Whaddayaknow, another athlete is mad about something Skip Bayless said on First Take.
This time it’s Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell feuding with the ESPN host. Earlier this week, Bell said the Cincinnati Bengals play dirty, and his remarks became a topic across the sports-talk world.
Then Bayless initiated the trap he has perfected during his time on First Take. Here are the steps:
1. Proclaim a provocative opinion about the subject at hand.
In this case, Bayless called Bell’s comments “unbecoming of a Pittsburgh Steeler” and accused the running back, who missed most of last season with a knee injury suffered against the Bengals, of “whining.”
2. Wait for the athlete to respond
Here the athlete can diffuse the situation by not responding at all, but it’s kind of hard to blame a guy for getting mad about a stranger making personal attacks about him on national TV. So Bell tweeted this:
I need to get on 1st take cuz I'm tired of @RealSkipBayless tlkin this & that when it comes to me! say what u need to say to me to my face
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) May 26, 2016
3. Retweets, blog posts roll in
As you can see, Bell’s tweet has been retweeted more than 2,300 times, lending widespread attention to Bayless’ hot take.
Soon enough the feud gets enough attention that various websites and blogs just can’t resist and you end up with posts… just like this one. Oops.
4. Bayless claps back, and the feud is on
This hasn’t happened yet — First Take was off Thursday and Bayless has stuck to basketball on Twitter — but we’ve got our eye out. We’re one Bayless response from this becoming a full-on beef, and once that happens all bets are off.
If we could offer a piece of advice to Bell in his battle with Bayless, it would be this: Never go full Sherman.