NFL

Ex-Giant Ron Dixon bringing his adventure series ‘2 The MAXX’ to NBC Sports

While the majority of former NFL players typically struggle to find their way in life after football, ex-New York Giants wide receiver/kick returner Ron Dixon (2000-2003) may have struck gold with his newest venture.

Dixon, who is best known for holding the NFL record for most kick return touchdowns (2) in a single postseason — which still stands today — has spent his years in post-retirement searching for that same type of adrenaline rush he got from playing in Super Bowl XXXV.

And now, the 44-year-old Dixon believes he has found that in the form of his own extreme travel adventure show, “2 The MAXX,” that is set to premiere on NBC Sports Network next fall.

“It all started when I went skydiving with my pregnant wife,” Dixon told Giants Wire. “It felt like a Super Bowl moment. A lot of people go into depression after football and I felt some of that. The biggest challenge for athletes after retirement is finding direction. Imagine being in a dark room and rubbing against the wall looking for the light switch, that’s what it’s like.

“My road to the NFL was rocky and I’m one of those guys who never really loved football. I didn’t want to be an analyst or coach. For me, it was all about the rush. And the premise of the show is me trying to re-capture that same adrenaline rush I got from playing in the Super Bowl.”

Dixon was selected by the Giants in the third-round of the 2000 NFL draft at No. 73 overall. He fought through adversity after flunking out of college before winding up at Lambuth University and defying all odds by getting drafted into the NFL.

He then saw some success early on by taking the world by storm as a rookie in the postseason playing a pivotal role in Giants history with his two kick return touchdowns on New York’s miraculous run to Super Bowl XXXV. And in the Super Bowl, Dixon scored the Giants’ only points by returning a second half kickoff 97-yards for a touchdown.

What most people don’t know is that Dixon planned to hang it up that night if the Giants would have won the title over the Baltimore Ravens.

“To be honest, my plan was to retire that night if we won the Super Bowl. I was going to take my talents to Hollywood to become an actor. At the time, I never thought about how big the game was until years later when I was out of the league. It might be 1:00 a.m. and I’ll YouTube my kick returns just to get a glimpse of the past. After that little bit of success, I thought I was always going to be there. But I started getting hurt and it got to the point where I didn’t even want to play anymore,” said Dixon.

Dixon’s career was cut short after a PCL injury, which forced him to retire in the spring of 2005.

“It was frustrating for me that I never really fulfilled my full potential because of injuries. But I’m thankful for my little bill of time and have no regrets. At least we know my record will stand for another postseason,” he said.

Ironically, it wasn’t until nearly a decade later when the idea for this travel show sprouted in Dixon’s head. He was going back to school for a degree in international business when he had a “come to Jesus moment.”

He’d stay up at night concocting the blueprint in his thoughts. And of course, these nights also consisted of watching YouTube clips of his famous kick returns with the Giants.

But Dixon, isn’t going to be out there alone. While the production team is still working to confirm the official guest list, they are going to have a lineup consisting of retired NFL players and former Giants to join Dixon on his journey.

“I know former athletes who miss that excitement and that rush, so I’m going to have them join me, The twist is that the athletes aren’t going to know what their adventure is going to be. So it could be my guy Amani Toomer, who I know is afraid of heights, and we could be doing a military halo jump that day from 30,000 feet,” said Dixon.

“The show is not just about retired players or life after the game, it’s about doing something that connects us all as people.”

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, season one will be shot exclusively in the United States before shifting to the overseas stuff in season two when travel is safer. But down the road, Dixon has plans to travel to places such as Zambia and Chile. He will also be running with the bulls in Spain, as well as skydiving out of a helicopter into a live volcano at another undisclosed location — talk about a rush.

According to executive producer Eric Leopardi, who has been working in TV for 26-years, the logistics of the show have been very challenging and unlike any production he has ever worked on due to COVID-19. This is because every state is different to where they have to ensure they are not only meeting different expectations, but connecting with each location to make sure they are up to their unique guidelines.

Season one is set to begin shooting on May 1 and go through the beginning of July before premiering sometime in October with the official release date still pending.

In a world where there are very few Black travel show hosts, Dixon is honored to help break the barrier and it appears he has finally found his niche in life after years of searching for his purpose after football.

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