ESPN and Bill Simmons to part ways

Interesting development in that they’re getting rid of Simmons, but keeping Grantland. I wonder who’s taking over and I wonder what that means for Grantland. How much of it is ESPN’s? How much of it Bill’s?

Although now he can get hired by Fox Sports and make a bajillion dollars

I always liked Bill Simmons. He’s a Red Sox fan, kinda funny and seems to actually know about and enjoy sports, unlike other ESPN personalities (looking at you, Colin Cowherd). Can’t believe he’s been there 15 years.

Interesting, I’m not a fan of his articles but I really like Grantland. I’ll be curious to see how much the parts I like are due to his editorial stance or are held back because of it.

Boy, that Deflategate thing must be hitting Simmons harder than I thought…

I’m torn on Simmons. I think he’s a great sports commentator, but his homerism is really out of place at his level. I can’t think of any other on the national level that uses “we” and “us” when referring to the teams he’s a fan of. But when you strip that away (and there really isn’t all that much of that there), he’s excellent across the board. I don’t really care about the NBA or NHL, but he can write knowledgeably about at least 3 of the major 4 sports (I have zero idea what his hockey coherency is). Regardless, it doesn’t affect me whatsoever - anything he produces will be just as readily available to me as when he was with ESPN. It’s just further proof to me that ESPN continues to spiral down the drain as they hand the reins off to morons like Colin Cowherd, Stephen A. Smith, Skip Bayless, and Mike & Mike.

I lost interest in watching ESPN a long time ago. I don’t remember exactly what it was that did it (maybe the cheerleading they do for Die Nationalmannschaft whenever a major international soccer tournament comes along. I swear if one didn’t know any better one would SWEAR that ESPN was a GERMAN station when it comes to soccer coverage - except for the fact that it reports in English). Or maybe it was when they hired Desmond Howard (I HATE Miss-again fairyball) for their College GameDay show. Whatever the case, I’ve made it a POINT to not watch any more ESPN than absolutely necessary over the last few years. Seems that I made the right choice.

Joe Buck has been known to do it when calling St. Louis Cardinal games.

I’m interested in whether there will be a few secrets spilled after this. The pre-ESPN Sports Guy was just a dude writing a blog, who was happy to call out refereeing chicanery or obvious owner BS. Then, the guy got hired by national media, and was able to actually meet Commissioners and hang out with Hall-of-Famers and everyday players. The criticism got a bit muted (except, notably Goodell last fall). Now that nobody at ESPN is exercising editorial control, will he say all the things he couldn’t say before (possibly with inside scoop on where the bodies are), or now that he’s freelance will he have to be even more cautious?

Honestly this was my second thought.

Call Bill James and get working on that tell-all book. It’ll be a doozy and with Simmons’ personality you KNOW it’s coming

And I would read the shit out of that book

I hope and almost expect Bill Simmons will write some kind of tell-all book about ESPN. He’s already spilled a lot of inside scoop while he was actually working there.
As he said back in 2011:

I would love to read a tell all book from Bill Simmons but I don’t know how likely one is. I don’t like revealing too much about myself online but I have worked for the Disney company in the UK in the past and, if his contract is anything like mine, it has a clause in it saying you can’t disparage people or actions of the company publicly, even after you leave. He will likely have access to better lawyers than I would though, so maybe he’d be able to drive a coach and horses through such terminology.

I read that as more ‘rubbing their nose in it by being better, getting more traffic, etc. somewhere else’ rather than ‘dishing the dirt on them somewhere else.’ But we can hope. :slight_smile:

I think even Simmons knows he’s never going to get more traffic than he did at ESPN. I actually hope he doesn’t go to some other big site (Fox, SI, Yahoo, etc). He needs to be independent.

Simmons was a daily must-read when he was still a one-website act, writing all his own stuff. Getting the ESPN deal quickly turned him into a pompous twit who refused to edit himself, or even make himself write regularly about something other than the NBA salary cap, or with less than a 10x factor on necessary verbiage. It isn’t a surprise that his earlier suspension was shortly followed by “Yanno, we really don’t need this shit anymore” from management. He’s been a can’t-read, not a must-read, for years now. Even The Onion has gone after him multiple times.

Maybe clearing his head and going back to his roots will be a good thing, if he can manage it.