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Bill Simmons Thinks Cancel Culture Kept 'Scared' Jim Nantz From Making an Asia Reference at The Masters

By Stephen Douglas
Bill Simmons at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
Bill Simmons at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party. / Rich Fury/VF20/Getty Images
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Hideki Matsuyama won the 2021 Masters on Sunday. As he made the final putt Jim Nantz said, "Matsuyama is Japan's first Masters champion!" It was a perfectly fine, if not boring call to wrap up what was a perfectly fine, if not boring, final round by Matsuyama. At least one viewer was not satisfied with the call.

On his latest podcast Bill Simmons told The Ringer's Kevin Clark that he was disappointed with the call and wondered if maybe Nantz was worried about cancel culture in the moment. You can hear Simmons' free flowing thoughts starting at the 30:54 mark in today's Masters / WrestleMania podcast. Here are Bill Simmons' words:

"We were hoping for one of his classic pre-baked one-liners when Matsuyama won The Masters. I think he was scared off. He felt nervous to me the last twenty minutes, um, cancel culture, I don't think Nantz wanted to go near anything. He kept kind of throwing it to Faldo and then when Matsuyama hit the... first of all, he missed the par putt, he had the little two-footer coming back, he made it. He wins. And Nantz basically said, Hideki Matsuyama, the first Japanese golfer to win The Masters. I've never heard him put less thought, energy, creativity, anything into one of his calls and it was a scared Jim Nantz, let's be honest."

Clark then asked Simmons what line he would have liked to hear Nantz use. Here is Bill Simmons' suggestion:

"So I had it. I had the savvy one. 'Heat of the Moment,' which was a song that won like five Grammys by a band called Asia in the 80's. I think Nantz could have gone stealth and done, It was the heat of the moment, Hideki Matsui is our Masters champion. Something like that and then it just would have been really underground. Nobody really would have gotten it. But he just played it chalk. You know what? You just signed a new contract Jim Nantz. We don't want a scared Jim Nantz. Come up with some sort of line. Anything? Disappointing."

So in Simmons' version of Jim Nant'z perfect call, you mix up the actual guy who won with former New York Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui. If that doesn't answer all Simmons' questions, I'm not sure what could.

It should also be pointed out that Asia did not win any Grammy awards, let alone five for that one song. What kind of a stretch needs to be involved for Nantz to reference a 39-year-old song just because the band was called Asia? Was it that important that we get a cutesy one-liner? Especially if it was "really underground" and "nobody really would have gotten it."

We may never know since Clark then changed the subject to the possibility of Jim Nantz making a DMX reference if Xander Schauffele had won. Somehow Jim Nantz paying tribute to DMX during a Masters broadcast still isn't as wild as Simmons' Asia suggestion.

Interestingly enough, Nantz referenced the "Land of the Rising Sun" both at the start of Sunday's broadcast and during the Butler Cabin portion of the broadcast. Did Simmons know this or was it simply not underground enough?

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