When Bill Simmons Said He Would Go Public If Disciplined.

As you’ve no doubt heard a million times already, Last night ESPN suspended former Boston Sports Guy Bill Simmons for three weeks following his podcast comments about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The criticism of Goodell probably isn’t what got Simmons suspended, as others at the network have expressed similar (though more guarded) sentiments about the situation.

What got Simmons suspended was his dare to ESPN management:

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.

He  later repeated Please, call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you.

ESPN took him up on his dare, and now Simmons is suspended until October 15th. No writing, appearances, Twitter or Facebook.

The network is making an example out of Simmons after being criticized for its discipline of employees in the past, especially given the outcry when Stephen A Smith was given just a one-week suspension for his comments about Janay Rice.

This is actually not unlike the reaction of Goodell following criticism over the two-game suspension to Ray Rice, he then dished out a much harsher punishment and vowed to revamp the league’s entire policies. It’s worth noting that Simmons has received a longer suspension that was originally given to Ray Rice for his actions.

The issue zoomed to the top of topics trending on Twitter last night, with the hashtag #freeSimmons leading the way.

The question now is, does Simmons actually “go public” on this matter? What does that entail? Will he follow through on it?

More from SI’s Richard Deitsch – ESPN suspends Bill Simmons for criticism of Roger Goodell


Bringing Out The Friday Megalinks

Yup, time for the Friday megalinks. As long as I don’t get interrupted, I should be able to do this all in one shot for you.

Your Weekend Viewing Picks have a whole lot of sports and entertainment programs so take a gander and see what suits your fancy.

To the links.


USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer diving headfirst into being a college football TV analyst for ESPN.

Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle blog notes that ex-NFLer’s and current TV analysts Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp don’t take much stock in Tiki Barber’s comeback.

Also in USA Today, Devra Maza talks with Hall of Fame baseball announcer Bob Wolff about his memories calling Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest is seeking to change his name to “Metta World Peace” while his wife, Kimsha is being cast for the new edition of VH1’s “Basketball Wives”.

Jon Weisman of Variety says David Feherty’s new show gave Golf Channel its most watched premiere in the history of the network.

Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes that Wednesday’s Mexico-Honduras Gold Cup semifinal match was the highest rated primetime sporting event ever on Univision.

Sports Media Watch has some various news and notes.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the new DirecTV Football Cops ad featuring the Manning brothers.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Globe talks with WEEI’s Dale Arnold who had to watch the Bruins championship run while being mostly on the sidelines.

Rich Fahey of the Globe says former Bruins TV38 host Tom Larson followed through on a 30 year promise to shave his beard.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says with a lockout looming, the NBA Players Association is standing firmly behind its leadership.

Phil Mushnick in the New York Post has praise for ESPN’s Bobby Valentine and Orel Hershiser, but has to somehow temper it.

The Post’s Brett Cyrgalis has four questions for Mets radio voice Howie Rose.

Newsday’s John Jeansonne looks at how John McEnroe was perceived as a player and perceived now as an analyst.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says two local TV reporters were able to catch up with Jimmer Fredette after the NBA Draft.

Pete says Jimmermania kept fans watching the NBA Draft for about an hour.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at the new CBS Sports Network contract with the Patriot League.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes talks about the programming changes at one Baltimore sports radio station.

Dave says the Washington City Paper is firing back at DC NFL Team owner Daniel Snyder in his efforts to sue the publication.


Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times feels ESPN should not be leading the charge to move the Rays out of Tampa Bay.

William Brethertont of the Marietta (GA) Daily Journal says an Atlanta Beat Women’s Professional Soccer star will be on ESPN’s Women’s World Cup coverage.

Dan Murtaugh of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says Tennis Channel will focus on a local program that benefits young women and weaves in a tennis exhibition to help raise funds.

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle recognizes one sports anchor’s longevity in the market.

Berry Tremel at the Daily Oklahoman says FX’s early college football schedule is all-Oklahoma, all the time.


John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Thom and Marty Brennaman don’t seem to have time to work together in the Reds broadcast booth.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk will be swinging a golf club on NBC’s celebrity golf tournament next month.

Bob says local overnight ratings for the NBA Draft on ESPN were strong.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has this week’s winners and losers in sports business and media.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports anchor is pinch hitting on the news side this month.

And Dan has a few news and notes.


Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune looks at Urban Meyer moving to the TV booth on college football Saturdays for ESPN.

Richard Eng of the Las Vegas Journal-Review explores the decision of former Triple Crown caller Tom Durkin to step down this year.

John Maffei of the North County Times says this weekend is a big one for soccer fans.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star notes that the Los Angeles Lakers will have different voices for next season.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Lenny Dykstra is now tweeting.

Tom also has a column on Simmons’ Grantland site.

Jack Humphreville of City Watch LA takes a look at Frank McCourt’s embattled ownership of the Dodgers and the collapse of his rich rights deal with Fox.


Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has yet another mediocre media column this week.

The Toronto Sports Media blog notes the one year anniversary of a huge lineup change on one local sports radio station.

And that’s going to do it for today.

Doing Some Friday Megalinkage

Now that I’ve learned that I don’t have to travel in between two offices today, I’ll do some megalinks for you.

You can check out the Weekend Sports and Primetime Viewing Picks here. Now to your links.


Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with TNT’s Steve Kerr on the similarities he sees between the Chicago Bulls teams he played on with Michael Jordan and the Miami Heat of today.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News breaks news that TNT’s Marv Albert is in talks with CBS to possibly replace Gus Johnson for the NCAA Tournament. Bob isn’t national, but it’s big enough news to be placed here.

In Sports Business Journal, John Ourand and Michael Smith report on how ESPN and Fox came together for the Pac-12 TV contract.

Kimberly Nordyke of the Hollywood Reporter says Oprah Winfrey’s booking of the United Center for her overblown farewell shows has forced the NBA to juggle the schedule for the Eastern Conference Finals.

To Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News who writes that TNT is on a fast track to have its highest-rated NBA postseason in its history.

Mike has a story on the NBC Sports Group signing Saratoga Race Course for horse racing programming in the summer.

Noted FoxSports.com basketball writer Jeff Goodman announces that he’s leaving for CBSSports.com.

Also writing his farewell column is noted hockey reporter E.J. Hradek who’s leaving ESPN.com for the NHL Network.

At the Business of College Sports, Kristi Dosh says despite what rivals’ complaints, there’s nothing unfair about the new Longhorn Network.

Matt Hinton at Yahoo’s Dr. Saturday college football blog notes that ESPN.com really messed up in reporting the death of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Davis.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem about a faltering Tiger Woods and what it means to the Tour.

Darren explores the new magazine put forth by energy drink distributor Red Bull.

Darren notes that Nike is coming under fire again for factory conditions in Asia.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for nights 25-28 of the NHL Playoffs.

Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has audio of a Simmons call into the Tony Korneheiser show this week.

Dan also has video of a deeply subdued Gus Johnson talking to Dan Patrick about his move to Fox.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that Versus’ Jeremy Roenick gave praise to Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks, two games after calling him “gutless”.

In Publiside, Gail Sideman advises athletes to keep using social media despite some recent incidents where some did not think before tweeting.

In Major League Programs, Dave Kohl reviews the sports media news of the week.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe quotes a WCVB-TV interview with NESN’s Jerry Remy in which he states he expects to return to analyzing Red Sox games on Monday. Remy has been out with pneumonia. Chad also breaks news that NESN’s Kathryn Tappen is being targeted by NHL Network as a possible studio host.

At SB Nation Boston, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen says the Bruins now have the region’s attention all to themselves.

NESN has Heidi Watney visiting the MLB Fan Cave.

Newsday’s Neil Best notes that Golf Channel analyst Brandel Chamblee actually saw Tiger Woods’ implosion at the Players Championship coming before it happened.

Melissa Hoppert of the New York Times discusses NBC Sports Group bringing Saratoga horse racing into the fold.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick hates everything and everybody today, but when is that different from any other day?

Justin Terranova at the Post has five questions for NBA TV’s Kevin McHale.

Ken Belson from the New York Times writes that the famed Melrose Games may leave its Madison Square Garden home where it’s been held for almost a century.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Siena lacrosse fans have a few ways to monitor their team’s NCAA Tournament game against Syracuse this weekend.

Ken says an NCAA Division III Lacrosse Tournament game will be online for fans to listen.

Patrick Berkery from the Philly Burbs papers talks with Comcast SportsNet Phillies analyst Chris Coste.

Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from this same time last year.

Dan says the DC sports media is firing shots at each other over whether DC NFL Team quarterback Donovan McNabb refused to wear a wristband to help him calls plays because it didn’t look good.

Dan says one DC radio show is sending barbs at Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic over its reporting on the McNabb wristband.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says NBC will be all over The Players Championship this weekend.

Jim notes that NASCAR is coming to the Mid-Atlantic region this weekend.

And Jim says the NBA is heating up on both ESPN and TNT.


Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks at the latest sports media news.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks with the man who’s spearheading ESPN’s Longhorn Network and getting it ready for launch this summer.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has a chat with NBA TV’s Kevin McHale over Oklahoma City’s win over Memphis the other night.

Mel says the Thunder are setting local ratings records.

Mel also has his media notebook.


Jeff Bell of Columbus Business First writes that Fox Sports Ohio will be a corporate sponsor of the local sports commission.

The Detroit News says last night’s wild Game 7 between the Red Wings and San Jose Sharks set a ratings record for Fox Sports Detroit.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks about ESPN getting all hands on deck for a special college basketball game on Veterans Day.

In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman lists his weekly winners and losers.

Erin Meyer of the Chicago Tribune says the staff of WMAQ-TV is shocked over the death of sports anchor Daryl Hawks who was found in a hotel room as he was to cover last night’s Bulls-Hawks game.

Maudlyne Ihezjerika of the Chicago Sun-Times says another WMAQ-TV sportscaster died under similar circumstances almost a decade ago.

NBC Chicago has a slideshow of Daryl’s career not only at the station, but before he came to the Windy City.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports radio executive’s tumultuous tenure is coming to an end.


The Phoenix Business Journal reports that the Arena Football League’s Arizona Rattlers now have a local TV deal.

John Maffei of the North County Times talks about announcers shuffling back and forth between networks.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says TNT’s Charles Barkley’s premonition about the Lakers ended up coming true.

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News answers real sports media questions from fake readers.

Tom looks at an organization that aids reporters and writers with financial assistance.


Bruce Dowbiggin says golf viewership is getting out of red numbers.

We’re going to end it there. Enjoy your sports weekend

Ortiz Helps Sox Avoid Sweep At Hands Of O’s

David Ortiz hit his 31st homer of the season, and had four RBI as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 6-1at Fenway Park last night. John Lackey got his 13th win of the season, and Josh Reddick added his first home run of the season in the win as well. Get all the stories at RedSoxLinks.com.

Ortiz leads Red Sox to victory, then talks about the possibility of leaving town – Daniel Barbarisi has a look at the big night from Ortiz, followed by talk of wanting a new deal, one without a home town discount.

Jonathan Papelbon won’t be leaving – John Tomase says you can count out a trade involving the Red Sox closer this offseason.

Ken Burns proud to present 10th inning – Michael Silverman with a look at the latest installment of “Baseball.”

Red Sox Notes: Red-hot Victor Martinez playing his way into a rich contract – Barbarisi has the Red sox catcher once again putting up big numbers.

Patriots’ second-half surety is gone – Jeremy Lundblad looks at the Patriots inability to hold second-half leads.

Brady’s not quite dialed in yet – Tom E Curran says that the QB isn’t quite himself yet.

Bagging Buffalo is a key in hunt for division title – Albert R Breer explains why this is such a big game for the Patriots.

Kevin Faulk has not left the building – Ian Rapoport has the injured running back saying that he will remain with the team, helping out in any way that he can while he rehabs his knee.

Without Faulk, this could get ugly – Hector Longo thinks this team could implode without Faulk.

Adjustments coming for Patriots – Mike Reiss says that the entire offense may need to be adjusted without Faulk.

Patriots Notes: Morris, Woodhead say they’re ready to help pick up the slack – Robert Lee has a pair of backs looking to fill Faulk’s shoes.

Worry Wart – Game Three vs. Bills – Chris Warner is still wary of this week’s opponent.

Bruins beat Canadiens in exhibition opener, 4-2 – Joe Haggerty has the Bruins looking good in their preseason opener.

Boston Bruins rookie candidate Joe Colborne can’t wait for his first NHL exhibition game. – While Tyler Seguin and Jordan Caron got to play last night, the 2008 first round pick get his chance tonight. Mike Loftus has that story and a few other notes.

Concussion cases hard to figure – Joe McDonald says that aftereffects can vary greatly from case to case.

Julien impressed by Caron – Fluto Shinzawa’a notebook has the coach impressed with the 2009 first round pick.

Random observation of the morning:

Bill Simmons has been hosting PTI on ESPN this week, and was a guest of Dennis and Callahan this morning. Simmons talked about the experience of hosting PTI, and weighed in on the Patriots and Celtics. At the end, John Dennis told Simmons that his fly was down on the show yesterday. It was a curious comment, but typical of a bully-type trying to make someone else feel foolish and himself appear like the veteran TV guy. Simmons’ fly wasn’t down, and Dennis’ comment was pretty transparent in its objective.