It was as devastating news as the sports world could have imagined when the wife of Chris Berman passed away in a two-car accident six weeks ago.
Berman, the longtime ESPN and NFL host, has struggled mightily over the loss both in public and private. He recently spoke of his loss for the first time, with the Hartford Courant. Berman was in Connecticut to play in a pro-am golf event in advance of the Travelers Championship.
“She made her own footprint in a quieter, understated way in the education channels,” said Berman, who is now working in a reduced on-camera role at ESPN. “The literacy volunteers, to where she taught, to where our son and daughter went to school, they all came out [in support of Berman]. It wasn’t Chris Berman and his wife. It was, ‘We look at you guys as the community.’ I’m touched by that. I’m overwhelmed by that.”
Per the Courant, Chris faked car trouble once to get a breakfast date with his future wife, Kathy Alexinski. Years later on May 9, 2017, she "went to lunch to see her sister and never came home." It has been six weeks since, 67, died in a two-car accident in Woodbury.
"The outpouring of emotion for one of the most famous sportscasters in American history has overwhelmed him," wrote the Courant.
"I'm blown away on every level," Berman told the newspaper.
Several big names in the sports world reached out to Berman in one way or another. Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly attended Kathy's memorial service at Seymour St. John Chapel at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford on May 17.
Bill Belichick and Andy Reid also were known to have attended Kathy's memorial service. Hall of Famers, championship quarterbacks, leaders across the sports world, high profile media personalities contacted Berman with condolences. Berman andhead of baseball operations are good friends and Berman was at the -Mets game at when he got the horrible news. Days later, flowers arrived at the chapel at Choate. They were from Willie Mays.
"Seven years old, he made me a Giants fan," Berman told the newspaper. "At 86, he comforted me. The circle of life."
Possibly the most gut-wrenching part of Kathy’s passing was that it came just weeks before their son’s wedding.
“Our son got married, she never saw it,” Berman said. “She had waited all this time, this is what I said at the eulogy, never complaining and she never saw it … That’s what makes me the saddest. This was right at the doorstep. Doug had a wonderful wedding. It was great, upbeat. But there’s the song my son never got to dance with his mother. That’s rough.”
Very rough, Mr. Berman. Our hearts go out to you and your family.