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Bill Simmons

  • American journalist
  • Born September 25, 1969

William John Simmons III (born September 25, 1969), is an American sports writer, sports analyst, author, and podcaster. Simmons first gained attention with his website as "The Boston Sports Guy" and was recruited by ESPN in 2001, where he eventually operated the website Grantland and worked until 2015. At ESPN, he wrote for ESPN.com, hosted his own podcast on ESPN.com titled The B.S. Report, and was an analyst for two years on NBA Countdown. After departing ESPN in 2015, he founded The Ringer, a sports and pop culture website and podcast network, in 2016 and serves as its CEO.


The best under-the-radar rivalry is Dodgers-Giants. I had no idea how deep that one was until I moved to California... that one goes waaaaaaaaay back, and both sides absolutely detest each other. Fights in the stands, fights in the parking lot, the whole thing. It's every bit as bitter as Yankees-Red Sox without nearly the same hype.




Writing is like playing golf - you have to keep working at your swing.




You always hear that tragedies put sports in perspective, that they prove we shouldn't care this much about the successes and failures of a bunch of wealthy strangers. I'm going the other way - sometimes, sports put everything else in perspective.




Why should it matter to us when wrestlers are found dead in their beds or seen limping around on two fake hips? Why should it matter to us that there's a list of modern wrestlers who died before the age of 50 - many of them famous - and that the list is more than 70 names long? Hey, there's always another wave of guys on the way. Always.




Our favorite teams bring people together, keep family members close, bond people from different generations. Some of the happiest moments of my life involve something that happened with one of my teams. Some of the best relationships I ever had were with Boston athletes that I never even met.




First impressions matter more in basketball than in any other sport, and they can be savored only in person. Players can't hide behind pads or helmets, so we can stare at them, evaluate every move they make: running, jumping, walking, even ogling the cheerleaders. We can see every ripple and tattoo. If they're lazy, we can tell.




The hardest achievement in acting - in my opinion, anyway - is nailing a role that absolutely nobody else could have played. Pacino owned Michael Corleone... but DeNiro could have owned it as well. Who else, though, but Val Kilmer could have nailed Jim Morrison? Does anyone besides Will Ferrell pull off Ron Burgundy?




There's a tipping point that happens with soccer in which you just kinda get it. I was drawn to it because the best soccer teams play similarly to my favorite basketball teams - like the eighties Lakers or eighties Celtics - teams that emphasized teamwork over individualism and relied on passing as their biggest ongoing edge.




I graduated college in 1992 and didn't reach a sizable audience with my column for nine solid years. If I had started ten years later, or ten years sooner, everything could have happened sooner, obviously. But if I had started fifteen years later? I don't know.




I am old enough to remember every Red Sox season since 1975. Baseball is long. Baseball takes forever. It's day in, day out, for six solid months - seven if you're lucky. Winning is always fun.




Leaders thrive when they feel creatively empowered, when they trust the people around them, when their confidence is swelling. Leaders make mistakes when they lose that same confidence, when they're fretting about their power base, when they're reacting instead of acting.




Five days after the Tsarnaev brothers blew up Boston's most sacred event, and just 24 hours after one brother was killed and the other was caught, everyone decided that it was OK to play baseball at Fenway again. The game happened on a Saturday afternoon, preceded by an emotional ceremony and many prayers.




In 1994, nobody could have predicted 'Shawshank' would one day be an iconic movie - and believe me, that would never have happened if Danny Glover had been Red instead of Morgan Freeman.




The NBA and NHL have different agendas: The NBA is much more protective of its players and its brand; the NHL has less to lose, and it's in their best interest to generate buzz any way they can.




I always wanted to create a site that was sports and pop culture. '30 for 30' had a big impact because I loved how that was about finding, empowering and working with these incredible directors, and I thought the same thing could work for writers.




If you had told me in 1997 that even 5 people would be waiting online for me to sign my new book in 2009, I would have jumped around like Joe Carter in the 1993 World Series. I love it. I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't like it. The only thing I worry about is carpal tunnel syndrome - my last tour almost caused it.




We don't realize how much the NFL is quietly drifting towards flag football. During the '80s, part of the defense's goal was to put the fear of God into offensive players... that's fading away.




I started my Twitter account for selfish reasons: I wanted to have a place to post updates on my book signing tour and stuff like that. I never realized that I'd have so much fun tweeting. It's become the deleted scenes for my DVD of columns and podcasts.




I pride myself as being a very supportive parent. I go to my daughter's soccer games. I hit most of them. I try to go to all of them.




I think one of the great things about a football season is that you see teams play in all types of environments, and if you can't handle one of them, you probably don't deserve to win anyway.




I want the 'Book of Basketball' to do well if only so I can shop an absolutely ridiculous topic for my next book: like, a book about basketball cards, or an unauthorized biography of A. J. Daulerio.



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