Longtime NFL reporter John Clayton dies at 67

Casual sports fans may know Clayton best from his “This is SportsCenter” commercial in which he lets his hair down and pulls out his “Slayer” shirt.

“The Seahawks are heartbroken to learn of the passing of John Clayton after a battle with a brief illness at the age of 67,” the team said in a statement late Friday.

ESPN’s Chris Mortenson said that Clayton died at a Seattle-area hospital, with his wife, Pat, and sister, Amy, by his side.

Nicknamed “The Professor”, Clayton spent 23 years covering the Steelers, Seahawks and NFL as a beat writer and was hired by ESPN in 1995 as an NFL Insider.

When he was fired from ESPN in 2017, Clayton described his relationship with the company as the second best in his life. “My marriage to my wife Pat is obviously #1,” Clayton said at the time.

Most recently, he hosted “The John Clayton Weekends” on Seattle Sports 710 and spent five seasons as a sideline reporter for the Seattle Seahawks Radio Network.

Clayton received the Dick McCann Memorial Award in 2007, inducting him into the Writers Wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Casual sports fans may know Clayton best from his “This is SportsCenter” commercial in which he wraps up an interview, lets his hair down, turns on his stereo, pulls out his “Slayer” t-shirt and eats some food. Chinese girl on her bed, shouting “Hey, mom! I finished my segment!”

Former Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson tweeted, “Your words and intelligence will be missed by all of us.”

The passing of John Clayton is truly heartbreaking. He was so nice to me, especially when I was starting out in the NFL. He was so passionate about his job and his craft. He loved his family and his wife so deeply. And he was always with a smile, kindness first. May he rest in peace.💔

— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) March 19, 2022

John Clayton was the nicest person. It was my first side job for the NFL. He found me, gave me tips, gave me information for the show, and as always, wanted to talk about Braddock, PA. Thank you for everything John, I’m so grateful for your friendship. RIP ♥️ pic.twitter.com/i28uOSexT0

— Joy Taylor (@JoyTaylorTalks) March 19, 2022

I am in shock after hearing about John Clayton. Having so many (unintentionally) hysterical JC stories. Truly one of a kind. Left me hundreds of voicemails over the years. He always identified himself, using his full name and left his number – long after caller ID made this topic moot. 😢

— Kevin Seifert (@SeifertESPN) March 19, 2022

John Clayton will be remembered in many ways, from the way he cared for his wife Pat, to the mark he made in the news, to the standard he set. He devoted his life to his wife and to football. He was a pioneer, a guardian, a Hall of Famer and a killer, in every way. pic.twitter.com/34rFeSjiEW

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2022

TEGNA’s Travis Pittman contributed to this report.

Comments are closed.