Skip Bayless Appreciation Post
Updated: May 28, 2022
It's freshmen year of high school, and I am coming down stairs to eat breakfast before heading off to St.Elizabeth High School. My mom has the television on usually on Sports Center, if not on a regular news station. Usually it's just noise in the background, as my focus had to be on eating my breakfast quickly, and then head for the door to not be late for school. But not this morning... This morning a sports debate show was on, Espn Firsttake. And what or who rather really caught my attention was the lead debater was actually hyping my favorite basketball team, THE SAN ANTONIO SPURS!!! A rare rare feat on television because no one likes to talk about my "OLD, BORING, TOO OLD, FUNDAMENTAL, BLAH BLAH BLAH" Spurs. What Bayless was saying was on point with most of my same thoughts, and opinions about (our) team too! In my head, I was like 'Wow this guy knows what he's talking about, and speaks well! I like what he has to say!
The next day came, and once again the same guy, along with a rotating partner were debating a sports topic, and I was once again captivated by the debate, and conversation! I had to stop, and look up, 'What is this guy's name?' I am enjoying this! I need to start setting a recording for this show, so I can watch it when I get home!'
This sports debater name was Skip Bayless! Some refer to him as "The Diabolical Hater" "Lebron Hater", or "The biggest Cowboys fan outside of Jerry Jones!" I call him "My favorite sports personality!" Skip isn't afraid to be himself. In many ways he will have his opinion, and listeners will really have to look at the layers with what he is speaking on. One can't look on the surface of his debates. And depending on how far one goes back with Skip, (watching him on television), to me he is pretty consistent with what he says. Now I DO NOT always agree with his opinions, and that is okay! I can agree, disagree, or agree to disagree. The satisfaction for me comes when I can be educated, and learn from not only the sports knowledge he provides, be it good or bad, but also when I am able to learn from the knowledge beyond sports he provides his listeners.
Now I am obviously a young Black man, a person of color, and Skip Bayless is a White guy, and just on that level alone we grew up completely different, but with that, are there areas we relate, and connect? Absolutely! If one knows Skip's history growing up, one with his parent's owning their family restaurant, and what drove Skip to be better off escaping the toxic environment he was being raised in by parents who were alcoholics, and not always giving him the support that any young child wants, and seeks from their parents, they would know he came a long way! Growing up, Bayless had another parental figure that helped mold, and create the great personaility viewers are able to witness daily on Undisputed! Another side of Skip a myriad of viewers may not know is realizing who Katie Bell was and is to him. The impact Bell left on a young Skip Bayless, and moving forward, then like me, you'd realize we can connect on a different level, outside of sports!
"Everything I learned about right, and wrong, Black, and White, I learned from Katie Bell," Bayless said.
I also believe that along with the people in the world that just can't stand to listen(Barkley....), and take the time to comprehend what Bayless, and debate partner,Pro Football Hall of Fame tight end, Shannon Sharpe has to say on Monday morning! The energy is always there for the viewer! Again if one looks hard enough, and actually listens sometimes there is more to gain from the conversations other than just sports. There are people like me, who can't wait to tune in to Undisputed after a big sporting event occurred the previous night, or weekend just to hear what Skip has to say.
Having had met Skip two times now in my life, I can tell that he is as authentic as he is on television as he is in person. I have never been more captivated by someone more than I am with Skip Bayless's sports debate talk. And as I fore mentioned, Skip is nothing without a good debate partner. Shannon Sharpe is the debater who sits across from Bayless, and as I often said when I used to watch Espn Firsttake, I found, you can't just put anyone in front of Skip. They need to be able to hold their own, the Stephen A Smith's, Jemele Hill's, the Rob Parker's of the world, all know how to debate, and give their all when going at Skip Bayless in sports talk. Add Shannon Sharpe to the list because he has shown he has what it takes to debate Skip, hold his own in his respect, give the conversation a southern appeal, and flavor that is also captivating. He brings knowledge from his illustrious football career, along with the sayings and lessons his grandmother gave him. One who can not just talk about the sport he played, but be able to discuss other sports like basketball, baseball, golf, etc. Skip Bayless, and Shannon Sharpe do more than just debate sports. There is an interest level appeals to me, that again goes beyond the sports world.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, I have been a huge fan of Skip Bayless since my freshmen year of high school back in 2006-2007. Never has a person who talks sports the way he does, has kept my attention, and always left me wanting more than Skip. He is someone I will ALWAYS HOLD IN MY HEART. THE ONE AND ONLY... SKIP BAYLESS!!!!!
(The picture below is of Skip, and I when the show traveled to Oakland California for the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. When I say meeting Skip that day, was one of the best days of my life, I mean that with all sincerity!)
And the video clip below, one can see me with my Spurs bucket hat for a brief moment when I went to the live recording of Undisputed for the Nba Finals in 2017.