Dan Orlovsky snubs Joe Montana on First Take

Stephen A. Smith and Chris “Mad Dog” Russo weren’t on First Take this Thursday morning and somehow, the hot takes were more outrageous than usual.

In the wake of Tom Brady announcing his retirement this week, ESPN gave Dan Orlovsky the green light to list his top five quarterbacks of all-time. “All-time” being the keyword here.

After Orlovsky failed to put Joe Montana on his list, he was promptly chastised by his fellow NFL analysts, Keyshawn Johnson and Damien Woody. Johnson was particularly irate over the brutal list, pressing Orlovsky on why he didn’t give Montana the honor of being a top-five QB.

“It’s stupidity is what it is! What the hell’s wrong with you, Dan?” Johnson ranted of Orlovsky’s list. “You’re either doing this to troll people and get your Twitter game up and your Instagram game and your TikTok. How the hell did you lose Joe Montana off this list? What’s wrong with you!”

“I’m Dan Orlovsky,” Orlovsky later reminded the audience, drawing chuckles from Johnson and Woody. “I’m not trying to be disrespectful to Joe Montana.”

According to the 39-year-old Orlovsky, the reason he didn’t put Montana on his list was that he didn’t get to watch him play. Again, this list was supposed to be the top-five quarterbacks of ALL-TIME, not the top-five quarterbacks during Orlovsky’s peak football-watching years.

Johnson and Woody were already on Orlovsky over the “stupidity” of this list, but the ribbing was ramped up when the former NFL quarterback said he would seriously consider ranking Drew Brees ahead of Montana.

“Go back to the casino!” Johnson yelled after he gave a Mike Francesa-like hand wave to get Orlovsky camera. “Go back to the smoker’s lounge or something. Geez!”

“I don’t gamble man! I work too hard for my money,” Orlovsky said, seemingly annoyed after being mocked for his list.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether a panelist on a sports debate show is truly getting frustrated while being picked on, or if it’s just a bit for TV. This is the format for a debate show; take a polarizing stance on an easy-to-argue topic and prompt some outrage. But Orlovsky looked like he was getting frustrated, and I don’t understand why. He left Joe Montana off his top-five QB list. Did he really expect to get a pass because he’s 39 years old?

“I’m gonna text you right now, Key,” Orlovsky warned Johnson just before First Take went to commercial. “You’re gonna apologize.”

Apologize for mocking Orlovsky on a take that deserves to be mocked? It’s just a shame Stephen A. Smith wasn’t there to police this hot-take standoff between Orlovsky and Keyshawn.

[First Take]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to bcontes@thecomeback.com