Shouts And Mallomars

Bonnie Bernstein

bonnie bernstein

bonnie bernstein
New York, New York,
November 02
Starving Writer
Quirky, Edgy Authoress, Phanatically Baseball Lite. Writing the great American smutty memoir. Bonnie's words can be found in places like TheFix, YourTango, Modern Love Rejects, Salon, Petside, Babble, Perils of Divorced Pauline, Newsday and NYResident. Lisa Belkin wrote about Bonnie in Motherlode and Anderson Cooper interviewed her. Follow Bonnie on Twitter: bonnieb_writer


Editor’s Pick
MARCH 30, 2011 12:02AM

Being Bonnie Bernstein (Or ESPN when do I get my paycheck?)

Rate: 2 Flag

People friend me on Facebook because they think I am the Bonnie Bernstein from ESPN. They see my name and immediately believe I am the one who announces football games, analyzes a play and interviews the quarterback. A fan recently fawned over me saying, “Nice job on WPIX this morning, great analysis.” I tried to tell him I am not her. It was especially difficult for me because the other Bonnie Bernstein is tall, blonde and beautiful. I always wished I could look that good yet as a divorced woman and five feet one one inch tall I have felt compared to her short, fat and ugly. 

Another man wanted to date me. I mean her. I have been propositioned several times with promises of amorous dinners. I have not been out on any romantic interludes since the Redsox won their last World Series title in 2007. These candlelit promises seemed tempting. I have not figured out the right way to let her fans know I’m just an average suburban divorced mom when there has even been a blog devoted to the fantasy of bedding Bonnie Bernstein.

Her doppelganger, me, has always been a sports fanatic. As a child, while watching a Jets football game at Shea Stadium, my teeth chattered from the cold air. I grew up on Joe Namath folklore. From our black and white television, my mother, Ruth Rickmeyer, admired his good looks. I have written about my misadventures in life, including as a groupie for our nation’s pastimes, football and baseball. I brought Tom Seaver cookies hoping for an autograph. I finally did get that signed picture. I always made the best cheerleader. Not far from where the Stadium once stood so proudly in Queens, my mother nourished me with a love of Lee Mazzilli over the dinner table in Glendale by the Interboro Parkway (now Jackie Robinson Parkway). I grew up a Mets fan with a Fran Drescher accent. My English teacher, who I had a crush on, loved the Yankees. I forgave him that indiscretion.

I used to call the Major League Baseball Player’s Association about my son’s favorite player. Jake, now twenty three years old, was a fan of Florida Marlins’ AJ Burnett before AJ became a Yankee. This was how I found out about the other Bonnie Bernstein. The man who answered the phone thought I was her. That was eight years ago. I did not know who she was, but the MLBPA’s employee thought our voices sounded similar. I admit I said I could be that Bonnie if it would help me get a certain south paw’s agents name and telephone number. Yet it wasn’t worth trying to lie. Though I was getting a kick out of all this attention, it would have been a poor example to set for a parent.

When a retired centerfielder wrote a great newspaper piece about baseball, I sent him a message. He was on the Phillies when I switched allegiances from the Mets, after Turk Wendell was traded. At Spring Training, he said he would give me a game used batting glove if I replaced the Mets jersey I was wearing with a Phillies one. He said, “Got your message from the Times. How are you? This is the Bonnie Bernstein I know from the sports world? I have been forwarding the articles to your AOL account. Did you change your email?” He thought I was my double. Everywhere I went she usurped me. I let him know I was not. He said he remembered me but then blocked me. That hurt.

On Facebook, I wanted to talk to people about baseball. I started friending fans of the sport who would compliment me for being me. I was naïve. I knew left field from right, but how did they know that? I did not get it until someone wrote, “I enjoyed hearing you when you were a sideline reporter and I would like to add you as a friend.” As the confusion between me and the other Bonnie Bernstein became obvious, I tried to let everyone know. I posted that I was not ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein, that I was me on my profile and status. I was the one typing those fan letters to baseball players on a selectric typewriter when she was still in middle school. One person unfriended me.

No matter what, some people still think I am her. It’s frustrating getting congratulated for something everyone thinks I said on the radio. There are at least eighteen other Bonnie Bernstein’s on Facebook. I wonder if they have this identity crisis, too. There are over five hundred people waiting for me to friend them back. Recently, it was my birthday. I wondered if some who wished me good thoughts for another year did because they thought I was my twin. As a freelance writer, I thought I would make my own page on Facebook to show my writing. I got preempted. My name was all ready taken by the other Bonnie Bernstein.

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You must be the good Bonnie.
As a Jets/Mets fan who has the same name as the Queens D.A., I've been mistaken for another person many times but not on that level. But hey, can you get me Chris Berman's autograph?
A friend of mine with the last name Wood lived in Dorchester, MA in the late 1980's. He continually got phone calls from giggling pre-teens looking for Danny Wood from New Kids on the Block. It both amused and kind of freaked him out. Sometimes he would answer the phone and the young thing would be too over come to even speak and just giggle.
Really nice story, Bonnie. I hope to see more from you soon!
thanks everyone -- sometimes i forget who i am and then...