Social Commentary



by Ryan Meehan
Almost every sports fan has listened to sports talk radio at some point.  I’m a huge fan myself, and one of the shows that I’ve been listening to pretty religiously over the past few years is the Dan Patrick Show on Fox Sports Radio.  
Like most guys my age, I grew up watching Dan on SportsCenter next to Bob Ley, Craig Kilborn, or someone as equally crocked enough to do the sports news at One AM after the only goddamned Padres game of the year on Sunday night finally wraps it up in extra innings.  I’ve always been a huge fan of his because I think he has a great voice, great camera presence, and asks great questions.  But lately…(Actually, it’s been going on for quite some time now) I’ve been having a problem with the content of Dan’s radio show.   

Patrick decided that in 2007 that he could go elsewhere and maintain a stable career in sports broadcasting.  That’s legitimate and he had every right to see what was available to him elsewhere.  But within about a couple years after he’d been separated from ESPN, he was on the air almost everyday bashing them and using a lot of terminology that most people don’t understand because most people don’t get the chance to work for the biggest sports television channel in the world. 

Then, he started referring to them on his radio show as “The Mothership”, and “The Four Letter”.  It seemed funny the first couple of times, but then he started to really, REALLY sound bitter and he hasn’t stopped.  Part of it may be some kind of psychological thing where people enjoy hearing a guy talk shit about his old boss.  If that’s the case, I get, it’s just a tired angle. 

Now I’m not pretending to know any of what the unprinted or communicated facts about why he has such a hatred for them in the first place.  I would think all sports being exciting would be great business for everybody, and nobody that listens to Patrick’s show will even stop watching ESPN to begin with, so what difference does it make?

The point here is, we’re losing content.  Yes, I’m complaining about the aggregate content of free radio and I realize that’s completely ridiculous.  But seriously, when there’s all sorts of developments all around the world in sporting events, wouldn’t you want to go into that instead of complaining about your ex-employer to a bunch a listeners who for the most part have no idea what the hell you’re talking about? 

Don’t bite the hand that fed you.  You can’t expect that hand to keep feeding you once you’ve eaten everything.    
Once again thanks for visiting First Order Historians and enjoying more of the internet’s finest in user generated content. 


  • Dan Patrick now about to become ” the face” of the NBC Sports’ Network vying for the ardent sports’ consumers of the nation . What , he learned nothing about how Olbermann’s career has simply sank without a trace ?

    NBC Sports Network gets into game

    Good luck with NBCSports trying to vie with ESPN and Fox Sports in an ever more competitive market . Can’t get enough of the NHL (diminishing tv viewership) and what else are they now liable to serve up ? The Tour De France and their always “biased” and ” uninformative” coverage of the Summer & Winter Olympics Less we forget also they’re still paying out ” tens of millions of dollars” a each year for coverage of Notre Dame Football . Ask yourself this when was the last time football at Notre Dame was actually relevant ? Last night’s game (lack of one) against the ‘noles is a case point and proof as to the href program’s irrelevance ! tophatal …..

  • Oh and what the hell is with all the links in your comments? I am going to start to not approve your comments if you can’t cut back on the links. It makes your comments an unreadable mess

  • Yeah Tophatal your site is WAAAAAAAAY to loud and your comments are the same way. Too many links and just way too much going on in general. Plus there’s like at leasst three computers I use on a given day which can’t load all the stuff on the website. Might be time to switch it up man.

  • Al,

    What diminishing tv viewership in the NHL are you talking about? Viewer numbers have been on the rise all year and November’s Sabres vs. Flyers game saw the largest viewership all time on Versus. Taking an offhanded quote from a USAToday article is like using Dr. Seuss for sports insight. The NHL is doing really well, thus the reason ESPN got in a bidding war with NBC for the rights to the NHL………and they lost. ESPN is a pile of shit who panders more than any other network….Just watch sportscenter who will talk about an NFL player with a hangnail or who didn’t enjoy his salad he had at Wendy’s last night before they will even cover the NHL. A disgrace of a network.


  • I used to listen to Dan a lot, but he isn’t as good as he used to be. Personally, my favorite radio show is Max and Marcellous on 710 ESPN Radio. They talk a lot of LA stuff, but they take the time to go outside of it as well. I’m sure I’ll change which hosts I like best three more times before 2013 hits, but at the moment, Dan isn’t making it in my rotation of talk show listening….

  • 1) The Dan Patrick show is entertaining, which gives it a huge advantage over the omni-directional sludge pump ESPN has become.
    2) I understand kicking tophatal off your site. i had to do it because he doesn’t understand simple rules of decorum. Frankly, i think he’s a lunatic.

  • Cal

    Viewership for NHL games have been rising ? In what markets ? Obviously not in the markets and the demographics where it matters most . tophatal ……….

  • For instance, the Stanley Cup Finals in June were the largest viewership numbers since 1973.

    As for what markets:
    NYC for instance has seen an increase.
    Through 32 games on MSG Networks, Rangers telecasts have recorded a 16% increase in the average Nielsen household rating (0.85 HH vs. 0.73 HH) compared to 2010-11

    Boston (NESN)
    NESN’s current season average now stands at a 5.0 HH rating, up 85% over last season after the same number of games (29).

    I don’t have time to list them all but you talk about important markets those are two of them. So I still don’t see how you have proved your point.

  • NBC’s business acumen can be summed up in one word ……..bust ! Hence the reason why they were sold by former parent company GEC . A loss making operation for the last five years prior to its sale to Comcast .

    tophatal ……..

  • Right, because NBC’s a bust, What with having the Super Bowl and all. Hockey viewership has increased because in markets like Detroit and Pittsburgh people really keep those teams alive.

    And trust me, no Rangers fans in Long Island have “stopped” watching the Rangers, it just doesn’t happen like that. Hockey is attracting more fans than a lot of other sports I won’t mention here but fucking Golf is one of them. And the most important thing is, they don’t lose fans other than to death, therefore they don’t need to replace those fans, as they are not gone.


  • Cal Versus Tv ? Meehan Now that says it all doesn’t it . I hear that they will try and beat out ESPN for “The Spelling Bee ” to attract that demographic . The only time people are interested in golf is when Woods is on the greens . The NHL viewership has risen but nowhere near the figures prior to their self imposed meltdown with their lockout . MMA has a greater viewership for their events on tv than the NHL and that sport is said to be marginal . The real problem for the NHL is that Bettman doesn’t know how to market the sport in spite of his so called experience .

    NHL attendance 2011-12

    2010-11 attendance

    Success for the NHL in terms of real viewership is said to be anything above an 8 share in all households . It barely registers that consistently within the markets it’s said to be truly dominant in over the course of the year .

    NHL viewership trends tied to hockey tradition, Northern exposure

    tophatal ………………

  • And how is this year’s viewership correlating overall in comparison to previous years ? Like I said the NHL hasn’t gained any traction and is doing a poor job of marketing its brand . You’ve got franchises being operated where in essence there isn’t a great following at all .

  • I notice that you keep changing your arguement. The markets where it matters the most ie the large markets (NYC, Chicago etc.) is what you first wanted to talk about and I refuted that claim (see above). Now you are shifting your arguement to small market teams? The NHL made the right call to move a team back to Canada and another team will move in the near future. They are doing a great job of marketing their sport with things like the Winter Classic and All-Star drafts. They signed on with NBC which will move them even further towards growing their sport. Examples of how things are better with NBCSports:
    – We have college hockey games on weekly on NBC Sports which will bring more of a following into the sport
    – NBC will now be able to broadcast more major games on their parent network so people who don’t have cable will now be able to watch some more games

    Take a look at the top local markets for the Winter Classic. They are dipping into smaller markets as well:
    1. Philadelphia, 11.9/21
    2. Buffalo, 7.8/13
    3. Boston, 5.1/9
    4. Pittsburgh, 4.4/8
    T5. New York, 4.3/9
    T5. Washington D.C., 4.3/8
    7. Providence, 3.8/7
    8. Richmond, 3.1/5
    9. Baltimore, 2.9/5
    10. Minneapolis, 2.7/6

  • But Cal, wouldn’t it “be preposterous” to think anything different? Perhaps this picture of an attractive woman would be suitable for your perusal in place of thoughtful discussion?


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