University of Dayton graduate Dan Patrick, a popular sports radio host and former host of NBC’s Football Night in America, revealed Thursday he has been battling a serious health problem for the last seven years.
On the Dan Patrick Show, he said he suffers from polymyalgia rheumatica.
“It’s like having the flu and you’re not nauseous,” Patrick said. “I would have this every day. I woke up one Saturday morning, and I couldn’t tie my shoe. I couldn’t walk. It was joint pain: both hands, both shoulders, both elbows, both hips, both knees, even a tooth I had replaced. I could feel pain every single morning. I hated getting out of bed.”
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Patrick, 62, started taking prednisone, a steroid, and while it helped with the pain, it had side effects.
“I was depressed,” he said. “I had suicidal thoughts. I was emotional, crying for no reason. I debated whether I was going to continue to do this show.”
Recent light chemotherapy in New York — once a month for an hour — has helped Patrick fight the disorder while getting off the prednisone, but it too has side effects in the form of memory loss. Patrick described it as brain fog.
“There are times I don’t finish sentences,” he said.
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That’s why Patrick wanted to pull back the curtain on his problem in public.
“There are times I feel my mind and my mouth are not working together,” Patrick said. “I think you’ve come to expect me to perform a high level.”
Patrick is an Ohio native. He was born in Zanesville and attended Mason High School. He majored in communications at Dayton, graduating in 1979. He was a longtime host of ESPN’s SportsCenter from 1989-2006.
When Patrick returned to UD to broadcast a game on ESPN in 1991, he said, "I didn't want to do Dayton games. That's added pressure. I was so afraid of saying us or we. I want to be objective. I'm hard on the Flyers.