Dallas hates Skip Bayless…and for good reason. Bayless has always been a marginally-talented shock jock. Hack, if you will. He parlays controversial opinions into face time on TV. He says more and knows less than anyone I can think of.
Well, those are my opinions. I doubt I am alone in them.
Bayless first garnered the ire of the Dallas faithful when he wrote the book God’s Coach. The rag was nothing more than a sensationalized personal attack on perhaps the most beloved sports figure in Texas history, Cowboys coach Tom Landry.
In a 1990 review of the book, Gene Lyons wrote the following:
Not that hard-core NFL fans will find Bayless’ book entirely without merit. Though haphazardly organized and written in the hyperbolic, tin-eared style that passes for wit among the school of attack sports columnists, God’s Coach is persuasive as long as it sticks to football. To hear the embittered chorus of ex-Cowboys interviewed here, Landry’s coaching prowess was vastly overrated. Many of the Cowboys’ ”miracle” wins hinged less upon Landry’s brilliant strategy than upon the improvisations of quarterbacks such as Don Meredith and Roger Staubach and their receivers. When things went well, Landry took full credit. When they didn’t, he blamed the players. ”It’s not whether you win or lose,” comments one bitter ex-player, ”but who gets the blame.”
According to Bayless, having achieved the status of a Sunday afternoon icon, the eagle-eyed Texan in the hat began to mistake media hype for reality. Hypnotized by the myth of his own genius, Landry treated assistants tyrannically, listened to nobody, and failed to keep up with the tactical and rule changes that made his earlier innovations obsolete. After years of running some of the most original offensive and defensive schemes in the NFL, the Cowboys ended up playing with a predictability that made them easy picking.
Landry put a team together that went to five Super Bowls in ten years. There was the Ice Bowl, the Hail Mary, the fabled rivalries with the Redskins and Steelers. There was the 20 year winning streak. Maybe by the end, Landry had begun to fall a bit behind. But that was only after leading the NFL pack for longer than any coach ever had before. He was a tactician, a leader, steadfast and true.
And what exactly is Bayless? WHO is Bayless? Does it matter?
Skip followed the God’s Coach blasphemy with another mythological, sensational, speculative book called Hell Bent. The biggest news in that book was Skip’s using rumor and innuendo to call Troy Aikman’s sexuality into question.
Aikman has never forgiven the hack. In August, 2011, Michael David Smith wrote an article on the subject. Here is a piece of that article:
Fifteen years ago, Skip Bayless wrote a book about the Dallas Cowboys called Hell Bent, and in that book Bayless delved into rumors that then-Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman was gay.
Time has passed, but Aikman is still so upset with Bayless that he hinted in a recent radio interview that if he were ever to see Bayless again, he might take a swing at him.
“I will tell you this,” Aikman said on 1310 The Ticket, via the Dallas Morning News. “I’ve not seen — I’ve not physically seen Skip Bayless since that time. That was in ’95. And I still kind of wonder what I might do to him when I do see him.”
Asked whether he might have a physical confrontation if he saw Bayless, Aikman said, “Well, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know.”
Aikman says it still irks him that Bayless used rumors about his personal life to help sell books.
“When a guy like that comes out and, whether it’s intimated or stated, and there’s no substance to that claim, and he’s doing it purely to gain interest in a book, that’s a problem,” Aikman said.
So, you see, not many in Dallas/Fort Worth would put stock in anything Brainless, Ball-less Bayless says. But we do take comfort in his forced admission that the Dallas Cowboys are still America’s Team. They are still the team America loves and loves to hate. Even 15 years of mediocrity doesn’t change that.
“It is the Dallas Cowboys. Everybody sees red when they see metallic blue. That’s what they do. That star on the side of the helmet inspires hate because they’re still called America’s team. They don’t call themselves that, but most people do. They’re still America’s team because I think they’re still America’s most loved and hated team. There is just something about Tony Romo that sends people over the edge because you love him and then you hate him. I think Cowboys fans love him then they hate him because he will break your heart. There is just something about Jerry Jones saying the other day when we win our next Super Bowl, are you going to give me credit again? Well, it’s been like 50 years since he won the first three. Ok, that’s Jerry Jones. He is full of himself. He talks a big game but hasn’t backed it up lately. To me they continue to wear the biggest target on their back. I think it’s been a reason why they’ve been 8-8 the last couple of year. People get up to play Dallas. I don’t care if they’re going to Seattle or Cleveland. People get up. The Cowboys are coming. We’re going to put them in their place.”
Even a blind hog finds an acorn every now and then.
Keep rooting, Skip.