The Globe almost has this Web thing figured out…

Pax Arcana

Here is what famed Boston sports yahoo and pop culture enthusiast Bill Simmons has to say about the L.A. – Boston basketball rivalry in the most recent edition of ESPN the Magazine:

Boston beat L.A. for the title eight straight times before falling in 1985. If that’s a long-standing rivalry, so is Tom vs. Jerry, Andy vs. The Sistas and hammer vs. nail. Isn’t it more of a “recent rivalry that was once a relentless butt-whupping”?

Here’s what Globe columnist Bob Ryan has to say that about that on his blog at

There is a younger writer of great renown who loves the Boston Celtics, which is fine. He commands an enormous national audience, who have come to regard him as The Authority on all things Celtic. And he has an exhaustive knowledge of the current team. No problem there.

I’d tend to forgive him on the basis of him not being there, but that would mean that history requires that you had to be there. I wasn’t present for the Gettysburg Address or the Bobby Thomson home run, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a good idea of what it must have been like to be there. That’s what being an historian entails. You do your homework.

And if this pundit had done his due diligence on the Celtics and Lakers of the ’60s he would known that it was very much a rivalry. The Celtics might have won all six meetings, but it didn’t always feel like it, not with Elgin Baylor and Jerry West around.

I don’t particularly care who wins this argument, as long as it ends soon.

Wait. Was it Gene Simmons Bob Ryan doesn’t like, or Richard Simmons? Who’s this Bill Simmons?

I do care to point out Ryan’s refusal to name the object of his derision or, God forbid, link to the offending article. It seems that Ryan is falling into the trap of playing by print rules on Web turf. I don’t advocate using the Web as a platform for slander or ad hominem attacks on other writers — I’m arguing that where print venues once conferred upon columnists the ability to call down the thunder from on high with thinly veiled insults, the Internet requires greater frankness. If you hadn’t read Simmons’ column already, you may have no idea who Ryan is talking about. Even if you could guess who he was referencing, you’d still have to click multiple times to find it — only to be disappointed that you waded all the way over there for what amounts to a minor schoolyard dust-up.

Just sayin’.

I can be objective about the Lakers. And, objectively speaking, I say they suck [ESPN]
Tinseltown Boys


Filed under media, sports

10 responses to “The Globe almost has this Web thing figured out…

  1. Simmons has turned into a LA douchebag and should start writing for US Weekly. His articles have lost the edge that made it such an enjoyable read. Whereas Ryan seems to be having a bit of a renaissance that coincides with the celtics. After churning out garbage for the past few years, he has started to write decent articles again. Its too bad he resorted to this though, no reason to even give a reaction to Simmons anymore.

  2. I go easier on Simmons than many, partly because the WWL has forced him into such goofy-ass stunts in the past that I can’t tell if he’s just mailing it in or if he’s genuinely locked in a cage somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. Remember the online cartoon show? Yikes.

    You’re right that his adoption of a West-Coast mentality happened sooner than expected. I wonder what the old B.S. would say about some of the things he’s written of late…

  3. jdj

    Ryan either cannot detect sarcasm or didn’t read the whole article. The entire thing was written in an over-the-top, pro-Celtics anti-Laker style. Saying there was no rivalry was just part of the joke.

    Simmons went on to say that no one liked Kareem. Will Ryan’s next blog entry contain quotes from a bunch of people who do, in fact, like Kareem?

  4. MarkB

    The print writers – all of them – just can’t get over this whole internet thing. The idea that sports fans read a guy like Simmons – who’s he? – just makes Ryan’s blood boil. I haven’t read a Boston newspaper sports columnist in years. Why should I? After I’ve read Profootballtalk, SI and Foxsports online and browsed through Google News for sports, there’s absolutely no need for the likes of Ryan. Guys like Ryan and Mazzarotti are dead meat, and they know it.

  5. I think Ryan probably dislike’s Eric Wilbur a lot more than Bill Simmons, but couldnt ever put it in print. I actually think Ryan holds some respect for Simmons, up until some of the more recent lunacy at ESPN (the cartoon was horrible). I actually enjoyed Simmons book, but post-World Series Simmons leaves a lot to be desired.

    I don’t Ryan’s a Buzz Billingsley, but he is a curmudgeon that is slowly adopting to modern times, it is a blog post after all, even though he doesnt link/code his posts at all.

    Off the subject, have you listened to the new Mudcrutch album? I am really enjoying the classic Petty band returning to their material.

  6. Love that you called him “Buzz Billingsley”

  7. Yeah I know its Bissenger, but Billingsley just sounds right!

  8. Junior Gilliam

    “I don’t advocate using the Web as a platform for slander or ad hominem attacks on other writers — I’m arguing that where print venues once conferred upon columnists the ability to call down the thunder from on high with thinly veiled insults, the Internet requires greater frankness.”

    Dude, what Internet are you looking at?

  9. The one with all the porn on it.

    What I meant, if that was confusingly written, is that the Internet is so full of voices scribblings from so many places that attacking an anonymous subject doesn’t play. Attacking a named subject anonymously is a different matter.

  10. fallen angel

    i hope simmons chokes on his own bullshit.

    what a headfuck,

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