Shannon Sharpe is sharing some insights into his past as he moves forward.
Speculation still lingers regarding Shannon Sharpe’s seven-year tenure on “Undisputed” alongside Skip Bayless, despite his departure from the show in June. While discussing the people and things he misses about the FS1 debate show with his new “First Take” colleague Stephen A. Smith, it became evident that Bayless was not on the list.
Smith pointed out that Sharpe had not mentioned Bayless, to which Sharpe responded affirmatively, acknowledging that their relationship was primarily an in-office, professional one.
He elaborated on the nature of their connection, explaining that they didn’t interact much outside of work, unlike the other friendships he formed at the network and in the NFL. He recalled a brunch they had together during their lengthy partnership.
“Skip and I didn’t have the relationship that I had with the people that I miss. Skip would get to work, I would get to work,” Sharpe said. “I was in my dressing room. He was in his dressing room. It was really like a heavyweight fight. We barely talked … it was very little communication.”
Sharpe believed that this was because he followed Bayless’s lead in how he conducted his business, which involved minimal morning chatter.
“He’s treating this like an actual game,” Sharpe said. “I just learned he doesn’t want to be bothered, and I was okay with that.”
“I didn’t get the sense that’s what he wanted,” he continued. “I’m not a guy who’s going to force anything. If you show me you want to have a relationship outside work, I’ll accept that. If you want to have a relationship that’s strictly work and it’s confined to the two and a half hours when we are at work … I’m cool with that too.”
Nevertheless, Bayless and the show held significant meaning for Sharpe, who had an emotional farewell on his last show on June 15 and continues to express gratitude for his time there.
“I am very very grateful for the opportunity,” Sharpe added. “I would be remised and I can’t say it enough that he fought to get me on ‘First Take’ … I think I’ve been as humble and as gracious as I possibly could in giving him his kudos for that….
“Yes, I miss debating him, but it had gotten to the point over the last six or seven months and I won’t allow it to ruin the six great years that we had. But it got to the point that we needed to go our separate ways. I wished it could have been handled a little different, Stephen A. That’s the only that I wish.”
Sharpe’s “First Take” debut was on September 4 and set the record for the second-highest viewership of the year for the ESPN show, with 727,000 television viewers.