Bill Simmons goes all in against Roger Goodell

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On Friday, Tedy Bruschi of ESPN made the case for a new Commissioner in a clear and passionate way.  On Monday, Bill Simmons of ESPN opted for something equally passionate, but also more than a little profane.

“Goodell, if he didn’t know what was on that tape, he’s a liar,” Simmons said Monday on his podcast, via  “I’m just saying it. He is lying.  I think that dude is lying. If you put him up on a lie detector test that guy would fail. For all these people to pretend they didn’t know is such f–king bullsh-t. It really is.  It’s such f–king bullsh-t.  And for him to go in that press conference and pretend otherwise, I was so insulted.  I really was.”

Simmons later reiterated his belief that Goodell is a liar, and then Simmons dared ESPN to tell him to tone it down.

“I really hope somebody calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I say about Roger Goodell,” Simmons 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.”

With so many voices so aggressively attacking Goodell and the Ravens, ESPN seems to be daring the league to retaliate.  Which has prompted some in the media to wonder whether, if Goodell ultimately survives, he’ll hold a grudge against the network that once canceled Playmakers at the insistence of his predecessor.  (The league thought Playmakers unfairly depicted pro football players . . . and the story lines from the last two weeks would have been rejected at the time as way too far fetched.)

On one hand, it would be easier at this point for Goodell to list those who haven’t called him out in the last two weeks.  On the other hand, ESPN has been the loudest and the most blunt in its attacks on the Commissioner.

Throw in the quickly eroding report about the Ravens’ mishandling of the case and, yeah, it makes sense for ESPN to be a little nervous about coexisting with the league office and the Ravens if the dust settles with the key players still in place in both Baltimore and Manhattan.

88 responses to “Bill Simmons goes all in against Roger Goodell

  1. Not taking a position on Goodell one way or the other, but Simmons has turned into a weeeee bit of an attention ho.

  2. It’s about time that ESPN stepped up and serve as a real force in journalism. Of course, this is an easy one and ESPN relies on its sponsors perhaps even more than the NFL does. Roger Goodell will be gone. At this point, it’s a matter of weeks and not months.

  3. Well ESPN is a bunch of liars, such a crappy group, I have no idea who Simmons is but I’m sure ESPN but him up to it for ratings.

  4. Just another journalist who was fading into mediocrity trying to jump start his career by saying something outrageous. I think you’re lying about your level of outrage, Bill.

  5. Good for him. He is a lying piece of elitist crap. Just like all of our corrupt politicians who keep saying the same lie until the weak and the stupid start to believe the lie.

  6. What is “or I’m going public” supposed to mean? If he knows something, he should tell us or shut up. Seems like worthless posturing.

  7. Nobody is leaving the Ravens front office nor the coaching staff. The Ravens took care of their internal problem with their now former employee. They tried to help a young man who helped the franchise during a peak time in the organization’s history. They were proven wrong as this young man’s true character continues to be revealed during the final moments of his personal sinking ship. Ray Rice is no longer apart of the NFL because the Ravens fired him.

    Get back to trying to force Snyder to change his football team name.

  8. I have been rather outspoken against Goodell myself, but I certainly wouldn’t cement a statement that he is definitely a liar. That’s something I couldn’t possibly know nor could Bill Simmons. Maybe Roger Goodell could consent to taking a lie detector test then. It doesn’t have to be used for court, but when somebody is making that much money there should be a way to vet the person to make sure they are being truthful and capable of being responsible. That test may not be official and perfectly reliable to qualm everybody’s concerns, but it could make a positive difference in the minds of many by showing that this highly paid powerful person is willing to do what it takes to try to show transparency.

    The NFL needs a great Commissioner and Goodell has shown to be far from that, so it would be nice to see him step up the effort if he is going to stay and/or to get any and all help he can to make things better and show that he is truly willing to hold himself to a high standard commensurate with his pay rate. Whether it’s him or somebody else in charge, the NFL and it’s partners and fans deserve much better.

  9. ESPN is full of crap. Can’t stand Goodell, but ESPN is no better than he with all their inaccurate, sensationalist reporting. Bugs in the Super Dome? False. Ravens knew more than they admitted? That story too is unraveling as we speak. Roger needs to go and ESPN needs to get back to reporting scores and showing games. Nothing more.

  10. Goodell won’t lose his job; someone else is going to take the blame and lose their job. The league will implement their new conduct policy while pretending like they didn’t know they needed to years ago and the media will move on.

  11. Honestly, at this point, who cares? Goodell made a mistake in his decision to punish Rice for 2 games and he fixed it. That should be the end of discussion. Listening to these ESPN talking heads blab on and on with their self righteous rants can only cause one to lose brain cells. ESPN isn’t entertaining and aside from Adam Schefter, no one that works for them should be taken seriously.

    Hopefully the NFL is paying attention and rethinks their MNF commitment. ESPN makes watching MNF unbearable, so maybe they can get out of a deal with a network that has gotten to where it is because of reporting on the very league they seem to hate.

  12. I think the clock is ticking on Goodell. With so much negative press coming at the NFL the owners are going to have to do something or risk being accused of being tone deaf to domestic abuse and the fans.

  13. For an Espn employee to accuse someone of lying is like Snookie calling Kate upton ugly.

    That that Goodell isn’t, but honestly what credibility does that network have?

    Remember that they pointed out the “fact” that ray was busy watching the first game of the season on his couch with someone who just so happened to be playing a football game 500 miles away at the same time.

  14. What?……..Rodger lie?………… It doesn’t matter. As long as he is making money for his owners, he’s not going any ware . But, when the owners start to lose sponsors and the “Rodger” factor brings more attention then the games themselves….. That’s trouble 40 million dollar man. When they say: Enough is enough. It’s bye bye Liar.

  15. memo to the talking heads: you’re not the stars, you just report on them.. stop trying to be controversial to raise your own profiles, we don’t care about you

  16. Who cares what Bill Simmons has to to say. The owners are not going to have Roger Goddell fired
    it’s getting boring now. We have been listening to this crap for a month now. Talk about playing football, not all the wife beaters.

  17. What exactly has Goodell done wrong? Allowed due process and collective bargaining to proceed and not given in to social media mob justice? The NFL is a great product and he’s the product line manager. Reporters manufacture crisis to get readers. An age old story. If I was Goodell’s lawyer I wouldn’t have advised making decisions based on stolen video. Every citizen has a right to ignore reporters why trust or feed them.

  18. Hey Simmons, if you really want to do something about Goodell, spend your time and efforts on a plan to unionize the fans… #NFLFANSUNION. The only way to get the owners’ attention is to mess with their bottom lines… A couple of empty stadiums one week would at least be a start.

  19. Simmons may be grandstanding a bit, but, on the merits, anybody who isn’t gullible knows that Goodell is lying. He is correct on that point.

    This IS surprising that ESPN is standing up to the NFL. Besides, the Playmakers incident, there was ESPN dropping out of the PBS Frontline documentary League of Denial about concussion at the last minute.

    About time they stopped catering to the NFL’s whims.

  20. Good for Simmons, Goodell’s lying is a slap in the face to everyone single fan the world over.

    Goodell must go and he must go now.

  21. The league and teams have been covering up off the field incidents since the dawn of time. Why is everyone surprised?

    Can we all just get over it already? This is ruining the football season for EVERYONE!

  22. Great example Bill. Always talking about his kids and how important they are, then in a blink of an eye, cussing as loud as possible to an open age audience. He has graduated from a fun sports writer to a media pest, congrats. A new “do as I say, not as I do’ media member.

  23. I mean…he’s right. NFL commissioner and owners the past 10 years remind me of politicians more than a major sports league (I’m a Browns fan – you’d be shocked some of the BS we’ve been expected to swallow from multiple regimes over the years). They serially insult the intelligence of their paying customers and expect us to believe it because they think we’re stupid. They’re right until we speak with our wallets. I don’t believe for a second that Goodell and every ranking member of the Ravens front office didn’t see that video in April. To tell us they didn’t shows they’re either A) liars who think we are dumb enough to believe them or B) so incompetent that they should all be removed from their jobs. These stooges botched this 3 TIMES because they had no intention of doing the right thing in the first place till they got caught red-handed and were forced to. The fact that they are still in cover-up mode is simultaneously hilarious and pathetic. It’s time they realize that they aren’t fooling ANYONE anymore. Be a big boy and own it and be accountable for your actions (or lack thereof). Guess what? There would be no controversy right now if you would have done the right thing to begin with. Let that sink in and learn from it.

  24. what the hell is the problem with espn? these idiots have a all out against goddell. they should worry more about hiring more murderers and drug dealers

  25. I could be wrong, but I was pretty sure that it was the job of the press and media to challenge the established powers through investigation into scandal and uncovering of hidden facts.

    If there is evidence that the NFL and/or Ravens are lying, get it out there. The league’s feelings on the matter shouldn’t even come into consideration.

    If there is no evidence that the league or Ravens organization are lying, then sensationalizing the story isn’t helping anyone. You shouldn’t try to craft the news to capture ratings.

  26. I’m not a Goddell fan BUT if Simmons is so sure of himself he should put his money where his big mouth is…That is if Goddell is found innocent Simmons should quit ESPN….Lets see how big mouth mans up

  27. I think the vast majority of fans don’t care whether Goodell lied about his handling of the Rice matter.

    In fact, I bet if you asked fans if they thought Roger Goodell lied, the majority of responses you would get would be either: (1) I don’t know; (2) I don’t care; or (3) I don’t know and I don’t care.

    Rightly or wrongly, they simply want to watch football without being forced to consider any deeper legal, social or moral implications.

  28. If only Bill Simmons would take his out rage somewhere it matters. Roger Goodell and the Ratbirds dished out more punishment than the criminal system from day 1.

    Make a difference take your outrage to the justice system where it will make a real difference and not just headlines.

  29. I’ve been calling for Goodell to be replaced since he created the pseudo bounty scandal. He suspended coach Payton for an entire season because his defensive coordinator used ‘tough talk’. Ha ha. What a joke Goodell is. But no other fans felt the way i did at the time because they aren’t Saints fans. I understand that. But now who’s laughing? ME. Ha Ha. Goodell will be replaced before the Super Bowl. Aint it cool! Ha Ha. Geaux Saints!

  30. Goodell, you already ripped the League and all their fans off with very bad decisions the past few years on top of making 45mill… Do everyone a favor and resign already..

  31. Who is Bill Simmons?
    I am not a Goodell fan at all, but I hope he can survive this media driven assault just to let them know they aren’t as powerful a force as they think they are.

  32. The same person who went silent when the Aaron Hernandez thing popped up. Not only that, no one at Slantlant wrote anything about it. Now he wants to stand up to the man.

  33. I hate that Simmons has taken this position because I really liked hating Simmons. And now I have to agree with him . . . whole-heartedly.

  34. One thing about having support from the NFL owners and what amounts to political connections; One can not tell the truth and those in power will say OK don’t do that again. In other words Roger gets a pass on this and even if he lied he did not do it under oath. Bill Simmons wants to go after the high and mighty because that’s what he does but he will not get Roger on this. How does one go after a business owner? It’s academic if that business owner is telling the truth, is right or wrong or if the owner’s business representative is telling the truth. That’s just the way it is as long as the $$$ money keeps coming in.

  35. ESPN is probably more nervous about having a good relationship with a league everyone hates than a bad one. If I hadn’t ‘invested’ in my fantasy team I would already be done for the year, and I’m not doing fantasy again next year if Goodell is still around (or really probably anyway at this point.)

  36. Who is Bill Simmons?

    I don’t like Goodell but I am tired of the holier than thou media. Time for ESPN, FOX, NBC, CBS and any other tv or radio network to either sever their ties with the NFL and quit broadcasting and talking about NFL games or shut up.

    HYPOCRITES – put up or shut up!

  37. The NFL needs ESPN as much as ESPN needs the NFL – this is not 1987 when the NFL made ESPN by selling it half a season of Sunday night games

    It is not quite as incestuous a relationship as the one going on between Peter King and Roger Goodell, but have no fear this lover’s quarrel will pass

  38. Simmons crossed a line but I’m glad he did. It points out the hypocrisy of the media in general and ESPN in particular. Do we really need to go down the list of ESPN ethics violations over the years? Or just a few months ago when Stephen A Smith said that victims of DV need to be careful they do not provoke attacks? He was suspended for a week. Where is the moral outrage over that?

  39. personally i don’t care about goodell or ray rice.

    but when someone stands up and lies over and over again like goodell did in his presser, it tells me he thinks i’m so stupid i don’t notice. and that’s what irks me and wants him to go down the road.

  40. I don’t have his phone number or email, but can I triple-dog-dare him to “go public”?

    You’re in trouble – of sounding like a guy who puts 2 other guys between him and someone else, then screams “Hold me back!”

  41. You know Roger is making plans to take the NFL from ESPN as soon as their contract expires. Why wouldn’t he?! Who cares if he saw the video or not? I don’t care if he lied about seeing the stupid video. What is the big freaking deal about the clip, anyone who saw the first video (from the lobby area) knows what happened in the elevator. Roger should take the NFL from ESPN and NBC for their over the top BS on this story!

  42. With ESPN talking up the patriots everyday and Goodell being a patriots fan I would think espn would sensor anyone going against Goodell just like they sensor everything else to put it in their own perspective.

  43. Well Simmons, if you are such a great journalist, try FINDING the truth through investigative journalism. If you have no proof of this, then acting like a progressive liberal who does not get his way makes you sound like a spolied child

  44. This is a crappy network. Just look at them embellishing the Rice story until Ravens proved them wrong. With their morality clearly lacking (in many instances, Brandon Marshall another good example) and rampant greed for rating, they are the last ones who should be lecturing people on accountability.

  45. DONE with this story. Rice went from not punished enough to punished too harshly. Goodell has come out and said he got it wrong and we should all feel pretty confident that domestic violence will be taken much more seriously moving forward.

    I don’t care when Roger saw the tape. I don’t care when Biscotti saw the tape. I REALLY don’t care about these ‘saintly’ members of the media who can do no wrong and each want to take a turn bashing both.

    I do agree with an earlier comment though. If Simmons isn’t going to actually investigate and come up with facts, and nobody else does either to prove Goodell is lying, he should quit. If you are going to speak that strongly about someone you should be held at least a little accountable.

  46. Goodell is being more proactive in light of the recent climate of the NFL than anyone at ESPN. That is a fact.

    Goodell will stay, and he should. ESPN’s continuous bombardment of misinformation and irrelevant accusations are accomplishing nothing positive except for their TV and website ratings (which will be negated once the NFL pulls MNF from ESPN and ABC).

  47. The important thing is that Rice is indefinitely suspended. Goodell blew the initial suspension and when the hue and cry alarmed him, he backtracked when the second video came out. He made the situation worse by lying about not seeing the second video beforehand to try to cover for his initial miscalculation. Humans make mistakes. This isn’t Watergate. The important thing is that Rice got what he deserved. Too many people covering the NFL don’t care anything about the actual games played!

  48. ESPN has nothing to lose – they have no credibility with the fans

    They might as well be “all in” on this one (and they’ve done a good job thus far) – dare the Commissioner to deny he’s lying (and we all know he is) get the credibility boost that comes with that and let the chips fall where they may

  49. Isn’t this Simmons guy Tony Kornheiser nephew? Just another Blah Blah Blah self promoter. Goodell, I beleive is pulling the Bill Clinton defense, but as my father use to say “a lie is a lie, if you know in your heart it’s not true”. Sounds silly, but twisting words doesn’t make untrue. Goodell is lying and deep down he knows it, but he’s smart (for now).

  50. I applaud Bill Simmons for stepping up to the plate and speaking his mind.

    I have to believe his peers are searching their souls. A short life to deal w/ this morally corrupt, once dignified pastime.

  51. It seems like people on this board feel threatened by intelligence. Oh my God, Bill Simmons has a real opinion that goes against what ESPN should be doing. I’d rather listen to someone intelligent talking than the whinos at FOX Noise.

  52. The NFL has a problem.

    In light of the James Harrison re-signing,

    IMO, it’s sad to see all the outrage over the Ray Rice incident was FAN outrage, not ACTUAL outrage over domestic abuse.

    This stuff can’t be tolerated, and this is more proof of the “just win, baby” mentality.

    The Steelers are as guilty of it as the Ravens. The NFL has a problem.


  53. Man, you can hate on Simmons all you want, but do it with facts. He has been rather outspoken against ESPN and several of the more…brash personalities. He has gotten suspended for it before. His whole “I’ll go public” threat was that he would go public about any suspension from ESPN arising from criticizing Goodell, not that he would go public with any proof. He does not have proof, he is not an investigative journalist.

    So feel free to go back to your bashing of ESPN and Simmons, but realize they are not one single entity.

  54. “With so many voices so aggressively attacking Goodell and the Ravens, ESPN seems to be daring the league to retaliate.”
    No, ESPN is doing nothing against Goodell, it’s Simmons taking it to both ESPN and the NFL. It’s Simmons who’s daring ESPN to come at him.

    I applaud him for that. Anybody who thinks Goodell is not a liar, has a problem and has no moral conscious.

  55. I lost all respect for Simmons many years ago before he even got to ESPN, but he just earned some respect from me for this. His stance on this is how mine would be if I were a public figure.

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