Bill Simmons: Good Luck With Your Life.

Euclis20

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At this point, I'm not surprised by any Simmons silence regarding baseball.  Nor am I disappointed by it. 
 
I felt more let down when he said so little about Pierce and Garnett leaving, to be honest.
 

dirtynine

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I've always gotten the feeling, at least back when I was a more regular BS reader, that Simmons never enjoyed the writing process.  
 
He created tropes (quote columns, countdowns, rankings, etc.) to give himself structure.  Creating structure from prose is hard work; work that he didn't like to do, and wasn't great at.  Luckily those conceits were novel when he began, and they became part of his trademark style, so it worked out for him.
 
His columns were so long because he never edited himself; editing and crafting writing is hard work.  Luckily, because nobody else in his field was writing that way, it seemed novel, and eventually became part of his trademark style, so it worked out for him. 
 
Then, when he got big enough, he started to indulge what he was best at.  This was smart on his part.  Simmons values conversation and un-varnished reaction; that's why he podcasts (it's just capturing live, extemporaneous thought) so often and writes so much less frequently.  It's why he likes to reconstruct me:/him: conversations and even whole minute-by-minute diaries in his writing.  It's why, I suspect, he likes moving talented chips around at Grantland and letting them interact with sports and with each other, more than he likes writing himself.  Bill's an observer and a reactor, not a writer.  His greatest strengths (his work ethic, his sense of humor, his sense of timing, and his ability to spot talent) defined most of what he wrote, and they're the same things leading him away from writing.  
 
That's why I don't really care to read his thoughts on the current Red Sox team, but I would probably listen to a podcast where he interviewed Johnny Gomes, or watch a 30-for-30 about the 2013 team ("More Days in October"), or read many of his hand-picked stable of writers' thoughts on the team.  No ill will towards Simmons intended - the evolution makes sense.  I just don't want to read a piece on the 2013 team that's a lame retread of his previous work, where he pretends he hasn't evolved. 
 

OnWisc

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This kind of echoes the last paragraph of dirtynine's post. 
 
Whether accurate or not, even just the perception by some that Simmons is the shadow president of ESPN would seem to indicate, he probably simply doesn't have the time to opine as fully as he would like on the Red Sox.  I don't know his daily schedule, but I imagine his responsibilities today are exponentially higher than they were in 2004.  And not just squared or cubed exponentially higher, but to an even higher power.  Even if he tries to maintain some of the more casual style and structure that characterizes a lot of his content, there's surely a whole lot more going on in planning and executing his own material as well as overseeing and making decisions on material produced by others.  He's in a much more high profile position than he was as the BSG, or even in his initial ESPN role, with a great deal more scrutiny and a lot more on the line professionally.  He, in all likelihood, doesn't have the time to devote to producing material he's happy with on the current Red Sox situation.  He's in a role where he at least appears to be making substantial decisions on content for the leading national sports outlet.  He may view taking the time to do something like a running diary on a WS game as something that would take too much time away from his focus on other areas.  No former local sportswriter that has ended up engaged in anything that could even be remotely construed as a power struggle with Magic Johnson is leaving work at five o'clock to go home and chill.  It's like wondering why the guy that got promoted to CFO doesn't come in to build financial models anymore.  And if his skin is as thin as some think, he probably also doesn't want to opine on a situation where a substantial portion of the target audience is better informed than he is and will be poking holes in anything he puts out.
 

JimBoSox9

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I have no idea what this means.


Really? I went through 2004 with my friends. I understand what you mean, but that was nine years ago. A lot changes in almost a decade.


Him not writing about the 2013 changes nothing about the book that he published eight years ago.


Until today, I literally have not given this a second thought. Serious question: does this year's run somehow feel less legitimate or special to you because Simmons isn't writing about it? Because there are plenty of baseball writers who write the same way and there are literally thousands of words typed in the last week that would probably provide better insight. Simmons hasn't really written about the Red Sox in five years (at least), I'm not sure why you'd want him to start writing about them right now. It would seem really phony to me.


Serious answer: no, of course not. 'Odd' is the word I chose, nothing stronger. It'd be odd if Gammo or Montville were silent on the topic as well. Also, I'm glad you were able to enjoy '04 with your friends; with a couple notable exceptions all of mine were 1300 miles away.
 

Merkle's Boner

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It is becoming clear that BS is tying his horse almost completely to the NBA wagon.  He spent all night tweeting about the two opening games.  He probably has sent three tweets during the whole WS.  I guess it makes sense as he is increasingly the media face of the NBA from the WWL's perspective.  For those of us who loved Now I Can DIe in Peace it is kind of a bummer.
 

Ralphwiggum

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The above is the exact reason why it is a good thing that Simmons is not writing anything about the Sox.  He gets shit about his credentials as a "fan" even without writing anything.  What's the upside for him in writing anything about this team?  Non-Sox fans don't want to read it, and most Sox fans will kill him for whatever he writes, despite the one or two people here who seem to want to hear from him.  I like Bill even though I don't read his columns much anymore, but he is thin-skinned and I'm sure when he writes stuff about the Boston teams he gets assaulted with emails and tweets and whatever else from both sides (Boston and non-Boston fans).  Boston fans probably kill him for having changed and not being a real fan anymore, and non-Boston fans kill him for being a Boston homer.  So it is just as easy for him to focus on the NBA and pretend he's not writing about the Sox because of some kind of jinx.
 
By the way, he has changed.  During Super Bowl XXXVI and October 2004 he was in his early 30s, just married (maybe?) no kids, and still pretty new to being anything other than a guy with a on-line column that was gaining some popularity.  He still brought the every-fan perspective to his writing.  Super Bowl XXXVI is a perfect example of this, even though he was there, his perspective still seemed to be that of a regular fan who just happened into this crazy set of circumstances where he got to go to the game and write about his favorite team trying to win their first Super Bowl.  Even though I think he got in because of his Page 2 connections, he was really there as a fan who was going to write about the game, not as a member of the media.  His column from the day after they won is one of my favorite columns ever, I re-read it often and it always brings a smile to my face.
 
Now he's a pretty important pseudo-celebrity and a fairly well established member of the sports media.  Plus he's a decade older, has a family, and has lived away from Boston for a long time.  If he wrote about Game 6 it wouldn't be from nearly the same perspective, so we aren't missing out on a series of columns about this team like those about the 2004 team.  It would be nice if Bill owned this, I guess, but he won't.  Still I think it is a good thing if he has recognized this and it is the reason why he's not writing about this team.
 
Of course now watch him write a tone-deaf column about him being at Game 6 in awesome seats with his Dad.  I'm betting against it, though.
 

The Napkin

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I have zero doubt that Simmons said to himself 'who the fuck is that????' when Workman got called in on Saturday
Patrick Beverley says hi. Well, he would if he existed I suppose.
 
Ralphwiggum said:
Of course now watch him write a tone-deaf column about him being at Game 6 in awesome seats with his Dad.  I'm betting against it, though.
Oh come on, that would never happen...
 
Oh. Wait.
 
 

Ralphwiggum

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I knew he was at that game, didn't remember he wrote a column about it.  Maybe he's become more self-aware since then, but I guess we'll see and maybe he's just not writing about the team because he doesn't have the time. 
 
Regardless this sort of proves my point in that it is best for everyone if he remains silent about the Sox.  I am not a big Bs fan but I would imagine that column was not well received by the Bruins faithful.  A similar Sox column would piss Sox fan off more than be interesting to them.
 

Daws213

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The Napkin said:
Patrick Beverley says hi. Well, he would if he existed I suppose.
 
Oh come on, that would never happen...
 
Oh. Wait.
 
 
 
I forgot how horrible that Bruins/Jason Allison article was. Blaming the influx of Europeans and his inability to pronounce their names as one of his top reason he stopped watching hockey is just hilarious. I guess the NBA never had an influx of Euros.
 
Also, that trade for Murray and Stumpel actually ended up being a pretty good one for the B's, albeit helped by Jason Allison's concussion and knee problems.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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I can't get on Simmons for jumping off the Bruins bandwagon and then jumping back on. The B's were a complete mess a decade ago with a really, really shitty owner, a GM who had no idea what he was doing and crappy head coach after crappy head coach. They weren't fun to watch because the NHL was in their neutral-trap zone phase and Bettman was doing a great job of killing the sport.
 
The B's were a distant fourth on the Boston landscape back then, so if you're going to kill him, you'll have to kill 90% of the current Bruin fans too.
 

JohntheBaptist

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John Marzano Olympic Hero said:
I can't get on Simmons for jumping off the Bruins bandwagon and then jumping back on. The B's were a complete mess a decade ago with a really, really shitty owner, a GM who had no idea what he was doing and crappy head coach after crappy head coach. They weren't fun to watch because the NHL was in their neutral-trap zone phase and Bettman was doing a great job of killing the sport.
 
The B's were a distant fourth on the Boston landscape back then, so if you're going to kill him, you'll have to kill 90% of the current Bruin fans too.
 
To me, hopping on and off the bandwagon is totally fine--it's a fact of life, even.  Everyone's done it to some degree, and there's really zero shame in it.  And it can make for a funny, relatable story.  I think my beef with him is when he either pretends it never happened or retcons some "jinx" nonsense so that he can stand with the "we were here the whole way" crowd for some reason.
 
I think if he went the Bill Burr route in either case no one would have made a peep.  Because you're totally right, who could blame a fan for growing apart from the Bruins for a while?  Or the Sox after '11/'12?
 

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JohntheBaptist said:
 
To me, hopping on and off the bandwagon is totally fine--it's a fact of life, even.  Everyone's done it to some degree, and there's really zero shame in it.  And it can make for a funny, relatable story.  I think my beef with him is when he either pretends it never happened or retcons some "jinx" nonsense so that he can stand with the "we were here the whole way" crowd for some reason.
 
I think if he went the Bill Burr route in either case no one would have made a peep.  Because you're totally right, who could blame a fan for growing apart from the Bruins for a while?  Or the Sox after '11/'12?
Except he wrote a whole article about it.
 
http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/080421
 

DJnVa

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The Napkin said:
 
I love that after the trade he lampooned (trading Allison for Murray/Stumpel), Allison went on to only play 3 more seasons and score a total of 42 goals. Glen Murray scored almost that many (35) in his first year back in Boston and did trump it during his second (44) and would score nearly 200 goals for the Bruins.
 

nattysez

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On November 5, Simmons said on his podcast that the Warriors are "a bad defensive team other than Iguadola." When Zach Lowe gently pointed out that he was wrong, Simmons admitted that his whole analysis was based on the one game he'd seen the Warriors play in person against the Clippers. He is ridiculous.
 

Rocco Graziosa

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nattysez said:
On November 5, Simmons said on his podcast that the Warriors are "a bad defensive team other than Iguadola." When Zach Lowe gently pointed out that he was wrong, Simmons admitted that his whole analysis was based on the one game he'd seen the Warriors play in person against the Clippers. He is ridiculous.
 
 
Well two of their starters, David Lee and Steph Curry are comically bad defenders.  Harrison Barns is bad.  Klay Thompson is below average.  Maybe the rest of the team make up for them statisically, although I find that hard to believe, and there really are no reliable stats for defense anyway.  You judge it by how people move in space with regards to where the basketball is (or isn't). 
 
There are some really really bad defenders on the Warriors.
 

The Social Chair

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One of the worst Simmons columns ever today. There was nothing insightful, and it was full of unfunny Leno style jokes ("I hate that play more than Miley Cyrus hates clothes"). It's also 2013, nobody finds frat boy gay humor funny anymore.
 

nattysez

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Rocco Graziosa said:
 
 
Well two of their starters, David Lee and Steph Curry are comically bad defenders.  Harrison Barns is bad.  Klay Thompson is below average.  Maybe the rest of the team make up for them statisically, although I find that hard to believe, and there really are no reliable stats for defense anyway.  You judge it by how people move in space with regards to where the basketball is (or isn't). 
 
There are some really really bad defenders on the Warriors.
Klay Thompson is one of the better defenders in the NBA. Saying otherwise suggests you don't watch the Warriors much.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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One of the worst Simmons columns ever today. There was nothing insightful, and it was full of unfunny Leno style jokes ("I hate that play more than Miley Cyrus hates clothes"). It's also 2013, nobody finds frat boy gay humor funny anymore.


So I take it that you also hate Its Always Sunny, The League and Eastbound and Down?
 

The Social Chair

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PC Drunken Friar said:
So I take it that you also hate Its Always Sunny, The League and Eastbound and Down?
 
You really think that's what those shows are doing? I would strongly disagree. There's a line between Eastbound and Seth Macfarlane, and Simmons was on the wrong side.
 

Marciano490

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And are they making gay jokes or are they satirizing homophobes, or at the least, fleshing out characters?
 

PC Drunken Friar

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That's their thing, is it? There's nothing else to their comedy?


Just like there was one "going gay" joke in the mailbag. Yes, Always Sunny does lampoon homophobic behavior, but the League? Nope. They are constantly making fun of Andre and his gay tendencies.
 

SydneySox

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I don't care about the mailbag. You used bad references. If you are going to come up with shows you think people think are funny as references then make them the right shows.
 

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...but the League? Nope. They are constantly making fun of Andre and his gay tendencies.
 
The League goes a long way to making their characters seem stupid, superficial and sophomoric.  I am relatively certain that virtually anyone could be offended by that show while, at the same time, people with a sense of humor will realize that the writers mock all the characters with equal vigor.  Yes, the Andre character might be closeted but do the show runners make that the butt of their jokes more than, say, Kevin's desperate domesticity or Ruxin's conniving, repugnant persona?   I vote no but then again, I have never been accused of being sensitive.
 

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nattysez said:
Klay Thompson is one of the better defenders in the NBA. Saying otherwise suggests you don't watch the Warriors much.
 
I watch the Warriors a ton.  On of the better defender in the entire NBA?  I have the opposite opinion. 
 
As a group they have a lot of trouble keeping people out of the paint via the dribble.  Thompson is a culprit at times, although he's much better than Curry and Barns.  Thompson cheats a lot of times, out of strategy and out of laziness, which can result in steals or easy baskets for the opponents.
 
I find him below average.  I suppose I could see someone making a sound argument that he's an average NBA defender.  But one of the best in the entire NBA?  Egads
 

DJnVa

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Rocco Graziosa said:
 
I find him below average.  I suppose I could see someone making a sound argument that he's an average NBA defender.  But one of the best in the entire NBA?  Egads
 
Just some examples that you're missing something with him:
 
http://www.sfgate.com/warriors/article/Thompson-raises-his-defensive-game-4356392.php
"I like Klay Thompson as a defender," former NBA coach and current ESPN analyst Jeff Van Gundy said.
 
Even when Thompson's shooting percentage dipped under 40 percent earlier this season, head coach Mark Jackson kept the guard on the floor because of his defense.
 
 
 
http://joemoore.net/Dribble/2013/05/10/is-klay-thompson-an-elite-defender/
 
Over the course of the season, especially the last few months, Klay Thompson has emerged as the Warriors’ go-to perimeter defender
 
 
 
http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9281686/nba-klay-thompson-underrated-qualities?refresh=true :
 
Among all players with at least 200 possessions guarding the pick-and-roll ball handler, Thompson gave up the fewest points per possession, with 0.686. By comparison, All-Defensive team members Tony Allen held pick-and-roll ball handlers to 0.649 points per possession and George to 0.783.
 
 

Euclis20

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Rocco Graziosa said:
I find him below average.  I suppose I could see someone making a sound argument that he's an average NBA defender.  But one of the best in the entire NBA?  Egads
 
I think you're reading a bit more into it than was intended.  "One of the better defenders in the NBA" doesn't mean he's one of the best.  I think it means he's merely above average, better than most.  A more reasonable claim.
 

nattysez

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Rocco Graziosa said:
 
I watch the Warriors a ton.  On of the better defender in the entire NBA?  I have the opposite opinion. 
 
As a group they have a lot of trouble keeping people out of the paint via the dribble.  Thompson is a culprit at times, although he's much better than Curry and Barns.  Thompson cheats a lot of times, out of strategy and out of laziness, which can result in steals or easy baskets for the opponents.
 
I find him below average.  I suppose I could see someone making a sound argument that he's an average NBA defender.  But one of the best in the entire NBA?  Egads
 
Drew Dawg did what I was going to do -- cite the many, many sources that have lauded Thompson as a very good defender.  I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth about this -- I think my opinion is shared by a lot more people than yours.
 
In any event, Simmons's larger point was "the Warriors are not a good defensive team."  Meanwhile, the W's are 4th in point differential in the NBA and 8th in average points allowed in the NBA -- playing in the West.  Simmons was, and is, wrong.
 

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nattysez said:
 
Drew Dawg did what I was going to do -- cite the many, many sources that have lauded Thompson as a very good defender.  I'm not going to get into a back-and-forth about this -- I think my opinion is shared by a lot more people than yours.
 
In any event, Simmons's larger point was "the Warriors are not a good defensive team."  Meanwhile, the W's are 4th in point differential in the NBA and 8th in average points allowed in the NBA -- playing in the West.  Simmons was, and is, wrong.
i have no idea if you or Simmons is right, but they've only played 10 games and those included games versus Utah, Sacramento, Memphis, SA and the Lakers (all are at or near the bottom in scoring so far this season). They also played OKC, LAC and Philly, who are in the top 14. not sure any real conclusions can be drawn either way. But, if you take out the game where Curry didn't play and SA scored 76 points, they would give up 99.8 PPG and be 16th in the league. I think that Iguadola has elevated their D, but at this point its just a SSS.
 
And I have not looked at PPP or any other advanced metric
 

Rocco Graziosa

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DrewDawg said:
 
 
I'll watch closer.  I know what I've seen but admit I've only seen 3 or 4 games this season.  
 
But in general, I stand by my assessment.  Maybe he stands out because no one on his team is capable of preventing dribble penetration and he can, but he looks VERY average to me.   
 

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There are few things I could give less of a shit about than Bill Simmons's daughter's take on recent Adam Sandler movies. I don't care how cute he thinks it is, just give me Sal and House. Please-and-thank-you.
 

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Rook05 said:
There are few things I could give less of a shit about than Bill Simmons's daughter's take on recent Adam Sandler movies. I don't care how cute he thinks it is, just give me Sal and House. Please-and-thank-you.
 
I am really curious why he thought that was a good idea.
 

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SaveBooFerriss said:
 
I am really curious why he thought that was a good idea.
 
Because Bill is getting to an age where he thinks that his kids are cute and that people want to see them. Like Judd Apatow or (I think he did this in his last flick, I didn't see it) Adam Sandler.
 

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Not to defend Adam fucking Sandler, but I think there's a big difference between allowing your kids to play parts in a movie (that calls for kids), so long as the kids can do the job.   That's good ol' fashioned cronyism.
 
Writing boring stories about your kids for no other reason than to talk about your kids is just narcissism.
 

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drleather2001 said:
Not to defend Adam fucking Sandler, but I think there's a big difference between allowing your kids to play parts in a movie (that calls for kids), so long as the kids can do the job.   That's good ol' fashioned cronyism.
 
Writing boring stories about your kids for no other reason than to talk about your kids is just narcissism.
 
You know, Peter King used to do that ... wait a second!
 

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drleather2001 said:
Not to defend Adam fucking Sandler, but I think there's a big difference between allowing your kids to play parts in a movie (that calls for kids), so long as the kids can do the job.   That's good ol' fashioned cronyism.
 
Writing boring stories about your kids for no other reason than to talk about your kids is just narcissism.
 
So I've figured the thing out about kids.
 
Your own kids are interesting (or at least their exploits are engrossing).  Everybody else's kids are boring. It's like bat beats, fantasy football, and diets: nobody else gives a rat's ass. But as parents we enter into an implicit agreement with each other that we'll happily listen to you prattle inanities about your boogery little spaz and in return you'll allow us to regale you with the remarkable exploits of our precious little angel: putting up with each other's stories is the price of admission for having a captive audience (or really any audience at all). 
 
Simmons and King missed the point because they think their own kids are actually legitimately interesting--indeed more interesting than the sports we came to them to read about and our actively using as a refuge from our own children.
 
Bottom line: Simmons and King are virtually obligated to hear one stupid kid story from every single one of their readers for every stupid kid story they tell.
 

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Every parent is guilty to some extent of doing what Simmons does in terms of talking up his kids, it's just un-believable to me that he does it so much now because he used to go crazy about people who did it not 5-6 years ago.  Have some self-awareness for Christ's sake.
 
Incidentally, the piece I wish Simmons had written earlier this month is the "It's not you - it's me" column. He's a different person now and in a far different place - physically, mentally, metaphorically - from where he was in 2003 and 2004. There's nothing wrong with that *at all*: healthy people constantly grow and move on with their lives. He still likes the Sox, but now he barely follows them and rarely follows the rest of baseball. And fair enough: he's knows far more about basketball, and many other things, than he knows about baseball. So, to parrot his own comments about Doc Rivers last summer, why not just own that perspective instead of trying to dodge it? I think he could have written a wonderfully reflective piece about the differences he perceives between 2013 and 2004, both for himself and the Sox; maybe he still will at some point. But as is often the case in this thread, I think many people want Simmons to be all things to all people, or alternatively for him to have solely worked on developing his voice as a writer over the last 10 years, instead of pursuing all of the different paths he has taken. But insofar as the latter is what he's done, I still think his second-best choice is the one he chose: if he's afraid to acknowledge what he really feels, far better to stay silent than to try and write from the perspective of someone he used be but no longer is.
 

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JohntheBaptist said:
I stopped reading him years ago because he's not even remotely worth the effort, but ok. I don't have an issue when someone feels this way.

The Sox excuse remains extremely lame.
Yet you still take the effort to bitch about him...why exactly?
 

Dalton Jones

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Simmons is a mystery to me. This is a guy who was an incredibly compelling, incredibly funny read when he started out at digital city. It was like he'd invented a genre with the Boston Sports Guy, saying things we all thought but had no venue to say, using the internet, this relatively new thing, to blog about sacred cows in the media and take them down. He eviscerated the tired hacks who'd never been held accountable before. You could argue that sites like deadspin and barstoolsports sprang from Bill's irreverent sensibility. But as he moved up the ladder his writing got worse and he became less interesting. I suppose this is a natural progression for some. He hasn't lost his creativity. It's just no longer a literary creativity. As his writing has become more formulaic, more predictable, more trite, his creative juices have not waned; 30 for 30, Grantland (despite the pretentious title) and his early use of the podcast format all testify to his ability to take a chance and to foster new talent or create new venues for the already talented.

And yet, he's become smaller. He lacks intellectual depth and this really comes through in all the platforms he uses, the platforms he created and which give voice to other talents but which seem to diminish his own when he uses them. On his podcasts, in his own writing he comes across as shallow and sophomoric, like an adolescent. And you've hit rock bottom when you disrespect your audience by inflicting upon it the narcissistic turn of giving over the podcast to your eight-year old daughter. You've either lost touch with reality if you think people want to listen to that or simply grown to have contempt for them.