Former NFL star Shannon Sharpe took his talents to ESPN, teaming up with Stephen A. Smith on “First Take.”
Unsurprisingly, his arrival has been a massive hit, with his debut on the show drawing its second-highest viewership in 2023.
That’s why Stephen A. took to Twitter to thank him and show him some appreciation after their first week together, praising his work and motivating him to reach new heights in the future.
Just wanted to take a moment to give some love to my man @ShannonSharpe. Why? Because I’m his first day in the job, @FirstTake did 727K Viewers. It’s our 2nd-Highest rated show of the year, so ya still got some climbing to do, my brother! Just kidding. Welcome aboard bro! Let’s…
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) September 7, 2023
Notably, “First Take” has reportedly beaten “Undisputed” in the ratings every single day since the new season started.
Skip Bayless put together a superteam of former ESPN talent, bringing in former NFL stars Richard Sherman, Michael Irvin, and Keyshawn Johnson alongside Rachel Nichols and Josina Anderson to team up with him in this new endeavor.
Sharpe had agreed to a contract buyout after seven years of partnership with Bayless.
They went through some rifts last season, one motivated by Bayless’ insensitive tweet about Damar Hamlin nearly dying on the field, and the other with him personally attacking Sharpe over a take about Tom Brady.
They made amends and were quite supportive of each other during last season’s finale, but it became more than evident that they couldn’t keep working together.
Ironically, Sharpe has now joined the guy who took over “First Take” after Bayless left to join FOX Sports.
And with all the fans thinking that this was some sort of vendetta or Sharpe was looking to get back at Bayless by joining his biggest competitor, this show will continue to drive plenty of viewership.NEXT: Stephen A. Smith Trolls Shannon Sharpe After 'Skip' Mistake