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Bill Simmons appears to be enjoying his suspension

Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons’ three-week suspension from ESPN for his comments about Roger Goodell and for daring the company to suspend him encompasses all social media. That meant no Twitter, no Facebook, and we’re guessing no Instagram.

But if you’re going to bend the rules, this is how to do it. Hope The Sports Guy is enjoying the beach/coast life during his time off.

Bill Simmons podcast pulled by ESPN

ESPN suspended Bill Simmons for three weeks on Wednesday in response to comments the personality made on his podcast earlier in the week, and the powerful network even took the step of pulling the audio from the Grantland website.

On his “BS Report” podcast posted on Monday, Simmons called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” for saying he hadn’t seen the Ray Rice video. Simmons then chided his bosses, daring them to call him out for exposing the alleged cover-up. He got what he asked for.

The thing is, if you’re looking to hear the audio on the Grantland website, you’ll get a 404 error:

Bill Simmons podcast 404

We still have the audio for you at this link, but it’s obvious ESPN was so unhappy with his rant they decided to pull it.

ESPN issued this official statement to explain the suspension, saying that Simmons did not meet their journalistic standards. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal offers his thoughts on the real reason for the suspension:

Though the suspension comes across as harsh and unfair, it actually serves a good purpose for both parties. ESPN can flex its muscle and remind everyone they’re still in charge — while pleasing the NFL at the same time — while Simmons now looks like a martyr who is standing up for the people. The suspension enhances his reputation and helps keep ESPN in the NFL’s good graces. What a perfect situation!

Bill Simmons suspended three weeks by ESPN for Roger Goodell comments

Bill-SimmonsBill Simmons went off on Roger Goodell earlier this week and dared ESPN to reprimand him for it. He got what he asked for without even having to issue a double dare.

ESPN announced on Wednesday that Simmons has been suspended three weeks for not meeting the network’s criteria for “journalistic standards.”

“Every employee must be accountable to ESPN and those engaged in our editorial operations must also operate within ESPN’s journalistic standards. We have worked hard to ensure that our recent NFL coverage has met that criteria,” the World Wide Leader said in a statement. “Bill Simmons did not meet those obligations in a recent podcast, and as a result we have suspended him for three weeks.”

Simmons made the comments on his podcast Monday. You can hear the entire rant here, but the long and short of it was that he believes Goodell is a liar and that the way the NFL has handled the Ray Rice situation is “f—ing bulls—.” Simmons dared ESPN to punish him for sharing his opinion.

“I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell,” he said. “Because if one person says that to me, I’m going public. You leave me alone. The commissioner’s a liar and I get to talk about that on my podcast. … Please, call me and say I’m in trouble. I dare you.”

You have to wonder if Simmons would have been punished had he not provoked his employer. ESPN has allowed veterans like Adam Schefter to blast the handling of the Rice situation, albeit in a less animated fashion.

This is not the first time Simmons has been in trouble with ESPN. He was suspended from Twitter last year for criticizing “First Take” and also suspended in 2009 for making derogatory remarks about an ESPN radio affiliate.

ESPN.com is launching a makeover

New-ESPN

Many of you sports junkies are going to be in for a surprise in the near future when you visit the World Wide Leader’s world wide web page. ESPN.com will soon be launching its first redesign in over five years, with an aim toward making the website more mobile-friendly and responsive.

As you can see from the image above that Mashable passed along, ESPN’s new site features a white background that makes graphics pop more than the old red backdrop and border. You can see a comparison between the new (left) and old (right) designs below.

ESPN-new-vs-old

Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s senior vice president of digital product management, told Mashable that one of the goals with the new makeover is to provide a similar look over multiple devices and screen sizes while also making ESPN’s main web page look more like its apps.

“We aimed to create a cohesive aesthetic and experience across the new ESPN.com and our native applications like SportsCenter and Fantasy Football,” Spoon said. “Over time, you will hopefully notice that our site and our applications feel connected and familiar.”

Here’s a comparison between the new (left) and old (right) mobile layouts.

ESPN-mobile-new-old

Most users don’t like change, but I think this is a good one for ESPN.com. The new site looks a lot cleaner.

Broncos fans petition to get Phil Simms off their games

Phil Simms CBS

Denver Broncos fans are so sick of having color commentator Phil Simms broadcast their games on CBS they’ve started a petition to get the former New York Giants quarterback off their games.

The title of the petition is “Ban Phil Simms From Broadcasting Bronco Games,” and it was created by The Denver City Page. The petition is directed towards CBS and was launched on the website Change.org.

“We do not know why he is assigned to the Broncos games every year. It is sure and complete torture for Bronco Fans to have to listen to his biased drivel every week. Please sign this petition so our voice can be heard. We are tired of Phil Simms in Denver!” the petition states.

The Broncos have been regularly featured as the national game on CBS the past couple of years because they have superstar MVP quarterback Peyton Manning and one of the highest-scoring offenses in football. Couple that with them being in the Mountain Time Zone, and that results in them being the top CBS game. As a result, the top CBS broadcasting crew of Jim Nantz and Simms are assigned the game, leading Broncos fans to repeatedly hear the same guys call their games. And they’re sick of Simms.

Broncos fan site MileHighReport.com says Simms argued against the Broncos/lobbied in favor of the Chiefs for “virtually every penalty or near-penalty or close call under review” during Sunday’s Week 2 game. Simms was so aware of his slanted calls he even said, “I’m not sitting here rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs, but…” at one point.

Sports fans are incredibly fickle and can find anything to get upset about, so we wouldn’t put much stock into this. I will, however, say that Simms has become pretty annoying to me as a broadcaster. Then again, listen to enough guys enough and most of them will probably bother you.

The petition had 15,000 signatures as of Monday. They probably could get a couple hundred thousand if they wanted … and none of that would matter to CBS.

Photo: Twitter/cjzero

Jonathan Papelbon crotch grab on Philly Daily News back page

Jonathan Papelbon crotch newspaper

Just in case there were any doubt about whether or not Jonathan Papelbon made a deliberate crotch grab towards the fans who were booing him, the Philadelphia Daily News ends the argument.

Just remember …

I don’t know anyone who gets that wide and low in their stance to adjust themselves. Just saying …

Photo: Twitter/BoopStats

49ers announcer Ted Robinson suspended for domestic violence comments

Ted Robinson 49ers

The San Francisco 49ers and Pac-12 Network have both suspended announcer Ted Robinson for his comments on domestic violence.

Robinson co-hosted “The Tom Tolbert Show” on Bay Area sports radio station KNBR on Monday and discussed the Ray Rice situation. Robinson essentially scoffed at the notion that Janay Rice is a victim and demonstrated his ignorance towards the psychology behind women who return to their abusers.

The Twitter account LOL KNBR captured some of his thoughts.

The 49ers announced that Robinson would be suspended for the team’s next two games. Here is a statement from team president Paraag Marathe:

“The comments made by radio broadcaster Ted Robinson on Monday were offensive and in no way reflect the views of the San Francisco 49ers organization. We have made the decision to suspend him for the next two games. I informed Ted of our decision earlier today, and we will continue to address this matter with him internally. Our organization stands strongly against domestic violence and will not tolerate comments such as these.”

And here is an apology statement from Robinson.

“I want to unconditionally apologize for my comments the other day. As a professional communicator, I am responsible for my words. My choice of words was careless and does not reflect my true feelings about domestic violence. I understand that the cycle of abuse keeps people in unhealthy relationships. No blame or responsibility for domestic violence should ever be placed on a victim.”

Pac-12 Networks also suspended Robinson two weeks.

The 49ers suspended an announcer for comments on domestic violence, but they allowed a player — Ray McDonald — who was arrested on felony domestic violence charges, to play in Week 1.