Starting Lineups: When You Ask Yourself, 'So That's What Anson Carter’s Up To Now?'

The beauty of sports television these days is that if you have enough cable sports channels and get pretty bored by whatever games are on, you can channel your inner Beavis and say, “This sucks, change it!”

As this was happening between a weird first half of Monday Night Football and the free preview of NBA League Pass (and I’m buying it!), yours truly stumbled upon the Anaheim Ducks/New York Rangers tilt on the MSG Network. The game was indistinguishable from the many I’ve seen in my lifetime, but a familiar face of my relative youth jumped out of the screen.

With a properly coiffed Afro, well-tailored suit and the effervescence of someone who chugged a Red Bull or two, there was the network’s newest studio analyst for the New York Rangers, Anson Carter.

Anson Carter?

File this under “I’m getting old.”

Quite a few hockey fans know the former winger who played from 1996-2007. He was a four-year star for the Michigan State Spartans before starting his NHL career with the Washington Capitals. He made his name mostly with Boston, Edmonton and Vancouver, a skilled scorer who for one reason or another was deemed expendable at almost every stop. Eight NHL jerseys, one set of signature dreadlocks blazing along the right boards.

And of course, being one of the few black NHLers a lot of people may actually have heard of, it really threw me off seeing Carter giving a breakdown of another game of offensive struggles for the Rangers.

This wasn’t the first time I had seen Carter (a former Ranger, himself) as an in-studio analyst as he worked the desks during NBC Sports Network’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this past spring.

Every generation watches some of their favorite and not-so-favorite athletes become commentators and analysts because they have a knack for elaborating on the plays we see on television or even hear on the radio. The thing is that when you still see 1996 in someone taking on a different role in 2013, it can be a little jarring.

So, before you read the links below, feel free to name a few former athletes that you were surprised to see as analysts in the comments. Who knows, we might field a few all-star rosters out of the names.

The strange, great career of Walt Bellamy (RIP) - TrueHoop (ESPN)

Market Research Ranks Curry and Duncan as NBA's Most Trusted - Dime Magazine

NFL personnel question 'coward' Jonathan Martin for not challenging Richie Incognito - Sports Illustrated

Brian McCann’s free agency is everything wonderful/terrible about free agency - Hardball Talk

Diversity! Kerry Washington Played Every Black Woman On ‘SNL’ - Day and a Dream

Under Review: Is the Super Bowl Worth $4 Million? - Advertising Age

Seeking More Play for Delayed Play - New York Times

Pharrell Set To Score ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Sequel With Hans Zimmer - Chan-Lo

U.S. military wants to create 'Iron Man' suit - Los Angeles Times

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