The Bill Simmons Thread

allstonite

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Yup. For all the nitpicks I had last week he’s really good at putting guests at ease and making them seem human. Durant obviously loves it because he can just shoot the shit and talk basketball. Charize Theron I liked in a few movies and Arrested Development but never had an opinion of and she came across great. Gyllenhaal I always assumed was a smug actor but he was tremendous. I loved when he rapped the Kris Kross Sprite commercial and when Bill asked about a movie with Aniston he immediately goes “yeah we made out.” He was a regular guy and probably loved being in that environment
 

Marciano490

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Yup. For all the nitpicks I had last week he’s really good at putting guests at ease and making them seem human. Durant obviously loves it because he can just shoot the shit and talk basketball. Charize Theron I liked in a few movies and Arrested Development but never had an opinion of and she came across great. Gyllenhaal I always assumed was a smug actor but he was tremendous. I loved when he rapped the Kris Kross Sprite commercial and when Bill asked about a movie with Aniston he immediately goes “yeah we made out.” He was a regular guy and probably loved being in that environment
It's both.
 

Vinho Tinto

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It’s hard for me to take him seriously on this matter when he willfully ignores Bob Kraft’s support for Trump and Belichick’s tepid support of protesting players.
 

Vinho Tinto

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This doesn't make any sense.
He wrote an entire article about the Owners insincerity on the protest. He never mentions Kraft’s support of Trump. This is after claiming on a podcast that he forgot that Kraft gave him a ring. I feel pretty confident he wouldn’t have forgotten any other owner doing that. Same with Belichick’s lame statement on the protest (which is simply a device to avoid commentating on it during a press conference) and clear influence on the players not protesting today. He’s been pretty mum about Kraft/Belichick’s ties to Trump on his podcast and his column, but had no problem labeling Jerry Richardson (who I detest) a slave master. On a serious subject, he’s still a fanboy.
 

johnmd20

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He wrote an entire article about the Owners insincerity on the protest. He never mentions Kraft’s support of Trump. This is after claiming on a podcast that he forgot that Kraft gave him a ring. I feel pretty confident he wouldn’t have forgotten any other owner doing that. Same with Belichick’s lame statement on the protest (which is simply a device to avoid commentating on it during a press conference) and clear influence on the players not protesting today. He’s been pretty mum about Kraft/Belichick’s ties to Trump on his podcast and his column, but had no problem labeling Jerry Richardson (who I detest) a slave master. On a serious subject, he’s still a fanboy.
He excoriated the league and the owners in his column. He's obviously in denial about Kraft, but that doesn't blunt his overall message.
 

jose melendez

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He wrote an entire article about the Owners insincerity on the protest. He never mentions Kraft’s support of Trump. This is after claiming on a podcast that he forgot that Kraft gave him a ring. I feel pretty confident he wouldn’t have forgotten any other owner doing that. Same with Belichick’s lame statement on the protest (which is simply a device to avoid commentating on it during a press conference) and clear influence on the players not protesting today. He’s been pretty mum about Kraft/Belichick’s ties to Trump on his podcast and his column, but had no problem labeling Jerry Richardson (who I detest) a slave master. On a serious subject, he’s still a fanboy.
Man, I didn't even notice that. Fair criticism. Requires some introspection on my part too.
 

Spacemans Bong

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OK, catching up on some older podcasts and this really grates on me. He's with Malcolm Gladwell and they've selected some topics for each other to riff on. Gladwell says Sports Illustrated, Simmons says he cancelled his subscription this year and let's move on, so they do.

Dude, what the fuck? You've probably been subscribed to SI for nearly 40 years. Your opinions obviously carry weight in the sports journalism world. They may not be correct, but they have weight. I wanted to hear you talk about Sports Illustrated rather than some shitty theory he's going to come up with about how Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to go on a team together because they played XBox once. Fuck sake.

It's not even an ESPN situation of not shitting on a place he worked at and might go back to, just saying he cancelled was kind of shitting on them enough. You might as well have a State of SI address with Gladwell, who has famously said that his entire window in sports during the 70s in rural Canada, sans TV, was reading SI at the public library.

Too long of a rant, but that pissed me off.
 

Van Everyman

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It’s hard for me to take him seriously on this matter when he willfully ignores Bob Kraft’s support for Trump and Belichick’s tepid support of protesting players.
In that respect, he's like me, I suppose. It was def. a miss but not one I feel changed his point.

My bigger issue with that column was his self-serving veer into meta media speak. Simmons just can't help but pontificate about "content," "second screens" and terrified advertisers as if he is not overseeing a website that (from what I can tell) is actually struggling a bit.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Dude, what the fuck?
If things don't happen specifically to Bill Simmons, they never happened. He's the guy walking through the forest making sure falling tress make a sound.

"The Simpsons"? Fuck that cartoon bullshit.
MLB baseball? No one gives a shit.
Sports Illustrated? I heard the blew up the printing press after I let my subscription lapse.
 

Auger34

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If things don't happen specifically to Bill Simmons, they never happened. He's the guy walking through the forest making sure falling tress make a sound.

"The Simpsons"? Fuck that cartoon bullshit.
MLB baseball? No one gives a shit.
Sports Illustrated? I heard the blew up the printing press after I let my subscription lapse.
This is true but don't forget that when he starts to like these things again he acts like he's at the front of the revival and inevitably puts them into stupid Simmons tropes.
"Are we sure that [insert topic] isn't great?!" "Tell me why [insert topic] isn't the best thing in the last 10 years?!"
 

americantrotter

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I think SI is owned by the same people as HBO.

So my spitball is he was pissed about that cover with Goodell and the protests.

Rather than shit where he eats he just left it at his cancellation.
 

Senator Donut

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I think SI is owned by the same people as HBO.
Time and Warner split up back in 2014, so there's no remaining conflict there.

I also thought his comment on the podcast was jarring and a little smug, as if his explanation was too far above the audience's understanding. Therefore he was not going to bother sharing.
 

kenneycb

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They had like an hour at some conference and got through like five subjects out of 20 at that point, which was roughly at the halfway point. Nobody really cares about SI anymore so he wasn't going to do a deep dive given the format of the conversation.
 

ifmanis5

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I enjoyed the new Marc Maron interview. There's a classic moment in there which describes Bill very well.
Bill tells the story of how he got into his wife's car ("she drives a Tesla, by the way") and his wife was listening to Maron's podcast and immediately Bill takes it personally as some kind of an attack on him. Like, his wife can't listen to other podcasts? Why would Bill take that as a threat? Oh right, he's an insecure baby. She then says how WTF has great guests and why can't Bill get good guests like that, too? So that's why Bill has had Theron and Gyllenhaal on lately. He probably could have done this a while ago, growing his guest base, using HBO's booking clout and taking chances (something we've all wanted him to do with his writing as well) to expand his pod horizons. So telling that it took him overreacting to his wife's legit observation, internalizing it and going it into 'I'll show her' mode in order to get higher profile guests. We should get his wife to be caught reading Drew Magary to make his columns better before it's too late.
 

luckiestman

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I enjoyed the new Marc Maron interview. There's a classic moment in there which describes Bill very well.
Bill tells the story of how he got into his wife's car ("she drives a Tesla, by the way") and his wife was listening to Maron's podcast and immediately Bill takes it personally as some kind of an attack on him. Like, his wife can't listen to other podcasts? Why would Bill take that as a threat? Oh right, he's an insecure baby. She then says how WTF has great guests and why can't Bill get good guests like that, too? So that's why Bill has had Theron and Gyllenhaal on lately. He probably could have done this a while ago, growing his guest base, using HBO's booking clout and taking chances (something we've all wanted him to do with his writing as well) to expand his pod horizons. So telling that it took him overreacting to his wife's legit observation, internalizing it and going it into 'I'll show her' mode in order to get higher profile guests. We should get his wife to be caught reading Drew Magary to make his columns better before it's too late.

Im going to be a minority on this but I skip a lot of the non sport A list guests. I don't care that much about them and if I did, I would listen to Maron interview them. Some of them are good when I go back and listen to them but I would way rather listen to Bill and Sal talk bullshit or do Mike and the Dog impersonations. Nice to know I can blame Bill's wife for this.

I thought Bill was being a little self deprecating about his insecurity with the wife thing. His insecurity came out more when Maron joked that Bill was much more jealous of him than Maron was of Bill, that stung Bill a little.
 

Sir Lancelotti

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OK, catching up on some older podcasts and this really grates on me. He's with Malcolm Gladwell and they've selected some topics for each other to riff on. Gladwell says Sports Illustrated, Simmons says he cancelled his subscription this year and let's move on, so they do.

Dude, what the fuck? You've probably been subscribed to SI for nearly 40 years. Your opinions obviously carry weight in the sports journalism world. They may not be correct, but they have weight. I wanted to hear you talk about Sports Illustrated rather than some shitty theory he's going to come up with about how Durant and Kyrie Irving are going to go on a team together because they played XBox once. Fuck sake.

It's not even an ESPN situation of not shitting on a place he worked at and might go back to, just saying he cancelled was kind of shitting on them enough. You might as well have a State of SI address with Gladwell, who has famously said that his entire window in sports during the 70s in rural Canada, sans TV, was reading SI at the public library.

Too long of a rant, but that pissed me off.
I had the exact same reaction when I heard that. Perfectly good conversation fodder to flesh out (the factors in the downfall of a classic sports institution) that they dismissed like a fart in the wind. That was straight from the Nick Cafardo school of journalism where you broach a potentially interesting topic and give no analysis or insight whatsoever.
 

kenneycb

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Largely speaking, SI's downfall isn't particularly complicated and has basically mirrored the fall of newspapers. Slow to embrace digital and giving things away for free, among other factors. I don't know what's so interesting or unique about that.

I would also be more interested in Moses Malone than SI. It hasn't really been relevant in 5+ years.
 

Auger34

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For the love of all that is holy, can he please fucking stop throwing to Tate or acting like Tate is an authority on anything? Tates only skills are being a sycophant and rooting for UNC. He offers no insight on anything or is entertaining in the least.
Someone upthread compared their relationship to Michael Scott and Ryan Howard on The Office and it’s one of the most accurate descriptions I have ever read about anything
 

luckiestman

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For the love of all that is holy, can he please fucking stop throwing to Tate or acting like Tate is an authority on anything? Tates only skills are being a sycophant and rooting for UNC. He offers no insight on anything or is entertaining in the least.
Someone upthread compared their relationship to Michael Scott and Ryan Howard on The Office and it’s one of the most accurate descriptions I have ever read about anything

Tate the Snake is fine. Maybe calm down. Tate and Lombardi's podcast is one of the best things on the ringer.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Largely speaking, SI's downfall isn't particularly complicated and has basically mirrored the fall of newspapers. Slow to embrace digital and giving things away for free, among other factors. I don't know what's so interesting or unique about that.

I would also be more interested in Moses Malone than SI. It hasn't really been relevant in 5+ years.
What downfall? They aren't your average daily newspaper here running little more than repackaged wire service stories. They still put out about 60 pages of very good content a week, and break stories all the time (they broke LeBron coming back to Cleveland, for example), and have a circulation of over 3 million.

SI has become impossible to find over here, but I was reading it regularly as of about 6 months ago and it still put forth good articles on a regular basis.
 

kenneycb

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Well they've cut the number of issues from 45 to 38, so that presumably implies they aren't doing well in terms of sales or profitability and, thus readership. All reports suggest subscriptions have fallen a good amount over the last 10 years and the magazine keeps getting thinner and thinner, which implies either less content or advertising, probably both. Things may be rosier on the online side, but I assume, and your comment seems to indicate, that we were talking about the magazine side. Print-exclusive journalism is just not that important nowadays.
 

Spacemans Bong

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Well they've cut the number of issues from 45 to 38, so that presumably implies they aren't doing well in terms of sales or profitability and, thus readership. All reports suggest subscriptions have fallen a good amount over the last 10 years and the magazine keeps getting thinner and thinner, which implies either less content or advertising, probably both. Things may be rosier on the online side, but I assume, and your comment seems to indicate, that we were talking about the magazine side. Print-exclusive journalism is just not that important nowadays.
There's been a long, slow decline, but it's still more feasible than just about any other print magazine in the country that isn't tied to an institution and forcefed to its audience (ie ESPN the Magazine or the AARP magazines).

Simmons cancelling his 40 year old subscription to the cornerstone of the sports media world is bordering on news worthy, and a total lack of explanation in the context of SI historically - something Simmons is probably better prepared to talk about than almost anybody - was really underwhelming.

Personally, I didn't find SI too stodgy - they've played around with new stats, hired Joe Sheehan, had Joe Posnanski writing cover stories when he was writing must-read stuff all the time. They still do investigative journalism and they still do really good features. They did a terrific one on a serial killer who nearly made the Packers, and another great one on an Indycar driver who was a major Florida weed smuggler.

Digitally, their sites are basically the same as everybody else, but they also had their entire archives up. The Vault's a priceless treasure for getting a pulse on what sports was like in 1956, 1972, 1989, etc.

It deserved an actual explanation.
 

kenneycb

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It's because it's no longer a cornerstone of the sports media and you can find everything relevant and important they do online, the amount of which appears to be decreasing. Reading the physical magazine seems like a nostalgia play more than anything else. That or you're a dentist. There are so many outlets with so many good writers that SI is just another place to read about sports instead of being THE place to read about sports that it was pre-Internet.
 

Rook05

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Bill could just interview Costas and Michaels and twice a week and I'd never need another podcast.
 

m0ckduck

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He wrote an entire article about the Owners insincerity on the protest. He never mentions Kraft’s support of Trump. This is after claiming on a podcast that he forgot that Kraft gave him a ring. I feel pretty confident he wouldn’t have forgotten any other owner doing that. Same with Belichick’s lame statement on the protest (which is simply a device to avoid commentating on it during a press conference) and clear influence on the players not protesting today. He’s been pretty mum about Kraft/Belichick’s ties to Trump on his podcast and his column, but had no problem labeling Jerry Richardson (who I detest) a slave master. On a serious subject, he’s still a fanboy.
He has criticized the Kraft-Trump connection on his podcast-- it's not like he's literally unaware of it. It's also pretty clear that the subject induces a lot cognitive dissonance and that he doesn't like thinking about it more than he has to. Which puts him in the same boat as me.

In short: yes, he's in denial but he's not in denial about the fact that he's in denial, if you follow.
 

Vinho Tinto

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In short: yes, he's in denial but he's not in denial about the fact that he's in denial, if you follow.
I heard him mention it on his podcast in passing with Cousin Sal. I wouldn’t say he’s harping on it much. He definitely threw Jones’s behavior at Sal more than openly talk about how he feels about Kraft.

So, I don’t follow; but I’m not twisting myself in knots to paint the owners I dislike as slaveowners, but giving the owners I like a pass.
 

jimv

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This Deadspin comment made me laugh, thought other Simmons readers might appreciate it
WillieMaizeHaze said:
New level of losing: The Broken Tibia Game

This happens when your favorite team, still reeling from the deaths of Reggie Lewis and Len Bias, signs its first locally marketable player since Brian Scalabrine, and the new player is some hunky cross between a guy on The Hills and legendary American cinema character actor William Zabka, who I ran into at Popeye’s the other day. But the optimism is short-lived because 6 minutes into the first game, he suffers the worst leg injury since Joe Theisman and your season is going from Teen Wolf to Teen Wolf 2 in a flash. And your team kind of sleep-walks through the rest of the first half because they basically just witnessed the first 20 minutes of Saving Private Ryan and they can’t see the hoop through the fog of war. And then they wake up in the second half, making a furious comeback – even taking the lead – and you’re falling in love with Jayson Tatum, the first Tatum you’ve loved since you spontaneously went into puberty watching The Bad News Bears. Except LeBron goes full-on Tecmo Bowl Bo Jackson combined with NHL 94 Jeremy Roenick and then you’re just despondent in a group text with J-Bug, Sully No. 1, Black Chris (who, if it’s dark and you squint, looks a little like Wade Boggs) and White Chris (who, if it’s dark and you squint, looks a little like Black Chris). And you’re debating whether Kyrie can use his friendship with Kobe to talk Black Mamba into coming out of retirement and joining the Celtics. Ewing Theory
 
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That Rapaport takedown is hilarious.

And, yep, Simmons went to the "is this Karma for how we treated IT?" take on his podcast today.
 

luckiestman

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God, thank you for warning me. That one gets 'avoid at all costs' status.

The comment is this thread is a little unfair. Simmons said something like: your mind goes to dark places when a horrific injury like this happens...is it karma for how we treated IT....obviously that's ridiculous.
 

HoyaSoxa

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God, thank you for warning me. That one gets 'avoid at all costs' status.
It's silly that he even brought it up, so deserves to be mocked, but he did also say he knows it is ridiculous and not true. That said, it probably would have been better to just release the pre-recorded Bridges pod and wait for a full-length NBA discussion later in the week with a real guest (not Tate).
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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That Rapaport takedown is hilarious.

And, yep, Simmons went to the "is this Karma for how we treated IT?" take on his podcast today.
Some guy on SportsRadio tried tying Hayward injury to the Endleman injury under the umbrella of the EA curse. He said that with Brady and Kyrie on the covers of their respective EA games, their teams' second best players got hurt. So the Madden curse has grown.

I immediately put on a Podcast. People are fucking stupid.