Sal Paolantonio

Sal Paolantonio

Paolantonio in 2015
Born (1956-06-13) June 13, 1956
Long Island, New York
Education SUNY Oneonta
New York University
Notable credit(s)

97.5 The Fanatic
Professor, St. Joseph's University 2002-2008
The Philadelphia Inquirer 1985-1995

Military career

Allegiance United States
Service/branch Navy
Years of service 1978- 1983
Rank Lieutenant
Awards United Nations Meritorious Service Medal
Title ESPN National Correspondent

Sal Paolantonio (born June 13, 1956 in Long Island, New York) is a Philadelphia-based bureau reporter for ESPN,[1] who primarily reports on NFL stories. Since joining ESPN in 1995, Paolantonio has become a staple in their NFL coverage, as he contributes to shows such as SportsCenter, NFL Live, Sunday NFL Countdown (from a game site) and Monday Night Countdown (from the Monday Night Football site). In 2004, he added studio work to his duties, replacing Suzy Kolber as the host of NFL Matchup, an X's and O's football show; joining him are Merril Hoge and Ron Jaworski. His best known work for ESPN was his coverage of the Terrell Owens saga with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. Sal has also been an adjunct professor at St. Joseph's University[2] in Philadelphia since 2001.

In 2007, he and fellow sports journalist Reuben Frank put out The Paolantonio Report: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players, Teams, Coaches, and Moments in NFL History. It has been the best-selling NFL book in the country (October 11, 2007) according to He went on to make the provocative claim in his 2008 folk history, How Football Explains America, that the competition informed the public morality on integration and consciously developed in the mid-20th century into an almost mythic spectacle.[3] With its origins in the closing of the Turnerian frontier, the NFL league, rather than baseball, apparently broke down the color barrier in sports.

Before ESPN

Prior to joining ESPN, he was a political reporter and Philadelphia Eagles beat reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer from 1993-1995. During that time he also served as a reporter for WPHL-TV nightly news show, Inquirer News Tonight and hosted Saturday Morning Sports Page on WIP sports radio. In 1993, he published his first book, a biography of Frank L. Rizzo entitled The Last Big Man in Big City America.

He graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta in 1977 with a bachelor of arts degree in history. He also attended New York University, where he received a master's degree in journalism in 1978. Paolantonio served as a gunnery officer in the United States Navy[4] from 1979-1983 where he was awarded the United Nations Meritorious Service Medal in 1983. He served aboard USS Ouellet and the USS Haleakala.[4]

Paolantonio has been a resident of Haddon Township, New Jersey. His given name is Salvatore Anthony Nicholas Paolantonio.[5]


  1. "Sal Paolantonio". ESPN MediaZone. ESPN. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  2. "ESPN's Sal Paolantonio to Speak at Wilmington University". Wilmington University Public Relations. 27 March 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  3. Marlett, Jeffrey (2009-01-31). "Gridiron Nation". First Things. Retrieved 2009-02-07
  4. 1 2 Fazio, Dan. "On The Sidelines with LT. Sal Paolantonio". G.I. Jobs. Retrieved 29 January 2011.
  5. Bracy, Aaron. "Staley's success is no surprise to Leslie", Courier-Post, March 18, 2005. Accessed March 21, 2011. "Sal Paolantonio, a Haddon Township resident, recently signed a four-year contract extension with ESPN."
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