If you like Stephen A. Smith’s page on Facebook, first of all – don’t you get enough of SAS yelling at you on ESPN 23 out of the 24 hours of the day?
Moving past that, you’ve probably noticed that Stephen A. has REALLY gotten into broadcasting video rants with Facebook Live. Why? Well, yelling at you on ESPN 23 out of the 24 hours of the day is probably not enough for him so he has to yell at the little webcam on his computer. If you only limit yourself to watching the 60 second supercut of the zaniest of his zany rants, it can actually be quite comical.
In his latest Facebook broadcast, Smith started pontificating about the future of First Take with Skip Bayless leaving for FS1 and Smith being joined by Max Kellerman.
If you don’t want to sit through 11 minutes of Stephen A. ranting (who could blame you), the big highlight is Smith proclaiming that First Take is now his kingdom thanks to his former partner’s departure.
“The only reason I did First Take was because Skip asked me to. In my mind it was his show and I had nothing but respect for him for that… he’s gone, it’s my reign now. With Max. With Molly. And we’re not going to hesitate to bring it. We’re not running from anything. We are going to make it happen, we are going to do what we’ve been doing, and we’re going to strive to take it to another level.”
“The fervor, the tenacity, the conviction, the fight, the feistiness, and everything else that you’ve come to expect it will be here because I’m going to see to it that it’s going to be here.”
Smith also said he and Kellerman would tackle racial and social issues on the new First Take and that the program wouldn’t talk incessantly about LeBron James, Tim Tebow, and Johnny Manziel because they were Bayless-driven topics. Well, there’s always room for improvement for every show, especially First Take.
The dynamic between Smith and Bayless was so interesting because of just how much they fed into each other’s schtick and how much they thrived off each other. Bayless didn’t become Lead Troll of the Sports Universe until Smith built him up. Smith didn’t become THE FACE OF ESPN until Bayless built him up.
In isolation, Smith or Bayless might turn off a lot of viewers with their over-the-top gimmicks, but they… what, seemed more normal sitting next to each other? I guess?
It’ll be interesting to see if Smith and Kellerman can recreate whatever it was that Smith and Bayless had. You have to wonder if Kellerman knows what he’s getting into though with Smith basically declaring that First Take was Bayless’ show and now it belongs to him.
Although, really, with as much airtime and influence Smith seems to have at ESPN, maybe he means it’s now time for his “reign” in Bristol and not just First Take.
[H/T Sporting News]