Well here we go again. Another ESPN opinion columnist, touted for being on the edge, has been called to the carpet in the style of that famous scene from the 1976 movie “Network” featuring Ned Beatty. The notion that Bill Simmons was suspended (with pay *gah* I should be so lucky) for explicatives said on a PODCAST is ridiculous. He got the hammer because of what he said about Roger Goodell. Thou shalt not defame Roger Goodell. Even if what was said was true. He *IS* a liar. I have been saying that for years. I said that during BountyGate. I also said that during the New England Patriot’s cheating scandal. Of course when Bill Simmons’s beloved Patriots were under the gun, he wasn’t as vocal – but that is another conversation.
So let me ask you a question, ESPN. You sell slow-motion replays of thugs bashing into each other while at the same time, selling alcohol during the commercials yet you espouse this as an issue of integrity, ESPN? Is that really what is going on? No – you are just afraid of losing Monday Night Football. That one little sliver of NFL game coverage you have left. The NFL is smart because they get to control ABC and ESPN all at once with #MNF. It is no coincidence that the NFL (WHICH IS TAX EXEMPT BTW!) has media contracts with all of the major broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.)
Roger Goodell has proven time and time again he is the master of legalese and plausible deniability. Remember what he said about New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton – “Ignorance is not a defense.” Many say these skills will allow him to survive. Oh really? No – it is the screwed up structure of the tax-exempt NFL that allows for him to stay in his massively over-paid position. Commissioner? Der Kommisar? More like a fascist “Il Duce.”
Suspending Bill Simmons for one week longer than Stephen A. Smith or Ray Rice also proves to be interesting. The one good thing about this is the suspension is making news as to what was said content-wise – which is the truth. We now have mainstream reporters coming out and stating the obvious without fear. What is next for ESPN? Can we expect more censoring of Outside the Lines?
What is not being talked about and is something I really do not understand is Bill Simmon’s toxic-co-dependent relationship with ESPN. They have been constantly butting heads over the years. Is he that Boston-ingrained that he cannot seek freedom from a competitor? It is extremely obvious that the two really do not like each other but in spite of the NFL’s influence, ESPN realizes that for true Boston home-town credibility, it needs Bill Simmons as much as he needs their paycheck (suspended *WITH* Pay? That is a free vacation!)