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What Bill Simmons Really Thinks Of ESPN's NFL Coverage

You can take the rant out of Bill Simmons, but…well, there is no but, really, because Bill Simmons is going to give you his rants whether you asked for them or not. Which is fine, since he’s usually got a point with whatever he’s talking about. His latest outburst pointed a big fat finger at his former employer ESPN for being in bed with the NFL as far as their coverage goes. Shots fired!

A former leader of Grantland, Simmons recently started up a new podcast (understandably called The Bill Simmons Podcast), and it took exactly zero time for him to jump on the offensive against ESPN. Here’s what he had to say about the network’s take on the Deflategate scandal.

The way everyone else was covering Goodell's role in this whole story versus the way ESPN covered it, it was embarrassing. I couldn’t believe nobody called out ESPN about it…Especially in the weeks after the broken cell phone thing, when it came out that they had obviously leaked stuff, that something really legitimately shady was going on, and yet if you went to ESPN you didn’t see anything. It was just hard to come away from that and not think that ESPN is in the bag for the NFL, because they were.

As a football fan who prefers to get my news from places other than ESPN, I’m fully onboard with Simmons in this case. Rather than being an impartial party, like a jury member, ESPN generally just pretends that the New England Patriots, who have been caught cheating several times in the last few years, are basically rapscallions who are bending the rules a little bit, rather than breaking them outright. And no one there ever seems to have a bad thing to say about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell either, or how he has handled any of the NFL’s scandals in recent years. Obviously there are a number of deals in place between the companies, but there should be some objectivity involved.

And should we have expected anything different? After all, Simmons actually got suspended by ESPN last year for going the hell off on Roger Goodell, calling him a liar for claiming the NFL didn’t know anything about the video of Ray Rice knocking his girlfriend out at an Atlantic City casino. It would be kind of weird if Simmons suddenly started respecting Goodell and congratulating ESPN for their arguably one-sided coverage.

You can check out the entire podcast (opens in new tab) episode below.

Those missing Bill Simmons on TV won’t have too long to wait, as he is currently employed by HBO and has at least one new show coming in the beginning of 2016. You can bet he won’t hold anything back, either.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.