Top 25 "This Is Sportscenter" Commercials

Jeremy DornAnalyst IIISeptember 14, 2011

Top 25 "This Is Sportscenter" Commercials

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    If you found this article, you are clearly a sports junkie like me. It means you are on a website which has the sole desire to present articles, slide shows, videos and other media all pertaining to the world of sports to the general public. And they do a darn good job at it.

    You also must have torn through the archives to find this specific slide show since I'm not exactly the Justin Verlander of sports writers (see, you understand that reference because you understand sports!).

    Anyway, this all just goes to serve as a giant disclaimer: If for some reason, you have stumbled across my slide show without previous knowledge of sports, exit the browser now. I promise the references in the videos will be lost on anyone who does not understand the subtleties of specific athletes, teams and sports. 

    So, everyone watches SportsCenter on ESPN. Everyone has seen the wildly successful ad campaign "This is SportsCenter." To the diehard sports fan, these commercials are gut-busting. And it's been said that an entire night can be wasted if you search that slogan on ESPN's YouTube channel. I mean, I wouldn't know personally. I've just been told. There's no way I've spent a whole night doing that.

    Okay, I've done it twice.

    But I believe that makes me an expert on the topic. So without further ado, here are the top 25 "This is SportsCenter" ads of all time.

No. 25: Jimmy Rollins, Slump Buster Extraordinaire

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    The dialogue in this ad is hilarious, even if the idea behind it is lame. Watching Scott Van Pelt's various screw-ups on the monitor is what really gets me laughing though. 

No. 24: SportsCenter Catch Phrases

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    Kenny Mayne is a quirky dude in the first place, but listening to him throw out stupid catch phrases is awesome. And it doesn't hurt that you get to see Junior's sweet swing a few times in this clip. 

No. 23: Where Is Minnesota, Anyway?

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    The first time I watched this one I had to replay it because my laughing drowned out the actual commercial. Scott Van Pelt's Minnesota accent is spot-on. I met a bunch of people from Minnesota over the summer on a trip, and I can attest to its accuracy now. And the Fargo reference is just perfect.

No. 22: Landon Donovan Gets Rough

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    While Donovan has clearly never taken acting classes, the concept behind this commercial is still creative. Besides, who hasn't wanted to give their copy machine a kick every once in a while?

No. 21: The Arnold Palmer

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    An instant classic if you ask me. This ad really relies on the audience to have good face recognition, or good drink recognition so they can put one and one together. But the simplicity of the ad is what gets that delayed, uproarious laughter. Well, at least from me.

No. 20: The Derek Jeter Razor Debacle

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    For some reason, I really like the ones that have mascots in them. They make me laugh in a little-kid way. Wait, maybe that's not good. Anyway, this might be higher on the list, but seeing the Phillie Phanatic phully nude kind of freaks me out...

No. 19: Matt Ryan Rattles off the Password

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    Josh Elliott's reaction about halfway through this video is hysterical. That must have been an important play in the Falcons' offensive scheme there too, because the Chicago Bears defense clearly watches ESPN—and they took advantage of the play Ryan spits out in the video in their Week 1 match up...

No. 18: Mustache Competition

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    The playoff beard has become a sports obsession, and SportsCenter does a great job of portraying it in this ad. Again, the use of a mascot has me cracking up!

No. 17: Junior Gives Directions

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    I can always appreciate a stab at NASCAR, especially when it's one of their own making the joke. I might have listed this one higher if not for the excruciating pencil-on-paper sound throughout. Funny—that sound is the only thing more painful than watching NASCAR.

No. 16: Maria Sharapova...'Nuff Said!

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    A SportsCenter twist on a classic situation. Guy betrays friend in order to get shot at pretty girl. Except this girl is bangin' hot. Stuart Scott is a good wing man though. He understands.

No. 15: Young Keyshawn and Kobe at Rookie Camp

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    This one is hilarious for all the right reasons. Way back when commercials didn't have to be cleaner than a Clayton Kershaw pitching line, they were allowed to imply cuss words were being thrown around. And Keyshawn and Kobe do a nice job actually looking surprised in this clip. Roger Goodell would have fined this commercial 50 grand and suspended it for six games.  

No. 14: Abby Wambach Can't Be Fooled

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    This concept took way too long to get into a SportsCenter commercial. It is absolutely true though, and that's what makes it so funny. John does a good job selling it too. I definitely would have awarded a free kick.

No. 13: What Is That Thing?

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    Such a simple concept, delivered perfectly! I actually end up feeling bad for the poor guy! Or...girl. Or, badger? Hell if I know.

No. 12: "It's Just a Bronze."

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    Michael Phelps actually has two pretty good SportsCenter ads, but I chose this one because Jay Harris really seals it with the last line. Another short, witty clip from SportsCenter. Any average sports fan better get the references on this one though!

No. 11: Not Usain Bolt's Best Day

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    I didn't know what to expect when this ad started playing. ESPN does a great job of keeping this one subtle until the end. And the punchline is brilliant. Plus, there are style points for the dialogue and the cool Jamaican accent.

No. 10: Classic Lip-Reading

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    This reminds me of Anchorman, and that alone is enough to earn a spot in the top 10. But the fact that they do a great job actually coming up with funny lines to include is a bonus. My favorite is the one about the wedgie. Stop looking at me like that...yes, wedgie jokes are still funny! 

No. 9: Trading Jerseys

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    SportsCenter is really nailing it with the soccer-related ads. This one kills me. And I think Josh Elliott is the most talented actor of the ESPN anchor bunch. Anyway, check out the unfair trade he gets here.

No. 8: LT Has a Little Trouble in the Mailing Room

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    I have always been impressed at how well these mundane office tasks in the commercials can be directly related to a distinctive feature of a star athlete. Take this video for example. LT's image always included the dark shade he wore on his helmet on game days. What a great, funny way to utilize that well-known fact.

No. 7: GSP's Cubicle

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    Or should I say Octible? I love this one. It's also nice to see UFC get a little plug on these ads. The only reason this one didn't go higher is because there are so many good ones crowding the top 10. And because St. Pierre doesn't actually hit anyone.

No. 6: Gordie Can Still Kick Your Butt

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    The aggressive, talkative old man cracks me up in this clip. This is an old-school ad for sure, but the idea is hilarious, and the end is pure perfection. Enjoy!

No. 5: Fear the Beard

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    I really don't like Brian Wilson, or the Giants for that matter, so it was painful for me to put his ad in the top five. But sometimes, you have to give credit where credit is due. And this special effects-laden commercial is shocking, silly and satisfying at the same time. Well done, Brian. Now go play in another division so you quit terrorizing my Dodgers.

No. 4: Manny Being Manny

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    Manny Ramirez isn't so funny anymore after the former All-Star was arrested for domestic violence. But his antics on the field were almost as unforgettable as his sheer power over the years. He is and always will be one of my favorite players. This clip lends itself to the general hilarity of the whole "Manny being Manny" phrase.

    On an unrelated note, is this ad teetering on the brink of racism or am I just jaded by all the politically-correct crap on TV nowadays?

No. 3: Long Days in the Office

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    We've all had days like this at work. Seeing our friends outside on a nice, sunny day. Maybe relaxing in the pond...wait. In the pond? I'm a sucker for the mascot clips and this one would have made me laugh if the Oregon Duck had just stood there looking at the camera. But they do a great job relaying an everyday human experience to the mascot on this one.

No. 2: Josh Hamilton Drops Bombs

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    I've probably watched this one 20 times and it still makes me laugh. Josh Hamilton is well-known for his power at the plate, and the baseball-headed Mets mascot does not like what he did to a few family members. The mascot's reaction is hilarious and so is the punchline at the end.

No. 1: Big Papi Betrays Beantown

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    Everything about my No. 1 "This is SportsCenter" ad is good. I know, I'm sick of the Yankees and Red Sox getting all the coverage on ESPN too. But they played off the biggest, baddest, most popular rivalry in all of sports and made it into a gut-busting clip. The reaction of the Sox mascot is fantastic, especially because any true Red Sox fan would do the exact same thing.