Troy Aikman Is Pissed That Fox Sports 1 Hired Skip Bayless
Skip Bayless has been on air at Fox Sports 1 for a grand total of one day and his new coworkers are already throwing down the gauntlet. I'm sure you're utterly bewildered, so feel free to take a moment...
It's common knowledge that Hall of Fame quarterback and longtime Fox Sports announcer Troy Aikman has had a bone to pick with the longtime ESPN shock jock for a while, and he wasted no time in expressing his opinions about on his new colleague in a recent interview with Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch. Rather than celebrate the inaugural episode of Bayless' new show "The Undisputed," Aikman opted for a thorough career and character assassination.
“To say I’m disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement,” Aikman said. “Clearly, [Fox Sports president of national networks] Jamie Horowitz and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to building a successful organization. I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless."
OH SHIT. He went and said it! Now Aikman is by no means the only person to insinuate that Bayless employs a "shock and awe" approach to his sports commentary that is as purposeful in its controversial nature as it is contrived. But the unabashed boldness of his statements are a result of decades of hostility that go back all the way to his days with the Dallas Cowboys.
In his piece, Deitsch reminds us that Bayless made an unsubstantiated claim that Aikman was gay in his book on the 1990's Cowboys entitled Hell Bent, and that former Dallas Morning News sports editor Dave Smith told Boys Will Be Boys author Jeff Pearlman that Bayless’ “gay take on Aikman was the most unfair thing in my 45 years of journalism.”
In the time since those comments, Bayless has responded; and Aikman has continued to attack his credibility and motives.
“I’m upset about it because it was made up and there was nothing accurate about anything that was insinuated,” Aikman told Deitsch back in 2015. “And he did it, as he does everything, just for attention.”
This is a clear issue with the dichotomy between the Fox Sports 1 brand and the traditional national network guys, and it probably isn't going away. FS1 has abandoned their original attempt to rival ESPN's monopoly on sports news and has pivoted toward creating an edgier, more unconventional brand that actually promotes personality and bias rather than suppress it. You know, kind of like another Fox-owned enterprise...
Still, controversy for the sake of controversy works differently in the political media than it does in sports. The ratings may be there when it comes to certain shows, but it remains to be seen whether an entire network can employ that as its overarching philosophy. Especially when it looks likes Bayless is performing the same old song and dance that he did at the mothership. Here's one of the topics from the first episode of "The Undisputed" as it reads on the show's web page:
Shannon Sharpe is not buying Tim Tebow's MLB dream, but Skip Bayless is. Does Tebow even deserve a shot in MLB?
Rather than start fresh with some new takes on his new show, Bayless went back to what is unarguably the stalest take in his arsenal: the greatness of Tim Tebow. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. No wonder Aikman is so damn sick of this guy. There is nothing worse than a sensationalist that has to keep going back to the well because he's run out of crazy things to say.
It's starting to look like the only person in the world who actually still likes poor Skip is the guy who ascended his thrown back on ESPN2. Oh, and people aren't too fond of that guy either.
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