Another day, another dollar for Skip Bayless. In the world of talking heads in professional sports, that means another forced statement intended to incite a response, and on Sunday, Bayless was in fine form.
There, inside one tweet, is three mentions of electric NFL personalities. The fan bases for the Buccaneers, Chiefs, and Packers could all take note of their respective quarterbacks mentioned—Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes, and Aaron Rodgers, respectively—and respond. It’s either the retweet or the reply, but either way, a response is elicited.
We are a part of the problem. After all, you’re reading a whole story about it, when maybe the right thing to do would be for all of us to ignore it, the same way we’d ignore a little brother in order to get him to stop poking and prodding in hopes of earning our attention. We’ve all got better things to do, or at least I’d hope.
Skip Bayless’ absurd takes about Patrick Mahomes and others can only hurt and never help.
Then again, those sort of takes can also enter the mainstream and take root in the lives of some fans. A hot take for some becomes God’s honest truth for another. We’ve all watched political versions of Skip Bayless say random things to grab our attention, and we’ve watched some people begin to buy into those things.
While it’s fruitless to engage with these sort of takes, it’s also dangerous not to do so from time to time. It keeps some players from earning the widespread recognition they deserve or keeps the truth from flowing as freely as it should.
In Mahomes’ case, he doesn’t need much help from Bayless to establish his greatness or make believers out of the casual fan. In this particular instance, Bayless is just a troll and should be ignored as such—like any other NFL commenter, albeit a highly-paid one. But sometimes the narrative spins about a lesser-known player that sticks in a way that works to ruin his long-standing legacy.
Take the very man who protects Mahomes’ blindside in Eric Fisher. As the former No. 1 overall pick, Fisher had been labeled a bust by some uneducated talking heads over the years. Because he failed to become a Pro Bowl lineman in his first or second season, the Chiefs were somehow supposed to be sorry for taking that pick. Eight years later, Fisher is a two-time Pro Bowl lineman for a Super Bowl team who has been remarkably dependable for the majority of that time. But the early label stuck. The talking heads did their job and Fisher’s career legacy is likely tainted for some who never stuck around long enough to admire his full body of work.
In this instance, Patrick Mahomes is an offsides call on Dee Ford away from playing in his third Super Bowl in three years as the Chiefs starting quarterback. He’s still playing out his rookie deal before his massive extension begins in 2021. Mahomes is already the game’s best quarterback and there’s little reason for anyone to doubt he’ll be back in this big game on many more occasions.
That is, unless you just want to poke and prod because mom and dad have asked you to make them some money by doing so. We’re not sure whether we should ignore him or correct him, but I’ve got a feeling Bayless’s needy posture makes us all worse in the process.