Bill Simmons: Elvis Presley of Sportswriters

elvis-presley-bill-simmons

Maybe you remember an old Sirius XM radio advertisement. The spot highlighted the men who changed music (Elvis Presley), comedy (Richard Pryor), sports (Michael Jordan) and radio (Howard Stern).

If and when the title is bestowed upon a sportswriter, it will no doubt be former ESPN.com’s “Sports Guy” Bill Simmons. As the daily newspaper sports section diminishes; finding a new home on the world wide web, perhaps no one personifies this revolution better than Simmons.

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The 2014 BSPYs

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Awards shows are self-congratulatory industry bacchanalia that we play voyeur to because we love watching rich and famous people be rich and famous and pretend to be humble.

Slap on a death montage and a lifetime achievement award of some sort to keep it from being a full blown orgy of how awesome everyone must think this specific entertainment medium being celebrated is.

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Bill Simmons and Nate Silver podcast (video)

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Nate Silver is the king of all statisticians. The New York Times 538 blogger and former baseball writer is just so hot right now. He forecasted the election like no one else; uncanny accuracy.

In this video he tells Bill Simmons of Grantland how he spent election night.

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Simmons, “Grantland” Dominate on Day One

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Bill Simmons launched his new sports and pop culture website, Grantland.

Grantland consists of Simmons, writer Chuck Klosterman, and a variety of others throughout the field of journalism and entertainment that contribute to the Grantland site.

On day one, Simmons and others blasted past standards and compiled a collection of blogs and columns that consisted of some of the best sports prose I’ve ever read.

I for one had the bar set very high for Grantland. The crew didn’t disappoint.

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The Bill Simmons “Grantland” Project Launches Today

Bill Simmons, or the Elvis Presley of sports writers as I call him, launched his much-hyped writing project, Grantland today. I’m pretty excited about it, as the face of the ESPN Page 2 project now has a platform where he will not be constrained by the evil empire and/or the rules and regulations of the Disney regime.

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The NBA’s Opportunity to Fix Pro & College Basketball

A few weeks ago, during an episode of “The B.S. Report,” Bill Simmons and Chuck Klosterman discussed (half-heartedly) ideas in which to make college basketball players stay in school longer than just one season.

That discussion triggered a memory of a conversation I had in a dimly lit ice fishing shack a little more than a year ago with a buddy of mine. The finer points of that conversation were a little hazy (we had consumed a lion’s share of the light beer in Itasca County, Minnesota at that point) I remember clearly coming up with an idea that had the same goal as Simmons and Klosterman, but resulted in a much more logical conclusion (I think, or at least the way I remembered) and in effect came up with the method in which the NBA can fix NCAA Basketball‘s biggest problem (which would also solve an NBA problem).

By Peter Christian

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NBA Trade Machine Challenge: Blow Up Pistons’ Roster

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The Sports Guy refers to himself as the Picasso of ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.  Well if he is Picasso then The Sports Bank’s Peter Christian and David Kay are the da Vinci and van Gogh of the trade machine (though neither would cut their own ear off while working on a trade… or at least I don’t think.)

In this new feature, Peter and David will play the role of NBA general manager since they are likely more intelligent than half of the GM’s out there.  One will propose a challenge to the other to make a trade happen with certain requirements and the other will accept the mission like he were Tom Cruise and explain why all parties involved would pull the trigger on the deal.
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Deng possibly the missing piece in Bulls puzzle after all?

Luol Deng’s 39 points on Monday night can not be ignored.

He’s the X-factor. If Deng shines this season or even comes close to the potential the Bulls envisioned when they handed him a contract potentially worth up to $80 million, Chicago has a chance to seriously compete in the much-improved east.

Ifs, ands, or buts aside, this is not the first time Deng has flashed his scoring abilities since signing his contract in 2008. However, his inconsistency to shoot efficiently on a nightly basis has caused the love -hate relationship fans have with the oft-injured yet talented forward. Let’s face it, Deng’s play since 2008 has had more flip-flops than a spring break pool party.

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Boston Three Party ready for Postseason

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By Paul M. Banks

In Bill Simmons’ 700 word epic “the book of basketball,” he ranks three current Boston Celtics amongst the top 75 individual players of all-time: #63 Ray Allen, #54 Paul pierce and #22 Kevin Garnett. These three future hall of famers have 28 combined All-Star appearances in their NBA careers.

I was quite impressed that the ESPN Sports Guy was able to keep his Boston homering to a minimum in his very entertaining, informative and even-handed descriptions of Boston’s big three. I half-expected him to rank all of three in the top 50.

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NCAA Tournament Betting Lines Prediction

By Peter Christian, Paul Schmidt and Souc

Idea stealing isn’t something I’m proud of. Nor is it something I do with regularity. Although, without idea stealing, there would only be ONE television network, there would only be ONE newspaper and there would only be ONE sports blog on the entire internet (there’d actually be only ONE of a lot of things but you get my point). SO, after the field of 65 teams in the NCAA Tournament were announced, Paul Schmidt, Steve Soucie and I decided to play our version of the Guess the Lines game made famous by Bill Simmons and Cousin Sal on Simmons’ podcast. No prize on the line, no chance to beat the others with a Subway footlong sub (although if Subway would like to sponsor us, who are we to say no?). Just good ol’ bragging rights about who is the most degenerate of the three of us.

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Yep, these are our Readers

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By Paul M. Banks

I’ve gotten my news from the Daily Show and Colbert Report for a quite a few years now. Given how pathetic cable news is (CNN sucks, Fox is blatantly a conservative PR firm and MSNBC is trying to do the same thing the opposite way, but with less balls) and how local network news is SO AWFUL it makes the cable news business look closer to respectability, Comedy Central is the place to go. And their sports news is getting better too, especially with these two vids. This is just hysterical, the Clash between Philly and New York to see who has the douchiest fans. Love Jason Jones’ Michael Irvin style suit and the concept of parodying an on-site sports pregame show in general. Watch the douche-off between New York and Philly fans, you will want to watch it again and again.

Obviously, these people are NOT our readers, I doubt they know how to read.

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The second video is Bill Simmons’ recent appearance on the Colbert Report, where he was plugging his new tome, “The Book of Basketball.” He made the bold statement that basketball is where we are now as a culture, and that “baseball is the new golf” and now only for everyone over 50. I’m not saying he’s right, but if he is it would be good for The Sports Bank, as we do our best numbers BY FAR in hoops content. I always get compliments on my TSB business card, because the orange at the top and the surface prompts people to tell me that “it feels like a basketball.” Not intentional, but a good marketing ploy now nonetheless.

Since b-ball does best here, perhaps it’s a little validation of Simmons’ theory. I admit football is my favorite sport, but college basketball may be my 1a. And as MLB has joined the NFL in being Draconian in their media access policies, and Stalinesque about controlling the message that gets out, the NBA is all the more warm and welcoming, And that goes a LONG WAY in determining my favorite game.

And the best test for what league you like the most is how many out-of-market games you’ll watch on television. And when I don’t have a dog in the fight, I’m a million times more likely to watch b-ball than baseball. And the NBA is much more fun to watch on TV than MLB in general. And with the way population demographics are shifting, The Sports Guy could be right, and emphasizing hoops is right for Sports Bank. Yup, these are our readers.

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