Backup plan: Bobby McCray

Bobby McCray, in the pool and not sacking quarterbacks. Catherine Ledner

To see a video of Bobby McCray working at the LA Parks and Recreation Department, please click here.

This article appeared as part of a package in the June 29 issue of ESPN The Magazine.

First of all, they threw me into a pool with 40 kids, ages 8 to 10. I'm 6'6", so I had to worry about stepping on them. Also, I can doggy paddle, but that's about all I've got. I had a kickboard to help me float. The city's program is a great way for kids to be productive and healthy; they had a blast splashing and playing. Next, I went to a quilting class with some older ladies. One of my biggest strengths is adapting to different settings and people, which is a big part of a job like this. I have less experience quilting than I do swimming, but I wasn't too bad. They even gave me a nickname: B-Quilt. We cracked a lot of jokes, and I think I found a new hobby. While my teammates are playing video games, I'll be fixing buttons on my fiancée's shirt.

The Review

"What an opportunity for us, to work with a professional football player with a background in recreation [at the U. of Florida]. He'd be great in this line of work."

-- Belinda Jackson, Executive Director of the Expo Center in Exposition Park