Kenny Mayne chats about the odd jobs he landed prior to joining ESPN

September 21, 2021

In Podsauce’s exclusive interview with Kenny Mayne, hosts Alesha and Dax were delighted to chat with the former ESPN host. Kenny discussed his decision to leave ESPN after 27 outstanding years. He shares stories from his pre-ESPN years, and explains all kinds of gigs he did to pay the bills. Kenny worked as a garbageman and a telemarketer while pursuing journalism at a local station, then joined ESPN on a freelance basis until he was offered a full-time role.

The hosts and Kenny shared barrels of laughs on the show as Kenny is filled with excellent stories. And he shared his love for the low-sugar Olipop soda since he mentioned it when he appeared on “The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz.” The brand contacted him for an advertising partnership, so Kenny has been busy.

Kenny shared that this summer, he spent quality time with family, went on boat excursions, and golfed. But his fun sports activities or even traveling around the world as a journalist for ESPN weren’t always pain-free or easy.

For years, Kenny continued to experience pain from an old football injury, even after several surgeries. In 2017, Kenny found a device that enabled him to get back to his favorite activities, pain-free. Within days of using what he calls a magic device, Kenny was back to running, golfing, and football! Hooray! Kenny realized how this device impacted his life, and wanted to help others in need.

Kenny and his wife Gretchen started the foundation, Run Freely, for veterans experiencing issues and pain. Run Freely provides devices that preserve limbs to avoid amputation. In the time since he has left ESPN, Kenny has raised enough money to get several veterans up-and-running! Literally! Alesha and Dax love Kenny’s program, and thank Kenny for his work for veterans, especially because Alesha comes from a military family. Kenny and Gretchen’s fathers both served in the military, and they wanted to give back by supporting veterans.

Kenny recapped his early days in journalism at a station in Seattle. Did you know that when Kenny originally tried out for ESPN, he didn’t get hired because they didn’t think he was “sports-nerdy enough?” He discusses how eventually he wrote the company a convincing letter, and ESPN welcomed him aboard!

As an avid podcast listener, one of Kevin’s favorite shows is “Gaslit Nation,” a political podcast hosted by Sarah Kendzior and Andrea Chalupa. Its weekly episodes detail the news, global affairs, and resistance leaders who speak up to reveal the truth. Kenny also recommended Sarah’s books, Hiding in Plain Sight and View from Flyover Country.

Crooked Media’s “Pod Save America” is another one of Kenny’s faves for news and politics.

In the future, Kenny would enjoy developing his own podcast and his dream guest lineup would include Stevie Wonder and Michael Jordan. Podsauce will for sure tune in to Kenny’s podcast if he decides to develop it! For more from Kenny, check out the full interview on Podsauce.

Kenny’s Picks

Listen to ‘Gaslit Nation’

Pod Save America

Listen to ‘Pod Save America’

The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz

Listen to ‘The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz’

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