Daniel: The Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame
I remember in the early and mid 2000s, summers in my house in Connecticut were spent watching ESPN in the late afternoon, between playing front yard baseball or basketball and waiting for the Yankees or Mets game that night, watching ESPN original programs. No show better than “5 Reasons You Can’t Blame.” I credit this show for teaching me how to analyze end results of, not just games or plays, but in general. And years later watching the show on reruns, I still learn something new about some of the most recognizable moments in sports.
Ian Hammock: Sports Night
I used to watch this show when I was a kid – it follows the behind-the scenes goings-on of a fictional sports network. What fascinated me (and still does, honestly) is how much detail they go into, not only in regards to the way that the broadcast is put together (writing, organization, etc) but the technical aspect as well (camerawork and monitoring of the broadcast and so on). It opened my eyes to the idea of writing for sports magazines and television programs and also told a great story in its own way. Too bad it only lasted two seasons.
Brandon Combs: SportsCenter
I will never forget the feeling of ESPN Sportscenter every morning before school. The thrill of tuning in and seeing the scores for the games my young was not able to watch in the late night before, was perfection. Nothing else mattered so long as you could see the highlights and the box score. Sportscenter gave you just the most important bits and has fueled many fans for decades since being unveiled in 1979. Sportscenter is the reason I am a sports fan and for that it will always hold a special place in my heart, regardless of any criticism it receives.
Chelsea McBay: His and Hers
Out of all the various sports shows out there, my favorite is definitely His and Hers, which is a talk show on ESPN2. It utilizes humor and jokes to make sports even more interesting and funny than they already are. They have awesome hosts and quality content. My favorite part about it is that it has female hosts too, which helps show me how to properly be a televison host because one day I would like to work for ESPN to do that exact thing.
I’m not much for watching news about sports while I could just be watching sports themselves, but NBA Game Time is definitely my favorite of the bunch. It’s the flagship program of NBA Network–they give live look-ins into ongoing games so you can keep up with the league and watch some good basketball.
Jaives Lundy: Highly Questionable
ESPN’s 24 hour news cycle is the equivalent of beating a dead horse, only from a different perspective with each flogging of the horse. First the news gets broken on SportSCenter, then debated on First Take, humored by His and Hers and debated again on Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption before it being discussed again on SportSCenter at 7 p.m. And then there’s Highly Questionable, a show at 4:30 p.m. that’s a breath of fresh air. Dan Le Betard and Bomani Jones aren’t your regular talking heads, and Gonzalo “Papi” Le Betard isn’t your regular sports fan. They breeze through the day’s top stories with sharp wit and humor along with expanding into pop culture multiple times throughout the show. What the trio is most known for however, is their polarizing interviews. They hit the whole spectrum, with participants ranging from Steph Curry to Gucci Mane, with none of them disappointing the viewers.
Bryan Davis: Inside the NBA
Easily a must-watch for any hoops fan. The dynamic and unpredictable trio of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal is unlike any other on television, and the addition of Kevin Garnett and his Area 21 segment has only made the show more entertaining to watch this season. TNT’s broadcast was also home to the late Craig Sager, and the entire crew stood behind Craig throughout his battle with leukemia.