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Linda Cohn remembers: Tiger’s troubles, Mr. Met’s sunscreen and her pre-show ritual

Linda Cohn on the set of SportsCenter. (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
Linda Cohn on the set of SportsCenter.
(Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images)

Click here for news on contract extensions for both Linda Cohn and Shannon Spake.

Linda Cohn has been a SportsCenter anchor since 1992. Along the way, she’s co-hosted the first-ever SportsCenter in high definition (June 7, 2004) displayed her versatility across a multitude of ESPN programs, and become known for her candid, unabashed New York fandom.

Front Row recently caught up with Linda to discuss her 20-plus years with the network.

Favorite SportsCenter memory?
My first show with Chris Myers in July 1992. It was a 30-minute SportsCenter that aired live at 2 a.m. ET. My dream was a reality.

Most memorable breaking news stories you’ve covered on SportsCenter?
I’ve worked plenty of breaking stories, but the one that comes to mind was when I was doing the 9 a.m. ET edition and word came of Tiger Woods’ [marital distress]. That’s when all the reports were coming fast and furious about his affairs. It didn’t feel like I was hosting a sports show, that’s for sure.

2000?: ESPN anchor Linda Cohn on the SportsCenter set. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images) Credit: Rich Arden/ESPN 2000
2000: ESPN anchor Linda Cohn on the SportsCenter set. (Rich Arden/ESPN Images)

Favorite co-host?
Can’t give a favorite, but I will say nobody has worked with as many different co-hosts as yours truly. If I were to guess, I would say I’ve worked with at least 70-75 different anchors!

What is your pre-show ritual?
Making sure I go to the bathroom! You never know when you can get a break.

Favorite ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial?
It has to be the one with Mr. Met rubbing suntan lotion on me [Note: See video below].

Of any story in sports history, what’s the one you would have loved to have covered on SportsCenter?
As a Mets fan, I would have loved to do the 1986 World Series Game 6 highlight when the ball goes through [Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill] Buckner’s legs! There’s nothing better than doing a highlight of one of your childhood teams doing something amazing. That’s if you can’t be there, of course. I always say the best sporting events I’ve covered are the ones where I’m not working, but where I can be there as a fan. That’s why I got into this business in the first place.

What do you do during commercial breaks?
I go on Twitter, but don’t tell my boss…

20 years from now, SportsCenter will be. . . ?
We will still be Number One in the hearts and minds of sports fans.

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