As details continue to come out about Shannon Sharpe leaving Undisputed and joining First Take, Sharpe revealed Friday that he “barely talked” with cohost Skip Bayless on the set of Undisputed when the cameras were not rolling.
“Skip would get to work, I would get to work,” Sharpe said. “It was really like a heavyweight fight. We barely talked … it was very little communication.”
Sharpe made sure not to paint the relationship purely as a negative.
“I took my cues from him,” Sharpe said. “He was not a guy who was very talkative in the morning.”
Bayless seems to take the whole competition of the show incredibly seriously.
“He’s treating this like an actual game,” Sharpe explained. “I just learned he doesn’t want to be bothered, and I was OK with that.”
The contrast with Sharpe’s time on First Take since joining earlier this month seems pretty stark. It certainly helps that Smith and Sharpe have a friendship outside the show. The two recently visited Boulder for Colorado football’s home opener as guests, and Smith has openly suggested Sharpe could one day take over as host of First Take.
“Skip was different,” Sharpe said.
“In seven years, Skip and I, I think we had brunch once. And that’s OK. I don’t think Skip’s a bad guy.
“I didn’t develop the type of work relationship with him that I did with some of the guys that I played with when I was in Denver or I was in Baltimore … or some of the young ladies in wardrobe or makeup.
“Because I didn’t get the sense that’s what he wanted, so I’m not a guy that’s going to force anything. If you show me you want to have a relationship outside work, I’ll accept that. If you want to have a relationship that’s strictly work and it’s confined to the two and a half hours when we are at work … I’m cool with that too. I’m there to do a job.”
About three months since leaving, Sharpe seems at peace.
“We needed to go our separate ways,” Sharpe noted. “I wish it could have been handled differently, but it was handled the way that it was, and I will never forget the opportunity that Fox and FS1 afforded me.”