John Clayton (sportscaster)

John Clayton (born Johan Clayton) is a National Football League writer and reporter for ESPN. He is a senior writer for and often is recognized by fellow ESPN sportscasters as "The Professor."

Early career

Clayton began hosting a cable TV sports show in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania, while still a student at Churchill Area High School in suburban Pittsburgh. His print journalism career started at a now-defunct Pittsburgh weekly, "Steel City Sports", in 1973. The same year he graduated from Duquesne University. John moved to a part-time job at the "Pittsburgh Press" in 1976 and was eventually promoted to full-time status. Clayton also served as a stringer for the AP radio network and several other audio sports services in the 1970s.

In 1978, Clayton began covering the Pittsburgh Steelers for the "Pittsburgh Press". He left that job in the 1980s and began covering the Seattle Seahawks for the "Tacoma News Tribune" in Tacoma, Washington. It was at this time that he began appearing in NFL segments on Seattle sports radio station KJR (AM) on host Nancy Donnelan's program "The Fabulous Sports Babe". When Donnelan's show was picked up by ESPN for national syndication Clayton came along as an expert NFL correspondent.


In 1995, he joined ESPN as a reporter and later added to his duties a weekly radio show during the NFL offseason. He hosted the show with former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury; the show included "Four Downs," a debate with Salisbury over current NFL issues. Their debates often became quite heated, with Salisbury referring to Clayton as the "Cryptkeeper" and "Mr. Peabody", mocking his geeky appearance and voice, and Clayton responding by calling Salisbury "Mr. Backup" based on his limited playing time during his NFL career. There is debate as to seriousness of the animosity between Salisbury and Clayton.Fact|date=March 2008

Radio programs

Clayton remains a frequent contributor to KJR (AM), and also hosts it's "Sports Saturday" show on Saturday mornings. He is a regular call-in contributor to sports-talk radio stations around the country.

External links

*John Clayton [ bio at] .
*John Clayton Sports Saturday show on KJR-AM []
* [ John Clayton wins McCann award]
*Unofficial John Clayton Fan Site []

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