Much money, however, is spent on Schlereth and the talent surrounding him at ESPN.
"When I retired from football, I planned on taking a couple years off," Schlereth said. "After a couple days, my wife said if I didn't get another job we were going to get a divorce.
"Well, I'd done a segment on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on playing through injuries. Afterward, Bryant asked Jim Lampley, who did the piece, 'What's next for Mark?' He said I was intelligent and articulate. Agents started calling. I hired one and a couple weeks later, I did an audition for ESPN. This is my 13th season broadcasting."
Then we got down to it: What, exactly, is it like working at ESPN? "Sportscenter" fanatics have to know.
"We have a great crew of people who take great pride in what they put on television and on the radio," Schlereth said. "Being around the people is a lot like being in an NFL locker room, except not as politically incorrect. NFL locker rooms are the most politically incorrect places you'll find.
"Anyway, it's a lot like our commercials, as goofy as those spoofs are. I'll be walking down the hall and I'm not awed a lot, but sometimes you'll say, 'Oh my God, look who's here.' "
As for those regularly in the ESPN complex, Schlereth said there's no doubt which personality is king.
"Without question it's Chris Berman," Schlereth said. "He's larger than life. When I travel, people will come up and ask me about their teams, etc. When I travel with him, in the same airport, I'm invisible.
"Yet he's one of the most gracious, accommodating people you'll ever meet. He has great compassion and treats his fan base very well."
Schlereth estimates he's on ESPN around 110 days a year, appearing on anywhere from one to seven shows a day. His radio show, which is preempted by live events like college basketball, runs around 175 to 200 days a year.
This coming Tuesday, though, Schlereth and Hoge will visit the Capital City.
"I get to talk about the game I love and hang with Merril," Schlereth said. "That's a winner. I said, 'Where do I sign up?' "
Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvin...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.