Bill Simmons has been suspended three weeks by ESPN for his anti-Roger Goodell tirade on Monday’s BS Report. It’s kind of ridiculous, but I think I have some insight into what really went down. Here’s the skinny: A host (Simmons) directs inflammatory remarks towards his company’s (ESPN) biggest advertiser/property/God (The NFL). He dares his company to take action, despite any reason to do so, on the premise that the “suits” at his company actually do make a public stink and make a much larger deal out of the comments than they actually warranted. In doing so, it dominates the news cycle, draws attention towards the host and company, including extra exposure for Simmons’ Grantland – which I assume is the true motive – without any lasting consequences.
Simmons is a smart guy, and most smart people are very calculated. Anyone that hatches even the most hair-brained of schemes knows it’s not out of the realm of possibility. When you’re a part of the media, you only truly exist when you’re active. Having an instant HOT TAKE is more important today than ever. This is especially true for Simmons since he appears on so many digital platforms and is basically the face of ESPN’s NBA coverage. It’s nearly impossible to take an extended break without losing relevance, regardless of clout.
Now, why do I think I have the real scoop? Well, it’s because I have this exact scenario scribbled down in the “future ideas” section of my notebook. No joke. It’s how I was going justify taking a month off without doing anything before the rigors of the football season begins one of these years. When I returned from exile, there would be more anticipation, a.k.a. eyes on my work than ever before AND I’d have an entire month to craft an excellent first piece. My problem is that I don’t have a fraction of the juice it requires to pull a stunt like this off. Simmons does however.
When does the NBA start again?