Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Former Steeler Tries out on 'Matchmaker'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Former Steeler Tries out on 'Matchmaker'

Article excerpt

In his l6-year career as an NFL punter, Mitch Berger played for 11 different teams. He won a Super Bowl XLIII ring with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He became a successful businessman, owning restaurants and clubs in his native Canada, and a football analyst on television. A lifelong Steelers fan -- his father's family is originally from near Homestead -- he said he was thrilled to be able to celebrate a championship with the team, with his family at the game.

Yet something was missing.

As he says in next Tuesday's episode of "Millionaire Matchmaker:" "I feel like I've been 25 for the last 15 years."

That's a lot of flying around, said Patti Stanger, star of Bravo's hit reality show, adding that Mr. Berger needed a Wendy for his Peter Pan.

But she said she considered him a tough sell at first. Sincerity is not generally the hallmark of reality television, and she wasn't expecting to find it in Mr. Berger.

"I thought he was doing it to promote his brand, but he really did come to me to find love. That was my favorite part," said Ms. Stanger, whose "Millionaires Club" matchmaking service is featured on the website http://PattiKnows.com.

After all this time, Ms. Stanger said she still gets a "glowy" feeling from a successful match. However, her job is to introduce.

"I can't make anybody fall in love, and any matchmaker who says that, you need to fire them right now," she said.

Mr. Berger, 40, said in a recent interview that he'd been approached to do dating shows before, but he agreed to do "Millionaire Matchmaker" because a friend of his was casting for it.

He said the "millionaire" part is kind of stretching it, at least in his case: "I had to get a couple of bags of pop bottles to get over the mark, but I made it," he added, laughing.

"I really don't have a hard time getting a date, but my whole career, I was in so many cities, moving around, and I never got the opportunity to meet the kind of girl I wanted to have kids and a family with.

"I actually thought that would happen when I moved back to Vancouver."

After watching a few episodes "I thought I could handle Patti, so I thought, 'What the hell? …

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