En Fuego’d?


The LA Times reports Dan Patrick is no longer at ESPN, after 18 years.

Dare I say, “about time.” Finally, “the whiff.”

I couldn’t be happier. This guy is everything that is sterile, boring and arrogant about ESPN and the sports media at large. To quote Patrick himself, “I think I was starting to take it (ESPN) for granted.”

Ya think? His moronic interview style, his probing for the story that isn’t there, his reliance on Keith Olberman to carry his radio show–none of this will be missed.

Dude is 51. He’s past his time. Take that back, he’s been past his time for 3 years. Dan Patrick is just past.

Although the job would be cushy and high-paying for the Pugh family (Dan’s real last name is Pugh); for a consumer of ESPN, it doesn’t get any worse than Patrick being rumored to be the next host of “The Price is Right”. When a once-respected SportsCenter anchor is supposed to replace Bob Barker, you know his time has past.

So, maybe Dan finally figured it out. Maybe Dan saw he was aged beyond his peak. Aged like that package of cheese in your ‘fridge that you kept seeing in the drawer, telling yourself, “oh yeah, that’s still good,” when you know it’s been cornering blue for weeks and smells like an abandoned jock strap in the back of a Buick. Not even good enough for an english muffin in the toaster oven.

My question is: who replaces him? It seems ESPN has lost it’s identity as it’s become so fractured into so many weak programming entities.

Stu Scott? No, he’s getting old, too. And I think people were tired of him at “boo-ya” #15.

Rich Eisen? Craig Kilborn? Larry Biel? Brett Haber? Kevin Frazier? — oh yeah, Mickey axed them all.

ESPN is too big for it’s own britches. And Dan has become a victim of the very giant he helped to inject with BALCO stories, steroid goose chases, horrible TV movies, lame leftover wakeup programming, arena football, attempted force-feeding of who’s “now” and other such corporate-sponsored fluff.

When it came down to it, Dan’s enthusiasm of the 90s became too unwieldy for a network that began as sports-fan driven and had turned cookie-cutter and creativity smothering. Love him or not (that’s me), he had been grinded, confined and worn down by Mickey’s red army.

Patrick’s departure marks the end of an era: the era that began in this generation’s youth, addicted to those 3 SportsCenters daily, only to see three SC’s turn into ESPNNEWS and ESPN.com; the generation that saw the groundbreaking NCAA tourney coverage turn into October bracketology.

Dan Patrick… “gone.”