1. LeBron James (2007)
Do I even have to explain myself?
2. Lance Armstrong (2006)
Sure he cheated, but he’s the only other professional athlete to host the show.
3. John Goodman (1994)
Surprise! Goodman played college football at Southwest Missouri State University. He coached football in Revenge of the Nerds, portrayed Babe Ruth in The Babe and famously didn’t bowl on Shabbos in The Big Lebowski.
4. Tony Danza (1996)
Did you know Tony Danza attended the University of Dubuque on a wrestling scholarship? Hell, do you even remember him hosting the show? I guess we shouldn’t be too surprised by an acting career that includes roles as the feisty veteran Mel Clark in Angels in the Outfield and Barney Gorman in The Garbage Picking Field Goal Kicking Philadelphia Phenomenon.
5. Jaime Foxx (2003-04)
Before changing his name to Jamie Foxx, the Any Given Sunday actor — then known as Eric Marlon Bishop — played football and basketball in high school. Foxx was the star quarterback for Terrell High School in Texas before attending U.S. International University in San Diego on a music scholarship.
6. Jon Hamm (2013)
Jon Hamm is hosting the show tonight and by most accounts he was a pretty solid high school athlete. He played football, baseball and swam in high school. He played in last year’s celebrity softball game as well. Plus look at this picture. He’s a killer.
7. Rob Riggle (2012)
Last year’s host wrestled, swam, played football and golf in high school, but what puts him ahead of some of our other high school athletes is his 23-year stint in the Marines and the Marine Reserves.
8. Samuel L. Jackson (1999, 2001-02, 2009)
The only four-time host in the show’s history, Samuel L. Jackson is one of the few people that have the ability to make a pointless award show watchable. He also was a competitive swimmer in high school and is an avid golfer.
9. Justin Timberlake (2008)
One of the best hosts in ESPY history was the charming Mr. Timberlake. Unfortunately because of his childhood stardom we have no idea how he would have competed in high school sports, but because of his stardom we’ve seem him play basketball a lot, and he’s not bad. He’s also a single digit handicap in golf.
10. Matthew Perry (2005)
Despite this picture Perry used to be a pretty decent tennis player in his youth. Growing up in Ottawa he was one of the top-ranked junior players in Canada’s capital city.
11. Jimmy Smits (2000)
Before making the switch to the drama club in high school Smits played football for a city championship team at Thomas Jefferson High School in Brooklyn.
12. Norm Macdonald (1998)
It’s difficult to find anything proving Norm’s athleticism on the interwebs, but he could pass as a nameless ’90s major leaguer in this photo and that is enough to top the remaining hosts.
14. Jeff Foxworthy (1997)
The king of redneck comedy claims to have played football in high school, but was forced to call it quits after one too many trips to the hospital.
15. Dennis Miller (1993-94)
Dennis Miller is the OG when it comes to the ESPYs. He’s the only man that can say, “Yeah, I hosted the show when the Mighty Mighty Bosstones where still popular.” He also had a short and not so memorable stint as a color commentator on Monday Night Football. But when it comes to actually playing sports, this uninterested swing of a tennis racket is all we’ve got.
16. Seth Meyers (2010-11)
I’m sorry, Seth. I didn’t want to put you last. I really didn’t. You relate well to the social media generation. You’re hilarious and obviously a huge sports fan, but other than riding a bicycle it’s impossible to find anything regarding your athletic background. Please reach out and regale us with a story of you beating the SNL writers’ room in horse, or dunking on Kimmel with a Nerf basketball!
- And how well do you know what happened in the news this week? Take our quiz.