Worst Skip Bayless Takes Aren't Just on Twitter
Skip Bayless has made a career out of his opinions on sports since the 1970s. First, as a newspaper columnist for some of the biggest dailies in the United States, then on sports talk radio and finally, on television, where he's become a household name as the host of shows like ESPN's "First Take" alongside Stephen A Smith and now alongside Shannon Sharpe on Fox's "Undisputed," where Bayless reportedly earns $8 million per year.
Over his time in the spotlight, Bayless has made enemies out of some of the most powerful people in sports for his takes on the biggest issues of the day, even some issues he's created out of thin air. Through every controversy, Bayless has somehow come out on the other side. No matter how awful the things he says are, including on a Twitter account that has over 3 million followers.
These are the worst Skip Bayless takes over the last six decades, including a few times where he ended up getting some just deserts.
Honorable Mention: Von Miller is Overrated? Really?
Skip Bayless decided that it would be a good idea to go at Denver Broncos rookie linebacker/defensive end Von Miller in 2011, essentially calling him a choke artist before his career was barely getting off the ground.
Miller responded by winning two Super Bowls — one with the Broncos and one with the Los Angeles Rams. He was even that rare defensive player who won Super Bowl MVP, which he did with the Broncos in 2016.
What makes Bayless' take on Miller even more boneheaded? The seven-time NFL All-Pro was actually named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011.
25. Debating Blake Griffin's Racial Identity
In 2011, Skip Bayless decided it would be a good idea to debate whether or not he could take pride in Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin being an elite white player. Griffin's father is Black and his mother is white.
"Why should I, as a white person, be able to take pride in Blake Griffin's rise because he came from a white mom?" Bayless asked.
Maybe because he's also from Oklahoma? Just like Bayless?
24. Jalen Rose Ethers Skip's Basketball Career
Skip Bayless has spent the last 40 years making a mint off of criticizing athletes and, at times, pontificating on his own physical and athletic greatness, with no real substance to back that up.
Finally, someone called him out on it. And that someone was former NBA guard and current ESPN on-air personality Jalen Rose, who ether ragged Bayless live on national television by reading his high school basketball stats from Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Rose disclosed that, as a senior, Bayless averaged 1.4 points and didn't even play varsity his junior year. He was on the junior varsity. It was one of the few times we've seen Bayless seem like someone got to him. He appeared visibly hurt that Rose would go at him like this.
Kind of hurts, doesn't it?
23. What Happened Between Skip Bayless and Steve Garvey?
One of the more interesting incidents of Skip Bayless' early career was as a cub reporter with the Los Angeles Times, when he wrote an article about Los Angeles Dodgers star first baseman Steve Garvey. The story was largely sourced from a three-hour car ride Bayless took with Garvey and his then-wife, Cyndy.
The context? The rest of the Dodgers hated their best player and his wife because they thought they were as fake as a $3 bill. Bayless, by writing the article, had essentially come to Garvey's defense.
It turned out to be the wrong play.
22. Leave the NFL Draft Stuff to Mel Kiper Jr.
Skip Bayless has largely stayed away from NFL draft projections since his disastrous take on quarterback Johnny Manziel after the former Heisman Trophy winner went to the Cleveland Browns with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.
Bayless predicted at the time that Manziel would eventually be a bigger star in Cleveland than LeBron James — more on his beef with King James later. Bayless went so far as to say the Houston Texans would come to regret not taking Manziel at No. 1 overall.
Manziel flamed out after two years in the NFL in a haze of drug and alcohol addiction. Bayless later threw Manziel under the bus, calling him an "alcoholic and a liar."
21. Tearing Down Tom Landry
Skip Bayless published three books in the 1990s — all about the Dallas Cowboys. The first was an unsparing look at head coach Tom Landry's time leading the team called "God's Coach: The Hymns, Hype and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys." It was an "unforgiving account of Tom Landry's 29 years," according to a Sports Illustrated article at the time.
Bayless, as he would do so many times in his career, took the "holier-than-thou" approach in eviscerating Landry's career and reputation, which is unfortunate. On the flip side, he also lights up former Cowboys execs Gil Brandt, Tex Schramm and Charlie Murchison. Which was deserved.
20. 'Be an analyst, don't be a d@#$%bag'
In what amounts to a beef between two truly horrible people, Baltimore Ravens defensive end Terrell Suggs called "First Take" to go at Skip Bayless after his criticism of Suggs in the 2012 NFL playoffs, and the two traded verbal jabs.
The exchange included Suggs, who has a long history of arrests for domestic violence, telling Bayless to "be an analyst, not a douchebag."
No one wins here.
19. Cuban Puts Bayless in His Place
Skip Bayless ran into a formidable foe in 2012 in the form of an irritated Mark Cuban. The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks decided he had enough of having to listen to Bayless talk about the NBA and joined him on ESPN.
Cuban handed Bayless one of his biggest Ls.
"You like to talk in complete generalities where no one can question you," Cuban told Bayless. "You don’t ever use facts. You don’t ever use substance."
18. When Bayless Was the Bully
The grace and dignity of the late Terez Paylor, a talented NFL writer who died in 2021, was what probably propelled wide receiver Terrell Owens into the Hall of Fame. Paylor famously gave an impassioned speech that many credit getting Owens into Canton after he was already on the ballot for two years.
Skip Bayless essentially did the opposite for Owens, who was one of the more enigmatic NFL stars of all time and endured withering criticism from Bayless throughout almost the entirety of his career.
For all of Bayless' complaints about being bullied by others, he does quite a good job of playing the bully himself.
17. Joking About Domestic Violence
Skip Bayless thought it would be funny to go on Twitter to make a joke about singer Rihanna's brutal assault at the hands of boyfriend Chris Brown in 2009.
"We now know Chris Brown's favorite sport," Bayless wrote. "Sock-her."
16. Skip Thinks Nelly Is a Better Rapper Than Jay-Z
This one just speaks to taste. In this case, Skip Bayless decided to go on the record to let people know he thought Nelly was a better rapper than Jay-Z.
This is like saying you think "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot" is a better Sylvester Stallone movie than "Rocky." It's as head-scratchingly dumb of a pop culture take as one person can have.
It's also on brand for Bayless.
15. Who the Hell Is Josh Freeman?
Josh Freeman was an overrated, overhyped quarterback prospect out of Kansas State who the Tampa Bay Buccaneers drafted with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft. Freeman was out of the NFL by 2015 and considered one of the worst first-round picks in Tampa Bay history.
Bayless, despite actually seeing Freeman play, thought he was a much better quarterback than 2011 No. 1 overall pick and future NFL MVP Cam Newton in 2012.
14. Is This Why America Loves Chuck?
Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley has become even more famous in his post-NBA career as a studio analyst for TNT Sports, where he's become America's favorite uncle, so to speak.
While Barkley has famously feuded with many NBA superstars over the years and reconciled with more than a few of them, one person he has no such forgiveness for is Skip Bayless, who Barkley has repeatedly threatened to kill or assault over the years.
"I hate (Bayless) more than life," Barkley said.
13. Tim Tebow: Better Than Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers!
The strangest take Skip Bayless has put his considerable weight behind is where he rides for former NFL quarterback/failed tight end Tim Tebow.
Bayless, at different times, has said he would take Tebow over future Hall of Famer Tom Brady in a two-minute offense and if there was a single-game, winner-take-all scenario, he'd take Tebow over future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.
Tebow played three seasons in the NFL, going 8-6 in 14 career regular-season starts.
Brady is 7-3 in 10 career Super Bowls.
12. Why Does Skip Bayless Hate Aaron Rodgers?
As I've already previously stated, Skip Bayless believes in a one-game, winner-take-all scenario he'd prefer Tim Tebow as the starting quarterback over Aaron Rodgers, one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.
That speaks more to Bayless' hatred of Rodgers more than any line of rational thinking. It's a hatred many of us have tried to figure out the source of over the years, with little success.
11. Skip's Ultimate Target: LeBron James
Skip Bayless has made a large part of his career — the last decade-plus at least — of being one of the most outspoken critics of NBA superstar LeBron James.
Since LeBron joined the NBA in 2003, no one has talked about him more than Bayless, who has went after every aspect of LeBron's life, and from all angles.
Most notably, he was the biggest critic of LeBron having not won a championship, until he won a championship. Then it was not winning multiple championships.
Nothing makes Bayless more upset than when someone mentions LeBron in the GOAT conversation. You get the picture.
It's truly a one-sided affair. LeBron has never mentioned Skip.
10. Richard Sherman: 'I’m Better at Life Than You'
The most infamous moment in "First Take" history, in my opinion, occurred when All-Pro Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman appeared as a guest in 2013 to respond to Bayless' criticism of his play — mainly that he claimed Sherman wasn't as good as Darrelle Revis.
Sherman came out guns blazing at Bayless, capped by the "I'm better at life than you" line that has lived on through the years and created one of the most cringe-worthy moments in sports talk show history.
The blowback was so bad ESPN considered canceling the show, according to Bayless.
9. Inside the Mind of 'Drip Bayless'
Professional athletes have been referring to themselves in the third person for as long as we can remember. It's all part of the fame game. Some even go so far as to create whole new personas for themselves.
Welcome to the world of "Drip Bayless" — the nickname Bayless says he took from Twitter and adopted for himself. A blinged-out version of himself, usually in some sort of outfit that makes him look like a B-movie villain paired with some version of Air Jordans.
8. Durant to Bayless: 'I Really Don't Like U'
Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant has earned a reputation as one of the more sensitive NBA legends of all time, which is one of the reasons why he's also become one of the most beloved.
When Bayless praised Durant by calling him "the best player on the planet" but also taking a shot at LeBron james in the process, Durant had an all-time epic response by saying "I really don't like u" via Twitter, summing up how most professional athletes feel about Bayless in the simplest terms.
7. The 'Tar and Feathers' Column
While working for The Dallas Morning News in 1978, Skip Bayless wrote a column about Dallas Cowboys All-Pro running back Tony Dorsett that called him an "All-Pro con man" and started with Bayless saying "Before we tar and feather Tony Dorsett" — something Dorsett understandably took offense to.
Dorsett was quick to point out the long, sordid history of racial lynchings of Black men in the United States, with being tarred and feathered one of the tactics used. For all of Bayless' fugazi awareness he spouts about today, let's not forget he's still a white dude from Oklahoma who thought this was OK to write at one point.
6. Bosh Confronts Bayless Over 'Bosh Spice'
Skip Bayless thought he was being super creative in his criticisms of Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh for his perceived lack of toughness by calling him "Bosh Spice" — a lame play on words ripped from 1990s girl supergroup member Victoria Beckham, aka Posh Spice.
Bosh went on "First Take" to confront Bayless, telling him that name-calling wasn't real analysis. He took pride in his name and didn't appreciate it being mocked. Bayless responded by telling him he was soft.
5. Criticizing Mike McCarthy's Weight
Skip Bayless, like a lot of narcissists, loves to post pictures of himself working out and revel in how good of physical shape he's in. He's something of a cross between George Hamilton and 1980s-level Richard Simmons.
That's why Bayless felt so comfortable in the summer of 2021 when he criticized Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy for his weight. "I’m not taking a shot at him about this, but he’s a little heavy," Bayless said, adding McCarthy did not "look the part" of an NFL head coach.
Props to "Undisputed" co-host Jenny Taft, who stepped in and took Bayless to task.
4. 'The Black Guy'
Skip Bayless turned the 2012 NFL draft into his own discourse on race when the debate between which quarterback should be taken No. 1 overall — Stanford's Andrew Luck or Baylor's Robert Griffin III.
Bayless, in his infinite wisdom, came to the conclusion that most of the fans of the Washington Redskins, who took RG3 No. 2 overall, were white. And that because they were white, they wouldn't get behind their new quarterback.
"I'm for the Black guy," Bayless said, which manages to boil RG3's existence down to just his race in the matter of five words. Which sucks.
3. Making Light of Mental Illness
Following his brother's suicide in 2020, Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott gave an interview to CBS Sports where he spoke about dealing with "feelings he'd never felt before" through the year, which he correctly interpreted as dealing with anxeity and depression.
Prescott was incredibly brave for disclosing what he'd gone through. And who knows how many people he may have helped by doing so?
Skip Bayless responded by saying Prescott's public disclosure was a sign of "weakness" and made him a bad leader for the Dallas Cowboys, entering the pantheon of not just Bayless' worst takes but the worst takes of all time.
2. Finite Proof Skip Bayless Is a Terrible Human Being
There is no lower moment in Skip Bayless' career than the publication of the 1995 book "Hell Bent" about the Dallas Cowboys, which was released in the middle of winning three Super Bowls in the 1990s with the Hall of Fame trio of running back Emmitt Smith, wide receiver Michael Irvin and quarterback Troy Aikman leading the way.
Bayless insinuated in "Hell Bent" that Aikman might be homosexual — something former Dallas Cowboys head coach Barry Switzer told him. From a human perspective, it's abhorrent. From a journalistic standpoint, it's as unethical as it gets, and were something like that to occur today, it would likely be a career-ender.
Bayless has been running from Aikman ever since. The Hall of Fame quarterback says he hasn't seen Bayless since the publication of the book in 1995 and isn't sure what he would do if they did come face-to-face.
1. Tasteless Tweet in Face of MNF Horror
After Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2, 2023, in Cincinnati, Skip Bayless decided it was a good time for him to put the incident into the context of ... how it might impact the NFL regular-season standings.
Bayless' insensitivity in a moment of tragedy wasn't lost on the millions of people who follow the game, and there was no goodwill to be spread around when it came to his apology tweet or his appearance on his morning show on Fox Sports — "Undisputed" — with co-host Shannon Sharpe not even showing up for work to face his colleague.
Even for Bayless, his tweet about Hamlin, who was still in critical condition the next morning, represented an all-time low.