On Friday ESPN announced they will not be renewing Bill Simmons contract, ending a great run that saw him launch his Sports Guy column, Grantland, and the 30 for 30 series (among other things). Even thought I’ve never met Bill Simmons, I look up to him and aspire to do great things in the sports world like he has.
He started out as a guy running a blog about Boston sports and has become influential enough that his employment (or a lack there of) at ESPN is a Top Headline next to Tom Brady and Floyd Mayweather.
Imagine 14 years ago Bill Simmons being told that when his run at ESPN is over the announcement would be right next to a just won the Super Bowl Tom Brady controversy. He’d have shit his pants in excitement x2.
For those that aren’t aware, I run Bacon Sports full-time, grinding every day to try and get revenue in the door to keep the dream of turning a sports blog into the awesomest sports media company ever alive. Bill Simmons has always served as great inspiration for me. He’s shown that it’s possible to achieve your dreams of working in sports if you work hard enough and put out a good product that connects with your audience.
I’ve always been a big fan of his writing, and no doubt his writing style of weaving together pop culture references into his columns is reflected in what I create at Bacon Sports.
I get that many people think that he’s too Boston with his writing, but I’ve always just accepted that as part of who he is. I’m a yinzer who loves all things Pittsburgh that lives in Chicago and roots for all of their teams as well. It’s the foundation of who you are, and anything you are passionate about is going to be reflected in that, writing included.
To pay homage to Bill Simmons in the most Bill Simmons way possible, I’m going to write a longform article that I know he’d be proud of. Something the fuses together a love of sports with a love of wrestling and ruffling feathers.
What if Bill Simmons shook up the sports media world and created his own nWo, set to conquer and destroy all that gets in its way? This is how it would go down.
Bill Simmons was publicly notified by ESPN that he’ll no longer be working there so it’s easy to see that ESPN is WCW & Eric Bischoff. The authority figure acting all high and mighty, telling everyone what to do. No one can take down ESPN, just like no one could take down WCW. Until it happened.
The most “Hulk Hogan is the third member of The Outsiders, Hulkamania is dead” thing that Bill Simmons could do is join up with Derek Jeter and The Players’ Tribune. This would be the leg drop to the Macho Man Randy Savage heard across the world.
The Players’ Tribune seems to be a name recognition only platform with little actual substance. Knowing the potential of working with one of the winningest players in sports history, especially since he had a front row seat the entire time, Simmons decides to come over to the proverbial dark side and form the Bill Simmons nWo. Forming a stable of personalities set to create sports and entertainment greatness, crushing any opposition that gets in its way.
Think to yourself, if Bill Simmons were to team up with Derek Jeter to create sports awesomeness what do you think would happen? Chances are it would be amazing like Larry Bird’s game against Portland when he poured in 47 points and started shooting the ball left-handed because that’s what Larry Bird does.
Obviously fans in Boston would lose their shit over Simmons joining the enemy but this is retired Derek Jeter, not playing shortstop and making clutch plays against the Red Sox Derek Jeter. If anything this would be a great opportunity to heighten the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry as Simmons would always be flying his Boston flag and Jeter his New York flag. It would be built in, healthy friction that would allow for a lot of competition, which is always a good thing.
Now that Bill Simmons has joined up with Derek Jeter to be the head of The Players’ Tribune (yes, a non-player as the head of The Players’ Tribune. If you’ll remember, Bill Simmons was also on NBA countdown as a non-player analyst so this wouldn’t be the first time) it’s time for him to fill out his nWo roster.
Simmons is most certainly Hollywood Hogan in this scenario as this is a sports media thing, not a who’s richer/more famous type of thing. Jeter would be Kevin Nash, who was a 5-time WCW World Heavy Champion and was the first person to defeat Bill Goldberg (he was 173-0 at the time.) That’s a pedigree right in line with Jeter’s, who won five World Series Championships with the Yankees and his streak with the ladies is unmatched.
That leaves one more piece to the big three, the Scott Hall of the nWo. The opinionated yet likable personality with loads of flavor who never won a World Championship, but still has lots of clout. Someone who was a former player and has already been on the B.S. Report, so there’s already built-in rapport and credibility. Someone whose contract with TNT runs out in 2016. Someone who…OH MY GOD, IS THAT CHARLES BARKLEY’S MUSIC?!?!?!?!?!?!
When it comes to Big Three’s, rolling up with Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley and Bill Simmons would be going hard in the paint x33. I can already see them laying the smack down on First Take and Skip Bayless. The Round Mound of Rebound has already made it known what he’d do if he could get Skip Bayless in a room, and Bill Simmons ain’t holding back either. Boom, first target destroyed.
When the nWo originally formed the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase came on board as the financier. Even thought Derek Jeter is printing his own money, he isn’t printing money like Dallas Mavericks owner and bad boy himself Mark Cuban is. He’s writing the checks that the Derek Jeter’s of the world are cashing. Loving the disruption and willingness to be part of something great Cuban comes on board. Like the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, Cuban is wise, knows when to get his hands dirty, and from his time on Shark Tank knows that “everybody’s got a price!”
The last major part of nWo is when The Giant came on board (aka The Big Show, who at the time was pretty young). He was the World Heavyweight Champion until Hollywood Hogan knocked him out with the title belt to be crowned the champ. Only a few weeks later The Giant defected to nWo, turning on his teammates in the Dungeon of Doom. This is very similar to how after winning multiple NBA titles, Shaq feuded with Kobe, eventually turning on his teammates and leaving Los Angeles for greener pastures in Miami.
The Big Aristotle carries around the stature of The Giant while still having plenty of room to grow in the sports media world (I heard there’s a Shaq podcast coming on Podcast One shortly. No doubt that’ll be awesome.) Losing both Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley would be pretty devastating for TNT but the Bill Simmons nWo takes no prisoners, just like Hollywood Hogan didn’t.
At one point the nWo had the stunning Miss Elizabeth so Simmons needs to add a female to his stable. Who has stirred up controversy lately and is hot enough that male fans don’t care about her transgressions? Got it, Britt McHenry. She’d be the perfect heel valet who has tons of potential and obviously isn’t afraid to speak her mind.
Now for finishing touch to the Bill Simmons nWo, the entrance music. The nWo borrowed the sweet guitar riffs from Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child, and the second those first few notes hit the crowd went ape shit. There is a large population of people out there that hear the original Voodoo Child and wonder how Jimi Hendrix stole it from the nWo.
The Bill Simmons nWo entrance song needs to be iconic and have an incredible riff at the beginning to give instant recognition. Look no further than the White Stripes Seven Nation Army.
After just one note you know what song it is and the tribal-like beat of the drums only heightens the intensity. Chop it up so that the guitar riff hits sooner and I can picture Bill Simmons, Derek Jeter, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Mark Cuban, and Britt McHenry strutting down the red carpet at the Sports Emmy’s like they own the place.
Now tell me that wouldn’t be awesome and you’d 100% be on board with the Bill Simmons nWo. You know what they say, when you are Bill Simmons nWo, you are Bill Simmons nWo 4 Life!
I want to hear from you, who would you put in the Bill Simmons nWo? Hit me up on Twitter @BaconSports or drop me a line at email@example.com.
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