Are you ready for an overload of Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark on ESPN this coming week? If not, you better get yourself ready, because Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated is reporting Sunday evening that Clark will be on SportsCenter, NFL Live, NFL32, and ESPN Radio starting on Monday.
According to Deitsch, Clark, who is entering the final year of his contract with Steelers, asked ESPN senior coordinating producer Seth Markman at the Super Bowl in New Orleans, if he could intern for the network over the summer in order to hone his broadcasting skills.
“I want to show I\’m capable of handling this workload, but also that I\’m comparable to the guys who on the payroll at ESPN,” Clark told SI.com on Friday. “I want to be able to be in the room with the Brian Dawkinses, Teddy Bruschis and Mark Schlereths and hold my own on the air and in production meetings with them. When you come in as an athlete at ESPN, people treat you a little differently. They know they are getting a commodity along with giving you an opportunity to work at something that may be your craft once you retire. But I want to get the nuts and bolts of this as if I were doing this on a day to day basis.”
Markman apparently thinks Clark has a future in broadcasting after his playing days are over as well.
“He has a great personality, he\’s smart, analytical, and can focus on both sides of the ball,” Markman said. “I can\’t tell you how impressed I am about how proactive he has been with us.”
According to the article, Clark records all of his television appearances so that he and his wife Yonka can re-watch them and critique them together.
Clark, who has never been shy about going on the show First Take to joust with Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith over the course of the last several years, will more than likely do very well in sports broadcasting after he is done with football, which could be as early as 2014. He is not shy about voicing his opinion about things that he doesn\’t like about the league, and more importantly commissioner Roger Goodell, and that should make for some very compelling and often talked about future segments.
Clark is very well spoken, and as Markman pointed out, very analytical with a solid understanding of the game. Based on the number appearances that the network has planned for Clark next week, I am sure that he will say a thing a two worthy of me posting about.
Other former Steelers such as Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis have tried their hands at broadcasting after hanging up their cleats, but neither are polished nor compelling enough to stick long term. Clark is, however, and it will most certainly be his life\’s work after football.