Shannon Sharpe is someone I admire a lot in the media space. He is someone that deserves respect and has battled with adversity his entire life. Shannon Sharpe is a story of defying the odds despite the circumstances. He’s exceptionally entertaining; he’s funny a truly likable character. His references to his grandmother that raised him in a sports context, are always amusing. Despite his obsession with LeBron James, he knows a lot about basketball and football. He deserves the seat that he sits in on Undisputed Monday through Friday with Skip Bayless. Not only that, he was the first former athlete that got a debate job. People in a journalist background mainly conducted all the other networks and all the other debate-like shows. There are those like Shannon Sharpe and others that have appeared on these programs as guests, but no one had a permanent gig on one of these programs. When Skip Bayless left ESPN to join Fox on a new show Undisputed, he vouched for Shannon Sharpe and was not interested in doing the show with anybody else. A true friend they have gone to battle on Undisputed for many years; it is the most entertaining debate show on television. Shannon Sharpe was a seventh-round draft choice by the Denver Broncos barely made the squad before winning 3 Super Bowls 2 with the Denver Broncos, and one with the Baltimore Ravens. He became a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest tight ends in NFL football. Personally, I believe Shannon Sharpe is the greatest tight end in NFL history. He has had a tremendous rise to the top, and it’s been fun to watch and an extremely entertaining personality. I just want to make sure my opinion and thoughts on Shannon Sharpe are known before I break this down. This may be strange because I don’t write articles about things like this, typically speaking, but this entire idea came from a tweet that he sent out that upset the world of football. Shannon Sharpe knows very little about the beautiful game, which is why the reaction was so malicious and visceral when he made a statement that Not only was inaccurate, but the question asked showed his ignorance I love Shannon Sharpe, but He barked up the wrong tree. My opinion of him won’t change because of it, but I can’t let go of what he said and some of his reactions following the backlash he felt almost immediately.
This started very innocently. Shannon Sharpe had retweeted a video from Undisputed official Twitter account; the video contained Shannon Sharpe making the argument that Larry Bird and Magic Johnson is the greatest rivalry in sports. The question was whether Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are the greatest rivalries after Peyton Manning was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A knowledgeable, well-versed football fan responded to the video when the backlash and the interruption of Shannon Sharpe being targeted by football fans started. The guy in the comments claimed that Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the greatest rivalries in all sports. I will paraphrase here what the response was, but essentially he said that Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the greatest rivalries we will ever see; it’s only them that’s it. He referenced that bird and Magic were great, but Jordan took over quickly and added that the Rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady lasted only an extended time. Now, based on his response, whether Peyton Manning and Tom Brady’s time of dominance is probably longer than the comments suggested, and you can argue that the Jordan thing may not be 100% accurate. However, that’s not really the point of this statement; objectively speaking, Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are the greatest rivalries in sports history; even though there are other great ones, nothing particularly comes close. That’s just the facts of the matters taken into account trophies individual Awards records performances on the highest stage and the fact those are two of the most dominant athletes in modern time. I would say you’re incorrect for American fans who don’t agree with this, but I think it’s fine to have different opinions; the controversy doesn’t come in just based on that. Shannon Sharpe made a catastrophic error many times throughout this whole thing happening on Twitter. However, his reply dug him in a hole six feet deep, essentially taking one of the Biggest L I have ever seen while I respect Shannon Sharpe and the career he has built. His reply was distasteful and ignorant. This comes back to the point that Shannon probably should have just let it go and not open the floodgates. The football community is the biggest community of any kind in the world; it is the most popular sport; the NFL and NBA, and others are big in the US, but globally they don’t even touch the sport of football do you think about the number of people that love in a passionate about the sport it’s more than any of this for probably combine and then some Shannon shop in hindsight probably should not have replied. He should have let it go because it’s how she replied that the word choices he used not only made him look ignorant but also made him look like a fool.
In his response, he posed the question and dug his grave with it the question was. How many times have they played? how often did they prevent each other from winning titles? If you’re a football fan and have not seen this, you’re enraged for my football community; just take a deep breath because I had the exact same reaction when I saw it. Let’s just break this down piece by piece. This is beyond ridiculous you don’t have to know football fans understand that question and understand the answer. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi play against each other in La Liga for 11 years. This is why the question is so ridiculous. Leo Messi is the greatest, most common athlete of all time. Cristiano Ronaldo is probably the most gifted goal scorer in football history. During his time at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo won the Champions League 3 years running Lionel Messi while under Pep Guardiola and others probably had the greatest era of Barcelona or football in general. During the 11 years they spent playing against each other, Real Madrid and Barcelona finished first or second almost every season except the one year Athletico Madrid won the title. So essentially, every single season, they prevented each other from winning La Liga sometimes prevented each other from winning the Champions League. They have played against each other countless times on the big stage, and every single opportunity every single year for 10 of the 11 years, they prevented the other from winning. El Clasico during that era was the most-watched sporting event on a year-by-year basis in the world. To give some perspective, over 100 million people watch the Super Bowl, the biggest event in American football. The NBA finals is watched about 25-30 million the Stanley Cup about 5 million World Series 14 million. The World Cup is watched by over a billion people the Euros probably 500 million or more Champions League final does crazy numbers as well; the reason I’m mentioning all this is one game in the middle of the season between Real Madrid and Barcelona alone does a minimum of 300 million people watching. That is more viewers than any championship in American Sports. So on the team basis and argument that answers your question, Leo Messi and Cristiano constantly deny each other opportunities to win titles. Now let’s look at the individual standpoint; the Ballon d’Or is the award given at the end of each calendar year to recognize the greatest player in the world. Unlike American sports, they don’t give it out at the end of each season league has their MVP etcetera but the global ceremony occurs after the calendar year. Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or in 2008. For the next 11 years Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or every single year. After Ronaldo’s 2008 Ballon d’Or Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Cristiano Ronaldo won the Ballon d’Or again in 2013 and 2014. Lionel Messi won in 2015. Cristiano Ronaldo won it again in 2016 and 2017. Luka Modric stopped this run, winning in 2018, then Lionel Messi won the Ballon d’Or in 2019; it was canceled in 2020, and Lionel Messi is a coin flip to win it again in 2021. So essentially, from 2008-2020 this award was being exchanged between two players. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady never had to run like this. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson never had to run like this; only two people on Earth have won an individual towards back and forth, and that is Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo won the Euros with Portugal in 2016, and Lionel Messi has won Copa America in 2021. Both of them have individual success, team success, and international success. Lionel Messi a 10 seasons in which he scored 40 goals or more, Cristiano Ronaldo has nine seasons in which he has scored 40 goals or more. In the ERA, with both of them in La Liga nearly every season, they scored 40-plus goals and 20 + assists. Lionel Messi has 35 trophies, including 10 League titles and 4 Champions League. Cristiano Ronaldo has 32 trophies with five Champions Leagues and eight League titles. Individually they have won more trophies than almost every professional League come to find just by themselves; you put them together, you get 67 trophies which is more championships than leeks in total in America. Lionel Messi has 750 goals in his career. Cristiano Ronaldo has 770; they have over 1500 career goals combined. Now let’s look at the assists. Messi has 315 assists, and Cristiano Ronaldo has 227 together; that’s 540 plus assists. I’ve already talked about the trophy they faced in the Champions League final with Lionel Messi scoring against Cristiano Ronaldo beating Manchester United as Messi was crowned champion. Scoring a vital header with 10 minutes to go, I don’t understand the question. Even people that understand football know these things. They’re the two greatest athletes of this generation, and this is a very disrespectful question. I don’t know if it was just pure ignorance or it was some conniving response because somebody disagreed with him and I’m not blaming Shannon necessarily what I’m saying is if you don’t have the intelligence about football, don’t speak about it when you’re trying to debate who the greatest rivalry is. He was slick with that question, but it did the opposite of what he thought it would do; it only reaffirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo’s or Leo Messi argument is stronger. If you’re an American and don’t think they’re the two best, that’s fine, and Shannon is in his right to disagree but what you can’t do is speak about something you’re ignorant about. After the tweet, honestly should have erased it because it showed how ignorant he is about the sport, which is fine; he’s not a football guy, and that’s totally fine; it’s okay I don’t know anything about baseball or hockey I think Lionel Messi who’s the greatest athlete most dominant athlete to ever exist if a hockey fan says that Wayne Gretzky is greater I disagree. Still, I respect that opinion but I’m not going to debate somebody on something I don’t know about; all I have seen from Wayne Gretzky highlights and anybody who wants to make that argument. That’s fine it’s not going to change my opinion. Still, I’m not going to start a debate with someone about something I don’t know about. And honestly, I think that’s the mistake Shannon made. I’ll say it again the football Community is the most powerful in the world; we have more fans were more passionate, and honestly, we may be a little crazy. I don’t think we should lose respect for him. I think we can still respect him, but he is in the wrong on so many levels here just for the urge to ask such a ridiculous question. The entire internet is laughing at him and putting him in a body bag. Still, I think it also comes down to he just doesn’t know that much about Messi and Ronaldo so I can’t really blame him for that this is not designed to be a punching bag for Shannon Sharpe because, like I said numerous times, I totally respect him. Still, I think he engaged in something that he knows very little about Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo is the greatest rivalry ever if not even question that’s not to disrespect Tom Brady and Peyton Manning incredible magic and Larry Bird Legacy rivalry, but none of those come close in terms of the dominance in terms of Team success in terms of constantly preventing the other from winning championships. Shannon Sharpe probably is not reading this article; this is probably not going to happen, but if I could talk to Shannon,I’d say this if you’re going to argue against Messi and Ronaldo, be informed do more research your rhetorical question just dug you in the hole because the how Preposterous was he even ask that Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have prevented each other from winning more frequently than any two athletes in the history of sports. Now, if this whole thing is American Sports, there’s no backlash it’s nothing to be said, but the fact that you just said all the sports and he pushed back against Messi and Ronaldo, there’s a reason the football Community drowned him we don’t play around especially when it comes to disrespect. There are very few people out there that will think differently of Shannon Sharpe, at least, that’s my belief, but it was a disrespectful way to talk about two of the most dominant athletes we will ever see.
That argument or rant or whatever you want to call it wasn’t intended to discredit or attack the character and the impressive resume of Shannon Sharpe. It was mostly to educate him on something that he may not have been aware of, so I took offense by him even posing the question. There is something he did in reaction to it that rubbed me the wrong way. Shannon Sharpe’s intention was not to be disrespectful; at least I don’t think, so it just ended up being that way; he got agitated at the backlash end up saying some things that I think in the long run he’ll regret because what followed this I was saying some things that he could get fine for. But before I go there, I want to say this normally speaking. He hasn’t been disrespectful towards our game. In fact, normally quite the contrary. A few years ago, in a debate with Skip Bayless and Michael Rapaport, who somewhat we’re arguing that the New England Patriots were underdogs. Shannon Sharpe, in that debate, mentioned this isn’t Leicester City. I gained major respect for him at that moment. To bring them up in a debate on an American Sports show was a very cool moment. He’s never been really against soccer; anytime it’s been spoken about on the show, he always covers his bases by mentioning he doesn’t know that much about the sport, which is totally fine. But after the backlash, I think he just lost it. A couple of months ago, another cool thing that he did was a big media storm regarding Ibrahimovic and LeBron James. The Swedish Legend commented on LeBron James and his publicity when it comes to politics. The entire thing was misconstrued add a lot of media members assumed he was referring to the way LeBron James speaks out against things that aren’t right. It was the contrary; he was specifically only talking about the politics of it. Stephen A Smith accused him of targeting black athletes with his statement. The second he did that, stephenasmith should have been suspended. Kendrick Perkins refused to say his name and mocked him just because he had a difference of opinion. He also tries to box him in with the Fox news lady who said, shut up, and dribble; most people did not understand what he said. He’s very supportive of LeBron James in his outspokenness and of his fighting for the right things he was saying is that he doesn’t like when he discusses politics and tweets that President that’s what he was talking about, not the whole thing in Perkins made the connection and accused him as well also should have probably been fined and suspended. When Undisputed discusses this, Shannon Sharpe did not attack him actually educated him on the thing; when he spoke, he didn’t speak about how horrible he was or anything; one of the first phrases he used is maybe he just doesn’t know about this stuff. And it wasn’t necessarily a shot at all; he didn’t criticize him one time. Ibrahimovic is one of the best and most dominant athletes of this modern generation. He deserves respect; he’s won more trophies, league titles in it; almost every country has played in and has constantly been winning titles throughout his career. The way First Take handled it was so disrespectful that I appreciated Shannon speaking on it professionally and not just going for the throat. However, Shannon Sharpe, after being called out for his comments on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, went rogue. Some were suggesting football should be featured more regularly. Leo Messi leaving Barcelona is the biggest Sporting story maybe of all time. I find it strange that it wasn’t discussed once, but then again, they didn’t discuss Neymar’s record-breaking transfer, which was the biggest story in the world when it was happening, and no one talked about it. Then you look at what happened to Christian Eriksen almost dying; any sports show could not put aside 5 minutes to talk about the tragedy. Not to mention the Super League, the biggest story in the world, almost collapsed, and the fans’ fightback derailed it wasn’t talked about. Pat McAfee and Rich Eisen are the only ones to discuss it, especially Pat; he has an NFL-based show, but one crazy thing happens in the football world; he only talks about it; he has people on as a guest better embroided in football culture. This is why he’s the best in the industry because regardless of the topic if there’s a big enough story, he will talk about it. I understand that Shannon Sharpe is ignorant when it comes to football. However, my real issue with all of this is he was pushing back on the idea of having more soccer on the show, explaining how much research and work goes into it. Shannon Sharpe continuously started lecturing people on how unimportant it is. Saying things like how many people talk about soccer regularly is disrespectful because it is a sport that is being talked about the most globally. You don’t have to understand it or even like it, but you do have to respect it. This followed many other responses from Shannon Sharpe about how unimportant the sport of football is. His Network Fox Sports used to have the Bundesliga, had the Champions League at one point, and this summer had the Gold Cup and the Copa America. His Network has soccer or football on it every week. I would guess the owner of Fox is not particularly pleased with what happened. I believe he should be fined for his comments, not the Messi and Ronaldo ones, but the comments he made about it not being important I don’t think he should be suspended, but I think personally he should have to apologize and be a pundit for one game on the Network. I think part of the issue is he doesn’t know much about the sport; instead of just punishing him, I think it would be really educational for him to do a game with those who have experience in the football world so potentially he can be educated so he would furthermore understand that his comments for distasteful. Like I said at the beginning of it, Shannon Sharpe, an asset to the Network his rise through adversity to come to this point on this stage has been tremendous to watch. Shannon Sharpe probably isn’t going to read my article, and that’s fine, but I think the one thing Shannon Sharpe should take from this experience it’s to be educated. I love Shannon Sharpe, and these comments didn’t sabotage the way I view him more than anything else; he just needs to be educated through all of this. I’ve learned so much about racial inequality that he talks about, and I think he speaks so well when there are things that he cares about, and I’ve learned about defense in the NFL. I used only to get the concept but listen to him help me understand it’s from a strategic perspective. I appreciate Shannon Sharpe so much for what he’s done and continues to do so. This article was not written to rag on him, only to educate him on our football because the comments that came from him came from someone who knows very little about the beautiful game. I was very upset initially, but I think we shouldn’t be attacking Shannon Sharpe; we should be teaching him so he can learn and understand why what he said was so offensive to the football Community. until he’s educated on the sport, he needs to stay clear on all of this topic because we will rip him to shreds again; he could have included Messi and Ronaldo in the mix of that conversation but instead questioned them.