Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Reunited and it feels so good...

Confirmed today was that the arguably greatest duo in modern sportscasting history will be back together again for NBC's quickly emerging Football Night in America.

Dan Patrick (pictured, right), he the former ESPN SportsCenter anchor, ESPN Radio host, and now XM Radio host and Sports Illustrated writer, will be paired up with the man who made SC in the early 90s with him, Keith Olbermann (pictured, left, in a much earlier aesthetic) , now MSNBC's premiere angry leftist and highlights man on FNIA. Patrick will also cover NBC Super Bowl telecasts and Olympics.

Without question, this makes NBC the network to beat for in-studio NFL coverage. Olbermann already helped to make that show early on, though his humorous, creative, improvisational style of highlights and commentary meshed poorly with the wide-eyed monotone of Bob Costas. Pairing him up with his near-clone in Patrick will vastly improve that key part of the show.

It's no miracle sign that makes NBC an impeccable program. They still suffer from an occassional overstaffing problem, as they struggle to fit Costas, Olbermann, now Patrick, Jerome Bettis, Tiki Barber, Cris Collinsworth, Peter King, Al Michaels, John Madden, and probably people I'm forgetting, into most bits of commentary. But since Frank Caliendo can't continue to carry FOX's panel forever, CBS doesn't seem to even try on this end, and ESPN can't even nail down a permanent play-by-play team, it means that NBC's move to Sunday nights may have been a master stroke in the coming revival of the peacock's sports department.

Also of interest here is the emerging story that Patrick would've signed with NBC last year if ESPN hadn't interfered, invoking a clause in either his contract or release that prohibited him from working in television for a year after his high-profile departure. Couple this with ESPN's well-known penchant for lowballing its major stars, and the image of the worldwide leader in sports may begin deteriorating faster than before.

Patrick will probably talk about this for some time on his show (and Olbermann has been confirmed to be appearing), which goes 9-12 EST today. It's really good, too.

"Patrick, Olbermann reunite on NBC," Sports Illustrated.
"Patrick joins NBC, reunites with Olbermann," NBC Sports.
The Dan Patrick Show

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