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Goodbye Bertrand

Posted by Darren Urban on January 21, 2010 – 10:40 pm

I’m not going to lie. Professionally, it stunk those three straight years when Bertrand Berry suffered season-ending injuries. Don’t worry, I’m sure it was much harder on Berry, but as a guy who has to get player comments for a living, losing a veteran who was well spoken and who could give you something on almost any trend story or subject around the team is never good.

That’s one of the things I’ll remember most about Berry, who announced his retirement Thursday night. I’ll always remember how, after he made the Pro Bowl in 2004, he told us in a post-practice press conference he preferred to be called “Bertrand” instead of “Bert” — and then always wonder why so many coaches and teammates called him “Bert.” I’ll remember his dominant 2004 performance where he had 14.5 sacks despite not having anyone else to really draw the offense’s blocking attention. I’ll remember him sacking Giants quarterback Kurt Warner four times in a game that year, the game that drove Warner from the starting lineup in New York (and a game neither one really wanted to talk about after they became teammates).

I’ll remember his emotion after the Cards’ playoff run and Super Bowl appearance a year ago. This was a guy who signed as a free agent when Dennis Green arrived, certain Green was the one to lead the Cards’ renaissance. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and the frustration built for Berry over a few seasons, between the losses and the injuries that cost him half a season in 2005, 2006 and 2007. There was also some frustration with his contract the last couple years, as he ended up having to play for a lower salary than he had when he first showed up.

But Berry noted tonight he thought he “played the game the right way” and he’s right. There were times he could have popped off when he was upset and he never did. He tried to play his role and was a big part of the Cards’ turnaround — which is exactly what he always wanted.

Nothing is set yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Berry hang around. He’s had a thing for broadcasting — hosting the “Big Red Rage” radio show for years and attending the NFL’s broadcast boot camp a couple years ago — and maybe something can be worked out with the Cards in such a capacity. Berry did say he was looking for new challenges. That would qualify (and the Cards did just lose Rob Moore to Syracuse ….)

Including playoffs, Berry led the Cardinals with eight sacks this season. In the end, I’ll remember Bertrand’s ability to still have his shining moments on a football field, delivering his trademark whistle pull — he was the B-Train, after all — following every sack. I’ll remember Bertrand Berry going out on his own terms.


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29 Responses to “Goodbye Bertrand”

  1. By CARDSFAN1178124 on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Great article, I hope Berry does stick around. He came to AZ when we were less than stellar and definitely helped turn things around. Never heard anything bad about Bertrand, and I loved his sack dance!

  2. By Randy Shoemaker on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks for everything Bertrand… You will be missed!!!

  3. By Jimmy Walker on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    You will always be remembered as one of the center pieces of turning this organization around! Thank you for all of your hard work and perserverance, you were always one of my most favorite, and my father always said you were his favorite player! Enjoy whatever life may have in store for you next B-Train!

  4. By HM on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Very sorry to hear this. But I too hope he remains part of this team, even if off the field. I only met him a couple of times – both at Kickoff luncheons – and he was always accommodating. A real class act.

    And yeah, when I addressed him as “Bert”, he did ask to be called “Bertrand”, though he did so with a smile on his face.

  5. By MGRG on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Berry taking over for rob moore makes perfect sense. Very much hope this is what takes place.

  6. By kauaicardsfan on Jan 21, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks again for breaking the story Darren! Not sure what qualifies for the ring of Honor but B-train was a very big part of the Cards being in their first Super Bowl? You will be missed!
    Aloha B Train!

  7. By nor cal cards fan on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    B-Train has always been a class act. Thank you for the years and best of luck B-train.

  8. By TBru on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Farewell and best wishes Bert. Thanks for the memories

  9. By John on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    As a fan I’m sad to hear this. Of all the free agents and vets b-train was the only one I was hoping to stay. He did more than just rush the qb. He bestowed leadership and wisdom onto young cardinals. You will be missed. ;-(

  10. By LadyCard04 on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    As Cardinal fans we will miss him on the field and on the air with the “Rage”. Hope they can work something out to continue the show and have him take over the duties from Rob Moore as well. Bertrand Berry has always been a “Class Act” – enjoy retirement from the physical side of football, spend more time with your family, but hopefully stay a part of the Cardinal “Team”.

  11. By Barry on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    You will be missed in the starting lineup for the defense. Like CARDSFAN said your sack dance was great..always put a smile on my face! I hope you stay around the Card organization cause there is nothing like the B-train!

    -B

  12. By Greg on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Congrats to B-Train on a great playing career and I’m sure you will have an equally successfully one in broadcasting.

  13. By Dan on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Number 92 on the field, but number 1 in our hearts, hate to see you go Bert ( I mean Bertrand)…. Loved the Big Red Rage, I listened every week, enjoy your time off and I hope to hear you soon preferably with Wolfley.

  14. By Rugbymuffin on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    I’ll give him one more B-TRAIN!!! for the road. I will miss yelling that out after his big plays.

    B-Train will be missed. He should be very proud of a career that inspires many to pick themselves up and give themselves a second chance.

    Not to mention he has a highlight reel full of moments where he just made OT’s look pathethic.

    Not to mention he capped off his career with two sacks in a game that will be talked about and replayed forever.

    ASFN: echoes the sentiments
    http://www.arizonasportsfans.com/vb/f4/bert-berry-retires-147182-3.html

    Hope to see you on the TV soon big guy!

  15. By Secret on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    If Berry deserves three announcements of his retirement on the Cardinal’s facebook page, then Warner is going to have 300!

  16. By Secret on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Darren:
    Will the Big Red Rage still air next season? I would suggest Jason Wright to host that show next season, he is fun to listen to.

  17. By darrenurban on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Secret —

    There will be a Big Red Rage. How it evolves is TBA.

  18. By Anna Quintana on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    I am definitely sad to hear this but wish B-Train nothing but the best. Great player/mentor to the young guys and a class act. I knew when you were on the field you’d either garner a sack ok tire out the O-lineman trying to.

    God bless you B-Train and thanks for being a Cardinal back when it wasn’t cool to be a Cardinal 😉

  19. By Eric Fontana on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Thanks Bert-

    I know one thing, you came to play in the playoffs the last two years. I can’t even count the number of plays that you made in front of the North End Zone throng.

    A guy that took a paycut to stay the last couple of years. You’re a class act, and very much appreciated by me.

  20. By Peter in Canada on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    As a fan from afar, I can only follow the Cards through the networks and this blog, so I am not familiar with players’ personalities. I concur that the Cards owed a lot to Berry on the field and I wish him well in retirement. It was nice that he left on his own terms.

  21. By mike hadzinski on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Betrand wow i was a senior @ high school when we signed him i wont forget his press release when he said he still had his pee wee fooball jersy which he was a cardinal wow thats crazy started playing fooball as a card and will retire a card he was a class act i remember after the bears game he called a team meeting and kept every1 in check T.R.U.E. to the game as a player & a leader thanks burt BEST DE WE HAD IN A LONG TIME GOOD BYE BETRAND…

  22. By cards fan on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    Would love to have Berry as an analyst because he is close and not far removed from the current team

  23. By Patrick on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    2 words: Class Act.

  24. By Joe-B on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    He had a great career, hopefully he enjoys his retirement.

  25. By Scott Hornberger on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    I am sorry to see this guy go. A great guy and still capable of being a very good player. I appreciate so much that he chose to stay with the Cardinals for the past two seasons when he could have probably gone to a number of teams for more money. I’m glad he was here for the magical Super Bowl run last year. I really wasn’t expecting this…I just hope he will be the ONLY classy guy and great player who will be leaving us this off-season! Kurt, Anquan…hope you’re listening!

  26. By johnnybluenose on Jan 22, 2010 | Reply

    very sorry to see bertrand go. pretty much means kurt must come back because we can’t afford to lose too many leaders. good night and joy be to you, bertrand.

  27. By campuscodi on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    I made this wallpaper for Bertrand. Thank You.
    http://i297.photobucket.com/albums/mm209/campuscodi/Wallpapers/BertrandBerry.jpg?t=1226106846

  28. By cards62 on Jan 23, 2010 | Reply

    Dear Mr. Bertrand Berry

    You are a warrior and can still play the game. 8 sacks this season. Cardinals will not bring in any rookie or second year player who will earn 8 sacks in the number of snaps you received in 2009. Rest well in the off season Mr. Berry and none of us will be upset with you if you pull a Favre and come out of retirement after training camp, but before the season begins ha ha ha. If not you earned your retirement and hopefully second career in the booth but I for one am hoping you come back for one more season of rushing the QB and being the great presence for and mentor to our young players.

  29. By jim on Jan 24, 2010 | Reply

    Goodbye Bertrand! YOU were an asset to the game.
    You were great at NOTRE DAME & did a GREAT job
    at ARIZONA! YOU will be missed.
    GO CARDS!

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