|Bill Simmons / Via Washington Post|
When Bill Simmons, who, despite all his own faults and issues, carries a lot of monetary and other water in Bristol, Conn., repeatedly calls NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a liar? Well, we can't have that!
So, Simmons gets a three-week suspension.
Bill, one suggestion? Do a post-suspension "mailbag" about the suspension, just to jerk ESPN's corporate chain. You know you want to.
Was it the profanities? Well, ESPN didn't explicitly say that. At the same time, the WaPost notes that both Keith Olbermann and Teddy Bruschi have called for Goodell to be fired. Its four bullet points about the suspension are worth a read.
Also, per SI, maybe it was in part to show that, despite whatever water Simmons carries, ESPN wants to show he doesn't get preferential treatment.
And, since he called out his bosses:
“I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I'm in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. Because if one person says that to me, I'm going public. You leave me alone. The commissioner's a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast ... Please, call me, and say I'm in trouble. I dare you.”
I think they had little recourse.
That said, pulling the podcast is stupid. Deadspin, via Slate, and I assume other places, has a cached version.
Update: ESPN appears to be circling the wagons on this one. Ombudsman Robert Lipsyte is also claiming that calling Goodell a liar, and not the challenge to ESPN management, was the primary reason for the suspension. It's like ESPN doesn't even care that this think called the Internetz exists.