As we told you last month, armed with a new contract, Scott Van Pelt will be heading into a new era of SportsCenter when he solo anchors a midnight ET edition. Unfortunately, it means the end of his radio show with his good friend, Ryen Russillo.
The final SVP & Russillo show came on Friday and as he said goodbye to his radio audience, Van Pelt got emotional as he closed the door on one phase of his ESPN career and prepares to open another later this year.
During his regular segment of the show when he usually does “One Big Thing,” it was renamed “One Last Thing,” as introduced by Mr. ESPN, Bob Ley. Then Van Pelt waxed poetic as he prepared to hand the keys to the 1-4 p.m. ET timeslot to Russillo:
“I constantly reminded myself you don’t get this lucky, but I did. And I don’t use words a whole lot like ‘thankful’ and ‘blessed’ because I know that can hit some of your ears the wrong way, but I really don’t care in this case because that’s how I feel. I feel both of those things.
“Radio is intensely personal. We share our lives with you and I have told you things about mine. I’ve told you about the people that I’ve lost and I’ve told you things that I’ve gained because my life has changed a lot from the time this show started until now.
“I had a lot of fun being a bachelor. I was a pretty good bachelor. I got to do what I wanted, go where I wanted. I liked it. A lot. But now I have a family and now I’m trying daily to be a better husband and a better dad because that’s a hell of a lot more important than being a bachelor.
“I shared the stories about my family and my life with you and you shared yours not just with me, but us and our show. You let us be your idiot friends. You chose to let us keep you company at work, at your cubicle, as you’re driving around on the road or while you did your dishes at night after you put your kids down and I really can’t think of a finer compliment because so many of you have told us that you feel like you know us and that we’re your friends and you do and we are.”
As you listen to Van Pelt below, you can hear him being thankful to the listeners, the staff and his co-host Russillo:
In his exit interview with Dan Patrick, Van Pelt revealed that that his new midnight SportsCenter show will premiere on Labor Day, September 7:
Best of luck to Van Pelt as he gets ready for the new SportsCenter show in September.