Molly Qerim… Chloe Fineman
Stephen A. Smith… Chris Redd
Michael Irvin… Kenan Thompson
Todd Levane… Will Forte
Martin Murphy… Alex Moffat[Starts with show intro] [Cut to Molly Qerim, Stephen A. Smith and Michael Irvin in their show set]
Molly Qerim: Good morning. What’s going on, everyone? Welcome to “First Take”, ESPN’s home for the hottest sports takes. I’m Molly Qerim, and here with me is the always outspoken Stephen A. Smith.
Stephen A. Smith: Molly! It is fantastic to be here! Absolutely fantastic!
Molly Qerim: And our newest cohost, a man who thought the show needed more passionate energy, Dallas Cowboys legend, Michael Irvin.
Michael Irvin: Okay, Molly, Molly. Uh, Molly, Molly. Stephen A. right here. This– You– Stephen A., you wrong, brother! Okay? It is not fantastic to be here. It is a delicious privilege to put on this suit! You understand? To put on this $6000 tie clip, okay? The thickest one ever made. This is here. This– What? This– Whoo! This is special.
Molly Qerim: Okay, uh, want to remind you both that it’s 10 AM, okay? And we have 1 hour and 58 minutes to go. Alright. Let’s start with the Sunday playoff game in Tampa, where Tom Brady’s Buccaneers will take on the red hot LA Rams. Guys, the question everybody is asking, is Tom Brady an exceptional quarterback or very exceptional?
Stephen A. Smith: Now, Molly, I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. I stayed up all night wrestling with it. But today, there is no doubt that Tom Brady is an exceptional quarterback like the great Peyton Manning! And to say anything more would be blasphemy! Period!
Michael Irvin: Excuse me, Stephen A. Tom Brady is very exceptional. Okay? And Peyton Manning? Please! Tom Brady would beat Peyton Manning in a cakewalk. It’d be more than a cakewalk. It would be a cake run.
Stephen A. Smith: Ridiculous.
Michael Irvin: A cake swim and a cake road trip down Highway 95! No man has never, ever seen a cake travel so quickly, period.
Molly Qerim: Okay, guys, people are still letting their coffee kick in, and you already sound like you’ve been hit by a bulldozer of cocaine.
Michael Irvin: Hey. Don’t threaten me with a good time. Ha-ha-ha-ha.
Molly Qerim: Okay. To settle this, let’s go to Todd Levane from the fan site Sports Horse. Todd, is Tom Brady exceptional or very exceptional?
Todd Levane: Okay, first of all, everybody, thanks for mounting the Sports Horse. Hold on tight ’cause this bronco bucks. [horse neighs] Okay, Michael, I know you played in the NFL for twelve years. You’re a hall of famer. I just started a website. But you know nothing about football! Thomas Edward Patrick Brady is not exceptional! He’s not very exceptional! He’s clearly very, very exceptional!
Michael Irvin: What? Oh, no, he did not. No, he didn’t.
Todd Levane: Tom Brady plays like he’s always got a chip on his shoulder and his back against the wall, and that’s why he is the supreme dominator of men! He eats planets! And that’s straight from the horse’s mouth! [horse neighs]
Molly Qerim: Okay. Love that passion. But, guys, people have the show on in the background while folding laundry, and you’re scaring them and waking up the baby. Alright, so, let’s talk about it. Does Tom Brady play like his back is against the wall or like there’s a chip on his shoulder?
Stephen A. Smith: Molly, I’ve thought a lot about this question. A lot. I meditated on it. Then I took a monthlong sabbatical! I ate, I prayed, I loved! And then I came back with an answer. And it is indisputable that Tom Brady plays with a chip on his shoulder because when the chips are down, you still got a chip right by your face!
Molly Qerim: Well, to put this in perspective, the Sports Bureau is saying that–
Michael Irvin: M-M-M-Molly, Molly, Molly. Molly. Uh, okay, you the glue, okay, that keeps this show together, but, uh, please shut up. Because I got to scream. Stephen A.! I am not going to sit here and listen to your nonsense! I am going to stand and listen to it while I breathe heavy like a video game character on pause.
Stephen A. Smith: Well, go ahead. All I’m saying…. All I’m saying–
Michael Irvin: Stephen! No! You have offended me as a man. As a father, as a brother, and as a nephew.
Stephen A. Smith: Good.
Michael Irvin: Tom Brady must put his play, put his– He got to play with his back on the wall! You understand me? That’s open, shut, and locked!
Todd Levane: Yeah, lock it up, Michael! Lock it up and bury it a mile deep in the sea, deep in Davy Jones’ locker, where darkness goes to die! You best start believing in the Sports Horse, Mr. Irvin, ’cause you’re in one! [horse neighs]
Michael Irvin: Thank you, thank you. But Tom Brady has given us more years of quality entertainment than Frank Sinatra himself.
Stephen A. Smith: Oh, my God!
Michael Irvin: What? Am I wrong? Am I wrong?
Stephen A. Smith: Come on! You’re bringing up Frank Sinatra? That is clearly an apples and oranges comparison!
Molly Qerim: Well, and that’s our next big sports question. Guys, apples or oranges?
Stephen A. Smith: Now, Molly, I’ve thought about this question my entire life! I recently had a long heroic battle with COVID. Almost died! I went to the light and I looked at the face of God, and I asked him this very question. Molly, it’s apples.
Michael Irvin: I’m gonna stop you right there, Stephen A. With all due respect, god is wrong. Okay? God does not have this here Super Bowl ring on his finger, so he don’t know the magnificent glory of oranges, alright? Like they say, in America, “It’s as American as orange pie.”
Todd Levane: Oh, please! You’re asking the wrong question! It’s not apples and oranges! It’s asparagus and nickels! End of discussion! Don’t poke the horse! [horse neighs]
Molly Qerim: Well, I am glad we settled that. Still an hour and 55 minutes to go. Alright. Let’s take a break. When we come back, we’ll switch gears and talk to the head of NFL’s new anti-bullying charity, time out for kids, Martin Murphy.
Martin Murphy: Hey, guys, thanks. Delighted to be here. And it’s apples. And anyone who disagrees is a disgusting loser and a moron!