SPORTS WATCH
Dan Patrick Makes Sports Talk Radio (and TV) Fun Again
by Gus Jarvis
Aug 11, 2011 | 2226 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Have you woken up with Dan Patrick lately? If you haven’t, maybe you should consider it. My mornings have never been better.

Once the popular catchphrase sports anchor who did more than his part to popularize ESPN’s Sports Center in the 90s alongside Keith Olbermann, Patrick has an overwhelmingly popular gig of his own with the Dan Patrick Show, a three-hour sports based radio show that isn’t afraid to cross over and delve into all things pop culture. In any one show, Patrick and his four male costars, aptly titled “The Danettes,” can easily and humorously move through a variety of topics from the veteran running-back market in the NFL to last night’s “heavy” episode of Entourage to Charlie Sheen’s recent UCLA baseball pep talk. Patrick’s honest humor, wit, banter and range of guests and topics make the show worth waking up to every weekday morning.

Last week, Patrick celebrated the second anniversary of broadcasting the simulcast show on television, which offers an inside-look at what running the radio show looks like from the vantage point of a number of HD cameras set up in his Milford, Conn., “Man Cave” radio studio. The show now has a weekly radio and TV audience of more than 2 million, according to a recent story in The Los Angeles Times, and more than 2.5 million if you figure in those watching online. These are impressive numbers for a radio show that started in an attic.

After a fallout with his ESPN bosses in 2007, Patrick soon decided that he wanted a radio show of his own and, as he told The Los Angeles Times, he wanted a show that simply focused on friends hanging out and discussing sports. No crazy special effects. No macho yelling and screaming into a microphone. Just a group of buddies hanging out, working together, talking sports.

Instead of a panel of friends onstage with microphones (like The View), Patrick decided that the show would work best if his friends were actually producing the show. The show’s executive producers Paul Pabst and Todd Fritz along with operations director Patrick “Seton” O’Connor and the show’s blogger Andrew “McLovin” Perloff, who doubles as a writer for Sports Illustrated, not only work on the technical aspects of the show, they are also Patrick’s costars, as “The Danettes,” each bringing his own interests and personality to the show and, together, creating a program that seems very similar to what's going on in living rooms, garages and sports bars around the country when friends get together to drink beer and talk sports, movies, music and women.

“Fritzy coughs on the air at times, McLovin forgets his microphone is on, Seton will act like he’s ready to say something and he’s not.... it’s an honest show, it’s not manipulated,” Patrick said in The Times.

With his crew in place and little monetary backing, Patrick and “The Danettes” launched the radio show from Patrick’s attic. Less than two years after broadcasting from the attic, the satellite TV giant, DirecTV decided it wanted to get into radio broadcasting and that the Dan Patrick Show would be the right fit.

The first thing DirecTV did was to get Dan and the boys out of his attic and into a dream-like radio studio specially built for the show, called the Man Cave. Complete with a fireplace, full bar, basketball hoop, leather couches, and a golf simulator, the studio really is the stuff dreams are made of. (I could hole up in the Man Cave for an entire winter and not think twice about never stepping a foot outside.) The place is also chock full of sports and Hollywood memorabilia, including blown-up covers of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issues, various jerseys and even one of Turtle’s bongs used in Entourage. It’s a place most men and a lot of women would love to hang out for awhile, and that’s just what Dan and the “Danettes” do every morning.

During radio commercial breaks, cameras continue to roll and catch the boys talking off-air, in a kind of a behind-the-scenes look at a radio show. Often you will hear Dan critiquing the way he interviewed the previous guest, or giving a ton of grief to Fritzy for a lack of guests. It’s a bunch of good banter mixed in with guest athletes, musicians, supermodels and Hollywood stars. The conversations are real and it’s really entertaining.

In the world of Disney-fied sports TV and radio shows that are inundated with special effects, special sounds, sirens, flashing lights, expert insiders and neon colored studios, it’s nice to see a sports show get back to what’s important: Real people (and all their flaws) having a good time talking sports.

These guys have figured out a way to deliver the show in a variety of formats, as well, which is great when you are stuck in a box canyon in western Colorado. The radio show, if you're close enough to Grand Junction, can be heard from 7-9 a.m. on KTMM-AM 13407. For those who have an XM Radio subscription, you can catch all three hours of the show starting at 7 a.m. on the Fox Sports Radio channel. The TV simulcast of the show is on Root Sports Rocky Mountain as well as DirecTV's Audience Network channel.

And if none of those work for you, or the timing is a bit early, you can download podcasts of the show at iTunes or at the show’s website danpatrick.com.
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