Let’s face it: everybody loves lists. People in sports media really love lists.
How many times do we see on sports television or sports radio, analysts breaking down the best quarterbacks in the NFL, or the top 10 players in the NBA, or the greatest players of all-time in a particular sport?
It’s engraved in our society. It’s a norm for the American people.
We go to our barber shops, we play pick-up basketball with our friends and family, and it seems like everything we discuss pertaining to sports, quickly shifts into an argument about which player or team is better.
The sports media world is undoubtedly over-saturated. There are so many media mavens and personalities that it’s honestly so hard to keep track of everyone. But here’s a list that you should all appreciate.
Everyone has their favorite sports media personalities that they love and hate.
Here is Oddschecker’s Power Rankings of the Top 10 Best Sports Media Personalities in the business.
Dan Le Batard, ESPN; Bill Simmons, The Ringer; Peter King, NBC Sports; Mike Florio, NBC Sports; Jay Bilas, ESPN; Michael Wilbon, ESPN; Paul Finebaum, ESPN; Rachel Nichols, ESPN; Erin Andrews, FOX Sports; Mike Tirico, NBC Sports; Dan Patrick, NBC Sports; Ernie Johnson, Turner Sports; Jim Nantz, CBS Sports; Joe Buck, FOX Sports; Al Michaels, NBC Sports; Tony Kornheiser, ESPN; Mike Breen, ESPN.
1. Colin Cowherd, FOX Sports
It is without question that Colin Cowherd of FOX Sports is now the best in the business.
Cowherd is the host of ‘The Herd with Colin Cowherd’ on FOX Sports Radio and FOX Sports 1. The show is the number one studio program on FS1.
From his ‘Colin Right, Colin Wrong’ segment to his ‘Herd Hierarchy’ and his ‘Blazing 5’ where he picks his five best NFL bets of the week, Cowherd, who is a constant critic of Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, is the face of FOX Sports, and sports talk radio altogether.
2. Stephen A. Smith, ESPN
Take your pick: Colin Cowherd or ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith because both are 1A and 1B on my list as two of the best sports personalities.
Want to learn even more about Stephen A., be sure to check out his profile on GQ’s site. It was fascinating to say the least.
The face of ‘Embrace Debate’, Stephen A. is a commentator alongside Molly Qerim and Max Kellerman on ESPN’s ‘First Take’. He also makes appearances as an NBA analyst on ‘SportsCenter’, and he is the host of the ‘Stephen A. Smith Show’ on ESPN Radio.
3. Matthew Berry, ESPN
Fantasy Sports has taken over the sports landscape, and the grandfather of it all is fantasy sports analyst and television personality Matthew Berry of ESPN.
If you really think about it, when fantasy sports, specifically for NFL football, took off in the mid-2000s, it was Berry who was the front-and-center man at ESPN steering the ship. He now currently hosts a Fantasy Focus Podcast, and he writes columns for ESPN.com, which include his ‘Love/Hate’ and ‘100 Facts’ columns, two of the most viewed pieces on the site.
4. Clay Travis, FOX Sports
Clay Travis is another personality on the front and center of FOX Sports and sports gambling in America.
Travis has a morning radio show on FOX Sports Radio, and he appears daily on FOX Sports 1’s daily sports gambling show called ‘Lock It In’. He is also the founder of OutKicktheCoverage.com, and he has a national weekly television show called ‘Outkick the Show’, which is broadcast on Periscope and Facebook.
Travis also previously worked at CBS, Deadspin, and he was a national columnist at FanHouse.
5. Dave Portnoy, Barstool Sports
Dave Portnoy, the founder of the sports and pop culture blog ‘Barstool Sports’, has turned himself and the site into one of the most talked about blogs in sports.
The site contains an assortment of podcasts, blogs and video series which features company staff in what has been described as ‘a sort of online reality show’.
6. Skip Bayless, FOX Sports
Who remembers his support of former Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow? How about his love for his Dallas Cowboys? And the constant comparisons between Michael Jordan and LeBron James? Yes, it begins and ends with FOX Sports analyst and on-air talent Skip Bayless.
Bayless used to be a commentator with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s ‘First Take’, but has since made the move to FOX Sports and now sits alongside NFL Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe on their show called ‘Undisputed’.
7. Scott Van Pelt, ESPN
One of the best sportscasters and television personalities in sports, Scott Van Pelt is the anchor for the midnight edition of ‘SportsCenter’. The show covers sports events from the day, but it also includes additional content from Van Pelt and others, including the ‘Bad Beats’ segment featuring Cousin Sal, which talks about the worst losses in the world of sports gambling.
He previously co-anchored the 11pm edition of ‘SportsCenter’ on ESPN, he also served as the co-host of ‘SVP & Russillo’ alongside fellow sports media personality Ryen Russillo on ESPN Radio, and he still currently hosts various golf events for ESPN.
8. Adam Schefter, ESPN
Adam Schefter is the face of the NFL for ESPN.
Schefter, an NFL Insider for the company since 2009 who also previously worked for NFL Network, also joined the ‘NBA on ESPN’ team for multiple games as a sideline reporter in 2017. ESPN presented Schefter with the chance to work NBA games as part of his new contract.
In February 2017, ESPN launched Schefter's ‘Know Them From Adam’ podcast, which features long-form conversations with different people who have a connection to the NFL and football.
9. Jay Glazer, FOX Sports
Like Schefter, Jay Glazer is the face of the NFL, but for FOX Sports.
Glazer also is a contributor for ‘The Athletic NFL’ and he is an NFL Insider for FOX Sports’ pre-game show, FOX NFL Sunday.
He’s known to have a lot of connections in the NFL, which is why he is always at the top of the food chain when it comes to breaking news.
10. Adrian Wojnarowski, ESPN
You ever heard of the phrase “Woj Bomb”?
Well, yeah this is the guy that they refer to when he drops a slam dunk breaking news item on the NBA.
Adrian Wojnarowski, who previously covered the NBA for Yahoo! Sports, is now an NBA Insider for ESPN. He is considered one of the best NBA insiders in the business, especially during the NBA Draft, when he has called the draft picks and trades involving picks ahead of time on his Twitter account.
By Dan Canova