Tracy Morgan will host the ESPYS next month. It will be fantastic to see him tell some jokes and rub elbows with the sports glitterati. This will be the 27th edition of the show, which has had some memorable moments through the years, and a wide variety of hosts.
Some of them would still resonate if they were to host again. Others would not. Here is a ranking of hosts to recycle, based on how interesting it’d be to see them in the position again.
20. Lance Armstrong
The fall from grace was fairly precipitous as the cycling legend’s story has become a lot less enduring since he hosted in 2006. And it probably wouldn’t be a train wreck in the must-see vein. Easy pass here.
19. Rob Riggle
Nothing against the affable comedian, but he’s really been stretched all over sports coverage in recent years. He’s far more ubiquitous in 2019 than he was in 2012 and Fox surely would be reticent to share his chops with a competitor.
18. Danica Patrick
She just hosted last year. Have to keep things fresh. Though ESPN did task Samuel L. Jackson in 1999 and 2001, so there’s some precedent for a quick turnaround.
He needs to be so low on the list because no one, even Raptors fans, want to see this guy take a victory lap should Toronto win the NBA title. Watching him squirm with victorious Golden State players in the house would be something.
16. Samuel L. Jackson
He’s hosted three times already, but not since 2009. We’ve kind of seen what he brings to the table, which is fine, there’s just not much clamoring for more of it. And I sincerely hope he doesn’t read this because he is still quite imposing.
15. John Goodman
Goodman hosted the second ESPYS back in 1995. Since then he’s become an incredibly versatile actor with starring roles in comedies and dramas alike. He hasn’t exactly been synonymous with sports since then. Wouldn’t hate it but it almost feels like he’s too big for the gig.
14. John Cena
Loved him in Blockers. Seriously, check that one out.
13. Jimmy Smits
OK, so here we get weird. Having Smits out there giving out awards and delivering zingers about Patrick Mahomes would make for an incredible scene. I’d say lean into the NYPD Blue thing too, call in some favors and get Dennis Franz involved as well.
12. Peyton Manning
The former quarterback hosted in 2017. If you’d have told me now that he’d not yet be part of a broadcast booth, I wouldn’t have believed you. ESPN would much prefer he take the Monday Night gig. But honestly, they’d probably welcome him. Perhaps the best athlete host.
11. Seth Meyers
Meyers worked back-to-back in 2010-11, and was predictably great. But you know what, hasn’t Boston won enough recently? Any Beantown-supporting celebrity would just be rubbing it in at this point.