Simmons And ESPN At Odds Once Again

Monday, February 02, 2009

Just about every time there's a chat with Bill Simmons on these days, the Page 2 writer takes a pot shot or two at his employer. This time he accused the network of stealing his ideas, and not letting him go on any radio shows that aren't aired on ESPN Radio. Via ESPN....

Zo (Arlington, VA): So, you have started a new Hall of Fame: The Donovan McNabb Comedy Hall of Fame for athletes/entertainers who try to be funny in such an awkward manner that it is actually more creepy than anything. So, you have McNabb and Kobe. I would also throw in Superbowl Week with Kurt Warner as well. Who else joins the club?

SportsNation Bill Simmons: If you made a Mount Rushmore for it (I look forward to SportsCenter stealing this idea and not giving me credit or even emailing me to say they are doing it - thanks guys, it's great being on the same team with you!), I'd go with...

Kevin (Chappaqua, NY): Bill, with the Mike and the Maddog show no longer on the airways and the classic radio 1, 2 combo having gone their separate ways, What do you think there interactions will be at their first Super Bowl apart? I'm sure they will be fighting for guests, giving evil snickers and stares across radio row, while Mike sips on his Diet Coke and Dog fidgets uncontrollably in his chair. My question though is if you were asked to go on both shows and only had time for one, who you going with?

SportsNation Bill Simmons: I would go on Mike's show. There's a 85% chance that Dog has never read a single thing I've written. Mike and I have a love-hate relationship (mostly love) but at least he reads me... the last time I was on, they grabbed me on Media Row and I was sick... I want a second chance... sadly it can never happen because I am not allowed to go on non-ESPN shows ... even though the show that goes against Mike's (Michael Kay) has never asked me to come on. Yup, this is my company.
Kind of odd that both digs are still up too. I also think it's odd that ESPN won't let any of their personalities cross promote on other networks. Seems like a no-brainer, and they let them do interviews for newspapers, but maybe they think otherwise. It's amazing that Simmons hasn't been dropped or suspended yet, but I guess you can't get rid of your most popular Internet draw that easily.

Chat with Bill Simmons (ESPN)

Posted by Awful Announcing at 4:20 PM


ESPN doesn't let Simmons or any other ESPN guys go on the FAN because the FAN has killed the ESPN radio NY affiliate in the ratings since it's inception.

B said...
Feb 2, 2009, 4:27:00 PM  

The radio thing is different than newspapers or even print because ESPN has its own radio station in NYC that gets killed by Francesa and got killed by Mike & the Mad Dog for years. Like ESPN would let Berman on CBS for a bit on, say, Letterman...but they wouldn't let him go on NFL Today against Countdown.

I think it's funny Simmons is trying to take credit for Mount Rushmore! Like he's the first guy who said...who would be on a Mount Rushmore of (insert industry). Maybe technically he's the first one to say it about sports but it's certainly not a new term or phrase. And i think Mount Rushmore itself should really get the credit.

I love Simmons writing, still do, but man, he's turning into a real whiny douche. It's like...he's a million times more famous and made way more money because of ESPN. For a few hundred thousand a year...he can take a slight dig every once in a while. Or quit if you're so mad. Just don't be a douche.

Ed James said...
Feb 2, 2009, 4:29:00 PM  

Does anyone even know who this clown is?

Feb 2, 2009, 5:24:00 PM  

Isn't it strange that ESPN radio will get Bradshaw and Howie and Collinsworth on but won't let any of their faces talk to someone else???

GMoney said...
Feb 2, 2009, 5:44:00 PM  

Who is this clown? Probably the most popular columnist on, that's all.

But I agree mostly with Ed. Simmons is starting to do the "bite the hand that feeds" bit way too much. At some point, he will do something that is going to force ESPN's hand. In a way, I'm starting to wonder if that is what he wants to do. I appreciate the fact that he doesn't follow the company line on everything, and that he will criticize ESPN talent. Let's face it, most of the commentators are crap on that network.

Ultimately, he's gonna have to quit looking for sympathy. He's got a massive platform on ESPN. If he's got issues with being able to go on other shows or having his ideas ripped off, he needs to sort that out with his bosses. I hope he stays at the leader for a long time, but I've a hunch he will cross the line and leave ESPN with no choice but to can him.

The Genius said...
Feb 2, 2009, 5:59:00 PM  

There is another pot shot in there as well at the ESPN the Magazine editors:

SportsNation Bill Simmons: It's funny you should ask. They changed my magazine deadline (which sucks for me from a "timing" standpoint) - I now hand in my column on Wednesdays the week before the issue comes out... which means it makes it online 7 days later and on the newsstands 2 days after that.

SportsNation Bill Simmons: So my biggest fear was that Durant was going to score 60 on the Clips 2 days after I handed it in and ruin my angle. Little did I know, THAT NIGHT, I went to Clips-Lakers and Bynum out up a 42-15 (on Skinner and Jordan, but still). Then he looked great against Duncan on Sunday. I'd say Bynum is now properly rated. I was really impressed by him in person.

SportsNation Bill Simmons: The point is this: I hate my magazine editors. Intensely. We need to work through this.

He will most likely be out after this book he is finishing has worked its way through. He seems way too disgruntled.

Zach said...
Feb 2, 2009, 9:24:00 PM  

Also, this, from the same chat:

Bill Simmons: It's a great point. But I also like to be accurate - at least most of the time - and I didn't know the whole story behind that paper. Don't worry, my time for refusing to apologize for something will come. I think 2009 is going to be the year.

CJ said...
Feb 2, 2009, 11:12:00 PM  

it's not just WFAN.

ESPN Personalities aren't allowed to go on sports talk stations in markets where there is a ESPN affiliate.

TK made a big deal about having an exception when he was still on the radio on WAPO radio, being allowed to have Tirico or Michelle Tafoya or Mel on his show.

odessasteps said...
Feb 3, 2009, 2:33:00 AM  

Funny I've heard Tirico and Van Pelt on 1310 the Ticket (DFW). They're on tape delay here and they were being interviewed with on a wireless mic. I guess ESPN might not be angry about that.

Nelvis said...
Feb 3, 2009, 2:43:00 AM  

The WWL lacks credibility in this regard. It's ridiculous that they supress Simmons like this.

Brad James said...
Feb 3, 2009, 1:39:00 PM  

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