Not to kill the excitement, former ESPN host Dan Le Batard had a few words of wisdom for the network’s newest sign-on Pat McAfee this week following another deal between the former NFL punter and sports’ biggest broadcast company.
McAfee, who already appears for the network in other capacities, announced Tuesday that the Pat McAfee Show will join ESPN’s lineup of talk shows. He opted out of his four-year, $120 million contract with Fan Duel in favor of ESPN.
Le Batard left ESPN and created his own media company in 2021. He warned McAfee against changing too much of his show to abide by the network’s rules.
McAfee has already conceded that his show will no longer have free-flowing f-bombs. However, he vowed to keep the rest unchanged.
McAfee: ‘We will still have full creative control’
“We are extremely honored that ESPN is blessing us with this opportunity to be a part of the next chapter of the ESPN family. We do not take that lightly… [We] are going to work hard to make sure this is a success,” McAfee said in a statement. “All parties involved agree the time has come for a bunch of sports stooges in a Thunderdome in Indiana to sprinkle in some fun and celebration of sport as well.”
“Our show will also be on in every airport, cafe, restaurant, house, etc, with the incomparable power of ESPN. Out of respect for that, we have decided we won’t be saying ‘f–k’ nearly as much… Every other word is good to go… everything else will be good,” McAfee said. “We will still have full creative control of the program. Why would ESPN want to license our show and then change it entirely? That makes no sense.”
As someone who left the network, Le Batard doesn’t think McAfee will be able to keep his word. Unfortunately, some fans are in the same boat.
“What made this show great was how different it was to every other sports show,” one fan of the show posted. “The humor that’s not allowed on TV, The impersonations, skits, the hilarious toxity and the no filter debates. Gonna miss all the stuff that made this show so great and stand out from the crowd.”
The Pat McAfee Show exploded in popularity over the last two years. It become a must-watch when he started hosting quarterback Aaron Rodgers for interviews. Those interviews were especially intriguing when Rodgers contemplated a trade or retirement.