Stephen A. Smith and Tim Tebow have had some pretty entertaining exchanges on ESPN First Take over the course of the last few weeks. From Tebow telling SAS to "calm down" during a college football conversation to Tebow and SAS arguing over the dominance of the SEC, they’ve developed a nice rapport on the show. But Smith managed to get Tebow really worked up for a change during a conversation on First Take on Friday morning.
We’re just a few days away from finding out which four teams will take part in the College Football Playoff this season, so of course, that was at the center of the conversation. Tebow spent the first few minutes talking about the teams he wants to see make the CFP. But the show took a sudden turn when Tebow was asked if he would like to see the CFP expand to include eight or even 16 teams. It set him off and almost—almost!—got him to say a word that we never thought we would hear Tebow say while going back-and-forth with SAS.
"Absolutely not," Tebow said. "I love it at four teams, and I want every single game to matter the entire year. And I would switch it from four best to four most deserving. Because also, you’re going to make a Wisconsin go out and play a Florida, Florida State, Miami, Georgia at the beginning of the year. If you make it four most deserving, then you’re going to have everybody competing the entire year. Every game matters."
"That’s cruel!" Smith said, speaking over Tebow. "That’s cruel. Tim Tebow, that’s cruel."
"What you’re saying right now is every game doesn’t matter!" Tebow said. "What you’re saying is, if you get hot at the end of the year, the beginning of the season doesn’t matter, and I hate that! Every game should matter. Spring practice should matter, Stephen A."
"Excuse me, Tim Tebow," SAS said. "The fact of the matter is you can’t play everybody. If you got a school that doesn’t want to play you, what are you gonna do?"
"Tell these ADs to show up," Tebow responded, "and have some…"—Tebow paused momentarily—"... little bit of fortitude and play some big games."
Sure sounded like he was going to tell the athletic directors out there to have some "balls," didn’t it? At least, that’s what everyone thought after seeing the segment:
At the end of the segment, Tebow and Smith both laughed as SAS jokingly chastising Tebow for showing up dressed so casually. But Smith appeared to prove that he can get on anyone’s last nerve this time. You can check out their memorable interaction on the show at the 6-minute mark in the clip above.