Shannon Sharpe on First Take. Shannon Sharpe on First Take. (Awful Announcing on Twitter.)

It can take a while to unlearn habits. Shannon Sharpe experienced that Monday in his first appearance on ESPN’s First Take, thinking back to his seven years opposite Skip Bayless on Undisputed. That saw him calling Stephen A. Smith “Skip” at least twice. The first one came in Sharpe’s very first segment on the show, following an intro with him and Smith.

Host Molly Qerim then set up a segment asking if the Kansas City Chiefs were on “upset alert” in Week 1 against the Detroit Lions if defensive tackle Chris Jones holds out, and Sharpe started his response with “Yes, because, if you think about it, the Lions were picked to win that division, Skip.” He then immediately recognized what he’d done and said “Skip, oh boy. I’m sorry. Stephen A.” Smith said “It’s all right, it’s all right,” and they rolled on for a full nine-minute discussion of the Chiefs (with a bit about the Lions). Here’s the first “Skip” error:

After that segment, First Take went to commercial break. And then it came back with a segment on the New York Jets and Aaron Rodgers. To start that, Qerim discussed a graphic showing that the Jets were the third team since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger to add two four-time Pro Bowlers in the same offseason. The previous two both won the Super Bowl, and they were the 2020 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Tom Brady and Antonio Brown) and the 2000 Baltimore Ravens (Sharpe and Ben Coates).

Sharpe used that as a chance to launch into a story about how he once showed Coates around campus at Savannah State. But when Coates said he wanted to start, Sharpe told him that he was switching to tight end himself, so Coates should go elsewhere. Coates wound up attending Livingstone instead and had a great career both there and in the NFL, with he and Sharpe selected as the two tight ends on the league’s 1990s All-Decade Team. And that’s a good story. But Sharpe again started it with a “You know what, Skip,” immediately caught his mistake, was told “It’s okay” by Smith, and said “It’s been seven years. Stephen A!”

Beyond the “Skips,” Sharpe’s First Take debut seemed to go reasonably well, with him and Smith having both debates and discussions. But it is pretty funny to hear him repeatedly saying “Skip,” especially in his first two segments on the show.

[Awful Announcing on Twitter]


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.