When Dan Patrick left ESPN several years ago, the suits at ESPN likely predicted that Patrick needed Bristol much more than Bristol needed Patrick.
Since then, Dan has flourished, arguably taking his career to even greater heights than he ever enjoyed at ESPN. His daily radio show is appointment listening and/or viewing, and it’s now available in virtually every communications format known to man or beast.
He also has become a top talent at NBC, directing traffic and presenting highlights during the 30 Rock studio portion of Football Night in America.
And so ESPN continues to stubbornly refuse to allow its own on-air talent to appear on Patrick’s radio show.
The most recent example? ESPN’s Keyshawn Johnson was scheduled to appear on Thursday, as part of an ongoing promotion of a product we’re not paid to mention, so we won’t. And within minutes after booker extraordinaire Todd Fritz mentioned Johnson’s upcoming appearance (which had been set up more than a week in advance), ESPN pulled the plug.
Meanwhile, Keyshawn has appeared on Sporting News Radio, and he has been interviewed by the sports blog Hugging Harold Reynolds, a title that takes a backhanded slap at one of the various and sundry sexual harassment allegations that ESPN has had to confront over the years.
The logic makes no sense. Dan’s show has thrived without appearances from ESPN talent. If anything, it would help ESPN to infiltrate what is becoming a three-hour morning juggernaut.
Look, we’ve evolved beyond bashing ESPN gratuitously. But to the extent that the same folks who obsessively monitor Dan’s show also monitor this website (as of three years ago, there were two employees assigned to doing so), we have some free advice.
Quit being so petty. You’re underestimating — and eventually alienating — your audience.
Of course, I wouldn’t be sharing that advice if I thought they’d actually heed it. Maybe they will once they wake up and realize that the self-titled Worldwide Leader has some real competition.
Oh, wait. That day already has arrived.
And Rip Van Bristol continues to snore right through it.