SportsCenter anchor and ESPN Radio host Scott Van Pelt will make his debut on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight.  It’s a major crossover appearance for any television or radio sports personality to appear with Letterman as it signifies widespread appeal.  Over the years, Van Pelt has slowly but surely broken out of the pack of the thousands of on air personalities at ESPN.  

Van Pelt left Golf Channel for ESPN ten years ago and worked his way up to being arguably the number one anchor at the company.  With his prominent SportsCenter role and national radio program, one could argue he’s the closest thing ESPN has now to Dan Patrick.  When ESPN struggled to fill the afternoon drive time slot, they tried out Mike Tirico and various co-hosts.  Van Pelt once again emerged from the pack as the best option and Tirico & Van Pelt evolved into The Scott Van Pelt Show with Ryen Russillo alongside SVP.

As a SportsCenter anchor, Van Pelt separates himself from others at the network because he doesn’t depend on schtick or catchphrases.  He’s also not afraid to editorialize and add his own thoughts to a story, which further distinguishes him from the cookie cutter anchors ESPN has drifted towards since the days of Patrick and Keith Olbermann.  And, SVP is one of the few ESPN personalities that engages with bloggers and fans, especially on Twitter (check out his Twitter avatar).   I asked Van Pelt this afternoon if he was anxious about his Letterman appearance and living up to the high standards of Michelle Beadle’s memorable appearance

My guess is Van Pelt won’t be rocking any red dresses tonight though.  In short, the Letterman appearance is well deserved for Van Pelt’s decade of work in Bristol.  Below is a video from ESPN’s Front Row PR blog that features Beadle, Golic, and Greenberg giving SVP advice on going on the late night show.  The highlight though?  Definitely a random appearance by Tommy Smyth in the background.  I was beginning to worry for his whereabouts…

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.