Shannon Sharpe is Undisputed no more and is looking for a new broadcast home after years of partnering with Skip Bayless. The NFL champion turned broadcaster may find it with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN‘s First Take.
On his podcast, the veteran broadcaster confirmed that ESPN was in talks with Sharpe.
“The conversations are official, the reports have not been misnomers or misreports or anything like that,” Smith said. “We are talking to him and I’m hopeful, very hopeful, very confident that ultimately we will be announcing sooner than later that he will be on First Take.”
Sharpe is a 55-year-old Hall of Famer who played 14 seasons in the NFL, winning three championships. In 2011, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His broadcasting career began after his retirement in 2003, with stints at The NFL Today and Sirius Radio.
But his broadcast career was made in 2016 when he paired with Bayless for the Fox sports show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed. Their chemistry and debates became part of the sports zeitgeist, upping both of their profiles.
Sharpe now also hosts Club Shay Shay which airs on podcast platforms and YouTube.
Reports of escalating tension between the two co-hosts have not been confirmed. Bayless left First Take to do Undisputed in 2016. He hasn’t responded to Smith’s announcement. Undisputed is currently on a two-month hiatus, which insiders say could mean he’s struggling to find a replacement.
Newly minted ESPN host Pat McAfee would welcome Sharpe to the team.
“But Shannon being available… that’s a narrative changer,” he said on his self-titled YouTube show. “That’s a potential massive asset to a platform that maybe wants to launch… Shannon is going to be in a really good spot here I think and I hope to hell he comes to ESPN.”
Sharpe hasn’t said much so it’s hard to say if Smith will emerge the victor in the First Take recruitment, as we don’t know just yet if Sharpe has any other suitors and who they are. The NFL Today on CBS seems a good fit if he wants to stick to football but barring any unforeseen firings, they seem to have their roster set. There’s also the NFL Network, but it’s not quite as high-profile as any. of the other shows.
And while they are nowhere near the visibility of the major networks, Amazon has the checks and the need to upgrade their expanding football coverage so they have to be considered a player.
However, as ESPN‘s longtime bulletproof host, who is arguably the most recognizable face on the network, especially after its recent round of layoffs, Smith seems likely to get what he wants.
“I want Shannon Sharpe on First Take and I aim to get him.”
See how Twitter’s reacting to Sharpe possibly becoming a First Take cohost below.
Stephen A. Smith Says He Wants Shannon Sharpe to Join ‘First Take,’ Twitter Is Beyond Hype was originally published on cassiuslife.com