You had to see this coming.
On Thursday, Seahawks “All-Pro Stanford Graduate” cornerback Richard Sherman went on an epic takedown mission of ESPN’s First Take’s resident loudmouth, Skip Bayless. And it was as glorious as it was awkward to watch.
For years, Bayless has been goading players from the comfort of his First Take pulpit, and with the program becoming more and more about drawing guest athletes into name-calling contests for the sake of ratings, it was only a matter of time before a player decided he had heard enough. And Sherman, known for his on-the-field trash talk, appeared up for the challenge.
After Steven A. Smith opened the interview by asking Sherman how good he really thinks he is, Sherman seemed laser-focused on taking down Bayless, coming at him with a barrage of prepared remarks including “you’ve never accomplished anything”, and culminating with this rant:
“I’m the top of my field. I’m All-Pro. I’m one of the best 22 players in the NFL. You’re going to brush it off, but I don’t think you’re the best 22 anything. In sports. In media. In anything. I think you think more of yourself than you actually can prove. I’ll put it like this. In my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you.”
Bayless initially attempted to take the criticism in stride and deflect the comparison to Darrelle Revis, but Sherman clearly wasn’t finished with Bayless yet, going on to call him an “ignorant, pompous, egotistical, cretin”, and saying “I’m going to crush you on here in front of everybody because I’m tired of hearing about it.”
It really is worth watching the full exchange below.
VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP
Following the big Hank Williams Jr. controversy from last week, ESPN dropped the popular singer and his long-standing theme song from Monday Night Football, leaving the nation wondering how they would get ready for some football each week moving forward.
Well for last night’s Lions-Bears game, former Lion great Barry Sanders handled the intro duties for MNF, narrating over the sights and sounds of Detroit. It’s a format that ESPN is likely to employ for the remainder of the season, and let’s just say the piece more than sufficed on such short notice. It wasn’t earth-shattering or anything, but I’m not sure anyone ever tuned in to hear Hank Williams Jr., and this puts the focus back where it belongs – on the game, and the host cities for each contest.
Here’s what Sanders’ had to say in the intro:
“Detroit’s soul isn’t in the streets of the city. It’s in the hearts of the people. I know. I played here for 10 years.
“Right now for the Lions, life is good. But like this town, they won’t rest. They’ll work, they’ll sweat, they’ll fight.
“Detroit doesn’t pat itself on the back, it gets the job done. Especially tonight, on ‘Monday Night Football.’ “
WATCH SANDERS’ MNF INTRO AFTER THE JUMP
In a move that may leave it’s viewers woefully unprepared for some football, ESPN and Hank Williams, Jr. have ended their relationship on the heels of the Monday Night Football theme singer’s controversial comments earlier this week. In case you missed it, Williams compared President Obama to Hitler on Fox News Monday Morning (video). From ESPN.com:
In an interview Monday on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends,” Williams, unprompted, said of Obama’s outing on the links with House Speaker John Boehner: “It’d be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu.”
Asked to clarify, Williams said, “They’re the enemy,” adding that by “they” he meant Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
This, not surprisingly, didn’t sit well with a lot of people. So after pulling his iconic “Are You Ready For Some Football?” theme song from that night’s broadcast, the network has officially cut ties with Bocephus, his song and his rowdy friends, with both parties taking credit for the decision.
ESPN relased this statement on Thursday:
“We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams, Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years. The success of Monday Night Football has always been about the games and that will continue.”
But Williams released his own statement on his website, where he says he’s packing up his song and going home, citing First Amendment infringement:
“After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It’s been a great run.” — Hank Williams Jr
Regardless of whose decision it was, this leaves MNF without a theme song, having used Williams’ “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight” as the basic for their intros since 1989, with the lyrics changing each week for each specific matchup. And once again, Stephen Colbert is here to put things into perspective:
VIDEO, INCLUDING WILLIAMS’ ORIGINAL COMMENTS AFTER THE JUMP
Alright … it’s almost time to get into full geek/sloth mode and spend the next 2 days on the couch & computer for the NFL Draft! Woo-hoo!
Deadspin.com has posted their 2009 NFL Draft Jamboroo, which includes tons of ridiculous/helpful information for this weekend’s draft, as well as this incredibly sage advice for ESPN & NFL Network:
Ten Quick Ways To Improve The Draft Telecast (from Deadspin)
- Increase the number of prospects invited to New York to 30. Make them all sit on stage until their name is called to step up.
- Wiretap all draftees’ cell phones.
- Fire everyone on ESPN set but Tirico and Kiper.
- All draft picks announced by drunken fans of respective teams and/or Chairman Kaga from Iron Chef.
- Force the Top 10 prospects to live in a house together between the combine and the draft and film it. Right before the draft, have them each vote on who they think should be the top pick (they can’t vote for themselves). Winner with the most votes gets $500,000.
- Tits (preferably Kelli Croyle’s).
- Announce combine drug test results right before draft begins.
- Force teams to show their draft boards once the draft has ended.
- All seventh round picks decided by fan poll.
- Ritual Pussycat Doll sacrifice to hooded cobra.
Here are a few more links to help you get ready for the big day:
Pro Football Weekly’s final player rankings for the 2009 draft, regardless of position
- NFL.com’s Mock Draft Central, including the latest from Pat Kirwan … if you’re into that sort of thing
- With Leather wonders who will be this year’s Brady Quinn, and be left floundering in the green room on national TV, waiting for their name to be called
- And finally, in case the draft just isn’t your bag, Bootleger brings us their list of Things Better than Watching the NFL Draft