Nobody needs Skip Bayless’ hot takes before making up his or her mind about something. Nobody.
I don’t know anyone who, when faced with an athletics-based conundrum, asks, “You know that loudmouth on Fox Sports 1’s ‘Skip and Shannon: Undisputed’? No, not the one who used to actually play professional sports, the other one. What does he think about this?”
Thus, when Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills was receiving CPR on the field Monday night in a game against the Cincinnati Bills, do you know what Skip Bayless, lightning-rod extraordinaire with an eight-figure contract to protect, needed to say?
Nothing, that’s what.
If he decided to say something – thoughts and prayers. That’s it. Period.
Those paying attention were horrified, and rightly so. From what little information we had, it appeared as if Hamlin was in grave danger after taking a hit from Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins. Indeed, as the Bills confirmed in a statement early Tuesday morning, Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest – and while his heartbeat was restored on the field, he remained sedated and in critical condition.
Do you want to know what Skip Bayless decided to say? Something – and, as you’ll not be surprised to learn, since we’re talking about him, it was not a pro forma “thoughts and prayers” tweet.
Instead, he wanted to know when they were going to play the goshdarn game.
“No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game – but how?” the Fox Sports host tweeted shortly before the game was indeed postponed.
“This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.”
No doubt the NFL is considering postponing the rest of this game – but how? This late in the season, a game of this magnitude is crucial to the regular-season outcome … which suddenly seems so irrelevant.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 3, 2023
It suddenly seemed so utterly irrelevant … that Bayless needed to tweet about scheduling.
Just so we’re clear here, yes, this game was incredibly important, standings-wise. While the 12-3 Bills have already clinched the AFC East, the Kansas City Chiefs hold the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 13-3 record. That gives them homefield advantage and the only first-round bye in the conference.
Meanwhile, the Bengals have an 11-4 record and could clinch the AFC North with a win. With a loss, a Week 18 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens would decide the division.
And literally none of that mattered when Bayless sent his tweet at 9:30 Eastern – which he himself admitted after fretting over logistics.
Just to be clear on the timeline here: At 8:55 p.m., Hamlin was injured. It became clear almost immediately that the injury was of a grave nature. In sports, that usually means either paralysis or a major cardiac issue. Since Hamlin had gotten up before collapsing again and CPR had been administered on the field, one can do the math here.
At 9:18, the game was temporarily suspended with five minutes left in the first quarter. At 9:25, the ambulance carrying Hamlin to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center left the stadium.
All throughout, anyone who watched the game knows that the players were visibly distraught, and not just on the Bills side. Those on both teams were seen weeping, praying, shaking their heads in anguish.
OK, fine, Skip Bayless said. He knew this was all irrelevant – but, I mean, when are they gonna get around to playin’ this thing?
And yes, I realize that Bayless is paid to be an antagonistic blusterer who will plant his flag on whatever hill seems unconventional and defend it to the very last.
Take this debate in which Bayless was dismissive of Sharpe’s career despite the fact, to use Sharpe’s own words, he’s “in the effin’ Hall of Fame” and has won three Super Bowls:
Unc Shannon sharpe got pissed after Skip Bayless took at shot at him while talking about Tom Brady 😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/Hddec3qI9y
— Shannonnn sharpes Burner (PARODY Account) (@shannonsharpeee) December 12, 2022
Yeah, all of this en fuego takes business is great when one’s audience is lounging about on a weekday morning, coffee in hand and nothing better to watch. This was five minutes after an ambulance carted a man whose heart literally stopped on the field and Bayless was already looking for the hot angle on how this was going to play out.
You can tell this was bad because Bayless apologized — a very rare event. Or rather, he issued the coward’s apology: Sorry you misunderstood his words!
“Nothing is more important than that young man’s health,” Bayless tweeted some 42 minutes later. “That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant. I prayed for him & will continue to.”
Nothing is more important than that young man’s health. That was the point of my last tweet. I’m sorry if that was misunderstood but his health is all that matters. Again, everything else is irrelevant. I prayed for him & will continue to.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 3, 2023
Yeah, sorry you got the impression that Bayless was callous and more concerned about the logistics of the game than Damar Hamlin’s life. That’s because you made the mistake of reading what he wrote, taking it seriously, and assuming that words convey meaning and that those who write them can and should be held accountable for their content. Stupid you.
Or perhaps it had more to do with the fact that Bayless saw responses like these and realized he’d stirred up something worse than he usually does his typical bear-baiting act:
When your life is as meaningless as Skip’s, this is the kind of comment you’d make, too.
— Mitchell Robinson (@mrobmused) January 3, 2023
Wow. You’re gonna regret this tweet. Big
— 🏴☠️ERIC BOLLING 🏴☠️ (@ericbolling) January 3, 2023
Two days into 2023 and we already have the worst tweet of the year.
— Mike Hahn (@mikehahn_) January 3, 2023
Delete your account!
— Victor Rojas (@VictorRojas) January 3, 2023
— Beff Ann (@Beff0306) January 3, 2023
This is so disrespectful. Wow.
— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) January 3, 2023
Congrats on getting the attention you were looking for.
— Del Reid 🦬 (@DelReid) January 3, 2023
And that’s the thing: This was about attention. That’s Skip Bayless’ whole con. The only entertainment Bayless provides is by constantly broadcasting his brainless contrarianism to anyone who will listen, then sit back and watch as the drama unfolds.
The drama, alas, won’t have anything to do with Bayless losing the eight-figure salary that allows him the outlet to scream that brainless contrarianism through a megaphone, nor will it elicit any more than another half-hearted mea culpa in front of the camera.
Behavior modification, change of heart, real contrition? Pfft, those are for sissies. That’s not Skip Bayless’ bag.
Now, when are they really gonna get around to playin’ this thing?
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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