MAC ON SPORTS: THERE’S A DECATUR CONNECTION TO AFC, NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES THIS WEEKEND

J. Thomas McNamara

     When the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers take their respective fields for this weekend’s American and National division championship games, a former Decatur MacArthur graduate and long-time friend, Scott Berchtold, will have more than casual interest in the Bills game.
    The Bills play the Chiefs for the American Conference championship and berth in Super Bowl 55, and the Packers meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tom Brady for the National Conference title and the other berth in the Feb. 7 Super Bowl.
    Berchtold is in his 32nd year with the Bills where he serves as a special assistant.
    He has worked in public relations and communications for 37 years, starting out as an intern with the Cleveland Browns, who bowed out Sunday with their loss to the defending Super Bowl champs, Kansas City Chiefs.
    After interning with the Browns and earning his master’s degree in sports administration, Berchtold moved to Green Bay where he became a part of the Packers public relations/communications staff where he stayed until the Buffalo Bills hired him and where he’s been for these 32 years.
    His educational career is an interesting one.  After graduating from MacArthur, he went to the University of Illinois for two years where he was seeking a public relations degree, but the university eliminated it.
    Berchtold then went to SIU Carbondale where he worked in the sports information office with Dave Lancer, who had graduated from Ohio University which had the sports administration degree program.  After graduating from SIU with his bachelor’s degree, Berchtold went to Ohio University and got his master’s degree and where he got the internship with the Browns that has led to his almost four decades in the NFL.
    I will have more on my conversation with Berchtold in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune, a guy who worked for three of the eight teams that played in last week’s division games–the Browns, the Bills and Packers.
    Quite an accomplishment for the redhead from MacArthur, who lived with his parents right behind the late John and Eubie Alexander.  Alex, of course, is the former Eisenhower football head coach and now a Decatur School District Athletic Hall of Famer.

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