berman and Jackson continued to do highlights of games as part of "Sportscenter's" Sunday night coverage, which allowed them to cover "The Miracle at the New Meadowlands" and DeSean Jackson's game-ending punt return:
Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitch reported earlier this year that Berman will not return as the host of "Sunday NFL Countdown" or "Monday Night Countdown" after this season, though he could return in a smaller emeritus role.