What are the best columns from Bill Simmons

media: The wild Bill

Los Angeles. It doesn't matter to the Portuguese, but Bill Simmons was able to feel confirmed once again on Sunday. After Cristiano Ronaldo, the only true Lusitan top player in the Euro 2016 final, had to leave the field early due to injury, there were hardly any experts who gave his team a chance to win. To bend the French without the strokes of genius of the Real Madrid storm tank, was the unanimous tenor, was about as likely as a European champion Austria. In the end it was 1-0 in favor of Portugal. France found itself in the valley of tears - and the practical manifestation of the "Ewing Theory" popularized by Simmons in the USA had been confirmed in the moth-infested field of the Stade de France.

The theory, named after Patrick Ewing, the long-time superstar of basketball players from the New York Knickerbockers, was born in the mid-1990s and states the following: When a player who clearly surpasses everyone else on his team is injured at a crucial game or series of games - or cannot participate due to a punishment, you will not win anyway, but precisely because of that. No matter what sport. (Ewing, who enchanted Madison Square Garden from 1985 to 2000, never won the NBA with the Knicks; but almost every time he failed in the play-offs, they won anyway.) Even if the "Ewing Theory" did not grew on William "Bill" J. Simmons' own crap (a friend of his had first formulated it): Without him it would not have become common knowledge in American parlance. Just one example, albeit one of the most prominent, of Mr. Simmons' charisma, which now extends well beyond his own area of ​​activity.

His new television show "Any Given Wednesday" recently celebrated its premiere, a kind of "Sport on Monday" for Generation Y. It is broadcast weekly on the HBO channel owned by the Time Warner group, short for Home Box Office. The oldest and most famous pay TV broadcaster in the USA, which owes its billions in sales to world successes such as "Sex and the City", "The Sopranos", "The Wire" and today "Game of Thrones" (GoT) virtually rolled out the red carpet for the 46-year-old. In addition to "Any Given Wednesday", Simmons also produces the talk show "After the Thrones" for HBO, which always follows the last GoT episode. This essentially consists in a group of Simmons handpicked super fans analyzing the dramaturgical finesse of what has just been seen. Because he is still underutilized with all this, he has now also founded the Bill Simmons Media Group, which operates the online portal "The Ringer" (theringer.com). Its focus is on sports and pop culture reporting in the broadest sense. Not bad for a long-time unemployed ex-local journalist who had to make a living as a waiter until the end of the nineties.

Simmons ’ascent to the acclaimed ratings and click bringer is hard-won. The reward for perseverance is a seemingly irresistible formula that is based on enormous sporting expertise, a lack of reluctance to divulge personal anecdotes and an abundance of pop-cultural references - and is therefore one of the few really promising in the media world of the 21st century.

After completing his studies in journalism and political science in Boston - Simmons grew up in the small town of Marlborough, Massachusetts, just a stone's throw away - the passionate basketball fan first hired one and then another local newspaper. After he couldn't get a foot on the floor there and there, he had to make ends meet as a waiter from then on. To this day, he emphasizes what made his unusual career possible for him: "Without the Internet, I would not be where I am today." Earlier than others - we're talking from the mid to late 1990s, when many print journalists in the USA and in Europe were still wondering whether one "surf station" per department was not enough - Simmons recognized the possibilities.

After editing a few acquaintances at the local branch of the Internet provider AOL, they gave him space for a column on their website. "The Boston Sports Guy", in which Simmons gave his intelligent, but extremely local patriotic mustard to local sporting events at least once a week, was born. (Simmons: "I still can't understand how a sports reporter can be impartial.") The rest is legend.

Within the next four years the column found a readership far beyond the borders of Boston and in 2001 led to an engagement with ESPN, the largest sports broadcaster in the world. The media group belonging to the Disney group enabled Simmons on the one hand to reach a mass audience with his sometimes rather briskly worded texts.