Jun 06 2008
By David Scott
Boston Sports Media Watch
Bill Simmons responded to the original post at 11:36 a.m. ET on Friday and the following is the entirety of his email response to my Thursday email that read: “Ryan kills you and you go after Reilly. . . can’t we all just get along? Why all the Reilly bitterness? ds”:
What are you talking about? That’s the second time I’ve gone on D and C where they have just made “Reilly makes more money than you” jokes and asked me a series of Reilly questions – that was my fault? I thought I was going onto talk about the Celtics. I was just trying to make light of the situation, I have no bitterness towards Reilly other than the fact that I wish I could have his work schedule. Put yourself in my shoes, how SHOULD I have responded to the 10th and 11th Reilly questions? You are just as bad as the Boston media you call out all the time – you played that interview up and made believe I “bashed” Reilly in that interview just so you would get a Deadspin/Big Lead links. That’s the kind of shit that gives bloggers a bad name. Instead of trying to stir up shit to get a little extra traffic, you could have written about the interview objectively. You chose not to.
And by the way, what your buddy Bob Ryan did was MUCH WORSE than anything I said in that interview – he didn’t even have the balls to call me out by name in his little blog and made himself look like an old, humorless fart in the process. Of course, you glossed over this because he’s your friend and he returns your emails on time.
Again, you are becoming what you claim to despise – just another media guy who plays favorites and stirs shit up just to get attention. If someone else was doing it, you’d be calling them out. That’s a fact. I am telling you this only because you seem like you’re a good guy and I always normally enjoy your takes. Not today. I don’t mind being called out – it happens all the time – but not when someone “pretends” to be objective and isn’t. If you want traffic so badly, just tell me next time and I will send some your way. All you had to do was ask.
I leave you people alone for 10 days and you run Hazel Mae out of town, let Big Papi injure his sheath and sit idly by while further chinks in the Patriots armor are exposed.
• In the 9 o’clock hour on Thursday’s “Dennis and Callahan” show on WEEI 850 AM, the former Boston Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, took some not-so subtle swipes at his newest colleague, ex-Sports Illustrated back-pager, Rick Reilly. (Reilly, it appears, has no issues with Simmons.)
But Simmons certainly is riled by Reilly – unless of course, TSG is going all “tongue-in-cheek” on us again.
A sampling of Simmons from his 20 minute spot on the show (with full audio here and the Reilly portion beginning around 17:00):
After co-host Gerry Callahan suggested Reilly could be making as much as $3 million a year with his new ESPN deal, Simmons said, “I don’t even care about the money (he’s making). I care about the fact he only has to write 800 words all week. What does he do all week? I’m just getting warmed up at 800 words.”
Also, Simmons said of Reilly, “I don’t think (his hiring) has really changed my life in any way other than he touches my soul with his writing. That’s really it. He’s raising the bar morally, financially. . . he’s raising it all over the place. I’m just happy to be along for the ride.”
(Now THAT was tongue-in-cheek. And a bit petty, too, wethinks.)
Earlier in the interview, Simmons denied being a “prima donna” and suggested that he is not “sleeping on the couch anymore with” ESPN and is “Back in the bed, but. . .” not getting any (action).
Simmons also went with an old and tired refrain after trying to goad Callahan into agreeing that it’s tough to write for such a large company like Disney or Sports Illustrated (where Callahan was for five years). “I think you know it’s very hard to write for a conglomerate,” moaned the non-prima donna. “It seems like people leave big conglomerates and don’t look back.”
Once again, it appears Simmons is paving the way for a departure of that nature, as he continues to bite the hand that feeds him (not to mention the Sports Gal and their babies). It’s become so trite and repetitive with Simmons, in fact, that the ESPN PR department has its own standard Simmons reaction sentence that it recycles with every new Simmons outburst.
“We are very happy to have many creative people at ESPN, including Bill and Rick, whose contributions are evident in many different ways,” said an ESPN spokesman via email late Thursday afternoon.
A Thursday morning email to Simmons went unanswered.
If it’s so bad and so tough to be what you want to be, Simmons, maybe it’s time to fold up the laptop and get out of Dodge.
• The Boston Herald’s credibility – in the wake of Tomasegate – sank to new depths on Thursday when the tabloid’s news side follow-up to the Boston Globe’s Nick Kaczur semi-bombshell mangled the name of Kaczur’s attorney. Patriots spokesman Stacey James confirmed to Shots on Thursday that Kaczur is represented by Steven J. Comen NOT Steve Coleman as award-winning Jessica Van Sack reported in the Thursday Herald. Since when is phonetics an acceptable form of spell checking? And just how many Patriots-related stories can the Herald butcher before severe ramifications occur?
With last week’s 3-pound gaffe by MIA Tomase and general distrust after what can only be considered some dubious handling of the Tomase affair, the Herald is a teetering tab in grave danger of embarrassing itself out if its already-dwindling market share.
• The Gordon Edes-to-Yahoo! soap opera is still playing out as the appeal of Edes’ buyout denial by the Globe winds its way through the appeal process. Another NY Times ERISA hearing is scheduled for next week and it’s believed Edes’ case will be heard then.
• It’s an absolute joke to think that Mae’s next stop will be ESPN. She is so under-prepared for the Bristol campus, it’s laughable. I’d even argue that both blonde NESN newbies, Kathryn Tappen and Heidi Watney are more Disney-ready than Mae will ever be. She was a one-trick pony whose shelf-life was just about expired in this market and whatever the low-ball offer was from NESN, it was exactly the type of offer she deserved.
And you know what? NESN – for all its faults – seems to have a pretty good formula at work. Keep the steady pros long-term (Tom Caron – who we hear is also up for renewal – and Andy Brickley for example) and let the high-heeled beauties come and go like new set designs. Already Watney has transitioned smoothly into Tina Cervasio’s old role and soon, it won’t be Hazel Mae we remember, it will be “Hazel Who?” that we ask. It’s not brain surgery the way Feld and Werner handle talent-hires and apparently it doesn’t have to be.
. . . For now, it looks Kathryn Tappen will be getting Mae’s Days on the desk, but we’d look for another Joel Feld/Tom Werner, best-available-babe hire. Shaky (especially in the field) but earnest John Chandler will also probably benefit from the Mae exit.
. . . How about another Providence gal for the bullpen, NESN? Shawna Hassett from Providence is probably ready for the call-up from the city that has been a long-time feeder to Beantown.
We’d also never complain about more Jayme Parker.
• No idea what to make of Will Leitch’s departure from Deadspin. New York Magazine would seem, at first blush, to be a lateral move for the Deadspin founder. But you’ve got to figure Leitch was burning out on being pithy and collegial with every post. The new job as NY Mag’s “contributing editor” will allow for Leitch to write regular features and columns for the magazine, as well as weekly column for the Web site. He’ll also still have a presence on Deadspin and we’re guessing he’s got some more books or creative deals in him as well.
• An ALL-TIME takedown by a guy that didn’t need to do it. But I’m glad he did. Kevin Cullen can be my Metro columnist any day of the week and, as they say, twice on Sundays.
• Lastly, time to get a bit serious with you. It would – in my eyes – defeat the purpose of going on a trip like the one I just took to China if I didn’t offer some sort of charitable donation in return for the incredible life experience the people of China gave me over the last week. So, I am going to donate the equivalent of $150 to the China Earthquake Relief Efforts by offering a rubber orange bracelet with the message, “5.12.08,” on it to the first 50 readers of this blog who forward me a Red Cross donation confirmation. The orange color is reminiscent of the rescue workers’ jumpers and the date is the day the quake struck. It’s a small gesture or remembrance, but one worth making.
The Red Cross (or any Quake Relief charity) donation can be for any amount, just as long as it is directed to the China quake. Include your mailing address with the Red Cross confirmation in an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and once the bracelets are made and delivered to me, I will send them to you via US Post.
It’s all just one little neighborhood we live in, folks. So help thy neighbor.
David Scott writes from a seaside shanty on the shores of Hull, Mass. and can be reached at shotsATbostonsportsmediaDOTcom.
Scott’s first book, with Memphis Coach John Calipari, is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2009.