American sportscaster, Dan Patrick received a bachelor of arts degree in broadcasting from the University of Dayton in 1979. He currently hosts The Dan Patrick Show, co-hosts NBC's Football Night in America, and serves as a senior writer for CNN's Sports Illustrated.
Before working with ESPN, Dan Patrick was known by his real name, Dan Pugh, as an on-air personality with the album rock-formatted WTUE in Dayton, Ohio (1979-1983). Patrick was then a sports reporter for CNN (1983-89), where his assignments included the World Series, NBA Finals and Winter Olympics. From 1989-1995 Patrick did a daily sports segment for Bob and Brian, a syndicated Wisconsin-area morning show, and in the early 90's he did sports updates for the Columbus, Ohio Rock Station WLVQ and appeared on the morning show "Wags and Elliot."
Dan Patrick was an anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter form 1989 to 2006. He also hosted The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio from September 13, 1999 to August 17, 2007. Starting on March 19, 2006, until the final game of the NBA Finals, he became the host of ABC's then-titled NBA Nation, a pregame show for the network's NBA telecasts.
ESPN announced on July 9, 2007 that he would be leaving the network in August 2007. Patrick’s final radio show was broadcast on Friday, August 17, 2007. The mutual agreement allowed Patrick to pursue new interests outside of ESPN and brought to an end his involvement with ESPN’s radio, television and magazine outlets.
In the mid-1990s, Dan and Keith Olbermann were among ESPN's most recognizable faces. Olbermann used the catch phrase "Welcome to the Big Show" when Patrick worked with him on SportsCenter. After getting reprimanded by their superiors, they began saying "This is SportsCenter" sarcastically, accidentally spawning the show's new catch phrase. When Olbermann left, Patrick said, "This isn't the Big Show anymore."
In 1994, when calling the highlights for a game in which Marv Albert described Sam Cassell as being "on fire," Dan Patrick said he was "el fuego", which he thought was Spanish for "on fire." A few months later, he received a letter from a Spanish teacher in Pennsylvania suggesting that he say that athletes are "en fuego" (on fire) rather than "el fuego" (the fire). Since then, Patrick has used "en fuego" on certain occasions when a player is said to be "on fire." Patrick started using the "en fuego" phrase because he believed the standard "on fire" phrase had become cliché.
On July 9, 2007, Patrick on his radio show announced his departure from ESPN/ABC effective August 17, 2007, stating, "I am leaving ESPN August 17 to go out on my own and be a free agent...I think I was starting to take it (ESPN) for granted," Patrick said. He said ESPN tried to talk him out of it. If there were any animosity, he says, "I wouldn't be sticking around until August."
Dan Patrick remained off air from ESPN radio until August 15 for his three farewell shows. He was originally reported to be returning for a final week, but returned on Wednesday of that week.
ESPN's statement released to the media said that Patrick would be released from his contract August 31, 2007, exactly one year early from his deal that was to run until August 31, 2008. The statement also said this would be the final comment on Patrick's departure from ESPN. "ESPN contractually bans all employees from making specific announcements of their futures on their airways, but out of respect to Dan and all he's done for ESPN we allowed him an opportunity to end the speculation".
August 17, 2007 was Dan Patrick's last day on ESPN Radio. He named his final 3 shows the "Farewell For Now" tour. The last 20 minutes of his show was filled with many thank yous and looks back down memory lane. Guests included Bob Costas, Bobby Knight, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ken Griffey, Jr., and other sports stars. Will Ferrell also made a heavily-promoted appearance in-character as Ron Burgundy.
Patrick signed a syndication deal with Chicago-based Content Factory, which soon launched his new version of The Dan Patrick Show on October 1, 2007. It is distributed nationally by Premiere Radio Networks. The show airs live on most stations from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, as well as on XM Satellite Radio 144. It is also available as a live stream and in podcast form via Patrick's website.
Sports Illustrated also announced in October 2007 that Patrick would become the magazine's senior writer. He would also contribute blogs to SI.com's "Fan Nation" and host the magazine's Sportsman of the Year show. SI collaborates with Content Factory to produce Patrick's web site, and helps stream his radio show. Patrick said he will produce non-television content exclusively for Sports Illustrated.
On July 7, 2008, it was announced that Dan Patrick would join NBC Sports as a co-host of Football Night in America with former SportsCenter co-anchor Keith Olbermann every Sunday night beginning in September. Patrick and Olbermann host a series of highlights on the show and a segment called "The Little Big Show" with the day's top NFL plays.