Working for ESPN and taking shots at the WWL has become trendy, hasn’t it? First came TJ Simers of the LA Times. Two years ago, Jason Whitlock of the KC Star did the honors. Today, it’s Bill Simmons. The first two were almost instantly relieved of their duties. What will become of The Sports Guy?
The guess here is probably nothing. You know how agents for NFL and NBA athletes wage battles against the organization through to the media? Now, sportswriters can do the same through blogs! Simmons might take occasional, thinly-veiled jabs at his employer in his columns, but this is different – it’s a roundhouse right to Norby and Rob King in the middle of the Bristol Cafeteria. It’s massive.
We’re guessing this uprising is one of three things: 1) The Costas Now special on the media was a fairly significant deal among web-dwellers and the media, and Simmons was hardly mentioned. Could this be his way of stomping his feet and shouting, ‘Hey, what about me? I started all this fan-against-the-establishment stuff years ago!’ in an effort to regain street cred? 2) ESPN really pissed Simmons off and he needed to vent. 3) ESPN, feeling empowered because it’s about to bring sportswriting legend Rick Reilly on board next month, feels it no longer needs to kowtow to its internet star anymore, and pushed back against the franchise. (This isn’t a Ced Ceballos ‘chise; he’s been propping up Page 2 since it fell apart a few years ago. If he’s let go, there should be a mock funeral for Page 2, and if it must live on, it should do so under another name.)
What about this scenario: Simmons, having worked something out with his late-night-TV show-havin’ buddy, decides to push ESPN as far as it’ll go before they’re forced to terminate his contract, pay him a hefty portion of his salary and let him walk. Two weeks later, Simmons slides into his cushy new sitcom-writing gig with his pal. It’s a win-win scenario. Then, Simmons starts the ultimate blog on the side – he’s able to do his sports riff thing, and take shots at his former employer. So technically, win-win-win.
[UPDATE: From an ESPN spokesman: "Bill is an exceptional talent with a unique voice that we're proud to bring to fans. In any creative environment that features talented people, there will inevitably be differences. As we have in the past, we'll continue to work through them."]
Simmons: Certain Promises Were Not Kept (Deadspin)
- Chris Bosh Blocked Two Shots in the Final Moments to Help Miami Force Game 7 [Video]
- Ray Allen Forced Overtime By Hitting the 3-Pointer the Miami Heat Signed Him to Hit [Video]
- Mike Miller Hit a Huge 3-Pointer While Wearing Just One Shoe [Video]
- Jozy Altidore Scored Fourth Goal in Four Matches, Gave U.S. 1-0 Lead Against Honduras [Video]
- Tim Duncan Scores 25 in the First Half Against the Heat, Miami in Trouble
- orly57 on Chris Bosh Blocked Two Shots in the Final Moments to Help Miami Force Game 7 [Video]
- Some Random Old Dude on Kawhi Leondard Slapped Mike Miller in the Face as He Dunked on Him in Game 6 [Video]
- vajayjay redick on Kawhi Leondard Slapped Mike Miller in the Face as He Dunked on Him in Game 6 [Video]
- resolutedefense on Kawhi Leondard Slapped Mike Miller in the Face as He Dunked on Him in Game 6 [Video]
- scripty on Kawhi Leondard Slapped Mike Miller in the Face as He Dunked on Him in Game 6 [Video]
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.