ESPN’s First Take remains the preeminent program for people yelling at each other about sports, and I mean that as the highest of compliments. They have turned sports debate into an art form thanks in large part to Stephen A. Smith, who is sports’ greatest provocateur.
Smith is a master of pushing people’s buttons when debating sports issues, and there may be no group he enjoys antagonizing more than fans of the Dallas Cowboys — which is part of what made his dynamic with former debate partner Skip Bayless work as well as it did. So, when First Take took their show on the road to Dallas on Monday ahead of Titans-Cowboys on Monday Night Football, Smith was in prime position to get folks riled up in Big D.
Cowboys legend and current NFL Network analyst Michael Irvin joined them on set as a guest and proved to be the perfect target for Smith, who got Irvin so hot and bothered about the Cowboys that the Hall of Famer was profusely sweating and quite literally standing up to yell at Smith about the greatness of the Cowboys franchise. It was, if nothing else, sensational television.
This is a real quote from Irvin after Stephen A. questioned whether the Cowboys franchise was still among the elite in the NFL: “When you go to history, let’s go into history. Don’t just go to your history. Let’s go to the history. Or don’t go into history at all. If you going to go back there, we can go back there. Or we can stay right here. … This is what they do, see. They go to their history, but they won’t go to all over the history.”
Just spectacular stuff. Max Kellerman even joined in on the fun getting Irvin fired up about Dak Prescott, with Irvin ranting about how Prescott had “the greatest rookie season EVER!”
The people obviously loved it, chanting “MI-CHAEL, MI-CHAEL” at him after his impassioned defense of Prescott. The best part is him asking why he’s sweating so much and if it’s really that hot in here, and Smith just saying, “No.”