BRISTOL, CT—Though they first pointed a camera at the NFL writer more than 15 years ago as a prank, producers at ESPN still cannot bear to tell John Clayton they have never actually put him on television. "It's heartbreaking to watch him standing outside in the snow at one of these stadiums, trying to keep his wispy mound of hair in place, waiting for his big chance to speak in front of a camera that isn't even rolling," said ESPN executive Kathryn Rich, adding that in order to make Clayton think he is on the air, producers will often have an intern pose as an ESPN anchor and ask him follow-up questions. "I don't know why he ever believed we would actually put a guy like him on TV, but it's too late now." To keep the ruse going, ESPN officials were forced to arrange a mock induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for Clayton four years ago and are still paying Clayton's wife, a prostitute they hired in 1996, to tell him how good he was on television that particular night.