Tag Archives: Bill Simmons


Grantland was shutdown last Friday afternoon. It wasn’t the most college basketball-centric site which is OK. CBB doesn’t draw gross amounts of eyeballs. And while we can be upset about the end of this site because we’re selfish consumers of their great product, I think I understand this move from ESPN. When have they ever been dedicated to digital media? There have been just nominal changes to the ESPN homepage and UX (amongst my favorite subjects) in the past 15 years. Universally, we’re still trying to figure how to monetize digital journalism. And while Grantland delivered some of our favorite, it wasn’t necessarily in line with the ESPN-way. Of course there’s the Simmons-Skipper dick measuring competition that needlessly cost us great content. But if ESPN is indeed losing market share and their direction is to cut costs at the “talent” level, then I get this. And talent endures. You’ll still read your favorite writers as their careers and digital journalism evolves. For today’s #34B, a few of my all-time favorites:

THREE FOR BART: Grantland, Gambling, Shrimp Boy

  1. The Drama Continues at Grantland – I haven’t found the Simmons drama to be that interesting. To be clear, I follow. I’m a Simmons fan and he’s indubitably a pioneer to what hacks perhaps like myself attempt. But these stories often feel like much ado about nothing. A guy isn’t getting along with his boss(es). So what? Obviously the stage is far bigger than ‘Phyllis and John’ bickering in Accounts Payable, but this is something we’re familiar with. It is interesting to see how upset Simmons seems to get people in high places (which James Andrew Miller extensively explores). Also, the general tone around all of this is that ESPN is the asshole, Simmons just the whiner.
  2. It’s time to stop being stupid about sports gambling –  While it’s still around, thought I’d at least link to a Grantland piece. They’ve historically been good. This one is by Charles Pierce who often brings perspective to obtuse subjects. In this case, it’s the daily gambling sites FanDuel and Draft Kings. The Pac-12 has asked to not be a part of it while other major sports are cuddling up to these unregulated and “legal” entities. Read what Pierce thinks and get back to me because this is a great topic for a night cap. Scotch?
  3. Shrimp Boy’s Day in Court If you get around to reading this story about Shrimp Boy – a notorious crime boss in San Francisco – I’d be curious to hear your opinion. In my circles (non-criminal), the lore of Shrimp Boy is hysterical. This is a bully and a gangster known as “shrimp boy.” I suppose the cruelest realities are ironies. Nevertheless, I thought the article jumped around to the point that I wasn’t sure what stage in all of his legal troubles Shrimp Boy was in? Was he free or about to stand trial? Is he relevant considering new charges or because he’s a fascinating tale? Read it. Has nothing to do with Pac-12 basketball or sports although Cal is mentioned.