By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Breathe it in, folks. The season of hot summer takes is in full force.
And fortunately, the departure of Skip Bayless from “First Take,” the show you love to hate, will not deprive this world of the fiercest hot takes in all of Hot Takeiea.
Max Kellerman, the longtime ESPN personality who took over for Skip, decided to really make a mark in his fourth day on the job with co-host Stephen A. Smith by going out and saying that Tom Brady is going to be “a bum” very soon.
“Tom Brady’s just about done,” Kellerman declared. “It could be his next game, it could be a year from now, but he is going to fall off a cliff. Tom Brady is going to be a bum in short order.”
It’s not the freshest hot take, as it’s an opinion that’s been spouted every summer for at least the past five years. Everybody remembers the infamous “Tom Brady isn’t a top-five QB” story from the summer of 2014, which preceded a spectacular season and then a Super Bowl performance for the ages from Brady.
Now, considering Brady is two years older, the takes aren’t going to disappear. Granted, the smart folks have all stopped trying to predict the end for Brady, who has impressively made his dream of playing a few years into his 40s seem realistic.
But not Max. In fact, according to Kellerman, he’s made a cottage industry out of telling the uninformed masses that old people are going to get bad at their sports soon.
“Now, I said the same thing — I’m a crazy Derek Jeter fan just like you, I’m a crazy Yankees fan from way back. Jeter hits .316, everyone thinks he can keep going forever. I warned everyone at the time, ‘Derek Jeter is about to fall off a cliff,'” Kellerman said on Thursday’s show. “Peyton Manning threw 55 touchdowns, then he’s following that up on pace to do the same thing, gets hurt, winds up with 39 touchdowns. I warned everyone at the time that the Peyton Manning you knew is gone, he’s dead, he’s a memory. This impostor is no longer Peyton Manning, he has fallen off a cliff. Forget about that guy.”
(Brief interjection to remind the room that despite major physical deficiencies, Peyton Manning just … you know … won a Super Bowl.)
Kellerman continued his Pat Myself On The Back 2016 Tour.
“I warned everyone with Kobe Bryant,” he said. “He averaged 27 points. ‘Kobe can keep going and going and going.’ Ruptures his Achilles. I told everyone at the time, Kobe Bryant’s career is over. He will never again be a good basketball player. And please spare me the last game of his career. He was good that day. He was basically a terrible basketball player by NBA standards for the rest of his career.
“Willie Mays and Muhammad Ali fell off at a certain point. You think Tom Brady can’t?”
No, Max. We all think that Tom Brady will be an elite NFL quarterback until he dies of old age. Duh.
Obviously, it’s difficult to succeed in professional sports when you’re old. With Brady’s 39th birthday coming up soon, people will question just how long he can continue playing in the most grueling professional sport in America. Surely, Brady is not oblivious to the fact that there only a handful of his teammates are even 30 years old, and he’s aware that Manning, long his NFL counterpart, just broke down and had to retire at age 40.
It’s not exactly an enlightened opinion to say that some day, eventually, Brady won’t be able to play professional football anymore. And the thing is, eventually one of these people chanting “THE END IS NEAR” will be proven correct. But that’s no different than predicting the sun will set and night will fall this evening. Congratulating yourself for predicting something that cannot be avoided is a fascinating route to explore on live television.
(Congrats on the Kobe thing, though. Nobody else saw that one coming, you sage son of a gun!)
And Kellerman’s scorcher wasn’t even toasty enough to say that the end will be coming in the next 15 months.
“Three quarterbacks in the history of 40 have passed for over 3,000 yards (not a very high standard, especially nowadays) in the history of the game,” Kellerman said after peppering himself with basic questions, which he then answered himself. “He’s 39. So will it be this year? Not necessarily. I can see Brady if he gets through the year without an injury putting up big numbers. But then it’ll be next [year]. He’ll be terrible by the middle of next season.”
Mark it down! That’s one hot take!
To help cool off, do enjoy these 20 seconds (14:54-15:14) from “First Take.”
What a program.