has fancy plans, and pants to match
- Apr 12, 2001
This is sorta what I'm talking about. Even when I really enjoyed Simmons, he never struck me as a person who was able to adapt. When things got tough at the Herald and he didn't feel like paying his dues, he bailed. When ESPN wouldn't let him do exactly what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it, he got into a pissing match. When he didn't feel as if Kimmel was using all of his talents, he left. When someone pushes back even a little bit on his opinions, he gets angry. I mean, most of these things have worked out for him, so what do I know. But judging from the outside, Simmons seems like the kind of person who is happy being comfortable and knowing what he knows.However I see the argument that he doesn't push himself to improve or go out of his comfort zone often.
Again, that's cool. It's just that he's a writer, a podcaster, a person who (for better or worse) shapes the sports conscious for a lot of sports fans. I think that he should be better than that, YMMV. That has always bugged me about Simmons.
In the 20 years since Simmons burst on the scene, his sports knowledge has dwindled instead of grown. When he first started, he was able to write about baseball, basketball, football and hockey, as well as golf, tennis, wrestling and boxing. He considers himself to be an NBA guy and pretty much focuses exclusively on that, which is fine. But he still opines on the other sports and I'm not sure his opinion is worth that much. If you're a writer who's job it is to be knowledgable of all sports, shouldn't you be up to date on more than just the NBA?
Writers like Jeff Pearlman, Drew Magary, Will Lietch, to name a few, have come up during Simmons' time. Do they have the same level of celebrity that Simmons has? Absolutely not. But I'd put forth that they're better communicators (certainly better writers) because they do different stuff. Pearlman is a magazine writer, writes books on different sports subjects. Magary writes two columns for Deadspin, but seems to spend more time at GQ writing political pieces and (prior to his brain injury) would go on location and do stuff and write about it. Leitch can be found in a number of different publications. Even Joe Posnanski, who I don't love any more, is a writer who always seems to be learning.
Simmons seems to have taken a stance on something once and doesn't really move on from that stance. Also, TBH, I read a bit about the Gladwell podcast and for Simmons not to push back even a little on Gladwell's insane theory about Joe Paterno doing nothing wrong with the Penn State issue is fucking dumb. When someone, even if it is a friend, spouts the bullshit that Gladwell opined, you need to call him on that. Otherwise, why are you there? And I know that we can go through everyone's podcast with a fine toothed comb and pick the parts that we don't like. That's not the point. The point is this is another example of Simmons "coasting" or not being engaged.