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Bill Simmons Talks ESPN, His Feud With Isiah Thomas, Why His HBO Talk Show Was Unsuccessful & More
Bill Simmons Talks ESPN, His Feud With Isiah Thomas, Why His HBO Talk Show Was Unsuccessful & More
Published: 2016/12/08
Channel: Breakfast Club Power 105.1 FM
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Thanksgiving Week Special With Cousin Sal (Ep. 289)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Thanksgiving Week Special With Cousin Sal (Ep. 289)
Published: 2017/11/20
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Top 20 NBA Players Right Now With Joe House (Ep. 288)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Top 20 NBA Players Right Now With Joe House (Ep. 288)
Published: 2017/11/17
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Hayward
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Hayward's Horrific Injury + Jeff Bridges on SNL (Ep. 274)
Published: 2017/10/18
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Ringer Founder and CEO Bill Simmons (Extended Cut)
Ringer Founder and CEO Bill Simmons (Extended Cut)
Published: 2017/09/27
Channel: Desus & Mero
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 11 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 286)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 11 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 286)
Published: 2017/11/13
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - NFL Problems, JFK Conspiracies, ESPN, and Announcer Rules (Ep. 285)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - NFL Problems, JFK Conspiracies, ESPN, and Announcer Rules (Ep. 285)
Published: 2017/11/10
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - NBA Over/Under—Western Conference (Ep. 268)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - NBA Over/Under—Western Conference (Ep. 268)
Published: 2017/10/04
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Raptors President Masai Ujiri on NBA Growth and Carmelo Trade (Ep. 278)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Raptors President Masai Ujiri on NBA Growth and Carmelo Trade (Ep. 278)
Published: 2017/10/25
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Bill Simmons on LeBron James taking his talents to Los Angeles | THE HERD (FULL INTERVIEW)
Bill Simmons on LeBron James taking his talents to Los Angeles | THE HERD (FULL INTERVIEW)
Published: 2017/06/20
Channel: The Herd with Colin Cowherd
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Richard Jefferson, Jason Kidd's GOAT, and Kyrie's Departure (Ep. 260)
Published: 2017/09/15
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 10 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 283)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 10 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 283)
Published: 2017/11/06
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Ta-Nehisi on Challenging Obama, and the Kaepernick (Ep. 286)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Ta-Nehisi on Challenging Obama, and the Kaepernick (Ep. 286)
Published: 2017/11/15
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Full interview: Bill Simmons has some advice for ESPN | Code 2017
Full interview: Bill Simmons has some advice for ESPN | Code 2017
Published: 2017/06/01
Channel: Recode
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Celtics Chatter, Dan Patrick, and Pastor Carl Lentz (Ep. 284)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Celtics Chatter, Dan Patrick, and Pastor Carl Lentz (Ep. 284)
Published: 2017/11/08
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kevin Durant IV: Ask Kevin Anything Part 1 (Ep. 251)
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kevin Durant IV: Ask Kevin Anything Part 1 (Ep. 251)
Published: 2017/08/24
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Movies and NBA With Wesley Morris, Sean Fennessey (Ep. 282)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Movies and NBA With Wesley Morris, Sean Fennessey (Ep. 282)
Published: 2017/11/03
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Inside The NBA: Bill Simmons
Inside The NBA: Bill Simmons
Published: 2016/05/27
Channel: NBA on TNT
The Ringer NBA Show - Bill Simmons and Pastor Carl Lentz on Locker Room Culture (Ep. 158)
The Ringer NBA Show - Bill Simmons and Pastor Carl Lentz on Locker Room Culture (Ep. 158)
Published: 2017/11/08
Channel: The Ringer NBA Show
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kyrie-Isaiah Emergency Trade Podcast (Ep. 250)
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kyrie-Isaiah Emergency Trade Podcast (Ep. 250)
Published: 2017/08/23
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 9 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 280)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 9 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 280)
Published: 2017/10/30
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Ringer
The Ringer's Bill Simmons on The Dan Patrick Show (Full Interview) 6/21/2017
Published: 2017/06/21
Channel: Dan Patrick Show
Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and David Jacoby on The NBA Playoffs | Jalen Rose Report
Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and David Jacoby on The NBA Playoffs | Jalen Rose Report
Published: 2017/07/30
Channel: Sill Bimmons
Bill Simmons: Cavs should trade LeBron this summer
Bill Simmons: Cavs should trade LeBron this summer
Published: 2017/06/21
Channel: NBC Sports
The Bill Simmons Podcast  -
The Bill Simmons Podcast - 'South Park,' 'SNL,' and the Future of Comedy W. Matt Stone and Trey
Published: 2017/05/03
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast NBA
The Bill Simmons Podcast The Kyrie Trade Saga, CFB, MLB, and
The Bill Simmons Podcast The Kyrie Trade Saga, CFB, MLB, and 'Thrones' With Kevin O'Connor (Ep. 254)
Published: 2017/09/01
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
GARBAGE TIME PODCAST: Episode 43 - Bill Simmons
GARBAGE TIME PODCAST: Episode 43 - Bill Simmons
Published: 2016/06/18
Channel: Katie Nolan
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kevin Durant IV Ask Kevin Anything, Part 2 (Ep. 252)
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kevin Durant IV Ask Kevin Anything, Part 2 (Ep. 252)
Published: 2017/08/28
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Ringer NBA Show - NBA Over/Under With Bill Simmons—Eastern Conference (Ep. 142)
The Ringer NBA Show - NBA Over/Under With Bill Simmons—Eastern Conference (Ep. 142)
Published: 2017/10/04
Channel: The Ringer NBA Show
The Bill Simmons Podcast Smart-Guy Friday: Cycle CEO/Founder Jason Stein (Ep. 244)
The Bill Simmons Podcast Smart-Guy Friday: Cycle CEO/Founder Jason Stein (Ep. 244)
Published: 2017/08/04
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 7 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 273)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 7 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 273)
Published: 2017/10/16
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Mike Tyson, Jalen Rose, and Bill Simmons Full Podcast | Best B.S.
Mike Tyson, Jalen Rose, and Bill Simmons Full Podcast | Best B.S.
Published: 2017/07/28
Channel: Sill Bimmons
The Bill Simmons Podcast: Celtics Chatter, Dan Patrick, and Pastor Carl Lentz (Ep. 284)
The Bill Simmons Podcast: Celtics Chatter, Dan Patrick, and Pastor Carl Lentz (Ep. 284)
Published: 2017/11/08
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Future of Sports Journalism  Bill Simmons final
Future of Sports Journalism Bill Simmons final
Published: 2017/04/18
Channel: COM Video
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 6 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 270)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 6 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 270)
Published: 2017/10/09
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 3 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 261)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 3 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 261)
Published: 2017/09/18
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Bill Simmons on The Adam Carolla Show
Bill Simmons on The Adam Carolla Show
Published: 2017/06/08
Channel: Adam Carolla Podcast
The Ringer NFL Show -
The Ringer NFL Show - 'GM Street’ — Bill Simmons and the Trade Deadline (Ep. 173)
Published: 2017/11/01
Channel: The Ringer NFL Show
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 8 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 276)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Guess the Lines Week 8 With Cousin Sal (Ep. 276)
Published: 2017/10/23
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
NBA Draft 2013: Doc Rivers
NBA Draft 2013: Doc Rivers' thoughts on Bill Simmons // Things get awkward on live TV
Published: 2013/06/28
Channel: Benjamin Harwin
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Kyrie Isaiah Emergency Trade Podcast (Ep. 250)
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Kyrie Isaiah Emergency Trade Podcast (Ep. 250)
Published: 2017/08/23
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast NBA
The Bill Simmons Podcast Mayor Eric Garcetti and Casey Wasserman on 2028 Summer Olympics (Ep. 243)
The Bill Simmons Podcast Mayor Eric Garcetti and Casey Wasserman on 2028 Summer Olympics (Ep. 243)
Published: 2017/08/01
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
The B.S. Report - Larry Bird
The B.S. Report - Larry Bird
Published: 2016/06/03
Channel: Walter Barooshian
Bill Simmons, Zach Lowe, and Haralabos Voulgaris Preview the 2014-15 NBA Season | B.S. Report
Bill Simmons, Zach Lowe, and Haralabos Voulgaris Preview the 2014-15 NBA Season | B.S. Report
Published: 2017/07/29
Channel: Sill Bimmons
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kyrie LeBron Fallout and Carmelo to OKC With Kevin O
The Bill Simmons Podcast Kyrie LeBron Fallout and Carmelo to OKC With Kevin O'Connor and Joe House E
Published: 2017/07/25
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast NBA
Grantland Kobe Bryant talking with Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons about Muse and more
Grantland Kobe Bryant talking with Jalen Rose and Bill Simmons about Muse and more
Published: 2015/03/03
Channel: basketballprosworkouts
I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast Episode 340 - Bill Simmons / James Corden / SFOTW
I Am Rapaport Stereo Podcast Episode 340 - Bill Simmons / James Corden / SFOTW
Published: 2017/10/18
Channel: Michael Rapaport
The Deflategate Trial - Simmons v. Rapaport with Judge Joe Brown (HBO)
The Deflategate Trial - Simmons v. Rapaport with Judge Joe Brown (HBO)
Published: 2016/07/28
Channel: Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Andy Samberg on Digital Shorts, the
The Bill Simmons Podcast - Andy Samberg on Digital Shorts, the 'Rocky' Franchise (Ep. 263)
Published: 2017/09/22
Channel: The Bill Simmons Podcast
Steph Curry and Bill Simmons | 2014 NBA All Star Weekend B.S Report Special
Steph Curry and Bill Simmons | 2014 NBA All Star Weekend B.S Report Special
Published: 2017/08/07
Channel: Sill Bimmons
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Bill Simmons
Bill Simmons by David Shankbone.jpg
Bill Simmons at the Tribeca Film Festival, April 2007
Born William John Simmons III
(1969-09-25) September 25, 1969 (age 48)
Marlborough, Massachusetts
Education College of the Holy Cross (BA)
Boston University (MA)
Occupation Columnist, author, podcaster
Spouse(s) Kari Crichton (m. 1999)
Children Zoe Simmons
Benjamin Oakley Simmons
Website http://www.theringer.com

William John Simmons III (born September 25, 1969), is an American sports columnist, analyst, author, and podcaster. Simmons first gained attention with his website as "The Boston Sports Guy" and was recruited by ESPN in 2001, where he operated the blog Grantland and worked until 2015. He hosted Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons on HBO for one season in 2016. He is the founder and CEO of The Ringer, a sports and pop culture blog and podcast network launched in 2016.[1]

Simmons is known for a style of writing characterized by mixing sports knowledge and analysis, pop culture references, his non-sports-related personal life, and for being written from the viewpoint of a passionate sports fan. Simmons also has created numerous internet memes, most notably the Ewing Theory[2][non-primary source needed] (though he claims he did not come up with the idea[2]) and the Manning Face. At ESPN, he wrote for ESPN.com and hosted his own podcast on ESPN.com titled The B.S. Report. In 2015, ESPN announced that it would not renew Simmons's contract, which expired in September 2015.

Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

William John Simmons III[3][4] was born on September 25,[5] 1969,[6] to William Simmons[7][8] and Jan Corbo.[9] His father was a school administrator,[7][8] and his stepmother,[10] Molly Clark, is a doctor.[8] Simmons was an only child and grew up in Marlborough and Brookline, Massachusetts, before moving to Stamford, Connecticut, to live with his mother after his parents divorced when he was 13.[3][9] He attended the Greenwich Country Day School[9] and then Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, for high school.[11] In 1988, he completed a postgraduate year at Choate Rosemary Hall, a prep school located in Wallingford, Connecticut.[12] As a child Simmons read David Halberstam's book The Breaks of the Game, which he credited as the single most formative development in his sportswriting career.[13]

While attending the College of the Holy Cross Simmons wrote a column for the school paper, The Crusader, called "Ramblings" and later served as the paper's Sports editor.[14] He also restarted the school's parody newspaper and started a 12–14-page, underground, handwritten, magazine about the people in his freshman hall called "The Velvet Edge."[3] He graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in Political Science (his primary focus was the Middle East, which he often cites in his columns by way of saying his sportswriting career has nothing to do with his degree) and a GPA of 3.04.[15] Subsequently, while living in Brookline, Massachusetts, he studied at Boston University where he received his master's degree in print journalism two years later.[15][16]

Early career[edit]

For eight years following grad school, Simmons lived in Charlestown working various jobs before eventually landing a job at ESPN.[16] The September after grad school, Simmons started working at the Boston Herald as a high school sports reporter, mainly "answering phones... organizing food runs, [and] working on the Sunday football scores section."[3][15] Three years later he got a job as a freelancer for Boston Phoenix[15] but was broke within three months and started bartending.[3] In 1997,[17] unable to get a newspaper job, Simmons "badgered"[3] Digital City Boston of AOL[18] into giving him a column, and he started the web site BostonSportsGuy.com while working as a bartender and waiter at night.[19][20] He decided to call his column "Sports Guy" since the site had a "Movie Guy."[18]

Originally the column was only available on AOL, and Simmons forwarded the column to his friends.[18] He began receiving e-mails from people asking if they could be put on his mailing list.[18] For the first 18 months, Simmons would send it to about 100 people, until it became available on the web in November 1998.[18] The website quickly built up a reputation as many of Simmons' friends from high school and college were e-mailing it to each other.[9] In 2001, his website averaged 10,000 readers and 45,000 hits per day.[15]

Career at ESPN[edit]

Simmons gained fame as "The Boston Sports Guy"[21] which earned him a job offer from ESPN[14] in 2001 to write three guest columns.[20] His second column was "Is Clemens the Antichrist?" which became one of the most e-mailed articles on the site that year.[20] Becoming one of the most popular columnists on the site,[22] Simmons was given his own section of ESPN.com's Page 2, which helped both himself and Page 2 gain widespread popularity.[21] In the first sixteen months which Simmons wrote for Page 2 the viewership doubled.[23] In late 2004 ESPN launched an online cartoon based on his columns[14] which Simmons later called a "debacle" and decided to stop.[3] Simmons wrote a column per month for his page titled "Sports Guy's World."[24]

As a lead columnist,[22] Simmons is one of the country's most widely read sports writers[25] and is considered a pioneer of sportswriting on the Internet.[22] His readership has steadily grown since he started at ESPN.com in 2001.[22] In 2005, according to ESPN, Simmons' column averaged 500,000 unique visitors a month.[9][26] According to comScore, Simmons' column had averaged 1.4 million pageviews and 460,000 unique visitors a month over the previous six months in November 2009.[27][28]

In 2007, Simmons and Connor Schell[29] conceived the idea for 30 for 30, a series of 30 documentaries commemorating the 30th year of the "ESPN era."[30] Simmons and Schell took special interest to "stories that resonated at the time but were eventually forgotten for whatever reason."[30] The series premiered on October 6, 2009, with "King's Ransom" directed by Peter Berg.[31] Simmons served as executive producer on the project[14][32] until he left ESPN in 2015.

On May 8, 2007, Simmons began a podcast for ESPN.com called Eye of the Sportsguy.[33] On June 14, 2007, the podcast was changed to The B.S. Report with a new theme song written by Ronald Jenkees.[34] Simmons creates one or two hourlong podcasts a week, generally carrying one theme throughout, talking to everyone from sports and media notables to his friends.[35] The B.S. Report is regularly the most downloaded podcast on ESPN.com[9][35] averaging 2 million downloads a month.[27][28] In 2009, The B.S. Report was downloaded more than 25.4 million times.[36]

Simmons began writing a bi-weekly[24] 800-word column[37] for ESPN The Magazine in 2002[38] but convinced ESPN after three years to give him 1,200 words.[37] On July 27, 2009, Simmons announced his retirement from the magazine[7] but continued to write for the Page 2 website.[7]

In October 2007, it was announced that Simmons joined the television series E:60 as a special contributor.[22] In May 2010, it was reported that Simmons and ESPN came to an agreement on a new contract, although no official announcement was made on the terms.[39]

Since 2009, Simmons has also been a moderator and panelist at the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference[40] Starting in the 2012–2013 NBA season, Simmons joined the NBA Countdown pregame show as a panelist/contributor during ESPN/ABC's coverage of the NBA.[41] He left the show prior to the 2014-15 season.

ESPN announced on May 8, 2015, that Simmons' contract, which was due to expire in September 2015, would not be renewed.[42]

Grantland[edit]

Simmons served as the editor-in-chief of Grantland, a website owned by ESPN covering sports and pop culture that launched on June 8, 2011.[43] The website's name was a reference to deceased sportswriter Grantland Rice,[43] though it was reportedly not Simmons' choice for the name.[44] Sports blog Deadspin had previously reported in 2010 that Simmons was working on a "top secret editorial project."[45] Some key contributors to the website included Jalen Rose, Zach Lowe, Kirk Goldsberry and Wesley Morris. In August 2014, ESPN announced that Simmons would be leaving NBA Countdown in order to produce an 18 episode primetime show for ESPN through his site called The Grantland Basketball Show—later changed to The Grantland Basketball Hour—which would debut on October 21, 2014.[46] In these episodes, Simmons discussed NBA-related current events as well as some of his more popular sports columns with his co-host Jalen Rose. Special guests included fellow journalists, pop culture celebrities, as well as current and former coaches and athletes.[47] Months after it decided not to renew its contract with Simmons, ESPN shut down the Grantland website on October 30, 2015.[48][49]

HBO[edit]

On July 22, 2015, Simmons announced he had signed a new multi-platform deal with HBO starting in October 2015. As part of this deal, he would host a weekly talk show, Any Given Wednesday. The show premiered on June 22, 2016.[50] It was cancelled in November 2016.[51] Simmons's multimedia deal with the network continued, and he announced there were plans for future projects at HBO.[51] A documentary on André the Giant will be co-produced by HBO Sports, the WWE and the Bill Simmons Media Group. HBO said that Emmy Award-winning director and producer Jason Hehir will direct it.[52]

The Ringer[edit]

Simmons announced the launch of his new website, The Ringer, on February 17, 2016.[53] The site was to be run as part of his venture, the Bill Simmons Media Group, that was launched in the Fall of 2015.[53][54] The media group includes several podcasts focusing on different aspects of sports, pop culture, and technology today, and features writers on The Ringer website as hosts of these podcasts. The website also hired a number of staffers who formerly worked with Simmons at Grantland.[53] The Ringer went live on June 1, 2016.[55]

The Ringer is hosted by Medium. On May 30, 2017, Vox Media announced that it had entered into a deal to provide advertising sales and access to its publishing platform as part of a revenue sharing agreement. Simmons will retain editorial control of the website.[56]

Other ventures[edit]

Jimmy Kimmel Live![edit]

In the summer of 2002, Jimmy Kimmel had been trying to get Simmons to write for his new late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! which was to premiere after the Super Bowl.[9][23][28] Simmons refused for most of the summer because he did not want to cut back on his columns and move to the West Coast away from his family and Boston teams.[23] Kimmel kept on "badgering" him and by mid-September Kimmel had him "on the ropes."[23] It was crucial for Simmons that he could write for the show and on ESPN.com and in ESPN The Magazine, which was possible because of the Disney connection with ESPN and ABC.[23] He has also stated that he joined the show because he was burned out from his column, felt he needed a change, and always wanted to write for a talk show.[3][37]

Simmons left Boston and moved to California on November 16, 2002[57] and began working in April 2003[58] as a comedy writer for the show.[14] Simmons called it "the best move I ever made"[3] and said it was one of the best experiences of his life.[59] He left the show in the spring of 2004[59] after a year and a half of writing for the show.[9] He wanted to focus full-time on his column,[20] since his writing was starting to slip and he did not have enough time to work on columns or even think about them.[59] Simmons remained in California.[9]

Books[edit]

On October 1, 2005, Simmons released his first New York Times best-selling[38][60] book, Now I Can Die in Peace.[61] The book is a collection of his columns, with minor changes and lengthy footnotes, leading up to the 2004 World Series victory by the Boston Red Sox.[61] The book spent five weeks on The New York Times extended best-seller list.[20]

In July 2008, Simmons announced that he would be taking 10 weeks off from writing columns for ESPN.com's Page 2 to concentrate on finishing his second book,[62] The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy, which was released on October 27, 2009.[63] The book tries to find out who really are the best players and teams of all time and the answers to some of the greatest "What ifs?" in NBA history.[64] It debuted at the top of The New York Times Best Seller list for non-fiction books.[25][65][66]

Style[edit]

When Simmons first started his website, he wrote what he thought friends would enjoy reading because he never understood how people could be sportswriters while claiming they did not care which team won, in the name of journalistic objectivity.[20] Since Simmons was writing on the web he figured that "in order to get people to read it, it had to be different from what people got in newspapers and magazines."[67] He believes his job is not to get into the heads of the players, but into the heads of his readers.[68] One way he gets his readers to come back is to update frequently and to be provocative, so he can get a discussion going among and with his readers.[68] Simmons has stated that he "...will never write a traditional sports column."[68]

With his column, Simmons aims to speak for,[39] reconnect sportswriting with, and reproduce the experience for the average fan.[26] Simmons' writing in his columns is characterized by mixing sports knowledge,[16] references to pop culture[16][17][26][69] including movies and television shows,[70] his non-sports-related personal life, his many fantasy sports teams,[26] video games,[26] and references to adult video.[65][71] His columns often mention trips to Las Vegas[72] or other gambling venues with his friends, including blackjack and sports gambling.[26][73]

In 2007, he was named the 12th-most influential person in online sports by the Sports Business Journal, the highest position on the list for a non-executive.[22]

Controversy[edit]

Conflicts with ESPN[edit]

Simmons has, at times, had a tense and public battle with ESPN about creative freedom and censorship.[74] In May 2008, Simmons was embroiled in a dispute with management at ESPN.com. When asked by the editors of Deadspin why he had not written a new column in over two weeks, he said that he was writing less because he loved writing his column and believed that he and ESPN had come to an agreement "on creative lines, media criticism rules, the promotion of the column and everything else on ESPN.com" but within a few months all of those things changed.[75]

A month before the feud erupted, Simmons was scheduled to interview then-senator Barack Obama for a podcast.[76] Obama was still running against then-senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination at the time.[76] ESPN nixed the interview, saying that they would only allow its reporters and columnists to interview a presidential candidate once the nomination had been finalized.[76]

In November 2008, according to Deadspin, Simmons had quit the B.S. Report due to the content being edited out of them.[77] The controversy revolved around the entry of pornstar Christian into an ESPN fantasy basketball league.[77][78] Simmons was upset that his explanation of ESPN's refusal to allow him into the league was edited out of a podcast.[78] On November 25, 2008, Simmons returned to recording his B.S. Report podcast with a disclaimer, which says "The BS Report is a free flowing conversation that occasionally touches on mature subjects."[79]

In late 2009, Simmons was punished by ESPN for writing tweets critical of Boston sports radio station WEEI's The Big Show. He was suspended for two weeks from Twitter, though he was still allowed to post tweets about his ongoing book tour.[80] ESPN again suspended him from Twitter in March 2013 after he posted tweets critical of ESPN's First Take.[81]

On September 24, 2014, ESPN suspended Simmons for three weeks for criticizing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.[82][83] During his podcast, Simmons stated that Goodell was lying when he claimed that he did not know what was on the tape that showed Rice punching his wife in the face and knocking her out.[82][83][84][85][86]

On May 8, 2015, ESPN president John Skipper announced[87] that the sports media conglomerate would not be renewing Simmons's contract, which was set to expire in September 2015. On May 15, it was announced Simmons was officially done at ESPN, effective immediately.[88]

In September 2017, Simmons voiced his support for the actions taken by Jemele Hill, who became involved in controversy after tweeting her personal views on Donald Trump.[89]

Isiah Thomas[edit]

A frequent column target for Simmons in the past has been former New York Knicks coach and general manager Isiah Thomas.[69][90][91] This led to Thomas threatening Simmons on Stephen A. Smith's radio show in early 2006, saying that there would be "trouble" if they ever met in the street.[90][91][92] Upon a meeting in Las Vegas, they both decided they were entertainers at heart.[90]

Red Sox Nation presidency[edit]

Simmons and Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy feuded over the presidency of Red Sox Nation. The Red Sox asked Simmons to run for the ceremonial position and he accepted. In a candidate's memo, Simmons remarked that he was a better choice than Remy because he is not a smoker.[93] Remy criticized Simmons for about five minutes during the July 16, 2007 NESN broadcast of a Red Sox – Royals game.[94] Simmons later removed himself from consideration and Remy was named president.[95]

Personal life[edit]

Simmons is married to Kari Simmons (née Crichton),[14] mentioned only as "The Sports Gal" in his columns.[72] They have two children together, daughter Zoe Simmons[8] (born May 2, 2005) and son, Benjamin Oakley Simmons (initials being BOS, a supposed hat tip to Simmons' hometown Boston)[9] (born November 1, 2007; called "The CEO" by Simmons and his wife).[96] His father, William Simmons (born November 27, 1947), also referred to as "The Sports Dad", was the superintendent of schools in Easton, Massachusetts, for more than 15 years.[8]

Simmons is a devoted fan of Boston's teams[16][20][72][97] including the Boston Red Sox,[98][99] New England Patriots,[99][100] and Boston Celtics.[23][99] He was a longtime fan of the Boston Bruins and the NHL, but claims that their poor management led to his completely losing interest in them until the 2008 playoffs.[101] He is also a Los Angeles Clippers season ticket holder and, due to the NBA lockout, the Los Angeles Kings.[102] He also says he is a fan of English Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur, and he has had playful debates on soccer with previous ESPN colleague David Hirshey, a soccer columnist and a die-hard fan of Tottenham's fierce rival Arsenal.[103]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Geoff Edgers (June 1, 2016). "Bill Simmons's new site, The Ringer, goes live. And please, don't call it just another Grantland". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 14, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Bill Simmons (July 21, 2009). "Ewing Theory 101". ESPN.go.com. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Scott, David (September 30, 2005). "The Boston Sports Guy: Revisited, Reinvented and Revealed". bostonsportsmedia.com. Boston Sports Media Watch. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  4. ^ "Distinguished Alumni". Boston University College of Communication. Retrieved August 5, 2016. 
  5. ^ Bill Simmons (September 25, 2009). "The B.S. Report: 9/25". ESPNRadio.com (Podcast). ESPN Radio. Retrieved August 23, 2010. 
  6. ^ Simmons, Bill. "You're never too old for Vegas". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2010. And now we're turning 40... 
  7. ^ a b c d Simmons, Bill (July 21, 2009). "When it's time to walk away". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Vogler, Paula (August 27, 2008). "Simmons retiring next year". Wickedlocal.com. GateHouse Media, Inc. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Smith, Russell Scott (September 2009). "Write of Passage: The Sports Guy". Greenwich Magazine. Moffly Publications. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  10. ^ Simmons, Bill (July 29, 2004). "Hoops hits and vengeance misses". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved February 11, 2008. 
  11. ^ Simmons, Bill (February 27, 2007). "Basketball Blog: Oden, Wisconsin and a whole lot more". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved August 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ Timlin, Charles (Summer 2010). "The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy" (PDF). Choate.edu. Choate Rosemary Hall Alumni Magazine. p. 62. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 27, 2011. Retrieved August 31, 2010. 
  13. ^ Simmons, Bill (April 28, 2007). "A tribute to the ultimate teacher". ESPN.com. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
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