Bill Simmons Pat Mcafee Pat McAfee and Bill Simmons

After Pat McAfee called out Bill Simmons for only having 8,000 people tail his FanDuel Super Bowl parlay, many were wondering how “The Sports Guy” would respond.

But while Simmons didn’t mention McAfee by name on the latest episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast, The Ringer founder took a thinly veiled dig at the former All-Pro punter’s ratings.

During a “Miller Lite Six Pack” of topics, The Ringer founder discussed the state of television ratings as they relate to sports. And although Simmons’ monologue largely focused on the Super Bowl, the NBA and the way ratings are now tracked, it also included a stray shot at ESPN’s daytime programming.

“Everybody’s ratings are basically up except for the NBA and whoever replaced the 12 p.m. SportsCenter,” Simmons said. “If your ratings don’t go up, it’s probably a bad sign.”

For those keeping track at home, it was The Pat McAfee Show that replaced the 12 p.m. SportsCenter last fall.

McAfee’s ratings have received plenty of attention in the months since his show first began airing on ESPN. Amid the controversy of Aaron Rodgers’ feud with Jimmy Kimmel, the New York Post published an unflattering story regarding The Pat McAfee Show‘s television ratings, which prompted McAfee to publicly call ESPN Head of Event and Studio Production Norby Williamson “a rat.”

McAfee’s comments regarding Williamson came during the digital-exclusive portion of his show, seemingly illustrating that PMS‘ presence on ESPN is about more than just traditional television ratings. And to that end, McAfee’s show has been thriving on non-linear platforms.

As for Simmons, his newfound feud with McAfee appears to have been born out of an impression that The Sports Guy did of the West Virginia product nearly a month ago. On Monday, McAfee took direct aim at Simmons, pointing on the discrepancy between the success of their respective Super Bowl parlays.

“I think Bill Simmons, who has it all figured out, I think he had like 8,000 people riding alongside him,” McAfee said. “That’s a huge number that did not hit. That’s really big. Really good, Bill. You still have it. I think we had 250,000 people or something like that. Keep running your mouth, Bill.”

While many expected Simmons to return in kind, he instead took a more subtle approach, even though it wasn’t particularly difficult to connect the dots. It also likely wasn’t an accident that Simmons opted to return fire by referencing ratings, a subject that he knows has incited strong responses from McAfee in the past.

Will McAfee take the bait? I know what I’d be betting if I were making a Million Dollar Pick.

[The Bill Simmons Podcast, @rBillSimmonsPod]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.