The second season of Sports Jeopardy premieres on Crackle Wednesday (Sept. 23), which prompted host Dan Patrick to sit down with Sporting News‘ Sean Gentile to talk about what’s in store for the program, such as the taping schedule, the different objectives for contestants and a new format that allows winners to stay on the show and compete in subsequent episodes.
But with Patrick on the line, Gentile did not pass up the opportunity to ask the broadcaster about some recent events that received quite a bit of attention notably his appearance on the debut of Scott Van Pelt’s midnight SportsCenter and sporting an ESPN visitor pass while on the air.
First, Patrick revealed that it was his executive producer Paul Pabst who arranged the appearance with Van Pelt, agreeing to it without running it by Patrick first. After his initial anxiety about going back to the ESPN campus, he came to terms with the idea.
“And the more I thought I about it, I hadn’t been up there in eight years, and I had no interest in going back. And then I thought, you know, let me just go back, get it out of the way and then I don’t have to listen to people saying, ‘When are you going back? You should go back. Are you going back for the 40th anniversary?’ All right. I went back.
“I also wanted to do it for (ESPN president) John Skipper, who’s been a friend and an ally through this, and he understood where my issues were with some people there, but the place was 18 years of my life. I want to have positive memories. I just haven’t always had that, and I’m glad that I got to (be) up there with Scott and have some fun. I think he understood the magnitude of it. It was awkward, but hopefully awkwardly entertaining.”
Patrick went on to explain why it was important for him to wear that visitor pass on the air. He knew exactly what he was doing and Van Pelt was completely on board with the decision.
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) September 8, 2015
Another natural question for Patrick concerned former SportsCenter partner Keith Olbermann and whether or not the two could conceivably reunite behind the anchor desk for a special appearance. As you might expect, especially after he got his return to Bristol out of the way, Patrick shot down the possibility.
“The 40th anniversary is coming up in a couple years, and they invited me back to do a ‘SportsCenter’ with Keith, and I just said, ‘I can’t be what I once was. I can’t recapture that.’ And we did it at a time when nobody else was doing it, and now everybody does it. I just wouldn’t want to do it and have somebody go, ‘You know, what (was) the big deal about those two?’ The older we get, the better we were. I can’t recapture 1995. I thought we were doing some pretty fun things there. But he we are, 20 years (out), and it wouldn’t be the same.
Conversation then turned to what Patrick saw Olbermann doing next, and with the upcoming presidential election, he speculated that the former MSNBC host and commentator returning to that forum seems like a natural move.
The entire interview which is split into two parts is definitely worth your reading time, especially if you want to know how Patrick feels about daily fantasy sports and what kind of beer he keeps in his refrigerator.