Yesterday, we found Mt. Take, a place brimming with the hottest sports takes anyone on this good earth has ever seen. Some may have seen the discovery of this dark heart of sports opinions as a sign that the Take Industrial Complex is only getting stronger. I submit a different theory: the takes are dying.
Consider this: Last night Bryce Harper, a young and talented baseball player who has fashioned himself into everything cranky old sportswriters hate, looked a major-league umpire dead in the face and screamed, “FUCK YOU!” This happened on national television, and I went to bed last night fully expecting to wake up under an avalanche of takes laying out how Bryce Harper and his me-first bravado are setting a dangerous example for the children of America. And yet, there were no takes of substance to be found.
Consider this: Steph Curry just became the first unanimous MVP in the history of the NBA. If anyone ever deserved that honor, it’s Steph Curry, but I was still shocked to see him sweep the first-place votes. The MVP ballot has long been a stronghold of hot-takers who want to flex their bad opinions on the big stage. The move is to give a first-place vote to an undeserving candidate, and then milk an adversarial column out of the inevitable backlash. And yet, not one sportswriter took the bait, despite there being some pretty big hunks of chum in the water. Honestly, the “Why Is Kawhi Leonard My MVP? Because Defense Wins Championships” take was sitting right there.
All of this comes on the heels of Cam Newton dancing and dabbing all over the NFL season while receiving almost universal praise (crazy moms from Tennessee aside) for it. It wasn’t until his Super Bowl meltdown and huffy press conference exit that the take factory was able to get the conveyor belts humming at half speed.
I believe we are entering the post-take era of sports media. All those years of getting made fun of on the internet have taken a toll on this country’s hot-takers, and their trigger fingers aren’t as twitchy as they used to be. These days, you’re more likely to see someone issue a pre-emptive counter to a hot take than a hot take itself. Hot-take parodists are more famous and prolific than the hot-takers themselves ever were. The few who remain from the old guard are completely ignored by readers and viewers.
“But what of Mt. Take?” you ask. Ah yes, let us return to this supposed cauldron of pure, vengeful takes. I submit that Mt. Take is no sign of resurgence, but rather a death knell. Not only did it remain hidden from our eyes for years, there is also something off about these takes:
The stupidity of that take is too perfectly crafted. That’s a take that’s trying way too hard, is what it is. It was created by someone who is desperate to keep hot takes alive, but not by the organic process of bad opinions flowing from brain to page. That take is a wild haymaker thrown by a boxer who is out on his feet.
Perhaps this seems like a moment to celebrate. It is not, my friends. For as much as we loathe hot takes, think of what the world will be like when they are gone. Who will we spend all day making fun of on Twitter? Where will our bad uncles get their sports news? What the hell will Deadspin even blog ab—[is swept away by the breeze]