Last week ESPN published their latest This is SportsCenter commercial featuring a fantasy draft of anchors. That commercial inspired us to action. We tried to produce a full fantasy draft to form teams of anchors that would compete against one another throughout the fall, but the production of a unified scoring system proved to be impossible. After all, Use of Catchphrase can be a positive or a negative score depending on the catchphrase.
However, we have done the next best thing – a definitive ranking of the Top 10 SportsCenter anchors including which fantasy football player they would be. We polled our staff to select their Top 10 current SportsCenter anchors and tallied the points for our countdown.
Here now, your Top 10 Current SportsCenter Anchors…
10) Hannah Storm 20 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Calvin Johnson
The former NBC sportscaster has been with ESPN since 2008 as host of the live morning edition of SportsCenter. While the morning editions aren’t as well-received critically as the evening and late-night editions (our list leans heavily towards the latter two) thanks to the emphasis on analysis and debate, Storm’s work still stands out. She’s a consummate pro and has seen work expand beyond SportsCenter with an interview series on ESPN.
9) Neil Everett 21 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: LeSean McCoy
Howzit! Everett feels like one of the newer guys on this list, but incredibly, he’s been with ESPN since 2000! That will make you feel old. His partnership with Stan Verrett in Los Angeles for the last several years for the late late edition of SportsCenter has been an instrumental force in ESPN returning to the days of established anchor pairings – a welcome transition back to what makes the show work. Everett mixes humor and outspokenness when need be.
8) Linda Cohn 22 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Tom Brady
When Linda Cohn joined ESPN in 1992, Johnny Manziel wasn’t even born yet. SportsCenter has seen a lot of changes in 22 years, but Cohn has been one constant. Over the years she’s emerged as a prominent voice in support of the NHL on SportsCenter and one of the anchors most synonymous with ESPN’s flagship brand.
7) Jay Harris 23 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Matt Forte
When it comes to SportsCenter’s most underrated anchors, Harris has to be at or near the top of the list. He doesn’t have the signature catchphrases or the schtick that other sportscasters have, but he’s very good at every single thing a SportsCenter anchor is called to do. Harris has been a SportsCenter anchor since 2003 and recently moved from 6 PM into the 11 PM rotation.
T5) Kenny Mayne 27 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Marshawn Lynch
Mayne made his return triumphant return to the SportsCenter rotation in August 2013. And although he’s more of a part-timer these days, he’s still beloved by our staff and longtime SportsCenter fans. Mayne’s unique work is a callback to the days when SportsCenter was equal parts sports show and cultural phenomenon.
T5) Robert Flores 27 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Aaron Rodgers
As far as funniest SportsCenter anchors go, the secret candidate to earn that title is Robert Flores. He joined ESPN in 2005 and also doubles down as the anchor of the well-liked Fantasy Football Now show. Not only does he always have some clever pop culture references, anyone willing to flash a crotch chop live on ESPN gets bonus points in our book. Furthermore, anyone willing to give AA a shoutout earns double super spectacular bonus points.
4) Lindsay Czarniak 31 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Jimmy Graham
Czarniak has been one of the best additions to the SportsCenter armada of anchors in the last decade. She joined ESPN in 2011 and has branched out to host the Indy 500 and this year was the sideline reporter for the second Monday Night Football game. But she’s made her name on the 6 PM evening edition of SportsCenter and has formed an entertaining partnership with John Anderson.
3) Steve Levy 36 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Adrian Peterson
Levy is the second longest-tenured anchor on our list, coming to Bristol in 1993. Since then he’s called MLB and NHL games as well as a litany of other assignments. Through it all, he’s been a mainstay at the SportsCenter desk for over two decades. Over the years Levy’s work has always been steady and solid and although he may not draw a lot of headlines or social media chatter, he’s everything you would want in a sports anchor.
2) Scott Van Pelt 62 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Drew Brees
1) John Buccigross 66 PTS
Fantasy Doppelganger: Peyton Manning
When we look back on the SportsCenter of the mid-2010s, the partnership of John Buccigross and Scott Van Pelt will come to define the era. The pairing have found a way to reach and remain relevant to sports fans in insightful and funny ways.
First on the latter, these two have dispelled the notion put forth by rivals that ESPN is the stuffed shirt of the sports world…
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 28, 2014
But Bucci and SVP are at the top of our rankings because they’re willing to show personality and offer insights and thoughts that seem to bounce outside the staid script of calling highlights. In the days of Facebook and Twitter, it’s more important to relate to viewers and make a personal connection than ever before. These two never mail in an episode by delivering a few catchphrases, calling highlights, and going home. They always find a way to make a connection and do so in a smart, entertaining way. And they’re certainly worthy of topping our list of anchors for the flagship sports show of the solar system.
Others Receiving Votes – John Anderson, Max Bretos, Adnan Virk, Stan Verrett, Stuart Scott, Chris McKendry, Sage Steele, Sara Walsh, Kevin Negandhi