ESPN+ has brought back SportsNation, a show where a few top sports stories are woven with audience polls, memes, and viral clips. At nearly 30 minutes, the daily program brings a fast-paced, “hanging out with your buddies” style of sports banter to the prevailing topics.
Their light-hearted, jovial tone was set upfront as their opening Winners & Losers segment honored Tables as this weekend’s loser, while viewers were treated to the wide variety of Bills Mafia celebrations including a fan leaping into a burning table, catching on fire and rolling in the snow to put it out. However, in Winners they highlighted Sean Payton getting dumped with Nickelodeon slime – but also declared his poor Player Exclusive Jordan 11s that also got hit as Losers.
As I discovered back in 2009, ESPN showcased Press Hop by DJ Steve Porter on SportsNation, and he came back for this new edition of the show.
— Steve Porter (@djsteveporter) January 11, 2021
And while the segment featuring ESPN’s NFL Analyst Tim Hassebeck brought in a bit more serious tone, Tim kept it light sharing a personal story of pulling a hamstring simply playing football with his child. This helped highlight the incredible displays of athleticism we are seeing in Tom Brady and Drew Brees, who are around his age as well.
As someone whose ESPN studio shows viewing has been declining as voices I enjoyed moved on to other networks and I followed them, the SportsNation hosts Ashley Brewer, Taylor Twellman and Treavor Scales are all new faces to me, but they have all been with ESPN for several years in various positions including SportsCenter.
We're back 👀
SportsNation returns Jan. 11 on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/edvm8CDEFF
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) January 10, 2021
ESPN’s Ashley Brewer has combined her love of sports (she was on the USC swim team) with the family business — her mom was a longtime Arizona newscaster. Ashley seems right at home chatting with her co-hosts in ways that remind me she did grow up with older brothers.
Alongside her is Taylor Twellman who made his way to ESPN after a career in Soccer having been a part of the US Men’s National Team and a MLS player. His career shortened by concussion injuries, he created the THINKTaylor foundation, a charitable organization for sports-related concussions, and has been a leading soccer analyst for ESPN.
Another host of SportsNation, Treavor Scales, was a four-time All-Ivy League running back at Harvard University. Yes, you read it right, Harvard, which serves as a bit of a running joke throughout the opening episode. Scales has been with ESPN since 2015 often appearing as part of ESPN’s expanded digital lineup including “What’s Good” on @espn IGTV, SportsCenter on Snapchat and as host of Roll the Tape on ESPN+.
As someone who has incredibly fond memories of SportsNation, particularly when it featured Michelle Beadle, Marcellus Wiley and Max Kellerman, the show has some pretty big shoes to fill. But overall after today’s premiere I’m exceedingly happy to see the high-energy, all-in-on-what-it-is-to-be-a-sports-fan program, especially since it means the return of SportsNation’s awesome 3 Cheers/Jeers segment.
SportsNation posts new episodes on ESPN+ every weekday at 9:30 a.m. ET and is available on-demand thereafter.