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The W - Current Events & Politics - Olbermann vs Simmons
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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.39
This is one of those things that may only interest me, but former ESPN anchor and current MSNBC newsman Keith Olbermann has taken a swipe at maybe the most popular guy ESPN has going right now Bill Simmons for his comparison of Tiger Woods eventual comeback and Ali's comeback to boxing Click Here (sports.espn.go.com). Click Here (mediaite.com)

While I think Olbermann has some talent, and he was one of the only outspoken newsmen during the Bush years, he turns me off with his petty and snotty responses to anything he disagrees with even when I agree with him on the people he is attacking.

I don't see the point in taking a swipe at Simmons, who I think most people would agree is strictly just an entertainment type of writer. Why not just write something debunking the article instead of name calling? Olbermann is a smart guy, this shouldn't be a problem.

Simmons responded with a few Twitter jabs, that will now probably put him in the 'Worst Person' rotation any time he writes something that Olbermann doesn't like.

Of course this could just be an angle building up to a podcast of some kind, which would also be interesting.

Like I said this may only interest me.

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hansen9j
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Since: 7.11.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.89
On a pure content basis, Olbermann is pretty bang-on correct; it IS ridiculous to say it's harder for Tiger than Ali.



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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.25
    Originally posted by hansen9j
    On a pure content basis, Olbermann is pretty bang-on correct; it IS ridiculous to say it's harder for Tiger than Ali.


yes, but in terms of there being more media coverage/information/twittering, it's a lot harder for Tiger to deal with now than it was for Ali to deal with what he dealt with in terms of public support, if that makes any sense.



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Since: 7.11.02
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.89
    Originally posted by Psycho Penguin
      Originally posted by hansen9j
      On a pure content basis, Olbermann is pretty bang-on correct; it IS ridiculous to say it's harder for Tiger than Ali.


    yes, but in terms of there being more media coverage/information/twittering, it's a lot harder for Tiger to deal with now than it was for Ali to deal with what he dealt with in terms of public support, if that makes any sense.
Well, that's true for EVERYBODY in 2010, but Ali was far and above his peers as far as negative exposure and hatred.

It was a half-baked idea that Simmons put into his chat, was immediately mocked for, and has been scrambling all week to flesh into a fully-thought out concept, and it's still not effective. As far as I can tell, his best argument is that it's harder for Tiger if you consider everything he's been through in the last six months, but only consider the pure sport aspect of Ali being away from boxing for three prime years.

I like Bill Simmons. I read him religiously. But this is one time where it would be better for him to take the criticism with some acceptance, rather than childishly attacking his critics.



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odessasteps
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Since: 2.1.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.47

Simmons responds:

sportsguy33

I'm furious that my Tiger column distracted America from a detailed and only mildly creepy case for Johnny Orsino's Hall of Fame candidacy.

sportsguy33

KO, please know the feeling is mutual. You're my worst case scenario for my career in 12 yrs: a pious, unlikable blowhard who lives alone.

sportsguy33

I feel bad about saying Olbermann lives alone. I forgot about his cats.



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drjayphd
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Since: 22.4.02
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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.33
(Moved because this really has little to do with the Internet or computers.)

As much as I've sipped of both Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann-flavored Kool-Aid... both of 'em need to go outside. Simmons misspoke, Olbermann can be overbearing and overreactionary... deep breaths for everyone.





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Since: 20.6.02
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.27
I love Simmons probably more than the next guy, but he really needs to take a step back and just move on. He doesn't have to admit that what he said was stupid (and it was), he should just move on. Instead, he posts an entire column for the sole purpose of trying to grasp at whatever straw he can to back up his ridiculous point. Come on, Sports Guy. Move forward.

And I...tolerate Keith Olbermann probably more than the next guy, but he needs to STOP trying to draw attention to himself like this. Picking on a guy like Simmons just makes him look like a bully and like...wait for it...a pious, unlikable blowhard.




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lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.50
Simmons' best articles are when he is not talking sports. He is totally off the mark with Tiger's come being harder then Ali. Ali was hated by 90% of the media and most of white America. He also doesn't have death threats coming. Tiger has been forgiven already by most of the media after that fiasco of an apology last week. ESPN all week has been hyping this story due to supposed comment he made to Jack the Golden Bear. Mike and Mike is one step away from putting a giant countdown clock behind them for the Masters. I don't mind Olberman calling them out since the only people who do are local sports radio personalities and no one listens. Simmons is a good writer, but he might be better off talking about his Vegas trips then sports.

(edited by lotjx on 6.3.10 0914)
BOSsportsfan34
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Since: 2.1.03
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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.27
I have no dog in this fight. I never liked Olbermann. Just a former-jock sniffer who sees himself as a left-wing Bill O'Reilly. Simmons is someone I used to like, but has become a lazy writer over the past several years. Can I root for mutual destruction?

    Originally posted by lotjx
    Simmons' best articles are when he is not talking sports. He is totally off the mark with Tiger's come being harder then Ali. Ali was hated by 90% of the media and most of white America. He also doesn't have death threats coming.
    (edited by lotjx on 6.3.10 0914)


Not only the death threats, but the FBI was keeping track of Ali too. I don't think the FBI is paying attention to Tiger tapping butterfaced waitresses.





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BigDaddyLoco
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.39
It's a perfectly fine column if he just writes it about Tiger in the modern age and leaves Ali out of it. I can't remember Simmons ever claiming to be an actual journalist. Jason Whitlock, who I also enjoy reading, throws out this kind of wild idea all the time and you never see 'real newsmen' call him out.

This isn't the first time Bill Simmons has been off the mark on something. If his Book of Basketball, which I thought was a good read, proved anything it's that he has a hard time grasping history. He's great at putting current events or things that happened in his lifetime in perspective, but he can miss badly on things or people who came before him such as his ranking of Walt Frazier and then putting him behind guys like Allen Iverson.

I do think it pisses some people off that Simmons can throw out something like this and not take a beating for it. But that's the thing, he's Bill Simmons. He's some form of the guy we know that is entertaining, throws out wild ideas, you agree or disagree argue a bit and go on to the next topic.

Olbermann comes off as the guy who didn't like Bill Simmons in school, but is still envious at his popularity. It wouldn't surprise me if he had been waiting in the weeds for this type of column to come out so he could finally take a shot at him.

Now if Olbermann just banged out his own argument and proved Simmons wrong while resisting the name calling that would have been interesting, a good read and come off a lot less snarky.





(edited by BigDaddyLoco on 6.3.10 1622)
JayJayDean
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Since: 2.1.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.12
This wouldn't really be an issue if Olbermann hadn't essential called Simmons untalented instead of saying he disagreed with him.

In the interim I am again left to marvel how somebody can rise to a fairly prominent media position with no discernible insight or talent, save for an apparent ability to mix up a vast bowl of word salad very quickly.

I mean, was that really necessary? I think not.

Simmons (and he's not alone) has pretty consistently lamented how he can't write a baseball column without a bunch of statheads shooting it down - to me, this is more of same only the topic's changed.



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Llakor
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Since: 2.1.02
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.33
    Originally posted by lotjx
    Simmons' best articles are when he is not talking sports. He is totally off the mark with Tiger's come being harder then Ali. Ali was hated by 90% of the media and most of white America. He also doesn't have death threats coming. Tiger has been forgiven already by most of the media after that fiasco of an apology last week. ESPN all week has been hyping this story due to supposed comment he made to Jack the Golden Bear. Mike and Mike is one step away from putting a giant countdown clock behind them for the Masters. I don't mind Olberman calling them out since the only people who do are local sports radio personalities and no one listens. Simmons is a good writer, but he might be better off talking about his Vegas trips then sports.

    (edited by lotjx on 6.3.10 0914)


Not to be a Simmons' apologist or anything...

But isn't the point that when Ali was hated by 90% of teh media and white America that there were actually some benefits to that - shrewdly grasped by Ali who borrowed most of his heel mannerisms from Gorgeous George - namely that those who hated Ali were willing to pay to see him get his ass kicked!?!

Woods on the other hand has to try and make a comeback in teh media spotlight, possibly in front of hostile crowds, in a sport where concentration and being in the moment is a must.

This is why the assumption is that if Tiger does not come back for the Masters this year, the one course where he is most likely to get a polite reception, that he won't return to golf until the following Masters.

On the other side in terms of sponsors and purse money, I don't think there is as much money in people hoping that Tiger will lose as thee was in hoping that Ali will lose.

There is an argument to be made here.

(edited by Llakor on 6.3.10 1555)


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Since: 27.6.02

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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.79
Honestly, the majority of people don't believe that cheating on your wife is all that terrible. When Senators & Congressmen feel the need to resign because of infidelity while the last three Presidents have all admitted to drug use is absolutely hilarious.

On the other hand, Ali refused to be drafted, at a time when people still were fervent supporters of anything the US was doing militarily. Add to that the inertia of popular sentiment, despite the Civil Rights movement and you have a potentially very explosive mix.

Yes, there's more of a media spotlight now because everyone's online 24 hours a day, but at the same time the news cycle moves faster, and the stigma of the act is not compounded by news passing via word of mouth.



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StaggerLee
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Since: 3.10.02
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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.63
Ali had refused to go into the Army in 1967. I am pretty sure the support of American's in the war was starting to erode quickly by then.

Either way, there's no need to even compare the two, it's apples and oranges. If only for the reason that Ali was held in jail, while Tiger can be playing golf every single day to prepare for a return to the spotlight. Ali sat in a jail cell, and lost three prime years of his life.

DrDirt
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Since: 8.10.03
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.56
    Originally posted by StaggerLee
    Ali had refused to go into the Army in 1967. I am pretty sure the support of American's in the war was starting to erode quickly by then.



Having been around then, the answer is yes but not in the heartland. There things hit the fan after the Tet Offensive and really, really after May 1970. What made Ali worse to many (besides having the gall to be an outspoken, successful black man) was his faith.



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Since: 11.2.03
From: Hackettstown, NJ

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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.03
    Originally posted by Mike Zeidler
    Honestly, the majority of people don't believe that cheating on your wife is all that terrible. When Senators & Congressmen feel the need to resign because of infidelity while the last three Presidents have all admitted to drug use is absolutely hilarious.


Well, one reason is that they all admitted to drug use in the fairly distant past. I'm reasonably sure that no one's resigning because it comes out that they had an affair 15 years before they ran for office.
lotjx
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Since: 5.9.08

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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 1.47
Once death threats start to come into play as well as prison time there is no argument. I am sure what Tiger is going through feels like prison, but its not even close. Tiger loses money, Ali could have lost his life or the life of someone close to him. Tiger is also insanely rich to the point if he never golfed again, he would be fine. Yet, we all know he will golf again and probably on a golf course that is so strict on the media and fans, the security service goes there for advice.
TheOldMan
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Since: 13.2.03
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.42
I'm not sure where people are getting the idea that golf spectators, *any golf gallery - would be "rowdy". Maybe the Phoenix Open, but even there, the cheering gets to the 'white noise' level, which is no distraction.

People think Tiger would get a better reaction in Augusta, Georgia than, say, The Open Championship at St. Andrews?

In any public crowd of 40,000 or so, there's going to be a few hecklers. Tiger will need to be prepared for that, but I don't see that as his problem. The thing is, the innocence is gone - the feel-good story of the perfect mixed-race golfer with the strong father-son bond is out the window with Tiger losing his halo.

Here's the thing - what has Tiger been criticized for in the past? His on-course temper. What happens when he slams a club after some fan snaps a shot during Tiger's backswing? When Tiger shanks one into the trees, and wants to cuss?

That's where he's likely to get the backlash from a golf media that boycotted his 'heartfelt statement, no questions please'.



Big Bad
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Since: 4.1.02
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.69

    Here's the thing - what has Tiger been criticized for in the past? His on-course temper. What happens when he slams a club after some fan snaps a shot during Tiger's backswing? When Tiger shanks one into the trees, and wants to cuss?

    That's where he's likely to get the backlash from a golf media that boycotted his 'heartfelt statement, no questions please.'


This is also kind of a double-standard where Tiger was picked on because he's the biggest star in golf. When Tiger curses after a bad shot, he's setting a bad example. When, say, Chris DiMarco or some other generic white American pro curses after a shot, the announcers love to say he's 'just being a competitive.'



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BigDaddyLoco
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Since: 2.1.02

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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.39
I guess Keith decided he couldn't let the tweets slide and has really upped the words with this post Click Here (keitholbermann.mlblogs.com)

Here is a portion of the response ...

    Originally posted by Keith Olbermann
    I am surprised, however, to be able to shed some light on something that has been a prominent topic of late around the internet: the prospect that Mr. Simmons is leaving ESPN. Admittedly I am something of an authority on this process. Nonetheless, I was stunned to receive several emails from some of Mr. Simmons' bosses there, thanking me for pointing out the absurdity of, and the embarrassment to ESPN provided by, the Woods/Ali comparison.


    About five years ago, I guess, somebody said Tony Kornheiser was the most uncontrollable, unmanageable talent in the history of ESPN. I was, of course, crushed (although I believe I got honorable mention). When ESPN bosses are writing me for helping them about somebody they claim has now lapped Tony and myself, I am left to conclude only that if Mr. Simmons does leave ESPN, it may not be entirely of his own choosing.


    And we now encourage Mr. Simmons to again falme the comments section under various identities, to his heart's content. This is a managed site, and they can take 'em down. But enjoy yourself.


... kind of funny, but I'm not sure if that's because of the huge overreaction at this point.

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