Sun. Aug 25th, 2019

The Informer

Place where all voices matter

How Dan Patrick’s longshot ESPN return ended abruptly

2 min read

Dan Patrick took the meeting, even if it didnt amount to much.

The former SportsCenter anchor and one of the few to succeed since leaving Bristol met with John Skipper days before the then-network president resigned, in which a possible return to the Worldwide Leader was broached.

Patrick, who hosts NBCs Football Night in America and has a contract with AT&T Sportsnet that reportedly expires this month, sat down with Skipper ostensibly to talk about a potential business partnership, but Skipper seemed more eager to talk about a reunion.

Patrick confirmed much of a Sporting News report about the meeting on his simulcast on Monday, but it appears unlikely hell return to ESPN after leaving in 2007.

John Skipper talked about the radio show and he loves the radio show. But to try to fit that into ESPNs lineup thats not where the talks got, Patrick said. I have a lot of respect for John Skipper, that he opened his mind to that possibility. He said, If we can do anything down the road, Id love to do it.’

Days later, on Dec. 18, Skipper resigned from the company citing substance abuse. The long-shot hope of a Patrick return and a new/old 6 p.m. SportsCenter tandem of him and Keith Olbermann, as Sporting News speculated probably exited with him.

Patrick said Skippers ouster was a big shock, as was even the remote possibility of his returning to ESPN. Patrick said he met with Skipper primarily to see about a partnership with ESPN and his sportscasting Full Sail University, as well as pitching his Crackle show for the big-time.

I met with ESPN and John Skipper because I wanted to get Sports Jeopardy on ESPN, Patrick said about the game show he hosts. I thought, can I get that on during the daytime?

It wasnt meant to be.