Bill Simmons, one of the freshest, outspoken voices in media, announced that he would be launching a multi platform journalism website The Ringer. If you don't know who Bill Simmons is, you probably are aware yet unaware of the effect he has had on sports writing and media in the past decade. Changing the approach to sports media by juxtaposing pop culture and first person opinions mixed with thoughtful expositions and bias opinions. He started with a "Page 2" column on espn.com. Where he acquired the moniker "the sports guy" after writing The Book of Basketball, an intensive look at the complete history of basketball and the greatest players. His podcast is one of the most downloaded sports podcast' , creating a "free flowing conversation" blueprint. He ended up on ESPN's NBA countdown with Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose and Michael Wilbon. The now un missable 30 for 30 sports documentaries on ESPN was Simmons baby (ironically, he created these to compete with HBO's Emmy winning 24/7 series). Simmons was one of the first sports writers to get on the podcast train, his strong and unique point of view eventually allowed him to start Grantland for ESPN a standalone site with content, that reflected the direction he had started with his podcasts. Last year Bill Simmons was more or less fired after a heavily publicized battle with ESPN after his negative comments on NFL commissioner, Roger Godell, criticizing the way Godell was handling Tom Brady's Deflategate. ESPN waisted no time in shutting down Grantland, seemingly out of spite, after Simmons dismissal. Grantland was shut down after putting together a murderers row of talent and piles of great content. In October Simmons reemerged with a new podcast and the announcement that he is with HBO sports, developing a show for the summer of 2016. The final hammer to drop seemingly, was a writing outlet for Simmons to contribute to (he did do an interview with Obama for GQ, earlier this year). He announced The Ringer last week. Not much is known yet as he is still staffing, but he gave a brief description on his podcast stating it would be different from Grantland, which is interesting because Grantland seemed like such an obvious extension of him, on top of that it was fresh and wasn't allowed the organic growth it deserved. Go to theringer.com and sign up for the monthly newsletter as the site won't go live for a few more months.
Credits Words by Michael Cherrito Image sources: Slate.com, youtube.com and elitedaily.com