Pro Football Hall of Famer and co-host of FS1’s “Undisputed” Shannon Sharpe clapped back at former Phoenix Suns sixth man of the year and current Suns broadcaster Eddie Johnson, for the former NBA player’s critique of the show. Johnson called the show “repetitive” and went in on Sharpe for how he critiqued Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook.
Johnson tweeted that Sharpe should talk more about the Suns and questioned if the Lakers are the only team Sharpe watches. Sharpe responded that Johnson doesn’t have to watch the show, and that he was “childish.” Sharpe also said Johnson should DM him if he has something “personal” to say.
“No one is forcing you to watch our show Eddie. IF* you got something personal you want to say. DM me or my agent contact info is in my bio. . You seem real childish for this. Have a wonderful day”
No one is forcing you to watch our show Eddie. IF* you got something personal you want to say. DM me or my agent contact info is in my bio. . You seem real childish for this. Have a wonderful day https://t.co/DQN1Y69cUq
— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) January 21, 2022
This is much ado about nothing, but let’s get into the particulars.
Anyone who tunes into “Undisputed,” “First Take,” “First Things First” or any of these talking head shows know what the deal is, or should. These shows are not here for intelligent, nuanced, measured analysis or discourse.
These programs are here for hot takes, outlandish posturing, and personalities. They are here to tap into that rabid, maniacal side that exists within fans. Fan is short for fanatic, which is a person exhibiting excessive enthusiasm and intense uncritical devotion toward something.
Sharpe and his co-host Skip Bayless are in the ratings business. They bring in bigger numbers the more outlandish and ridiculous they are. They also bring in the big numbers talking about what the masses care about.
The reality is the masses gravitate towards big brand names and big stars. That’s why they talk about the Lakers, LeBron James and company, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers etc. ad nauseum. Those names move the needle.
As the Suns’ broadcaster and former player, of course Johnson feels some type of way about it. It’s understandable.
Olden Polynice, who played with Johnson on the Seattle Supersonics, agreed with his former teammate.
Great point. It’s not a true sports show. It a SOAP OPERA.. They should called it As the Lakers Turn or All my Lakers . Thrash thrash thrash..
— Olden Polynice (@OldenPolynice1) January 21, 2022
Polynice is right, “Undisputed” is not a sports show. But it doesn’t pretend to be either. It’s a debate show with outrageous personalities that yell about sports for the sole purpose of driving ratings.
If you’re looking for nuance, reasoned analysis, and intelligent discourse it’s out there. It’s just not on ESPN and FS1 between the hours of 6 a.m. to noon EST.
This is the entertainment side of the business people often forget that comes with sports. Though Johnson gets it. He went after Sharpe on Twitter during the show, knowing Sharpe would be checking his mentions.
But rest easy, Eddie. Be happy about your Suns. They are the best team in the league. Best record, ranked second in aNET rating, fourth in aORTG, and second in aDRTG. They are the best crunch-time offense and defense in the league.
They are proving last year’s run to the NBA Finals was no fluke, and maybe this year they will finish the job and win the franchise’s first title.
More from our partners: