The Loop

Bold Move, Cotton

Kenny Mayne’s time at ESPN is over but the 1994 cover letter that landed him the job will live on forever

May 11, 2021

On Monday, longtime ESPN comedic relief, Kenny Mayne, took to Twitter to announce some capital-N News: His time at the Worldwide Leader had officially come to an end.

The news hit a lot of ESPN devotees, especially those from John Skipper’s Embrace Debate era, as something of a surprise, but the reality is that Mayne had less and less to do in recent years. His sense of humor was still drier than a fine glass of Sauvignon Blanc, but as ESPN gravitated toward a more serious tone with the times, Mayne became a Pro Bowl puff piece guy, and Pro Bowl puff piece guys don’t last long in this economy.

But while Mayne’s time with the network proved to be finite, the 1994 cover letter that landed him the job remains immortal. If you’ve yet to witness the audacious coup that landed him his first major network gig, Mayne resurfaced it again on Monday. Job hunters of the world, look upon genius and weep.

Here in the industry, we believe that is what they call a bold move, Cotton. And somehow, despite all odds, it worked. After breaking his ankle while playing quarterback for UNLV in 1980 and subsequently failing a rookie medical with the Seahawks, Mayne got his first job in journalism monitoring police scanners in Seattle. A little over a decade later, he was sending cover letters like this to the biggest name in sports broadcasting. It goes to show that with a little confidence and a lot of stupidity, you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

Remember that, kiddos. Remember that, Kenny.