Bill Simmons: Valuing Trades More Than Friendships

luckiestman

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JFC. I wish I didn’t know that.
It's bad, seriously. I'm grateful to Bill for all the free entertainment he has given me over the years so always want to defend him and this is the one thing I won't even attempt to defend. Have to hope some of it is embellished and that mom is actually parenting. I'm a hypocrite though because I listen and laugh at his parent corner even though half the time there is something he is doing that is bad parenting.
 

scottyno

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In today's Parent Corner, Simmons gleefully admitted that he set up an account with $300 in it for his son to gamble on football this season. Even Cousin Sal thought that was a lunatic idea.
Seems like a great idea to admit to all the gambling companies that could potentially partner with the Ringer that he helps a minor illegally gamble online
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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As Simmons' old writing partner (with the Kimmel Show) Adam Carolla coined, the goal isn't to only have "F You" money, the real elites have "F ME" money. The Simmons family is rich enough at this point to screw themselves by destroying their shit during a temper tantrum, or blow hundreds of dollars gambling, with no appreciable repercussions.
 

ifmanis5

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Top 5 moment ever on Bill's pod today with Jackie Mac, who is very good as usual...

Bill: Reporting in 2020, it's pretty terrible right?
JM: Yup, and I often blame you for this.
Bill: (*laughs* from his Malibu mansion) I'll take the blame!
 

m0ckduck

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Random gripe: if I hear Bill say "pre-innernet" one more time, I'm going to throw something
 

Kliq

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Bill's weekly take that:

1. Brady is washed and that he enjoys watching him fail.
2. Jameis Winston should be starting and is better than more than half of the current starters.

has become extremely annoying.
 

JCizzle

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Bill's weekly take that:

1. Brady is washed and that he enjoys watching him fail.
2. Jameis Winston should be starting and is better than more than half of the current starters.

has become extremely annoying.
I do relish the 12 banners troll though. I'm very much here for that level of pettiness.
 

luckiestman

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Bill's weekly take that:

1. Brady is washed and that he enjoys watching him fail.
2. Jameis Winston should be starting and is better than more than half of the current starters.

has become extremely annoying.

The episode with House and Sal was amazing and I can't believe you are complaining about it. Jesus bro, that was gold (granted, I listened after midnight on an edible walking in a light rain on the shore of LI Sound, so maybe I set a better vibe than you).
 

Kliq

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The episode with House and Sal was amazing and I can't believe you are complaining about it. Jesus bro, that was gold (granted, I listened after midnight on an edible walking in a light rain on the shore of LI Sound, so maybe I set a better vibe than you).
I envy your lifestyle, and I generally enjoy the shows with Bill, House and Daddo Fatto, but that reoccurring bit where Bill passive-aggressively kind of says he’s pissed at Brady and hopes he loses every game, but doesn’t outright say it, is annoying.
 

johnmd20

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I envy your lifestyle, and I generally enjoy the shows with Bill, House and Daddo Fatto, but that reoccurring bit where Bill passive-aggressively kind of says he’s pissed at Brady and hopes he loses every game, but doesn’t outright say it, is annoying.
Simmons' was a little ridiculous on the latest rewatchables.(The Martian) The push back and shock he received from Ryan, Fennessy, and Latham was pretty epic. You know they don't want to pound too hard on the boss but he kept saying outrageous and marginally nonsensical comments and everyone was like, "Bro, what are you doing? That is the stupidest shit I have ever heard."

Simmons is perilously close to becoming a parody. It happens to everyone eventually, but he's like Brady right now. A few more bad games and people are going to really start talking about the cliff.

And I say that as someone who really enjoys his podcast and I listen to every one.
 

luckiestman

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Simmons' was a little ridiculous on the latest rewatchables.(The Martian) The push back and shock he received from Ryan, Fennessy, and Latham was pretty epic. You know they don't want to pound too hard on the boss but he kept saying outrageous and marginally nonsensical comments and everyone was like, "Bro, what are you doing? That is the stupidest shit I have ever heard."

Simmons is perilously close to becoming a parody. It happens to everyone eventually, but he's like Brady right now. A few more bad games and people are going to really start talking about the cliff.

And I say that as someone who really enjoys his podcast and I listen to every one.
I listened to maybe the first 40 minutes of this on a drive today. I didn't notice anything weird. Maybe he is getting pandemic fatigue.
 

johnmd20

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I listened to maybe the first 40 minutes of this on a drive today. I didn't notice anything weird. Maybe he is getting pandemic fatigue.
His Lincoln take was the one that prompted the most push back. That push back lasted the entire episode.

But he is definitely getting pandemic fatigue. His Laker and Lebron takes are nearing Skip Bayless levels.
 

luckiestman

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His Lincoln take was the one that prompted the most push back. That push back lasted the entire episode.

But he is definitely getting pandemic fatigue. His Laker and Lebron takes are nearing Skip Bayless levels.
Oh, I didn't like Lincoln so that didn't make me have a second thought.
 

Shelterdog

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Oh, I didn't like Lincoln so that didn't make me have a second thought.
Adam Sandler would have been great in the part didn't do anything for you? The martian as the most entertaining sci fi movie ever (from a list that didn't appear to include any star wars films?)
 

luckiestman

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Adam Sandler would have been great in the part didn't do anything for you? The martian as the most entertaining sci fi movie ever (from a list that didn't appear to include any star wars films?)
I don’t really think of Star Wars as Sci Fi either, it’s more like Space Cowboys.

Adam Sandler is a good actor.

I can’t wait for the Van Lathan/Bill Simmons 8mm rewatch. That was one of the first movies my now wife and I went to see with each other and she actually screamed in the theatre. I, until that point, thought people that screamed out like that during movies were messing around but she was legitimately terrified.
 

Shelterdog

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I don’t really think of Star Wars as Sci Fi either, it’s more like Space Cowboys.

Adam Sandler is a good actor.

I can’t wait for the Van Lathan/Bill Simmons 8mm rewatch. That was one of the first movies my now wife and I went to see with each other and she actually screamed in the theatre. I, until that point, thought people that screamed out like that during movies were messing around but she was legitimately terrified.
You think Sandler would have been good in the Martian?
 

shaggydog2000

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I don’t really think of Star Wars as Sci Fi either, it’s more like Space Cowboys.

Adam Sandler is a good actor.

I can’t wait for the Van Lathan/Bill Simmons 8mm rewatch. That was one of the first movies my now wife and I went to see with each other and she actually screamed in the theatre. I, until that point, thought people that screamed out like that during movies were messing around but she was legitimately terrified.
Star Wars is a specific genre of Sci-Fi called a Space Opera. They were incredibly popular as film serials when George Lucas was a kid, and almost non-existent in film by the mid 70's.
 

Leather

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Sandler’s decent in uncut gems but I’m not quite seeing him as a resolute astronaut.
Sandler is fine in roles that require the character to have some form of intense desperation; a feeling that below the surface there's something ready to pop. That's also what most of his most well-loved comedy is based on ("Happy Gilmore"), even his musical numbers ("Somebody Kill Me Please", "Lunch Lady Land", "Chanukah Song") have a quiet...quiet...LOUD! build-and-release tension.

So he works as the guy in Punch Drunk Love, and in Uncut Gems, and in The Meyerowitz Stories because those are guys that on the edge in some respect. It also works because the person writing/directing the movie knows how to use him.

So...No, he would be awful as Lincoln or as a hyper-rational, ever upbeat-in-the-face-of-impossible-odds astronaut. It would be like casting Steve Carell as Teddy Roosevelt.
 

ifmanis5

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Jared Dudley was a great guest. His Dwight Howard stories were hilarious and his disclosing that the Lakers stole the Celtics big man plays was interesting to say the least. Jared should have his pick of broadcast or maybe even coaching jobs when he retires.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

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Jared Dudley was a great guest. His Dwight Howard stories were hilarious and his disclosing that the Lakers stole the Celtics big man plays was interesting to say the least. Jared should have his pick of broadcast or maybe even coaching jobs when he retires.
Thank you for the heads up. It was, indeed, a great episode and his view on the Celtics needs was fascinating too, if obvious. Frankly, a person with his experience and wisdom would be great addition to Boston's or any bench. Unlike some Celtics fans, he clearly thinks Stevens knows what he is doing as a coach. He cited him as a very good coach several times during the pod.
 

TheGazelle

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His Lincoln take was the one that prompted the most push back. That push back lasted the entire episode.

But he is definitely getting pandemic fatigue. His Laker and Lebron takes are nearing Skip Bayless levels.
That Lincoln take was incredible. Shades of the Godfather Rewatchable when Simmons questioned what Michael was doing after he returned from WWII.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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I kinda had a mini-epiphany last night: Simmons is Paul Scheer's character, Andre, from The League. Professionally successful, surrounds himself with cool people, but is ultimately the butt of jokes in his friend group. Everyone has a friend like that that takes more shit than anyone else, is irrationally self-confident, but then will either explode or ultimately will get worn down to the point that the rest of the friend group will ultimately relent/feel bad (admittedly, I have been that guy in the friend group). House, Sal and Russillo, who were friends before employees, shit on him endlessly. His employees want to do the same, but have to rein it in a bit.

The thing that really turned the light on for me is that he's referenced "power walking" around LA in a few ad spots and during his conversation with Rembert recently. I'm sure that in his mind, he just can't say he's walking around town for exercise. He has to let everyone know he's POWER walking, the preferred exercise of grandmothers. So he takes something that no one would give a second talk to and tries to beef it up into something everyone can tool on him over. I'm sure Rembert cringed a bit when he mentioned their power walk. Why not just say you went for a long walk or a hike dude?

I think that's why I never get too bent out of shape over him. He's a rich, successful dork. He's gonna do dorky stuff and say stupid shit.
 

Leather

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I think you're on to something, but "dork" doesn't seem an apt descriptor. "Dorks" are generally people who do what they like and lack the knowledge to realize, or simply don't care, that what they do is "uncool." Dorks play D&D with their buddies; dorks are also dads who blast The Who when they pick up their teenage daughter and her friends.

Simmons has a different preoccupation: he's hyperaware of what is cool, and cares very much what people think about him, despite how rich and successful he is. Deep down, he's a pretty insecure guy.

EDIT: And before anybody accuses me of ripping Simmons, I think insecurity is probably the primary motivator for a large percentage of successful (or quasi successful, see the current President) people.
 
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Kliq

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Simmons and Netflix are going to be producing a multi-part documentary series on Vince McMahon, which is supposedly one of the most expensive documentary projects Netflix has ever done. Sounds like a delight.
 

Shelterdog

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I think you're on to something, but "dork" doesn't seem an apt descriptor. "Dorks" are generally people who do what they like and lack the knowledge to realize, or simply don't care, that what they do is "uncool." Dorks play D&D with their buddies; dorks are also dads who blast The Who when they pick up their teenage daughter and her friends.

Simmons has a different preoccupation: he's hyperaware of what is cool, and cares very much what people think about him, despite how rich and successful he is. Deep down, he's a pretty insecure guy.

EDIT: And before anybody accuses me of ripping Simmons, I think insecurity is probably the primary motivator for a large percentage of successful (or quasi successful, see the current President) people.
I'm (like most of the rest of the board I guess) from a pretty similar background to Bill's--I'm five years younger so fairly close in age and also from a New England suburb--and it's shocking to me how much what he likes or doesn't like is based on what an teenager in Newton would have thought was cool. So Eddie Murphy, 48 Hours, Miami Vice, Rocky -- cool -- but anything reeking of sci fi, fantasy, comic books, indiana jones-- is little too nerdy, or even moderately challenging works are for the drama club or something (e.g. only a "certain type of person" likes Coen brothers movies, calling widely distributed oscar nominated films art fartsy or English major movies, rarely mentioning music more obscure than pearl jam).

But rewatchables on some popular 80s/90s movie is pretty fucking hilarious when I'm doing the dishes and it's not my problem that he has narrow tastes, so vive la difference.
 

shaggydog2000

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I'm (like most of the rest of the board I guess) from a pretty similar background to Bill's--I'm five years younger so fairly close in age and also from a New England suburb--and it's shocking to me how much what he likes or doesn't like is based on what an teenager in Newton would have thought was cool. So Eddie Murphy, 48 Hours, Miami Vice, Rocky -- cool -- but anything reeking of sci fi, fantasy, comic books, indiana jones-- is little too nerdy, or even moderately challenging works are for the drama club or something (e.g. only a "certain type of person" likes Coen brothers movies, calling widely distributed oscar nominated films art fartsy or English major movies, rarely mentioning music more obscure than pearl jam).

But rewatchables on some popular 80s/90s movie is pretty fucking hilarious when I'm doing the dishes and it's not my problem that he has narrow tastes, so vive la difference.
His taste are the movies that were on TBS in the middle of the day when he was 12-25.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Simmons and Netflix are going to be producing a multi-part documentary series on Vince McMahon, which is supposedly one of the most expensive documentary projects Netflix has ever done. Sounds like a delight.
Meltzer forgot to list one important producer:WWE.

I wonder why Netflix and not HBO. Simmons signed a new production deal with them two years ago.
 

Kliq

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Meltzer forgot to list one important producer:WWE.
I wonder why Netflix and not HBO. Simmons signed a new production deal with them two years ago.
I mean, I heard it on WWE’s investors call so I knew WWE was going to be involved. My guess is they added Simmons as the Executive Producer because they’ve worked with him in the past for the Andre doc and know he will treat them fairly, from their perspective, which probably different than what a normal person would consider fair.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I mean, I heard it on WWE’s investors call so I knew WWE was going to be involved. My guess is they added Simmons as the Executive Producer because they’ve worked with him in the past for the Andre doc and know he will treat them fairly, from their perspective, which probably different than what a normal person would consider fair.
That does make sense. They are also producing the Hogan biopic with Thor; but WWE isn’t listed as a producer (However, Eric Bischoff and Bradley Cooper made the cut).
 

Kliq

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That does make sense. They are also producing the Hogan biopic with Thor; but WWE isn’t listed as a producer (However, Eric Bischoff and Bradley Cooper made the cut).
To be honest, it’s a great opportunity for WWE. A big documentary series on Netflix can get a lot of attention and it looks like Netflix is going to push it really hard. My guess is WWE has been trying to get this done for a while and has been working on a deal with Netflix; and they finally reached an agreement. Then Simmons was brought in because like him or not, he brings a lot of credibility to any sports documentary and he has already produced a successful wrestling doc.

I think the general public could find Vince fascinating; I personally don’t have high hopes for the doc and probably won’t watch it unless it’s absolutely recommended to me, but I think pretty much no matter what way they tell the story, non-wrestling fans can be entertained by it.
 

nattysez

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To be honest, it’s a great opportunity for WWE. A big documentary series on Netflix can get a lot of attention and it looks like Netflix is going to push it really hard. My guess is WWE has been trying to get this done for a while and has been working on a deal with Netflix; and they finally reached an agreement. Then Simmons was brought in because like him or not, he brings a lot of credibility to any sports documentary and he has already produced a successful wrestling doc.

I think the general public could find Vince fascinating; I personally don’t have high hopes for the doc and probably won’t watch it unless it’s absolutely recommended to me, but I think pretty much no matter what way they tell the story, non-wrestling fans can be entertained by it.
I was going to say that Simmons was putting his reputation at risk if this thing is a hagiography that papers over McMahon's many, many blemishes, but I suspect that:
(1) anything wrestling-related will be pretty popular, so Simmons is not going to care if a few people whine about it being too easy on McMahon; and
(2) as an exec producer, Simmons likely just wants it to be entertaining, and will react to any negative reactions by saying "we wanted to make a piece people would enjoy -- sometimes that's a hard-hitting documentary and sometimes it's a reminiscence about something people have enjoyed for a long time. Both things have their place."
 

johnmd20

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I kinda had a mini-epiphany last night: Simmons is Paul Scheer's character, Andre, from The League. Professionally successful, surrounds himself with cool people, but is ultimately the butt of jokes in his friend group. Everyone has a friend like that that takes more shit than anyone else, is irrationally self-confident, but then will either explode or ultimately will get worn down to the point that the rest of the friend group will ultimately relent/feel bad (admittedly, I have been that guy in the friend group). House, Sal and Russillo, who were friends before employees, shit on him endlessly. His employees want to do the same, but have to rein it in a bit.

The thing that really turned the light on for me is that he's referenced "power walking" around LA in a few ad spots and during his conversation with Rembert recently. I'm sure that in his mind, he just can't say he's walking around town for exercise. He has to let everyone know he's POWER walking, the preferred exercise of grandmothers. So he takes something that no one would give a second talk to and tries to beef it up into something everyone can tool on him over. I'm sure Rembert cringed a bit when he mentioned their power walk. Why not just say you went for a long walk or a hike dude?

I think that's why I never get too bent out of shape over him. He's a rich, successful dork. He's gonna do dorky stuff and say stupid shit.
If Donald Trump said this at one of his rallies where people were passing out due to the heat, it would sound no less insane.

Simmons might not be "cool". And he might be a poser, evidenced by his power walking talk. But he is not Andre. Jesus.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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If Donald Trump said this at one of his rallies where people were passing out due to the heat, it would sound no less insane.

Simmons might not be "cool". And he might be a poser, evidenced by his power walking talk. But he is not Andre. Jesus.
Tell me you couldn't see a cold open where Andre walks into the bar and Ruxin, Pete and Kevin roast him over his Ramones t-shirt that he bought at some boutique for $70. That's exactly what happened with a Sal/Kimmel pod a while back.
 

Bernie Carbohydrate

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I think you're on to something, but "dork" doesn't seem an apt descriptor. "Dorks" are generally people who do what they like and lack the knowledge to realize, or simply don't care, that what they do is "uncool." Dorks play D&D with their buddies; dorks are also dads who blast The Who when they pick up their teenage daughter and her friends.

Simmons has a different preoccupation: he's hyperaware of what is cool, and cares very much what people think about him, despite how rich and successful he is. Deep down, he's a pretty insecure guy.

EDIT: And before anybody accuses me of ripping Simmons, I think insecurity is probably the primary motivator for a large percentage of successful (or quasi successful, see the current President) people.
So "I'm not ripping Simmons, but let me compare him to....Trump?"

Simmons's hyper-specific SoSH-centric problem is that this site is full of smart and quippy white guys who grew up in New England in the late twentieth century. We have met the enemy and he is us.

Simmons got his start as a smart and quippy locally popular blogger in the late 1990s. I was reading BSG in 1999ish, saw a shout-out to SoSH, followed the link, and became a member here in 2000. The gap between what Simmons was posting on Page Two and the stuff on this site in that era wasn't that large -- Simmons wrote longer pieces, and they were better crafted and edited, but there were plenty of guys on the Main Board who had more incisive takes on, say, Pedro leaving in 2004 than what Simmons produced, and P&G was full of funny takes about pop culture --in particular the pop culture valued by white guys who grew up in New England in the late twentieth century (shelterdog's "what an teenager in Newton would have thought was cool").

When Simmons briefly joined SoSH, it was like a local hoops star who made the NBA and the came back to then old playground for some pickup. Some SoSHers came hard at him for what were fairly innocuous posts. They wanted to dunk on the guy who made it big. And indeed, Simmons was a passionate but unsophisticated Red Sox fan (as was I). His takes were better than, say, those of Shaughnessy, but the Main Board was fanatically analytical, and at that time he who didn't show his math was likely to be hammered. This was the era when a poster (like 2002 Bernie Carbohydrate) who naively thought the lineup needed "another RBI guy" would be subject to a flurry of acidic posts about why the RBI was a worthless stat. Simmons was a Bob Ryan disciple and SoSH was a Bill Jamesean cathedral. Why was Simmons making bank at ESPN when he used batting average instead of OPS when discussing hitters?

But Simmons stuck with it, and made it his job. The rest of us made thousands of posts on SoSH, and did not become rich because we invited funny nicknames for Yankee players or went to war over Maura Tierney's relative hotness.
 

Leather

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Ok and your point is? What?

I'm familiar with his bio, thanks. The guy wears his insecurities on his sleeve. That has nothing to do with the quality of his work.
 
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Kliq

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I was going to say that Simmons was putting his reputation at risk if this thing is a hagiography that papers over McMahon's many, many blemishes, but I suspect that:
(1) anything wrestling-related will be pretty popular, so Simmons is not going to care if a few people whine about it being too easy on McMahon; and
(2) as an exec producer, Simmons likely just wants it to be entertaining, and will react to any negative reactions by saying "we wanted to make a piece people would enjoy -- sometimes that's a hard-hitting documentary and sometimes it's a reminiscence about something people have enjoyed for a long time. Both things have their place."
I will say that I've heard Bill be critical several times for documentaries, particularly Netflix documentaries, that are basically just commercials for something. I know one of them was a Taylor Swift documentary that come out and Simmons said it was basically just a commercial for her upcoming album and never said or showed anything critical of Swift, and he called it a "documercial." If WWE has complete creative control over the documentary that is probably what they would want to do as well. Vince is great and a genius, the end.

Knowing nothing about the project right now other than the parties involved, my guess is that the documentary will be mostly pro-McMahon with some critical caveats thrown in for balance. I can imagine they'll cover the steroid trial, which was a bad look for McMahon for sure, but also contemporary audiences don't really care that McMahon was encouraging his talent to take steroids in the 90s, when everyone in sports from that era is now believed to be on steroids. They'll get on old wrestler or two on to bad mouth McMahon. They might talk about some of his more harmless quirks (like how he hates people sneezing in front of him, how he runs through creative team members like toilet paper, etc.) as well. More serious topics like the Mel Phillips scandal, the Saudi Arabia blood money shows, the Jimmy Snuka/Nancy Argentino case, etc. will probably be left on the cutting room floor.

Personally I'm more concerned about how the documentary will portray Vince's role in wrestling history. The history of wrestling has largely been manipulated by WWE's attempts at educating the public; and a Netflix documentary that contains WWE's version of wrestling history will only set things back further. Simmons doesn't know any better either. I found the Andre documentary entertaining for what it was, but it contained some dumb and inaccurate accounts and statements that don't give me much hope this time around when the subject is Vince, who WWE will want to control the narrative about it even more.
 

Leskanic's Thread

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A WWE-endorsed Vince McMahon documentary is another in a long line of things where my ability to handle it (and, in this case, likely enjoy it) depends dramatically on the results of next Tuesday.
 

ElUno20

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If I was a teenager I'd be over the moon about the doc and potential hogan project. But now i know how awful and racist Vince and Hogan are so I'll pass.

Im sure it'll do big numbers but i hope in 2020-2021 people at least stop to think what they're supporting and reaffirming when they watch these projects.
 

Devizier

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When Simmons briefly joined SoSH, it was like a local hoops star who made the NBA and the came back to then old playground for some pickup. Some SoSHers came hard at him for what were fairly innocuous posts. They wanted to dunk on the guy who made it big. And indeed, Simmons was a passionate but unsophisticated Red Sox fan (as was I). His takes were better than, say, those of Shaughnessy, but the Main Board was fanatically analytical, and at that time he who didn't show his math was likely to be hammered. This was the era when a poster (like 2002 Bernie Carbohydrate) who naively thought the lineup needed "another RBI guy" would be subject to a flurry of acidic posts about why the RBI was a worthless stat. Simmons was a Bob Ryan disciple and SoSH was a Bill Jamesean cathedral. Why was Simmons making bank at ESPN when he used batting average instead of OPS when discussing hitters?
Pretty much right.

But it was basketball where Simmons caught the most heat. He was the reason for the formation of the Port Cellar and was driven away by IIRC Rudy Pemberton
 

johnmd20

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Pretty much right.

But it was basketball where Simmons caught the most heat. He was the reason for the formation of the Port Cellar and was driven away by IIRC Rudy Pemberton
It was SJH who drove him away over Edgar Renteria. Real tough guy stuff.
 
In Monday's podcast with Cousin Sal, Simmons went through a bunch of QBs and asked Sal to give his confidence level in each of them...on a scale of 1 to 20, with 20 being the best. 1 to 20, and not 1 to 10? Sal gave him a bit of pushback on that, but not nearly enough; it's not a big thing, but who asks someone to rate anything out of 20?