Sunday, May 4, 2014

Some jackass wrote a puff piece about Simmons for Rolling Stone, and it's horrible (part 1)

Rolling Stone has sucked for several years (decades?) now, but usually they keep their shittiness confined to the worlds of music and politics.  In what can only be an attempt to try to draw in readership from among the legion of 18 to 35 year old males who like sports, they asked one of their writers, Rob Tannenbaum, to do a piece about Bill.  Rob may well be a good writer.  He's got a pretty well-regarded book about the rise of music videos (good), he apparently writes for The Onion or possibly the A.V. Club (good if it's The Onion, meh if it's A.V. Club), Pitchfork (barf), and Spin (meh).  So that's a decent resume.  But holy balls, this is one of the worst puff pieces that ever puffed.  To boot, it seems like Tannenbaum knows exactly fuck-all about sports.  Fuck all of this.

From Bill Simmons' fourth-row seats at the Staples Center in L.A., 

Didn't he once claim he was giving up his tickets because the Clippers were going to get LeBron or something?  Or did he threaten to give them up because the Clippers had bad luck?  Or something?  Am I imagining that?  I doubt it, although I couldn't find a link.  The point is, Bill is mentally 13 years old.

we're close enough to hear basketball players swearing. In the last few minutes of a belligerent game, full of glaring, taunting, and pushing, the hometown Clippers are in the process of erasing Dallas' comfortable lead, scoring 23 of the last 27 points. To Simmons' dismay, the crowd doesn't seem to appreciate that they're watching one of the best games of the year.

The first ten rows of any NBA arena are full of shitheads who don't appreciate what they're watching.  Yes, even TD Garden.  Assuming equal attendance, every arena sounds louder from the upper bowl.  No matter what Superfan Simmons has to say about the matter.

Clippers center Blake Griffin, 

Blake Griffin is not a center.  Anyone who follows the NBA at all knows this, but even if you don't, it can be looked up in about 4 seconds.

who has been the main target of Dallas' animosity, rises above the rim like he's wearing a jet pack and tomahawks a ball into the net. 

That's exactly how a dunk works!

The L.A. fans celebrate his feat with a mild golf clap. 


"He could dunk with his dick and nobody here would stand up to applaud," Simmons mutters. Unfortunately, we don't get to find out.


Yup, These Are His Leaders: Bill Simmons' Best Columns

This is a link within the article.  Sadly, Rolling Stone wanted to make sure that they could accommodate anyone who read this profile and came away saying "Boy, this Simmons guy sounds like a smart cookie.  Wonder what he's written?"

Simmons was raised mostly in Boston, where every loss is like a death in the family, 

OW-UH FANS CRY HAHHHDAH THAN YO-AH FANS!  Yes, Boston, where sports fans are very passionate.  As they are in Philly.  And New York.  And Chicago.  Etc., etc., etc., narrative narrative narrative.

and even at 44, he watches sports with the delight of a kid — albeit a kid who's a multimedia mogul.

"Mogul" here meaning "Guy who has many jobs in his field, and is bad at all of them."

During the NBA playoffs, which last nearly two months and end in June, 

[Obligatory Chris W joke goes here]

he'll be a fixture on ESPN and ABC, via NBA Countdown. His 700-page Book of Basketball, despite being fatter than Eddy Curry in the off-season, 

TIMELY!  Do something about Oliver Miller next!

debuted at Number One on The New York Times' nonfiction bestseller list. He goaded ESPN into making documentaries, which yielded 30 for 30, an excellent, Emmy-nominated series he executive-produces. 

Allow me to translate: he had the initial idea that led to 30 for 30, which he now nominally oversees, while mostly just being told to stay the fuck out of the way.

His lively B.S. Report podcast, where he interviews jocks, actors, comedians, college buddies, his dad, and Barack Obama, 

But really it's mostly just the college buddies, and his voice is the male equivalent of Fran Drescher's.

was downloaded 32 million times last year, and to keep him from bolting in 2011, ESPN gave him his own well-staffed website, Grantland. 

Any chance he'll bolt whenever his current contract is up?  I'll give ESPN $20 to not enter into renewal negotiations with him.

TV, books, documentaries, digital — it's the sportswriter version of the EGOT.

Yeah, Bill is totally the sportswriting equivalent to Whoopi Goldberg or Mel Brooks, in the sense that they are humans and he is also a human (but not in any other sense).

"We have similarly thorough backgrounds when it comes to movies, TV, sports and other worthless things," says his friend Jimmy Kimmel, who hired Simmons as a joke writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! 

And kept him around for only one really shitty season.

"Bill's very funny, he's married pop culture and sports more than anyone else, and he built his own media empire from a little blog."

I like Kimmel, and I hope he intended that to sound as condescending as it comes off in print.

That's not just tickle-tickle buddy talk. 


Simmons started to accrue a huge following in 1997, when he began blogging on AOL's Boston website in the role of an irritant and smart aleck, under the name Boston Sports Guy. 

The level of creativity shown in choosing that handle was a real sign of things to come.

Last summer, a Canadian columnist called him "an honest-to-God magnate" and "one of the defining figures" in digital media. 

Link?  Proof that this person wasn't just Simmons operating with a pen name, or someone who really, really, really wanted a job at Grantland?

All magnates have haters; Simmons makes it easy by frequently getting into feuds.

And by being stupid, unfunny and thin skinned.  Those things help too.

On NBA Countdown, Simmons plays a slightly exaggerated version of himself: 

No he doesn't.  He is himself at all times.  The guy obviously does not have the comedic chops or self awareness to develop and play a character.

a comedic troublemaker, "the wild card who doesn't give a shit," he tells me. 

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Bill thinks of himself as a rebel without a cause.  That's awesome.

"I'm part historian, part know-it-all, and part shit-stirrer. I don't hold back – that's the key."

Said with all the authority of a man who really has nothing to hold back in the first place.

During a recent Countdown, he denounced Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Joe Johnson, whom Simmons has tagged as the most overpaid player in the NBA. 

Super salary cap megagenius Bill Simmons has an extremely hot take to share: a slow 32 year old who averages 15/3/3 and makes more money than LeBron just might have a bad contract.

"Joe Johnson did not deserve to be on the all-star team," he says, so outraged and high-pitched he's nearly yelping. "Even he had to be shocked he made it." 


After the show goes off the air, Countdown host Sage Steele turns to him, shaking her head. "You," she tells him, "are a psycho."

"I don't know how you got my cell number, but please stop calling it."

The shit has been successfully stirred: Within minutes, Twitter is in flames. 

The fact that people talked on social media about what he said on a nationally televised show broadcast by an extremely popular network PROVES that he's worth every penny they're paying him!

"Never hated a sports analyst as much as I hate Bill Simmons," I read as I scroll through his mentions, followed by "I want to punch him in the face," "He is such a douche" and "If Bill Simmons ever got in a car accident, I would be happy." 

None of those were me, either!  The last one isn't quite accurate though--I think we can all agree that any car accident-related happiness would be tied to whether his insurance coverage suffers as a result.

There are compliments, too, but, let's face it, those are boring.

Like this article is, and we're not even half done.  More later this week.


tony harding said...


I think this column is what you're referring to:

Are you going to hit the Deadspin "extra" quotes that didn't make the article as well? Because some of those are just plain retarded.

Dewey said...

You have several nice insults so far. Go, Larry, go!

Larry B said...

Dewey: thank you for the kind feedback. It is always appreciated and welcome.

Tony: excellent find. It's not what I was thinking of, but it's good to see that he's always been a "the Clippers are my second team" bandwagoner. Not that it's surprising in any way.

Chris W said...

need to change this blog name to