Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Great Work By Simmons

First, props to all bloggers who manage to regularly update their sites while working a tough job and managing a family. I haven't been up to the task.

And second, much credit to Bill Simmons, who nailed his ESPN column this week, taking the NBA to task for the suspension of two Phoenix Suns for tonight's playoff game against the Spurs. The Sports Guy's historical perspective on the "Don't Leave Your Bench" rule shows a deep understanding of the issues at play.

One such issue is the faux outrage/sorrow/interest that SportsCenter is forced to generate every news cycle. Whether the subject is John Amaechi, Josh Hancock, or basketball fights, ESPN makes it the lead story with multi-angle, multimedia coverage, then leaves it by the side of the road, used up and worthless. (When's the last time you saw a John Amaechi reference? When's the last time you saw it on an ESPN outlet?) And Simmons had the huevos to critique his bosses on their own website:

"Because there was a level of competitiveness back then that doesn't exist anymore -- it's been beaten out of these guys ... partly because the SportsCenter Era (where we show the same highlight six million times and pretend to be appalled) made the decision makers too skittish (to the degree that Carmelo Anthony was suspended for 15 games for slapping another player)."

What Simmons describes is a major reason I don't watch SportsCenter anymore, but the way he described it is a major reason I don't miss a single Sports Guy column. Keep up the good work.