Neil Everett anchored his final SportsCenter last week and he’s relished the opportunity to talk about some of his best moments at The Worldwide Leader over the past two decades.
Everett, who departed ESPN after 23 years amid significant layoffs and cost-cutting at the company, joined The Dan Patrick Show on Friday, to discuss some of his finer moments, including his run with co-anchor Stan Verrett, closing the chapter on ESPN’s last great SportsCenter duo.
Neil Everett discusses leaving ESPN and shares a story about doing a "This is SportsCenter" commercial with @RogerFederer.
— Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow) June 30, 2023
One of the greater feats as a SportsCenter anchor was getting to have your own catchphrase. While that came naturally to Everett when he went back to his home in Hawaii, all anyone wanted to know was when he was going to appear in a This is SportsCenter commercial.
“That’s all anybody wanted,” he said.
The catchphrases are part of the “E” that stands for entertainment in ESPN, and so are those commercials. And as Patrick said, getting athletes to come to Bristol to do those commercials was essentially like pulling teeth because they wanted the promise of money or a charitable donation.
“And then all of a sudden the reaction when athletes saw those guys do those commercials, then the floodgates opened,” Patrick recalled. “Everybody wanted to have their own commercial.”
For Everett, the commercial that stands out to him the most is the Roger Federer commercial.
“It’s the first [commercial] I did. I was the only person in it,” Everett said.
“Roger, if they ranked anchors, where would I be, 1-10?”
“I’m not sure you’d be in the top 10, Neil.”
“I was able to give him stink eye and say I’d be in the top 10,” Everett said. “And what’s really funny about that, was that Roger Federer wrote me after that and he said, ‘Hey, I did some research. You’re definitely in the top 10, would you like to be my guest at the US Open?'”
Everett wrote him back, gleefully accepting the invitation, but didn’t receive a response.
“I’ve never heard from him since,” he said.
And now that he’s no longer at ESPN, he probably never will.