Skip Bayless’ Wife Will Always Take a Back Seat to His Job

Published December 21, 2020 17,206 Views

Rumble All sports fans know who Skip Bayless is. Whether you love him or absolutely hate him, his opinions are trending every time you turn around. It has been this way for years and his voice is louder than ever. Knowing what he’s like outside of the sports media space, however, has certainly been a little bit of a mystery.

From his days as a sports columnist to now as a television personality and social media warrior, Bayless’ life has been consumed by sports. It’s the biggest part of his identity and a jaw-dropping net worth proves he’s been quite successful throughout his career.

When the camera is on, Bayless is the king of scorching takes. When the camera is off, the 68-year-old enjoys his time with his wife Ernestine Sclafani. Needless to say, it’s been a tough balance because his job has always been his top priority. He even admitted that on their first date.

John Edward Bayless II — known by all as Skip Bayless — grew up in Oklahoma City, loves the Dallas Cowboys, and has churned out an impressive career in sports. After graduating from Vanderbilt, he has been a sportswriter across the United States for the Miami Herald, Dallas Morning News, Dallas Times Herald, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.

Bayless also hosted sports talk shows and even published books before his stardom in weekday television working alongside Stephen A. Smith at ESPN on “Cold Pizza” and “First Take” before teaming up with Shannon Sharpe for “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed” on Fox Sports 1.

Love always seemed to escape him early in his career, though.

Bayless was married once before to his high school sweetheart before the couple separated years later. He was also in four long-term relationships that didn’t work out. Then, one day at ESPN, he met Ernestine Sclafani, and the rest is history.

How Skip and Ernestine Sclafani Bayless met was as sweet as it was awkward. Working for a public relations agency at the time, Ernestine’s client was called to the set of“Cold Pizza.” Skip, of course, was the famous host of the ESPN2 show.

Bayless forgot some notes, however, and rushed back to his dressing room to retrieve them during a commercial break. That’s when Skip and Ernestine met, according to her book “BALLS: How to Keep Your Relationship Alive When You Live with a Sports-Obsessed Guy,” which is available on Amazon.

“He literally ran past the door of the green room, where we caught each other’s eyes,” Ernestine wrote, via Yahoo sports. “I guess I gave him a look of familiarity because he stopped and said, ‘Do I know you?’ …He later confided that he wasn’t sure what to say—he gets possessed during his show, just lost in how to win the next live TV debate. So now neither of us was thinking clearly.”

Sports has always been his life, however. Skip even told Ernestine on their first date that she would always be “1A to my job.” She decided to stick around.

Skip Bayless and Ernestine Sclafani, a New York native, dated for 11 years, including a six-year engagement, before tying the knot in 2016. She also appeared his show on a couple of occasions last year while debating the NBA and his favorite NFL team in Texas.

Being Skip Bayless' wife has to be a full-time job, but they make it work.