Thursday afternoon, Richard Sherman of the Seahawks blasted Skip Bayless on ESPN's traveshamockery that is First Take. The clip traveled around the blogosphere as everyone gave an 'atta boy to Sherman for doing what they only wish they could do themselves - stick it to Skip Bayless. Let's take a look, shall we?
While yes, that clip is glorious... it's also a bit depressing. Sherman, as counter-intuitive as it seems, is playing right into Bayless' hands by stooping to his level. This kind of confrontation is what this blood sucking leach of a television program lives for. First Take and Bayless live and die by the mantra that any publicity is good publicity, and nothing brings publicity like a very public slap fight with a prominent athlete. It's why Bayless "challenges" people to come debate him on First Take, but the show remains cowardly silent when truly put to the test.
I've heard the arguments before. Giving Bayless and First Take attention, even warning readers in big red flashing lights "DO NOT WATCH THIS GARBAGE THAT IS THE DESTRUCTION OF ESPN'S SOUL," is exactly what the show wants. I'm no trained professional, but I think the point of any media observer or writer is to give an opinion on what's good television and what's not so you (the reader) can be as informed as possible and ultimately make that decision for yourself.
If "attention" and "publicity" is what First Take is after, it should expose the warped reality and sadomasochistic nature of a show where an NFL star calling one of its co-hosts "ignorant, pompous, and egotistical" is exactly what it wants.
It's one thing for this site, or Richard Deitsch or John Koblin, or Neil Best or Richard Sandomir to address the issues of First Take and the damage it does to ESPN's brand. It's quite another when it comes from the most influential voice at ESPN - Bill Simmons. Simmons sent three tweets about First Take, starting in the "people should just change the channel" camp, but then moving towards an honest opinion that is surely held by many within with Bristol.
First Take is hurting ESPN.no comments