Seahawks fans don’t have to mourn the loss of John Clayton, “The Professor,” who was laid off by ESPN after 23 years as an NFL senior writer there.
You won’t be seeing John Clayton on ESPN’s “Sportscenter” anymore, but Seahawks fans rejoice: he’ll still be on 710 ESPN Seattle talking Hawks.
ESPN announced they were moving on from Clayton, best known for his glasses, his weasly face, and his intelligent, insightful reports on all things NFL.
Clayton is a longtime Seattle-area reporter, starting at the Tacoma Tribune in 1986, and while he kept his sports allegiances to himself while on the set of Sportscenter like the consummate professional he is, he wasn’t afraid to let his green and blue blood flow on the radio for Seattle media. I remember an interview (I don’t have the archive of this, unfortunately) he did with a Seattle station (probably 710) from the Denver Broncos training camp when the venerable God-lover Josh McDaniels was still coach there.
Clayton made no secret of his dislike for McDaniels, but didn’t let his opinion of the ultra-intense Tim Tebow lover get the better of him. It was then that I realized that Clayton is the realest. While he isn’t allowed to always have opinions in his unbiased coverage of NFL stories for ESPN, he still has his opinions, and they are usually based on fact and reason.
One of his best moments comes from one of those hilarious Sportscenter commercials:
I truly believe Clayton is a Slayer fan. ESPN’s exodus of talent is the Seahawks gain.
More from Emerald City Swagger
- Seattle Seahawks: To rest or not to rest, that is the question
- Washington State Football: What you need to know for 2018 Alamo Bowl
- Washington Basketball: 3 takeaways from Huskies win over Sacramento St.
- Seattle Seahawks: 12s still waiting to exhale
- Seattle Seahawks: 4 Takeaways from 26-23 Loss to the 49ers
Clayton will now be able to express his opinion of NFL stories and personalities now on 710 ESPN Seattle, so Seahawks fans will still get to hear his voice talking about their team.
ESPN is in a strange situation. Fewer people are watching Sportscenter. I was a dedicated Sportscenter addict, but I haven’t watched an episode since 2010. The media game is shifting. No longer is ESPN the only place to watch people argue about sports, and no one cares about flashy sports anchors playfully showing you Top-10 plays anymore. Clayton and the many others who have departed ESPN in recent months are talented sports journalists.
It seems the once-mighty ESPN is in the midst of an identity crisis. Does it want to chase and stoke fake controversy by urging idiots like Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless to continue to make meaningless proclamations and terrible predictions, or try to be a good source for sports journalism? With Clayton’s dismissal, it appears to be leaning toward the former.