The NFL's Player Engagement division has a mission to help its players plan their post-football life. Part of that is to help them figure out what work they may want to do. To that end, a group of 36 players were at Bowling Green State University earlier this week to be put through their paces in various settings they would encounter working in the media.
I was part of two exercises with some of the players. The first was serving as a host of a radio sports talk show with rotating groups of three players in the studio. On Wednesday I then was the play by play man in a mock TV booth and individual players sat in as an analyst. We then proceeded to "call" Super Bowl LII off the big screen, complete with replay and a producer on site and in our ear.
The players also worked in the TV studio on set with James Brown of CBS and Jay Crawford, who formerly worked on various programs with ESPN. Additional TV network executives and producers and directors were on hand to assist in the exercises and breakout sessions. On top that, there were high level radio professionals and people working in the social media realm. All of those folks were also there to advise the players on how to proceed if they want to pursue broadcasting as a second career.
This is a tremendous service the league provides its players. I hope they all are able to use the experience and contacts from this week to advance in their endeavors.
All the guys showed promise and ability but if I had to pick some guys that I think could be moving up the ladder soon I would choose Dan Orlovsky, Ahman Green, Duece McAllister, Tanard Davis and a pair of Buckeyes Alex Boone and Ben Hartsock.
Keep an eye out for these guys.
Big thanks to Dick Maxwell for inviting me to participate in this great event. I think I may have benefited as much as the players. I was energized working with these guys and it's always great to be around the best of the best in the media world and pick their brains and make connections with them.
As always, BGSU was welcoming and accommodating and logistically things went very smoothly. The facilities and studios in the Kuhlin Center are way nicer and using more and newer technology than most commercial operations. Any student thinking of going to college and going into communications and/or media would be well served to check out BGSU.