Shannon Sharpe Stephen A. Smith Shannon Sharpe (above, right) cracks up as Stephen A. Smith (left) sports a nametag on the Sept. 5, 2023 edition of First Take. Credit: ESPN

One of the notable things since Shannon Sharpe’s move from FS1’s Undisputed to ESPN’s First Take has been the amount of times he has called Stephen A. Smith, that show’s key figure, “Skip.” That’s somewhat understandable, as Sharpe spent seven years debating Skip Bayless (Smith’s former First Take adversary) on Undisputed. But it’s still led to the media world (including this site) taking notice, and to Smith even wearing a nametag (as seen above), and so on. Smith seems to be over the joke of it, though, taking to Twitter to blast critics after Sharpe did that again Tuesday:

Here’s the full text of that comment:

“Will folks calm the F$&@ down please. The man (@ShannonSharpe) worked with Skip for 2 1/2 hours every single weekday for 6 1/2 YEARS! I’m surprised he hasn’t called me Skip more. Honest mistake. Nobody is fazed this way! So long as he shows up to @FirstTake when I ask, we are good!#TRUST

Yes, Smith’s right that this isn’t that big of a deal in the end. But it is funny, and it’s funnier still to see it keep happening. And it’s amusing that Smith is bringing more attention to it still with his “calm the F$&@ down” remarks, which feel a little strong in response to people just pointing out that his new featured co-host keeps calling him by the name of his former debate partner. (And Smith did already make light of this himself with the nametag.)

With Sharpe only on First Take Mondays and Tuesdays, we’ll have to wait a while to see if more “Skip” references show up. Maybe the week off will let him get in some “Stephen A.” reps. But it’s clear that Smith isn’t upset about the “Skip” comments, but more about the internet commenting on them.

[Stephen A. Smith 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.