If you’re a sports fan, you know Bill Simmons. He started as a blogger in Boston as ‘the voice of the common sports fan’ and then somehow morphed into an occasional blowhard and talking head on ESPN. He’s also the creator of the 30 for 30 documentary series and is the editor at Grantland.
Simmons used to write a lot more, but now he’s mostly just does his ‘The B.S. Report’ podcast and is a member of ESPN’s studio team during NBA games. He writes a weekly million-word NFL picks column during NFL season and random NBA articles (his NBA preview with Jalen Rose is about to drop).
Well, on ‘The B.S. Report’ this week, Simmons went off on a tangent and called Roger Goodell a liar (while using a few adult words). He then dared ESPN executives to punish him for his rant. ESPN did just that and suspended Simmons for three weeks.
Here was my reaction when I heard the news:
This is the worst time ESPN could suspend Simmons. The NFL season is underway, his 30 for 30 documentary series comes back in October AND this is prime ‘NBA Preview’ time. He’s also the editor of Grantland…so how the hell does this suspension work?
I may not agree with everything Simmons writes or says, but he’s still leaps and bounds better than Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. Let me remind you that Smith was only suspended two weeks after implying that victims of domestic violence are also to blame. Yes, Simmons somehow got a longer suspension for validating ESPN’s own ‘Outside The Lines’ report.
I was going to really come to The Sports Guy’s defense, but other prominent sports media members have already done that. The hashtag #FreeSimmons has trended on Twitter since the suspension news broke. I was just getting ready to jump on the #FreeSimmons bandwagon…until I saw this tweet from ‘Girls’ actress (and part-time frumpy pillow case) Lena Dunham about Simmons:
— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) September 25, 2014
Okay, that’s enough of that nonsense, Ms. Dunham.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.