To the shock of precisely no one, Bill Simmons posted on his ESPN site that he’s taking ten weeks off from the Worldwide Leader to finish up his second book, the subject of which is unknown. Here’s the official statement, as it appears on his site:
Quick announcement from Bill: ESPN was gracious enough to give me 10 weeks off to finish my second book. My column will return right before Week 1 of the NFL season, just in time for another year of crappy football picks! If you’re a fan of the “B.S. Report,” we’re still doing weekly podcasts, but that’s it. Enjoy the summer, and I’ll see you in September.
Simmons’ relationship with ESPN has soured lately, between comments he’s made on his podcast about censorship, slight digs in columns about his best jokes being edited, the starting of his own non-ESPN blog (which he’s more obvious about), ESPN canceling his Obama podcast, and his interview with Deadspin.
I’m sure more will be following, and the guys at Deadspin (AJ, here’s your chance to make your first big post-Leitch splash) will probably get to the bottom of it with their ESPN sources. But I don’t think it’ll take too much digging to see this more as a trial separation than an amicable sabbatical. Either way, I’m sure these guys are happy about it.