Yup, These Are My Editors: Sports Bro Writes Endless, Weed-Scented NBA All-Star Article

Posted in Basketball, Sports Journalism at 6:14 pm by

This is part whatever in a periodic series of posts in which I say the same thing about Bill Simmons over and over. That is, it is about him. So, you know, fair warning.

At more than 7,000 words, his new column on ESPN is probably the longest piece published exclusively online since I last posted about Sports Guy here at CSTB. And it has pretty much everything you’d expect. There is a two-paragraph sequence that compares LeBron James to, deep breath, “a female porn star trying to break one of those ‘most male partners in one afternoon’ records”, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Eddie Murphy, Martina Hingis, Eric Lindros and Ken Griffey, Jr, all wrapped around anonymous comments burying James. There is a blow-by-blow description of a stirring Sports Guy comeback at the blackjack tables. Suggestions on how to improve the NBA All-Star Game (which Sports Bro says “sucked big time”) that include the names “Steve Blake” and “T.J. Ford.” Some No Fat Chicks material. Some stuff about Red Bull and Vodka. Look, it’s excruciating and transcendently fratty, but you knew that. What’s important is that — if the article’s combination of sprawling length and lack of actual non-Sports Bro-related content (beyond things his “Boston buddies” said) didn’t already give this away — the article is seemingly unedited. Not gently edited, as his pieces usually are. No, unedited enough that this was the article’s lede:

Remember those parties in college when a drunk guy inadvertently kicked over the host’s bong and spilled bong water onto the rug, only he never cleaned up the resulting mess, so the skunky water festered while the host of the party was passed out? And then, the following morning, the host awakened to a room that smelled like a cross between a stale bong and the seventh circle of hell?

Well, guess what Vegas smelled like all weekend? Right, whatever, but that’s not the worst paragraph in the piece by a damn sight; my vote goes to the one that starts:

I’m telling you, this was a f***ing free-for-all. This was every man for himself. This was Hunter S. Thompson’s dream sports weekend. This was Vegas on steroids.

And ends with:

Say what you want about the Hip-Hop Woodstock, but it was definitely memorable. Then again, so is an appendectomy.

Here’s something else memorable about the piece: Sports Bro keeps talking about marijuana and how dangerous Las Vegas was. Implications that the city was saturated in Kyuss-band-practice levels of dope smoke and the constant threat of gun violence all weekend run throughout the article; he provides anecdotal evidence (by which I mean, anecdotes his friends told him) to support this; actual reporting may yet bear this out. I suppose that may be fearless truth-telling on Sports Bro’s part, but it remains to be seen whether the NBA’s very, very image-sensitive PR people — a group that includes at least one former Bush Administration member — let this stand on ESPN. It would be a shame to see such a landmark article get edited, but I for one will vouch for this: there’s the seed of a good blog post in there, I think.

10 Responses to “Yup, These Are My Editors: Sports Bro Writes Endless, Weed-Scented NBA All-Star Article”

  1. sportsnut 6242 says:

    Bill (LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME, LOOK AT ME!!!) Simmons is a twerpy dork masquerading as a mensch. A pathetic putz….

  2. David Roth says:

    I agree (and of course enjoy the yiddishims), but the question I’m pondering in the wake of this article is this: is he getting worse, or am I just getting stodgier and less tolerant of his BS? The answer, I think, is both. But man, this one really stinks.

  3. Joey says:

    It’s mostly him. He’s almost unreadable 9 out of 10 articles these days.

  4. unearthdreck says:

    Somebody told me they pay this clown Simmons a million a year to produce this dreck. The Disney board should investigate tonight. No wonder Jimmy Kimmel fired his no-talent ass.

  5. glenzo says:

    My perception of Simmons isn’t nearly as harsh as the prevailing CSTB sentiment but his comments re: Vegas crime over All-Star Weekend to me had the stench of early sensationalistic reports coming from the Superdome post-Katrina. Are we really such slow learners?

  6. Rog says:

    Every time he writes about non-Boston sports or non-Boston locales, it’s painful. He’s been writing about L.A. for the past two or so years. Speaking as someone who grew up there, all I can say is that L.A. is full of these types of assholes from Boston, N.Y. and New Jersey who feel they have to act like a stereotype of an L.A. resident and stink up the place by being an arrogant, frat-boy assholes. Shockingly, these people are what make up a large percentage of the entertainment industry. The Sports Girl fits right in as the latest annoying loser trying to leave their mark. He needs to start acting like he’s been there before, though. Making a huge deal about living next-door to some D-list reality show celeb…..*yaaaawn*

    He should travel some more and stop acting like everything outside the 617 area code is weird or somehow wrong. At least Klosterman left North Dakota at some point because he wanted to see what else was out there so he could appreciate it. Sports Girl was dragged kicking and screaming to L.A. solely for that writing gig for Kimmel. Sad.

  7. GC says:

    unearthy -

    I really doubt Bill’s getting a million to do his Page 2 column. I mean, I doubt the Sports Gal is holding any bake sales to make rent, but if Simmons was making 7 figures, Rick Reilly would leave S.I. to start a blog. As would several old media types.

    I’m not gonna defend Simmons’ work, not here anyway. But being fired by Kimmel (if that’s actually what went down) is hardly a barometer of anything.

  8. ombudsman says:

    Nick and Robin Bakay are genuinely funny. Simmons and the SportsGal (?) are unctuous, tinhorn, nerdy wannabe facsimiles. Blecccchhhh!

  9. Rog says:

    Oh, did I mention that he has a wussy girl voice? Because he does.

  10. susan mullen says:

    If you’re talking money and PR, the Vegas money is on keeping any bad news silent–no tv, no newspapers, etc. The only interest they all have is that people think it’s a good, safe place to come. As far as your big point about a connection with the Bush Admin., the Bush admin. doesn’t care at all about PR, never has, is cheerfully unaccountable and for a few years has literally told its former supporters to bug off. All it has done is solidify the lobbying class in running the country, and Vegas is no exception. ie It’s only about money and we don’t care.

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