Skip Bayless's new FS1 show is set to debut opposite First Take on Monday, Sept. 6, and when it does the former ESPN firebrand is vowing to take more possibly pretend controversial positions than he ever did on ESPN:
Talking to the Hollywood Reporter, Bayless said he is no longer compelled to wear "handcuffs" (as he says he was at ESPN) and claimed his reason for leaving was motivated by The Worldwide Leader's fear of taking risks, saying, "Too many people in charge at ESPN, for my taste, were a little too fearful." He further added, "It's a Disney network. There are just certain boundaries that you can’t even tiptoe along. Not that we won’t have boundaries at Fox, because we will. [But] they will trust me to go a little deeper. I can be completely honest on everything."
He stopped short of saying he'd be an intentional agitator, which implies that he didn't already reach that territory a while ago, telling THR, "I’m not suggesting I’m going to become some sort of shock jock because that’s not me. I say what I say because I believe it from the bottom of my soul and I can back it up. Now I feel like I can be completely honest heart-and-soul with full support from the people above me."
If Bayless was speaking with a muzzle before, it only makes one wonder what he'll say without one. Anyway it sounds like a good ploy to get people to watch. Which, if nothing else, is something FS1 desperately needs.