If you’ve ever watched ESPN’s First Take, you know its hosts can get pretty riled up over a good sports debate. The network is now giving fans a chance to share their opinions with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim in new Facebook series, First Take: Your Take.
The new show will stream three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) at 3PM ET on the show’s Facebook Watch page, debuting Monday, January 29th. The series will feature the same host trio as the normal TV broadcast, encouraging fans to record their own hot takes on the topic of the day. Producers will then select the best and one fan will be chosen to debate Smith and Kellerman on each week’s final show.
Here, host Stephen A. Smith discusses the new interactive series, why he doesn’t debate fans on the street and who he thinks will go home a winner for Super Bowl 52.
EBONY: First Take: Your Take will give fans the chance to join the debate on the hottest sports topics via Facebook Watch. How often do you run into fans of the show who want to debate something you’ve said?
Everyday. Every single day.
Do you entertain or engage fans who approach you wanting to dispute your opinion?
Absolutely not, and here’s why. First off, I get paid to debate folks. Second, when I was coming up I was always told I had to wait my turn. I could have a million opinions, but I still had to prove I knew what I was talking about. I had to go to school, climb through the ranks and earn my spot. People have to learn to wait their turn. I try not to be too rude about it, I might hear you out or listen to the brothers at the barbershop, but then it’s, ‘ok, I have to go.’
What was your reaction when the network broke down the concept of the show to you?
It was something I brought to them a while ago, then they brought the idea back around later. I think ESPN was surprised I was open to this kind of format, having fans be able to debate us once a week, but that’s totally different than people ambushing you on the street. This show has a process that makes sense for us as hosts, for the network and for viewers to get more involved, so in this case, debating viewers who love and really know sports is welcome.
The show will be making it’s debut next week, in time for fans to give you an earful about the Super Bowl.
Oh, Lord, it sure does.
Who do you have, Eagles or Patriots?
You know, I can’t call it yet! I’m inclined to lean towards the Patriots, but Philly ain’t been playing around this season, not at all. I anticipate a pretty even match-up, neither team will completely destroy the other, but at this point, I can’t give a definitive answer.