The talkies: Fox’ Sharpe, Bayless and Cowherd, ESPN’s Fowler, Wingo and Golic stir sports conversations

The opinion mongers continue to focus on the NFL draft and the resumption of sports schedules.

Despite a lack of traditional competition, the personalities behind the microphones find issues to discuss and debate.

This is a selection we highlighted this week:

Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Shannon Sharpe, Chris Russo, Golic and Wingo

Shannon Sharpe, Joy Taylor and Skip Bayless on the set of Fox’ Undisputed

Skip Bayless (Fox Sports):

  • “Just 3 weeks ago we were talking about the “Suckaneers” and describing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as one of the most woeful franchises in all of sports (overall winning percentage of .387).” Bayless points out that the Buccaneers will now go back to wearing the same jerseys they wore during their brief Super Bowl run in the early 2000s. The timing couldn’t be better. In addition to the Brady signing and the reintroduction of retro jerseys, the Super Bowl is scheduled for Tampa next February.
  • Brady wants to fuel expectations in Tampa Bay. He is trademarking his initials “TB” for Tom Brady which also stands for Tampa Bay.
  • In Skip’s opinion, if Tua Tagovailoa went back to Alabama for his final season, he would get injured again. Bayless believes that Tua is the “most injury prone good quarterback there is” and that he wasn’t able to avoid injury in college and won’t in the NFL either.
  • Joe Burrow reacts to pressure from the pass rush much better than Tua does. In 2019-20, Tua had a respectable QBR of 44 against defensive pressure while Burrow had an extraordinary QBR of 82.6 against defensive pressure. It’s a “no contest” as to who is the better QB.

Colin Cowherd (Fox Sports):

  • Cowherd takes a unique approach to begin his discussion on NFL Draft prospects. He attempts to describe each of the notable prospects using three words:

1)Joe Burrow – “Obvious Number One” – Burrow is from Ohio and was the Heisman Award winner.

2)Tua Tagovailoa – “He’s Not Falling” – Although he was hurt last season at Alabama, Tua should not fall beyond a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft. NFL QB’s like Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz often struggle with injuries.

3)Justin Herbert – “Bolts To Third” – Cowherd believes that the Chargers will move up in the draft to acquire Herbert at the 3rd pick (in lieu of the 6th pick they currently hold).

  • While Cowherd recognizes how talented Burrow is, he is sick and tired of hearing him compared to Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LeBron James and Joe Montana. While players like Trevor Lawrence, current QB of the Clemson Tigers, is 6’6”, and has a “rifle arm, huge hands, and a massive physical frame,” Burrow is 6’3” ½, has a skinny neck, average arm, and a below average hand size.  He does not possess that “physically elite build.”
  • Cowherd then compares Burrow to former Cowboys QB, Tony Romo. “No titles, good kid, works hard, and who gets his brains beat in by better organizations within the same division.”

Shannon Sharpe (Fox Sports):

  • Sharpe claims that Kobe Bryant was “clutch and never shied away from the moment.” Bryant hadn’t scored 50 points in a game since 2009, but he put up 60 points in his finale against the Utah Jazz.  He was born to “get buckets.”
  • Shannon believes that Carolina Panthers RB, Christian McCaffrey, deserves to be the highest paid back in the NFL. Although he is small at 5”11 and 205 lbs, he can do anything that a bigger running back can do: Run the ball with power, escape from defensive tackles, and catch the ball out of the backfield.  He has out-valued his contract, and unlike other players who held out and threatened not to return to their respective teams, McCaffrey has never done so.
  • He strongly believes that the Green Bay Packers should not draft Utah State QB, Jordan Love, in the  draft next week. In Sharpe’s opinion, Aaron Rodgers still has at least a few more years left and the Packers need only a few more pieces to help him win.  Although the Packers are considering drafting a QB to backup Rodgers, Sharpe insists that the team should hold off doing so in 2020.

Chris Russo (Mad Dog Sports Radio):

  • If the Houston Astros cheated in the 2019 MLB playoffs against the Rays and Yankees, why didn’t they cheat in the World Series, ultimately losing all four home games against the Washington Nationals.
  • If the MLB has to begin a short season in the middle of July with an empty stadium, they should. Russo suggests that MLB should experiment or add some new gimmick so fans can get accustomed to it for future seasons.
  • Russo brings on NBC Sports’ NHL voice, Doc Emrick. Russo would like to see the NHL go back to the Eastern and Western Conference 1-8 playoff format with 16 teams in all in the league playoffs. Russo doesn’t like the divisional emphasis because it can result in the two best teams in the conference pitted against one another before the conference finals. Emrick acknowledges Russo’s comments and agrees that the NHL will have a chance to examine the structure for the future.
  • Mad Dog also brings on ESPN sportscaster, Chris Fowler, to discuss the immediate future of collegiate football in light of Covid-19. Fowler believes that there are three possible scheduling scenarios:

1) The season begins on time (which is obviously the hope for everyone).

2) The schedule starts later in the fall after more testing and safety precautions are put in place. As a result, the season would be shortened, and playoff dates would change accordingly.

3) The season begins in the spring in lieu of the fall. This is the only way revenues would remain completely intact.

  • Fowler believes that parents will not want their kids to go back to college campuses on time. The reality is that the fall semester would function online. He thinks that there will be “wildly different situations around the country.” There are “bigger issues than competing for trophies.”

Golic and Wingo (ESPN):

  • We are all set during the quarantine “as long as we got food and water.” The men feel like time proceeds ‘as day, night, another day, another night.’ On and on, we go.
  • Golic and Wingo discuss why in their NFL 2020 mock draft they have the Cincinnati Bengals keeping the 1st overall pick and picking Joe Burrow of LSU. Burrow claims that while in other professions individuals have a say of where they want to work, in sports, one is placed somewhere and must deal with the ramifications. (Welcome to pro sports.)
  • Contributor Jeff Passan joined the program to elaborate on what he wrote on this week. “Employees of Major League Baseball teams are participating in a massive study that will test up to 10,000 people for coronavirus antibodies and should offer researchers a better sense of how widespread the disease is in major metropolitan areas across the United States, although doctors caution that the data gathered is not expected to hasten the game’s return.”


Blake Taub

Blake Taub majors in Sport Management at Syracuse University in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics. He looks forward to a fruitful career in sports. When not at Syracuse, Blake resides in Brooklyn, New York.

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