Simmons And ESPN Not Currently Seeing Eye To Eye

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Interesting item over at Deadspin today about a dialogue that they had with Bill Simmons recently. It seems that Simmons is writing less these days and it's not because he's taking a vacation or burnt out like Jason Whitlock. No it's because he and the "Leader" are in a bit of a standstill.

Yes, I still work for ESPN. No, I'm not writing for ESPN.com as much — my choice, not theirs. That's just the way it will be from now on, unfortunately. I'd have more to say, but I'd end up being profane and I don't want to offend Buzz Bissinger.

When we inquired further, Simmons went on:

I still love writing my column and only re-signed last year because I really did believe that we had hashed out all the behind the scenes bullshit and come to some sort of agreement on creative lines, media criticism rules, the promotion of the column and everything else on ESPN.com. Within a few months, all of those things changed and certain promises were not kept. It's as simple as that.
It's a shame that 2010 (when Simmons' current deal expires) is so far away because I'd love for him finally to sound off how he really feels about the Network and it's personalities. When one writer provides most of your online readership it's probably in your best interest to give him (most of) what he wants if you ask me. Very interesting.

Simmons: "Certain Promises Were Not Kept" (Deadspin)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 2:40 PM

26 Comments:

I am sure ESPN management was thrilled over his comments. Hopefully his agreement, or any sort of buyout, didn't/won't include a non-complete clause similar to Rick Riley.

swany11 said...
May 14, 2008, 3:07:00 PM  

Come on, Brian. We all know that "Who's Now" provides most of their online readership.

John R said...
May 14, 2008, 3:12:00 PM  

John R: I thought NFL Power Rankings in May drove ESPN.com. Besides, this gives ESPN ample time to prep Skip Bayless to take Simmons' place.

Tainted Alligator Souffle said...
May 14, 2008, 3:25:00 PM  

Who's Now? I thought it was for ESPN Travel?

Doneycat said...
May 14, 2008, 3:31:00 PM  

I think it's very interesting that there's an empty blog set up at sportsguy.blogspot.com.

He has to censor himself so often at ESPN that I think an independent blog would lead to better, funnier columns, and that's all I care about. And the more people criticizing ESPN, the better.

Jay said...
May 14, 2008, 3:38:00 PM  

I've been reading Simmons for 10 years and the worst piece he ever submitted for publication was the mini-mailbag for ESPN magazine from 2 weeks ago. The definition of mailing it in, and he knew it. Honestly, wouldn't he be able to sustain himself if he went out on his own through ad-revenue? Although, he wouldn't have an expense account anymore...

Anonymous said...
May 14, 2008, 3:49:00 PM  

i wonder if crunch and k-dog (or whatever their names are) and his old man approve of this.

-dan

-dan said...
May 14, 2008, 3:50:00 PM  

Good for Bill. He's one of the main reasons that people still go to their site, he should demand a little creative control.

GMoney said...
May 14, 2008, 4:10:00 PM  

he needs to go on Dameshek's radio show and complain.

of course, it's an ESPN station...

odessasteps said...
May 14, 2008, 4:19:00 PM  

TAS: Yes, the May power rankings and the '09 mock drafts are what keep me coming back.

John R said...
May 14, 2008, 5:01:00 PM  

He'll still be a douchebag no matter where he writes, and that's coming from a Bostonian.

Junker23 said...
May 14, 2008, 5:08:00 PM  

junker23:

Is that the way it works? If you're from a guys hometown you get to pronounce on his douche status? That's all it takes?

Let me say this then...Danny Ainge, douche! Chris Miller, non-douche! David Ogden Stiers? The jury is still out, although he seems like a decent fellow.

dave3544 said...
May 14, 2008, 5:30:00 PM  

I don't care if ESPN tortures his kids, anything they can do to lessen his posting frequency is a righteous act. I was talking to my buddy Boing Boing about chess gambling the other day and he agrees. Insert stupid pop culture reference here.

Maynard said...
May 14, 2008, 6:57:00 PM  

>> Besides, this gives ESPN ample time to prep Skip Bayless to take Simmons' place.

I thought Bayless's columns went straight to the Eighth Circle of Hell.

Maynard: Last I checked, there wasn't anyone holding a gun to your head demanding that you read every one of his columns. If you don't like them, don't read them. It really is that simple.

SpartanDan said...
May 14, 2008, 7:50:00 PM  

Spartandan: Since there are some people who don't care for Simmons, a Bayless column might be the only way it could be worse. Doesn't the E in ESPN stand for Eighth Circle of Hell anyway?

Tainted Alligator Souffle said...
May 14, 2008, 9:21:00 PM  

Spartandan:

I haven't read a Simmons column in at least six months. But their very existence cheapens our status as a thinking species. They have a chilling effect upon the intellect of the Internet as a whole.

He must be stopped at all costs, as well as anybody who finds his "gambling, pop culture, friends with stupid nicknames, Sox this, Sox that" nonsense entertaining or informative.

We will bury you.

Maynard said...
May 14, 2008, 10:38:00 PM  

Who is going to miss him? Not ESPN. They will still get views because they are ESPN.

The Sports Dork will not be able to come close to the ad revenue to make up for his six-figure salary.

ESPN should make him sit on the sidelines until 2010 and then watch him flush the rest of his career down the toilet.

May 14, 2008, 10:57:00 PM  

He makes 1.5 mill/year with ESPN. I read that somewhere.

GMoney said...
May 15, 2008, 10:33:00 AM  

he makes 1.5 mil to write that bullshit? it must be nice to be white and dopey. because hes not that good.

madnice said...
May 15, 2008, 12:23:00 PM  

"this gives ESPN ample time to prep Skip Bayless to take Simmons' place."

I just threw up in my mouth.

The Zoner said...
May 15, 2008, 12:43:00 PM  

There's no way he's making $1.5 mill. That's just nonsense. I could see $1.5 mill over the four year deal, but no way that's the annual rate.

Anonymous said...
May 15, 2008, 2:04:00 PM  

"There's no way he's making $1.5 mill. That's just nonsense. I could see $1.5 mill over the four year deal, but no way that's the annual rate."

ESPN pays their commentators far better than one would expect. Bob Davie, one of their second-tier college football analysts, is being paid close to three-quarters of a million (that bit of information comes from the Texas A&M defensive coordinator search back in January). If Davie is getting paid that much annually, $1.5 million isn't unreasonable for their most popular columnist.

James said...
May 15, 2008, 2:32:00 PM  

"I haven't read a Simmons column in at least six months. But their very existence cheapens our status as a thinking species. They have a chilling effect upon the intellect of the Internet as a whole."

Wow, Maynard, do you often overdramatize every other aspect of life, too?

James said...
May 15, 2008, 2:33:00 PM  

I don't know if it's ESPN censoring (I don't think it is), but Simmons just hasn't been as funny over the past few years. I remember back in 2002/2003 when I would save articles that he had written. I don't do that anymore, since they just aren't as memorable. Don't get me wrong - I still read everything he does. However, it's not something I get excited about reading anymore.

Anonymous said...
May 15, 2008, 10:31:00 PM  

it's != its

Anonymous said...
May 16, 2008, 5:48:00 AM  

Seriously, I'm really tired of otherwise well-written articles getting that wrong. Apostrophes should not be this hard to understand.

Anonymous said...
May 16, 2008, 5:49:00 AM  

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