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Former Fighting Illini Football player David Diehl hired by FOX Sports

by Tom Rock

Well, that didn't take long.

Just four months after announcing his retirement from the NFL, former Giants offensive lineman David Diehl has been hired by FOX as a game analyst. Even though he won championships and was a Pro Bowler and exhibited a strong personality in the locker room, Diehl is not exactly a household name nationally and he played a position that lends itself to anonymity. It is rare for a player to go directly from such relative obscurity to a national broadcast booth.

"I know a lot of people are probably thinking the same thing as you, that this is unbelievable and this is crazy," Diehl told Newsday in a phone interview on Wednesday. "But to me, it really isn't. I've worked extremely hard my entire life not only on the football field but off the football field."

Diehl, who majored in communications at the University of Illinois, said he started plotting his course to the microphone around 2007. That was when the Giants won their first Super Bowl with him at left tackle and the time he signed a long-term contract with the team. He attended the NFL's Broadcast Boot Camp, co-hosted radio programs, made appearances on television, and began engaging contacts for his second career.

"This is what I wanted to do," Diehl said. "Besides getting drafted by the New York Giants, this is the next dream job that I could possibly have."

He also worked on his own, sitting at home watching tapes of games with the volume down and recording his own analysis. The often loquacious Diehl, who has been known to answer questions in the locker room with four-minute soliloquies, won't have that kind of time on a game broadcast.

"You have to be short and quick and to the point," he said. "This is something I've been practicing for and preparing for. It's a lot different when you are answering questions for a newspaper or speaking on the radio or doing it on TV. You know what atmosphere you are in and this is something I've practiced."

Diehl doesn't yet have a broadcast partner and he doesn't know what games he'll be working in the fall. Chances are he'll be low in the broadcast hierarchy at first, and with the Giants playing in the largest market the odds are pretty slim that Diehl will cover any of their games this season. The thought has crossed his mind, though.

"Obviously, when I started getting into all of this, you definitely think about it," he said.

Read more at Newsday.com.



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