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Scott Van Pelt, SportsCenter anchor and host of ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt Show, joined ESPN in the spring of 2001 as its lead professional golf reporter. In the decade-plus since, he has become one of the network’s most recognizable and well-liked personalities.
On Monday night, Scott, a proud University of Maryland alumnus, confirmed that he has verbally agreed to a new multi-year contract with ESPN. In the “Front & Center” podcast above, Scott discusses the process for making his decision; some deciding factors in staying at ESPN and whether he could have ever imagined this when he began his career in Washington, D.C. in 1990.
Some highlights from the conversation:
On the decision-making process:
“It was more stressful than I would’ve imagined. I always wondered what it would be like to be the pretty girl at the dance, so to speak, and to have people interested was something I never really imagined would happen, at least not like this.”
On reaction from friends and fans:
“It’s all very humbling. You have a lot of people that you call friends who are just reaching out to say ‘Congrats’ and that they’re happy. From the people that listen and watch, there’s a lot of that too. And like I said, it’s all very gratifying to feel like you’ve made some connection with people and that they’re glad that you’re going to keep doing what you’re doing, that’s good to know because I am [happy, too].”
On why SportsCenter suits him so well:
“If the person watching me knows nothing else, I think they know I’m genuinely as passionate about what is happening as they are. I don’t say anything thats not authentic. My enthusiasm for what we are doing is real.”
On how things have turned out for him:
“I’ve always been a guy who was kind of on the wave wherever it took me. And somehow it took me to where it did and I’m thankful. I’m happy to stay in this boat, on this wave, until they’re done with me. . . None of this was even thinkable but here we are. It’s baffling to me.”