Bill Simmons
American sports journalist
Bill Simmons
William J. "Bill" Simmons III is a sports columnist, author, and podcaster. He currently writes columns and hosts podcasts for Grantland. com, which is affiliated with ESPN. com. He is a former writer for ESPN The Magazine and Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Nicknamed The Sports Guy, formerly The Boston Sports Guy, Simmons gained the attention of ESPN with his web site, BostonSportsGuy. com which earned him a job offer in 2001.
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Still Processing: Unforgettable Cultural Moments From 2016
NYTimes - 2 months
Bill Simmons, Heben Nigatu, Tracy Clayton and Ezra Edelman discuss what stuck with them this year.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Trump's Tie Is Held Together With Scotch Tape
Huffington Post - 3 months
By Jake Woolf for GQ. Make America tie their ties correctly again. #TIEGATE. Donald Trump's ties have never been great, both the ones he wears and the ones he sells (which are often the same thing). We can overlook the fact that he uses a Windsor Knot over our preferred four-in-hand style, but the biggest factor contributing to his menswear fail is that he just ties his neckwear way too long, a good four inches beyond where your tie should stop. And today, we learned a very unfortunate by product of that sartorial choice: Donald Trump, the future president of the United States, scotch tapes the back of his tie to the front. You see, because the President-elect doesn't leave enough slack on the thin end to reach the built-in loop, he's left with an unmoored sliver of silk that threatens his commanding suited man presence. And again, his solution is to use scotch tape, the very adhesive that's sitting next to you at your desks right now, to connect the two pieces. Sad! T ...
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Huffington Post article
TV Sports: HBO Silences Show, Leaving Bill Simmons With a Weaker Voice
NYTimes - 3 months
Simmons’s show, “Any Given Wednesday,” was canceled, and his new website, The Ringer, for which he has written infrequently, has struggled to draw an audience, too.
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NYTimes article
Bill Simmons’s HBO Program Is Canceled
NYTimes - 4 months
HBO was eager to tap Mr. Simmons’s base of readers of his sports column, but that audience failed to materialize.
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NYTimes article
Hey, Taylor Swift, Caitlyn Jenner Got A Call From Kanye Too
Huffington Post - 7 months
Taylor Swift might not have thought she got fair warning about Kanye West’s “Famous,” but Caitlyn Jenner sure did.  The former Olympian sat down with Bill Simmons for an interview on HBO’s “Any Given Wednesday” and opened up about her relationship with son-in-law West, and how the rapper wanted her in his “Famous” video.   “Let me say this, Kanye and I get along very well. We have actually developed a really good relationship,” she said, and then went on to describe how West called her to ask her to appear in the music video for the now-notorious song. The video was apparently edited after Jenner made her appearance and premiered two days later at the Staples Center. While she was not entirely sure what the final product would look like, she was happy to be included.  “He’s great,” she said. “It’s stirring it up, getting the pot going, and he certainly did with that picture.”  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and u ...
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Huffington Post article
Bill Simmons Brings Angry Ben Affleck To His Big Night On HBO
NPR - 8 months
Bill Simmons debuted his new HBO show Any Given Wednesday with a few very strong feelings from Ben Affleck about Tom Brady.
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NPR article
Bill Simmons brings minor-league quality to HBO talk show 'Any Given Wednesday'
CNN - 8 months
Bill Simmons' weekly half-hour show premiered Wednesday.
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CNN article
What to Watch Tonight: The Premiere of Big Brother, the Series Debut of American Gothic, the Season Finale of Lopez, and The Soul Man's Swan Song
Yahoo News - 8 months
What to watch on Wednesday, June 22... SEASON 18 PREMIERE, 8pm, CBS Big Brother Eighteen houseguests arrive for a season with a "summer vacation" theme, so I assume that in the finale they'll each have to deliver a 500-word essay to the class about how they spent their season. The series will air Wednesdays at 8pm, Thursdays at 9pm, and Sundays at 8pm until they run out of episodes or until the asteroid strikes, whichever comes first. 8pm, PBS The Great Polar Bear Feast A look at the pervasive and rapidly expanding environmental impact of climate change on Barter Island and the Southern Beaufort Sea, and how it is devastating the health of that ecosystem's polar bear population. 8pm Fox MasterChef The top 18 cooks are divided into two teams for their first field challenge: whipping up appetizers and entrées for the nuptials of Season 6 contestant Nick Nappi, a 72-guest affair. 8pm, Freeform Young & Hungry "Young & Piggy" finds Gabi and Sofia tickled pink to be working together— ...
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Yahoo News article
Mediator: Bill Simmons Prepares to Stand Up to Sports Incorporated
NYTimes - 9 months
The influential sportswriter and commentator, who was fired from ESPN after making incendiary remarks concerning the National Football League, begins a new show on HBO on June 22.
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NYTimes article
Bill Simmons Admits He Was 'A Jackass' After Interview
Huffington Post - 9 months
The Hollywood Reporter released a cover piece Wednesday detailing the rocky relationship between sports columnist and podcaster Bill Simmons and former employer ESPN. During his decade-plus at ESPN, Simmons became arguably most famous sportswriter in America. Toward the end, he created Grantland, a well-regarded sports and culture site that was shuttered shortly after Simmons’ departure. Throughout the interview, it was clear that Simmons still had some old wounds that had not completely healed.  "They've now gotten rid of everybody who is a little off the beaten path," Simmons told THR. "Ask yourself this: 'Who would work there that you respect right now?'"  That's quite the statement, especially considering so many of Simmons' friends and former Grantland colleagues still work at the Worldwide Leader. Soon after, he realized his mistake and issued an apology via Instagram.  A photo posted by Bill Simmons (@sptguy33) on Jun 8, 2016 at 12:03pm PDT ...
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Huffington Post article
Is Content Leaving the Dot-com Era?
Huffington Post - 9 months
Image source: PhotoDune At the moment, we are going through content marketing turmoil of unprecedented proportions. Brands tend to rely more and more on external platforms for their content and distribution. It's an exciting time to be in this business, but uncertainty has reached record levels. Is this reliance a good or a bad thing? Regardless of how it plays out in the end, the only certainty is that the things we take for granted regarding content strategy, are going to change drastically. 3 trends that are changing the shape of content marketing Think about the most recent trends that alter the way we think about content marketing: Trend 1: Brands use social media first to signify their online presence, leaving their website second. Clique Media Group (publisher of Byrdie, Who What Wear and My Domaine) used a landing page that contained links to their social media sites, to launch Obsessee. No conventional website was involved. They used third-party social media to ...
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Huffington Post article
Yahoo News - about 1 year
15 TO WATCH: RICK HORROW’S TOP SPORTS NEWS/ BUSINESS/ MARKETING/ENDORSEMENT ISSUES FOR THE WEEK OF FEBRUARY 22 With Jamie Swimmer —While Stephen Curry may be playing the best basketball on the planet, he is quick to admit that he looks up to LeBron James, but not in a basketball framework. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Warriors point guard “can’t help but admire” James for his ever-expanding business empire. Curry said, “He’s obviously handled that part of his career very well and he’s a great influence in that regard.” Curry is certainly expanding his business portfolio – he currently has equity in Under Armour as part of his sponsorship deal and is a sponsor of water filtration brand Brita, JBL headphones, Degree deodorant, Muscle Milk, Express, and ankle-brace maker ZAMST. But James’ endorsements include a lifelong partnership with Nike, and deals with Sprite, Kia, Samsung, Beats by Dre, and Blaze Pizza. Combined with his own management firm, LRMR, James’ portfolio set ...
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Yahoo News article
Bill Simmons' next digital venture: 'The Ringer'
Chicago Times - about 1 year
Bill Simmons, founder of the Grantland sports and media site who was let go by ESPN last year, has announced his next project: the Ringer, a digital venture slated to launch later in 2016. Simmons announced the Ringer in a tweet Wednesday. The Ringer is slated to launch an email newsletter in mid-March,...
Article Link:
Chicago Times article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Bill Simmons
  • 2016
    Age 46
    As part of this deal, he will host a weekly talk show titled "Any Given Wednesday," and it premiered on June 22, 2016.
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    After the success of his post-ESPN podcast, The Bill Simmons Podcast, Simmons announced the launch of his new website, The Ringer, on February 17, 2016.
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  • 2015
    Age 45
    The site would be run as part of his venture, the Bill Simmons Media Group, that was launched in the Fall of 2015.
    More Details Hide Details The media group includes several podcasts focusing on different aspects of sports, pop culture, and technology today, and features writers on The Ringer website as hosts of these podcasts. The website also hired a number of staffers who formerly worked with Simmons at Grantland. The Ringer went live on June 1, 2016.
    On July 22, 2015, Simmons announced he had signed a new deal with HBO starting in October 2015.
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    Months after it decided not to renew its contract with Simmons, ESPN shut down the Grantland website on October 30, 2015.
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    In 2015, ESPN announced that it would not renew Simmons's contract, which expired in September 2015.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly thereafter, Simmons's online magazine, Grantland for which he served as editor-in-chief, was shut down by ESPN.
    On May 8, 2015, ESPN president John Skipper announced that the sports media conglomerate would not be renewing Simmons's contract, which was set to expire in September 2015.
    More Details Hide Details On May 15, it was announced Simmons was officially done at ESPN, effective immediately. A frequent column target for Simmons in the past has been former New York Knicks coach and general manager Isiah Thomas. This led to Thomas threatening Simmons on Stephen A. Smith's radio show in early 2006, saying that there would be "trouble" if they ever met in the street. Upon a meeting in Las Vegas, they both decided they were entertainers at heart. Simmons and Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy feuded over the presidency of Red Sox Nation. The Red Sox asked Simmons to run for the ceremonial position and he accepted. In a candidate's memo, Simmons remarked that he was a better choice than Remy because he is not a smoker. Remy criticized Simmons for about five minutes during the July 16, 2007 NESN broadcast of a Red Sox – Royals game. Simmons later removed himself from consideration and Remy was named president.
    ESPN announced on May 8, 2015 that Simmons' contract, which was due to expire in September 2015, would not be renewed.
    More Details Hide Details Simmons served as the editor-in-chief of Grantland, a website owned by ESPN covering sports and pop culture that launched on June 8, 2011. The website's name is a reference to deceased sportswriter Grantland Rice, though it was reportedly not Simmons' choice for the name. Sports blog Deadspin had previously reported in 2010 that Simmons was working on a "top secret editorial project." Some key contributors to the website include Jalen Rose, Zach Lowe, Kirk Goldsberry and Wesley Morris. In August 2014, ESPN announced that Simmons would be leaving NBA Countdown in order to produce an 18 episode primetime show for ESPN through his site called The Grantland Basketball Show—later changed to The Grantland Basketball Hour—which would debut on October 21, 2014. In these episodes, Simmons discusses NBA-related current events as well as some of his more popular sports columns with his co-host Jalen Rose. Special guests include fellow journalists, pop culture celebrities, as well as current and former coaches and athletes.
    Simmons served as executive producer on the project until he left ESPN in 2015.
    More Details Hide Details On May 8, 2007, Simmons began a podcast for called Eye of the Sportsguy. On June 14, 2007 the podcast was changed to The B.S. Report with a new theme song written by Ronald Jenkees. Simmons creates one or two hourlong podcasts a week, generally carrying one theme throughout, talking to everyone from sports and media notables to his friends. The B.S. Report is regularly the most downloaded podcast on averaging 2 million downloads a month. In 2009, The B.S. Report was downloaded more than 25.4 million times.
  • 2014
    Age 44
    On September 24, 2014, ESPN suspended Simmons for three weeks for criticizing NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.
    More Details Hide Details During his podcast, Simmons stated that Goodell was lying when he claimed that he did not know what was on the tape that showed Rice punching his wife in the face and knocking her out.
  • 2013
    Age 43
    ESPN again suspended him from Twitter in March 2013 after he posted tweets critical of ESPN's First Take.
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  • 2009
    Age 39
    In late 2009, Simmons was punished by ESPN for writing tweets critical of Boston sports radio station WEEI's The Big Show.
    More Details Hide Details He was suspended for two weeks from Twitter, though he was still allowed to post tweets about his ongoing book tour.
  • 2008
    Age 38
    On November 25, 2008, Simmons returned to recording his B.S. Report podcast with a disclaimer, which says "The BS Report is a free flowing conversation that occasionally touches on mature subjects."
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    In November 2008, according to Deadspin, Simmons had quit the B.S. Report due to the content being edited out of them.
    More Details Hide Details The controversy revolved around the entry of pornstar Christian into an ESPN fantasy basketball league. Simmons was upset that his explanation of ESPN's refusal to allow him into the league was edited out of a podcast.
    Simmons has at times had a tense and public battle with ESPN about creative freedom and censorship. In May 2008, Simmons was embroiled in a dispute with management at
    More Details Hide Details When asked by the editors of Deadspin why he had not written a new column in over 2 weeks, he said that he was writing less because he loved writing his column and believed that he and ESPN had come to an agreement "on creative lines, media criticism rules, the promotion of the column and everything else on" but within a few months all of those things changed. A month before the feud erupted, Simmons was scheduled to interview then-senator Barack Obama for a podcast. Obama was still running against then-senator Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Nomination at the time. ESPN nixed the interview, saying that they would only allow its reporters and columnists to interview a presidential candidate once the nomination had been finalized.
  • 2007
    Age 37
    In 2007, he was named the 12th-most influential person in online sports by the Sports Business Journal, the highest position on the list for a non-executive.
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  • 2004
    Age 34
    The book is a collection of his columns, with minor changes and lengthy footnotes, leading up to the 2004 World Series victory by the Boston Red Sox.
    More Details Hide Details The book spent five weeks on The New York Times extended best-seller list. In July 2008, Simmons announced that he would be taking 10 weeks off from writing columns for's Page 2 to concentrate on finishing his second book, The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy, which was released on October 27, 2009. The book tries to find out who really are the best players and teams of all time and the answers to some of the greatest "What ifs?" in NBA history. It debuted at the top of The New York Times Best Seller List for non-fiction books. When Simmons' first started his website, he wrote what he thought friends would enjoy reading because he never understood how people could be sportswriters while claiming they did not care which team won, in the name of journalistic objectivity. Since Simmons was writing on the web he figured that "in order to get people to read it, it had to be different from what people got in newspapers and magazines." He believes his job is not to get into the heads of the players, but into the heads of his readers. One way he gets his readers to come back is to update frequently and to be provocative, so he can get a discussion going among and with his readers. Simmons has stated that he " will never write a traditional sports column."
    He left the show in the spring of 2004 after a year and a half of writing for the show.
    More Details Hide Details He wanted to focus full-time on his column, since his writing was starting to slip and he did not have enough time to work on columns or even think about them. Simmons remained in California. On October 1, 2005, Simmons released his first New York Times best-selling book, Now I Can Die in Peace.
  • 2002
    Age 32
    Simmons left Boston and moved to California on November 16, 2002 and began working in April 2003 as a comedy writer for the show.
    More Details Hide Details Simmons called it "the best move I ever made" and said it was one of the best experiences of his life.
    In the summer of 2002, Jimmy Kimmel had been trying to get Simmons to write for his new late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! which was to premiere after the Super Bowl.
    More Details Hide Details Simmons refused for most of the summer because he did not want to cut back on his columns and move to the West Coast away from his family and Boston teams. Kimmel kept on "badgering" him and by mid-September Kimmel had him "on the ropes." It was crucial for Simmons that he could write for the show and on and in ESPN The Magazine, which was possible because of the Disney connection with ESPN and ABC. He has also stated that he joined the show because he was burned out from his column, felt he needed a change, and always wanted to write for a talk show.
    Simmons began writing a bi-weekly 800-word column for ESPN The Magazine in 2002 but convinced ESPN after three years to give him 1,200 words.
    More Details Hide Details On July 27, 2009, Simmons announced his retirement from the magazine but continued to write for the Page 2 website. In October 2007, it was announced that Simmons joined the television series E:60 as a special contributor. In May 2010, it was reported that Simmons and ESPN came to an agreement on a new contract, although no official announcement was made on the terms. Since 2009, Simmons has also been a moderator and panelist at the annual MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference Starting in the 2012–2013 NBA season, Simmons joined the NBA Countdown pregame show as a panelist/contributor during ESPN/ABC's coverage of the NBA. He left the show prior to the 2014-15 season.
  • 2001
    Age 31
    Simmons gained fame as "The Boston Sports Guy" which earned him a job offer from ESPN in 2001 to write three guest columns.
    More Details Hide Details His second column was "Is Clemens the Antichrist?" which became one of the most e-mailed articles on the site that year. Becoming one of the most popular columnists on the site, Simmons was given his own section of's Page 2, which helped both himself and Page 2 gain widespread popularity. In the first sixteen months which Simmons wrote for Page 2 the viewership doubled. In late 2004 ESPN launched an online cartoon based on his columns which Simmons later called a "debacle" and decided to stop. Simmons wrote a column per month for his page titled "Sports Guy's World." As a lead columnist, Simmons is one of the country's most widely read sports writers and is considered a pioneer of sportswriting on the Internet. His readership has steadily grown since he started at in 2001. In 2005, according to ESPN, Simmons' column averaged 500,000 unique visitors a month. According to comScore, Simmons' column had averaged 1.4 million pageviews and 460,000 unique visitors a month over the previous six months in November 2009.
    In 2001, his website averaged 10,000 readers and 45,000 hits per day.
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  • 1998
    Age 28
    Originally the column was only available on AOL, and Simmons forwarded the column to his friends. He began receiving e-mails from people asking if they could be put on his mailing list. For the first 18 months, Simmons would send it to about 100 people, until it became available on the web in November 1998.
    More Details Hide Details The website quickly built up a reputation as many of Simmons' friends from high school and college were e-mailing it to each other.
  • 1997
    Age 27
    In 1997, unable to get a newspaper job, Simmons "badgered" Digital City Boston of AOL into giving him a column, and he started the web site while working as a bartender and waiter at night.
    More Details Hide Details He decided to call his column "Sports Guy" since the site had a "Movie Guy."
  • 1992
    Age 22
    He graduated in 1992 with a B.A. in Political Science (his primary focus was the Middle East, which he often cites in his columns by way of saying his sportswriting career has nothing to do with his degree) and a GPA of 3.04.
    More Details Hide Details Subsequently, while living in Brookline, Massachusetts, he studied at Boston University where he received his master's degree in print journalism two years later. For eight years following grad school, Simmons lived in Charlestown working various jobs before eventually landing a job at ESPN. The September after grad school, Simmons started working at the Boston Herald as a high school sports reporter, mainly "answering phones... organizing food runs, and working on the Sunday football scores section." Three years later he got a job as a freelancer for Boston Phoenix but was broke within three months and started bartending.
  • 1988
    Age 18
    In 1988, he completed a postgraduate year at Choate Rosemary Hall, a prep school located in Wallingford, Connecticut.
    More Details Hide Details As a child Simmons read David Halberstam's book The Breaks of the Game, which he credited as the single most formative development in his sportswriting career. While attending the College of the Holy Cross Simmons wrote a column for the school paper, The Crusader, called "Ramblings" and later served as the paper's Sports editor. He also restarted the school's parody newspaper and started a 12–14-page, underground, handwritten, magazine about the people in his freshman hall called "The Velvet Edge."
  • 1969
    William John Simmons III was born on September 25, 1969, to William Simmons and Jan Corbo.
    More Details Hide Details His father was a school administrator, and his stepmother, Molly Clark, is a doctor. Simmons was an only child and grew up in Marlborough and Brookline, Massachusetts, before moving to Stamford, Connecticut, to live with his mother after his parents divorced when he was 13. He attended the Greenwich Country Day School and then Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut, for high school.
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