I was reading the new Bill Simmons column during lunch this afternoon, when I tripped over the following paragraph:
Here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: With any job, you’re going to have your ups and downs. At some point, you have to decide whether the downs outweigh the ups to the point that it’s not worth it for you to have that job anymore. You could call it a satisfaction/misery ratio. If that ratio swings past 20/80, it’s time to go.
And then this paragraph just totally turned on my “he’s trying to tell us something” alarm:
Speaking of Jay, I joked in last week’s NFL preview that “Any time ‘Our QB should be better this year because he’s finally treating his Type 1 diabetes’ is your best reason for making the playoffs, I can’t pick you to finish higher than 7-9.” That led to a few readers who either have diabetes or know someone with diabetes e-mailing to say they were disappointed that I made fun of diabetes just for a laugh, which immediately got me excited — since that clearly wasn’t the case — and secretly hoping the whole thing would snowball and ESPN would ask me to apologize, creating my dream scenario of me standing up for a harmless joke and the depressed state of comedy in general, eventually getting suspended because the American Diabetes Association was protesting me in Bristol, then having our ombudsman write a post about me to cap things off. That didn’t happen.
Simmons’ growing dissatisfaction with his position at ESPN is well documented throughout sports media blog circles. However, to come out and say that in a column, and let your editor run with it, makes me beleive that he is on his way out.
Do I blame him? No. Bill Simmons needed ESPN to reach a better place in his career, but he has a fan base that could easily transfer to his own site. He is his own brand. He was “Boston Sports Guy,” then became “ESPN’s The Sports Guy,” and, with the right web developers and savvy new media PR staff, could be just the plain “Boston Sports Guy” again. He could write as long as he wanted, as much as he wanted, whenever he wanted. He wouldn’t have to mince his words about ESPN personalities. Bill Simmons, if you are really thinking of the above, go assemble yourself a crack staff and get ready to strike out on your own.
But until then, don’t post loaded thoughts like the quotes above in your column for your current employer. Not a good idea, Bill Simmons. Up there with posting photos of you drinking with scantily clad underage girls on Facebook or MySpace (which he hasn’t done, but college students do all the time), blasting your current employer is not advisable if you want a successful career. We tell students that all the time.