A Tribute to…Matthew Berry

September 22, 2009

I was on the treadmill today (shocking, I know) with ESPN on the TV silent in the background as usual, when a new commercial came on. I have no idea what the commercial was for, just that it had something to do with ESPN and GEICO (the caveman was in it) and it starred Matthew Berry with his half-bald head and normal shit-eating grin.

It got me thinking: is this chooch secret ill?

The answer? A resounding ‘Yes.’

Matthew Berry is the man. For girls and dudes that don’t like sports/fantasy/life, Matty B is the No. 1 fantasy guru at ESPN. He was a nice little gimmick at first. The “fantasy guy” who would have a short segment or two every fall talking about some made-up geek game for non-athletes while announcers and SportsCenter anchors poked fun at him.

But now with the ascension of fantasy sports, especially football, Berry has become the man. Old-fart executives and blue-haired decision makers took awhile to come around on fantasy. But once they suddenly (finally) realized it catered to the golden audience, the much coveted 18-30 year old male demographic, you know, the ones actually spending money, they realized the marketing potential was limitless.

Need to sell beer or snacks? Want to pitch crispy violent TV shows and action movies? This is your audience.

And because ESPN, like most ginormous enterprises, is driven by the bottom line, they started pumping more staff, Internet space, air time and dollars into fantasy.


This brings me back to Berry. As a pioneer of fantasy he no doubt was laughed at and ridiculed most of his “career” before fantasy really took off. Now because he gutted it out, he ended up in the right place at the right time and is now at the forefront of the fantasy movement. Although Yahoo! has a chokehold on the fantasy community, iit’s limited to online. Yahoo’s online videos can’t match the scope of plain old ESPN television. The exposure is off the charts.

All this makes Matthew Berry the face of fantasy, a face you no doubt love to hate for all its choochness (look at him hammered gaming on some broad to the right) but still appreciate with that underlying sense of jealousy. I mean, what guy wouldn’t want to by Matthew Berry. HIS JOB IS FANTASY. HE GETS PAID FOR FANTASY!!! Redicccc.

(Couple other things about that pic to the right: love the couple fake posing, allowing the camera person to secret snap Berry’s mug. has that trick ever not worked?? Also like the Sev/Tevlin mix in the background.)

In doing some research for this post, I found this absolute gem. Get OUTTA HERE with this thing. I strongly suggest watching it all. Just wait for the 38 sec mark. Wooo:

Matthew Berry, today is your lucky day. Big props from all of us at USSS.

–Nick