The amazing news this week that Ron Burgundy was making a comeback to the silver screen for an Anchorman sequel had us breaking out our jazz flutes in celebration. It's simply one of the funniest movies ever made. But it also got us thinking... what would happen if there was a sports version of Anchorman? What would happen if Anchorman 2 was set in Bristol, Connecticut and featured ESPN personalities? Who would be the stars of Bristol's Action Four news team...
Ron Burgundy - Chris Berman
Who else could fill the massive shoes of Ron Burgundy than the man that is more synonymous with Bristol, Connecticut than any other? Berman is one of the few characters that could match the aura of Burgundy on the television screen. His catchphrases, nicknames, personality, and decades long run at the top of ESPN makes him the clearcut choice to lead the Bristol Action Four news team. Away from the cameras, Berman has everything you could ask for as well - drug related tutorials, expletive filled rants, and little knowledge of modern day society. Berman may even believe diversity is an old, wooden ship too. As an added bonus, he's got the porn stache in the old bag of tricks.
Brian Fantana - Jay Bilas
The suave reporter known for his smooth delivery and sex-crazed antics has to be played by an individual whose swag knows no boundaries. It has to be someone whose self-confidence borders on the edge of a psychological disorder. That man is Jay Bilas. His swag can't be contained. Who else not just in sports, but the world, would even think to tweet this to hundreds of thousands of followers, "Just passed Gene Simmons of KISS in NOLA. He was in such awe of my swag, it caused him to swallow his own tongue. 911 called." Jay Bilas has so much swag that sex panthers use his cologne. John Clayton was also considered for this role.
Champ Kind - Matt Millen
WHAMMY! Channel 4's resident sports anchor has to be someone that would be willing to mindlessly shout meaningless catchphrases or cliches while being the resident jock of the news team. ESPN has plenty of candidates that could fill Champ's slot on both of those fronts, but none that quite capture Champ's complete character. Perhaps the closest fit would be ESPN's resident failed GM Matt Millen. Millen has such a rich history of awkward on-air moments, he could grow into the role of Champ. And who wouldn't want to see him in a cowboy hat?
Brick Tamland - Kenny Mayne
Brick Tamland is a little bit harder to cast than you might think. Yes, the character is a complete and utter moron. And, despite popular opinion, ESPN doesn't exactly throw people on-air who would come up with such profound statements as "I love lamp" or "LOUD NOISES!!!" However, the one ESPNer who could come closest to channeling Brick's unique personality is "The Mayne Event" himself, Kenny Mayne. Even though Mayne hasn't been a SportsCenter regular in quite some time, Kenny has always had the gift of comedic timing and ability to play the hapless fool. While we would have to get Kenny out of the world of horse racing, it wouldn't take much to get him back to his irrevrent best to play Brick.
Veronica Corningstone - Michelle Beadle
This casting call may have been the biggest slam dunk outside of Berman as Burgundy. Yes, you could mention other blonde bombshells like Erin Andrews, Jenn Brown, or rising star Samantha Steele. But, nobody has the chops to actually sit in the main seat like Michelle Beadle. After all, she has experience working with Colin Cowherd on the set of SportsNation, so Ron Burgundy may theoretically be a step up. And, much like Corningstone using San Diego as a stepping stone to a national gig, Beadle may soon leave the Bristol Action Four news team for greener pastures.
Ed Harken - Bob Ley
Maybe the most underrated Anchorman character is the fearless leader of the Action Four team, Ed Harken. Although dimwitted at times, Harken still leads the most successful news team in San Diego. While not sharing the absent-mindedness of Ed, it's easy to see who would have the required gravitas to lead the ragtag Bristol bunch, Bob Ley. Throughout the enlightening ESPN book it's clear that everyone at ESPN has the utmost respect for "The General." Even Chris Berman seemed deferential at times to Ley. So, who better to be the unquestioned head of Bristol Action Four than a man who can do it all on the highest level?
Wes Mantooth & the Channel 9 News Team - Dan Patrick & the Danettes
The biggest rival to Ron Burgundy and the Channel 4 team is Wes Mantooth at Channel 9. Who better to embrace this role than former ESPNer and now competitor Dan Patrick? With his successful radio show and NBC gig, DP may be the top current challenger to Bristol. Dan is never shy to throw hardballs at Bristol for stealing poll questions or discuss criticism of the "mothership" on his radio show. As an added bonus, Dan already has the backing of his own, real life I-Team with the Danettes... although there are four of them and three roles alongside Wes Mantooth. Oh well, let's just say McLovin's character was killed off by an errant basketball.
Unnamed Public News Anchor - Bob Costas
Quick, if you had to pick one on-air sports personality to go against DP and ESPN in a street fight while maintaing the regality and honor of public news, who would it be? Skip Bayless, right? No, wait, that's terrible. Of course the correct answer is the perfector of the halftime essay himself, Bob Costas. With his velvety voice and undoubted wisdom, Costas could be just as comfortable hosting the sports equivalent of "All Things Considered" as he is at the Olympics. Now, whether he actually smoke pipes or is willing to use an uncouth phrase like "kick ass" is another matter.