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Sports Media

Skip Bayless Almost Reunited with Stephen A. Smith At ESPN

Skip Bayless
(Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

ESPN Reportedly Offered Skip Bayless A Deal To Return

According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Skip Bayless just signed a four-year, $32 million contract with Fox Sports earlier today. Marchand also mentioned that we nearly saw Skip Bayless make a poetic return to ESPN. Sources claimed that Skip was reportedly offered somewhere in the four-year, $30 million range, which nearly rivals the Fox Sports deal. If this was true, we could have potentially seen the two greatest talking-heads in sports media reunite and clash once again.

Skip Bayless is currently 69-years-old, so his career in sports media may be coming to a close once this new four-year deal is up. Who knows how legendary the return to ESPN could have been? ESPN refuses to pay employees reasonable wages, but when it comes to their most valuable faces on television, they are apparently willing to break the bank. 

Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith essentially made the debate genre in sports what it is today, and I remember watching the two go at it like it was yesterday. Plus, who doesn’t love to watch one of the most polarizing sports media figures say his next horrible take? Sadly, none of our wishes as sports fans will come true. The infamous pair of Smith and Bayless split up back in 2016 when Bayless signed a deal to sit across from Shannon Sharpe on Fox Sports’ ‘Undisputed’ and Stephen A. Smith was forced to tolerate Max Kellerman, who took the place of Skip.

Oh, What It Could Have Been

Supposedly ESPN didn’t want to revive the old ‘First Take’ and ‘Cold Pizza’ crew. Rather, ESPN wanted to add more enticing content to their premium service called ‘ESPN +’. Had ESPN actually signed Bayless back, I may have even considered getting a subscription to ESPN +, as long as I got the bundle that had Hulu and Disney +.

Even still, Skip Bayless remembers where he came from and had nothing but high praise for his old partner in crime, Stephen A. Smith. Bayless said this back in 2016:

“Stephen A. Smith is even more of a brother to me than my real brother,” Bayless said, “I love the man, as you know, on and off the air. Since I left ‘First Take’ for ‘Undisputed’ back in June of 2016, Stephen A. and I have remained in close touch.”

Awww, isn’t that nice, Skip Bayless actually said something positive and showed some love for his brother from another mother. For now, Bayless and Smith will remain on different networks with their lesser co-hosts and we’ll have to live to dream another day that they’ll be reunited.




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