What Are The Potential Landing Spots For John Clayton?

  • Rick Chandler

johnclayton

So this morning The Sporting News reported that John Clayton was the latest name to be felled by the ESPN layoff axe, and just a few minutes ago Clayton made it official, via Twitter:

Clayton’s alleged ponytail was of course a main component in possibly the best SportsCenter commercial ever made:

Every major network needs its resident buttoned-down football expert — you can only have so many Stephen A. Smiths and Jay Glazers running around knocking over things and bothering customers in the department store. You need stern, boring adults like John Clayton and Mike Florio for balance.

ESPN will, in a way, sill be employing Clayton — he’ll still have his daily radio show on 710 ESPN Seattle (ESPN radio affiliates are independent of Bristol), and will continue to fill in on Sirius radio’s Moving the Chains.

But this is a 23-year reporting veteran who still should be on TV. Where could he land next?

* Fox Sports. The obvious choice, because the network needs a shot of credibility. The message by ESPN here is that enterprise reporting is lower on their list than keeping Max Kellerman and Tim Tebow, so Fox should take advantage of that.

* His Own Thing. I’d listen to a John Clayton podcast, and watch a John Clayton streaming video report. Get a couple more ESPN layoff victims — Ed Werder? Trent Dilfer? — and lay down some scoop beatdowns on the Worldwide Leader. Jay Mariotti and Woody Paige have a podcast, Unmuted, which they are doing on their own — and is presented on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, audioBoom and Stitcher, in addition to their own websites. These days you don’t need to be tied to a major network.

* Take Over A Newspaper Sports Dept. Jay Mariotti did it at the San Francisco Examiner. Unlike Mariotti, Clayton isn’t likely to be fired after 11 months.

* NBC Sports. Florio would likely have a Joan Crawford fit, as he does any time someone new encroaches on his territory, but surely there should be a place for Clayton here.

* NFL Network. he second-largest sports network net to ESPN, in 73.6 million homes and worth $1.16 billion.

* CBS Sports. They would make him king. All the Chinese food and heavy metal a man could ever ask for.