Thursday evening ESPN aired one of the most enjoyable specials in the network's 30+ year history - a countdown of the 50 best This is SportsCenter commercials ever. Those ads are legendary, one of the pillars of ESPN. They are the perfect example of everything hopeful and charming about the little cable sports network that could in Bristol.
Watching the Top 50 countdown was terrific, reliving plenty of laughs and fond memories. Reminiscing about the days of Rich Eisen and Jack Edwards and Dan Patrick and holy crap Kenny Mayne is still at ESPN!?! It was 59 minutes of great television and then a letdown that felt like the sports equivalent of Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's vault.
Some random spot with Robinson Cano doing handshakes was given the illustrious title of greatest SportsCenter of all-time.
What is that?!?! Ahead of John Clayton and Slayer? Ahead of the kid? Kenny Maynski? Ahead of several brilliant ads involving former anchor Charley Steiner. Heck, you could do a Top 10 of Steiner commercials and they're all better than whatever this handshake thing was. Many of you have never even seen the commercial before or knew it existed.
The problem in all of this is obvious. ESPN turned the vote over to a Facebook campaign with Burger King. That's why some random Robinson Cano ad was first and the Top 10 was littered with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Tiger Woods. This is also why all the All Star Games are broken.
This is how we have a perfectly good hour of television completely ruined by the biggest anticlimax in the history of western civilization.
Once again, it's just another example that democracy just doesn't work.
I'd say I've been a Charley Steiner fan ever since then, but actually I've been a Charley Steiner fan since he announced National Anthem singer Carl Lewis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ko8qNUNpm3k
I gotta go with Arnold Palmer making an Arnold Palmer but because it was so mind-blowingly brilliant.
I liked the Ortiz Yankee hat one and the Clayton/Slayer. The Y2K one was funny as well. Anything was better than the Cano one.
I was shocked Clayton wasn't #1. When we watched the Cano handshake, my wife and I both remarked it was one of the dumbest ones ESPN ever produced
For my money, simplicity is best. The one of a dude in a suit walking into an elevator and the New Jersey Devil's in it. He asked the Devil, "Going up?" A mere shake of the head later, indicating, "No," the man calmly steps out of the elevator. That's it. Minimalistic, and classic. The one of Charley demanding the viewers to follow him to freedom and Mark McGwire busting up a keyboard in a presumed apocalyptic scenario was also very good.
Surprisingly, the place where democracy in sports works is with the NFL. There are enough Cowboys, Steelers and Packers fans (the three top fan bases) nationwide to balance out any east-coast bias.
Yes, this is what you get when the majority voters are young people who have no sense of history yet, so they vote for the last one they saw.
Ya the ending was brutal, everyone knows it. The top commercial shouldn't even have been in the top 25, NOT BECAUSE ITS THE YANKEES OR EAST COAST BIAS...BUT BECAUSE IT WASN'T FUNNY. How about that? Everyone keeps mentioning the east coast bias...how about...it just wasn't a funny commercial.
Agreed...only saw the last 3 and saw Clayton/Slayer at 2 and wondered what was #1 and thought of the many Steiner spots...and then saw the Cano spot at #1. Really? No way that is best. What a waste of time. Which, for the exception of their live sports and select shows, is what ESPN now is.
@rokka222 You just confirmed the point! Its an east coast bias BECAUSE it was a shitty commercial, and it still won. Why? because Yankees. It is absolutely because it was the yankees that it got #1, if thats Brandon Phillips or Elvis Andrus in that commercial it makes no lists ever at all
With Derek Jeter nearly retired and with A-Roid not popular anymore, ESPN needs to build up Good Ol' Robbie Cano to be the next face of the franchise.
Now just watch: Bud will suspend Rodriguez for life,which means Steinbrenner won't have to pay him, which means they'll buy 2 or 3 top free agents. ESPN/MLB wants that