Yesterday, Deadspin reported that ESPN’s golden child and father of Grantland, Bill Simmons, had been unusually silent on Twitter for the past two days, and it turned out that the Worldwide Leader has placed a gag order on him after he criticized First Take’s horrible debate segment between Skip Bayless and Seattle Seahawks DB Richard Sherman. Simmons was arguably correct in saying that the whole thing was embarrassing for everyone involved, but that didn’t stop ESPN from laying the hammer of internal justice upon its most celebrated employee.
The reaction was interesting, in that a lot of people who haven’t liked Simmons for years were all like, “Oh snap, original Sports Guy back???” But I’m going to try to put the basic thought process into terms that Simmons fans might better understand. You know when your best friend starts dating a really hot girl but there’s more than meets the eye to her – like when Valerie Malone showed up on 90210 and started dating, well, everyone, right? – and when there’s finally a struggle between the two, you hope that your friend is going to see the light and dump her sorry ass. But then even when she leaves, he replaces her with Gina Kincaid and you’re like, “This guy just won’t ever learn.”
That’s what I took away from the bulk of reaction to Simmons’ hush-hush yesterday. But you want to know how Bill Walton took it? He took it as, “F*ck it, bros, I’mma say whatever the f*ck I want!”
While calling the PAC 12 tournament last night for ESPN, Walton dropped the following joke about arriving in a limo with all of the conference mascots:
“I was way in the back along with Ray Lewis, and it was unbelievable how much fun…”
Now, you could make the argument that Walton was simply acknowledging that Lewis had joined the network as an analyst. You could. But as you can see in the video, even his cohort Dave Pasch knew what he meant.
And then to make this all come full circle, while gushing about Southwest Airlines of all things, Walton is warned by Pasch that he better mention other airlines, to which Walton replied: “If they’re going to suspend Bill Simmons, anything is possible.”
In conclusion, Bill Walton should be allowed to say whatever he wants, because he is hilariously insane.
(Videos via Awful Announcing)