BILL SIMMONS ACCUSES ESPN OF “HIJACKING” HIS IDEAS AFTER LETTING HIM GO

CoryCory New Scotland
http://awfulannouncing.com/2016/bill-simmons-accuses-espn-of-hijacking-his-ideas-after-letting-him-go.html

I've never listened to any of his podcasts, I have seen him guest host on PTI and read a few sports articles by him.  What are the chances this blows up in his face?  ESPN's approval rate certainly seems to be treading down (from the way guys in the US on the sports forum I visit) have been talking about it for the last couple years.

Comments

  • Simmons' accusation is stupid (it's based on the fact that someone at ESPN wrote a "NBA trade value" rankings, which used to be his thing). But this won't blow up in his face, because it is far from being the most ridiculous thing he's ever said (which was that Tiger Woods' comeback would be more difficult than Ali's comeback). Bill Simmons is good as an editor and has created interesting things, but he is also incredibly thin skinned and unable to admit he was ever wrong.
  • Grantland was (and to some extent still is) a welcome oasis of content and intelligence amidst a hyperbolic sea of schlock.  The amount of talent the four letter network has let go is astounding, but hey they still have Skip Bayless, so s'all good, man.
    ryanfosterTravisGeorge
  • Yeah, that is what I meant about him being good as an editor. Grantland and 30 for 30 are the best things ESPN has done in a long time.
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Well, I think he has a point.  In a world where Dave Letterman can be sued by NBC for attempting to start up his "stupid human tricks" segment on CBS, the fact that ESPN can just continue Bill's Trade Value column seems unfair, if consistent.  

    But he also has incredibly thin skin.  Worse, he's a Boston homer.  :D
    TravisGeorge
  • It sucks but everything that was developed, even by him, during his time at ESPN belongs to ESPN.
    Travismileswarrin
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited February 2016
    JN101 said:

    It sucks but everything that was developed, even by him, during his time at ESPN belongs to ESPN.



    Yup, or at least I imagine so. That's pretty standard in contracts of that nature (source: a deep well of crappy tv shows about law and corporations and endless hours of listening to talk radio blowhards, so you confidently can say I'm an expert). I understand his frustrations, but I also see ESPN's side, believing that they paid to develop these things so why shouldn't they take advantage. It does just feel kind of shitty. I am glad to hear that he has forgiven Chad Forde.

    I'm still rooting for a BS interview with Dan Patrick where they just complain about ESPN for an hour and a half. I think that would be a blast to listen to. 

    kojiattwood
  • Travis said:


    I'm still rooting for a BS interview with Dan Patrick where they just complain about ESPN for an hour and a half. I think that would be a blast to listen to. 

    And I'd thrown in Cowherd just for shits and giggles.
    TravisAndrew Stadler
  • As an NBA fan, I always looked forward to Simmons' NBA draft journal. He seems very arrogant but some of his stuff is pretty hilarious and well-written.
    And I too would love to hear Patrick, Simmons and Cowherd complain about ESPN for an hour and a half.
    Travis
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited February 2016

    I was a really big Cowherd guy for a long time (I imagine the accumulative hours of listening would be pretty staggering), but I started to feel like (as Dave Dameshek put perfectly) I was suffering from some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. He's probably the best I've heard at complex, big picture types of stories. Particularly when he can weave finance, sports, and cultural controversy into a package, but man. He is such a narcissistic asshole (or at least his radio persona is, I don't know the guy personally of course and when I've heard him do the BS report and a couple of other similar things he's been much more toned down). I finally just had to start just checking in on the show periodically. It just gets hard to continually listen to a guy who has such contempt for a large percentage of his audience.

    All that said, if a Cowherd interview popped up in my Simmons feed I would be excited and press play immediately. They're really good together.  

    AManIsNoOne
  • Frakkin TFrakkin T Currently Offline

     Worse, he's a Boston homer.  :D

    We gave the world Aerosmith, Bill Burr, and Scorsese's long-awaited Oscar!
    A_Ron_HubbardTaraC73Mike Snow
  • You really hit the nail on the head, Travis.  I finally came to the realization after many hours of listening (and was admittedly very entertained) that Cowherd is a high level professional troll--quite intelligent at times (but not nearly as smart as he thinks he is), and quite often dead wrong in his sports predictions.
    Travis
  • I don't have a problem with ESPN continuing his trade value column. First, because it was already a slight modification on a concept people who are into fantasy sports had been doing for years ("best valules" rankings). Second, because there are certain formats of sports columns that are just the norm. When grantland would do power rankings, were they hijacking Marc Stein's ideas? When they did mock drafts, were they hijacking Mel Kiper's stuff?
    It would be one thing if they were ripping off some stuff that was super specific to Simmons. Like if they started talking about Ewing Theory or doing columns based on MTV game shows or whatever. But when his new website comes out and they inevitably have someone doing advanced analytics stuff for sports, will that be considered a hijacking of John Hollinger or Nate Silver's stuff? I don't think so.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited February 2016
    @kojiattwood The "high level professional troll" thing is pretty dead on. It's true, he is really entertaining, but I started to feel a little gross about it after a while. He did a really good BS Report a while back where they got into his process though, and this is the one thing that I do really appreciate about him, and he does have a great knack for layering stories. Like you said, maybe not so great with Xs and Os and game to game stuff, but really great at stories. The problem is that when he lacks a great story all he has left is the trolling and the ego. Unfortunately, I think it's the fact that so many people gravitate towards that nonsense that keeps him from really being as good as he could potentially be. Not to say that I didn't fall victim to it too, I totally did, but man he could be great if he wasn't such a dick. Either way, interesting dude. I'll give him that.
  • I'm watched drips and drabs of him on Fox (mostly when he has Whitlock on), but haven't really gotten into the new format/venue.  The other irritating thing after a time was his being a contrarian for the sake of being a contrarian take schtick, which seemed contrived at times (although to his credit, sometimes he was correct in his devil's advocate stance).
    Travis
  • I don't have a problem with ESPN continuing his trade value column. First, because it was already a slight modification on a concept people who are into fantasy sports had been doing for years ("best valules" rankings). Second, because there are certain formats of sports columns that are just the norm. When grantland would do power rankings, were they hijacking Marc Stein's ideas? When they did mock drafts, were they hijacking Mel Kiper's stuff?
    It would be one thing if they were ripping off some stuff that was super specific to Simmons. Like if they started talking about Ewing Theory or doing columns based on MTV game shows or whatever. But when his new website comes out and they inevitably have someone doing advanced analytics stuff for sports, will that be considered a hijacking of John Hollinger or Nate Silver's stuff? I don't think so.

    Definitely a fair point. I guess my only rebuttal would be that the Trade Value column was one of the big Simmons things. I don't disagree with the part where it is conceptually not so earth-shatteringly new, but it was a Simmons product that people looked forward to every year. I also think it may be a little salty because I think Simmons just loved that column on a personal level. That said, I don't really disagree with you, but it (and I am certainly influenced by the fact that I am a Simmons fan) just kind of feels like a dick move to me.
  • I think most peoples comments regarding Cowherd are true regarding the professional sports troll, but the same can also be said for many members of the ESPN family... I'm looking at you skip bayless.

    I've been reading Simmons since he moved to the old page 2 site years ago but never read the Boston Sports Guy site he used to write on but did he start the trade value column whilst he was at ESPN? most of the time as an employee of the business any ideas you come up still sit with the company. I also heard that ESPN were going to continue the B.S. Report but have a different host as they owned the rights to the name and could play off the big fan base Simmons draws. 

    I think it just comes down to the fact that he hasnt gotten over being sacked even though he knew it was coming when he got suspended and he even mentioned he disliked the last 12 month there. Whilst I'm disappointed that ESPN closed Grantland it couldnt continue with out Bill and it just seems that the Ringer (terrible name) with be Grantland V2.0 and I'm fine with that. Its just a shame that some of the talent that made Grantland great Lowe, Mays and Barnwell, Jalen and Jacoby etc have now moved under the ESPN banner as they would have been great on the Ringer and other non ESPN platforms as they could have writing a lot of pieces that can get truly critical without Disney blocking any of the content. 
    Travis
  • I'm definitely glad they didn't try The BS Report featuring Mike Golic or anything like that. Talk about blatantly gross.

    Remember his little dust up with Mike and Mike. That was hilarious. Those guys are ridiculous. Nice guys, I'm sure, but their show is just awful.

  • Sports radio is ridiculous and takes itself way too seriously (this guy is better than that guy ie Marino or Montana), Im a big fan of Le Batard who seems to be willing to make fun of the rest of sports radio. It takes a few listens to break through but once you get the joke its brilliant.


    TravisAManIsNoOne
  • GeorgeGeorge Astoria, New York
    It was such a shame to see Grantland go down the way that it did. I still can't see Ringer being as important in my day-to-day life as Grantland was. I still listen to the Bill Simmons Podcast and The Watch regularly, it just doesn't feel the same (mainly The Watch, I'm hoping when Mr. Robot and GoT comes back the podcast picks up a bit.

    He definitely has a point, though. There are tons of things that started with Bill at ESPN.

    At the same time, listening to all his talk about the situation at ESPN makes me thing he is indeed difficult to work with and a bit of a whiner. He definitely isn't without fault.

    And as a Knicks fan, the fact that he's such a homer when it comes to anything Boston makes it even worse.
  • edited February 2016
    davemcb said:

    I think most peoples comments regarding Cowherd are true regarding the professional sports troll, but the same can also be said for many members of the ESPN family... I'm looking at you skip bayless.



    QFT
    And Skip is just plain foolish 95% of the time.
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited February 2016
    davemcb said:

    Sports radio is ridiculous and takes itself way too seriously (this guy is better than that guy ie Marino or Montana), Im a big fan of Le Batard who seems to be willing to make fun of the rest of sports radio. It takes a few listens to break through but once you get the joke its brilliant.





    I like Le Batard too. I've kind of ridded myself of sports talk largely, every now and again I'll see what happened on Max & Marcellus or Mason & Ireland from the local L.A. station if I run out of podcasts, but I think that I just carry enough podcasts now and since I watch less sports than ever (unfortunately, though it's in the name of the Golden Age) I just don't really feel connected anymore. It is a shame that that decline kind of coincided with Le Batard's rise in that slot. I definitely like his style a lot. I like the dynamic with him and Stugotz.

    I think when I call Mike and Mike ridiculous it is certainly with the conceit that all sports talk is pretty ridiculous/totally inconsequential. In a way, that's why I fell in love with sports talk in the first place. When I drive into work, and I used to have a commute of around 45 minutes each way, it's a great opportunity to get alert, but not think too hard so when I tried to start my day with news or politics it was all just too much and I'd either arrive at work pissed off or depressed. I wanted the talk, but not the whole "the world is going to shit" or "these guys are bad people and these guys are good people and half the world is stupid" was WAY too much for me (in any state of mind, really). Sports was perfect. It woke my mind up and entertained me, but left me nice and even. That said, regarding Mike and Mike I think the best way to sum up my feelings is that it feels like the Disney Channel (ironically, I suppose) of sports talk. I think the thing that really gets me because it just never stops is the whole odd couple routine that is so disingenuous and over the top and poorly performed. I just can't do it.

  • @Travis ; That's a lot of why I started listening to sports talk too. It's mostly people saying a bunch of dumb shit to try and get reactions but it's all arbitrary and only matters as much as you tell yourself it does. It's been hard the last couple years though with all these serious issues like domestic violence and rape and concussions where those dumb shock value angles go from silly to seriously misguided and offensive. They're not qualified at all to be talking about this stuff and it's infuriating to listen to. Luckily in the bay area we have some (not all obviously) pretty mellow hosts who seem to know what they're talking about and stay in their lane.
    Travis
  • TravisTravis CA
    edited February 2016

    @Travis ; That's a lot of why I started listening to sports talk too. It's mostly people saying a bunch of dumb shit to try and get reactions but it's all arbitrary and only matters as much as you tell yourself it does. It's been hard the last couple years though with all these serious issues like domestic violence and rape and concussions where those dumb shock value angles go from silly to seriously misguided and offensive. They're not qualified at all to be talking about this stuff and it's infuriating to listen to. Luckily in the bay area we have some (not all obviously) pretty mellow hosts who seem to know what they're talking about and stay in their lane.

    You know, I never really thought about it, but I bet that is why I gradually started to bow out. I kind of chalked it up as being just "time for a change" but now that you mention it I think you're onto something. It's just not as fun anymore, and often it's frustrating. I too have gravitated to the local level more and away from the Mothership when I do listen, probably because they're more macro in general. Max and Marcellus for instance may spend 20 minutes on some terrible domestic abuse story, and one of them may possibly step in it and piss me off a bit, but then they'll turn around and spend 20 minutes honing in on how Marcellus thinks that ants are a worse pest than ants and literally everyone else thinks he's insane for it (they actually spent about an hour on this including fielding several calls one day, it was pretty hilarious). They just have more fun with everything.
    bizmarkiefader
  • @Travis ; Those are the best segments, especially now that everyone has text lines. Once someone brings up food or animals it's going to dominate the conversation for the rest of the show.
    Travis
  • Right!? That shit's the best.
  • Ill have you all know Bill Simmons stole all his ideas ESPN stole from him from me and is actively trying to silence me in the media. Search your feelings and you will know it to be true. 
    TravisCory
  • Well played, @ChuckKelly. Well played.
This discussion has been closed.