Was Linebacker Emmanuel Acho Good in the NFL?

The football to TV pipeline doesn’t usually involve reality dating shows, but Emmanuel Acho is ready to change that. The former member of the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles was never an NFL star. The linebacker lasted just three seasons, most of them off the bench.

Then, Acho reprioritized his life and moving on to something different. Now, he’s slated to host The Bachelor: After the Final Rose after its previous host was forced to step down. 

How many years did Emmanuel Acho play in the NFL?

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Outside linebackers are rarely the talk of the NFL, and Acho is no exception. According to Pro Football Reference, he was born in Dallas, Texas, to Nigerian parents. Acho experienced what it was like to be a Black man in America as he impressed college scouts with his football skills. He landed at Texas’s legendary football program. After graduating as a Longhorn, Acho tried for the NFL.

Acho was not a surefire choice in the 2012 NFL draft. But when the Cleveland Browns were on the clock with the 204th overall pick. they changed his life forever. Acho never played for the Browns as a rookie, spending most of his time on the sideline and with the practice squad. However, after moving to Philadelphia the next year, he showed his value.

Acho was in and out of the Eagles’ lineup his first year, playing in just six games. However, after making his way into the lineup the following year, he provided the Eagles with adequate defense off the bench, starting in the only two games of his career. However, after the Eagles cut him, Acho arguably became bigger than he ever was on the field.

Acho joins ESPN

After retiring from the NFL, the young Acho signed with ESPN. There, people fell in love with his charisma and ability to connect more significant issues with the sports world. Like Michael Strahan, Acho didn’t want to confine himself to sports and sports alone. He sought something bigger. Now, the published writer has a booming career in TV and entertainment. 

Acho joined Fox Sports in 2020, around the same time that the national conversation intertwined itself with the racial discourse. Never one to stay silent, Acho publicly spoke about how this informs well-meaning people who don’t get it.

“White people, even my dearest white brothers and sisters who I know love me to death, they don’t understand the jurisdiction, or lack thereof, of black culture and black things,” Acho told The Guardian in the aftermath of the George Floyd shooting.

Now a media member, Acho doesn’t just want to entertain the masses. He wants to educate people on a problem that isn’t exclusive to America but around the world. He told the Guardian:

“During the uprisings after the murder of George Floyd, I vividly remember hearing the Black Lives Matter chant in the sweetest British accents. I realized then that there are so many of those same issues across the pond. The difference is America has such a visceral reaction because of the history of the issues that isn’t as widely known in the UK. The same issues are being faced all over the world.”

Emmanuel Acho

Now, Acho might have a bigger audience than he’s ever had on or off the field. Amidst accusations of racism, Chris Harrison stepped away from the show before taping the season wrap-up, The Bachelor: After the Final Rose. ABC named Acho as his replacement. There, the former linebacker can reach a brand new audience. 

Emmanuel Acho to host ‘The Bachelor: After the Final Rose’

Former NFL player Emmanuel Acho hosts The Bachelor: After the Final Rose
The Bachelor: After the Final Rose host Emmanuel Acho | Craig Sjodin via Getty Images

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According to People, Harrison stepped away from The Bachelor after he defended reports of racial insensitivity by current contestant Rachael Kirkconnell. Fans were not pleased with Harrison’s comments. After public backlash, he stepped down. ABC brought in Acho to replace him for the show’s wrap-up special. There, he will reportedly address the show’s racial issues while forming a new brand as a show host not confined to sports.

Acho gives us a story of a different type of NFL success. While making it to the biggest league in the world was no small task. However, Acho’s journey from an unknown linebacker to the biggest reality TV show is no small task. However, he’s shown himself to have the talent to juggle multiple topics while remaining poignant and insightful.