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Skip Bayless has earned a reputation for providing the hottest of hot takes in the sporting world as co-host of ESPN’s First Take since 2004. Now, as FS1 looks to supplant themselves in the sports television landscape, Bayless will be going head-to-head with First Take with a show of his own, premiering Sept. 6.
Bayless and former co-host Stephen A. Smith created guilty pleasure TV for the average sports fan with their “debates.” It was kind of like watching a car crash; you know you should look away, but you just can’t help yourself. The OGs of “hot takes” created a new form of sports “analyst” that thee world would be a better place without.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bayless claims that his new home at FS1 will allow him the freedom to fully express himself, something his former home under the Disney-owned ESPN would not allow him to do:
“Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” Bayless tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview officially revealing his move. “It’s a Disney network. There are just certain boundaries that you can’t even tiptoe along. Not that we won’t have boundaries at Fox because we will. [But] they will trust me to go a little deeper. I can be completely honest on everything.”
“I’m not suggesting I’m going to become some sort of shock jock because that’s not me,” he adds. “I say what I say because I believe it from the bottom of my soul and I can back it up. Now I feel like I can be completely honest heart-and-soul with full support from the people above me.”
I’m fanning myself off at just the thought of a Skip Bayless free from the “handcuffs” of ESPN. Just when you thought we’ve seen it all from Bayless, FOX swoops in and plans on releasing Bayless 2.0.
LeBron James and Johnny Manziel beware; Skip’s coming for you, this time without the Mickey Mouse ears.
Don’t be surprised this fall if worlds collide and we end up with Skip serving as a contributor to Fox News during the presidential election. Maybe even serving as a debate moderator. Hey, it could happen. It’s hard to say which battle coming this fall will steep to a lower point for our society: Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton or Skip Bayless vs. Stephen A. Smith?.
[via The Hollywood Reporter]
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