According to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ website, former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden, now retired, seems to have found his life’s work.
It seems as though McFadden has found his new calling as a sports broadcaster, having found employment as co-host for Chicago-based 120 Sports, which offers breaking news via the internet as well as an app for smart phones.
As the article notes, McFadden, like Ike Taylor, had his own radio show during his final season with the team in 2012, and he also participated in some broadcasts for both radio and television last year in order to gain experience.
That experience has evidently paid off, as the former athlete will now be reporting on a wide variety of sports during his post-football career.
He also joins a surprisingly lively fraternity of former Pittsburgh Steelers football players who have joined the sports media after their playing days.
And unlike many former athletes who attempt to do the same—such as Warren Sapp and Marshall Faulk, for example—they tend not to regularly make spectacles of themselves for their absurd declarations or naïve football analysis.
That fraternity includes some Hall of Famers, such as Terry Bradshaw and Rod Woodson, and a future Hall of Famer in running back Jerome Bettis. That is not to mention former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher’s work as well.
Bradshaw in particular has been at it for a while—for better or for worse, depending on whom you ask. He even did some guest commentating while he was still playing, and became a game analyst soon after he retired.
Merril Hoge is also a notable former Steeler who contributes to sports journalism during his post-playing career. Hoge in particular is an Xs and Os type, who can break down game tape and give reasoned analysis on players and plays alike.
Former Steelers linemen Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley do a great deal of work with the Steelers and elsewhere, and like Hoge, also share a greater insight into how the game is actually played and are capable of explaining it from a player’s perspective.
Of course, there is Ryan Clark, the former Steeler as of this spring whom many believed was set to retire to begin his career as a sports commentator.
Clark has regularly participated in segments on ESPN and elsewhere during the offseason over the past few years, which in some instances has drawn ire from fans, teammates, and perhaps the coaching staff and front office.
There are also some current Steelers who show a penchant for sports broadcasting, as well. Taylor, as mentioned, hosts his own show. Antonio Brown has had his share of spots on sports television, and hosts segments on Steelers Live on the team’s own web show on occasion.
So as you can see, Bryant McFadden is just the latest in a line of many former Steelers moving on from their playing careers to continue their involvement in the sport as analysts. That’s not to mention the many former Steelers who have also gone on to become coaches.
I can’t say with any authority that there is anything deeper to this reality than mere coincidence, but perhaps there is something to say for the manner in which the Steelers go about choosing the players that they choose to fill out their roster. Perhaps, a certain character profile conducive of individuals whose understanding of their craft transcends mere replication and lends itself to communication.