Five Questions for Mike Patrick

by Andrew Marchand, New York Post

Recently, the New York Post's Andrew Marchand spoke with ESPN NFL analyst and ASA member Mike Patrick. In August, Patrick had triple bypass and carotid surgery. Out since the NFL preseason, Patrick returned to ESPN's "Sunday Night Football" on October 10.

Q: How do you feel?

A: I feel terrific, better than I have any right to.

Q: How old are you? And how scary of a process was this for you?

A: I just turned 60. I guess I almost didn't make it. Scary? Actually, I fooled myself really well. I figured I couldn't get scared because my wife and mother would see it and be frightened. So I was going to day goodbye to them before I allowed myself to get scared, knowing that if it went right, the anesthesiologist would put me to sleep before I had a chance. It worked.

Q: What is the rehabilitation?

A: Basically, letting your body heal, and they want you to walk as much as possible. Because they cut the breastbone for the surgery, they won't let you do any upper body stuff at all. You are not supposed to lift more than five pounds. My cardiologist said I can walk to California and back, I don't have to walk any further than that. (Patrick lives in Virginia.)

Q: How did you find out you had this condition?

A: I had a whole bunch of little symptoms that didn't really match heart problems. I had a cramp in my throat and I had some numbness in my hands; then we were on a golf trip and I felt ill after a round of golf.

It was hot and all my partners said, ‘It's heat related, don't worry about it.' There were just too many things, so I called the doctor and he sent me to the cardiologist. From there, it wasn't hard to figure out something was really wrong. About five days later, I had the surgery.

Q: How hard has it been not being able to do your job?

A: I never missed a game in my life. I've done games with double pneumonia and a temperature of 103. I did a game the night before my father passed away and the night after because he wanted me to do it. So it has really been odd.