SportsCenter's Linda Cohn Reflects on Her 30th Anniversary at ESPN

On anchoring the most SportsCenter episodes, her love for New York sports and Eli Manning

Hall of Fame sportscaster Linda Cohn has served as a SportsCenter anchor since joining ESPN in 1992. She is ESPN's longest-tenured SportsCenter anchor and in early 2016 was recognized for anchoring 5,000 SportsCenter episodes, the most of any anchor in ESPN history. In 2017, she was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame.

A fixture in the hockey world, Cohn serves as the in-arena host and reporter for NHL game coverage. Cohn is also the primary host of In the Crease, a nightly hockey program on ESPN+ that began during the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2021, Cohn and national hockey reporter Emily Kaplan launched In the Crease—The ESPN NHL podcast. It brings fans insider perspectives, reporting, reactions and analysis on the latest breaking headlines and under the radar stories both on and off the ice. Cohn also appears as an analyst on Sirius XM’s NHL Network Radio every Monday during the NHL season.

We spoke to Linda for our Time-Out series, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and shows, and their love of sports generally.

Linda, tell us...

Where you grew up, and where you live now. 

I grew up in a town called Coram in Suffolk County on Long Island, New York, and I live in L.A. now.

Your earliest sports memory. 

My earliest sports memory is watching the Knicks win an NBA championship in the 1972-73 season. It was the first of many sports bonding moments with my dad. My favorite sports memory was being at MSG as a fan when the Rangers won the Stanley Cup. Calling my dad, who lived in Florida at the time, to share a moment we never thought we'd see in our lifetime. 

Your favorite sports team.

The Rangers. All the years of heartbreak made finally winning the Stanley Cup even more special.

The NY Giants. Another team I grew up rooting for with my dad and sharing all the good with the bad. 

The Knicks. I still love them. Never thought that championship they won back in 72-73 would be the last championship they won.

The Mets. I fell for them in 1974 and never looked back. I actually felt sorry for them. As a kid I thought they needed my love and loyalty more than the Yankees did. Turned out I was right.

Your favorite athlete.

Eli Manning. He won two Super Bowls and two Super Bowl MVPs. He was at his best when it mattered most. That's what I cared about. He played in the shadow of his older brother Peyton and always handled himself with class and dignity in the toughest place to play and dealt with the toughest media.

Your favorite sports show or podcast.

ESPN SportsCenter because nobody has hosted more than me! Plus, I've been around 30 years and experienced all the changes and transitions with this iconic show and its multiple hosts along the way. 

Your favorite sports movie.

Miracle, the story of the 1980 Miracle on Ice starring Kurt Russell as Herb Brooks.

A recent project you're proud of. 

My 30 year anniversary at ESPN. Staying in one place for 30 years is remarkable in any profession let alone in sports broadcasting.

What sports can do that nothing else can.

Bring emotions out in people, bring them together to share joy or misery. Sports also gives you something to look forward to.

What you'd be doing if you weren't in the sports world.

Never thought about it and I'm not going to start now.

Time-Out is a weekly series, publishing on Tuesdays, where we chat with folks in the sports world about their creative inspirations, favorite athletes, teams, sports movies and more, and what sport means to them. For more about Time-Out, and our Clio Sports program, please get in touch.

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Jessica MacAulay
Jessica MacAulay is a senior broadcast journalism student at the University of Colorado Boulder and a contributor to Muse by Clio.

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