Remembering a Seattle Legend


Luke Galloway, Reporter

On March 18th, 2022 we lost one of the biggest voices in journalism. John Clayton, also known as “The Professor”, was one of the great ESPN reporters and writers who were always in Seattle working with the Seahawks and sitting down with all kinds of people from the organization. John was famously known for his ESPN analytics and engaging interviews with players and coaches around the NFL. Throughout his 30-year career, John appeared several times on the Seahawks podcast chopping it up with Pete Carroll and star players. Seattle sports fans will never forget John Clayton and his legacy in the journalism and reporting world for their beloved Seahawks. 

John Clayton was not only loved by the city of Seattle and the Seahawks, but he was also very well respected around the league. “John was a great ambassador for the game – he loved football. Loved the Hall of Fame … and was very, very knowledgeable. Condolences to his family. Really a wonderful, wonderful man.” said Coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. The NFL media scene has changed over the years and ESPN and its reporters are a huge part of that. John was one of the most gentle and friendly presences in the media, a man who everyone wanted to be around. When he’d ask a question it’d put a smile on your face. Clayton was one of the most knowledgeable men in football, and he earned the nickname “The Professor” due to his outstanding football IQ. The common conception of the media in sports is that they are just everyday people who are told to ask the questions but, to have so much love for the game and be so well-liked around the league is what made John special. Football may be an aggressive sport on the field but off the field, football can become more than that, it’s become a whole experience for fans that brings people together from all walks of life.

NFL Commissioner, Rodger Goodell released a statement on the sudden and tragic passing of John Clayton, saying “He (John Clayton) helped bring fans closer to the game they loved.” and “he covered the league with endless energy and professionalism.”. His impact on young journalists, especially those aspiring to be a part of the sports media, will forever be remembered. To conclude, John Clayton’s passing is not only sudden and sad, it is a huge impact on the league and its media. So as we remember a great journalist and an even better man, may we keep John and his family in our prayers.