You’d be hard-pressed to find two fiercer competitors in their respective industries than Dan Patrick and Stuart Scott. Their relationship as described by Patrick was “unique,” but they sure as heck respected one another, even if they might not always have agreed.
Patrick anchored SportsCenter (1986–2009) and also hosted The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio from 1999-2007. Patrick was one of ESPN’s most popular sportscasters and recognizable faces. As for Scott, he joined ESPN in 1993, initially working mostly on ESPN2. He took Keith Olbermann’s place on ESPN2’s SportsNight after Olbermann returned to the main network to reunite with Patrick, then became a regular on the main network’s SportsCenter shows alongside the likes of Steve Levy, Kenny Mayne, Rich Eisen and Patrick.
Patrick recently made an appearance on Barstool Sports’ Macrodosing: Arian Foster and PFT Commenter podcast, which is described as a “twice weekly macrodose of knowledge on topics ranging anywhere from your favorite conspiracy theory to deep dives on historical events.”
Where Patrick fits into that description is anyone’s guess. But he did provide some insight into his relationship with Scott while the two were still at ESPN.
Dan Patrick talks about his unique relationship with the late Stuart Scott ❤️ pic.twitter.com/CqIKJOT5HU
— Macrodosing (@MacrodosingPod) September 12, 2023
“Stuart and I had a unique relationship,” Patrick said. “We were very, very competitive with each other. I don’t know if we liked each other. We respected each other.”
Foster seemed to be surprised by this revelation.
“Well, Stuart wanted my job,” Patrick explained, “and he was doing the 1 o’clock with Rich Eisen and I was doing the 11 o’clock. We’d play hoops. We’d play flag football. And you know, Stuart was very, very competitive, and I always admired that. But we did at the end of his life when he went out for the ESPYs and I was told that he was too sick to be able to fly. He got out there and he gave that speech and I went, ‘Holy ****, that is a man right there.'”
“I never had more respect–and I did have respect for him—because he took chances. He was willing. He wanted to do it his way. There were a lot of people in management who did not think highly of what Stuart was doing, or they had to tolerate Stuart. But he was not afraid, man. Not afraid.”
Patrick recounted a story of the two playing basketball with some of the other SportsCenter anchors. Patrick said he was willing to play on one condition if he could run up and down the court and sweat. He didn’t want someone picking him up full court. Lo and behold, Scott picked him up full court, even though he was promised otherwise.
“It got chippy. He’s forearming me, bodying me; the whole thing,” recalled Patrick. “And at one point—I’m embarrassed to say—I was dribbling down the floor and I said, ‘Where do you want me to ******* score on you?’ He didn’t say anything because he knew I was a better player than he was. But here I was being a **** on the floor and I was like, ‘Okay, now you’ve got me. I’m going to be this competitive guy,’ and I said, ‘I’m dribbling with my left hand.’ He’s down on the floor like a Duke basketball player slapping the floor and I said, ‘Where do you want me to ******* score on you?’
Patrick went up for a layup and was undercut by Scott. He landed on his back. After being placed in the bleachers for 15 minutes, Patrick returned, made a shot from the top of the key and got in his car. He actually drove over a curb on his way from the local YMCA to the emergency room.
Patrick chipped a vertebra in that incident. But he returned to host SportsCenter that night, and saw Scott.
Neither said a word to the other, but Patrick knew that they were good.
“That was the kind of relationship that we had,” he said. “It was complex, but it was real. It was competitive there because everybody wanted each other’s jobs and how much money you’re making, and we had so much talent in there. I always appreciated that. With all of the things that we maybe didn’t agree on, we agreed that we were gonna compete with each other. He made me better and I hope I made him better.”