In a world that has embraced debate, there are many hot sports takes out there in any given week, and they’ve been termed “one of America’s greatest exports.” But which takes can stand out in that crowded environment? And which personalities consistently bring the most heat? That’s what we’re tracking in This Week In Hot Takes, counting down from the fifth-hottest to the hottest. We’ll be keeping an ongoing leaderboard where we’ll eventually crown a king or queen of Hot Takes. Here’s the latest edition covering Oct. 14 to 20, from your friendly neighborhood keyboard bully

5. Seth Davis tells athletes “put down the joystick, pick up a book”: It must be time for “Paternalistic Comments About College Athletes,” and CBS/SI’s Seth Davis (who’s been one of the key figures in the “don’t pay athletes!” movement) has long been a leader on that front, saying in March that they should feel “blessed” to play for free. But Davis doesn’t stop at telling these athletes they shouldn’t be paid for their labor and for bringing millions in revenue to the NCAA. No, he’s now telling athletes how to use the limited amount of free time they do have:

Colby Lanham had the perfect response:

Rating: 🔥🔥

4. Lowell Cohn spends whole column calling Jed York “son,” is confused by “inside twist”: Santa Rosa Press-Democrat columnist Cohn is becoming a fixture around these parts for his ridiculous rants about the 49ers. Cohn delivered one of the most embarrassing press conference performances you’ll ever see with his interruptions of Chip Kelly in September (and Kelly schooled him nicely), and now he’s made it into the hot takes roundup thanks to this absurdity of a column. Criticizing 49ers owner Jed York is certainly valid (especially over his dealing with Jim Harbaugh) and not uncommon, but Cohn manages to actually make York look good and sympathetic by comparison, spending a whole column repeatedly calling him “son” (York is 36, which I guess could make him the 70-year-old Cohn’s son, but that’s still not a good look) and talking to him “as an older man to a younger man” (age doesn’t always bring wisdom, especially in sports media, and York would be wise to not listen here). The best part is how Cohn decides that Chip Kelly is a bad coach because he gave a football answer Cohn didn’t understand, though:

Kelly talks technical football to extricate himself from answering hard, fair questions. He knows the media won’t understand a word he’s saying, puts up a verbal shield. On Monday, he went on and on about something the Bills defense did called the “inside twist.” Is it a dance? Whatever the twist is, the Niners didn’t handle it in that 45-16 embarrassment. Come on, baby, let’s do the twist.

Wouldn’t it behoove a football reporter/columnist to learn what a coach is talking about rather than citing that as evidence he’s a bad coach? It’s not that hard, especially when it comes to inside twists. York may not be a great owner, and Kelly may be struggling with the 49ers, but someone who would rather lob “son” and other criticisms than be bothered to even learn the football terminology the coach is telling you in response doesn’t have much credibility to criticize. It suggests he certainly wouldn’t do a better job than either of the men he’s blasting here.

Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

 3. Stephen A. Smith calls the Redskins “losers.” Smith developed a bizarre feud with the Washington Redskins this week, first taking exception to Washington defensive linemen Chris Baker and Ricky Jean Francois boasting “We run the damn East” after a win over the Philadelphia Eagles Sunday. That led to this Smith rant on Tuesday’s edition of First Take:

Smith apparently was annoyed about the Redskins boasting about winning the division last year (which they did) and being happy about beating the Eagles. Here’s a transcription of his rant, from Dan Steinberg at the D.C. Sports Bog:

“Bravo. Bravo,” Smith began. “You’re the champions of the NFC East. WOW! I’m so TOUCHED. I mean, can we stop and throw a party in the nation’s capital? You are the champions of the NFC East. I’m so touched. I’m so touched. Where’s the tissues? Look, let me wipe my tears away. I mean, this is just so touching. I can’t believe it, I’m getting emotional right now. The Washington Redskins are the champions of the NFC East. “By the way, a division where they were the only team above .500, and you want a cookie. You’re going to literally walk through a locker room, through the hallways en route to your locker room, bragging — BRAGGING! — about the fact that we’re the real champions of the NFC East. What, do you want a cookie? No WONDER y’all are losers.”

This led to Baker, Francois and Pierre Garcon taking shots at Smith on Twitter, causing him to then really lose it:

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.

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