ESPN First Take co-host Skip Bayless is set to leave the worldwide leader in sports. The move is coming later this summer when Skip’s contract is scheduled to expire in August. Sources close to the situation have suggested that Bayless is headed to Fox Sports, turning down a reported $4 million annual salary from ESPN. We have seen ESPN personalities move on to different networks in the past, with Colin Cowherd’s recent departure from ESPN to Fox Sports also coming to mind.
Bayless was hired full-time by ESPN in 2004, but started contributing to the company in 1989 as a panelist on ESPN’s The Sports Reporters. During his tenure he appeared on various ESPN shows and served as a writer. Skip became a larger personality when he started to co-host First Take with Stephen A Smith. The two formed a great tandem with contrasting perspectives that complimented each other to provide insightful debates on a regular basis, helping the show to become must-see television for morning viewers. Bayless became knows for his often controversial opinions that varied from the general public and ESPN analysts alike. One of the most notable topics during his tenure was Tebowmania. Bayless was one of Tim Tebow’s biggest supporters, resulting in the song, “All He Does is Win” where he conveyed Tebow sentiments to annoy co-host Stephen A. Smith.
Skip Bayless pulled no punches with his opinions. He may hold the crown for beef with professional athletes, with feuds ranging from Richard Sherman, Floyd Mayweather, Kevin Durant, Terrell Suggs and Charles Barkley to name a few. Skip will surely be missed by First Take fans like myself, as his unique wisdom and perspective helped to balance the show out. He often made asinine statements that came out of left field, but under further elaboration started to make some sense. Even if you did not totally agree with Skip’s view points, he made you ponder and think a level deeper while formulating your own opinion. We hope to to hear or see Skip up to his old tricks, even on a new network.
Check out some of the best clips from Skip Bayless on ESPN First Take below.