What It Is
Iconoclastic host Bill Simmons takes apart the sports news in his own inimitable style.
Simmons used to put out a new episode every few days, ranging from an hour to an hour and a half. The show went defunct back in May of this year, but the final twenty episodes are still available on iTunes.
What About It
Simmons has a prickly personality and he valued having some distance from ESPN, sometimes to his peril. He was never afraid to court controversy and his show was always the better for it. His willingness to say things no other sports broadcaster would say was always entertaining, but ultimately fatal to the show; ESPN pulled the plug on the long-running show after inflammatory, and also most likely entirely accurate, remarks were made during discussions of the domestic abuse incidents plaguing the NFL. The show was always a mixed bag. Occasionally Simmons would have one of his cousins on and they would spend the entire show breaking down the odds of upcoming games; and this isn’t even the most technical Simmons would get. Episodes of this show are as technical and incomprehensible to a novice like as anything I’ve heard on any show. Other times, he would spend entire episodes discussing MTV reality shows or dedicate a Valentine’s Day show to talking about romcoms that even guys can love. Simmons’ show hit big on the prominence scale when he actually landed President Obama as a guest for one show. Sidenote: Obama is certainly the podcaster’s President; he’s since appeared on Marc Maron’s WTF, which accurately summed up my reaction to the news, I should say. When Simmons was on, he was riveting; when he got into the pure technical side of sports, he was absolutely unlistenable as far as I was concerned. It all averaged out when I came around to rating the show, but at the end of the day, there’s nothing wrong with paying tribute to one of the great sports podcasts of living memory, one of the iconoclastic podcast hosts and a sadly defunct show. Tip of the hat to ol’ Bill. He wouldn’t have wanted it to end any other way.
2 ½ stars.
You’re into hearing the waning days of a podcast rebel.
Avoid Like the Plague If
You’re an ESPN hack.
Best Entry Point
Well, in his last twenty episodes, my favorite would be his 2015 Summer Movie Preview. Those were always fun. But read through those last twenty episodes. You’ll find something worth listening to.