Dan Patrick is the kind of broadcaster everyone wants to emulate.

Get our free mobile app

Patrick a giant in the industry who has reinvented himself multiple times for achievement's sake, without every really changing. Some guys leave a place like ESPN and you never hear from them again, that was not the case with Dan, he started his own sports machine.

Today, the Dan Patrick Show can be seen/heard in hundreds of markets around the country and has distribution with the likes of Peacock and FOX Sports. This kind of guy doesn't end up on my show plan everyday so when the opportunity knocks, I can't miss.

When we found out Patrick was doing press for his new book "The Occasionally Accurate Annals of Football: The NFL's Greatest Players, Plays, Scandals and Screw-Ups (Plus Stuff We Totally Made Up)" we took our shot and landed the interview.

Dan Patrick joined us on the Wednesday (10/11/23) edition of the Ethan, Lou & Large Dave Show on I-95 and we got more than we ever bargained for. Patrick did more than plug his book, he gave us an honest assessment of his days of ESPN, flexed his sports brain and told us how the new book came together.

I wasn't going to waste an opportunity to ask Patrick about his time at ESPN and when I was thinking about what to ask and how to frame the question I kept coming back to the same question.

Lou: When you watch ESPN now, what do you think? What comes to mind? 

Dan Patrick: "Well, it's hard not to watch and think back to how we did Sports Center and why it was successful. You can add in the talents that Keith and I had and add in some other people, I mean there were a lot of people doing Sports Center, Rich Eisen, Stuart Scott, Chris Myers, Gary Miller, Mike Tirico, Chris Fowler, Chris Berman, there was a lot of people doing Sports Center. But, there was no internet, you might find out your team won or lost but you didn't know how so you had to tune in to watch the show. So we had that built-in audience coming to us. Those who are anchoring now, we already know the results chances are we've already seen the game or the highlights and you don't have that anticipation you would have, that mystery of something. I think that, that's missing and will always be missing just because of the internet, social media as well. So that's the one thing that comes to mind, it's not in my day we did it better it's just different, we were very lucky. Plus, back then they didn't want us to be popular as strange as that is going to sound. They wanted, those four letters were the most important thing of Sports Center, ESPN. It wasn't you, they discouraged us, they scolded us, they didn't want us to be, as I was told my management we don't want another Chris Berman. Chris has already graduated to, he was ESPN. They didn't want that and then after everybody left, then they were scrambling to try and find talent that people would tune in specifically for. But that is what they were trying to foster there, they wanted it to be just sort of, you guys are the wheels, ESPN is the engine." 

Lou: Oh, I didn't realize they were trying to tamp you guys down? 

Dan Patrick: "Oh we got scolded all the time Keith and I, absolutely. So it made us sneakier in what we were trying to do because if management stayed up at 11 o'clock then we would probably hear from them the next day if there was something and then we found out that they probably weren't staying up, that we could have fun and a lot of the stuff was subtle. It was meant to be sneaky funny, not in your face. They didn't want that, they wanted you to do the highlights and go on to the next highlight. Don't do anything that overshadows the highlights. Now, they may have revisionist history as some of my bosses now they take credit for what we did, back then, they just didn't want to take blame for what we were doing."

AT&T Audience Network Celebrates the "Religion of Sports"
Getty Images for DirecTV
loading...

Lou: The NFL has been a lot of fun to watch this year. I wanted to see what your thoughts are on the AFC & NFC. In the AFC it seems to me to be the Dolphins, Chiefs and Bills, I'm not comfortable going past three teams right now. In the NFC, the 49ers and Eagles obviously but what is that third team? Between the Cowboys and Lions, which way are you leaning? 

Dan Patrick: "I'm going to say the Lions and I'll be in the minority here and not because I'm not correct it's because people in my business would rather talk about the Cowboys than they would the Lions because of the Cowboys fan base. There is sort of a method, a formula that people that do talk shows or these TV shows, it's I'm going to talk about Lebron, I'm going to talk about the Cowboys, I'll talk about the Lakers, there is about four or five different topics that they seem to center around every single day. They do a disservice to these other teams, franchises, fanbases. I'm not telling them how they should do it but I'm telling them that we have to be fair to these other fanbases. Detroit is a great story, Dallas has been blown out a couple of times. How good are they? I don't know but Detroit beat Kansas City, in Kansas City. They are an overtime loss away from being undefeated, they have a great, interesting Head Coach, the reclamation project of Jared Goff, they did well in the draft, drafting players in positions you don't spend high draft choices on. You know, it might be the last true fan base that deserves a winner and for that they should be recognized and they're a really good team. It's just Dallas is going to get the attention whether they win, they're going to get the attention, if they lose, why did they lose? They'll get the attention." 

Lou: It's called "The Occasionally Accurate Annals of Football: The NFL's Greatest Players, Plays, Scandals and Screw-Ups (Plus Stuff We Totally Made Up)." As a Raiders fan I jumped right to that section and with each team you list notable individuals from that tea, how did you choose the 2, 3, 5 names for those lists? 

Dan Patrick: "It was kind of random, I think when we would say a name, did something come up, could we have fun with that? I think that if we could, you had to be fair to the legacy of these franchises and these players but there were certain teams where we probably picked somebody that you didn't think that we would pick. Other ones were pretty obvious and then it was up to us to kind of create a little paragraph about them."

Lou: The one with the Raiders was great because you compared Tom Brady's diet to that of Kenny "The Snake" Stabler. Those are going to be quite different like the "bacon wrapped cigarette'" that Kenny would have. 

Dan Patrick: "They wore the same number, they did have similarities even though one was left handed and one was right handed. But yeah, their diets are very different, divergent."

The book is hilarious top to bottom and the signature Dan Patrick sense of humor is takes you from cover-to-cover. What I love about Dan Patrick is he makes you laugh and you learn something from him without being made to feel stupid, for not knowing that thing to begin with.

You can listen to our full Dan Patrick interview below.

Part 1: We discuss Dan's new book "The Occasionally Accurate Annals of Football: The NFL's Greatest Players, Plays, Scandals and Screw-Ups (Plus Stuff We Totally Made Up)." 

Part 2: Dan delivers some behind-the-scenes insight from the early days at ESPN, saying management was not always rooting for it's broadcasters to be stars. Dan also reveals what he believes are the keys to success in sports broadcasting, and life.

Check out the Ethan, Lou & Large Dave Podcast on Apple and Spotify

Some of the NFL’s All-Time Most Feared Tough Guys – Part 1

I’ve been watching the NFL my whole life and while the game has changed drastically in my 42+ years, but one thing remains the same, you must be a “tough guy” to make it to the league. On that level of athleticism, all the players are strong and physical but some clearly are better than others. The following are some of the players who go beyond, passing the eye test and were flat out scary on a football field. 

Gallery Credit: Lou Milano

Some of the NFL’s All-Time Most Feared Tough Guys – Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, I featured John Lynch, Bill Romanowski, James Harrison, Maxx Crosby and Troy Polamalu. For part 2 I felt the need to go back a bit further for some of these players, guys I was not old enough to see play but I grew up reading about. 

Gallery Credit: Lou Milano

Some of the NFL’s All-Time Most Feared Tough Guys – Part 3

I’ve been watching the NFL my whole life and while the game has changed drastically in my 42+ years, but one thing remains the same, you must be a “tough guy” to make it to the league. On that level of athleticism, all the players are strong and physical but some clearly are better than others. In parts 1 + 2, I highlighted John Lynch, Bill Romanowski, Troy Polomalu, James Harrison, Maxx Crosby, Reggie White, Earl Campbell, Mean Joe Greene, Mike Singletary and Brett Favre. The following are some of the players who go beyond, passing the eye test and were flat out scary on a football field. These are “Some of the NFL’s All-Time Most Feared Tough Guys – Part 3” 

Gallery Credit: Lou Milano

Some of the NFL’s All-Time Most Feared Tough Guys – Part 4

I’ve been watching the NFL my whole life and while the game has changed drastically in my 42+ years, but one thing remains the same, you must be a “tough guy” to make it to the league. On that level of athleticism, all the players are strong and physical but some clearly are better than others. The following are some of the players who go beyond, passing the eye test and were flat out scary on a football field. 

Gallery Credit: Lou Milano

Aurora Photography
Aurora Photography
loading...

More From WRKI and WINE