Interview of The Score's Dan Bernstein (Penn St, Alford, Media and More)

Interview of The Score's Dan Bernstein (Penn St, Alford, Media and More)

Dan Bernstein has been the co-host of 670 The Score's “Boers and Bernstein” since 1999.

A snippet of his biography on CBS Chicago:

He joined the station as a reporter/anchor in 1995. Named “Best Sports Talker” by Chicago Magazine, he is the city’s only three-category winner of the Achievement in Radio Award (Best Reporter, Best Play-by-Play and Best Talk Show). 

He is a Deerfield native and an honors graduate of Duke University, where he did four years of play-by-play for basketball and football and anchored “Duke SportsCenter” on Cable 13 TV. (

He lives on the northwest side of Chicago with his wife and two children, and is actively involved in fundraising for such charities as Children’s Oncology Services, The Michael Rolfe Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research, Blind Services Association and others.

Read Bernstein’s columns online, or follow Dan Bernstein on Twitter: @dan_bernstein.

The Boers and Bernstein Show airs every weekday from 1PM to 6PM on The Score, 670AM (or you can listen online).
Listen to The Boers and Bernstein Show podcasts »

They've also been called "gutless wonders" by Ken Hawk Harrelson.

boers-and-bernstein-sportscasters

Paul M. Banks: Who are biggest influences in media? Any career role models? Favorite journalists/authors…

Dan Bernstein: As a kid I really connected with Ray Rayner, and his easygoing, self-aware morning TV show. He was breaking the fourth wall years before David Letterman started doing such things on his morning show, and incorporating producers and cameramen in his bits. He didn’t take any of it too seriously.

I also watched the CBS Evening News every night, and for a long time wanted to be Walter Cronkite. I have still-vivid memories of his coverage of the end of the Vietnam War and the Watergate prosecutions. Later, I would stay up each night to watch Ted Koppel’s ABC coverage of the Iran hostage crisis on a special show that would turn into Nightline.

I did not listen to much radio outside of sports play-by-play, except for WBBM news in the car with mom, some top-40 on WLS-AM, and Dr. Demento on Sunday nights.

I have too many favorite journalists to count, but one writer who has influenced my thinking for many years is the late David Foster Wallace. I discovered in the early days of B&B that he was a fan of the show, and he and I went on to exchange correspondence (actual letters, since he didn’t do email. Single-space typed, with his handwritten notes in the margins as you’d expect) about radio and sports. Wonderful guy.

Banks: How did you get your big break in radio?

Dan Bernstein: Not sure how to define “big,” but joining WSCR in 1995 as an anchor/reporter allowed me to move back home to Chicago after some years in smaller markets doing play-by-play for minor league pro basketball and baseball. Weekend hosting shifts led to a brief stint as evening host to see if I could build and hold an audience, and it was enough to get me the chance alongside Terry in 1999.

Banks: You’ve said that college football fans can be the scariest of all die-hard sports fans. Why do you think that is? The zealots of the Penn St. fanbase seem to be a bit more…”special” than other college football zealots. They can find problems with everything that’s said/written about them, even puff pieces. What makes them different? How come some of them have different rules of “logic” than other fans?

Dan Bernstein: College football fans are particularly tribal, especially those from states that seem to have little else that offers that kind of connection, and ironically those having no actual affiliation with the university. The sick pathology of Penn State was revealed when their sainted coach was discovered to be a knowing facilitator of child-rape. Too many people there apparently had lived lives that needed something to be true that actually was not, and this dissonance causes them to behave bizarrely and unfortunately.

jerry-sandusky

Banks: You’re very active on Twitter, and you’ve had dealt with many so-called “haters” and “trolls.” How would you define the difference between trolls, hatred, critique, and just disagreement? Seems a lot of people throwing out the words “haters” and “trolls” really have no idea what the words actually mean.

Dan Bernstein: I’m not really concerned with how people label Twitter nuisances. The blocking feature allows for painless removal of those who forfeit their place in any discussion. Following is voluntary, just like listening to a radio show. To lash out profanely about what you choose to read or hear serves no logical purpose.

Banks: You’ve done the best reporting in the nation on Steve Alford. Your op-ed with “scumbag” in the headline was dead-on accurate; especially given how much America seems to have forgotten what he did in Iowa City. For those that forgot and/or those not paying attention to him and Pierre Pierce, what did Steve Alford do? How does he keep moving up the ladder despite character issues/not winning NCAA Tournament games?

Dan Bernstein: The facts of the Alford/Pierce story are easily available, so rather than rehash the ugly incidents here it’s better to click on the links from this piece. He gets work because he’s a decent enough coach, and some athletic directors are a combination of stupid, uninformed and insensitive to women.

Steve-Alford-quentin-snider

Banks: Finally, the way Greg Lemond describes Lance Armstrong in interviews- an accurate assessment of Mr. Livestrong? Or do you think Lemond hasn’t gone far enough? Where does Lance rank among the worst people in sports history?

Dan Bernstein: I have had no personal dealings with Armstrong, but the facts are overwhelming. To me, the fraudulent racing career is not as shameful as his conniving exploitation of cancer charity as a personal shield. And as satisfying as it is to watch him crumble slowly and shrink away to insignificance, those whose lives he ruined will never fully recover.

lance-armstrong

Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the nation; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS

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