Media Circus: Troy Aikman sounds off on Fox Sports signing Skip Bayless

an hour ago

Troy Aikman has worked for Fox Sports for 15 years and has been the network’s lead NFL analyst since 2002. His reputation among staffers—especially those on his NFL production crew—is excellent. He is also known among sports media writers as being a particularly honest interview, and that was the case last week when Sports Illustrated contacted him about his network’s hiring of Skip Bayless.

“To say I’m disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement,” Aikman said. “Clearly, [Fox Sports president of national networks] Jamie Horowitz and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to building a successful organization. I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless."

Aikman has specific reasons to be unhappy with the Bayless hire, which was made by Horowitz but ultimately approved by Fox Sports president Eric Shanks. In a book (Hell Bent) on the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s, Bayless made an unsubstantiated claim that Aikman was gay. The former Dallas Morning News sports editor Dave Smith told author Jeff Pearlman for his 2009 book on the Cowboys (Boys Will Be Boys) that Bayless’s “gay take on Aikman was the most unfair thing in my 45 years of journalism.”

Two years ago Aikman addressed his feelings on Bayless (Bayless covered Aikman as a columnist for the Morning News) in a long interview with this column. “I’m upset about it because it was made up and there was nothing accurate about anything that was insinuated,” Aikman said at the time. “And he did it, as he does everything, just for attention.”

Bayless has previously responded to Aikman’s ire, most notably in a very long interview with in 2009. Media in Dallas have long covered this topic.

Fox Sports declined comment when contacted Monday about Aikman’s interview with SI.

As a Fox Sports loyalist and the network’s longtime top NFL analyst—Aikman will call his fifth Super Bowl for Fox on Feb. 5, 2017, in Houston—you can understand why Aikman feels personally aggrieved by the Bayless hire. Aikman has a number of years left on his Fox Sports contract (and he opted to stay with Fox after Bayless was signed, which is a point Bayless loyalists would make) so it bears watching how Shanks (who is well liked by on-air talent) navigates any intersection between Aikman and Bayless, as well as those Fox Sports staffers (and Aikman has supporters all over the company) upset by what they see as a public slap in the face of one of Fox’s best talents.
Bayless is scum. Not a fan of Fox hiring him either. He belongs on the shit show that ESPN has become.

That said, I pay little attention to pre game or half time shows anymore.


lots of people erroneously think I'm gay too. you suck a few hundred cocks in college and suddenly you're labeled for life.
Troy forgot to add #NTTAWWT.

But it's hilarious that he called him a no talent, lying and unrespectable hack.


Quality Starter
That's the great thing about Troy. He doesn't care. He's not going to compromise his views just because of a paycheck or who he might piss off.


Anywhere on the line.
Skip Bayless is a hack, and Troy nailed it with the comment about attention seeking.
As an aside I await the day Troy hurls Joe Buck out of the pressbox onto the frozen(hopefully) tundra of Lambeau field.
I bet it would be a perfect spiral too.


I rarely like seeing Troy call a game, ever. Mainly because Buck is always there. I hate that guy.
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