September 25, 2014

#ESPN shows #NFL dollars still come first over #Simmons "rant"

Bill Simmons / Via Washington Post
Its ombudsman can brag all he wants about Ray Rice coverage on Outside the Lines, but that was limited to the Baltimore Ravens, not the NFL home office.

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.

Bill, one suggestion? Do a post-suspension "mailbag" about the suspension, just to jerk ESPN's corporate chain. You know you want to.

The Post notes that, if somebody besides ABC/ESPN lands the next NBA contract, he'll likely "walk" to wherever that is. At the same time, ESPN may be very ready to let him walk. It seems like Bill's already creating elbow room.

On the other hand, if, say, NBC gets the NBA, does it want Simmons? Bill, you might want to check that out, too, before angering Bristol too much more.

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.

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