Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Some jackass wrote a puff piece about Simmons for Rolling Stone, and it's horrible (part 3)

First of all, I meant to include this in the initial post in this series but forgot.  Check out the photo accompanying this piece, which presumably took up a full page in the print edition of Rolling Stone.  Look at it.  It's magnificent.  HE'S SO EDGY.  Nothing says "Authority on Sports" like an awkward dad wearing a douchey LA outfit about to throw a basketball at you.

Bill Simmons

This is your favorite "sports" columnist, America.  Good job.  You assholes.

In his columns, Simmons embodies the precise average of American maleness: He loves sports, 



Women love movies too.

fantasy baseball 

Much as I enjoy it, fantasy baseball is not that popular.  

and hot actresses, and is not unfamiliar with porn. 


"I don't have a shitload of hobbies," he says. "I'm not very complicated."

You don't say.

Once a year, he goes to Vegas with several friends — 

 But why????  Tell us, Rob Tannenbaum!  Why would anyone go to Vegas?  It's hot there!

to gamble. 

No fucking way.

This is so shitty.  Why is this an article?  Even for Rolling Stone, this sucks.  Would it have been "controversial" if he went there to visit strip clubs?  More importantly, does anyone give a flying fuck why this simpleton goes on vacation?  He could be going to Vegas to check out its public library.  Who cares?  Is any of this relevant?

"He's much more interested in playing cards than in seeing naked girls," Jimmy Kimmel says, with a tone of disdain. 

OK?  I guess Kimmel is razzing him?  Is this relevant?  Come to think of it, it might be relevant, because if he's as bad at cards as he is at picking NFL games, man, he's going to have some financial problems.  

On his podcast, Simmons often talks about betting on games — up to $1,000 on individual games, or $2,000 on futures bets, he tells me. "I love gambling. I wish it was legal. But I never bet a lot, even in Vegas. Unless I'm really drunk."

HIGH FIVE AGAIN BRO!  REMEMBER THAT TIME YOU WERE SO BOMBED????  Bill Simmons is a 17 year old boy who somehow makes 7 figures a year.

He won't say whether or not he has a bookie in L.A., which means he likely does. 

SPICY!  SALACIOUS!  Who is reading this and going "Wow, I gotta keep going.  There might be something EVEN BETTER further down the page!"

And if he offers you a bet, you should probably take it — last football season, he won only 108 out of 256 picks against the spread in his column. "It was kind of a bummer," he says, though he points out that in 2006, he had his wife Kari make her own football picks in his column. "And she beat me. So if I had credibility after that gimmick, it was an accident." 

Another surprising display of self awareness.  Fair enough.  Although I suspect he is only saying this because he feels he has to, and still is 100% confident in most picks he makes.  THAT SPREAD IS WAY TOO HIGH.  THANKS FOR THE FREE TWO POINTS, VEGAS.  /team Bill didn't bet on beats spread by two touchdowns

(Kari was also at least as funny as her husband. 

Not a chance.

She said Lindsay Lohan would "look like a leather purse in 25 years no matter how much Proactiv she takes," and theorized that Katie Holmes "had her ankles removed" so she'd be the same height at Tom Cruise.)

Watch out, Joan Rivers!  Someone's coming for your "queen of celebrity bashing" crown!  Actually, now that I re-read the first part of that parenthetical, I totally agree.  Bill's wife IS about as funny as he is.

Simmons will always be associated with New England — he might love Tom Brady and Larry Bird as much as he loves his wife and two kids — but he's unsentimental about his roots. 

Wrong.  I can't wait to see how he spins this one.

"I don't think you could get him to go back to Boston at gunpoint," Kimmel says. 

If he could maintain his current role at ESPN while doing that (which of course would be impossible if he wanted to stay on NBA Countdown and he obviously does), I'm sure he'd do it in a second.  TOO MANY LAKER FLAGS ON CARS.  GOD THOSE FANS ARE JUST INSUFFERABLE.  FACK YOUUUU!

Simmons is credited as an Internet visionary, but he went into new media only because old media rejected him. 

That is completely correct.  While this article does suck, I like that it's being honest about Bill imperfections.  It's not that in 1990whatever he was like "I know exactly what the internet will be in 2014, so I'm getting on the train early."  It's that he's a bad writer and allegedly insufferable to work with, so he couldn't get an old media job.  Just because he stumbled ass-backwards into success by being good at making pop culture references appreciated by people as dumb as him (and I was that kind of person until 2004 or 2005, I admit, but I was also a lot younger and dumber then) doesn't mean we need to pretend like he invented the idea of blogging about sports.

"Boston," he says, "is where I failed."

Well, Los Angeles is where you continue to fail, but yeah, I get what you're saying.

He began his career as a lackey at the Boston Herald, the lesser of the city's two daily papers, "organizing Chinese-food orders" and covering high school teams. 

His co-workers could never understand what he was saying due to the huge silver spoon in his mouth.  I wonder how many other "applicants" he beat out to get that job?

He stood outside the Herald building on the Mass Turnpike, smoking cigarettes and "wondering what the fuck I was gonna do with my life."

Bill Simmons is, and always was, a boring clod.

Except for the addition of tall buildings, Boston hasn't changed since Paul Revere bought a horse. 

TV anchors and newspaper columnists keep their jobs for decades, and at the Herald, "mediocre writers were blocking my way," Simmons later wrote. 

Just as they should block the way of any sub-mediocre writer.  You know, I hate that all those guys who play minor league baseball are blocking the way and preventing me from playing major league baseball.  They've got a lot of nerve!

"I didn't do myself any favors," he adds now. "I was probably too arrogant, 


and could barely hide my disdain for some of the writers." After three years, "frustrated to the point of insanity," he quit and worked as a bartender. At 24, he began smoking pot, 


and soon owned a four-foot purple bong. (In L.A., he discovered West Coast weed was way more potent, and one night, ended up "hiding behind the curtains in my living room for 40 minutes because I thought somebody was watching us. After that, I phased back big time.") 


He considered going into commercial real estate 

Dear sweet baby Jesus, can you imagining negotiating a contract with this guy?  My head hurts just from typing that sentence.

with his stepdad before he came across a new website, AOL, where even a Herald reject could write.

What if he had somehow caught on and stayed there, rather than moving to ESPN?  Would ESPN still be as cool as it was in the 90s, with AOL's sports wing filling ESPN's current role of "purveyor of incredibly shitty and celebrity-obsessed sports content?"  I guess it all depends on who gets bought by Disney in this hypothetical world.  Fuck Disney.

He wrote with a fan's dismay and delight, rejecting the idea of being objective (a Boston partisan, he openly despises the L.A. Lakers and any team from New York), 

Here are all the teams from New York he can name:

2) Knicks (but really, why hate them, they're not really worth hating)
4) They might have another baseball team, but I don't follow the minor leagues
5) /Bill eats paste

and attacking local sportswriters by name. No team would give him a press pass, so while newspaper guys padded short articles with boring quotes from athletes, Simmons distinguished himself by mixing in references to bands and movies (especially Shawshank Redemption and Karate Kid), 

Thank goodness.  Someone who really had their finger on the pulse of America's tastes.

and by writing long: "85,000-word essays about Rocky IV," Kimmel jokes.

OK, I will back off a little and admit that I like Rocky IV.  Non-ironically.

Simmons' early work had flaws — bitterness, cheap cracks about the manliness of female athletes, praise for the Counting Crows — 

Please delete the word "early" from that sentence and change "had" to "will always have"

but it was also funny, fresh, expansive, and even sentimental, especially when he wrote adoringly about his dad and their sports bond. 


That's the secret element of Simmons' success: He's the most emo sportswriter around. 

I wouldn't call it a secret.  I'd call it an unfortunate and insufferable reality.

He once penned a 3,000-word column describing how his dog Daisy died of lymphoma. It's the Fall Out Boy of sports columns.

In that it's terrible and no one should pay attention to it?  Gotcha.

In 2000, when ESPN launched Page 2, a site that mixed sports, pop culture and humor, Simmons waited for his phone to ring. "That was probably the lowest I sunk, when ESPN didn't hire me for Page 2," he says. 

What an entitled little shithead.

He was in his early thirties, still borrowing money from his parents. 

But those mean people at the Boston Herald were mean and didn't let me write whatever I wanted to write!  It wasn't fair!  I didn't want that stupid really hard to get job anyways!

A few months after the launch, he wrote a column mocking ESPN's annual awards show, and his taunts got noticed. "I was on the floor laughing," recalls ESPN's John A. Walsh. 

John Walsh is a fucking dummy.  He certainly comes off as such in Those Guys Have All the Fun.

Soon, Simmons had his first ESPN assignment. If there's a moral, it's this: Bite the hand you cannot kiss.
I'd say the obvious "moral," if you're going to give the story of Simmons's success that much gravitas, is to appeal to stupid people.  There's a lot of them and they're easy to please.  His rise to power at ESPN is idiocracy in corporate media form.  I'll give him this, though--he's probably less of a shithead than Mariotti.

I'll wrap this up later.


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure his wife is exactly as funny as he is because he wrote those for her. I've only read a small bit of what she has "written" over the years, but from my pov it sounds like she dictated her thoughts and he wrote them in his style or she wrote some stuff and he came through and punched it up (down?). The few things I've read have of her's have the same tone/style/voice as Simmons' garbage.

jacktotherack said...

(In L.A., he discovered West Coast weed was way more potent, and one night, ended up "hiding behind the curtains in my living room for 40 minutes because I thought somebody was watching us. After that, I phased back big time.")

That's the type of sentence written by someone who has never smoked weed in their life but wants to sound cool and edgy so they brag about how they smoke weed. Seriously, that sounds like a scene from Reefer Madness.

Fat Lever said...

Maybe I lack substance as a person but when I look at the Simmons pic my mind screams fraud. This clown has a reason to be smug after luck-boxing his way to wealth.

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