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Wednesday
Oct202010

The Best & Worst Of ESPN

Picture Of Scott Van Pelt

By JOHN P. WISE
One Great Season

Welcome to the first annual Best & Worst of ESPN. I recently asked some writer friends to give me a list of their favorite on-air people at the WWL, as well as a list of those they like the least.

There were no restrictions, really; voters could pick "SportsCenter" anchors, in-studio analysts, game analysts, color commentators, sideline reporters, any on-camera personality. Even Jenn Brown got a vote, and this wasn't even a bikini contest. (It was a "worst" vote, by the way.)

So without further ado, after the jump you'll find a look at our ESPN favorites, with a quote or two from our voters:

  1. Scott Van Pelt: "Just gets it. No gimmicks. I love watching his golf coverage. Plus, he likes 'Aqua Teen Hunger Force.'"
  2. Jay Bilas: "A ruthless yet fundamentally fair commentator who is willing to stick his neck out and rip people."
  3. Rece Davis: "The calmest, sanest man in the room whenever ESPN covers college football or basketball."
  4. Chris Fowler: "He does so much to increase the prestige of the ESPN brand with his work in college football and tennis ... I wish ESPN had 10 of him."
  5. Mike Tirico: "I would watch chess on TV if Tirico was calling the action."
  6. Sean McDonough: "One of the few play-by-play guys who will put his idiot color commentators in their place, but in a professional way. Just love the voice."
Honorable Mention: Tom Jackson, Kirk Herbstreit

And now our least favorite ESPN people:

  1. Stuart Scott: "Lame sound effects, attempts at clever humor always fail ... Does anybody like him? ... Contrary to popular belief and despite his frequent use of the phrase, he did not coin, 'cooler than the other side of the pillow.'"
  2. Craig James: "Needs to be locked in a dark equipment room ... ESPN Conflict Of Interest poster boy."
  3. Chris Berman: "Add him to the list of guys with a tired schtick. The sound effects, the silly nicknames, and the cliches are all so very tired."
  4. Dick Vitale: "He's become a complete and total cheerleader for John Calipari and that just drives me crazy."
  5. Colin Cowherd: "Self-important, narrow-minded blow hard who loves to hear himself talk and looks like a rat."
  6. Lou Holtz: "I'm not sure this guy knows where he is anymore."
Honorable Mention: Skip Bayless, Mel Kiper Jr.


DISCUSSION: Who Do You Like/Hate The Most At ESPN?

Among those who participated in this survey were: David Balutanski, Jay Beck, Jacqueline Conrad, Mark Ennis, Jeff Garcia, Jeff Gluck, Ben Jackey, Raphielle Johnson, Adam Kramer, Troy Machir, Chad Potier, Matt Zemek

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Reader Comments (17)

Sadly, Lisa and I were actually laughing while Lou Holtz spoke on television the other day. He was giving a mock pre-game locker room speech and although it wasn't intended to be comical it was just ridiculous and nearly unintelligible.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris Shoop

how did CINDY BRUNSON not amke the worst list!!!!!!!!!!!

she IS the worst!

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdave

@Shoop: Yeah, I feel bad for Holtz. I don't think anybody not blood-related to him enjoys watching him.

@Dave: I agree wholeheartedly. She is definitely terrible.

October 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterJohn P. Wise

If Stuart Scott is "street," then Al Roker is Don Magic Juan.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew Fenton

No Joe Morgan?

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJW

@Matt: But nobody wants Roker to disappear.

@JW: Morgan got a few votes both ways, but not enough to make either list.

October 20, 2010 | Registered CommenterJohn P. Wise

Oh my. Scott Van Pelt at number one. How can somebody say he has "no gimmicks." That is pure absurdity. His attempts at humor at bad and far too frequent.

I agree with the like list and hate list otherwise. Karl Ravech might make the like list; Neil Everett's too shticky so he's on the hate list. Hannah Storm would make both lists - love how she looks, but she's terrible at her job.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

Mark Schleruth... listen to him talk. He can't say "NFL" he has to say National Football League every single time.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMr. ESPN

I like Trevor Matich on College Football Live.

October 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJP

If I hear berman say The Raiders in that stupid pirate voice again I may vomit.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGabe

Kenny Mayne is hilarious.

no Stephen A Smith on the worst list baffles my mind.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjack

Berman is the worst by far. The vapid commentary, the tired catchphrases... I turn the channel whenever he's on. Every time I hear "WHOOOOOP!" I just want to destroy something innocent and beautiful.

October 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLLDR

How could Mark May not make the list of the absolute worst ESPN hosts? He's a joke, as is his alma mater Pitt.

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTrane

Here was the top-10 I submitted
1. Kenny Mayne
2. Mike Tirico
3. Scott Van Pelt
4. Barry Melrose
5. Sean McDonough
6. Tony Reali
7. Erin Andrews
8. Sal Masekela
9. Karl Ravich
10. Jonathan Coachman
HM - Tommy Smythe, Stephen Bardo, Matthew Barnaby, John Andersen, Fran Fraschilla, Quint Kessenich, Jalen Rose, Dan Schulman, Howie Schwabb

Bottom-10
1. Skip Bayless
2. Mark Schlereth
3. Bill Simmons
4. Rick Reily
5. Jim Grey
6. Colin Cowherd
7. Digger Phelps
8. Lowell Galindo
9. Lou Holtz
10. Jenn Brown
HM - Craig James, Trevor Matich, Jamie Little

October 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTroy Machir

Not any of either of my list made it...WOW...

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLSUChadP

Oh wait Lou made it...

October 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLSUChadP

Thanks John...

October 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLSUChadP

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