Which is something I had failed to consider before listening to professional Brood X Cicada Skip Bayless. I mean, sure, Harper was the sport’s No. 1 overall draft pick. Sure, he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated while in high school. Sure, he was the youngest position player to make an All-Star game in the history of the sport. Sure, he was the lead image on the front page of USA Today just this week.
But forget all that. Rip up Ye Official Liste of Bryce Harper Honours and Goals. The game has changed. The man wore gold cleats on Tuesday night.
(Yes, I should be covered with flesh-eating, gold-toned caterpillars for giving any publicity at all to this. No, there’s not one cell in Skip Bayless’s body that believes Bryce Harper’s shoes were the most interesting part of that game, as he says in the video and text below. All this via the D.C. Sports Nexus.)
IMPORTANT SKIP BAYLESS THOUGHTS ABOUT BRYCE HARPER FROM ESPN’S IMPORTANT FIRST TAKE PROGRAM
“To me, the most interesting thing that happened — in fact, the two most interesting things that happened in that All-Star Game — were those shiny gold cleats worn by Bryce Harper, and him losing the ball in the twilight, or the gloaming, or however he lost the ball.
“This told you a whole lot about Bryce Harper, because I want you to think about this. You’re 19 years of age. You walk into a clubhouse filled with bona fide, established superstars. And you dare to pull on shiny gold cleats? Are you kidding me? You’re gonna have the, uh, guts to do that?...
“You know what, this was LeBron-esque. LeBron-esque. Because you know what the statement was? This is just me, I’m reading into this, but to me the kid is saying, I’m gonna be a bigger star than any of you guys one day. I’m here, and I’m here to stay.
“And in the big picture, LeBron did pretty much the same thing coming out of high school. He set his bar Michael Jordan high. He chose to wear 23, he chose to borrow Michael Jordan’s powder toss before games...and it nearly killed LeBron during his first nine years in the league. It was hard to live up to that.
“Now Bryce is saying I can do this, and I give him a shot at it. But he has just set his bar seriously high, with his compadres in that clubhouse. You know it. You know they’re all thinking, really, kid?...Now you’ve got to live up. You have set your bar LeBron-esque high.”
Bayless and his fellow thing-sayer speculated about whether Harper’s teammates had tried to convince him not to wear the cleats. Considering the team’s de-facto leader just said he has a man-crush on Harper, I’m guessing no.