Sunday, July 12, 2009

7 comments Quick Sunday Post

I don't normally listen to Bill Simmons' podcast for various reasons. One the sound of his voice annoys me and the second major thing is they take like an hour to listen to, and really I am too lazy to sit for an hour and listen to him speak with his buddies on a topic. I read this article on The Big Lead the other day.

It is on the podcast with Bill and Colin Cowherd and predictably the issue of blogs came up. I feel a little bit funny linking The Big Lead, since it is usually just a bunch of links in itself, but in this case what he had to say about the discussion between these two was pretty interesting in my mind. As everyone knows Cowherd got his radio listeners to take down The Big Lead a few years ago and Bill Simmons had trouble with commenters when comments on his articles were opened up. Somehow they manage to link these two together as if they are similar events, which they are not in my mind.

“The thing that interested me about it is, you’ve gotten in hot water a couple times, you’ve apologized for it. I’m of the opinion…I can see why the blogs would be upset and all that stuff, but at the same time, if the roles had been reversed and they had shut down your ESPN Radio site, they would’ve been excited about it. ‘Oh, look what we did.’” But I guess you have a bigger pulpit, so you have more responsibility and they’re kinda the underdog. It kind of rubbed me the wrong way, though, because I remember when they tested out the ESPN Conversation at the end of 2007 (Note: It was February.) underneath the column, and they hadn’t told me it was going to happen. And one of the sites sent a whole bunch of people (note the pageviews on the link) and they posted all this stuff about me and my wife, and all this stuff underneath. And then they were like celebrating afterward. So then when your thing happened with The Big Lead, it was kind of the opposite of that, but then all of a sudden you’re a bad guy. So that’s the part I never got.”

Here is the difference in case Bill can't figure it out. Colin Cowherd used a bully pulpit on his radio show to encourage his listeners to take down The Big Lead, while Deadspin did not encourage people to go to ESPN and write comments. I don't want to say anything negative about Deadspin commenters but they don't always seem like the most stable people I have read among those who comment. I read some of the comments sometime and wonder who these people are. I just think there is a minor difference in Deadspin reporting what happened on Bill's comment page and Colin Cowherd actually making a concerted effort to crash a site.

Simmons: “Yeah, but why does anybody have to be a bully? It seems like we’re all in this together. We all like sports. Some people have a bigger forum than others.

Bill Simmons is perfectly capable of bringing anything to the mainstream or at least making an event, person, or site come to the public eye just by mentioning it. He constantly takes shots, whether well deserved or not, at NBA GM's and other people around the league in his columns...and the thing is that people read what he says and trust it to be the truth. I find it interesting for a guy who uses his columns at ESPN to call Roger Clemens the devil, call Mike Dunleavy the worst coach ever or even refuse to acknowledge the name of an NBA team, (whether tongue in cheek or not), to call others a bully. I am not saying Bill is a bully but we aren't all in this together. What Bill says goes as fact in the world, even if sometimes the facts aren't always right.

It's easy to ask why can't everyone just get along when you are the one who is taking the shots and deciding partial public opinion on sports issues. How many people have watched a movie or been affected in one way or another by something Bill has said? There is nothing wrong with that, but for a guy who used to be a lowly blogger, he seems to forget that a little bit. The Big Lead could not handle the traffic that came and it really messed them up.

The part that I didn’t like was that, ‘You were such a bully and a bad guy ’cause you crashed this guy’s website,’ and meanwhile, it was the best thing that ever happened to that website.”

In retrospect it was, but that doesn't mean it was right to do. Just because I am ugly and get in a car crash that mangles my face so I get to choose a new face doesn't mean I am happy about the accident, even if the outcome was positive for me.

It's really not that bad of a discussion but there are some good points made on both sides by Bill and Colin and The Big Lead.

Oh and one more thing...Bill hates sideline reporters in general right?

on a tangent from Simmons saying that his wife would make a good sideline reporter because she’s perceptive (no, really):

Of course she would. I hope what I wrote here was coherent. I am not generally coherent on weekends. I have to go watch the series finale of Harper's Island now.


Fred Trigger said...

damn, I was about to do a quick sunday post as well. Since I dont want to bury it, I will link to it here. Did you know Lester Hudson is going to replace Rondo as the starter next year?

Fred Trigger said...

I almost drove off the road when he said "religious destitute"

Bengoodfella said...

Fred, bury it. Go for it. No big deal at all. I would rather you put a post up.

Martin said...

They were both fun posts. hehe

Also, if you notice, Bill phrases it in such a way as if to make it sound like Deadspin his his comments first, then Colin did the thing with the Big Lead.He says "all of a sudden" Colin was the bad guy, after talking about how the Deadspinners took down ESPN. The truth is that the Commetariat went after tWWL AFTER Cowherd took down the Big Lead in retaliation as much as anything else. It took a couple days for ESPN to come up with sufficient response, and it was actually the first subject that the Ombudswoman addressed. Not only did bill miss the entire picture of what was going on, but turns it around to make it seem as if there was a double standard. No bill, it was people cheering on someone who punched the Bully in the nose after he pushed down the crippled kid for his lunch money.

He's such an asshat.

Bengoodfella said...

He does make it seem like the Big Lead incident happened after Simmons comments got sort of hijacked. That couldn't be more wrong.

Some of the comments that were made were over the top and really stupid but what do you expect when people have 6 years of pent up anger and feedback to give Bill. It was Cowherd who struck first, as the bully, and the Deadspin commenters no matter how weird they were commented on Bill's stuff.

I just love the idea there was a double standard in play. I don't think that is the way it is at all really. A lot of people didn't cheer the Deadspin thing, but there was also no directive from Deadspin to crash Simmons' comments. I love the "we are all sports fans" plea from Simmons. He just hates the idea people don't like him. I think it drives him crazy.

Andy said...

As the writer of the post: Thanks for picking up on it, and especially for picking up on the chronology of the TBL/Deadspinnage.

You make some excellent points.

Bengoodfella said...

Good original post Andy. I know it had more text than a usual Big Lead post but I thought you made some good points.

Cowherd and Bill Simmons can act like there is some similarity in those two events but really as Martin said, it was the bully getting punched back. It doesn't shock me those two are not worried about the actual chronology, and most of the people who listen to the podcast won't worry either, but that's the luxury they have of being the big guy.