Skip Bayless. Internet Troll. What do these 2 phrases have in common? Well, surprisingly, nothing. Skip Bayless is worse than an internet troll. He’s closer to a scumbag. Internet trolls are actually somewhat entertaining. I guess the only thing these 2 have in common is that the common public understands not to take either of them seriously. All kidding aside, let’s get to the bottom of an ongoing debate that will last longer than Steve Nash’s career: Media vs Professional Athletes.
Usually, I give as much attention to ESPN as I give to my partner, which is not much at all. But just like how my penis cannot help but respond to my partner, my brain couldn’t help but respond to Skip Bayless and Jalen Rose going at each other on ESPN First Take.
On a previous show, Rose implied that Bayless’s tweets about his high school “career” were exaggerated. To make it easier for youngsters to understand what I’m referring to, Rose ultimately called him the fuck out. This led to a clearly embarrassed and angered Skip to sidestep the accusation as he obviously didn’t have much to say. The next morning, I expected Bayless to avoid his little tantrum moment and continue his mission of becoming the most successful troll in history and proclaim Tim Tebow as the best thing that’s ever happened to sports since Jackie Robinson. However, much to my surprise, a heated hour long debate ensued, with Stephen “Screaming” A. Smith chiming in as well.
The debate starts off with Skip admitting that he took offense to Jalen Rose’s comments about his more than underachieving 1.4ppg high school statistic. I nearly turned off the damn show right there. How ironic is it that arguably the most offensive person in sports media, SKIP BAYLESS, is offended by someone else dropping FACTS about his high school career! And, a 1.4ppg career definitely ranks up there in the Top 10 things deserving of criticism. I guess Skip was offended that Rose mentioned some FACTS, as that’s something he’s a stranger to.
First off, I’d just like to make a humble brag. I’ve played basketball competitively my whole life in New Zealand. And while that’s about as big of an achievement as being able to masturbate 5 times in a day [5 times is quite an accomplishment. Ed.], what I’m trying to say here is I will always think like an “athlete” first. Yes, you are allowed to laugh at my athletic accomplishments now. . The most astonishing thing I find is that while “analysts” find it completely acceptable to absolutely trash an athlete, they somehow find it in their heart to take offense when an athlete strikes back. As the cliché goes, if you dish it, you better be willing to take it. As far as I’m concerned, their job is to analyze and criticize an athlete’s PLAY in their respective sport. But when these so called analysts cross the line into commenting about their character, that’s when their job title changes from analyst into standup comedian. As hilarious as I found the nickname “Bosh Spice” to be, what Skip has done is not only challenge Chris Bosh’s manhood but to insult his family name. (Sidenote: Hey Skip, please try call Ray Lewis “Gay Lewis” one time. Let’s see your true fighter genes come out!) And as we all know, us men will react to anybody challenging our manhood, it almost hurts more than being kicked in the nuts. (Almost). Skip’s defense, is that he says any athlete can come in the studio and debate him. Well, just to make it clear Skip, nobody cares about debating you. That doesn’t solve the problem. First, I’m sure these athletes would rather beat yo white ass down than to debate you, and secondly, you will never admit that name calling crosses the line. Whether you fail to see the line, or you’re just in denial, I do not know. So all this does is waste their damn time, while validating your show by even making an appearance. It doesn’t matter how many degrees you hold and how many years you’ve been in the business, respecting others is something that doesn’t require education, it should be an innate quality. As a self proclaimed Christian man, shouldn’t loving your neighbors come easy to Skip Bayless?
Free speech is something everyone has a right to, I understand that. But it’s unfair that when an athlete responds to criticism from analysts, everyone goes mad. How many athletes has Peter Vescey completely trashed? But we don’t seem to remember those. We DO remember though times when Shaq curses on TV and Jim Everett attacking Jim Rome. If athletes are held accountable as role models for playing a sport, the people commenting about these athletes should definitely be held accountable also.
One of the biggest pet peeves reporters/analysts have is when people discount their credibility due to them never playing in the NBA. Rose hinted at this, but ultimately backed down as he was trying to maintain the professional respect for Skip that Skip doesn’t deserve. Well, to me though it was clear how Rose really felt. Rose really felt that Skip has no credibility at all when criticizing an athlete’s game and character. Of course, if Russell Westbrook goes 2-14, any general basketball fan realizes they had an off night, it doesn’t take 30 years of journalism to realize that. But when people like Skip Bayless start making comments like “He wants to be the MVP! He wants to be the man! He wants this to be all about himself!” this is where things can get a little bit shady. How did you come to that conclusion Skip? Are you going to imply Russell Westbrook is a selfish person judging from how many shots he took? Let me take a wild guess here, Skip and Westbrook do not have a healthy relationship. So how else would Skip know what he’s like? This is where the line between reporters and analysts has been blurred, as Jalen Rose would put it. An analyst should be somebody who knows the ins and outs of the game, someone who has been in the same position these athletes have been in. They are the only ones who know how it feels, what it takes, and the mentality when placed in those situations. You can deny it any way you want, but we regular League Pass watchers will never have as much insight as former athletes. A reporter’s job is supposed to be informing the public with facts and evidence to back up those facts. That’s it. An analyst needs to break down the emotions felt by the athletes, how a typical day for a superstar feels like, a reporter cannot and should not attempt this. Who better to talk about these things than someone who’s been in the same position? I do not see how Skip can deny this. People who have not been in the same shoes as athletes, will never be able to accurately portray how these athletes think and feel. And if you think otherwise, you can KICK ROCKS, as the famous Screaming A Smith would say. So sorry, Skip, your 30 years of journalism experience doesn’t validate your character judgment.
Media today is at place it has never been before. With Twitter, Facebook, TMZ etc., athletes are literally being followed 24 hours a day. It’s easy to point fingers and speculate on how athletes are, but until there is solid evidence it will remain as just speculation. With the amount of tragedy this world is going through, is it really necessary to insult an athlete’s character for entertainment?