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30 Interesting Facts About Bill Simmons You Probably Didn’t Know

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Bill Simmons
(Photo : David Shankbone)

Bill Simmons, the founder of the sports and pop culture website The Ringer, is famous as the Sports Guy, as well as his own podcast on ESPN.com – The B.S. Report. His unique style of writing, citing pop culture references for his sports analysis, written from a passionate sports fan’s point of view, has garnered him millions of followers. Here are some interesting facts about the sports writer and podcaster:

    Bill Simmons by David Shankbone
  1.  Simmons released his first book “Now I Can Die in Piece” on October 1, 2005, which was a collection of his columns, from 1999 leading up to the 2004 World Series victory by the Boston Red Sox.
  2.  He launched his new website “The Ringer” on February 17, 2016, which was a part of his venture the Bill Simmons Media Group, launched in 2015.
  3.  He credits the David Halberstam’s book “The Breaks of the Game,” which he read as a child, as the single most formative development in his career as a sportswriter.
  4.  He is credited with the creation of several internet memes, among which the Ewing Theory and the Manning Face are the most notable ones.
  5.  He was severely criticized for the lack of racial diversity in “The Ringer” following his email comments to The New York Times. Critics noted that his nephew was employed as a producer, while a podcast for his teenage daughter was also in the works.
  6.  Born as William John Simmons III on September 25, 1969 in Marlborough, Massachusetts, United States. His father William Simmons, referred to as the “The Sports Dad” was superintendent of school for more than 15 years.
  7.  He moved to Stanford, Connecticut, with his mother Jan Corbo, following the divorce of his parents, when he was just 13 years old.
  8.  He went to Greenwich Country Day School, and did his high schooling in Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut. He completed a postgraduate year at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, in the year 1988.
  9.  During his time in the College of the Holy Cross, he wrote a column titled “Ramblings” for the school paper “The Crusader.” He later became the sports editor of the paper.
  10.  He also started the 12-14 page underground, handwritten magazine titled “The Velvet Edge,” focusing on the people in his freshman hall. Simmons also restarted the school’s parody newspaper.
  11. File:Connor Schell, Bill Simmons and John Dahl, May 23, 2011.jpg"File:Connor Schell, Bill Simmons and John Dahl, May 23, 2011.jpg" by Peabody Awards is licensed under CC BY 2.0

  12.  In the year 1992, he graduated with a B.A. in Political Science, with a GPA of 3.04. He received his master’s degree in print journalism in 1994, from Boston University.
  13.  Before landing a job at ESPN, he had been working in various jobs, for eight years after his graduation, while living in Charlestown.
  14.  He started working at the Boston Herald as a high school sports reporter and editorial assistant, mainly working on the Sunday football scores section, while answering phones and organizing food runs.
  15.  He was offered a job as freelancer for Boston Phoenix, but was broke within three months, following which he took up bartending jobs.
  16.  He got to work on a column – “Sports Guy” in Digital City Boston of AOL, while simultaneously working on his own website BostonSportsGuy.com. To make a living, he was also working as a waiter and bartender at night.
  17.  With his friends from high school and college e-mailing his website to each other, his website quickly built up a reputation, and averaged 10,000 readers with 45,000 hits per day in the year 2001.
  18.  He gave his full support for Jemele Hill, who was involved in a controversy, after voicing her personal views on Donald Trump, through her tweets in September 2017.
  19.  Simmons served as the editor-in-chief of the Grantland, an ESPN website that covers sports and pop culture, which was launched on June 8, 2011.
  20.  However, with ESPN's decision to not renew its contract with Simmons that was to expire in September 2015, the Grantland website was also shut down on October 30, 2015.
  21.  He hosts “The Bill Simmons Podcast” that regularly rotates through conversations and interviews with Hollywood personalities, professional athletes, other media pundits, old friends, and family.
  22. Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy) book signing in SF"Bill Simmons (The Sports Guy) book signing in SF" by kumasawa is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

  23.  Simmons took 10 weeks off from his columns for ESPN.com’s Page 2, in July 2008, in order to finish his second book “The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy.”
  24.  The book, which covers the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA), debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and spent 6 weeks in the top 15.
  25.  He is a very big fan of the English Premier League soccer team Tottenham Hotspur. His former ESPN colleague David Hirshey, on the other hand, is a die-hard fan of Tottenham’s fierce rival Arsenal.
  26.  This has led to the duo having playful debates on soccer, mostly revolving around the two teams, especially with Hirshey being a professional soccer columnist.
  27.  He signed a new multi-platform deal with HBO in October 2015. He hosted a weekly talk show "Any Given Wednesday" which premiered on June 22, 2016.
  28.  However, the show was cancelled in November 2016, while his deal with the network continued. Simmons announced that they had plans for future projects and some were also in the works.
  29.  He is married to Kari Simmons, whom he refers to as “The Sports Gal” in his columns. The couple have two children – a daughter named Zoe Simmons and a son named Benjamin Oakley Simmons, who is referred to as “The CEO.”
  30.  Simmons announced that Spotify was buying The Ringer in a $200 million deal, with Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify describing The Ringer as "the new ESPN."
  31.  He had made it clear that The Ringer will maintain content and editorial independence, and that Simmons will continue to serve as CEO. However, he writes less than his previous endeavors.
  32.  Simmons was named the 12th-most influential person in online sports by the Sports Business Journal, which is the highest position on the list for a non-executive, in the year 2007.
  33.  Bill Simmons Net Worth: $100 Million

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