Skip Bayless has said goodbye to First Take and ESPN.
Appearing on his last First Take episode ever on Tuesday as he prepares to transition over to Fox, the 64-year-old got emotional when giving his farewell to colleagues Stephen A. Smith and Molly Qerim.
“On this show, I’ve gone from that crazy Woody Paige in New York City on Cold Pizza to my man right here, Stephen A. Smith on First Take, in Bristol Connecticut. While, I should say I’ve often been in Bristol Connecticut, but he has been everywhere and anywhere, but he’s here today for me and I love him for that. We had our battles on the show, we fight like brothers, we get mad, we love each other and I am going to miss him more than he has any concept. As I’m going to miss this woman sitting next to me. We’ve had a great run against all odds on this show and I am so proud of what we built here.”
In true Bayless fashion, he joked to Smith that he never lost a debate during his time on First Take.
“I’m also proud of the fact that to this day, I have never lost a single debate on this show. Not a single debate. I had to say that for this man’s prospects over here.
Stephen A. Smith also shared his love for Bayless telling him “people out there don’t know how great you are,” while telling him he’s “my brother from another mother.”
It’s a fitting send-off for Bayless. For all of his hot takes and absurd tweets, Bayless put in serious time at ESPN, spanning more than 23 years at the network in one form or another and 12 years as a full-time staffer. Love him or hate him, he was dedicated to his craft and was a big part of ESPN for a long time.
So, while Bayless’ other ESPN colleagues might not be showing him the love as he exits for Fox, it’s somewhat refreshing to see him get some warm remark and get emotional as he exits First Take.