Sports fans in the U.S. have called for Shannon Sharpe to feature on ESPN’s First Take everyday, or at least more often than just twice a week, following the success of his first two appearances on Stephen A. Smith’s show earlier this week.
Sharpe, who joined ESPN over the summer from Skip Bayless’ ‘Undisputed’ on Fox Sports after seven years as the show’s co-host, made his hugely anticipated debut on First Take on Tuesday and accidentally referred to Smith as ‘Skip’ twice on-air.
The next day, Smith came onto the show wearing a name tag in a hilarious response to Sharpe confusing him for his old debate partner on his debut appearance.
Not long after, Bayless’ revamped version of ‘Undisputed’, which features former NFL pros Michael Irvin, Keyshawn Johnson and Richard Sherman, fell behind First Take in television ratings.
U.S. sports fans want to see more of Shannon Sharpe on First Take than just twice a week
‘First Take’ fans took to social media for Stephen A. Smith to get Sharpe on his show everyday
But, despite ESPN’s newfound success in pairing up Smith and Sharpe, fans want to the pair interact more often that just twice a week, and have taken to social media to let ESPN know about it.
‘@stephenamisth No way man, you can do this to us! @ShannonSharpe needs to be on @FirstTake EVERY DAY, no disrespect to anyone else but your rating blew up the past few days, today I didn’t feel like watching. @espn,’ tweeted a fan.
Smith, along with moderator Molly Qerim, invite various guest analysts to take them on and debate all sports-related content on First Take, including Sharpe, but also J.J. Redick, Brian Windhorst and Kendrick Perkins among others, although it seems that Sharpe’s presence on the show increases a greater audience.
‘Unc, you gonna go to 5 days a week with Stephen A? ratings would be thru the roof,’ another user on X pointed out.
‘Stephen A and Shannon sharpe’s chemistry is excellent. Shannon can go anywhere and have this effect. Skip dropped the ball, new crew is cool but doesn’t compare at all,’ said different individual on Elon Musk’s social media platform.
‘So we only get @ShannonSharpe on Monday & Tuesday… damn,’ shared a fan.
‘I’m not watching First Take without @ShannonSharpe,’ another one vowed.
Sharpe joined ESPN after being the co-host of ‘Undisputed’ with Skip Bayless on FS1 for 7 years
The revamped version of ‘Undisputed’ has fallen behind ‘First Take’ in TV ratings this week
Sharpe told Smith on his Club Shay Shay podcast that he won’t let rocky times with Bayless overshadow their seven-year partnership on-air
Speaking to Smith on his popular Club Shay Shay podcast last week, Sharpe refused to let the trying times dull the overall positivity of his partnership with Bayless, which lasted form 2016 until June of this year.
‘It’s not often that someone can give you that opportunity. And I’ve said this several times, for me, I cannot let six months ruin six and a half good years,’ Sharpe said.
Because sometimes people are willing to throw everything away for one mistake, or one bad comment or one something like this. And even though that was all we were supposed to get.’
Smith he did not feel great about the way Sharpe’s exit was handled by those in charge at Fox Sports, despite that paving a way for the three-time Super Bowl winner to join him on ESPN.
‘Listen, I got a lot of friends over there, alright, we all know that,’ Smith said on Club Shay Shay. ‘I know a lot of people but that doesn’t mean what happened to you is fair. Plain and simple.
‘That ain’t the end of the world but it is what it is. To me, it was just important for us in this industry to stand up and say ”yo, he’s one of us, you can’t let him go out like this.”’
Bayless featured on First Take with Smith from 2007 until 2016, before joining Fox Sports and founding ‘Undisputed’ along with Sharpe months later that year.