We live in a strange world these days. Hot Takes dominate sports media. Skip Bayless, Stephen A Smith, Cowherd…folks like that made their name on hot takes before the term hot takes were even a thing.

I’m kind of torn on whether or not they are good. Immediate glance would be a no. It’s pretty bad that an entire news cycle can revolve around some guy who said a controversial thing with no real basis. Hot takes are an easy way to get attention for brief periods and that’s how we got people like Skip Bayless basically learning he can make a career out of constantly spouting hot takes and feed on the sustained hate. Hot takes can even build momentum enough to actually become the narrative, like Jay Cutler’s whole knee injury fiasco (I can’t actually remember a “Jay Cutler doesn’t care” joke before that happened). Hell I remember a time when saying Tony Romo was actually a good QB was a hot take. Took a long time to make that the actual story.

On the other hand, as stupid and terrible as many of them are, they do invite fun and sometimes great discussion. The most talked about and controversial thing I ever said on this site was a take about who the GOAT is. It’s lead to countless large arguments in the comments and legions of people who are still legit mad at me because I dared state a personal belief slightly contrary to the general consensus. It wasn’t even as controversial at the time I first said it. Despite the legions of dummies who still go after me every time Brady does a good football thing, it’s generally been good. I’ve seen a lot of great arguments and discussion on the topic even just to “prove me wrong”, even as I’ve delved into simply straight up trolling the dummies who take it too seriously at this point.

Honestly the best hot take is a lot like that particular take. Something that is controversial, but not actually that implausible. Something that has most arguments against it, but from a certain perspective actually makes some sense. Tim Tebow was actually great and got completely screwed over. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, people still believe, because there enough evidence and ambiguity there that hey, maybe. A great hot take exists in that empty space of the impossible to actually prove.

I guess I’m generally okay with Hot Takes. A lot of bad comes with them, and you have to sort of learn to wade the sea of filth for the islands of quality analysis that come out of it. Honestly all media is like that in some way. Also, they’re fun, from watching a hot take get proven incredibly wrong to enjoying a lively argument with buddies over whether or not Bama could beat the worst NFL team (Not a fucking chance, btw).

Just remember that like, sports are entertainment and argue hot takes responsibly. No need to harass or harm or try to ruin someone because they think something else. It’s all in good fun.