Bill Simmons Opens Big Mouth, Says Something Dumb

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Bill Simmons Opens Big Mouth, Says Something Dumb

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | May 30, 2013 | Comments ()


Bill Simmons, basketball, playoffs blah blah blah. Memphis Grizzlies down 2-0. Fans blah! Bill Simmons said what?

"I didn't realize the effect [The MLK assassination] had on that city...I think from people we talk to and stuff we've read, the shooting kind of sets the tone with how the city thinks about stuff. We were at Game 3. Great crowd, they fall behind and the whole crowd got tense. They were like, 'Oh no, something bad is going to happen.' And it starts from that shooting." (via Uproxx)

Come again? When a basketball team falls behind, the fans begin to worry because Martin Luther King, Jr.? That is a Fast & Furious level leap of logic. What happened here? Did Simmons finally run out of "The O.C." and Rounders analogies, so he leapt to the next most logical reference point? MLK's assassination?

So, does that mean Kennedy assassinations are responsible for Boston fans' heady combination of arrogance and defeatism, or is that just a natural byproduct of New England winters?

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Matt C.

    I'm not sure I see it....he's saying that the people of Memphis expect bad things to happen to them. And no, they weren't thinking specifically about MLK during the game, they were just expecting to lose, because that's the mindset that the people of Memphis have, which possibly stems from something bad happening a long time ago. Probably not true, but definitely a defensible and understandable statement.

    It's also really not fair the way a lot of commenters on here indict people who talk about sports as being obsessed with something silly like sports when...well, they're completely obsessed with something just as silly, like TV and movies.

  • e jerry powell


    There is no CAN.


  • googergieger

    Meh. Bill Simmons is an idiot. Nothing really new here for sports fans. Though there are theories he has been trying to get fired from the ESPN NBA halftime/pre-game show for a while now. Then again, who the eff watches it? Between Jalen Rose having the personality of a really boring potato, Magic Johnson having the sound wisdom of a really stupid and dead owl, with thoughtful insights such as, "whoever imposes their will on this game, is going to have the best shot at winning this thing", and Bill Simmons constantly having "pull it out of your ass" opinions to throw in, which is different from everyone else's because he is white...

    I forgot my point. Oh yeah, point is, ESPN is effin terrible and it serves as a propaganda machine for the NBA and other sports organizations that get away with doing dirty stuff because the fox news of "sports journalism" is always going to bail them out by pushing their easy to see through agenda. What? Oh, right, yeah Bill Simmons. His "ideas" are bad and he should feel bad.

  • Matt C.

    The Fox News of sports journalism is NESN.

  • googergieger

    I just know ESPN pays the NBA money to be told what to say and do by the NBA. Which is just...Kind of like putting the horse before the cart and then getting fucked by it. I'm not really good at analogies.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Memphis fans were too upset over the MLK episode of Mad Men to root for the Grizzlies. No one denies this.

  • I'm from and live in Memphis. I'd say the MLK assassination is more of a symbol of racial tensions in the city more than something that actually causes tensions. If it did/does have some sort of effect it's only one piece of the puzzle, the main one being white conservatives whining about shit while they live in the suburbs and do nothing to help the city aside from going to a Grizz game or two.

    Whatever the effect of that event, I'm pretty sure it in no way had an effect on how we reacted to the Grizz losing. Being down 0-2 and getting your ass handed to you in one of those games is why people might have been tense.

  • I would also chip in the Griz's historical penchant for turning also-rans into all-stars as a factor behind fan tensions

  • RocksEaglesHats

    I don't particularly like Simmons but I read his stuff and listen to his podcast- this looks bad taken out of context, and would be doubly bad if it had been written down as opposed to verbally extemporized. But in the course of the conversation, it's not nearly as jarring. I listened to it last night and, while it raised my eyebrows a bit, I didn't give it much thought. Besides, ridiculous hyperbole is par for the course in sports talk. Intertwining sports outcomes on a level with traumatic historical events is what these guys do EVERY DAY. It's also NOTHING compared to the insane analogies and conclusions that are drawn every day on political talk radio.

    I think a stand-alone post excoriating Simmons for some overwrought but ultimately innocuous observation made on the fly in the course of a discussion is a massive overreaction.

  • bleujayone

    Many people think that is a picture of Bill Simmons. It is, but it's not of his head. Simmons is actually red-headed, green-eyed and has a pug nose. The face everyone associates with him is really his ass- with extensive plastic surgery. Simmons suffers from a social disorder where he feels an obsessive compulsion to constantly walk around upside-down backwards on his hands (otherwise known as acute Ciquedusoleilophrenia) Rather than getting treatment which yields spotty results at best, Simmons opted for getting cosmetic surgery on his glutenous maximums complete with a strategically placed hair piece over his junk. After that, it was just a matter of time to perfect his skills of talking out of his ass as a sportswriter. It is a skill which admittedly can produce some questionable output. Still, it's better than his brother who also suffers from a similar ailment, only for he feels compelled to stick his head up his ass. He too has been able to find questionable success in world of sports as a baseball umpire.

  • Slash

    Sports talking heads are much like the talking heads in every other "news" show: they have time to fill, so they babble nonsensically.

    Also, they either feel that sports actually are important, so they imply that the mostly meaningless contest they're babbling about is just like that time something actually important happened, OR they don't, in which case they feel the need to make it seem important by mashing it up with something actually historic, so viewers don't think they just watched hours of multimillionaires playing a game for no reason. Thus you get the "hey, this game is just like that historic thing that happened that is nothing like this whatsoever except it's happening in the same city."

    Even though they know it isn't, they're hoping viewers are dumb enough to believe it. Which many of them are.

    Also, apparently this Simmons guy says stupid shit all the time.

  • Simmons was way off the "why" on something that is in fact true about Memphis. I lived in that city for almost a decade, loved it there, would move back in a second if I could. But the city's populace does have this ingrained pessimism. Whenever something good happens, it seems like 80 percent of the city is talking about when disaster will strike. As great as the Griz run was, people were still talking about the new ownership moving the team as recently as January. I don't think it's the institutional memory of one event for the city, I think it's been a buildup of disappointments over the years that have given the city that view of the world.

  • So, pretty much every city then?

  • firedmyass

    At least in the South, yes.

  • PaddyDog

    So the whole Cubs 100-year losing streak is because of Lincoln? Hopefully the decades-long horrific discrimination against the goat population in Chicago will now come to an end. I demand reparations.

  • Matt C.

    This is a serious misunderstanding of his analogy.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    And the Bills lost 4 Superbowls in a row because of McKinley.

  • No the Great Chicago Fire, Lincoln was killed in DC.

  • PaddyDog

    Yes, but Illinois, Land of Lincoln.

  • MLK was not a Memphian. Simmons' convoluted point is as much about the where as much as the who.

  • PaddyDog

    Fine. Ignore any possible logical extrapolation of the concept if it makes you feel good.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Is that why people from Chicago flinch when they see a cow?

  • PaddyDog

    The only cows in the city of Chicago are served medium rare with a side of baked potato. Few people flinch. The odd vegan grimaces.

  • cruzzercruz

    I don't particularly care for sport, but man I love when the people who are paid to play or talk about it open their mouths about things other than slam run goals. Hilarity always ensues.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    Really, I got nothing. Nothing. I think this is a first. I admit that I'm a little scared but that's probably just because of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan.

  • Tom

    No Dustin. Kennedy's assassination obviously wounded all Dallas sports fans. Duh.

  • anikitty

    We'd have won the game, but Jesus made me fumble.

  • e jerry powell

    Jesus got called for goaltending. And an illegal screen.

  • Mrcreosote

    It was Judas. It's always Judas.

  • Mrs. Julien

    That's what Jesus wants you to think.

  • Mrcreosote

    Sounds like the plot of a Dan Brown novel. Or the Fast and Furious 9: Drive on Water.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Stupid Jesus!

  • Mrcreosote

    Bill Simmons writes his pieces one quarter mile at a time.

  • So that makes him a drag writer?

  • Mrcreosote

    He's more cartoonish than that, so it's a drag strip.

  • God Of Bal-Sagoth

    He doesn't turn his back on family, either.

  • Ty Gear

    This is what happens when you take something that is inherently silly like sports (which Simmons has acknowledged, on occasion) and try to relate it to something that had an actual impact on society. Sometimes an analogy gets away from you. But when Simmons sticks to basketball, he's actually a very well-versed and entertaining writer.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Are we allowed to say, "Wow. Just wow." again yet? This situation really calls for it.

  • chump

    This doesn't surprise me. I'm actually a fan but these dudes just get way, way to into sport. All these comparisons about athletes "going to war" and being heroes. He says something stupid like this weekly.

  • I think there are just so many things you can say about sports. Yes, it's a new game/match/race/whatever every day, so as far as outcomes, scores and stats you can say something relatively different about any given game on any given day. However, in critiquing sport as part of pop culture, really how much ground is there to cover? It's the same with music, film, books, television, art, what have you. There are far too many outlets for criticism at this point, each one looking to garner the most possible page clicks in a given 24 hour period. Stupid things are going to be written because sooner or later that's all that is left to be said. Grantland is a pretty decent site, but no one is immune from screwing up a batch here or there when it's ALWAYS time to make the donuts.

    EDIT: And I say this all as a pretty big sports fan, for whatever that's worth.

  • chump

    Yes I agree Grantland is a pretty good site. I'm just surprised at how into it these guys are. I also listen to the podcasts and often I have to turn them off because it's just too much.

  • zeke_the_pig

    What the fuck did I just read?

  • NateMan

    Word vomit.

  • BWeaves

    So a famous person got shot 50 years ago, and it's all the sports fans at a particular game can think about right that minute? Is that what he's trying to say? From now on, when my boss tells me I'm not processing someone's computer request fast enough, I'm going to blame it on the Holocaust (because my parents were in Nazi concentration camps).

  • Mrs. Julien

    Archduke Ferdinand never saw it coming. How could I possibly do my geography homework?

  • zeke_the_pig

    60,000 years ago, TO THE DAY, Ugg the Caveman got bonked on the head with a club by Murr the Caveman and suffered a fatal haemorrhage . How in the hell am I supposed to focus on these accounts on a day like this Mr Wilkins?!

  • zeke_the_pig

    [Before writing that post I googled 'when were cavemen about' and the article that came up had this gem in the opening paragraph:

    'However, there are probably more people today who actually call caves their primary residences than at any other time in human history.'

    That makes me almost as happy as when I read somewhere that, 'Contrary to popular belief, Jesus did NOT invent the table.']

  • jennp421

    There's a popular belief that Jesus invented the table? My only association of Jesus and tables involves him knocking them over.

  • Mrs. Julien


  • Mrs. Julien

    Jesus didn't invent the table?! That's all I need. Another distracting historical non-event keeping me from victory in my time!

  • Mrs. Julien

    Imagine if you had been able to see and hear it instead. That was some Cirque du Soleil level foot in esophagus contortion. Frankly, I'm impressed.

  • disqus_rCJTTYmkV8

    I love you, Mrs. J.

    How do you like my new handle, BTW?



  • Mrs. Julien

    TCFKAB is back and he's got a cryptic handle!

  • MikeRoorda

    I can never remember what the "B" stood for. I KNOW I was here for it, but there's some facts that have been lost to time and that's one of them.

  • Mrs. Julien


  • MikeRoorda
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