How First Take Poisoned ESPNBarry Petchesky7/25/14 3:08pmFiled to: espnfirst takemedia meltdownsmedia26EditPromoteDismissUndismissHideShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalink This is exactly what First Take was designed to do. That's not hyperbole. First Take's reason for existence is to reduce every subject, from the incredibly complex to the totally uncontroversial, down to a binary issue that can be debated. Is Tim Tebow a good quarterback? Is LeBron clutch? Should Ray Rice have knocked the shit out of his fiancée? A funny thing happened. First Take's sport-shouting became insanely popular, to the point where the rest of Bristol's programming attempted to emulate the format. Here, John Koblin's 2012 story on how ESPN became the official network of manufactured debate.