Briandong79 wrote:Great breakdown, dtf. Though I'm confused why you don't think Obama has seen the entirety of The Wire.
TY for the kind words, both you and others. The run of the Wire, coincides with Mr. Obama's meteoric rise from the Illinois legislature to the senate to the presidency. Did he really have time to watch 60 hours of an HBO show? I mean I'm not saying he LITERALLY didn't have 60 hours to himself in the 6 or so years it was on, but it seems an unlikely use of his time, especially considering he had a wife and kids [and they ruin everything amirite].
Then again, there are some people who contend that he didn't really do anything to earn his presidency and was handed it by guilty white people while he sat on his ass. So, if you believe that then he could have watched the wire 10 times over. What you choose to believe is up to you. I report, you decide.
Anyway, when last we left Bill, he was writing an unpublished column full of hilarious pwnage of John McCain and ESPN that sadly never saw the light of day. But how did things possibly get worse from there?
Roger Goodell "is lying," Simmons' now-infamous rant began.
Probably a correct assessment. If he had just left it at that, none of this would have happened.
"If you put him up on a lie detector test, that guy would fail," Simmons continued. "And for all these people to pretend they didn't know is such f—ing bullshit." Later in the podcast, he dared someone — anyone — to come after him. "Please call me and say I'm in trouble. I dare you."
Tough blow for Nas, there. Ether just got knocked off the Mount Rushmore of diss tracks.
Simmons willingly admits he didn't bother listening to the podcast before it went up
Simmons admitting he doesn't listen to or proofread/edit a podcasts/column is sort of like Charles Barkley admitting he's bald. Thanks for checking in.
"If I'd heard it, I would've been like, 'Shit, we should soften that,' " he says now. "I just said it wrong. I was basically saying, 'If the NFL wants to come after me …' But it sounded like I was challenging ESPN, which was just stupid, and there's no reason to do that."
It may have sounded like we were challenging America, but all we said was "Death to Israel and death to the Crusaders." Just a big misunderstanding.
"It probably happened for a reason.
Yeah, the reason is that if you say whatever shit pops into your head, never edit yourself and never allow any edits, eventually you will write/say something that will get you in trouble. That or the Writing Gods, the Podcast Gods, the Football Gods and the Premium Cable Gods had a four-hour emergency meeting to determine the path of your career. One or the other.
By early 2015, his situation at ESPN had become untenable. He had largely stopped his involvement with the 30 for 30 doc series and no longer was appearing on ESPN's NBA Countdown, instead focusing on his insular fiefdom of Grantland and the podcast.
Oh you slyyyyy fucking douchebag, you think you can just cutely insinuate that Bill left NBA Countdown out of righteous principle? No, he was kicked the fuck off because he insisted they turn it into the Bill Simmons Circlejerk Hour, which ESPN spun off into its own show and surprise surprise no one on Jah's green earth ever saw.
"I started to feel like I was Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory," Simmons says with a chuckle.
I didn't see that movie. Was Mel Gibson an insufferable, whiny cocksucker who thought the world owed him an icecream cake and went all Alex Jones the minute he didn't get his way? If so, good reference Bill.
He had a long and growing list of grievances
Like not turning their NBA coverage into an infomercial for the Celtics' wonderful trade assets.
he needed more resources at Grantland;
No he fucking didn't. They spent millions of dollars on a fucking content mill that got 1/4th the traffic of Deadspin. The writers had travel budgets. He wanted more resources to expand the site's scope, rightly or wrongly. Grantland didn't NEED jack shit.
his podcast wasn't being properly monetized
I will back off and admit that given how much revenue he earned from the Bill Simmons Podcast hosted by the Bill Simmons Network, this might actually be true.
his Grantland Basketball Hour was getting bounced all over the schedule
Because no one was fucking watching it, and advertisers cared that no one was fucking watching it.
But at that point, he felt he no longer had the ear of Skipper, whom he believes began distancing himself in fall 2013, when a widely read Deadspin story suggested Simmons had become the network's "shadow president."
Yeah, that must have been it.
The characterization, which set off alarm bells on both coasts, came on the heels of Magic Johnson's abrupt departure from Countdown, which the piece reported was the result of a power struggle between Simmons and Johnson. Simmons vehemently denies that accusation, insisting that Johnson left, in large part, because of ESPN's mishandling of Michael Wilbon, a former Countdown co-host and close Johnson pal, on the show.
Nice diversion there. Clearly, the bad blood was between Simmons and Wilbon, who flagrantly and sometimes hilariously condescended to Simmons as if he were a 5th grader on take your son to work day. My interpretation is that Simmons ran off Wilbon, and Magic left with Wilbon out of solidarity.
Regardless of my interpretation , the message is clear: Simmons' "i'm right and the world revolves around me" attitude towards conflict resolution may have worked when he was clashing with editors, but in showing up powerful TV guys, he ran out of political capital very quickly. But I guess the classic ESPN tactic of blaming Deadspin lives on beyond Simmons' ESPN grave.
"I was f—ing furious," he says. "I was yelling at everybody. I was like, 'What the f—? You guys f—ed this up. Why am I in this?' And I just made it worse. I should've just not said anything and used that to my advantage for the next thing."
Acting like a cliched dick-ish, profane Hollywood studio executive did not help me eviscerate my enemies. I now realize that things don't work this way. This all goes to show how badly ESPN fucked the dog.
Simmons is all but certain that a few bitter folks in Bristol had planted the story.
These are the brilliant analytical skills that made him famous. An anomyous story about Bill being resented at his company, was the product of...somebody at the company who resented him?
"That was the first time I really realized, 'Oh, people at ESPN really resent my relationship with Skipper,'
Wasn't there stuff in the ESPN book about people thinking Bill was a whiny spoiled twat who ran to Skipper over even the most minor disagreements? If Bill didn't realize there was resentment back then, he's even dumber than I thought. And, as you may have noticed, I already thought he was pretty dumb.
The first approach from HBO couldn't have come at a better time. It was March 2015, and Lombardo was eager to meet Simmons. He's no sports fan,
And you think I'm exaggerating when I say that Bill's appeal is to people who don't actually like sports.
[quote"I just thought, 'This guy can go from Lena to Serge Ibaka with such passion and dexterity, I have to meet him,' " [/quote]
I will admit, very few people care about girly, crappy TV shows and sports AT THE SAME TIME. Synergy, cat-fuckers. Synergy.
With the TV piece in place, Simmons took the summer off to regroup. His family rented a place in Malibu, and while his two kids were off at camp, he'd wander the beach reflecting on all that had happened.
Beautiful narrative, really adds to the piece.
I'm not blameless," he says now, acknowledging: "I acted like a brat a couple times, and there are things I could have handled better."
Spoken like a true 14 year old. "Yeah, I fed all of grandma's medication to the dog, who freaked out and broke the antique vase and had to go to the vet, and medicare won't pay for grandma's replacement pills. But that's all in the past! What's taking away my allowance going to accomplish?"
ESPN insiders suggest Skipper simply had reached his breaking point — after all those years of empowering and defending Simmons internally, he no longer could tolerate the disrespect. But Simmons had a hard time accepting that.
Because it's a reasonable explanation of what happened and doesn't exonerate him from any sort of wrongdoing.
He not only was angry but genuinely hurt. "It was always this very emotional relationship," says Dixon. "Bill's such a passionate guy, and he viewed those execs as his mentors and champions."
But why did mom and dad ground me? Don't they love me?
Even now, the wounds still can feel fresh. As he winds his black BMW through L.A.'s Hancock Park this spring
WINDING IN MY BMW...THESE WOUNDS THEY WILL NOT HEE-EEL. Bill makes Nu-Metal bands seem mature and justified in their rage.
"We lacked a full understanding of the bonding nature between Bill and those guys," Skipper said at the time. Half a year later, Simmons remains stunned by the remark.
A top guy at ESPN didn't really understand stuff about Grantland? Shocking. Unbelievable. That was the crown jewel in ESPN's empire, really.
"Do you understand how dumb that is?" he says now. "I hired every single person who worked for me, it was my idea, and everything we did came out of all the relationships that I had with those people."
Which is perfectly in line with what ESPN's brain trust saw as "That thing we let Simmons do after he threatened to leave, because we could still semi-tolerate him back in 2011 when he wasn't feuding with other on-air personalities and causing headaches in the business segment that keeps the lights on"
And then, as though still trying to settle the score, he adds of the recent rash of ESPN departures, which include Keith Olbermann and Jason Whitlock: "They've now gotten rid of everybody who is a little off the beaten path. Ask yourself this: 'Who would work there that you respect right now?' "
I know he apologized for that, but what a raging cunt.
Simmons paces the sidelines of his 11-year-old daughter's soccer game on an afternoon in mid-May, as his wife, known to Simmons' readers as the Sports Gal, and their younger son stand cheering nearby. Zoe Simmons is a head taller than several on the team and a stronger athlete than nearly all of them.
Fascinating. Did you know Bill is 6-1? Bill wants you to know that.
"One of the ironies of my life is that I was definitely a chauvinist with men's and women's sports before. I'd always make WNBA jokes and stuff like that. And now I'm like a feminist, and it's all because of her," he says, as his ponytailed daughter waves at him between plays.
That is not even the conventionally wrong applications of the word irony. That is not even in the same ballpark. One thing happened and then another thing fucking happened is not irony. Christ.
"In L.A., they have all these academy teams for boys, and the girls are treated like second-class citizens.
Because more boys play sports, therefore they are more competitive, therefore rich dickwads are more likely to spend money to give their kids some competitive advantage, therefore there are more travel teams and the like. See how this works?
The fields we have are worse than the boys', too. It all just drives me f—ing crazy."
Then shell out (or raise) money for your principles, or try to shift the culture placing more value on girls' sports even faster than its already shifting. This isn't Apartheid South Africa or something.
In his office a week later, he spins through his wish list for Any Given Wednesday guests, awarding the top spot to Michelle Obama in part because girls' sports is a subject he'd love to dive into with her.
You know, as opposed to someone who actually played women's sports at a college or professional level, or coached or organized athletic programs for women at any level.
In recent months, Lombardo has been urging Simmons to stop stressing over that guest list. "I just keep saying, 'That's not why anybody is going to tune in,' " says Lombardo, hopeful that Simmons
will believe his flagrant lies and have his ego assuaged.
"I go back to my Serge Ibaka reference point: He's not a household name, he's not Stephen Curry or LeBron James, yet it was a dazzling interview that only Bill can do."
Even more laughable. Yeah, who could possibly conduct an interesting interview with a guy who's life story involves an incredible journey of survival in the midst of a civil war, culminating in NBA stardom on a high-profile team that has had much high-profile success and disappointment over the past decade. BILL AND BILL ALONE, BOB COSTAS WOULD FUCK IT UP SOMEHOW.
The plan at launch is to open with Simmons offering a hard angle on an of-the-moment sports or pop culture subject
Bill spouting his moronic opinions while doing a super-serious camera staredown coupossibly go down as the worst use of his alleged talents in his entire career. And that's saying something.
(if the series had been airing in mid-May, for example, the segment would have centered on then-prominent Kevin Durant trade rumors)
I know you write for the Hollywood Reporter and know jack shit about sports, but with five minutes of research I'm sure you could have figured out that not only is May after the trade deadline, there were no rumors about Kevin Durant being traded anywhere, nor were there even any rumors about him signing anywhere. There were just a bunch of asshats saying he should sign with team x, because it would be awesome and stuff.
The show's first interview segment will feature two guests on a given topic — he's been toying with such pairings as Mark Cuban and Vice's Shane Smith on how successful people become overextended
I am angry just thinking about this. "Hey Marky Mark, I know we're both successful people...let's compare notes on time management!" Jesus.
And while I've definitely enjoyed some Vice content [while acknowledging the enterprises' vast flaws], that blubbery-faced cunt Shane Smith just inspires sheer hatred in me. His face isn't punchable it's fucking shootable.
or Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers on the degree of difficulty of the quarterback position
What the fuck does that even mean? I'll tell you what it means: Nothing. It's him interviewing professional athletes about what they do, and pretending there's some unifying, deeper theme.
Describe the series as a "late-night" show in his presence, and he shudders. "Mine's at 10," he says. When it's suggested that 10 p.m. classifies as late night, he shakes his head, "Nah."
"Hey Bill, there's blood coming out of your ear?"
"No seriously, there's blood coming out of your ear and there is a huge bloodstain on your shoulder."
"Nah, mine goes to 11"
That's one of the things that we've tried to figure out with this show: how to take advantage of things I'm good at and avoid things I'm not."
By having you sit there and let the guests talk, while getting somebody with a less annoying voice ask any questions that someone else writes.
When pressed, he clarifies: "I have good taste
AH! AHAHAHAH! AHAHAHA! AHH! AHH! Help me, I'm choking with laughter. Who could forget when the Sports Sorority Girl wowed us with his inspired musings on the profound work of art that is Almost Famous?
I'm really creative
I am, I swear! I just haven't come up with a new joke, idea or movie reference since 2005 because I'm lazy.
and I'm good at interviewing people.
No more so than hundreds of people in the media.
What I'm not good at is doing what [John] Oliver does. That's a performance piece."
But who could forget such classic comic characters as "Clairvoyant Bill"? That was a performance for the ages.
Less concerning to Simmons is his relative inexperience in television and those pesky claims that he's not as strong on-air as he is on the page.
Boy, that is a cold, harsh assessment. Like saying someone is a worse parent than Kevin Love is a rim protector. And 100% true.
Instead, he suggests he hasn't gotten a fair shake on TV. NBA Countdown, on which he spent two seasons and is most often judged
Yeah! Where do those people get off, saying you're bad on TV because you spent two years being bad on TV? They've got some nerve.
never was the show he wanted it to be
Which as I mentioned earlier, ended up being the Grantland Basketball Hour, which sucked and no one watched.
much less the show he says he was assured it would be
What the fuck could they possibly have assured him? Pregame shows are just light, inconsequential banter about the upcoming game and maybe some other topics in the sport. That's all it ever has been or will be.
"They've had Countdown for 15 years, and it's never been good," says Simmons. "It fails every year, and still people were like, 'Oh, [Bill] can't do TV.' Well, nobody has ever been good on that show."
Yeah, it's not like Charles Barkley has ever been considered entertaining on NBA studio shows. What a victim Bill is.
"Both Bill and Jon Stewart have really strong points of view, and that supersedes everything,"
It supersedes the fact that Bill isn't funny, smart, likable and has a disastrous record as an on-air personality? Or the fact that his "strong point of view" is mostly mainstream sportswriter fluff, except for when teams/players he roots for or against happen to cut against the prevailing narrative?
"It doesn't matter how many years you might have in front of a camera, if you have a great, strong take on things, which Bill obviously does, that's what matters. Everything else will fall into place."
How did PFT Commenter become a showrunner at HBO?
But as the June 22 debut of Any Given Wednesday looms, Simmons often is reminded of the lead-up to Kimmel's late-night launch on ABC 13 years earlier. The host had lured Simmons, then a rising ESPN columnist, to Los Angeles in late 2002 to write on the first season of his show. His role was somewhat nebulous because he didn't have the comedy chops or the television experience of others in the room;
Even in a puff piece they can't hide his horrific failure as a TV comedy writer. Jesus.
"I knew nothing, but I remember going, 'Man, this is fast,' because all of a sudden we were on the air, and Jimmy had a lot to prove," he says, and then he pauses. Those piercing blue eyes look away, and suddenly the conversation no longer is about Jimmy. Under his breath, Simmons adds, "He had a lot to prove."
Bill had The Look. It was a Moment. Chill Scene.
It ends on that note. Seriously, what the hell.