This Week In Hot Takes was led by Howard Eskin.

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Hot Takes! We have a jam-packed edition this time around with several new faces. Here are the hottest sports media takes from Oct. 27-Nov. 2.

5. Doug Gottlieb says DeAndre Hopkins “isn’t smart enough to know the nuance of what he’s saying,” people “shouldn’t be bothered” by Bob McNair’s comments: Houston Texans’ owner Bob McNair’s “inmates running the prison” comment on anthem protests sparked plenty of outrage from Texans’ players, with wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins walking out of practice. Fox Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb decided to weigh in on this Friday by blasting Hopkins’ intelligence and saying people “shouldn’t be bothered” by McNair’s remarks:

Here are Gottlieb’s full comments, posted on Fox Sports Radio’s site with the headline “The PC Police Should Leave Bob McNair Alone“:

Some lowlights: “We’re bastardizing every story, that’s what we do, and DeAndre Hopkins sadly is falling to the headline, like so many of us do. I’m not sure what I’m bothered by more, that people misunderstand a commonly-used expression or phrase, or the fact that really smart people can misstate a commonly-used expression or phrase, because that’s what happened. …I’ve never heard [McNair] called a racist ever before (it’s not necessarily calling him “a racist,” but there were plenty of other critical comments about McNair’s previous actions), and of course people are going to say what he says was racially insensitive on some levels…”

(There’s then a tangent about how it should be “inmates running the asylum” or “too many chiefs, not enough Indians, but oh wait, that would be insensitive to Native Americans.”)

…”But I think we actually know what Bob McNair’s talking about. And that’s the crazy part about it. Yes, you shouldn’t have said prison, because now it’s ‘Oh, you’re talking about black guys, you’re talking about cops, you’re talking about prison, and DeAndre Hopkins, obviously is, I’m just going to be blunt, he’s not smart enough to understand the nuance of what he’s saying. …Demanding a course of action, demanding the ability to protest, and not having the wherewithal, the understanding of all the things going on in the business, that’s classic employee stuff.”

It’s always nice when the man who got kicked out of Notre Dame after charges of felony theft of floormates’ credit cards, or the man who’s thrown out steroid speculation based on national origin and nothing else, or the man who called a sexual assault lawsuit against Derrick Rose a “money grab,” decides to weigh in on others’ intelligence. We can’t all be as brilliant as Gottlieb,

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

4. Garth Crooks thinks Tiemoue Bakayoko is spending too much time dyeing his hair: BBC pundit Garth Crooks has become known for outrageous takes on players’ appearance, saying in September that Paul Pogba’s red-streaked hair means he’s “behaving like an adolescent,” and he’s back on that this week. This time around, Crooks suggested that Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko spends too much time on his hair and not enough time learning English (?!):

The full piece (part of Crooks’ team of the week) can be read here. This take is laughable, especially considering that it’s highly unlikely Bakayoko is dyeing his own hair. And Gullit himself was known for plenty of off-field things while he was a player and a manager, from “his weakness for Diesel boots and patterned Romeo Gigli trousers” to tabloid reports on his marriages and visits to a sex counselor. None of that matters either, and it didn’t hold Gullit back from success, but that’s an interesting example for Crooks to throw out there.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

3. Brock Huard questions if it was “appropriate” for Carlos Correa to propose after winning the World Series: Huard, an ESPN college football analyst and a radio host on 710 ESPN Seattle, stirred up plenty of controversy in that role this week with his on-air questioning of UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen’s toughness (leading to a rebuke from UCLA coach Jim Mora), but he wasn’t done there. While the rest of the world was enjoying Carlos Correa’s post-World Series proposal, Huard had to wonder if it was “appropriate”:

That poll is currently running 83 per cent yes to 17 per cent no. Bold take from Huard to question “appropriate” here. Mora might say “I don’t think Brock Huard knows much about proposals.”

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥

2. Michael Rapaport calls Papi Le Batard “a Cuban minstrel show”: Rapaport, a sometimes FS1 and regular Barstool Sports personality in addition to some of his cringeworthy acting work, has bizarrely feuded with ESPN “Twinkie-eating f-boy” Dan LeBatard before, and he took it to a whole new level this time around. On Jason McIntyre’s Fox Sports Radio show Saturday, Rapaport went off not only on LeBatard, but on LeBatard’s father:

“Le Batard is a phony. Le Batard is a company man,” Rapaport said. “He’s probably right now cleaning John Skipper’s house and giving his car a detail … The whole thing with him is that he questioned whether Magic Johnson is qualified to run the Lakers and my response was that your father is totally unqualified to be on a TV show every day. You put him there. You have no stake in the game.”

“To me Dan Le Batard is the old regime,” he continued. “At a time it seemed like he was edgy. He’s a joke. Aside from his fan base in Miami — he laughs at his own jokes. He’s just a company man that fakes it off like he’s some sort of rabble-rouser. He’s John Skipper’s lapdog.”

After wondering why Le Batard wasn’t suspended for saying he (Rapaport) “wants to be black,” Rapaport concluded, “He’s a joke, and his father has no business being on TV, because as far as I’m concerned what his father does every day is a Cuban minstrel show. He’s a one-trick pony and I think it’s disrespectful across the board.”

To say nothing of the problems with referencing minstrel shows this way, what’s disrespectful across the board is when Rapaport’s given a platform to comment on sports. Papi LeBatard has more sports insight in his pinkie than Rapaport does in his whole body. And yet, McIntyre, Barstool and Fox keep giving him platforms to say dumb things.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

1. Howard Eskin gets mad that Gabe Kapler once wrote about coconut oil as a lubricant: 94.1 WIP’s Eskin is a notorious figure on the Philadelphia media scene, previously making news for everything from a physical confrontation with Jonathan Papelbon to calling Caitlyn Jenner’s ESPY “a freak show,” but he perhaps topped himself this week with a “think of the children” rant that turned into one of the oddest press conference moments you’ll ever see. The Phillies hired former MLB player (and brief FS1 analyst!) Gabe Kapler as their new manager this week, and Eskin got mad because of something Kapler wrote on his old kaplifestyle.com blog about coconut oil’s uses “beyond cooking.” Here’s the key part of Kapler’s post in question, which was put up in June of 2014. In addition to discussing how he used the oil to rinse his teeth and moisturize his face, Kapler got a little more personal:

One ingredient, folks. Coconut.

You’re moisturized and smelling tropical, your teeth are white and your face looks like you’ve just visited a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. The sun has set, and the moon is out. Perhaps you have a friend nearby, perhaps it’s just you by your lonesome…well, this is awkward. I’ve promised you authenticity, honesty and openness. Take this how you wish and I’ll spare you the step by step. Coconut oil is the world’s greatest lubricant. I can’t help where your mind goes with this. Once the ball leaves the bat, I can’t steer it.

I mean, yes, no one necessarily wants to think about Gabe Kapler using coconut oil with a friend nearby or by his lonesome, but that paragraph gets a PG-13 rating at worst. And it’s from three years ago on a health blog. But Eskin had to bring out Lovejoy’s Law:

What’s even better than Eskin’s bizarre “think of the children” is his suggestion that this somehow means Kapler can’t lead a team:

Yes, I’m sure MLB players will be horrified that their manager once hinted at sexual activity and masturbation. That sort of comment has never before been heard in a major-league locker room. Eskin managed to top himself by asking both Kapler and general manager Matt Klentak about this at Kapler’s introductory press conference Thursday, though. The video isn’t embeddable, but you can check it out at Deadspin here.

Eskin’s “question”: “Matt, you expressed that there were no reservations with some of the things that you saw that Gabe had written on his blog and had tweeted. Uh, I’m trying to figure out, you said there were none, there are none. And as far as Gabe, Gabe, are you proud of some of the stuff? You said you expressed yourself. I don’t want to get too specific, there’s people in the room, but there’s an elephant in the room, people hear, uh, coconut oil is a phrase, I threw it out there. Gabe, any reservations, and Matt, any reservations, Gabe for putting it out there, and Matt, while you were in the interview process?”

Both Kapler and Klentak have pretty good responses to that, with Kapler not backing down from what he wrote but also saying it was at a different time and with a different focus, and Klentak saying it didn’t particularly matter to the team. But Eskin’s tweets on this and decision to bring it up at an introductory press conference are quite the hot take.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

Honorable mentions: We have a ton of good ones that couldn’t fit in the column this week. Here are a few of them:

Yes, a team that’s won the last two Stanley Cups, plus another in 2009, is certainly known for its playoff failures. That’s totally equal to a team that hasn’t won a World Series since 1979, hasn’t won a division title since 1992, and hasn’t made the playoffs since 2015.

This was nicely summed up by another tweet:

And how about this one?

Three-time Pro Bowler and 2015 NFL MVP Cam Newton, who’s thrown for over 3,000 yards every season he’s been in the league, certainly can’t be described as “a real quarterback,” can he? Certainly not on the level of Tyrod Taylor, who’s in his third season as a starter and had a career-best 3,035 passing yards in 2015, below Newton’s career low of 3,127.

Charles Barkley saying “There’s no such thing as a vegetarian” deserves a mention here, too.

Notable absences: Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, Phil Mushnick. 

Hot Take Standings: 

Stephen A. Smith – 133
Skip Bayless – 116
Phil Mushnick – 94
Colin Cowherd – 43
Shannon Sharpe – 30
Rob Parker – 23
Doug Gottlieb – 22
Charles Barkley – 19
JT The Brick – 17
Albert Breer – 16
Don Cherry – 15
Ray Lewis – 14
Rick Morrissey – 13
Kristine Leahy – 10
Chris Broussard – 10
Garth Crooks – 9
C.J. Nitkowski – 9
Bill Plaschke – 9
Michael Rapaport – 8
Tony Massarotti – 8
Jason McIntyre – 8
Bart Hubbuch – 8
Danny Kanell – 7
Dan Dakich – 7
Keith Olbermann – 6
Michael DeCourcy – 6
Luke Kerr-Dineen – 6
Terry Bradshaw – 6
Greg A. Bedard – 6
Howard Eskin – 5
Nancy Armour – 5
Richard Justice – 5
John Middlekauff – 5
Bill Plaschke – 5
Ameer Hasan Loggins – 5
Jesse Watters – 5
Jeremy Roenick – 5
John McGrath – 5
Ross Tucker  – 5
Mike Sielski – 5
Gordon Monson – 5
Scott Fowler – 5
Bob Brookover – 5
Berry Tramel – 5
Mike Bianchi – 5
Terry Frei – 5
David Jones – 5
Sabrina Parr – 5
Abbey Mastracco – 5
Terry Cushman – 5
Rob Rossi – 5
Rick Bozich – 5
Michael O’Doherty – 5
Simon Briggs – 5
Dan Wetzel – 5
Mike Parry – 5
Bob Ryan – 5
Robert Reed – 5
Pete Dougherty – 5
Dan Le Batard – 5
Marcus Hayes – 5
Kyle Turley – 5
Mike Ditka – 5
Erril Laborde – 5
Lowell Cohn – 5
Rosie DiManno – 5
Frank Isola – 5
Brock Huard – 4
Byron Tau – 4
Maggie Gray  – 4
Michael Powell – 4
Mark Spector – 4
Chad Forbes – 4
Gary Myers – 4
Mark Schlereth – 4
Andy Gray – 4
David Fleming – 4
The Sporting News – 4
Jeff Pearlman – 4
Tony Grossi – 4
FanSided – 4
Cris Carter – 4
Kirk Herbstreit – 4
Tony Kornheiser – 4
Mike Felger – 4
USA Today op-eds – 4
Nathan Ruiz – 4
Dan Shaughnessy – 3
Steve Greenberg – 3
Matt Burke – 3
Malcolm Gladwell – 3
Mike Milbury – 3
Mac Engel – 3
Nick Kypreos – 3
Jason Smith – 3
Caron Butler – 3
Don Brennan – 3
Robert Tychkowski – 3
Mike Johnston – 3
Mike Francesa – 3
Jeff Mans – 3
Joe Browne – 3
Mike Harrington – 3
Greg Mitchell – 3
Doug Smith  – 2
Newsweek – 2
Teddy Cutler – 2
Will Cain – 2
Bill Cowher – 2
Paul Finebaum – 2
Charley Casserly – 2
Amin Elhassan – 2
Jim Henneman – 2
Mitch Lawrence – 2
Nick Wright – 2
Domonique Foxworth – 2
Gary Parrish – 2
Michael Farber – 2
Andy Furman – 2
Donovan McNabb – 2
Seth Davis – 2
Jon Heyman – 2
Jason La Canfora – 2
Dan Wolken – 2
Booger McFarland – 2
Joe Schad – 2
Cork Gaines – 2

Thanks for reading! Tune in next week for more This Week In Hot Takes. As always, you can send submissions to me via e-mail or on Twitter.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing.

  • YouAreWrongAndDumb

    Wow, can’t believe I’d see the day where I would agree with Michael Rapaport about anything. Gonzalo Le Batard is an embarrassment on television. I say this as a native south Floridian.

  • thewatcher2

    Schein’s tweet is aging as well as New Coke! Taylor sure looked like a “real quarterback” against the J-E-T-S!!!

  • Adam James Fleming

    Why is Bill Plachke on the list twice? He is at 9 and 5.