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“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.”
It all stems from a book Bayless wrote about the 1994-95 Dallas Cowboys when he was with the Dallas Morning News. In that book, Bayless wrote about claims that Aikman was gay. Since then, Aikman has refused to talk with Bayless. For his part, the co-host of FS1’s Undisputed hasn’t said much publicly about the matter except for one interview in 2009.
Now in a new interview featured on Seth Davis’ podcast, Bayless speaks about the book and Aikman. Bayless first said that the book has been misinterpreted by those who haven’t read it. He said the thrust of the book was the battle between Aikman and his supporters within the Dallas Cowboys and then-coach Barry Switzer and his supporters within the organization. At the time, Bayless wrote that Aikman wanted Switzer out as coach.
Bayless said when it all comes down to it, he doesn’t regret what he wrote and that Aikman comes off as the hero of the book:
“He rose about the locker room chaos, much of it inflicted by Switzer and his supporters, and he carried that team to a Super Bowl Championship and I believe so much in that book that Troy had called me to talk about several things, several of these issues. We talked for hours about it, but he wanted to make sure I got it all straight in the end…”
So where did it all go wrong? Bayless said he got a first copy of the book and hand delivered to Aikman and hasn’t heard from him since. And Bayless said no one who read the book could think that Aikman was gay and he said Troy’s supporters liked the way that he was portrayed. In addition, he said the way Aikman’s agent Leigh Steinberg laughed it off, no could think he could be gay.
Bayless said he thought Aikman would have loved his book, but that is not the case. He told Seth Davis that he hopes to talk with him and eventually bury the hatchet, but it appears that won’t be happening any time soon.
In regards to joining Fox, Bayless said the main reason to leave ESPN and go out west was Jamie Horowitz saying he had changed his life, took a chance on him in Bristol, building a show around him after blowing out a previous format and when he moved to Fox in Los Angeles, lured him to the West Coast.
Bayless said moving to Fox and Los Angeles was easy for him and also Fox was willing to push boundaries than ESPN.
The podcast also explores Bayless’ career as a newspaper writer and some of his opinions on current issues. The entire episode can be heard below:
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