Skip Bayless, a circus clown who peddles shitty sports takes on TV, will debut a new show on Fox Sports 1 on September 6, he told The Hollywood Reporter this morning. It will go head-to-head with First Take, and Bayless says the takes will be even spicier.
Like fellow Bristol refugee Bill Simmons, Bayless went to THR to complain about how ESPN’s conservatism got in the way of presenting his unvarnished takes, and to claim that at Fox Sports 1 he won’t be similarly restrained:
“Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful,” Bayless tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview officially revealing his move. “It’s a Disney network. There are just certain boundaries that you can’t even tiptoe along. Not that we won’t have boundaries at Fox because we will. [But] they will trust me to go a little deeper. I can be completely honest on everything.”
ESPN allowed Skip Bayless to continually indulge his Tim Tebow fantasies, repeatedly lie and make shit up, demean women and gays, and generally say dumb and awful things on a daily basis. If that was Bayless at 80 percent, the possibilities for what he’ll come up with at Fox Sports 1 are unfathomable. But Bayless also wants you to know that he won’t become a shock jock:
“I’m not suggesting I’m going to become some sort of shock jock because that’s not me,” he adds. “I say what I say because I believe it from the bottom of my soul and I can back it up. Now I feel like I can be completely honest heart-and-soul with full support from the people above me.”
Bayless is correct that he won’t become sort of shock jock, but only because he already became one a long time ago. Interestingly, he’s also adopted the half-hearted defense of his supporters, who couch an acknowledgement of the shittiness of Bayless’s takes in an assertion that he truly believes them. “He means everything he says,” Stephen A. Smith told the Washington Post, as if truly believing dumb ideas was demonstrably better than pretending to believe in dumb ideas for ratings.
Anyway, good luck to Bayless and Fox Sports mastermind Jamie Horowitz! I’ll be watching come September 6, but likely nobody else will.