If your Twitter feed has been feeling a little lean this week, it’s likely because Grantland Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons was handed a social media timeout by the Mothership in Bristol, for comments made regarding an ESPN program. The program in question is…wait for it…are you sitting down?…First Take, which features (a lot of) Skip Bayless saying (a lot of) things — and nobody ever saying anything back, lest you desire any future airtime on ESPN. However, that didn’t stop Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman from laying into Bayless last week, which evolved into a heated back-and-forth that quickly went viral.
That evening, Simmons took to Twitter, declaring the exchange “awful and embarrassing to everyone involved”, before signing off with the proclamation that “Nobody won. Everybody lost”. Whether or not you agree with Simmons’ comments is beside the point, because the story here is Simmons violated the First Rule of ESPN: “Don’t criticize anything we do, even if it involves a hacky blowhard who nobody likes, but moves the needle in the mornings and gets us play in the blogosphere” (you know, like this one).
This isn’t Simmons’ first run-in with the higher ups on the East Coast. He was suspended for two weeks in 2009 for calling a Boston ESPN Radio affiliate “deceitful scumbags”.