Bill Simmons isn't happy with Roger Goodell.
The ESPN commentator and founder of Grantland unloaded on the NFL commissioner during a "B.S. Report" podcast Monday.
[I've been using the initials "BS" since I was born in 1965. Maybe Simmons and I are related?]
After calling Goodell a liar, Simmons added that it was "f-----g b------t" that the NFL's Enabler in Chief told the media last week that he didn't know what went on between Ray Rice and his then-fiancee inside that Atlantic City elevator until after he had watched the TMZ video.
Simmons has been a frequent critic of the commissioner long before this episode.
"I just think not enough is being made out of the fact that they knew about the tape and they knew what was on it," he said this week. "Goodell, if he didn't know what was on that tape, he's a liar."
Not much new there. Good stuff, as usual.
But then Simmons took an interesting turn. A few minutes into his anti-Goodell rant, he kind-of, sort-of challenged ESPN to punish him for speaking up against the commissioner. Simmons didn't mention the network by name, however.
"I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I'm in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell. Because if one person says that to me, I'm going public. You leave me alone. The commissioner's a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast ... Please, call me and say I'm in trouble. I dare you."
Profiles in courage, with an asterisk.
Simmons did not "double-dog dare" ESPN to sanction him, as they have done twice in the past. We can, however, imagine Simmons sticking his tongue to the steel light pole on a freezing morning before everyone bails on him as school starts.
"The bell rang. I don't know, the bell rang!"
It would seem preposterous for ESPN to criticize fine or suspend Simmons for ripping into the commissioner. The network and its related properties have been pounding away at Goodell, the Ravens, and the NFL for two weeks on this subject. Maybe Bill has missed it?
NFL guru, and a former colleague of mine in Denver, Adam Schefter, came out swinging against the Ravens and the NFL as soon as TMZ released that second tape.
As we noted last week, when the NFL loses Schefter, it's like Democrats losing Massachusetts.
Keith Olbermann has been crushing Goodell on almost a nightly basis. Hannah Storm shared her personal story of how she dealt with this with her daughters. Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, who has three Super Bowl rings and carries more credibility when it comes to talking NFL issues than just about anyone, flat out called for Goodell to resign on ESPN after the commissioner's horrid press conference. And ESPN's "Outside The Lines" report was so damning to the Ravens that the team's owner called a press conference Monday to refute it.
[That didn't go too well.]
Now that Simmons has chimed in with profanity, it's official: Goodell is a bad guy, no matter what ESPN may or may not do to him.
The OBF column is written by award-winning journalist and Bay State native Bill Speros. Bill has written and reported for ESPN, CBSSports.Com and was a sports/deputy sports editor at several metro daily newspapers. Reach Bill on the OFB Facebook page, on Twitter @realOBF or at his
OBF email Address. Thanks always for reading.
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