A little more than two months after undergoing triple bypass heart surgery, ESPN sportscaster Mike Patrick will return to his longtime role as the play-by-play voice of ESPN's Sunday night football when the Washington Redskins play the Baltimore Ravens on Oct. 10 at FedEx Field.
Patrick, who lives in Burke and has done the NFL on ESPN for its entire 18-year run, underwent a 41/2-hour operation at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington on Aug. 5 several days after he took a golfing trip to Williamsburg with some friends.
He never had a heart attack, but after a stress test and other procedures, his doctors told him it would only be a matter of time before it happened.
"I had a lot of the symptoms, but I felt very badly playing golf and I decided to go see the doctor when I got home," Patrick said yesterday.
Patrick, 60, said he was told that a lifelong cigarette habit -- "I started when I was 12," he said -- was primarily responsible for his heart problems.
He's obviously giving that up, but intends to continue doing football and other assignments for ESPN, as well as ACC basketball games, "for as long as they'll have me."
ESPN had been replacing him in the Sunday night booth with Pat Summerall.
"I'm so happy for Pat to be able to do this," he said. "All I had was heart surgery. He had a liver transplant. For him to be able to step in with those two other chuckleheads [ESPN analysts Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire] and actually have some kind of control over them, he's done a great job. How many people have a Hall of Fame broadcaster sit in for them?"
-- Leonard Shapiro