With the hiring of Ryan Leaf as a special Super Bowl correspondent from Vancouver, ESPN now employs every living former NFL player, including those currently serving prison sentences around the world.
“By enlisting the services of people like Don Beebe, Nate Newton and Kevin Butler, we can finally examine the NFL from every perspective,” said ESPN producer Bob Nelson. “Who better to do a story on Michael Vick’s miraculous turnaround than Rae Carruth, our Penitentiary Expert in the Southeast Region?”
Some former NFLers have transcended correspondent status and are working in more prestigious positions, such as Steve Young, who does pregame for Monday Night Football, and Bo Jackson, who recently signed up to co-anchor the 4AM SportsCenter with former Packers offensive lineman Bruce Wilkerson.
Demand is not as high for retired players of other sports, however. ESPN currently employs just one former NHL pro, Tie Domi, who works as a security guard at the network’s Toronto office.