Around the Horn Tony Reali Tony Reali celebrated 20 years as host of Around the Horn Friday. Credit: ESPN Front Row

For much of the 21st century, Tony Reali has maintained a significant presence on ESPN. Whether it was as ‘Stat Boy’ on Pardon the Interruption or working behind the scenes at 2 Minute Drill, ESPN fans have familiarized themselves quite a bit with him.

But what most viewers recognize Reali for is as the host of Around the Horn. On Friday, the network celebrated his two decades of hosting the popular game show.

Panelists from the show’s past and present offered tributes to Reali in a video the network published on Friday. The ESPN Front Row account on X, the website formerly known as Twitter, posted the video.

“Congratulations to ESPN’s Tony Reali. Feb. 2 marks his 20-year anniversary as host of Around the Horn,” they said.

Longtime contestants Woody Paige, Frank Isola, Mina Kimes, and Pablo Torre left tributes for Reali.

The video began with the lead to the first show Reali ever hosted. He replaced Max Kellerman as the host at the time and has held the job since.

Isola joked that Reali was “voted the second-most popular talent” on the show, likely bigging himself up as the top. Kimes emphasized his “impressive” his “encyclopedic knowledge” is. It makes sense when you consider he was a researcher on the popular 2 Minute Drill show. Paige, meanwhile, joked that Reali’s father would have rather he hosted Jeopardy. Paige’s inclusion really means a lot here, as he’s been a feature of the show himself since it began, pre-Reali days.

J.A. Adande, one of the show’s most famed panelists, also appeared to congratulate Reali around the 2-minute mark. Adande is currently the director of sports journalism at Northwestern University, his alma mater. Los Angeles’ Bill Plaschke, who’s also been a regular appearance on the show over the years, also wished him the best.

It’s a great sight to behold. Around the Horn is still kicking through multiple generations of sports fans in this ever-changing business. So has Tony Reali, who is clearly beloved in his circles.

[ESPN Front Row]

About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022