ESPYsGiving Back

Own the SportsCenter anchor desk, help the ESPY Day Auction fund cancer research

SportsCenter desk (joe Faraoni/ESPN)
This SportsCenter desk could be yours with the winning bid in the ESPY Day Auction. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN)

Of the more than 250 items and experiences up for bid during ESPN Radio’s 10th annual ESPY Day Auction to benefit The V Foundation for Cancer Research, there is one that’s especially distinctive.

I spent 10 years of my life behind that desk, lucky to have had the best seat in sports
– Steve Levy

It’s “the best seat in sports,” the SportsCenter anchor desk that has hosted countless anchors, analysts and guests during its long tenure in Digital Center 1. Now that Digital Center 2 has opened, the desk is up for bids in The Auction – which to date has raised $6.5 million for cancer research.

“Wow, what a unique auction item, truly a one of a kind — I spent 10 years of my life behind that desk, lucky to have had the best seat in sports,” said Steve Levy, a SportsCenter anchor for 21 years next month. “And now you can have it without the nervous audition, or the high definition make-up. And, you only need to have a producer screaming in your ear if want it to be a truly authentic experience. I might start the bidding myself — wait, where would I put it?”

John Anderson, an ESPN anchor since June 1999, tried to convince Levy to find a place for it:

For a ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial about the NHL playoffs and the [Detroit] Red Wings, they had a real [dead] octopus on the desk.
Scott Patterson

“Original SportsCenter desk. Like new. Only used for several thousand shows by a little old lady on Sundays (oh wait, that’s [Scott] Van Pelt, Levy, [Linda] Cohn and Anderson),” Anderson touted. “The perfect addition to any home, office or basement theater room. Teleprompter sold separately.”

As good as this auction item sounds, there’s a caveat emptor flag raised by Scott Patterson, senior studio operator.

“For a ‘This is SportsCenter’ commercial about the NHL playoffs and the [Detroit] Red Wings, they had a real [dead] octopus on the desk,” he recalled. “They originally wanted to drop it from above, but we were concerned about getting ink everywhere. It stunk up the entire studio for several days.”

Editor’s note: Coverage of The 2014 ESPYS on Wednesday begins with The 2014 ESPYS Countdown Show presented by Capital One (7 p.m., ESPN). A feature on the show will focus on longtime SportsCenter anchor Chris Berman’s “top 10 plays” he selected spanning his 35 years with the network. In this video, Berman – who has a “fan experience” up for auction himself – discusses the process of determining 10 favorite plays.

Dan Quinn contributed to this post
Video produced by Allison Stoneberg

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