Well, sort of. He’ll be worked like an intern and be lost when his fellow interns begin discussing whatever it is that kids talk about (pogs?), but he’ll do work that’s not very intern-y. For Ryan Clark, his summer “internship” is really a second career audition.
Throughout this week those who regularly watch the worldwide leader will see the Steelers safety on various programs. During one hour he may participate in the latest sport of proving that Skip Bayless is, in fact, from planet Zion. Then during the next hour he’ll do something more civil and intelligent on NFL Live, like discuss actual football.
He’ll be doing all of this because as Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch tells us, Clark is ESPN’s newest intern for a short time, and he’s not screwing around.
Clark is currently 33 years old, and he’ll turn 34 midway through next season in October. By the standards of normal humans, that’s quite young. But for football humans, he presumably watches Matlock during idle hours. That’s especially true since as a safety, Clark plays a position where bodily harm on many plays throughout a game is inherent, even if he’s often the one initiating that hurt.
So it’s good to see that he’s doing something many of his peers (COUGH Terrell Owens COUGH) have entirely neglected: planning for a life after football. Even if Clark’s chosen path for his second career is a common one, preparing for it now when his NFL time is still a few years away from its conclusion shows foresight that should be applauded.
While speaking to Deitsch, Clark sounded pretty damn driven about his future broadcasting career too, saying that he looks to the likes of Mike Mayock and Michael Strahan as examples of what he’d like to become. So very many retired athletes appear on our television screens, but it’s the few who can either truly entertain or inform (or better: infotain) that stick.
Here’s how serious Clark is about this: he and his wife have film study sessions after his TV appearances.
Clark said he and his wife Yonka DVR everything he does on-air and they’ll both evaluate his performance. “I want to see how I handle questions that I’m not prepared for,” Clark said. “For example, if Trey Wingo asks me something that did not come up in a production meeting, how do I react? Do I seem surprised? Am I able to give knowledgeable, educated responses to those questions? You have to be quick on your feet.”
See, romance isn’t dead.