Skip Bayless, sports media’s most unexplainable successful person, has departed ESPN’s First Take to join Fox Sports for many millions of dollars. That leaves Stephen A. Smith in need of a new co-host with which to discuss uneducated, sexist, stupid and ignorant opinions while most people are at work.
Who will be there to nod and furrow their brow when Stephen A. is defending the Floyd Mayweathers and Ray Rices of the world? When Stephen A. is rambling about wanting to fight someone that said a mean thing about him, who will be across from him, encouraging his moronic, tough-guy persona?
There’s a report from Awful Announcing that Max Kellerman will take the role, but can’t we do better?
With that in mind, here are what I feel would be excellent choices to replace Bayless and give First Take the upgrade it needs.
1. Danny Kanell
Pros: Replacing an older guy (Bayless is 64) with a younger version (Kanell is 42) is a tried and true version of TV problem solving, like when Three’s Company replaced Suzanne Somers with Jenilee Harrison, who is 10 years younger. The thread between all four is they said dumb things on TV for money. Kanell already works for ESPN and the cost for ESPN to stock his wardrobe is probably miniscule, seeing as how you can get turtlenecks for around $15 at Kohl’s.
Cons: Is Kanell too on the nose to replace Bayless? As far as a history of hot takes, Kanell has endorsed the Broncos intentionally injuring Tom Brady in last season’s AFC title game and doesn’t think college athletes should be paid. That’s more Triple-A stuff than major-league ability, but maybe he can raise his game around a legend like Stephen A.
Stephen: You know I don’t like turtlenecks, Danny. And you know why? Because it tells me you won’t stick your neck out for a teammate and I am your teammate. You know who else wore turtlenecks? Hitler.
Danny: You know who the real Hitler is? Kids who want to be paid for playing college football.