Dan Patrick Delays ESPN Departure Announcement One More Day

DAN PATRICK DELAYS BROADCAST CAREER TRAIL OF TEARS: By now you know that a media source told the CHICAGO TRIBUNE this week that there is a “90 percent chance” that Dan Patrick would announce today on his radio show that he leaving ESPN.

ESPN SportsCenter logo


But Patrick did not appear on the program today, instead Bob “Mr. last-second replacement” Valvano (sounding a bit groggy as he reached for his patented “best-of” gadget topics designed to make every self-respecting listener hit scan for a preset-less Fox Sports Radio station) filled in for the second straight show.

ESPN Dan Patrick


Beginning last week, Patrick has touted an announcement that “would change lives”, and promised the information on Tuesday. It’s now apparent that the ESPNer either is playing a lead ballon-attached gag on listeners or Bristol execs are considering caving on increased salary and benefit demands.

ESPN Bristol Sign


Not-so-coincidentally, back in April Patrick went on a supposed tongue in cheek rant about how other prominenet ESPN personalities (see The Booger Man) had more perks than he did. More specifically, DP lamented how long it took to get his own office on the ESPN campus.

The Trib also reports that if Patrick does leaves ESPN, he is “expected to take time off before considering TV and nationally syndicated radio offers“.

ESPN Bristol Sign


Anyone who has heard the interchange between the now-nearly-mainstream Keith Olbermann and Patrick understands that leaving ESPN would be the absolute worse thing he could do to his career. Yes, he has a modicum of broadcast ability, but anyone who has followed his radio career knows that his solo show is mind-numbingly boring. It’s much better with Olbermann co-hosting and was even a more pleasant listen with dancing bear Rob Dibble as Patrick’s sidekick.

Dan Patrick Rob Dibble


And you may not know that when Dibble was pushed out and Patrick took to the airwaves alone, program directors at ESPN soon complained to Bristol about the show’s content. Some of the large market non-ESPN owned-and-operated stations even threatened to pull the show if the program wasn’t punched-up. Enter Keith Olbermann and his frequent visits (for big money, no doubt).

Craig Kilborn


We speak for most when we say that when Olbermann isn’t guesting, Patrick’s show creeps along at the speed of a Earl Campbell brain synapse. But after listening to Patrick’s real personality seep out over radio waves the past few years, it’s obvious that he has no regard for the trail of broadcast career tears cut by former SportsCenter stalwarts Craig Kilborn, Chris Myers and Roger Goodell bag man Rich Eisen.

And much like the NHL and the current cast of SNL, if Dan indeed leaves (and disappears into the planet’s mantle), we want to be the first to let him know that it was nice knowing him.