The Bill Simmons Thread

Leather

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Ok so we got Fucked Up Family February on The Rewatchables; 5 movies highlighting family disfunction.

Week 1 is Ordinary People.

Let's try to guess what the other 4 will be. Based on comments he's made, etc... Here's my guess:

2. The Great Santini
3. Kramer vs. Kramer
4. The Grifters
5. Squid and the Whale
 

Leather

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Does anyone feel like Simmons kind of short-shrifts Jack Nicholson? Whenever he makes his lists of "biggest stars" of the 70s or late 70s or early 80s or whatever, it's usually DeNiro and Pacino, Newman, Redford and depending on how he's feeling Eastwood, Beatty, or if he's talking about a Dustin Hoffman movie, Hoffman. And that's not a bad list! It's like 85% of the way there.

But man, Nicholson was a BIG FUCKING STAR from the early 70s all the way through the 90s! Arguably the biggest. He was nominated for 4 Best Actor awards between 1971 and 1976 (!) and 2 Best Supporting Actor awards between 1982 and 1984, and I think you'd be hard pressed to argue any of them were undeserved. Then he entered Pacino territory a bit and got a whole bunch of nominations, some earned some probably not, between '86 and '03.

I don't know if it's just because Nicholson's 70s run was a little more arty than what Simmons' dad liked to watch growing up (Five Easy Pieces is a great movie but not really rewatchable), but it just seems like of all the big stars that should be right in Simmons wheelhouse, Nicholson is curiously overlooked.
 

Leather

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And he wouldn't wear a Red Sox hat.
And is a Lakers fan!

I mean, I don't think that's the real reason, and he clearly doesn't dislike the guy. I just don't think Jack made movies he likes as much as the other guys. Still, it's kind of like listing great pitchers from the last 50 years and consistently forgetting to include Greg Maddux.
 

luckiestman

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I don't know if it's just because Nicholson's 70s run was a little more arty than what Simmons' dad liked to watch growing up (Five Easy Pieces is a great movie but not really rewatchable), but it just seems like of all the big stars that should be right in Simmons wheelhouse, Nicholson is curiously overlooked.

I think this is the most likely reason. The diner scene in Five Easy Pieces is very rewatchable.
 

Bozo Texino

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I think this is the most likely reason. The diner scene in Five Easy Pieces is very rewatchable.
Co-sign. I can't foresee Simmons and co. tackling something like The King of Marvin Gardens or The Passenger.

They could do Chinatown - and maybe they will when Affleck's movie about the making of the Polanski movie is released.
 

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I mean, they can be fun to listen to, but at the same time, the whole thing is kind of gross - two super-rich guys going on and on about the thousands upon thousands of dollars they throw into their bets every week and pretending like it actually matters when they lose bets. It really doesn't. Then you toss in the Clay Travis shit and the occasional tale about how much of a shithead Bill's son sounds like, and it can get to be too much for me sometimes.

And to respond to the above, it's never a weird time to point out how much of an absolute piece of shit Clay Travis is. I'm not saying Sal is as much of a fuckface just by association, but he doesn't do himself any favors when he brings up Clay Travis.
Have you ever heard the story of the Thai donut king (at least I think he was Thai. South Asia for sure). Man grew poor, got into a romance with a rich girl, deals with her parents dissaproval, but manages to flea with her to the US. He settled in California where he proceeded to make a fortune by creating chains of donut shops - in the process popularizing the pink box for donuts you see in the movies because... pink boxes are cheaper than white boxes.

Then he developed a gambling problem and lost millions upon millions in Las Vegas until he lost it all.

The point is that if you are degenerate enough, there is always a point where the losses matter no matter how much money you have.
 
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jon abbey

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Have you ever heard the story of the Thai donut king (at least I think he was Thai. South Asia for sure). Man grew poor, got into a romance with a rich girl, deals with her parents dissaproval, but manages to flea with her to the US. He settled in California where he proceeded to make a fortune by creating chains of donut shops - in the process popularizing the pink box for donuts you see in the movies because... pink boxes are cheaper than white boxes.

Then he developed a gambling problem and lost millions upon millions in Las Vegas until he lost it all.

The point is that if you are degenerate enough, there is always a point where the losses matter no matter how much money you have.
Cambodian, and after going bankrupt gambling, he later turned himself into a millionaire again.

https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-54546427.amp
 

The Social Chair

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"Brady was involved in 4 of the 12 greatest sports moments of my life. Including 4 of the top 10."

Bill Simmons at his Simmonsiest
 

Kliq

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I really like listening to Chuck Klosterman, if only because he constantly seems to be on the verge of saying something either very profound, or incredibly stupid, and my opinion on it changes pretty much on every sentence he uttered. His conversation with Bill on the 90s was either REALLY stupid, or very interesting. Curious to know what other people thought of it.

Chuck's SB talking point was really dumb. His point was that the Rams will be better than the Bengals if their top option gets taken away, as the Rams have OBJ, which totally ignored that Tee Higgins had a significantly better season than OBJ, and is coming off a game where he made a ton of big plays down the stretch against KC, a game where he doubled Chase's output.
 

jmcc5400

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I really like listening to Chuck Klosterman, if only because he constantly seems to be on the verge of saying something either very profound, or incredibly stupid, and my opinion on it changes pretty much on every sentence he uttered. His conversation with Bill on the 90s was either REALLY stupid, or very interesting. Curious to know what other people thought of it.

Chuck's SB talking point was really dumb. His point was that the Rams will be better than the Bengals if their top option gets taken away, as the Rams have OBJ, which totally ignored that Tee Higgins had a significantly better season than OBJ, and is coming off a game where he made a ton of big plays down the stretch against KC, a game where he doubled Chase's output.
That’s an apt description of Chuck. He’s the smart, literate consumer of pop culture in a dorm room conversation that veers from profound to absurd.

I did find it amusing that Chuck insisted that his book about the 90s wasn’t “nostalgic.” Of course it is, dude. How can it not be?
And it was pretty white rock critic cringey for Chuck to say that the “90s” began with Nevermind (Simmons saying Douglas over Tyson wasn’t much better).

I did like Bill’s musings on “loneliness” in the 90s and Chuck talking about spending hours in bookstores because there was nothing else to do. I miss record stores and book stores, probably because I miss my 20s (and because I’ve hardly been anywhere in 2 years).

Finally, when they were talking about the Bronco chase, I was surprised they didn’t bring up one other aspect that made it such a surreal, signature moment of the decade - everyone was watching the Knicks at the same time on a split screen. It’s hard to convey today how *weird* that was at the time.
 

johnmd20

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And it was pretty white rock critic cringey for Chuck to say that the “90s” began with Nevermind (Simmons saying Douglas over Tyson wasn’t much better).
What would you say it was, then?

i think Chuck is right about Nevermind. It set the tone not only for music in the early 90s, but it also defined Gen X.

The Tyson call was absurd.
 

Leather

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Klosterman’s whole shtick is to take something facially ridiculous and unpack why it’s not as ridiculous as it seems. And sometimes he’s right but sometimes you’re left just going…so?

He’s at his best when he’s being autobiographical because he does have a knack for highlighting how absurd every day life is. For that reason I really like Fargo Rock City (still his best book, IMO) and the parts of Sex, Drugs, and Cocopuffs that deal with his own experience.

He’s an interesting pairing with Simmons because while they both thrive when discussing minutiae and making grand conclusions based on ephemera, Simmons seems remarkably in-self aware while Klosterman is hyper self-aware.
 
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ifmanis5

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I like Chuck but he always puts a premium on something that seems surprising (to him) over something that's just a good take in and of itself. Does he own stock in surprises? I did agree with him that the 90s feels like the last self-contained decade that had a specific definitional frame of reference whereas the last few decades seem like one long same-ish slog towards climate collapse.
They both seemed to agree that the early 90's were positive but the late 90's were negative, I found the exact opposite to be the case. I was surprised that they both agreed on that take.
 

Pablo's TB Lover

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I did find it amusing that Chuck insisted that his book about the 90s wasn’t “nostalgic.” Of course it is, dude. How can it not be?
And it was pretty white rock critic cringey for Chuck to say that the “90s” began with Nevermind (Simmons saying Douglas over Tyson wasn’t much better).
It is different things for different people, based on their personal experiences during the period. For me, the '90s were more a transitional period between a monoculture in the 1980s, then 9/11 to truly start the 2000s until social media became very widespread around a decade after this to mark another era. Buuut, I was also in middle school at the start and graduating from college on the back end. I kind of find it hard from a practical viewpoint that Chuck can leave nostalgia out of this "study", just due to the ages across which he lived in the '90s. You almost need someone in their 60s at this point who was like 30 at the start of the decade and 40 at the end of it, to find common threads and separate the nostalgia as much as possible. That is, if you really want a robotic retelling of the '90s!
 

jmcc5400

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What would you say it was, then?

i think Chuck is right about Nevermind. It set the tone not only for music in the early 90s, but it also defined Gen X.

The Tyson call was absurd.
I think the release of Nevermind was a defining point of the 90s and for Gen X, I just don’t think it was when the decade “began” chronologically since it wasnt released Until late ‘91. From a pop culture perspective it seems an oversight to me to miss both the mainstream suburbanization of hip hop (U Can’t Touch This was everywhere in 1990) and the emergence of gangsta rap and the through line from NWA and Ice T to Boyz in the Hood in the summer of 91 and the LA riots in early 1992. Each was an equally defining part of the decade from my perspective.

The Simpsons were also a huge part of 90s pop culture (and was reflective of Gen X’s odd blend of cynicism with a big heart) and pretty well entrenched before Nevermind.

From a broader cultural perspective, it’s also easy to identify the fall of the Berlin Wall and the first Gulf War - both of which we all watched on television - as ushering in the decade.

Again, not quarreling with Nevermind’s significance; just making a Klostermanny argument from my dorm room couch about whether it marked the beginning of the 90s.
 

The Social Chair

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What would you say it was, then?

i think Chuck is right about Nevermind. It set the tone not only for music in the early 90s, but it also defined Gen X.

The Tyson call was absurd.
White cis males of GenX didn't define the early 90s. There were a lot of cultures and subcultures that were gay, female, and black (rap, riot girl, house, etc). Boomers also still controlled radio for a couple of years (Mariah, Whitney, Michael Bolton).

I would also say The Chronic/LA Riots have had a more important legacy than grunge, and helped usher in the 90s by bringing to a boil the anger the community felt from the Regan/Bush policies of the 80s.

I'd also add Gen X were culturally relevant for 5 years and don't really get to define the 90s (91 - 95). The last 5 years of the 90s were mostly owned by Millennials (TRL pop, jiggy rap, nu-metal, Titanic, millennial internet culture) with a few boomer exceptions like Elton John and Forrest Gump.
 

johnmd20

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White cis males of GenX didn't define the early 90s. There were a lot of cultures and subcultures that were gay, female, and black (rap, riot girl, house, etc). Boomers also still controlled radio for a couple of years (Mariah, Whitney, Michael Bolton).

I would also say The Chronic/LA Riots have had a more important legacy than grunge, and helped usher in the 90s by bringing to a boil the anger the community felt from the Regan/Bush policies of the 80s.

I'd also add Gen X were culturally relevant for 5 years and don't really get to define the 90s (91 - 95). The last 5 years of the 90s were mostly owned by Millennials (TRL pop, jiggy rap, nu-metal, Titanic, millennial internet culture) with a few boomer exceptions like Elton John and Forrest Gump.
Subcultures by their definition are fringe. And there was no boiling point in the 90s like there was over the last 2 years. The LA Riots came and went. Nothing changed, even remotely. Which is why we are in the place we are today.

And let's say you're right and Gen X had 91 to 95. Why is that less important as a definition than Brittney Spears from 97-99? Your argument that the first five years of the 90s don't count because it was only half the decade. Then you say it's because the other half was more important. Grunge was NOT dead in 1995. And saying millennials defined the 90s is absurd.

This isn't really some humongous deal, of course. I just don't think what Chuck said was crazy or completely off the mark.
 

Kliq

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My worry with Chuck is that he is so enamored with 80s/90s culture that as we get further and further away from those eras, will his content become less relevant. I get the impression a tiny bit that he is kind of checked out of contemporary pop culture and as he gets older, I'm worried he will sort of slide into this mold of being an old guy who wishes things were the way they were when he was young. That would be a loss because I enjoy his observations and cultural analysis, but something about his book just being about "The 90s" feels kind of...tired? I'd be more interested if he wrote something about right here and now.
 

Leather

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My worry with Chuck is that he is so enamored with 80s/90s culture that as we get further and further away from those eras, will his content become less relevant. I get the impression a tiny bit that he is kind of checked out of contemporary pop culture and as he gets older, I'm worried he will sort of slide into this mold of being an old guy who wishes things were the way they were when he was young. That would be a loss because I enjoy his observations and cultural analysis, but something about his book just being about "The 90s" feels kind of...tired? I'd be more interested if he wrote something about right here and now.
The problem is that he’s a cultural commentator/appraiser, and as he points out the 90s we’re really the end of monoculture. So while he still does short pieces on Taylor Swift, or Tom Brady, there’s not really enough universal culture to fill a whole book.
 

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Ok so we got Fucked Up Family February on The Rewatchables; 5 movies highlighting family disfunction.

Week 1 is Ordinary People.

Let's try to guess what the other 4 will be. Based on comments he's made, etc... Here's my guess:

2. The Great Santini
3. Kramer vs. Kramer
4. The Grifters
5. Squid and the Whale
In retrospect, Rachel Getting Married was a very obvious choice that I totally forgot. Simmons references it all the time.
 

Leather

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True. Not really one I’d classify as Rewatchable, but I think they’ve pretty much abandoned that central conceit.
 

Shelterdog

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My worry with Chuck is that he is so enamored with 80s/90s culture that as we get further and further away from those eras, will his content become less relevant. I get the impression a tiny bit that he is kind of checked out of contemporary pop culture and as he gets older, I'm worried he will sort of slide into this mold of being an old guy who wishes things were the way they were when he was young. That would be a loss because I enjoy his observations and cultural analysis, but something about his book just being about "The 90s" feels kind of...tired? I'd be more interested if he wrote something about right here and now.
It's cool no matter what decade it is he will still love the sound of his own voice.
 

cromulence

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True. Not really one I’d classify as Rewatchable, but I think they’ve pretty much abandoned that central conceit.
They tried to switch Most Rewatchable Scene to Most Gripping Scene for these ones, but yeah, you can't really call movies like these Rewatchable. Especially if they do The Squid and The Whale, which I would never ever choose to see again.
 

Leather

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They tried to switch Most Rewatchable Scene to Most Gripping Scene for these ones, but yeah, you can't really call movies like these Rewatchable. Especially if they do The Squid and The Whale, which I would never ever choose to see again.
I suppose they are all re-watching them for the podcast, so by definition they are rewatchable.

I watched Blades of Glory with my kids over the weekend (Winter Olympic theme!) and was wondering if they'd do that one. The Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and Jenna Fisher characters are all siblings so it would meet the qualification of "fucked up families" and be timely.
 

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I’m not sure if they’ve run it before, but I got a chuckle out of his son’s ‘Ben Simmons’ ad that opened Sunday’s pod. He’s probably owed it after all the parent corner stories.
 

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I’m not sure if they’ve run it before, but I got a chuckle out of his son’s ‘Ben Simmons’ ad that opened Sunday’s pod. He’s probably owed it after all the parent corner stories.
That was phenomenal. It’s the first time in a long time I didn’t immediately skip ahead to Pearl Jam.
 

Kliq

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Disappointed so far we have gotten any comments from Bill on the NBA 75 showcase at half-time during the ASG. He's a great voice for that kind of stuff and I would like to hear him and Bob Ryan or Jackie Mac talking about it.
 

JCizzle

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Disappointed so far we have gotten any comments from Bill on the NBA 75 showcase at half-time during the ASG. He's a great voice for that kind of stuff and I would like to hear him and Bob Ryan or Jackie Mac talking about it.
Despite Bill's fully deserved reputation for bringing back everything to the Celtics, most Ringer shows have basically become a LeBron/Lakers podcast over the past couple months. Even Russillo billed one of his recent opens as a Celtics deep-dive...then proceeded to ultimately talk about the Lakers for twice as long.

With that said, I do enjoy Bill's schadenfreude on the subject when he gleefully pivots to what a dumpster fire it is.
 

Kliq

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Despite Bill's fully deserved reputation for bringing back everything to the Celtics, most Ringer shows have basically become a LeBron/Lakers podcast over the past couple months. Even Russillo billed one of his recent opens as a Celtics deep-dive...then proceeded to ultimately talk about the Lakers for twice as long.
I think at least right now, people are bored and for good reason, this has always been a weak time of the year for sports.

It was weird how Bill opened his show with Mann and Jacoby talking about how all anyone did was talk about the Lakers over the weekend and ignored everything else....then proceeded to talk about the Lakers/LeBron for 45 straight minutes.
 
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Leather

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I haven't heard the podcast yet, but I do love the way he says it. Also, I look for one of the roles to be recast with Michelle Pfeiffer.
Make sure you get some EntERman's crumb cake to eat along with it.

The worst part was at about 1:07 he compliments Streep by basically saying she has an amazing ability to...act. "One of the things with Streep...you don't feel like it's Streep. It's really weird...She has this ability where you forget it's Meryl Streep after awhile! It just looks like Meryl Streep...but I think it's this character where Meryl Streep isn't even a part of! Denzel Washington is like that...in "Flight", he is a drunk maniac and I forget it's Denzel after awhile!"

A) That's the whole point of acting.
B) Denzel is probably the worst example of a major star that I can think of where truly disappears into a role. He is *always* Denzel.
 
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Auger34

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I’m listening to the Simmons pod with Lowe and my god, Simmons throws out some really fucking stupid ideas and acts like they’re legitimate ideas and his reasoning is always basically “well none of us can predict the future!”

EDIT:
For all of the really big Simmons fans out there, can someone explain to me his stance on Durant joining Golden State vs LeBron joining Miami? Because he consistently sticks up for Durant and his decisions yet consistently destroys LeBron…not sure how that works logically
 
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Kliq

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Simmons and Zach together are everything that I want out of an NBA podcast. Happy to hear they are running it back next week on the Lowe Post.
 

johnmd20

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I’m listening to the Simmons pod with Lowe and my god, Simmons throws out some really fucking stupid ideas and acts like they’re legitimate ideas and his reasoning is always basically “well none of us can predict the future!”

EDIT:
For all of the really big Simmons fans out there, can someone explain to me his stance on Durant joining Golden State vs LeBron joining Miami? Because he consistently sticks up for Durant and his decisions yet consistently destroys LeBron…not sure how that works logically
Durant did the BS podcast 5 times and Simmons hates Lebron.

His takes aren't reasonable. But it's because he's "friends" with Durant and Lebron had some big games against the Celtics.
 

ifmanis5

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Wonder if this actually happens. 32 instead of 30 teams seems logical.
Bill Simmons: “I have some intel. I think the league is going to expand to Vegas and Seattle.”
 

Bozo Texino

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Wonder if this actually happens. 32 instead of 30 teams seems logical.
Bill Simmons: “I have some intel. I think the league is going to expand to Vegas and Seattle.”
Who goes to the East, then?

And does the NBA shift to four divsions of eight teams?
 

ifmanis5

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Who goes to the East, then?

And does the NBA shift to four divsions of eight teams?
Simmons then doubled down on his “intel” and claimed Lebron James will be a part owner of the new NBA team. “If I had to bet on a Lebron scenario, it would be for him to be involved with whatever happens with that. Where he is the point man of that Vegas team. And I haven’t heard that mentioned. I don’t care if it gets aggregated because I think I’m right.”

Simmons claimed he even has info on how much the two expansion teams will cost. “I heard combined we’re talking 6.5, 7 billon of the two teams,” he said.

“I’m just saying the Vegas thing I would watch that,” Simmons added. “I think it’s officially real — Lebron is definitely going to be involved in that.”