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  • hautalak

    Well I guess I’ll start off by saying I will never watch First Take and have never been a fan of it. So now that we got that out of the way I will say I always used to be ok with him. Now it is a completely different story and I kind of hate him. I feel like ESPN has “brainwashed” him into extreme hot takes for the sake of headlines and the show. Does he really believe in these claims he is making? Is he a new Skip Bayless? Stephen A has always been the same person so I don’t have to go over him.

    Maybe not watching and just seeing his “headline” claims (possibly as clickbait) just has me in awe sometimes. This probably didn’t warrant a thread but I’ve being seeing a lot of his “headlines” lately and have been thinking “huh”. Anybody care to share any thoughts on him or the style of First Take itself? If not carry on and boo this thread!

  • Pbasniper

    It’s about clicks and people talking about you now, they are getting what they want by you making this post! I gave up on a lot of those shows now as they are just crazy and sometimes seem like a giant troll on who can have the worst take. It’s like when guys on a baseball broadcast talk about someone hitting a HR and breaking up a rally a team had going ‘I’d rather he hit another single there and keep the hit train going’

  • hautalak

    I suppose so but it’s gotten to a “stupid” level. The any publicity is good publicity mantra.

  • Njsum1

    Please cite specific claims. Personally, I think Max has some really good takes. IMO, he’s one of the few “talking heads” that uses actual analytics when making an argument as it relates to sports. Of course, he has some bad arguments as well, yet the show is for entertainment purposes, not to help someone a build a DFS lineup.

    I didn’t catch today’s show, so maybe something he said specifically today that got you fired up. Anyway, I think the show’s best opinions are not the ones regarding actual sports analysis, yet how sports relates to and influences today’s social/moral climate.

    It’s a good show IMO, just don’t expect to learn about how “(player-popup #mookie-betts)Mookie Betts”:/players/mookie-betts-16500’ XWoba versus lefties is going to help predict his performance against John Means. It’s not an analyitcs show, it’s more of a show with good sports related social commentary and mediocre sports analysis.

  • hautalak

    @Njsum1 said...

    Please cite specific claims. Personally, I think Max has some really good takes. IMO, he’s one of the few “talking heads” that uses actual analytics when making an argument as it relates to sports. Of course, he has some bad arguments as well, yet the show is for entertainment purposes, not to help someone a build a DFS lineup.

    I might be getting drawn in but today’s was Brady is not the GOAT at QB. I’m not even a Brady fan or close to it but that seems like nonsense. The only argument I could see is “he was protected” by his line, rules, or whatever else better but his talent is still above the rest. There are other example of his extreme claims but I do not recall specifics right now but I think a lot were NBA related.

    I guess my point is I think that show has really changed the type of person he was previously on ESPN, almost compromising integrity. I’m not looking for DFS advice obviously but I guess I kind of just hate how First Take bits are headlines. And like pointed out above the reaction is what they’re looking for. I just want good, clean, sports fun/info without the added drama aspect. Everything doesn’t have to be a reality TV show (exaggeration but I think you get the point).

  • Njsum1

    Why can’t someone argue that Brady isn’t the Goat? Depends how you look at Goat. If you look at Goat by Super Bowl wins and consistency then he’s the Goat.

    Yet if you look at Goat, as the best, Brady is far from the Best. Brady had the benefit of playing for the best coach in the history of football as well as in a perennial weak division. There are plenty of more talented QB’s than Brady, that if they were in Brady’s situation might have done as good or better. I say “might” cause that can’t be said for sure.

    Just saying there is an argument, albeit weak, that Brady isn’t the Goat. Plus they gotta get you to watch. Not only are they getting you to watch, yet they’re getting you to post about their show as well…haha…..🤔😉😁😎

  • hautalak

    @Njsum1 said...

    yet they’re getting you to post about their show as well…haha…..🤔😉😁😎

    I mean all points taken and anything can be argued but there have just been some “hot takes” of his lately that just put me over the edge and this was the tipping point. I don’t care about Stephen A or Skip & Co. but I respected Max more and really still believe the show “changed” him. I know he’s be there a while but it’s gotten worse and worse as time has progressed. Oh well bringing attention to something I should have let be and giving ESPN what they want!

  • Njsum1

    @hautalak said...

    I mean all points taken and anything can be argued but there have just been some “hot takes” of his lately that just put me over the edge and this was the tipping point. I don’t care about Stephen A or Skip & Co. but I respected Max more and really still believe the show “changed” him. I know he’s be there a while but it’s gotten worse and worse as time has progressed. Oh well bringing attention to something I should have let be and giving ESPN what they want!

    Ok, just caught the beginning of the show and I don’t know what you are taking about.

    1st…the discussion was who was the greatest player of all time not QB

    2nd… Max argued Brady is the greatest player of all time

    I’m confuuuused 🤷‍♂️

  • gaelicgirl

    @hautalak said...

    Anybody care to share any thoughts on him or the style of First Take itself?

    I watch First Take (and many of ESPN’s other shows) every day during the week, and agree that Max seems to be the designated hot take artist. Like Njsum1 says, it’s primarily an entertainment product in a talk show format that features lots of opinions and some analysis. It wouldn’t be much of a talk show if everyone had the same opinion, so my guess is that he’s there to provide a foil for Stephen A’s opinions. But I agree with your point, some of his takes are truly cringeworthy.
    It’s not my favorite show, especially this time of year, because they cover so many non-NBA-related topics. My favorite show by far is The Jump, because it’s all NBA, all the time LOL…Rachel Nichols can be a little annoying at times, but there’s no denying that she’s very knowledgeable. Some of her monologues are very well done. But the big draw for me is the quality of real basketball knowers on the show, from regulars like Amin Elhassan and T-Mac to plugged-in guests like Ramona Shelburne, Brian Windhorst (aka LeBron’s mouthpiece) and Woj.
    My second favorite show is Jalen & Jacoby, because it’s comedy gold along with good analysis by Jalen Rose.

  • Njsum1

    @gaelicgirl said...

    It wouldn’t be much of a talk show if everyone had the same opinion, so my guess is that he’s there to provide a foil for Stephen A’s opinions. But I agree with your point, some of his takes are truly cringeworthy.

    I don’t think Max is there to provide a foil for Stephen A’s opinions, as I think Max is usually right and has the better and more informed opinions when it comes to sports analysis.

    IMO…Stephen A’s value is that he is a better entertainer, has good insight on sports related social issues, and seems to be more plugged in with athletes, especially with NBA players. Yet when it comes down to sports related arguments and predictions Max is right far more often than Steven A.

    Both commentators provide good insight when it comes to sports related social issues. In fact when it comes to these types of arguments, you’ll usually find that they are in somewhat agreement, maybe disagreeing on minor points. Yet both are equally solid in this regard.

    Also, the arguments they make aren’t necessarily steadfast beliefs. They’ve discussed how they decide what topics to debate. They’ve alluded to how there has to be just enough disagreement or agreement (usually on social issues) for one to make an argument or add to the others. End of the day, as we agree, it’s entertainment, you either like or don’t, and I do. Jalen and Jacoby is solid as well.

    😁

  • gaelicgirl

    @Njsum1 said...

    I don’t think Max is there to provide a foil for Stephen A’s opinions, as I think Max is usually right and has the better and more informed opinions when it comes to sports analysis.

    You’re probably right, and I’ll admit that I have a personal bias against Max based largely on his MTD-like take on KD at the start of last season. He opined that KD might not even be a top-5 player in the league, and he said it with a straight face.
    Blasphemy!

  • Pandamonious

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    Going to be honest, I haven’t read every sentence of every post in this thread. This is just a general comment based on what I’ve scanned..

    These guys are not sports analysts, they’re entertainers. They’re like actors. They have show producers who set the show up and tell these guys what they’re going to talk about and what side they’re going to take and what to say. Every ESPN analyst at some point was entertaining. When they’re new they’re good. Kellerman was great back in the day on ESPN when he did that show I can’t recall the name of then some other guy took it over when he went to Fox Sports. He used to be a pretty damn good boxing color guy. Stephan A I thought was great when he first got to ESPN. My point is these guys come in, prove themselves to be good and entertaining, rise up the ranks of ESPN then they’re turned into mindless hacks.

    Now everything, including the people on camera are over produced. It’s all regurgitated and redundant, trivial nonsense meant to spark debate. Basically as the first reply pointed out.

    Every local sports radio station has the same thing. They have the guy who is always talking junk, never happy with what the local teams are doing, that then plays off the more accepting and understanding guy, which is sometimes the co-host are ultimately the people calling into the show.

    After a while it all gets old and boring.

  • jdtrey

    I agree with the OP .. he used to provide valuable insight and opinions, but that’s just not the case anymore. Only thing anyone needs to look at for proof was his take on Kobe being on the All-NBA worst team for the 2010s. He made Molly Qerim get up and walk out, which even Lavar Ball couldn’t do.

  • Njsum1

    @Pandamonious said...

    They have show producers who set the show up and tell these guys what they’re going to talk about and what side they’re going to take and what to say

    They’ve talked about this on the show. Producers don’t tell them what side to take. Producers bring up topics and if there is enough of a disagreement, or if one of them can see both sides of the argument, they debate the topic. Also, if they agree and the other can add enough of a different perspective to the others argument they have the discussion.

    And of course it’s entertainment. Not like they’re giving out betting or DFS advice. So what other value would a sports show provide other than entertainment? Even one where you think the analysis is better, it’s still just entertainment. Personally I think the social commentary as it relates to sports on First Take is very informed…still….it’s just entertainment.

  • Njsum1

    @jdtrey said...

    I agree with the OP .. he used to provide valuable insight and opinions, but that’s just not the case anymore. Only thing anyone needs to look at for proof was his take on Kobe being on the All-NBA worst team for the 2010s. He made Molly Qerim get up and walk out, which even Lavar Ball couldn’t do.

    Laughable coming from a guy who’s RG photo is a picture of Kobe Bryant.

    Max was spot on with that argument. He even specified he was referring to after 2013 admitting Kobe was solid until he hurt his Achilles.

    And Molly Qerim, while an excellent moderator, isn’t a sports historian or analyst. I just checked her wiki page, seems like before she came to FT she did a lot with college football. Max hosted a sports radio talk show out in LA during the time of Kobe’s decline, so I would take his opinion over Molly’s. #haters 🤷‍♂️

  • jdtrey

    Laugh all you want it was still a terrible take. What about when he compared Larry Fitz to Vinsanity and said they MIGHT make the hall of fame? Or Kawhi was already better than Kobe? Or how Tom Brady has been just about done for the last 4 years? Or how he was the worst QB left in the playoffs last year? (I can’t stand Brady but come the F on)

    As far as Molly Qerim goes, I simply made that statement because it proved just how bad of a take Max made. She’s done a lot more than college football… she’s done much more with the NFL and UFC than CFB. Not to mention she’s married to Jalen Rose

  • Njsum1

    @jdtrey said...

    Laugh all you want it was still a terrible take. What about when he compared Larry Fitz to Vinsanity and said they MIGHT make the hall of fame? Or Kawhi was already better than Kobe? Or how Tom Brady has been just about done for the last 4 years? Or how he was the worst QB left in the playoffs last year? (I can’t stand Brady but come the F on)

    The dude has literally had 1000’s of takes. Obviously he’s been wrong tons of times, however…I kinda agree with him on some of the ones you’ve mentioned, except the Vince and Larry argument, both those players will easily make the hall of fame.

    Brady, going by QBR was the worst QB in the playoffs last year. Also got bailed out by a pre snap off sides penalty where he threw a pick which would have ended the game against the Chiefs.

    And his argument about Brady falling off a cliff was based on the fact that no QB ever had performed up to their previous standards in their age 41 season. Which was last year for Brady, and Brady was pretty much a mediocre game manager last year. He’s always benefitted from the best coaching mind in professional sports, Belichik, who actually wanted to get rid of Brady a couple years ago. Also with the new rules that protect QB’s you’ll see some playing into their 40’s where previously it would have been impossible for a 40 year old body to take that kind of punishment and continue playing effectively. Now you can’t hit the QB anymore. So the framework around that argument has changed.

    And he never said, Kawhi was better than Kobe, only more clutch up to that point in their careers. A little far fetched yet he had decent evidence supporting his claim.

    Just because Molly is married to Jalen what credibilty does that give her. If my wife was a cardiologist, would you want me performing open heart surgery on you?

    Just saying, takes that seem outrageous often aren’t once you dig into them.

  • jdtrey

    The whole point of the OPs post and my reply was that pretty much ALL the bad takes from him have been recently because he’s fundamentally changed as an analyst. I don’t know if it’s who is around him or who’s feeding him stats and facts or what but he’s drastically changed for the worse over the years. He made the Brady fall off a cliff comment for the first time in I think it was 2015 or 2016 which was his age 38 or 39 season so I get what you’re saying about age 41 and the stats but he had already been beating that drum for several years. Also, sorry but I can’t buy the greatest coaching mind in pro sports crap. Belichick is a known cheater, and he doesn’t even come close to the coaching mind of a Phil or Pop.

    I don’t have the time or desire to look it up but the Kobe / Kawhi thing wasn’t just about being clutch and I’m pretty sure he never qualified it with a “up to that point in their careers”.

    I don’t know why you keep clinging to the Molly Qerim thing. I already told you that was said simply to prove how bad of a take Max made and nothing else. I simply mentioned her previous work since you said pretty much all she had done to that point was CFB which just wasn’t close to true.

  • jdtrey

    And to go back to the worst QB thing.. Brees has declined much faster than Brady over the last few years and Jared Goff doesn’t deserve to be in a conversation with the other 3. Goff so far is the ultimate case study for how bad you can be and still succeed with a great coach.

  • Njsum1

    @jdtrey said...

    I simply mentioned her previous work since you said pretty much all she had done to that point was CFB which just wasn’t close to true

    It was predominantly (not only) CFB. My point was that she doesn’t have experience or credibility as a basketball analyst. So her walking off the set seemed more like stunt for the audience, then based on a steadfast belief based on facts.

    I agree, Max may have started the argument a few years back about Brady, yet he said it would be during his age 41 season where he would “fall off a cliff.” Yet due to the rules change which protects QB’s many will play into their early 40’s.

    I think Max is still a very good analyst, probably the best out of all the ESPN personalities. There’s only a handful of people I think are worthy of debating him, other than Stephen A Smith. Some that come to mind are Dominique Foxworth, Luis Riddick, and Will Cain..there’s others, yet those 3 actually present evidence with their arguments without resorting to the old “how can you say that, you’re crazy, or you don’t know what your talking about,” things that people often resort to saying when they have no facts to back up their claims.

    Also….I didn’t think your argument was laughable, just saying that someone with a Kobe Bryant avatar is obviously not going to agree with an argument that he was straight garbage once he came back from his Achilles injury.

  • jdtrey

    I guess we just disagree on Max and that’s perfectly fine. Straight garbage is still a huge stretch. It’s hard to call someone garbage when they still excelled at the highest level minus injuries. He tore the achilles in 2013, had the knee injury in 2014 and then was having a pretty good start to the year in 2015 before the rotator cuff. It’s one thing to say he was nowhere near his former self but it’s another thing entirely to say straight garbage or All-NBA worst. Even after all those injuries that almost no one would have continued to try coming back from he still put up a few remarkable performances in his final year. (and no I’m not counting the 60 in his last game on 50 shots haha)

  • tprokopenko

    I used to enjoy Kellerman on Sportsnation as well as his boxing analysis, but he’s clearly a cartoon character on First Take. I’ve always considered Stephen A Smith a total clown as well, but he was actually palatable when he guest hosted PTI this year.

  • Smallchimp

    ESPN is essentially just The View for middle-aged men when it comes down to it. It’s targeted content meant to give people water cooler discussion talking points and get a rise out of the viewers. Hey, it’s an easy gig, disagree with the guy sitting across from you and say soundbite/headline/tweet level comments. Like anything, I think people being upset over the topic ends up being an issue of target audience. The Fantasy Football marathon was a good example. People were complaining about how low-level the analysis is and that it’s “casual.” Well yeah, if you’re the person that’s reading fantasy news every day since the draft you’re not in the target audience for the show. If you’re aware that ESPN is clickbaity and reactionary commentary, you might not be the person they’re trying to hook in

  • hautalak

    Didn’t know this would get this far but I think I’m glad it did. Think I’m just going to highlight some points to close it out.

    - I agree First Take is more of an “entertainment” show than sports show and does seem manufactured. I’m not saying that they don’t believe what they’re talking about but it goes to the extreme to get the exact reactions I had. I just hate the “clickbait” aspect of some of the highlights from the show being placed in areas where there is “meaningful” info I’m looking for.

    - I do agree it’s not a bad thing to have their takes on social issues. Obviously some things need more attention and I do believe this can be a good way to get those out.

    - Nj I’m not sure you caught it but I did say I didn’t watch the show so I guess I was “cherry picking” ESPN headlines because that was what I saw on their page highlighted. Not a Brady fan but Max has been beating that drum too long now, and will continue until he is right (however many years later that may be). And to give BB all the credit is a little ridiculous IMO. He’s a great coach and probably the best NFL one but to me you are discrediting Brady a little bit.

    - It seems as all the “talking heads” change as Panda mentioned because it isn’t only Kellerman and there have been plenty more. I’m glad they’ve kept many of the anchors the same and not given them all their own shows. I did like how they gave SVP the night shift and he got to do his own thing.

    I could probably highlight a little more but that was enough for me. On a personal note NFL preseason has sucked for me considering I thought I was “prepared” (woof!) so I’m ready for week 1. Thanks for participating in this thread as I think it was a pretty good discussion. And good luck with whatever degenerate DFS contests o sports betting you’re doing today!

  • Njsum1

    @hautalak said...

    - Nj I’m not sure you caught it but I did say I didn’t watch the show so I guess I was “cherry picking” ESPN headlines because that was what I saw on their page highlighted. Not a Brady fan but Max has been beating that drum too long now, and will continue until he is right (however many years later that may be). And to give BB all the credit is a little ridiculous IMO. He’s a great coach and probably the best NFL one but to me you are discrediting Brady a little bit

    Heres the only point of yours I didn’t get. I asked what specifically made you say Max Kellerman has outrageous takes. And you said, he said Brady isn’t the Goat at QB.

    The question was “Who is the greatest football player of all time in your opinion.” Max’s answer was Tom Brady! So not only does he think he’s the greatest QB of all time he thinks he’s the greatest football player (offense or defense, any position), of all time.

    And of course Brady was helped by Belichik, and vice versa, I wasn’t giving Bill all the credit. Just saying that with another coach, I doubt Brady would have had the same success. And maybe with another QB, Belichik doesn’t have all the success he’s had 🤷‍♂️

    Last point, then I’m off this thread…Max merely said Brady’s play would “fall off a cliff” because no 41 year old QB in the history of the game had EVER performed well. Not really a bold prediction at the time, considering defensive players were still allowed to hit the QB at the time of the prediction. Brady literally had to rewrite history with help from the nfl rules committee to prove Max wrong on that one.

  • hautalak

    @Njsum1 said...

    Heres the only point of yours I didn’t get. I asked what specifically made you say Max Kellerman has outrageous takes. And you said, he said Brady isn’t the Goat at QB.

    Well ESPN had a headline saying something about how he didn’t think Brady was the best or something to that nature. Maybe I misconstrued it (like I said I didn’t watch, just saw the headline) so blame ESPN for the clickbait.

    Personally I think you value Max Kellerman a little too much right now. I get the rule changes to a point but c’mon all other QBs are playing with the same conditions in the current NFL.

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