Brandon London is a TV Personality on Daily Blast Live, who has an amazing story. Growing up with a family of athletes, Brandon played football at the University of Massachusetts as a wide receiver. He entered the NFL in 2007 and won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. He then went on to play in the CFL winning a Grey Cup Championship with the Montreal Alouettes. Through all of this, he managed to begin a modeling career and walked on BET’s Rip The Runway. Brandon is still tied into the Giants organization as the official on-camera correspondent for the NY Giants and still finds time to run his YouTube series Jersey Off, Suit On where he interviews athletes about their life off the field. He is heavily invested in helping the youth in America with his dedication to the Giants fans, NFL Play60, and other youth organizations. Brandon brought his big personality to Daily Blast Live when he joined their team earlier this summer! Learn more about Brandon London.
You come from a family of athletes, your Dad played in the NFL and your uncle also played football, what were the expectations growing up when it came to sports?
Growing up, I had all types of expectations. For some people, traditional 1-on-1 basketball games out in front of the house against another sibling in front of your family would just be a regular 1-on-1 game. But that was, COMPETITION when it came to the London family. Especially, when you have an uncle who got drafted by the Mariners out of high school for baseball but decided to play college football, another uncle who went to ECU, and my father played at the University of Richmond. I was expected to carry the torch and make something out of myself and be great, athletically. But I always looked at is as a challenge. I looked at it as a privilege and that competition got me through the dog days of football but got me through life.
Your father is a championship coach and has been coaching football since you were a little boy, did he teach you and was it easy to comprehend the game?
Yeah, he taught me the game and just being around college football programs players who were going to the NFL. I like to tell the joke from time to time that I knew what Cover 2 was when I was 2. My dad used to have my brother and I draw up plays and work hand drill with players. I learned how to use my hands for the field at a young age.
What did you learn from your professional career in the NFL and CFL?
I learned the business. I learned how to love something and know that it can be taken away from you. Playing in college, that was that high. You’re playing in college and doing well out of college. You get to the New York Giants your rookie year and you guys win a Super Bowl. Then you go to Miami and you go to the playoffs with the Dolphins and then all of a sudden, you just feel like the world just cuts off. You get cut from the dolphins. No one’s calling you the way they used to call you anymore. I learned that even though you can put your heart into something, you always need to have a backup plan and a passion. But you can’t identify yourself with what your job is. So by the time I got to the CFL, I had to bring myself to be more than just an athlete. I had to learn how to be something else.
How does it feel to be on the short list of players who have won a Super Bowl and a Grey Cup?
It feels great! Honestly, I look back at it and I always try and not let the highs be too high or the lows too low. But when you sit back and you kind of reflect just on the journey, I really have a super bowl championship and a grey cup championship. I look at it now that I’m on TV and I thank the Lord for blessing me.
When did you know it was time to retire from professional football?
In 2015, I was packing up getting ready to go up to Canada and I got a call from the executive producer for a show out in LA called Hollywood Today Live. He said that they had found my reel on YouTube. He saw my look and saw my energy and said, “We want to bring you out to test for the show”. So I tested with the network and I went back to Canada. I was in camp for about seven days and I just couldn’t focus while I was up there. All I kept thinking about was knowing that I got a taste of live TV and TV production. By that time, my mind was already checked out of the CFL. I had that knee injury and I started taking acting classes going back and forth from LA and New York in my off time to take on-camera training. So I’m sitting there in my room and I couldn’t go to bed. I closed my eyes and I saw this white flash and I just started crying. I don’t know if it was a voice from God, but it was something that said, “it’s over.” So the next day at the end of practice, I walked up to my coach and I just started crying. I said, “Coach, I’m done. It’s time”. A week later I moved out to LA.
How has working with Giants fans made you appreciate the game?
I appreciate the game tremendously being in the locker room, in the facility, and around the players. You get that sense where you’re back around the guys again. They don’t really look at me as Giants personnel TV guy, they look at me as one of them with a microphone. I would crack jokes alongside Odell [Beckham Jr.] and the guys. It was great, but it helped me with the skills I needed to be successful on camera because I was still raw when I got that chance. I needed to work on confidence on camera and I got those reps being with the fans, hanging out with the players, interviewing different players and doing those sorts of things. So not only do I appreciate the game of football even more, I appreciate this TV game even more because I realized I got my confidence to getting reps through the New York Giants.
So when I got out to LA, I was working with this show that said they were trying to develop me in five weeks and at the end of that five weeks, if I was ready, then I’d get a job. So I took that gamble and I didn’t get this show. I was sitting there, you know, four, five, six weeks into it all like man I need to do something. I can’t touch my 401K, I can’t touch my savings because that’s put away. I needed to buy myself time because I knew I needed to take more TV hosting classes. So I pawned my Super Bowl ring, lo and behold when I got the Giants gig, I saved up my money and went back and got it.
When did you start modeling?
I started modeling my rookie year after we won the Super Bowl. We went out to celebrate and this lady grabbed my arm and she’s like “Excuse me, do you model?” I said, “no”. She gave me her card and told me to call this photographer. She wanted me to take some test shots and then she’ll have them email her the test shots. Lo and behold I take the test shots, next thing you know I’m on BET Rip The Runway. I signed with Boss Modeling Agency, then I was the face of Akademiks’ fall clothing line. I had this run where I was just doing one thing after the next.
Where did you get the idea of creating Jersey off Suit On?
Jersey off Suit On came when I was in a special teams meeting in Canada. I had this notepad and I used to just write ideas down. I want to brand myself as the cultured athlete. I’m an athlete and a model and I need to brand myself. My hosting coach Marki Costello, always said, “You need to brand yourself, you need to create your own web series and all.” So I thought, I’m the cultured athlete and Jersey off Suit On is going to be what we athletes do when we take our jerseys off and we go live the life we live.
After your guest show on Daily Blast Live, what made you realize you wanted to work there full time?
They were looking for a new host and my agent told me I was on a short list of hosts that got cut down from 25 to 15 to 10 to 6. They brought in 3 of us to co-host and when they brought me in to guest co-host. From the first moment I opened up my mouth, I knew I got it. And that’s not cocky or anything. It was just one of those things where all the preparation and the opportunity has lined itself up. You can’t complain and say, no one’s doing this for me or no one’s giving me a chance. I knew I got it. So when I left that Friday, they called me that Monday and told me I got it. I just couldn’t say anything for five weeks.
How important is it to you that athletes partake in events like “NFL Play 60” and give back to the community?
You see what’s going on in the world right now, not only black athletes but white athletes you got to give back to the community. When I do the NFL Play 60 with the Giants players, I want everybody to go into these less fortunate communities and work with these kids and see the impact that they have in these kids lives. I was one of these kids that got to hang out and work out with people who are bound for the NFL. When you hear someone who is where you want to go, push it in the right direction that’s transformative. The way I can lock and tap into their energy and hype them up is great! Forget worrying about peer pressure, get your butt in the weight room and get your butt in the classroom. I think it’s huge that players give back to the community and work with these kids because the kids are the future.
How important is it that athletes are seen as more than just an athlete?
You have to be seen as more than the athlete these days. You see the game, the game loves nobody. It can be taken away from you at any time. If you’ve identified yourself as just an athlete your entire life and it gets taken away from you now what? There’s more to it than just trying to get these guys to broaden their perspective on things, especially inner-city kids.
What’s next for Brandon London?
I want to start my own production company. I like how LeBron James used his platform and he’s kind of getting into TV and starting his own thing with Maverick Carter. I want to hustle my butt off, work as hard as I can, stack as much money and put away as many investments as I can. Get married, have kids, and just watched my kids grow up. Eventually, I want to be off the grid so I can raise my family and live vicariously through my children, through my family and stuff like that. I’ve been away for too long. I felt like I missed the golden years of a lot of my family’s lives because I’ve been off trying to make myself better. One day hopefully, I can officially say there’s that number in the bank and I can live great for the rest of my life.
Make sure to follow Brandon London on Instagram.