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NEW YORK, N.Y. — On the field, on the ice, in the cage or behind the wheel, professional athletes have to be tough. But what does it take to do the behind-the-scenes jobs in sports? All-Pro linebacker Junior Seau is about to find out. In VERSUS’ new original series, Sports Jobs with Junior Seau, the NFL legend trades in his helmet and pads and tries out the sometimes thankless, but extremely important, jobs across the entire sports world. The 10-episode weekly half-hour series will air on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET, beginning December 2, with two back-to-back episodes.
“This is the first show that gives fans a look at the people who make the games possible. These guys don’t get the fame and recognition but they are just as talented and compelling as the players and they have just as much pride in their work,” said Andy Meyer, Vice President of Original Programming for VERSUS. “We’re very excited to have Junior Seau, one of the greatest players the NFL has ever seen, on VERSUS’ team doing the every day jobs that make sports work.”
In the premiere episode at 10 p.m. ET on December 2, Seau will be working as part of the construction crew helping to build the new stadium for the New York Giants. In the second episode of the night, Seau will wear Dodger blue and serve as the batboy/equipment manager during a Dodgers home stand against the Milwaukee Brewers. Some of the other episodes will feature Seau working as the equipment manager for the Washington Capitals, as an IndyCar pit crew member, a college football writer for Sports Illustrated, a member of an arena conversion crew and as bullfighter at a Professional Bull Riders (PBR) event.
“Throughout my 19-year professional football career, I’ve had the great fortune to work with so many phenomenal people; from equipment managers to trainers to the field crew, it is because of these unsung heroes that I am able to be the best player I can be on the field,” said show host Junior Seau. “I’m very excited to be part of show that allows me to do the jobs that are essential to a sport and make an impact on the overall effectiveness of an athlete or team.”
A San Diego native, Seau began making a name for himself in football during his collegiate days at USC where he was an All-American player. In 1990, following his junior year college football season, he was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the first round of the draft as the fifth pick overall. A Charger until 2002, Seau went on to play for the Miami Dolphins from 2003 until 2005 and was signed by the New England Patriots in 2006. Seau took a short break from football prior to the start of the 2009 NFL season for production of Sports Jobs, but after seeing how difficult some of the jobs actually were—including getting tackled by a bull during his bullfighter job with the PBR—Junior decided he’d rather take his chances on the field and returned to the Patriots team roster in time to play in the sixth game of the 2009 season.
In addition to the opening night episodes, The rest of the on-air schedule follows (subject to change):
The Washington Capitals travel with thousands of pounds of skates, pads, jerseys, sticks and pucks and being their equipment manager for the 2009/10 NHL season-opening road game at Boston is no small task.
In this episode Junior joins up with Boston’s legendary “Bullgang” crew to convert the Boston Bruins ice into the Boston Celtics hardwood, and back again, in just 36 hours.
The pressure is on as Junior learns how to jack up the car, fill it with gas, and change the tires – and do it all to have Scott Dixon’s car back on the track in seven seconds.
Junior learns to read greens and minds, as he works a loop with LPGA and reality TV superstar Natalie Gulbis.
From trying to land an exclusive interview to racing between the press box and the locker room, Junior tries to cover a game and make his deadline.
Junior joins UFC star Forrest Griffin’s camp as he trains to take on Anderson Silva at UFC 101: Declaration in Philadelphia.
He’ll feed, groom, shoe, clean and care for racehorses, and then do the dirtiest job he’s done yet – castrate a live horse.
Junior finds out first hand that keeping the riders from getting trampled and gored by a massive bull is one of the most dangerous jobs in all of sports.
VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD) and is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL), the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the IndyCar® Series as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Professional Boxing. The network also offers collegiate sports featuring nationally-ranked teams from top conferences such as the Pac-10, Big 12, Mountain West and Ivy League. VERSUS features the best field sports programming on television and is a destination for sports fans, athletes and sportsmen to find exclusive, competitive events and original programs, such as Sports Soup and Sports Jobs with Junior Seau that audiences can’t find elsewhere. VERSUS, a wholly owned company of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA, CMCSK), is distributed via cable systems and satellite operators throughout the United States.