GBD 40 under 40: Sports Media Personalities By: Peter Snyder

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This is a list complied of 40 of the best sports personalities in the sports media field under one condition, they must be under 40. We start the list with a young talented women who works for ESPN.

40. Maria Taylor (30) – ESPN

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Maria Taylor is a sports analysts for ESPN where she covers college football for ESPN affiliate, The SEC Network. At only 30, Taylor has proved she belongs in this business as her hot takes and insights are as good as a seasoned veteran. The future is bright for this Georgia grad who also was an outstanding Volleyball player.

39. Lauren Shehadi (34) – MLB Network

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Lauren Shehadi is a super talented MLB Network sportscaster and is one of the hosts on the popular show “The Rundown” on the MLB Network. Shehadis knowledge of the game of baseball is uncanny and she has shown that she can hang with the big boys. Before signing with MLB Network, Shehadi worked for the CBS sports network where she covered college football and was also an intern for “The Best Damn Sports Show”. Shehadi has found her home at the MLB Network studios and is looking to continue her success.

38. Jarred Carrabis (28) – Barstool Sports

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Jared Carrabis is a Bostonian at heart, but has recently taken New York by storm. Since moving to the Barstool headquarters in NYC, Carrabis has turned the company up a notch especially in the baseball department. He is currently a co host of a daily live show called Starting 9 that features former major league pitcher Dallas Braden and World Series Champion, Brian Wilson. The 3 are a great team.  The show is new, but it is an early success. They are unfiltered, uncensored and funny as shit. For Carrabis, the dude is a baseball Guru and literally eat sleeps and breathes baseball. The future is bright for the young Bostonian and I hope to see future Success as I am part of the “grounds crew”.

37. Matt Miller (34) – Bleacher Report

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Matt Miller is Bleacher Reports lead NFL writer and a good one at that. He also is a huge contributor to their website come draft time. Miller also writes and covers college football for the site and is part of the pro football writers of America. This is a well polished, well spoken man who is one of the best football writers  you will find.  He writes like he’s been covering the sport for 50 years. I look forward to continuing to read Millers pieces as we are in the full swing of football season.

36. Brian Windhorst (39) – ESPN

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Brian Windhorse is a superstar, no two ways about it. Since Lebron James has entered the NBA , Windhorse’s main job was to follow him like it was his son, and he has done just that. He is always on call to do reports, write articles and his basketball knowledge is admirable. He would make this list if it was 60 over 60. He has been a huge part of ESPN’s company and is a very familiar face to almost all NBA fans. How many prime years does he have left? We will have to find that out, but for now Windhorse is focusing on how Lebron is going to adjust without Kyrie.

35. Jesse Palmer (38) – ESPN, ABC

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Jesse Palmer is a multi talented on air personality. Not only can you find him every morning on ESPNs College Game day and the SEC network, but is also a key component on the popular morning show, “Good Morning America”. The former NFL Quarterback is now on the other side of the sports world and is doing a hell of a job.  Sometimes former NFL QBS become a bust as an anylast, but in this case, ESPN hit a home run with this hire.

34. David Pollack (35) – ESPN

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David Pollack is another former football player who has become sucess as a college football analyst for ESPN. Since 2011 David has been calling the Thursday night football games along with Reese Davis and on Saturdays he is part of ESPN’s famous College Game-day crew. Pollacks insight on college football is percise and sharp and the dude is just flat-out knowledgeable. He is only 35 and can only go up from here , as he looks to continue his success covering the game he loves.

33. Katie Nolan (30) – Fox Sports

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Katie Nolan currently works for Fox Sports and is host to the show NFL Films. Katie signed with Fox Sports in 2013 where she was a media correspondent for the show crowd goes wild. The show did not do well but it was clear, Nolan was way to talented to sit in the corner and be the social media correspondent. She started to host a show called Garbage Time that didn’t necessarily do to well on TV, but was a hit on You Tube. The show ran for a while but was eventually canceled. She is now the host of NFL Films, a popular show on Fox sports and does a hell of a job in doing so. Her knowledge of sports is amazing and she preaches that even though “she has boobs” she deserves to be on the main stage with the big boys.  She has shown that she deserves just that.

32. Greg Amsinger (38) – MLB Network

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Greg Amsinger is MLB networks guy. Since doing the network in 2009, Amsinger has quickly established how talented and enthusiastic he actually he is. He is the studio host for the Emmy award-winning show, “MLB Tonight” where his enthusiastic and passionate personality is infectious to the viewer. He also is the host for MLB Networks exclusive coverage of Major League Baseballs draft. It is safe to say that Amsinger is one of if not the top on air personality at MLB Network. He looks to continue this success and continue to host the award winning show.

31. Kristine Leahy (30) – Fox Sports

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Kristine Leahy is an uber talented radio voice/tv personality that is currently working with Colin Cowherd on his sports radio show on Fox. Before the radio show, Leahy was covering the Boston Celtics for Celtics.com and was a sideline reporter for NBC’s hit TV show “American Ninja Warrior”.  Leahy has been known to not back down to her male counteparts as she has gotten in multiple arguments, and stood her grown with multiple men. One of the most notable arguments took place recently with Lavar Ball, father of Lonzo who tried to belittle Leahy, but she was having no part of it. We need more women like Leahy in the sports field and I hope to see her success continue in the future.

30. Kevin Francis Clancy (33) – Barstool Sports

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Kevin Francis Clancy, more notably known as “KFC” is the “king of the podcast”. Since he joined Barstool Sports in August of 2009, KFC has been a pillar of the company and is a huge part of their growth. He is currently involved  in everything from blogs , to hosting the wildly popular “Barstool Radio” on Sirius XM to being in videos, KFC does it all. He is also is in an array of Barstool podcasts, featuring the Podfathers and his own podcast, KFC radio. KFC radio was the first Barstool podcast and you can say that Clancy introduced the podcast game to Barstool. Now Podcasting is a huge part of the multi million dollar company and a big part of their success can be credited to KFC.

29. Charissa Thompson- ( 35) – Fox Sports

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For only being 35 years old, Charissa Thomson has gone through a careers year worth of work. Thompson currently works for Fox Sports where she hosts Fox Sports live and is also a sideline reporter for college football and basketball games.  She is also the co host of Extra and has been a host to popular shows such as “Sports Nation” and “The Best Damn Sports Show Period”. Thompson is a raw, unique talent that is hard to come by nowadays. Her resume for someone who is under 40 is astonishing and it will be neat to see how much longer Thompson will stay in the main stream media.

28. Bomani Jones (37) – ESPN

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In 2010, Bamani Jones took the ESPN world by storm. He started to appear on Outside the Lines and Around the Horn. His fiery passionate personality put viewers on notice. He then found his true home in 2012 when he joined Dan Le Batard and the two have been a perfect match ever since. He is a key component of Le Bataards show Highly Questionable that have viewers falling off their seats laughing. He also joins Le Batard on the radio. Unfortunately in June of 2017, Jones left Highly Questionable to begin working on a project with ESPN. Jones has a perfect place on ESPN and we will be seeing much more of him in the future.

27. Jessica Mendoza (36) – ESPN

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Jessica Mendoza is currently a broadcaster for ESPNs Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team. There are many mixed reviews about Mendoza but say what you want about her, what she has done is amazing and she deserves to be on this list. On August 24, Mendoza was the first female analyst for a Major League Baseball game in the history of ESPN.. Six days later, Mendoza filled in for suspended color commentator Curt Schilling for the Cubs-Dodgers  game on Sunday night baseball. Cubs pitcher Jake Arietta pitched a no-hitter in the game. John Kruk, Dan Schulmen and Mendoza called the 2015 American league Wild Card Game on October 6, and Mendoza became the first female analyst in MLB postseason history. On January 13, 2016, ESPN announced that Mendoza would join the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team full-time What she has done is nothing short of inspiring and she has proven that if you got what it takes it doesn’t matter what gender you are. 

26. Darren Rovell (39) – ESPN

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Darren Rovell is a sports businessman for ESPN and has been doing so for nearly a decade. He also worked for CNBC where he anchored many nighttime specials and wrote many stories for the site. In 2012 he re joined ESPN and has stayed ever since. There has been some controversy however regarding Rovell as he called NYC Marathon winner, Meb Kelfezighi, the first American to win the NYC marathon since 1982 a ringer. He apologized and has since been forgiven. Rovell also runs a series of business based podcasts on ESPN and they do well. Rovell is an interesting character but a great asset to ESPNs team.

25. Sarah Spain (37) – ESPN

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Sarah Spain is a journalist for ESPNW.com along with a radio voice for ESPN radio. Sarah is also a reporter for ESPNChicago.com. and has appeared on Around the Horn representing the great city of Chicago. Sarah has a bunch of spunk and that’s what people love about her. She refuses to put up with any B.S and is not afraid to stick up for herself. She is one of the most unappreciated workers at ESPN and the world needs to learn about this girl because she is a hell of. a talent.

24. Pablo S. Torre (31) – ESPN

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Pablo S. Toree is an American sportswriter and columnist for ESPN.com and does an amazing job. Torre got a job as a Sports Illustrated writer, as soon as he graduated college from Harvard University. In 2009 he wrote an article titled “How and Why athletes go broke”. It did so well. It won an award and was even featured on a ESPN 30 for 30 (ESPNs Documentary series). In 2012, Torre joined ESPNs team as a senior writer for their magazine and website. In 2014, he filled in as a host for “Around The Horn” as the usual host was welcoming the birth of his daughter.  In 2016, Torre produced his first 30 for 30 entitled “Friedman’s Shoes”. The future is bright for this Harvard grad. He’s smart, knowledgeable and a hell of a sports writer. He will also be debuting a talk show with Bomani Jones in 2018. The sky is the limit for Torre at this point.

23. Kate Fagan (35) – ESPN

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Kate Fagan is a wildly talented sports writer for ESPN and ESPNW. She is also a radio voice and makes frequent appearances on Around the Horn and First Take. Fagan’s ability to debate a topic with poise and class is a thing of beauty. She has such a confident presence about her when she is on air and it is very hard to knock her off her game. Fagan’s success is just beginning, I promise you that.

22. Tony Reali (39) – ESPN

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Tony Reali is a gift sent down from heaven for ESPN. Ever Since 2000, when Reali joined the company, ESPN knew they had something special. Reali was first hired to be a research/writer for a show called 2 minute drill. He than made appearances on what now is the longest running show on ESPN, PTI.  In 2004 landing a hosting gig at a show called Around The Horn. Thirteen years later, he is still the host and is just as humorous and charming and they day he started. He kind of has this persona that he is better than the people on his show, but thats what people like about him. His ability to deduct points or minute a writer who has been covering a sport or city for 30 plus years is priceless. He however, is expected to step down as the host soon. It has been an amazing run, on one of the most successful shows ESPN has ever had.

21. David Epstein (34) – ProPublica

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David Epstein is a former sports writer for sports illustrated and is also the author of the New York Times best seller, ” The Sports Gene”. He is now an investigative reporter for Pro Publica and the dude is a fascinating writer. He has a great insight on things and I’m sure SI still wishes they had him on their team.

20. Henry Lockwood (24) – Barstool Sports

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Henry Lockwood also known as “handsome Hank” is only 24, but has the charisma of a 40-year-old professional. Handsome Hank is the producer for the wildly famous Barstool podcast, “Pardon My Take”. Lockwood has only been with the company for 4 years but has already had a huge impact. You don’t see the work he puts in because it all is behind the scenes, but Big Cat and PFT will be the first one to tell you that Pardon My Take is not where it’s at today without Lockwood’s contributions. The talented Bostonian is still so young and he can only get more successful from here.  I cant wait to see it.

19. Lindsay Czarniak (39) – ESPN

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Lindsay Czarniak is a broadcaster and analyst for ESPN. She joined ESPN in 2011 after she was previously a newscaster on NBC4. She now is a Sportcenter anchor and is one of the top faces one of  ESPN’s top show. She also does sideline reports along with interviews and some radio. She is a multi talented women and ESPN is lucky to have her.

18.Mike Golic Jr. (27) – ESPN

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Mike Golic Jr. is the future of Mike and Mike. His dad, Mike Golic is the current co host to the wildly popular ESPN radio show, “Mike and Mike”. Golic Jr. is a 27 year old Notre dame graduate who played football for the Fighting Irish. In 2013, he was signed with the Pittsburg Steelers as an undrafted free agent. He failed to make the team and quickly thereafter joined ESPN. Golic Jr. resembles his father in many ways but also adds his owns unique style as a contributor to ESPN radio. Golic Jr has the path set for him as he should be able to follow in his fathers foot steps,  but he will have to work for it never the less because ESPN expects nothing but the best.

17. Adnan Virk (39) – ESPN

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Adnan Virk is a Canadian born sportscaster who is the host of his own shows such as “College Football Live”, “College Football Scoreboard”, and most notably, ESPNs Baseball Tonight. You can also see Adnan broadcasting  college football games and sometimes hosting ESPNs Outside The Lines. Virk also runs a movie podcast on ESPN called Cinephile. As you can see, Virk has had a very successful and impactful career with ESPN thus far and hopes to continue the success in years to come.

16. Clay Travis (38) – outkickthecoverage.com

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Clay Travis is a  former CBS sports analyst where he would be featured in a plethora of shows. In 2014, Travis joined the Fox Sports team where he was on the popular Fox College Football pre game show. While doing Fox Sports, Travis also owned his own website called outkickthecoverage.com. It soon become the most popular college football sight on the internet and Travis become wildly successful through his sight. In 2015 Travis signed a deal with Fox Sports that would give Fox Sports the right to license Travis’s website. Travis now  focuses and spends the majority of time on his website. He is looking to continue to make it successful. Travis is an outspoken individual and due to that has had his fair share of haters, but the man is smart, successful and talented and he deserves to be on this list. This dude is not a good guy at all, he is actually kind of a scum but he’s successful and thats why he’s on the list.

15. Jon Paul Marosi (35) – Fox Sports, MLB Network

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Jon Paul Marosi is a Harvard graduate who is now an MLB insider on Fox Sports and the MLB Network. Morosi is a reporter for FS1 popular show, “MLB Whiparound” where he provides insights on the days biggest stories in the baseball world. He also appears regularly for MLB network hit shows “MLB Central and Hot Stove”. Marosi is also a radio voice for Fox and MLB Networks sirius Xm show. Marosis’s knowledge of the game of baseball is almost second to none and I truly enjoy watching him night in and night out. He is also such a well spoken individual . The Harvard grad is sure to have future success as long as his current level of work is maintained.

14. Nate Burleson (35) – NFL Network, CBS Sports

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Nate Burlenson is no stranger to the game of football. He is a former NFL reviver who played for the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. He is now an NFL analyst and is a key component of the  NFL Network show, “Good Morning Football”. He also works for CBS Sports as an analyst for The NFL today. Burelenson offers a unique inside perspective to the game.

13. Jason Benetti (34) – ESPN, Comcast Network Chicago, Fox Sports

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Jason Benetti is one versatile human being. Benetti is currently the play by-play announcer for the Chicago White Sox along with broadcasting baseball games for ESPN, and broadcasting college games for Fox sports. The Syracuse grad has also faced his fair share of adversity as he was born 10 weeks prematurely and spent his early days in a hospital room. I love this guys voice, his tone and the way he calls a ball game is just pure. You will see Benetti in the spotlight for the next ten years.

12. Yogi Roth (36)- Pac 12 Network

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Yogi Roth is a Pac 12 Network College Football analyst along with an author and a filmmaker. Roth attended Pittsburgh University where he walked on to the football team but then quickly  earned a full time scholarship as a wide reciever. Most shows that you see on the Pac 12 network,  feature some type of contribution from Roth.  He is either in front of the camera providing analysis or being part of the camera producing film, Roth does it all. He also is part of Trent Dilfers “Elite 11” team that help finds the best 11 high school quarterbacks in the country. Roth is obsessive over the game of football and his passion transfers over to his work, and that is a beautiful thing.

11. Samantha Ponder (31) – ESPN

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Samantha Ponder is a wildly talented sideline reporter for ESPN. You can see her on the sideline at college football and basketball games across the country.  She delivers insights on what is happening either down on the field or on the court. You can also see Ponder on ESPN affiliates Longhorn network on ESPNS college football show, “College Gameday”. Since replacing Erin Andrews on Game Day, Ponders success has sky rocketed and her career is in its prime. Ponder will look to continue her success and give helpful insights for the guys up in the booth.

10. Tim Tebow ( 30) – SEC Network

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Lets be honest, there was no way in hell Tim Tebow was not going to make this list, the dude is a superstar. At only 30, Tebow has become a legend in the sports world. He started as a star QB at the University of Florida where he lead his team to a national championship along with winning the Heisman trophy in 2007. He than played in the NFL where he had his fair share of ups and downs, but in the long run he could not hang with the best of the best. He is now working for the SEC Network as a college football analyst along with pursuing a career as a professional baseball player. Many can say what they want about Tebow, but they guy is talented and the success he has achieved is admirable.

9. Ramona Shelburne (35) – ESPN

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Romana Shelburne is not known as one to not voice back her opinion. She says that she thinks, EVERYTHING she thinks and its great, although sometimes it hurts her. She got backlash for her Donald Trump related tweet during last years Super Bowl. Cristisim aside, the journalist and analyst who covers the NBA for ESPN is successful as ever. Her reports are flawless and she knows her stuff. ESPN found a diamond in the rough with Shelbourne, she is insanely talented and a huge asset to ESPNs coverage of the NBA.

8. Scott Braun (27) – ESPN, NHL Network, MLB Network, Pac 12 Network, SNY

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Scott Braun is a multi and I do not use the word multi lightly, talented sports media personality that has an array of jobs. Braun is a host and reporter for the popular award winning MLB Network show, “MLB Tonight” He also makes appearances on other MLB Network shows such as , The Rundown, MLB Central, High heat and plays of the week. To make his resume even more impressive than it already is, Braun serves as studio host for NHL Network in the winter and goes on Sirius XM and is a radio voice for the Mets with SNY. As Braun is only 27, to have this broad, this diverse of a talent at such a young age is extremely rare and he is the ultimate definition of a “work horse”.

7. PFT Commenter (33) – Barstool Sports

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PFT Commenter is the ultimate football junkie. His name literally stands for “Pro Football Talk” Commenter. PFT recently has worked for companies and websites in the names of ProFootballTalk.com, SB Nation and Football Savages. He than found his true home at Barstool Sports where he is a co host of the number one ranked sports podcasting the world , “Pardon My Take”. Him and his counter part Dan “Big Cat” Katz are pure content gold. Many say that the duo should split and make PMT its own company because it essentially is already a big time brand. They are true to their roots though and plan to stick with Barstool. As for PFT, he is only 33 and can only grow from his early success from here.

6. Ian Rapoport (37) – NFL Network

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Ian Rapoport is an American sports writer, pundit and television analyst for NFL network. You can see Rapoport almost everywhere on your TV, on an NFL Sunday. The dude is just all over the place. He is either writing compelling stories about the best football  of the week or on the field giving reports. The man does it all. The Colombia grad is wildly smart and very well spoken. He also is a recurring guest on Pardon My Take and is a hilarious human being. In the heart of football season, we are assured to see much more of Rapaport in the near future.

5. Joe Klatt (35) – Fox Sports

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Joe Klatt is the ultimate college football man. As a former player for the University of Colorado, he quickly developed as a leader for the Buffaloes. Before football however, Klatt got drafted in the 2000 Major League Baseball amatuer draft by the San Diego Padres. After a few years in the minors Klatt knew he would never make it to the bigs, so he walked on to Colorado’s football team. After his playing career he decided he wanted to stick with the game of football and signed with the Fox team. When Fox Sports 1 launched in August of 2013, Klatt was right there to get things rolling. He is now Fox Sports leading College Football analyst, and also calls some games with Gus Johnson.  Recently he showed his versatile side covering the 2015 and 2016 U.S Golf Open Championships. Klatt is a man on a mission to work, achieve, and succeed and so far in his career he has done just that.

4. Adam Amin (30) – ESPN

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Adam Amin is a multitalented play by play broadcaster at ESPN. He joined ESPN in 2011 at the age of 24, making him one of the youngest play by play announcers the company has ever had. He calls a multitude of sports events including ESPN’s College Football Friday Primetime series, Major League Baseball, College Basketball, and has been on play-by-play and hosting duties for the Women’s College Softball World Series, NCAA Wrestling Championships, the McDonald’s High School All-American Games, and NCAA tournament coverage of volleyball and baseball. His talent is insane. He is versatile as all hell and will continue to progress as he is still so young.

3. Micheal Smith (38) – ESPN

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Micheal Smith is a wildly talented ESPN analyst who is co host on the popular show “SC6”. The chemistry with co host Jemele Hill is a thing of beauty and makes for a great hour of sports television. The New Orleans native has also hosted popular shows such as “numbers never lie”, and  makes plenty of appearances on ESPNs popular show, Around The Horn.  Furthermore from from 2001- 2004 Smith covered the New England Patriots for the Boston Globe. The future is bright, as he is still only 38 and the ceiling is only going up for Smith.

2. Erin Andrews- Fox Sports (39) – Fox Sports

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Erin Andrews is simply put, a superstar. She has everything from being stunned after being yelled at by Richard Sherman, to hosting the famous ABC show,  Dancing With The Stars. She has also been on the sideline reporting for numerous Super Bowls and World Series’s. When it comes to women in the sports field, Erin is the best and it’s not even close. She is better than most guys at what she does. Her poised interviewing skills and the ability to stay composed no matter what happens (cough Richard Sherman cough) is something to admire. Fox Sports is blessed to have her on their team and ESPN is regrets every day not offering her more money, as she was a huge part of their company. Andrews’s prime years might be gone, but her success is as prevalent as ever and she is dominating in the sports media field.

1.  Dan Katz (32) – Barstool Sports

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The number one name on this list is a no brainer to me. Dan Katz is the ultimate content king. He is arguably the most successful man at Barstool sports behind El Pres. Katz is a blogger from Chicago that has written at least 1000 blogs since joinings the company. He is also a podcaster where he and PFT commentator co host the number one ranked sports podcast in the world, Pardon My Take. At 32, Katz continues to grind out the content on the highest level which has led to Barstool Sports  becoming a Mecca in the sports media industry. The wildly talented and hilarious Katz plans to stay at Barstool and continue to help make the company a huge success, while becoming the best sports website in the world. Many say this has already happened.

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