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Bill Simmons In Chapters – Chapter I: Rise Of The Sports Guy

Over the last decade, Bill Simmons has become one of the most important figures in sports. He’s an incredibly popular ESPN columnist and podcaster, the editor-in-chief of his own site at Grantland, a key figure in the 30 for 30 series’ formation, a regular presence on TV and an opinionated personality whose three week suspension for criticizing […]

Bill Simmons

Will Bill Simmons’ suspension prove a tipping point in his relationship with ESPN?

Bill Simmons’ three-week suspension for his podcast comments on Roger Goodell is incredibly harsh by ESPN’s standards and yet another example of the company’s inconsistent discipline policies, but it also may have significant repercussions for the relationship between Simmons and his employer. While that’s been a rocky relationship at numerous times, such as Simmons’ 2013 three-day suspension from […]


Matthew Berry, fantasy football, and the challenges of #TooSoon

The past week saw plenty of NFL stories that went far beyond the on-field games, particularly those on Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald. While those stories had on-field implications (and thus, fantasy implications), some felt the severity of the off-field incidents should preclude any early discussion of what those incidents and the punishment […]


Donte Stallworth will have to prove critics wrong at Huffington Post

This week’s news that the Huffington Post hired former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth to cover politics and national security has drawn plenty of criticism for several reasons; Stallworth pled guilty to DUI manslaughter in 2009, has made questionable comments about 9/11 conspiracies in the past and doesn’t have a journalism background. However, while all […]

Canadian university prevents its own newspaper from covering athletics

One of the growing trends in sports is a desire for leagues, teams and institutions to control the message, often by restricting access, and this may be particularly true at the collegiate level. In the NCAA, we’ve seen schools from Michigan to Louisville ban student newspapers and schools from South Carolina to Florida International (this week!) try […]


ESPN inaction on Stephen A. Smith shows network’s inconsistency on suspensions

When Stephen A. Smith went off the rails on First Take last Friday, saying that women have a responsibility to not provoke men into attacking them, he was deservingly and roundly criticized (even by ESPN colleagues), and it seemed likely punishment from the network would follow. After all, the Worldwide Leader has a long history of suspending, […]


We’re no closer to having any answers about Jason Whitlock’s “Black Grantland” site

Personality-driven sites such as Grantland, The MMQB, FiveThirtyEight and so on have added a lot to the sports conversation, but one of the most-discussed ones isn’t even in existence yet. That would be controversial sportswriter Jason Whitlock’s own ESPN site, which doesn’t even have a name yet, but was dubbed “Black Grantland” by Whitlock himself […]


The CFL’s ESPN deal could be an exposure boost for the league

The Canadian Football League signed an exclusive U.S. broadcast deal with ESPN last week, and it’s one that has impacts for both sides. For the CFL, this new five-year deal looks like a step up in terms of stability, exposure and consistency over previous one-year deals with NFL Network, NBC Sports Network and a NBCSN/ESPN split, and it […]


ESPN’s defense of First Take badly misses the bigger picture

First Take is one of ESPN’s most polarizing shows, something that draws strong ratings but features such over-the-top commentary that it’s been painted as the key factor in the rise of the Worldwide Leader’s “Embrace Debate” strategy and the reason why other shows (and even other networks) keep morphing into First Take-style arguments. Critics have […]

Jeremy Roenick exits NBCSN set in response to Keith Jones translating French

NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick’s always been one of the more unusual players-turned-commentators, from writing “Modern stars worry too much about being diplomatic. F— diplomacy” to his famed feud with Patrick Roy to knocking Matthew Perry into the boards in an extended Go On cameo. Thus, if there’s anyone who’s going to walk off a […]