Today marked the last show of First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless together. The duo did their last show this morning during their standard 10am-12pm time slot on ESPN2. In April, it was reported that ESPN would not renew Bayless's contract and that he would be moving to Fox Sports. Bayless joins a host of ESPN employees to leave the network including Mike Tirico, Colin Cowherd, and Bill Simmons. Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim will stay on the show while the search for a new co-host begins.
Bayless was hired full time to ESPN in 2004 to be on the show 1st and 10 with Woody Paige and host Jay Crawford. The show was later named to First Take in 2007 and had it's best years with Stephen A. Smith and host Cari Champion from 2012-2015. During his time on First Take, Bayless became infamous for his very bold tweets and outrageous takes. Known for his unconditional love of RGIII and Johnny Manziel, Bayless's tweets and predictions became the laughing stock of many on the social media world. Some of his predictions included saying that Josh Freeman would have a better career than Cam Newton, that Derrick Fisher would be a better coach than Steve Kerr, that he would take RGIII over Andrew Luck, and that the Houston Texans would regret not taking Johnny Manziel with the #1 overall pick in 2013. All of which did not seem to pan out like Bayless had planned..
Skip has had a way of getting under people's skin with his opinions and arguments, which has made for some great TV content. He has gotten into many great arguments with sports figures over the course of his career at ESPN. In an argument with ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose, Rose called out Bayless for averaging 1.4 points in his high school basketball career. Since then, every time Bayless sends out a tweet, hundreds of people reply with the number "1.4" Other of Skip's best arguments were with Seattle Seahawks corner-back Richard Sherman and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
During his time on First Take, Bayless constantly expressed his hatred for Lebron James from his time in Miami to his return back to Cleveland. When the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Championship on Sunday night it seemed like the hatred would subside, but he took to Twitter after the game and sent this tweet in classic Skip Bayless fashion.
Some analysts and co-workers of Bayless took to the public eye to express their opinions.
Whether you love him or hate him it's sad to see Skip Bayless leaving ESPN. Himself and Stephen A. Smith provided many mornings of entertainment to the sports world. Fox Sports is smart for taking on a personality like Bayless. Their ratings will boost just because people will want to turn on the TV to see what he has to say. It may be the end of an era at ESPN, but the legacy of Skip Bayless lives on.