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Worthwhile Will Leitch essay on Bill Simmons

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Double Down, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member


    I remember reading that Clemens column too, just the way Will talks about it.
  2. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Smacked more of a Vincent Gallo work.
  3. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Disagree. I think my criticisms/critiques of Mr. Simmons have been well documented here over the years. But Leitch makes a lot of points I agree with. The way we talk about sports, and want to read about sports, has changed. And Bill, even if was simply the right guy in the right place at the right time (and I don't really believe it's just that) is a big part of that.

    What frustrates me is the frustration Bill feels, and can't seem to let go, about regular newspapers, despite having essentially changed the game. But that's another issue.

    But Leitch's point about Rick Reilly is a fair one. Unless you're my dad, are you really reading Rick to get your dose of the humerous, insightful side of sports? No. I'm not necessarily reading Simmons in that way either anymore, but I do feel that way about about Drew Magary. And I see how Simmons' style begat Magary's.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    Sometimes I wish I was born 10 years earlier so I could have created a blog like Simmons. You know, not now as it has been done to death already but back then, when it was unique.
  5. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    But Leitch's point, I think, is that someone out there right now is dreaming up the next thing. That's what you should be doing, mustang. A lot of people could have written about sports the way Bill did in the early part of this decade. But for the most part, they did not. I was one of those people. I was neither daring enough nor smart enough nor inovative enough to do so. I think it's easy to say you'd love to go back in time to do something that everyone does now and do it first. What's harder is to think of the next thing. And the people who do that don't always do it because they're the most talented, or the smartest. Sometimes they're just first.
  6. Lugnuts

    Lugnuts Well-Known Member

    Bill Simmons is gonna friggin love that.

    He does make good points. It's so easy to see how so many people jumped off from his style and success. Like a Gregg Doyel says, "I'm gonna do something like that -- but angry."
  7. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, people talk about sports while throwing in movie references and various obscurities left and right, and talking nonstop for the equivalent of 10 hours about it. Right. Odds and ends columns were running in newspapers long before Simmons went to Celtics games with his dad. He just happened to come up with one in an era of unlimited bandwidth, not finite newsprint.
  8. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Dooley, your Simmons hatred is clouding the point here. Bill did not become the most famous person writing about sports today simply because he did what lots of other newspaper people were doing, but without space restrictions. Newspapers feel old and dated these days in part because they ARE old and dated. There is nothing wrong with Simmons' column about Clemens that Leitch references in this essay, but there is not a single newspaper in America that would have let it run, citing "maturity" and "decency" which are the kind of words people used when they refused to play rock 'n roll before it became part of mainstream culture. The newspaper industry, for the most part, missed the shift in tone in the way we talk about sports and culture. This does not mean Simmons should have been made a columnist at the Herald or the Globe at 25 or whatever he wishes and pouted when it did not happen immediately, blaming newspaper unions and reverse racism. But he was right about the disconnect younger people felt from old white guys at the paper cracking corny jokes over and over again, and thinking things would always remain the same in terms of access, power and influence the media had.

    Like it or not -- and often it's tough to separate the man from his work -- he's going to go down as an important figure of this era of media. There are people who do Bill Simmons' gimmick better than Bill Simmons does now. And there are professional standards most of us have to live up to that he does not. But that shouldn't diminish his importance.
  9. Sneed

    Sneed Guest

  10. YGBFKM

    YGBFKM Guest

    If lacking maturity and decency is key to the future of the media, I feel much better about my prospects.
  11. jaredk

    jaredk Member

    Translation: Hahaha, I'm young and you're not.

    I was there once.
    Someday you'll be on the other side of that argument if you're lucky.

    When you say "not a single newspaper" would have let it run, I think you're wrong. Even back then, some newspapers had no standards. But those with standards would have killed it not because it lacked decency and/or maturity. Editors who valued journalism above personal pique would have said, "Bill, Bill. Tell me one freakin' thing we haven't had in the paper a dozen times. And enough with the lame-ass Curry Kirkpatrick impressions."
  12. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    When's Deadspin gonna tell us who Bill Simmons is fucking at ESPN?

    Or did that series of posts end last week?
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