Skip Bayless

Skip Bayless

Skip Bayless (born John Edward Bayless II December 4, 1951 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma) is an American journalist on ESPN2's "ESPN First Take" and its afternoon show "1st and 10". Bayless previously wrote regular columns for and its "Page 2" section.

chooling and family

Bayless was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The first child of John and Levita Bayless, he was named John Edward Bayless II on his birth certificate, but his father immediately began calling him Skip or Skipper — his father's pet name for his mother during their courtship. It stuck, and Skip Bayless was never called John by his parents. He eventually had his name legally changed to Skip. His brother is the chef, restaurant owner and TV personality Rick Bayless.

Bayless graduated from Northwest Classen High School, where he lettered for three years in baseball and for two in basketball and ranked second in grade-point average in a class of 681. In 1970, he made the all-area American Legion all-star team as a catcher.

During his junior year, Bayless began writing sports columns for his high school paper at the urging of the journalism teacher, who had read a book report he wrote for an English class. The following year he won the Fred Russell-Grantland Rice Scholarship to Vanderbilt University—an award given annually to the best potential sportswriter in the country. He graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt with a degree in English and history.

Writing career

Bayless went directly from Vanderbilt to "The Miami Herald", where he wrote sports features for two years before being hired away by the "Los Angeles Times". There, he was best known for investigative stories on the Dodgers' clubhouse resentment of "golden boy" Steve Garvey and his celebrity wife Cyndy and on Rams owner Carroll Rosenbloom's behind-the-scenes decisions to start different quarterbacks each week (James Harris, Pat Haden or Ron Jaworski). Bayless also won the Eclipse Award for his coverage of Seattle Slew's Triple Crown.

At 25, Bayless was hired by "The Dallas Morning News" to write its lead sports column, and two years later, the rival "Dallas Times Herald" hired him away by making him one of the country's highest paid sports columnists—prompting "The Wall Street Journal" to do a story on the development. Bayless was voted Texas sportswriter of the year three times.

In 1989, Bayless wrote "God's Coach", about the rise and fall of Tom Landry's Dallas Cowboys. Following the Cowboys' Super Bowl victory in 1993, Bayless wrote "The Boys", which broke the story that coach Jimmy Johnson and owner Jerry Jones were not "best friends" and correctly predicted that Jones would fire Johnson no matter how much success the team had. (Jones fired Johnson after the Cowboys won another Super Bowl the following year.)

Following a third Cowboys Super Bowl win in four seasons, Bayless wrote the third and final book of his Cowboys trilogy, "Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the "Win or Else" Dallas Cowboys". He created a controversy when he groundlessly speculated that Aikman might be gay. Aikman spoke at length to Bayless for the book, insisting he was not gay and refuting a claim (from Switzer) that the quarterback used a racial slur in criticizing receiver Kevin Williams during a game and that the quarterback was trying to get Switzer fired and Norv Turner hired as Cowboys coach. The book is about the season-long clash between Aikman and Switzer. Bayless reported that Aikman refused to speak to Switzer from December 4 of that 1995 season through the Super Bowl, which the Cowboys won.

After covering the Cowboys through the 1996 season, Bayless chose to leave Dallas after 17 years and become the lead sports columnist for the "Chicago Tribune". In his first year in Chicago, Bayless won the Lisagor Award for excellence in sports column writing and was voted Illinois sportswriter of the year.

Bayless eventually had a highly publicized dispute with the "Tribune"'s executive editor, Ann Marie Lipinski, over limiting all "Tribune" columns to just 650 or so words. Bayless quit over the policy and was immediately hired by Knight Ridder Corporation to write for its flagship newspaper, the "San Jose Mercury News". While in San Jose, Bayless became a fixture on ESPN's "Rome is Burning" and in a weekly Sunday Morning "SportsCenter" debate with Stephen A. Smith, "Old School/Nu Skool." ESPN hired Bayless full-time in 2004 to team with Woody Paige on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" and to write columns for In 2007, Bayless stopped writing columns to concentrate on what is now called "First Take" (formerly "Cold Pizza") and on ESPN's afternoon show, "First and 10", as well as increased presence on ESPN's 6 p.m. "SportsCenter" with segments such as "The Budweiser Hotseat".

In 2008, after much controversy surrounding the 2008 Summer Olympics, Bayless suggested ending U.S. participation in all Olympic games. Bayless proposed creating a U.S. only Olympics because he believed all professional sports talent was already concentrated in America.

Radio and television

Skip Bayless has occasionally substituted as host for syndicated radio program "The Jim Rome Show". He has also previously contributed to "ESPN" as a recurring panelist on "The Sports Reporters", "NFL Prime Monday" (now "ESPN Monday Night Countdown") in the 1990s, and "Jim Rome is Burning". For three years (1998-2001), Bayless was a contributor at major championships for the Golf Channel.

KTCK Sports Radio 1310 "The Ticket"

In 1994 Bayless left his show at KLIF in Dallas to help start the city's first sports talk radio station, KTCK Sports Radio 1310, "the Ticket." For two years Bayless was the solo host on the 6-9 a.m. morning show as "the Ticket" became one of the country's most successful sports stations. Bayless also was an original investor and when the ownership decided to accept a lucrative offer to sell the station, the new owners bought out Bayless' contract.

He immediately became a regular on ESPN Radio's first national show, "The Fabulous Sports Babe", and later co-hosted a weekend show on ESPN Radio with Larry Beil. He was also a regular on Chet Coppock's show on Sporting News Radio. For three years he was the primary guest host on "The Jim Rome Show" and became known for drinking Diet Mountain Dew and sparring with the Ohio State "Luckeye" fans who tried to defend the late interference call against Miami that helped win them a national championship.

"Cold Pizza"/ESPN "First Take"

Bayless is featured in debate segments on what is now known as "First Take" and the segments are re-aired as "First and 10" in the afternoons. Bayless debates the day's 10 hottest sports topics with a rotation of sportswriters and ex-athletes including Stephen A. Smith, Greg Anthony, Jalen Rose, Marcellus Wiley, Shaun King and 2 Live Stews (Ryan and Doug Stewart). Donovan McNabb and actor Donnie Wahlberg also have taken on Bayless. Bayless, who has called himself "the conscience" of the show, is known for taking unpopular stances on issues discussed on the show. For example, he has extensively criticized Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James for his inability to make clutch shots or live up to his reputation as one of the league's preeminent stars. This typically draws strong disagreement from Crawford, an Ohio native and Cavaliers fan. Bayless mockingly refers to the player as "Prince James" (a derivation of his actual nickname "King James"), James' team as the "Non-Lebrons" in order to show how awful they are without his play, and derides the star constantly on the show. His criticism of James reached its peak in the 2007 NBA Finals, as the San Antonio Spurs swept James' Cavaliers. James has not responded to Bayless' criticism as of yet.

He is also known to be relatively critical of Boston Celtics star power forward Kevin Garnett, referring to him as "Kevin 'Garnot". He bolsters his argument by pointing out Garnett's lack of NBA Championships. On August 3, 2007, on 1st and 10, he went as far as to say that Garnett is not even among the top fifteen players in the league, much to the chagrin of fellow analyst Stephen A. Smith.

Bayless often argues with his co-anchors and belittles them with personal and professional attacks, recently his co-workers have responded by mocking him because of his resemblance to The Joker.

Similar to his critique of James, Bayless also used to heavily condemn Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning due to his never winning any "big games" in his career. However, after Manning led the Colts to the Super Bowl championship in the 2006 season Bayless backed off his criticism of the quarterback, admitting that the star had proven him wrong. He has similarly criticized baseball players Frank Thomas and Mike Piazza due to their not coming through in big, "clutch" situations. He has stated that Piazza is not a Hall of Fame player. Bayless is also outspoken in his belief that Tiger Woods is not the greatest golfer of all time. Bayless cites his lack of competition on the PGA Tour and inabilty to come from behind on Sundays (Woods has never won a major when trailing after 54 holes) as the basis of this opinion. Among Bayless' other controversial views are his contention that the NBA regular season is more exciting than March Madness, and his opinion that all professional athletes should be contractually barred from attending nightclubs. Skip raised eyebrows again on May 7, 2007 when he stated that the much hyped Oscar De la Hoya–Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight should have been a draw, despite public opinion veering slightly in Mayweather's favor.

Bayless has repeatedly stated that field goals and extra point attempts (PATs) should be done away in the National Football League, which often caused an argument with rival Woody Paige on "Cold Pizza". This argument once went so far that former New York Giants kicker Jay Feely was invited onto the show to guest host for the absent Paige and debate against Skip Bayless and his anti-kicking stance. After the Giants made the playoffs Bayless had to wear Feely's jersey on "Cold Pizza" on January 2, 2007, a comedic gesture to which Bayless agreed.

Following Tom Coughlin's decision to play his starters during the final game of the 2008 regular season, after the Giants had already clinched a playoff spot, Skip called the decision the worst single-game decision ever made. Even after the Giants won Super Bowl XLII by beating the New England Patriots, Bayless refused to admit that Coughlin made the right move, calling the decision the worst pre-playoff decision ever made. He cited that no other coach would have done it and that three starters were hurt. He also admitted that it worked for no good reason.

Bayless also has focused his criticism on the Dallas Cowboys, now that they have his most frequent target, Terrell Owens, whom he calls "Team Obliterator." He also has blasted quarterback Tony Romo ("Tony Romeo") for participating in a highly-publicized romance with Jessica Simpson before proving himself as an NFL quarterback. Bayless is also critical of Romo for making turnovers in the playoffs and calls him "Turnover Tony."

Bayless was continually unimpressed with Michael Phelps' perofmance at the 2008 Olympics, claiming, among other things, that the fact that he did not swim in the 100 meter freestyle, the "premier event of swimming" meant that he wasn't the fastest man in the pool, and therefore, not very impressive. He also claimed that the Phelps hype was a lot of "flagwaving" jingoism.

He often refers to LeBron James as "Lebrick James" for his inability to make three-point shots.


Bayless has written about his belief in God and the pros and cons of religion in sports for "The New York Times" and the "Chicago Tribune". He attends a Methodist church in Manhattan.


*"God's Coach: The Hymns, Hype, and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry's Cowboys", Simon and Schuster, 1990. ISBN 0-671-70581-4.
*"The Boys: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys' Season on the Edge", Simon and Schuster, 1993. ISBN 0-671-79359-4.
*"Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the "Win or Else" Dallas Cowboys", HarperCollins Publishers, 1996. ISBN 0-06-018648-8.


See also

Rick Bayless, celebrity chef and brother of Skip Bayless

External links

*imdb name|name=Skip Bayless|id=1716493

NAME=Bayless, Skip
DATE OF BIRTH=birth date and age|2007|6|8
PLACE OF BIRTH=Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
PLACE OF DEATH={death date and age|1964|12|4

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bayless — Famous persons with the surname Bayless: * Rick Bayless, American chef, owner of Frontera Grill in Chicago and star of * Jerryd Bayless, American basketball player * Skip Bayless, American television sports commentator for ESPN networksBayless is …   Wikipedia

  • Rick Bayless — Infobox Chef name = Rick Bayless caption = birthdate = birth date and age|1953|11|23 birthplace = Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States deathdate = deathplace = style = Mexican cuisine education = ratings = restaurants = Frontera Grill ,… …   Wikipedia

  • Criticism of ESPN — While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, it has not been free from criticism. This criticism includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, and controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts. Mike Freeman …   Wikipedia

  • KTCK — City of license Dallas, Texas Broadcast area Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Branding Sports Radio 1310: The Ticket …   Wikipedia

  • Cold Pizza — Format Sports Starring Jay Crawford Dana Jacobson Skip Bayless Woody Paige Country of origin …   Wikipedia

  • 1st and 10 (ESPN TV series) — Infobox Television | show name=1st and 10 format = Sports talk and debate runtime = 30 minutes starring = Jay Crawford Dana Jacobson Skip Bayless guest panelists country = USA network = ESPN (2003 2008) ESPN2 (2008 ) first aired = October 20,… …   Wikipedia

  • ESPN First Take — Infobox Television | show name=ESPN First Take format = Sports runtime = 2 hours starring = Jay Crawford Dana Jacobson Sage Steele Skip Bayless Michael Kim country = USA network = ESPN2 (2007 ) ESPN2HD (2007 present) first aired = May 7, 2007… …   Wikipedia

  • The Jim Rome Show — Infobox Radio Show show name=The Jim Rome Show imagesize=200px caption= format = Sports talk runtime = 3 hours starring = Jim Rome country = flagicon|United States USA home station = Premiere Radio Networks first aired = last aired = Present The… …   Wikipedia

  • Mike Missanelli — is an American sports radio personality for ESPN affiliate, 97.5 The Fanatic, in Philadelphia.[1] Missanelli began his career in Bristol, Pennsylvania as a newspaper writer, working at the Philadelphia Inquirer and eventually moved over to radio… …   Wikipedia

  • Doug E. Fresh — at the 5th Annual Hip Hop Summit Action Network s Action Awards in New York in February 2008. Background information …   Wikipedia