Kenny Mayne is America's ambassador to the world.
"I feel like I am," Mayne confirmed. "Self-appointed."
As part of his ESPN.com series, "Kenny Mayne's Wider World of Sports," Mayne has visited England, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa and in this week's episode, Thailand, where he played Elephant Polo.
As America's sports ambassador, he said he stresses our most popular sport. A quarterback at UNLV, Mayne is passionate about football, something he said other countries doesn't seem to understand.
"They don't have enough respect for our kind of football," he said. "I'm certain that American football is the greatest game ever. 'Oh, they have to take 30-second breaks, they wear the pads...'
"They want to make it look like our guys are sissies and couldn't handle rugby, and even soccer in some cases," Mayne, who walks with a limp from an injury in his playing days, said. "A: How many 4.2 [40-yard-dash] guys do you have in England? B: The pads are weapons, they're not just for protection. The only thing I can do still is throw a football, and that's declining every day. So that's the one sport I've been trying to sell around the world."
Also as ambassador, he has one country he really wants to check off his list in future adventures: China.
"We wanted to get the President or Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton, somebody -- keep going down until we end up with the Agriculture Secretary, whoever we get -- where they send me as an ambassador to China to play chess against the Chinese champion, who's the youngest women's champion ever," Mayne said. "We probably were a little ambitious from the beginning. China's not the easiest country to run around and have fun in. So we scaled it back and went to an English-speaking country where we could just show up."
Mayne noted that he visited Kuwait as part of SportsCenter, and said he'd like to do something like that again.
"I'd love to go Afghanistan or Iraq, visit the guys and girls. I'd definitely take my chances under the supervision of the American military. I'd go for that," he said. He paused to consider less desirable options. "I don't want to go off the coast of Somalia. That wouldn't be that fun."
But he's not worried about finding new locations.
"Countries keep splitting in half. There are new countries every day," he said. "Except for, I think, Yemen came back together."