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Volume 26 No. 27
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A Day In The Life With Fox Sports' Skip Bayless

Fox Sports' SKIP BAYLESS is one of the most polarizing figures in sports media. Some viewers love his frenetic energy and fiery takes on "Undisputed," others don’t. But what no one can deny is that Bayless is dedicated to his craft, and his daily schedule reflects that. With nearly 30 years of sports TV experience, one may think he would get used to it, but his move out to L.A. in ’16 has him adjusting once again. Bayless took some time out of his jam-packed schedule to walk THE DAILY through his day.  

2:00am: Monday through Friday, my workday always begins at 2:00am sharp. I set three alarms and I've never needed the second two. I don't love it, but I don't think about it. If I do, it starts to wear on me. But I love my job so much, I just accept that this is part of the necessary evil. I take the first 20 minutes to stretch while I'm usually reading my phone, scouring for the overnight stories. I eat one protein bar and run upstairs to where we have a little exercise room. I watch the overnight highlights, sometimes I'll watch ESPN. 

3:20am: I always run for one hour and as soon as I finish, I literally jump off and run down the stairs because I'm barely going to make it to our meeting. I go in the kitchen first, the night before I lay out 20 vitamins that I always take and I take those while I get a protein shake and one bottle of Propel. I also throw a blueberry bagel in the microwave for 30 seconds, and that's going to be my breakfast. 

4:05am: I only live about five minutes from the studio. We meet at four and throw the board together, the 10 best topics for my partner, SHANNON SHARPE and I, the 10 best authentic debates. A lot of that has been planned the night before and it usually takes until 4:30 to plot out the whole board. 

4:40am: I urgently hit the elevator and go down to my dressing room with my longtime researcher, TYLER KORN, and for the next hour and a half, we cram like you would for a college test. He's frantically looking things up, I'm trying to build my case thinking about, “If Shannon goes here, I could go here.”

6:10am: I take whatever stories Tyler’s printed out for me to go over to the makeup chair, which takes 10 crucial minutes out of that prep time. But I continue to read. I usually look at my watch and I have to run to my studio, I literally run to it. I do that for two reasons. Usually I'm just flat out not going to make it. And the other reason is to get my adrenaline up, blood pumping and energy up. The run seems to do that for me. The last thing I do before I go on air is drink one Diet Mountain Dew. It’s my breakfast of champions, the nectar of the gods.

Bayless generally shoots for a 9:00pm bedtime so he can make his 2:00am daily wakeup call
Photo: SKIP BAYLESS

6:30-9:00am: During the breaks I continue to cram with Tyler. I walk around the debate desk and we continue to look things up on the fly and I continue to scribble down the more notes as last second prep for each topic. 

10:00am: On different days I do different things right after the show. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I go straight to the gym to lift weights. People probably think I'm a workout psycho and I am, but it's the only way I can keep myself mentally and physically right to get through the show. It takes a lot out of me physically and mentally because it is highly competitive debate with a Pro Football Hall of Famer. On Tuesday and Thursday, it depends on the season, but I often go to the golf course. 

1:30pm: Whatever day it is, I come straight home, eat and take a nap. That's the only time I ever really sleep. I try to sleep for an hour and a half, and I don't set an alarm because I rarely make it the hour and a half. 

3:00pm: When I wake up, because we're in the West, it's time to go, it's time to start my nightly prep. By four, especially during the NBA season, the games are starting here, and I watch everything. So whatever games are starting, I’m watching and I'm reading, prepping. We get a night list that our producers send out and I am looking for probably the 15 best topics.

5:45-9:00pm: Every evening I call our show runner, AZZIE MACKENZIE, and I just spill out to him as quickly as possible those 15 topics with my cliff notes opinion on each. We go back and forth on which ones would be the best topics. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to watch whatever the games are and prep because now I know pretty much that these are the topics. The late games are killers here now that LEBRON is in the West. They tip off at like 7:40 this time, and they're not going to finish until say 10:00 here. Well, I'm going to get up at 2:00 so you can imagine how it's played havoc with my home life and my sleep time. Otherwise I usually try to get to sleep by nine.

Know of someone who should be featured in "A Day in the Life"? Send a note to mchupita@sportsbusinessdaily.com.