When ESPN SportsCenter was first created all the way back in the pre-internet, pre-cable news networks, technologically dark year of – ready for this? – 1979, sports fans around the world rejoiced. No longer would they have to wait for the morning paper to check out the box scores and get the rundown of how their team did. No longer. With the advent of ESPN, the world absolutely changed for sports fans forever.
When SportsCenter originally debuted, it was aired just once daily. But now as the world has evolved, sports leagues have grown larger than anyone could have possibly been envisioned way back then, and the demand for constant information 24 hours a day, ESPN has grown and evolved right along with it. Now, SportsCenter airs up to a dozen times every day, airing all of the day's scores, highlights, injury reports, and whatever nuggets of information they deem interesting or relevant enough to pass along.
Thanks to the explosion of sports and the demand for information, ESPN has grown into a behemoth. And with all of the airings of SportsCenter per day, the network has to hire more and more talent to fill all the time slots. Some of the SportsCenter anchors over the years have been absolutely brilliant. They've combined personality with a depth of knowledge that has made them a pleasure to watch. They've left an indelible mark upon the landscape of sports reporting. Others – well – have been somewhat less than brilliant and haven't left much of a mark anywhere.
There will undoubtedly be debate about who the best SportsCenter anchors of all time are. How could there not be? With such a pool of talent to draw from, combined with differing tastes and opinions from all corners of the internet, surely some will have a much different list than can be found here. Which is great, so please feel free to disagree in the comments section and tell us who you think the best anchors of all time are.
Until then though, here are the 10 best anchors in SportsCenter history...
10 Sage Steele (2007-Present)
Sage Steele was a graduate of Indiana University back in the day, and got her start in sports broadcasting for a local CBS affiliate in South Bend, Indiana – WSBT. After a couple of stops that took her to Indianapolis, and then in Tampa, Florida, working for WFTS, Steele found herself hitting the big time – working for ESPN and SportsCenter as on-air talent.
9 Craig Kilborn (1993-1996)
8 Chris Berman (1979-Present)
7 Stuart Scott (1993-2015)
Stuart Scott truly was “as cool as the other side of the pillow.” After bouncing around local network affiliate stations doing sports reporting, Scott found his way to ESPN and into SportsCenter immortality. Though Scott takes a lot of grief from a lot of people for his reporting style, many find him to be funny, intelligent, witty, and wise. He blended his mellow, upbeat persona with a hard working mentality. It's difficult to understand why some folks out there just didn't like Stuart Scott.
6 Linda Cohn (1992-Present)
5 Kenny Mayne (1994-Present)
4 Suzy Kolber (1993-1996, 1999-Present)
3 Rich Eisen (1996-2003)
2 Keith Olbermann (1992-1997)
1 Dan Patrick (1989-2006)
Dan Patrick was the ultimate straight man for the sometimes manical Keith Olbermann, and later for Rich Eisen. Patrick worked for a few local radio stations and worked hard. He got his big break in 1983 when CNN hired him to be a sports reporter for the network. In 1989, ESPN brought Patrick on board and he stayed with the “Mothership” for nearly twenty years. Patrick is intelligent, has a dry sense of humor, and a biting sense of sarcasm. But he also comes across as a fun, pretty likeable guy – traits you can see and hear come through loud and clear on his nationally syndicated morning sports talk radio show. Though his time at ESPN didn't necessarily end on a good note, the time he spent there, with Olbermann in particular, was groundbreaking for the network. Together, the two of them really helped reshape modern sports reporting and sports journalism. He and Olbermann were great to watch together and it's a shame they've both moved on to other things.
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