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How Scott Van Pelt and CC Sabathia helped Steve Sarkisian decide to get sober

How Scott Van Pelt and CC Sabathia helped Steve Sarkisian decide to get sober
Published On: Thu, Jun 08
Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12), quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt and quarterback Matt Flynn (10) talk during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Green Bay Packers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

One of the best things to come out of ESPN's rebranding "SportsCenter" has been the late-night version hosted by Scott Van Pelt. It's legitimately one of the most entertaining sports-related shows on television; the only downside is it comes on too late for those of us soaking in the mid-30s glory of #dadlife.

Van Pelt carried over a lot of items from his radio show into the program, including "One Big Thing," a 90-second to 3-minute editorial on one topic that is usually sharply written and pleasantly nuanced. (Leave your hot takes at the door.) Oftentimes Van Pelt will reveal something personal during these segments. One such instance was a discussion on Yankees pitcher C.C. Sabathia's decision to enter alcohol rehabilitation.

During this particular segment, Van Pelt pointed out that his own father dealt with alcoholism during his life and praised Sabathia for making a decision that ignored the ramifications on baseball for the sake of his own personal life. Sabathia's decision and Van Pelt's commentary had a profound effect on at least one person: new Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.

Sarkisian, the subject of an excellent profile by our own Pete Prisco recently, revealed to reporters that watching the editorial and seeing someone high profile in the sports world go into rehab helped him make the decision to do the same thing.

"I was actually at home on a Sunday night and I was watching SportsCenter, and Scott Van Pelt was doing his editorial," Sarkisian said. "That night was when CC Sabathia had decided to go to treatment before the Major League Baseball playoffs. I thought to myself: 'Whoa, here's somebody who is like me, who is in a very high-profile position in sports -- ace pitcher of the New York Yankees -- and was being relatively commended or almost celebrated for going to do what he did.'

"I knew I needed to [go]. I didn't know how to go about it. But that thing gave me a feeling of, 'There's a like person that is going to do this. I know I need to do it. Now how, what, when.' So I made the decision to go do it. It's been the best decision of my life."

As a result of entering treatment, Sark has seen a remarkable rise back up the coaching ranks. He was a superstar in the college football world when he took over at USC. He easily could have ended up not ever making it back to the top of the coaching world.

His decision to get sober and improve his life -- Dan Quinn said that AA is a big part of his recovery -- has led to him coordinating a near national champion (Alabama lost to Clemson with him as offensive coordinator after Lane Kiffin "parted ways" in the week leading up to the title game) and eventually becoming the offensive coordinator in Atlanta after Kyle Shanahan left to coach the 49ers.

Read the complete news article here...


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