(Via ESPN on YouTube)
(Via ESPN on YouTube)

Alex Ovechkin’s ESPN “This is SportsCenter” ad with Semyon Varlamov and Steve Levy debuted two-and-a-half years ago, to rave reviews, judging by the comments on our Bog post.

“Hilarious. Good stuff,” one person wrote.

“Classic!” someone else wrote.

“LOVE IT!” wrote a third commenter.

“Love it!” added a fourth. “In a time when sports superstars are about the me me me me….its refreshing to see a guy with a positive fun personality enjoying life and sharing with the fans. Big thumbs up!”

Feels like a long time ago, and not just because Varlamov is no longer Ovechkin’s baby-faced teammate.

Still, that ad has stood the test of time — or the test of 31 months, anyhow. And now comes word that the Ovechkin spot has been dubbed one of the 10 best “This is SportsCenter” ads, via a vote involving the campaign’s creators. That’s top 10 out of more than 400 ads that have been part of the campaign.

ESPN is counting down the top 50 ads Thursday at 8 p.m. The program, hosted by Jason Sudeikis, will include interviews with the people who helped produce the ads and behind-the-scenes footage. The 10 top ads were determined by the creators, but their order will be decided based on a fan vote. (The vote is taking place on SportsCenter’s Facebook page.) Ovechkin and Varlamov’s spot was the only hockey ad that made the top 10.

According to the network, Ovi’s spot was one of the most expensive in the campaign’s history, since producers built a replica filing room on the basketball court on ESPN’s campus and used a crane to lift Ovechkin out of the room. They also arranged for a stunt double for Ovechkin, who then insisted on doing his own stunts.

Anyhow, vote for it, or one of the others, or none.