I’ve never cared for the writing of Bill Simmons. It’s just not my thing. It’s doesn’t stop me from acknowledging Simmons as the most important sports media voice since the turn of the century.
Why don’t I care for Simmons? Content and approach.
Pop culture references in sports writing, movies, music…etc always bother me because they limit the lasting power of the piece. Nobody on earth will get the references in The 40 Year-Old Virgin – an otherwise funny movie – twenty years from now. (They actually make jokes in that film about Maid in Manhattan, a movie people had forgotten before it was released.) Simmons not only utilizes pop-culture references but often uses reality TV and his favorite movies as the complete framework for his columns.
Simmons likes a lot of stuff I don’t care for. He likes reality TV and fantasy football and wrestling. He’s spawned a generation of barroom boneheads saying things like “Andre Iguodala is like the girlfriend who blah blah blah nonsense.” He’s glib and unserious and that works for this generation of young males (especially his most dedicated readers) who have a detachment from the sports they watch.