Mark May was once one of ESPN’s most well-known college football analysts, but seemingly vanished from the spotlight years ago. What happened to the two-time Super Bowl winner and former ESPN employee? We have the answers.
May’s sports career began as a player, not an analyst. He wound up receiving a scholarship to play college football at Pitt. The offensive lineman became an immediate star for the Panthers, and helped the program to several very successful seasons. May didn’t allow a single sack during his senior season with Pitt, and earned unanimous first-team All-American honors for his efforts that year. May also took home the 1980 Outland Trophy, awarded to the nation’s top offensive lineman.
After a wildly successful college football career, May took his talents to the NFL. The Washington Football Team, previously nicknamed the Redskins, selected May with the 20th pick in the 1981 NFL Draft. He spent just under 10 years with the organization, helping Washington win two Super Bowls (1982, 1987) along the way. May left Washington to join the Chargers for one season in 1991. Following his brief stint in San Diego, he went on to sign with the Phoenix Cardinals where he eventually retired a couple years later. All-in-all, May spent 12 years in the NFL and made 141 starts during that span. He also had one Pro Bowl appearance, coming in 1988 when he was with Washington.
It didn’t take long for May to end up in the sports media world following his retirement from the NFL. He held several various positions before landing at ESPN in 2001. How did he obtain such a high-profile job just years following his NFL retirement? Let’s take a look.
How did Mark May obtain a job working for ESPN?
Following his retirement from the NFL, Mark May knew right away he’d like to stay working in sports. Sports media, not coaching, became the obvious fit. Just a year after his NFL retirement, May secured a job as a commentator calling Pitt football games for WTAE Radio. Two years later, TNT swooped him away to become a studio analyst for Sunday Night Football games. He eventually became a game analyst for the network.
With seven years of sports media and commentary experience to boast, May landed a gig as a game analyst with CBS Sports in 2001. Shortly thereafter, the rising sports media star transitioned back to college football. ESPN hired him to be a college football analyst in 2001, obtaining one of the most sought after positions in the business.
May immediately grew in popularity, providing excellent commentary and analysis over the years. He became most known for his regular appearances on College Football Scoreboard and College Football Final and his work alongside the iconic Lou Holtz. May and Holtz still share a special friendship to this day.
— Mark May (@mark_may) December 3, 2020
As time rolled along, though, May’s commentary became more and more biased. And by the end of his tenure at ESPN, May became one of the most-hated sports media members of any network.
When did ESPN fire Mark May? And why?
ESPN announced mass layoffs in April of 2017, and Mark May was one of the casualties. May was one of many notable ESPN employees to lose their job during that time. Other well-known ESPN employees to lose their jobs that month included Brett McMurphy and Danny Kanell.
ESPN never explained its decision to fire May, which is normal. But most speculate the network wanted to find a more lively and young crew. While May and Lou Holtz absolutely had their fans, their work together had grown dull for a sport some consider the most exciting.
Joey Galloway replaced May on College Football Final in 2015, two years before May was fired. It was a clear indication May’s time with ESPN would soon be coming to a close as the network chose to go in a different direction. Galloway proved to be an exceptional analyst and now even sometimes works with ESPN’s top college football crew, consisting of Kirk Herbstreit, Rece Davis and Desmond Howard.
Why do Ohio State fans hate Mark May?
Mark May became Ohio State‘s top media enemy early on during his commentary career. To this day, Buckeye Nation still can’t stand the former ESPN employee. How did the rivalry begin? Let’s break it down.
May’s public hatred of Ohio State began in 2003, ahead of the BCS Championship game between the Buckeyes and Miami Hurricanes. Most analysts predicted Miami would come out with the win, as did May. But the most shocking aspect of his analysis was his score prediction. May predicted Miami would walk away with a 42-10 stomping of Ohio State. The 2003 BCS Championship proved to be one of the most competitive championships in the sport’s history. Ohio State won 31-24 in double overtime.
Since that game, Ohio State fans grew to despise May. Years later, May began to embrace the villainous role and found a passion for trolling the Buckeyes.
A user’s post on Eleven Warriors, a well-known sports blog dedicated to cover Ohio State athletics, back in 2017 perfectly encapsulated Buckeye Nation’s hate for May.
“I’m not one to laugh when someone loses their job, but I have no shame in admitting I’ve had a huge grin on my face since the second I found out Mark May was fired. Mark May is seriously the most biased sports analysts (if you can even call him that) that I’ve ever witnessed (and I’ve heard non-OSU fans say the same thing). I’m sure the rest of buckeye nation is as happy as I am at the news of his firing. I’m shocked they didn’t fire his dumb a— years ago, but better late than never.”
Other Ohio State fans had a bit more respect for May, despite hating his constant OSU slander. Gene Ross of SB Nation called May Ohio State’s “villain.”
“Every good hero needs a villain, and for many years, that heel for Ohio State fans was none other than an ESPN analyst by the name of Mark May.”
We’re going to go out on a limb and say Ohio State fans don’t miss May these days.
What’s Mark May up to these days?
Mark May’s ESPN career came to a close almost four years ago, but he’s still very much in the sports-media spotlight. The 61-year-old discovered Twitter a few years back, giving him a platform to troll any fan-base he pleases.
Just recently, May took to Twitter to vent his frustrations regarding the officiating in Super Bowl LV.
The officials are too much a part of this game. They are not suppose to be the story!!
— Mark May (@mark_may) February 8, 2021
Outside of the sports world, we don’t know much about the former ESPN employee. We do know that May has a wife named Kathy and two daughters, Abra and Bryce.
It’s been a few years since we last saw Mark May working for ESPN and providing college football analysis. Some miss him, others are happy he’s no longer apart of the network. No matter how you feel about May, he’s definitely made a lasting impact. His Ohio State hatred and partnership with Lou Holtz are two memorable aspects of his longtime sports media career.
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