Sports

ESPN's Skip Bayless Was All Sorts of Terrible Last Week

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To anyone who has spoken to me about sports over the past few years – actually, no – anyone who has spoken to me about sports for the duration of my human life, this column should come as no surprise.  However, while none of my readers should find anything groundbreaking here, I find it a surprise that it has taken me this long to reach the end of my rope with this man.

I have had enough of Skip Bayless. I wrote about him before, yes, but it’s more serious this time. I have had enough of his outlandish comments with absolutely no evidence (or, more importantly, common sense) backing them up. I have had enough of his smug looks, idiotic nicknames, shouting matches with co-hosts and general television presence.  Usually, when I get irritated about things, I just complain about them to friends, tweet my frustrations or turn off my TV. However, this instance goes beyond any frustration I have ever dealt with during my life. Tweeting, complaining and/or not listening cannot adequately gauge my level of madness with his entire being, so I have to do more.

(As a side note – if you want to see my tweets about Skip, you can follow me @EddyDSays)

Here’s how I’m going to address it: on a semi-regular basis, I’m going to write about the two or three comments that Skip made on TV that are his most ridiculous. Believe me when I say that if I wrote about every single wrong point that he made, I would be able to write until my fingers fall off. Fortunately, I have other tasks and occupations that take up my time during the week, so I have to limit my venting to only two or three points. Right now, I have two.

Point No. 1 – Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao

Skip’s Take – “Now Mayweather fears Pacq’ll HURT him b/c believes he’s on PEDs?! Pathetic! Best ever defensive fighter should box rings around Pacq! SCARED”

On May 2nd’s episode of First Take, Skip, Stephen A. Smith, and rapper Joe Budden were asked to debate Floyd Mayweather’s recent comments that he would not step into the ring with Manny Pacquiao until he agrees to Olympic-level blood and urine testing for PEDs for their potential fight. Mayweather also stated that it is, “basic common sense,” that Pacquiao has used PEDs during his career, evidenced by the fact that he has kept his power through an increase in weight-classes over such a short time.

The quip that I have with Bayless stems not from whether or not Pacquiao has used PEDs, or whether Mayweather is likeable, or any of that. It came from a proposition made by Budden to Bayless.

Budden simply asked Bayless that, if Mayweather truly believes that Pacquiao is juicing (which I believe he does), would it be fair for him to still get into the ring with someone who is cheating. Skip’s answer, and I am paraphrasing a tad, was that Mayweather, if he’s the greatest fighter in the world, should not care whether or not someone is cheating.  He should still be good enough to win the fight. Skip’s exact quote was, “I want to hear Floyd say, ‘I don’t care. He can use steroids on fight day for all I care, as long as you weigh the same as me, I will dance around you in the ring’”

What kind of logic is that?

Just because Mayweather is the best defensive fighter on Earth, and possibly of all-time, it does not make it fair for him to fight someone who he truly believes is taking PEDs, which could make a fighter stronger, faster and have more endurance than any opponent should. To ask for the assurance of an even playing field is not only fair, but also just.

If Skip’s logic is correct, any linebacker should be able to use steroids or PED’s if that particular linebacker is matched up against Joe Thomas. Moreover, any hitter in baseball should be able to juice if they’re matched up against Roy Halladay.

The reason why sports have drug testing is because sports are only fair if they can guarantee an even playing field. Without an even playing field, the best player does not always prevail. A superior player’s skills can be hidden by an inferior player’s ability to take steroids or other PEDs.

If Skip’s logic prevails, boxing commissions across the United Statesshould have had no problem with Antonio Margarito’s recent attempt to wrap his hands so heavily that they resembled hard casts on each hand. When athletes, especially fighters, cheat, it provides a clear danger to their opponents. Margarito fought Miguel Cotto, who ironically fights Floyd Mayweather, with casts on his hands. Cotto’s career, arguably, has never been the same since he took the beating that Margarito, who was punching with essentially bricks in his hands, gave to him.

One cannot fault Floyd Mayweather for wanting to avoid the same fate as Cotto.

Point No. 2 – Kirk Cousins, selected in the 4th round by the Washington Redskins, is creating a quarterback controversy in Washington.

Skip’s Take – “This was a grandstand move by Mike Shanahan….The problem is, Kirk Cousins is more NFL ready right now than RGIII, who was a late bloomer….If Kirk Cousins has four or five big quarters in the exhibition games, all of the sudden you create a quarterback controversy that RGIII doesn’t deserve….”

I feel like I could end this argument simply by recapping what Washington gave away to move up to the No. two pick in this year’s draft to select Robert Griffin III.Washingtontraded with the St. Louis Rams to acquire that pick in the draft, giving away their No. 6 pick in this year’s draft, two future first round picks and a second round pick.

If a team trades that much to select a quarterback, is there any question that they believe that he is the future of the franchise? To me, the answer is no. But apparently Skip Bayless needs more convincing.

Skip did not make this same complaint in last year’s draft when the New England Patriots selected Ryan Mallet in the third round even when they had Tom Brady. The rationale for selected a quarterback, even if you have an established starter is quite simple…what if he gets hurt?  Eric Mangini, who was a guest-analyst on First Take that day, had this to say about Skip’s argument,

“It’s about having another good, young quarterback that you felt strongly about there to develop along with RGIII, should RGIII get hurt. Mike Shanahan is married to RGIII. His future is tied to RGIII, not Kirk Cousins….RGIII and Mike Shanahan, they’re married. And if this doesn’t work out, somebody’s losing their house, and it’s not RGIII…if you can get a good young starting quarterback and be able to back him up with another good young starting quarterback that you develop in your system, that’s good business. That’s smart. And that’s forward thinking.”

Usually I like to support all of my claims with evidence, but I feel like I can get away with this statement: A Super Bowl-winning assistant coach under Bill Belichick and a former NFL head coach in his own right has more credibility than a TV analyst. Coach Mangini sums up the correct counter-argument perfectly – why back up the future of your franchise with Rex Grossman when you can upgrade that position? The Redskins drafted Kirk Cousins for the same reason why the Packers had Matt Flynn backing up Aaron Rodgers, why the Eagles had Vince Young backing up Michael Vick, or why the Patriots put a second-round tender on backup quarterback Brian Hoyer and drafted Ryan Mallet last year.

When a team drafts a quarterback with the second pick in the draft, it serves as a clear statement that the player they selected will be the future of the franchise. It also is a clear statement of the team’s belief in the ability of that player. If, for some reason, the Redskins believed that Kirk Cousins had the potential to be a franchise quarterback, why would they ever trade away so much to select a quarterback in the first round?

To finish off the argument, Skip tweeted, “I was in Dallaswith JimmyJ drafted co-rookie QBs Aikman & Walsh. Splitcoaches, fans, tormented Aikman, stunted growth. Not healthy, right.” Of course, Skip is referring to Troy Aikman, the first overall pick of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1989 NFL Draft and Steve Walsh, their first pick in the Supplemental Draft of that year. If you’re wondering who had the more successful NFL career, you can see a picture of Troy Aikman next to his Hall of Fame caste at (http://www.profootballhof.com/assets/photo_galleries/630×536/D863C880A62E416683598FF967AEB105.jpg), while Steve Walsh was a journeyman for an 11-year career in which he threw a total of 40 touchdowns. He is now the head coach atCardinalNewmanHigh School inWest Palm Beach,Florida.

I’ll let you make the judgment.

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