I should really pay attention to ESPN.com SportsNation’s live chat more often.
It seems that ESPN.com columnist and Cold Pizza talking head Skip Bayless will write something inflammatory, such as his screed against the Winter Olympics, followed by an appearance in the live chat where irritated ESPN readers will take their best shots at Bayless as if they’re voting in a poll on one of those advertisements that offer FREE* IPOD NANOS!!!
Keep in mind that this isn’t uncensored chat. In all likelihood, a moderator is screening the questions and purposely feeding Skip Bayless a mixture of praise, inquiry, and well-crafted anti-Bayless zingers.
In today’s discussion with Bayless, “Proto” from New Jersey asked Skip the following:
Skip, I heard this rumor. Can you confirm or deny it? The rumor is that Around the Horn actually has 5 guys on it everyday, including you. But you are so stupid that you get kicked off before the show acutally starts every day. True?
At this juncture Bayless has no option but to grin and bear it. Or, as he demonstrated, futilely try to respond back:
True. And you’re dumb enough to keep watching for me every day.
Ooh, the battle-tested “I know you are but what am I” maneuver. It works so well in many situations. Shockingly, an ESPN.com live chat is not one of those situations.
Now, some people pose serious sports questions for Bayless and conceivably waste all our time. After all, the only reason we’re reading the chat is so we can see which anonymous fan makes us giggle at the expense of an unpopular sportswriter. It took a while before Mike from Philadelphia’s question hit the chatroom:
Have you ever expiremented with drugs, because some of the stuff you say makes me wonder if you come onto tv right after going through 100$ worth of crack?
Now, I couldn’t tell you if $100 of crack is actually anything more than a grain of salt, but I can surmise that would be enough of a mind-bending drug to make you write like Skip Bayless. His retort, sadly, went the route of seriousness:
I have never touched a recreational drug in my life. Don’t drink alcohol, never even tried a cigarette. The only thing unfiltered is me.
Well, I am relieved that he’s telling the truth about himself. Only now can the healing can begin.
Now, you’re probably wondering why I’m putting so much attention on a writer whose opinions I disagree with. “I thought your policy was to ignore and avoid things you didn’t like!” Yeah, well, as much as I like shunning a dumb pundit, I can’t turn a cold shoulder to a hot thermos of snarky discourse. More than anything, I love a good flamewar from a distance, with a Diet Pepsi in one hand and a box of Mike and Ike in the other.
So I ask myself a few questions:
- How often does Skip Bayless appear on ESPN chat?
- How come I didn’t know of these flameside chats until now?
- Was it that 100$ of crack?
Matthew T. “Matt” Sussman writes a lot on his days off. Fortunately, for you, he returns to work today.