156 Comments

On Bill Simmons’ Departure From ESPN

| May 18th, 2015

simmons

I’ve never cared for the writing of Bill Simmons. It’s just not my thing. It’s doesn’t stop me from acknowledging Simmons as the most important sports media voice since the turn of the century.

Why don’t I care for Simmons? Content and approach.

Pop culture references in sports writing, movies, music…etc always bother me because they limit the lasting power of the piece. Nobody on earth will get the references in The 40 Year-Old Virgin – an otherwise funny movie – twenty years from now. (They actually make jokes in that film about Maid in Manhattan, a movie people had forgotten before it was released.) Simmons not only utilizes pop-culture references but often uses reality TV and his favorite movies as the complete framework for his columns.

Simmons likes a lot of stuff I don’t care for. He likes reality TV and fantasy football and wrestling. He’s spawned a generation of barroom boneheads saying things like “Andre Iguodala is like the girlfriend who blah blah blah nonsense.” He’s glib and unserious and that works for this generation of young males (especially his most dedicated readers) who have a detachment from the sports they watch.

Note on the above point: go to a sports bar on Sunday afternoon near a university and watch how many young guys are running from television to television watching their fantasy teams, not their teams. Most don’t have a team.

But if you look around the world of sports blogging you will find more writers mimicking Simmons than folks like Dan Wetzel or Wright Thompson – two of the heavyweights working in what Mike Francesa refers to as the “toy department”. This is because Simmons and the internet were the perfect match of form and function.

The internet is now. It is immediate. What happened on television last night is relevant today because it’s going to be forgotten by tomorrow. Does anybody remember a great Simmons sentence? Probably not. Because for Simmons the set-up is the thing. The device is the point. It’s about that NBA trade calculator thing he does or The Ewing Theory or endless references to Shawshank.

The Simmons mailbag columns were always the most absurd of his work. Simmons would receive a zillion emails from individuals writing like him and then would reward those who wrote most like him but printing their question and then doubling up on his Simmonsness in the response. I’ve heard of putting a hat on a hat but this was putting a fedora on a beret on a derby. And to top it off there was always 10,000 words of it!

Simmons realized the appetite for his type of blogging was dwindling as the marketplace became over-crowded and brilliantly pivoted to the role of editor-in-chief of Grantland, co-creator of the 30 for 30 series and NBA television presenter. Ultimately, as happens, Simmons became a monster the network could no longer contain with his loud criticism of their most important sporting partner, the NFL. And when you are a cog in the Disney machine, there’s no room for wild cards.

Where will Simmons end up next? It doesn’t really matter. Nobody is going to go seek out his work on the Yahoo or Fox sports sites. He’ll be a guy with a zillion Twitter followers and a show on the NBA channel. Or maybe he’ll put it all on the line and try to build his own thing – the return of The Sports Guy. Either way the Simmons legacy is written as the internet’s most popular and impacting sports mind.

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  • Bear Down in Tampa

    He’s like Family Guy for sports writing.

    • Bear Down in Tampa

      But at 3PM on a slow Wednesday at work, he kills half an hour, so I appreciate his work from a time killing perspective.

  • SC Dave

    Does your use of the word ‘impacting’ deliberately relate to an inability to eliminate waste?

  • Irish Sweetness

    ” What happened on television last night is relevant today because it’s going to be forgotten by tomorrow.”

    So what happened yesterday is irrelevant, but is relevant today because … oh, I hate myself.

    Bill Who?

  • NewBearInTown

    This is interesting to me based on what Bill Barnwell wrote on Bill Simmons.
    I have no recollection of reading anything written by Simmons. I rather enjoy Bill Barnwell’s writing on Grantland, and I like Robert Mays to a lesser extent as well. The reason I like their work is that it is long form, supported by an obvious understanding of the game of football and, in Barnwell’s case, of statistics.
    What Jeff describes is the kind of writing that I usually don’t enjoy. But, as Barnwell wrote, Simmons never tried to get Grantland writers to write like him. Barnwell said that Simmons encouraged his writers to improve their own voices, and that that was what made Grantland such a great website.
    I rather like Grantland. I also enjoy MMQB, even though I don’t like Peter King much. I think Grantland was more about Simmons’s skill as an editor and a manager than as a writer. In that case, ESPN doesn’t need to find another great writer to run Grantland; they’ll do just fine with a “man behind the curtain.” (how’s that for an enduring pop culture reference?)

    • I love Simmons’ The Book of Basketball. As a basketball junkie, it’s great. He knows basketball very well.

  • NewBearInTown

    Walter Football on the Patriots penalty:

    “Wow. First of all, I expected Tom Brady to be suspended for a handful of games, and that would’ve definitely been justified. I actually figured it would be three contests so that he could come back for the heavily watched matchup against Dallas, so I’m fine with four. Brady stuttered and stammered through his press conference, and then the Ted Wells Report showed that while there wasn’t any absolute proof, there was at least a good chance that Brady had something to do with the deflated footballs. So, with that in mind, if the NFL wanted to go with eight games for Brady, I would have at least understood it. Four contests makes sense.

    But a first-round pick in 2016!? That’s insane! I’m OK with the $1 million fine and a fourth-round penalty, but taking away another first-round choice from a franchise just because a handful of people were responsible for deflating footballs is completely unjust.

    Roger Goodell once again proved his incompetence by handing down this excessive infraction. This is so much harsher than what the likes of Ray Rice, Greg Hardy and others were penalized for, and their crimes were so much worse. It says a lot that New England would have been better off, in the eyes of the NFL, if Brady beat his wife than maybe deflate footballs a PSI or two. It’s an absolute joke.

    My personal penalty for the Patriots would’ve been four games for Brady, a 2016 third-rounder and $1 million. Stripping a first-round choice is just too much, but I think this would’ve been enough of a deterrent.”

    I can’t disagree with any of this. Though I also would have been okay with a slightly lighter suspension (as I’ve argued in the past – 2 games made sense based on corked bat parallels). But the lack of cooperation makes 4 games fine. As to the Patriots? This is a really harsh penalty given the evidence… Goodell has once again shown himself to be tone deaf to this stuff.

    • Sactowns#1

      I think the Pats have proven they are a group of cheaters. If this were a first offense then perhaps a lighter punishment would be just but this is not the first time and I’m betting that it certainly isn’t the last.

      • BillW

        I think it’s possible that there are many allegations – impossible to prove – against the Pats. The communication blackouts for example. Happens accidentally at other stadiums so maybe the Pats figured they can get away with it every now and then.

        Or maybe not. But it’s possible Goodell heard from the owners: “Look – enough is enough! We’re getting tired of the constant gamesmanship from this franchise. We’re trying to play by the rules but we’re starting to feel like chumps.”

        So maybe that’s why we see things like crowd noise and texting. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

        But Tagliabue would probably say (based on the bounty thing) that if you want to change culture – you do it league wide by setting up a committee to recommend consistent proposals – not try to solve the problem by a severe punishment as deterrent.

    • Big Mike

      Here is the issue for me. I think the penalty was just. You can say how could it be, if Ray Rice got this, or Greg Hardy got that for much worse crimes. To that I say IGDAF, because those were not football related offenses/crimes. It irritates me to no end that the NFL has to have an an extra-judicial process to penalize the employees of its Franchisees. No wonder they screw it up. The courts aren’t even consistent from state to state or jurisdiction to jurisdiction on how these offenses are handled.

      • BillW

        I assume you meant IDGAF?

        I agree – taking air out of a football or pumping in crowd noise or texting the sidelines or taping opponents or turning off communications or the like are NOT criminal offenses.

        Neither is pass interferance, holding, too many men on the field etc.

        The game decides what penalties should be imposed for game related offenses. Agreed on by the owners and players. I suspect Roger is well within his rights. Maybe those rights are too broad, but that’s for the owners and players to decide.

        • Big Mike

          Bill, you’re right I meant IDGAF. The NFL should be consistent in enforcing game related violations. From supplements and PEDs to game balls. That’s their job. When police and the courts are involved, the NFL should stay clear. The answer should have always been, “we will wait to the courts have their say” (like pleading the fifth). It doesn’t have to mean they agree, it just says “we don’t have jurisdiction to make any decision”.

          • BillW

            The trouble comes from stuff like Ray Rice. How do you let the guy keep playing while the matter is settled in court?

            I don’t know the answer – but the fairest thing would be to do just that. Let him play until the matter is settled.

            I guess that means though if he is convicted but gets probation he keeps playing.

            I suppose at that time the team has to make a business decision. If he’s bad for the team, he gets suspended. Or cut.

            And then the team risks losing a good player to some other team without compensation.

            But in any event – a completely separate issue from PEDs and breaking the game rules.

          • Big Mike

            Had the precedent been set, the NFL would simply (and painfully) have to say “We have no jurisdiction over this type of behavior”. Until someone is found guilty, the NFL should not be handing out sentences. Maybe a list of offenses that warrant a paid suspension while the courts sort things out. This would put clubs on notice that they need to keep their employees in line.

          • BillW

            Good point. Shouldn’t be too tough to do. And yet false accusations cause a problem with that. Not always going to have video evidence.

          • Big Mike

            My opinion is that a bar for a paid suspension should involve a very serious crime, where indictments have been made. Yeah, some bad guys will be allowed to play while they are receiving their due process, but that makes more sense the NFL being in the position it is in, which is basically handing out punishment based on the social media reaction to the allegations.

    • Dale701

      Integrity of the game, Duh!

      If it did not help why do it?
      A better penalty would be an extra 2lbs of pressure in the Pats game balls!

  • BearDown100393

    30 for 30 validates Simmons. His next move will be creative direction in sports film making.

  • One thing I think is going to be fun about this is seeing Simmons air out ESPN’s dirty laundry. He found out he was being let go via Twitter. There will be hard feelings, and there will be blood.

    • Bobby Douglass

      That’s what I’m looking forward to. He may drink their milkshakes.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    I would argue that being, as Jeff puts it, Simmons-esque, is not a thing.

    Simmons was just trying to be Chuck Klosterman. I have ALWAYS thought of Bill Simmons of wholesale lifting his writing style from Chuck.

    So, if anything, everyone is trying to be Klosterman-ish. Klosterman, at his best, was the new Hunter S. Thompson. He put a Gen-X spin on GonZo. When he took that wicked wit to sports, he essentially invented GonZo Sports Journalism.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    “Waaaaaaah, not fair not fair! And my army of attorneys will show Rodger what’s fair!”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/25188420/patriots-owner-kraft-angry-at-nfl-wells-report-it-wasnt-fair

    #BillionairesFight

    • BillW

      Yet again what we never hear anyone on the Patriots say is “we didn’t cheat.

      Instead it’s (exact quote from the article):
      “If you don’t have the so-called smoking gun, it really is frustrating. And they don’t have it. This thing never should have risen to this level.”

      In other words, if you can’t prove it, we didn’t do it.

      • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

        What Kraft doesn’t get is that this isn’t about him vs. Rodger.

        It’s about the rest of the owners vs. Robert Kraft. They are sick of the ‘Patriot Way’, sick of the spying on practices, deflating balls and probably 6 other ways they are aware of that Bellicheat cheats and hasn’t been made public (yet).

        The rest of the owners are collectively shaming Robert, and his ego has kicked in full. Rodger isn’t taking on his old pal Kraft because he believes in the sport. Rodger is a full on puppet.

        Rodger is doing what every OTHER owner is telling him to do. He is literally just a sock puppet in this affair. Once he’s chewed up and ragged enough, the owners will toss him with some nice parting gifts (to the tune of $100M or so) and replace him with the next rag doll to conduct their proxy wars.

        • BearDown100393

          The Goodell bot spoof is 100% accurate.

    • BearDown100393

      Let it play out. I’m enjoying Kraft vs Goodell.

      • BillW

        The thing is, Kraft might win in a limited sense. I have no idea the legality behind any of this. It’s not at all like a criminal or even civil case. Business law doesn’t apply because the NFL has certain protections. The rules are what the owners say they are and the playrs agree to.

        Maybe Roger has firm ground based on that alone. I do know the players in the CBA agreed to let him hear appeals. Was THAT ever stupid!

        • BearDown100393

          A rich owner vs a rich employee. Goodell’s power only exists by permission of the owners. There is no “winner” or “right side” here. And that is what makes this particular predicament a joy to behold and witness.

      • BillW

        And I HATE the fact that King didn’t ask Kraft point blank – did your team cheat?

        All this dancing around technicalities and lame excuses and stating there is no smoking gun is aggravating. It fortifies those who believe it’s ok to cheat as long as they can’t prove it.

        • BearDown100393

          Peter King is a football enthusiast and not a journalist. He has his sources but will never bite a hand that feeds him.

          • BillW

            True enough. I guess I also hate the fact that no one is calling out the media for not asking that point blank question.

          • BearDown100393

            Good point. The NFL is its own media.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Never, ever, bite the hand that feeds.

  • BillW

    I can’t get King’s site at work (firewall).

    Am I wrong in saying this:
    No one on the team has denied letting air out of the football (to a level below the allowed minimum) or being aware of the air being let out either for the AFCC or anytime before that. A simple non-categorical denial.

    I have never read one. Maybe I’ve missed it.

    • Big Mike

      There are 2 holes in the NFL’s case. 1) the science behind how much a ball would weigh at halftime after being used for a half of play outdoors in whatever weather condition existed. There is a range of something like 11.2 to 11.4 that was calculated as what the PSI should be at the half 2) There were two different gauges used to remeasure the balls at 1/2 time. The official wasn’t certain, but indicated that the one he used was likely had a wilson log on it. When measured at 1/2 time the gauge with the wilson log measured with the acceptable range, the other gauge showed the PSI to be something like 11.15. Or .05 PSI below the accepted range.

      As much as I’d like to indict the Patriots. This is again another case of Goodell sticking his foot in his mouth. The most damaging evidence is the way the patriots tried to cover it up.

      • BillW

        The science stinks as you say. But they did “stumble” on such things as the Deflator being pissed at Brady, lack of cooperations etc. All of which to a logical mind says they were afraid of getting caught at something. Then the report comes out and they think – “wait – that’s all you got?” and now they are retroactively trying to explain their seeming guilty behavior.

        It’s ALMOST like a cop show where they bluff and get someone to admit the crime when they really have no evidence.

        ALMOST because they admitted nothing, but all indications are they in fact cheat and have for years.

        Again I point out I have yet to hear anyone on the Patriots come right out and say “no one on out team ever deflated footballs to a level below the allowed minimum.”

        • BearDown100393

          Lift the 4 game suspension but only if Brady consents to wearing a jersey issued to “Deflator” instead of his surname. Sell the jersey to fans. And forward that 0.5 % (after the NFL takes its cut) to dick pump research.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Bears only paying Cutler 15.5 next season. If you don’t think he’s better than Tannehill we watch different sports.

    My personal take is that Tannehill has turned a Flacco-esque corner and moved his game up a notch. This is watching him on his big streak last year. He’s more mobile than Cutler. And Cutler’s preponderance to make the dia-beeetus throw makes him v. Ryan close: but I’d give it to Ryan.

    • I think Cutler and Tannehill are both in the same tier of roughly average guys (along with Flacco, Eli, Kaepernick, Cam, Stafford, Alex Smith, Dalton and more I’m probably forgetting). You have a clear 10-12 or so guys above them and then it’s a group of probably 8-10. You need a guy at least in that group, so they cost a FORTUNE.

      • Bear Down in Tampa

        Also, all those guys take turns being good. So one year Eli will be the leader of that tier, then it’ll be Flacco. The only reason Eli/Flacco get way more money than anyone else in that tier is because they have the hardware. What the Giants/Ravens have proven though is that guys in that tier can win the superbowl and that’s why everyone overpays, they don’t want to let a Stafford out the door and watch him catch lightning in a bottle and win the superbowl with another team. How do you think AJ Smith felt after watching Drew Brees hoist the Lombardi?

        • BerwynBomber

          But Brees leaving SD was more about his injury and having Rivers waiting in the wings. And athough Brees’s SB solidifies his rep he would still be on different tier than Eli or Flacco without it.

          • yeah, guys I consider above that “good enough” tier are, in no particular order, Ryan, Brees, Ben, Peyton, Brady, Rodgers, Romo, Luck, Wilson. So that’s 9.

      • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

        not sure how Flacco can be considered “average” with his outstanding playoff numbers the last 4 times the Ravens made it there.

        • because I don’t let small sample sizes outweigh large ones, which state overwhelmingly that he is average.

          • I think Flacco’s (and Eli’s) playoff performances move them to the top of the average heap, but you can’t simply ignore all the regular season data because they’ve had a few good games in the playoffs.

          • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

            I agree with you when it comes to Eli, but not Flacco. He’s had more than “a few good games” in the playoffs man.

          • Flacco has 6 career playoff games with a passer rating >100. Eli has 5.

          • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

            I don’t have to tell you that playoffs are a different beast, so the small sample sizes argument holds no water. 25TDs-10INts, with 6 INTs coming his first two years of playoffs.

  • Waffle

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/05/18/cowboys-re-sign-fullback-tyler-clutts-cut-jed-collins/
    Tyler Clutts. I’m sure glad we got rid of a guy that could long snap, play specials, catch out of the backfield and block like a beast. Where would you even put a guy like that on a roster?

    • Big Mike

      Ugh.. I loved that guy. An actual FB. The H-Back is an abomination. Hate it. Bring me Klutts.

      • Waffle

        Remember when Clutts first came aboard and Forte broke a screen and was crossing the stripes 40yds down the field and Clutts comes out of nowhere and takes out 2 guys and Forte gets down to the 1 yd line instead of being stopped at the 25 or 30.
        #it’swhatCluttsdid

        • Don’t remind me. It’s always better to hire an ass clown reliving scarface in fl

        • Big Mike

          Yes. Remember the time an H-Back/TE made a crucial block to punch it in from the 1… Oh wait..

    • Irish Sweetness

      And Rex Ryan signed John Conner up at Buffalo.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    AJ Feeley (nice pedo name) to testify that he saw Brady deflate balls in 2004.

    Rodger gonna turn up the heat if Kraft keeps posturing about a civil suit.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Bobby Bowden says Jameis was an embarrassment to Seminole nation. Well that and the racist fight song and Seminole chop…

    • BearDown100393

      And Bobby Bowden.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Greg Hardy already got into a verbal shouting match in the weight room with Cowboys DT Davin Coleman. This should go well for Jerry….

    • Big Mike

      For real? What’s bad for the Cowboys is good for America.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Justin Smith retires rather than play for Jed Dork’s assclown coach

    • Big Mike

      Smith. Willis and Borland all retired. Fangio leaving have anything to do with it?

      • Waffle

        don’t think so Mike, Borland has no loyalty to Fangio and isn’t on his second and third contracts like Willis and Smith. Smith is 35yrs old and has been making millions per year for over 12years and Patrick Willis’ toe is dangling off his foot and he not even 30 but also a multi millionaire. All of these guys have their reasons to step away from their “first jobs out of college”.

        • Big Mike

          A good conspiracy theory. Losing all three the same year the coaching staff goes tits up made me wonder. Good on them for recognizing it was time.

          • Waffle

            Borland could have squeaked a year or two out and banked a Million but i’m sure he won’t be hurting for job opportunities. He seems like a good kid.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Vladimir Putin staged a hockey game with ex NHL stars and scored 6 goals himself as his team won 8 to 6.

    #true

    • BearDown100393

      Tomorrow, Putin will single handily win the re-enactment of the Battle of Carthage in the Roman Coliseum.

    • Irish Sweetness

      #winning!

    • Big Mike

      He’s turning into Kim Jong-un

      • Bear Down in Tampa

        Kim Jong-Il is the one you’re thinking of.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Two guys In this train car are arguing whether or not it is ok to let a squirrel touch your penis.

    #alsotrue

    • Irish Sweetness

      Is one of them Jim McMahon? It’s okay Jim. It’s okay.

  • BerwynBomber

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog “Bears only paying Cutler 15.5 next season. If you don’t think he’s better than Tannehill we watch different sports.

    When it comes to Cutler apparently we do.

    Tannenhill finished four to five spots ahead of Cutler in QR and QBR this past year. Like Cutler, he is an average QB. Also like Cutler his career QR is ~85. Unlike Cutler, Tannenhill is 26 years old. Unlike Cutler, Tannenhill can, in a pinch, run read-option and is more of a dual threat.

    I’m no huge fan of Tannenhill — again, thus far he is no more than an average starter — but if I’m starting a team tomorrow and I have choice between him and Cutty, I’m picking Tannenhill.

    Then again, I’m watching a different sport.

    • BearDown100393

      Every other NFL team preferred some other QB rather than #6.

      • BerwynBomber

        True but I don’t know if that is a total indictment of Cutler. Take the Clowns for example. They signed some seemingly win-now FAs yet they are going with a QB tandem of McCown and Manziel.

        I have serious doubts Cutler could ever lead a team to the Lombardi and a confetti shower but he is obviously a better QB than those two.

        • BearDown100393

          Does Cutler win another playoff game in his career?

    • Doc Hamstring

      I think Tannehill has hit his ceiling.

      Maybe Cutler has, too. But Tannehill isn’t The Answer. Paying him like he is, that’s just foolish.

  • BerwynBomber

    Nice column on Simmons, Blogfather, and mostly agree, though his skill as a writer/craftsman might be better than you think.

    In terms of all the pop cult references, I never cared much for them either but it was a way to ingratiate himself with his younger readers, and doubtful Simmons much cared for the topicality vs. timelessness argument.

    Regardless, even if Simmons went for the cheap, frat house joke, he was also capable of writing thought-provoking and at times poignant pieces. He was also damn smart. Eliminate his Boston homer-ism (Pats, Soxs, Celts, Bruins) and more often than not his analysis was pretty accurate and often included takes that distanced himself from more traditional columnists with their popular opinion-inspired pieces.

    Can’t see his voice ever being as big without ESPN’s brand behind it — they gave him numerous platforms he won’t find in any one place anywhere else — but I could also see him returning, a’la Olbermann, at some point.

  • Ya, he may not be the favorite of every football fan, but he is talented and successful. I think he has had a brilliant career so far.
    http://www.americansportslegacy.com/chicago-bears-bathroom-set-p/bears-bath-1.htm

  • AlbertInTucson

    Simmons being jettisoned is just another way of ESPN saying:

    “We don’t need anybody in particular. We’re bigger than that.”

    Frankly, I wonder why they still keep known slacker, Chris Berman, around.

    • BearDown100393

      Because he is reliable, predictable and toes the corporate line.

      • BerwynBomber

        He is a bit of a mascot too. Dates back to their inception and his two-minute drill stuff is part of their lore.

        • BearDown100393

          Oh definitely, Berman would be the guy volunteering to wear the red suit for the Christmas staff party also.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Reliable. You can count on him to be an annoying caricature of himself.

  • NewBearInTown

    Okay, watching Jeff’s twitter comment. Its that time of year. What are your top 10 tv shows of all time (with or without ranking)?
    I can’t do 10, but here are some of my faves:
    – Star Trek, The Next Generation
    – Mash
    – Saturday Night Live
    – 60 minutes
    – The Simpsons
    – The Sopranos
    I feel like there’s a family sitcom in there somewhere, but nothing is rising above the pack. Maybe the Cosby Show (wow that’s weird to write now).
    In terms of pure dramas, I do agree that there are more great dramas being made in the last 10 years than ever before. There have been other great shows, but the amount of content available today is amazing.

    • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

      GoT is up there with the best of all time, and True Detective was/is stellar. American Horror Story, Breaking Bad & The Walking Dead are all on my list as well. For old shows, L.A. Law, St. Elswhere & of course still the former #1 drama of all time IMO is Hill Street Blues. But seriously, only GoT beats them all, but not sure it’s fair to compare HBO-type shows to over-the-air TV.

      As for sitcoms, Cheers is #1 for me, then Simpsons, then Night Court.

      • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

        and Veep must take the cake for new sitcom. And I forgot to agree with Star Trek TNG, so good!

        • AlbertInTucson

          I enjoyed it, but TNG took a couple of seasons to find it’s footing.

          • NewBearInTown

            The writing on TNG got so good.
            For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG_Xe6i01lM
            So good…

          • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

            Not for me honestly, Al. That first season hit on every note that some fans (like me) were clamoring for should a new series start. Recently re-watched some of those first season episodes….great stuff!

      • AlbertInTucson

        IMO, It is definitely NOT alright to compare HBO/ Showtime, etc. shows to broadcast TV shows.

        Shame on the Emmys for doing so.

        The playing field is not level.

        • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

          I really have to agree. Can you imagine 30 Rock with full-on language & schtuff?? mmmm….

      • Irish Sweetness

        True Detective was cool. I’ll have to check out American Horror Story. Loving Game of Thrones. Well written, good story, good characters.

    • Viva

      Cheers
      Spartacus
      Lost

    • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

      some seriously high praise for Brian Cranston on his role in Breaking Bad:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/14/anthony-hopkins-breaking-bad-letter_n_4098441.html

    • BearDown100393

      The Wire

      • Waffle

        best and saddest show I’ve ever watched. Too real.

    • BillW

      All In The Family, for ridiculing bigotry. I actually knew several people who liked the show because of the things Archie Bunker said. (These people were very prejudiced).

      Uhh… they are playing him for a fool. do you not see that? The show actually had to get more outrageous so people would not mistake the intent.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Nice one NBIT. Return of the top tens!

      – Dr Who
      – ST:TNG/DS9/Voyager
      – Babylon 5
      – Breaking Bad
      – Lost
      – X-files
      – Battlestar Galactica (both)
      – Twilight Zone/Outer Limits
      – The Wonder Years
      – South Park

      • NewBearInTown

        Babylon 5 is a great show. Never got into Dr. Who or Battlestar Galactica. And DS9/Voyager are not on the same level as TNG.
        Breaking Bad wasn’t nearly as good as advertised for me, but I understand the appeal. I never watched Lost, but the ending sounded extremely unsatisfying. Didn’t really care much for the X-files; it was a little too much of a tease for my taste.
        Twilight Zone belongs on the top ten list, though it had a fairly short run.
        The Wonder Years is a great candidate for best family drama.

    • Johnnywad

      I was born in ’73. As such, I was convinced I would either grow up to be one of the “Duke Boys” or ” Faceman”. I couldn’t get enough of either show.

  • And in fear of quoting myself, nothing worse than media making a story about media. Worse than a circle jerk. Whatever happened to the days of reporting and providing insight about the world?
    Have an issue? Here’s a tissue.

  • Doc Hamstring

    Read somewhere a proposal to make the PAT like the try in rugby. Given that football and rugby have a common lineage, why is no one in the NFL talking about doing it rugby-style? Makes sense to me. Would make the PAT kick more meaningful and add in some strategy in play-calling, especially at the end of close games.

    • BearDown100393

      Not convinced the NFL wants to add a play in the game that further increases injury.

    • Irish Sweetness

      They already follow Rugby. In Rugby, when you score a try, you have to kick the conversion from the point at which the ball crossed the touchline, and parallel to the touch lines. 2 points for the convo, 5 for the try. How about that in football? Kick it from the 15 and make it worth 2. TDs are 5?

  • Viva

    Da Hawkcse!!

    • Bender (Call Saul) McLugh

      lets get even….hopefully the D changes work and their energy level is a bit more controlled

  • Sactowns#1

    Why on earth does the Sun Times have an article out called “the best and worst Bears draft picks from 2015”? They haven’t played a single down yet how the hell are you evaluating them?

    • BearDown100393

      Good point, especially when 60 feet further back from the sideline.

  • Shady

    Might be time to rebalance that Yingli portfolio, Waffle.

    • Waffle

      haha, I got out of that one a while back before it tanked. The rate of return I’ve made on that company since 2009 has been silly. Now it’s finally cashed out. I turned 1,000 into over 6,000

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist
  • BillW

    Kraft won’t appeal; accepts losing draft choices (plus money) but still claims the whole thing unfair.

    While I can only assume that Brady’s suspension will be reduced (if not eliminated) the Patriots have now officially been sanctioned twice for cheating (or cheating accusations).

    Death penalty for the the third time?

    • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

      Rodger comes up to him at the draft, removes his leather gloves and slaps Bob across the face, Rommel style.

      Achtung!

  • BillW

    In other news…

    Obama gets a twitter account, follows White Sox, Blackhawks, Bulls, Bears.

    Not the Cubs.

    I’m a Cub fan, but much respect to Obama for not being a politician about this one. Anyone who spent any time in Chicago knows there is no such thing as a person who roots for both teams.

    • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

      His legacy library got approved on the South Side, near the UC Campus. They are flattening some public park to put it in.

      He’d be a fool not to identify as a South Sider.

    • BearDown100393

      He was once asked who was his favorite Sox player. Obama couldn’t name one. He is a complete fake on the subject. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tX0PSoCTFas

      • SC Dave

        Its his most consistent characteristic… being fake, i mean.

        • BearDown100393

          Job requirement for the modern era POTUS.

  • BillW

    Munson said last week:

    … it’s highly unlikely owner Bob Kraft will file any litigation against the NFL. If he filed a lawsuit, he would join the late Al Davis and Donald Sterling as the only sports team owners to sue their fellow owners. Kraft does not want to be in any group that includes Davis and Sterling.

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/story/_/id/12888612/tom-brady-nflpa-cannot-win-appeal-filed-deflategate

    Note that he also says it’s unlikely Brady will win his appeal. And as many others have said, if they go to court then discovery will expose all his phone records.

    • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

      That’s just the tip of the shit storm that would have rained on his head.

      To mix metaphors.

    • BearDown100393

      Could one suggest that Bob Kraft deflated on his anger?

    • AlbertInTucson

      Piss on Bob Kraft.

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Think about how much money was spent on the Wells Report & the rebuttal.Now Google “deficient food pantries”.
    This land is your land…

    http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2015/05/20150519_CFO_0.jpg

    • Waffle

      Hydroponic veggie farms coming to an urban killzone near you….

      Just make sure you staff it with a Blackwater guy or two.

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    NFL just announce PATs will be kicked from the 15yrd line next year.

    • Johnnywad

      They really need to stop fucking around with the game.

      • Trac

        Really, the NFL has become like congress, they both can’t keep their dirty little fingers out of the pie.

  • BerwynBomber

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog “Then the extra point just became a far too big part of the game.”

    Agreed.

    Was there ever a majority people who thought “missed PATs would really spice up this game?”

  • GP Mexican UFO Specialist

    Tweetverse is saying Kraft got assurances that Brady’s suspension would be repealed after the forthcoming appeal to calm him down and get him to sit the fuck down

    • Huge Bear’s Penis

      they better come up with some pretty compelling info to repeal the suspension.

      • willbest

        They want 1 million more viewers for the season opener.

        • AlbertInTucson

          It’s the Opener.

          The NFL Opener.

          Are YOU gonna skip it if there’s no Brady?

          Neither is any other NFL Fan.

          Brady not there will not have a negative effect.

          Curiosity looks to see who helms the Pats might even make it bigger.

          • willbest

            An employee of mine has a theory that the NFL manufactured deflategate just to have something to talk about in May. I am beginning to think he isn’t a complete nutter.

          • BerwynBomber

            He is. And probably a Brady/Pats fan.

          • willbest

            Worse he was born and raised in Wisconsin.

          • Huge Bear’s Penis

            nah – my bet is he is Romanian.

          • AlbertInTucson

            He probably shouldn’t go around without his tinfoil hat.

      • It’s the NFL’s MO in situations like this. Come down hard, reduce upon appeal.

        • Huge Bear’s Penis

          i agree, but reducing a suspension is a lot different than repealing a suspension.

          • it will be reduced on appeal. 1-2 games instead of 4.

  • willbest

    What are the % of FGs missed from that distance vs. 2 yards? Does this really do anything but preclude some sort trick play.

    • NewBearInTown

      From what I’ve read, the success percentage goes from like 99.4% to around 91%. That means that most weeks in the NFL will feature a missed extra point somewhere. Also makes weather a factor (where the differences are more stark).

  • AlbertInTucson

    DaBearsBlog @dabearsblog
    Best one yard plan wins! https://twitter.com/crickhowell/status/600808542489202689

    Job Opportunity for Tim Tebow?

  • Viva

    Da Hawkcse

  • Irish Sweetness

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000493268/article/aaron-rodgers-reigns-among-top-10-qbs-tom-brady-takes-a-hit

    Interesting list. I’ll take A-Rod and Big Ben as the top two too. Brady takes his inevitable fall from grace.

    Does Joe Cool stand alone and undisputed at the top after the Game of Balls ?

  • AlbertInTucson

    Ho-hum. Blackhawks win the longest game in franchise history to tie the Western Conference Semi-finals.

    • in an unrelated note, I went to bed at 1:30 am and had trouble waking up at my (late) 8:00 alarm this morning.

  • Remember like 3 months ago when we were talking about dead money and I said I crunched the numbers? Finally published, if you’re interested. Thanks for the inspiration!

    http://dabearsbeat.com/2015/05/20/does-dead-money-impact-team-success/

    • so I wrote that article back in February and we’ve been saving it in our reserves for the dead time of the offseason. Which is now. Sigh.

  • Huge Bear’s Penis

    new thread.

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