Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Rant On Rose, Rondo, Simmons, and ESPN The Magazine: Part 2

When I left off, I briefly discussed my hatred for Rajon Rondo.  It's unbelievable that there has ever been a debate about who is better between Rondo and Rose.  This is a ridiculous debate, and the only reason it got any traction is because of Bill Simmons. This is not meant to be disparage Simmons’ writing, as it is actually intended to be a compliment. His writing is so influential that he can create a debate about something that is not even close. And I understand why Simmons would compare Rondo and Rose.  Even though he's a millionaire (and although some hold it against him, I certainly don't), he's still a fan, and he can let his emotions get the best of him and make ridiculous statements like Rondo might be better than Rose.  Luckily, Rose has put an end to that debate this season, but we'll touch more on that tomorrow.  Today is dedicated to The Sports Guy.

If you don’t think Bill Simmons is a great writer, you’re either in denial or just jealous of him, and probably both. I’m not here to make that argument, because it would be stupid and he has such a dedicated following that I would just be wasting my breath.

Simmons has received nearly universal praise for an article that was published about a week and a half ago discussing a hypothetical situation that was meant to mirror the NFL Labor Negotiations.  I read it and went about my day, but this article kept coming up. Friends posted it on Facebook, people I follow tweeted about it, and writers mentioned it in their articles.  Everyone seemed to agree that this was brilliant work from The Sports Guy. Everyone except me. As I stated before, I like Simmons' writing, but I do think he can be hit or miss.  I chalked this up as an article that was a miss.  Maybe I'm overexposed to the labor negotiations, but I can't believe that people didn't realize the owners were being greedy. Did people really believe that anybody is currently struggling when the NFL is at the peak of its popularity? And yet, there were so many people that I respected that praised him for exposing the NFL.  Hell, I even read it again to see if I missed something, but I still can't find anything great about it.

As ridiculous as it was that people were praising him for exposing the NFL, there were others that were even more ridiculous.  Mike Lombardi of said that Simmons proved to ESPN that he was greatly underpaid with his article when he was on the Rich Eisen Podcast.  Others have echoed this sentiment, and my jaw drops each and every time that I hear it.

To be fair to Simmons, he starts off his article with, "Take a deep breath, suspend all disbelief and walk through the following hypothetical (and admittedly ridiculous) scenario with me."  So it's not like he's actually believing that his hypothetical is a realistic possibility.  Since pointing out the ridiculousness of a hypothetical that the author admittedly called ridiculous is very meta of me, I'll make this quick.  Simmons' articles are meant to entertain more than inform.  There are many great sports writers who are enjoyable to read, so paying for Simmons' writing simply doesn't make sense. It basically has the same chance of prospering as the newspaper industry, and we all know how that's working out.

Simmons' writing is very good, but his writing gains credibility because of its accessibility. If he was not accessible by anybody with internet access, his articles would become a lot less relevant.  Would the world stop having a voice for their sports thoughts? No. Somebody, or more likely, somebodies (I do think it would be tough for one writer to initially step up and take his spot) would replace him. With these people being able to focus more on one topic, there is a good chance the writing would actually be stronger. That’s not a knock on Simmons, but it’s easier to focus on one topic and write great articles than it is to write great articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Bill Simmons is a great writer, but he has benefited much more from his affiliation with ESPN than ESPN has benefited from having him.  ESPN has the resources to give great writers opportunities and with the reach that ESPN has, they would have eventually found the voice of fans for their website.  Bill Simmons writes a lot of great articles every year, but his article on the NFL Lockout left much to be desired.  Unless, of course, you are just learning that no matter how much money some people get, they will always want more.  If that's the case, I'm honestly not sure if I should feel sorry for you or be jealous of your ignorance.  Maybe next week I can write the groundbreaking article of why people enjoy having fun.


P.S.  I stand by a few rules when it comes to working out.  One of those rules is never buy a Fitness DVD that is being promoted with the jump splits.  Yes, Situation, that means you.

P.P.S.  For the single ladies out there, here's a stud who turns 18 in June.  And that's not months, that's years.  I kind of want him to be my best friend and get him dangerously drunk every time we go out.

No comments:

Post a Comment