I like to think we and the internet sportswriting community as a whole deserve some credit in showing restraint when it comes to giving attention to the daily drain on America's intelligence that is First Take. With the passing of TebowMania and the dismissal of Rob Parker, the carnival barking that takes place every weekday morning on ESPN2 is much easier to ignore on a daily basis. In spite of the fact that ESPN still gives a platform to the farce that is Embrace Debate, without its central act First Take has largely fallen into irrelevence as it searches for the next athlete to attach itself to like a parasite.
But because ESPN still gives a platform to Skip Bayless and his brand of me-first punditry, it's helpful to have periodic reminders to stay away. Your most recent reminder is Skip Bayless taking credit for the Washington Wizards upsetting the Miami Heat.
Earlier this week LeBron James talked a big game about the performance he would put on against the Washington Wizards on Wednesday in response to allegations he was coasting in the regular season. Of course, the Wizards beat the Heat 114-97 in a rout. Before the game, Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith went on television and talked about the pity they felt for the Wizards standing in the way of a motivated King James.
After the game, they took credit for inspiring the Wizards to victory.
Here's Skippy's quote via DC Sports Bog…
“I do believe that Stephen A. and I deserve game balls for last night,” he said. “Because I do think we helped motivate the Wizards.”
This is everything wrong with not just sports punditry, but with anyone who offers opinions in public life. The fact that you are so caught up in delusions of your own grandeur to think that what you said on television motivated professional athletes to significantly improve their performance, solely because of you, is the definition of narcissism. As if First Take and Skip Bayless' act couldn't get more detached from reality, they find a way to lower the bar even further. Playing a contrarian troll on television for ratings is one thing. Being a raging, delusional narcissist is quite another.
We're one step closer to Skip Bayless creepily sauntering towards the camera and saying, "Alright Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."