Bill Simmons’ First Post-ESPN Podcast A Sign Of Things To Come?


Well, that didn’t take long.

The most interesting occurrence in sports journalism in recent memory was the messy breakup between ESPN and Bill Simmons. Neither side seemed real thrilled with each other, as despite ESPN giving Simmons his own successful site, Grantland, the network announced it wasn’t going to renew his contract.

That led to Simmons saying he was done immediately, and he subsequently weighed his options and stuck a deal with HBO. He’ll get to produce the kind of material he did with the “30 for 30” films at his old employer, as well as do what has become his true love, podcasts.

He’s actually already started with The Bill Simmons Podcast, and the artist formerly known as the Sports Guy wasted no time going after ESPN. You kind of got the feeling he was like a caged tiger just waiting for his chance to let loose.

"I’m a little biased here since my experiences at ESPN the last two years. But the way everyone else was covering Goodell’s role in this story versus the way ESPN covered it, it was embarrassing. And I couldn’t believe no one called out ESPN about it. You have Dan Wetzel at Yahoo, you had Sally Jenkins at the Washington Post, you had all the people in Boston, you had different radio personalities, and people really going after how the NFL was handling this, how Goodell was handling this, all this stuff. Especially in the weeks after the broken cellphone thing, when it came out that they had obviously leaked stuff and something really legitimately shady was going on, and yet if you went to ESPN, you didn’t see anything […] It’s hard to come away from that and not think that ESPN is in the bag for the NFL, because they were."

Sour grapes? Maybe a little. This could be the kind of deal where you have to discount Simmons’ opinions pretty severely.

Still, you have to admit he’s always been on target about Goodell and the way ESPN tiptoes around the NFL in all aspects. It’s not like he changed his tune since he was fired/quit, he’s always been sounding this alarm.

It should be interesting when Simmons gets to really step on the gas with HBO. Will he use both his podcast and his weekly talk show to batter ESPN? As Terrell Owens was fond of saying, get your popcorn ready.