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The track and field community recently came together to jostle and remember the indelible mark left by a 58-year-old sports anchor who is bidding adieu after many illustrious years in the industry. His contributions to ESPN’s coverage of major sporting events, from championships to Olympic Games, have earned him widespread acclaim and respect within the industry.

Athletes, coaches, fans, and media personnel gathered to pay homage to the Journalism alum, whose insightful analysis and passionate commentary has made nonsporting fanatics sports watchers due to his raconteur skills and gift of the gab. His retirement marks the end of an era in sports broadcasting, and this lofty decision to call it quits ignited throngs of people standing by in solidarity with his prowess.

Track and field may very well witness the end of an era

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John Anderson made the surprising announcement on Wednesday on his “Inside Wisconsin” podcast. The podcast posted a clip of this week’s show, which they touted would air on Thursday in full on their YouTube captioning, BREAKING: Longtime ESPN SportsCenter Anchor John Anderson announces he is retiring from SportsCenter at the end of June, 2024.”

 Anderson’s been with ESPN since 1999 and has been on ESPN’s late-night programming for the last two decades. Anderson said that he’ll continue to do “a few” track and field events, such as NCAA track meets as one area he’ll focus on, as well as the New York City Marathon and SEC programming. He appreciated his time while anchoring, It’s been a good run”, but at the same time also explained more about the reason he decided to retire. Marking the end of his announcement, “It would be Missouri, or Phoenix, but SportsCenter would not be it”, he said. Anderson admits that he doesn’t know if he’s seen the game pass him by, but doesn’t think that by the time 2026 and 2027 come around, he’ll be able to do his job at the max. Fans took to twitter as well to sing praises about the one who lent precedence to the world of sports commentating.

A flurry of fans lend their solidarity to the broadcasting phenom 

The post received a lot of comments and reactions, all depicting the grief caused by the fans. One fan appreciated the contribution, as he commented – “Underrated as hell. Thanks for everything, John!”

Another fan expressed about the loss by his absence stating – Collegiate Track and field coverage will never , ever, be the same! Best wishes to you! #WPS”

One of the fan expressed his deep admiration for the anchor stating –“The SportsCenter that made ESPN the must watch sports show is over. Sad times for my inner child that fell in love with those shows and sad for the young avid sports watcher that won’t get to experience what I was fortunate to be able to. Thank You John for 26 amazing years!”

Someone expressed it metaphorically “The cheese is binding”

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A fan called him the best in ESPN and wrote –“One of the all-time greats!!! Always seemed to avoid the BS unlike 95% of his peers at ESPN!!”

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John Anderson was awarded with the Associated Press Television Award, and the Outstanding Sports Feature Reporting Award. Throughout his 2 and a half decade career since joining ESPN, John played a major role in taking the anchoring industry to the next level. The announcement generated a shockwave across the sports industry, but his contribution would be always remembered for posterity. What are your thoughts on the lacuna left behind? Comment down below. 

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