Bill Simmons Blames Cancel Culture For Boring Masters Call
“Matsuyama is Japan’s first Masters champion!” was the call from Jim Nantz as Hideki Matsuyama made his final putt to win the 2021 Masters. It was fine, but predictable and left Bill Simmons wanting more.
As first noted by Stephen Douglas of The Big Lead, during Simmons’ Masters wrap-up podcast, he told The Ringer’s Kevin Clark how disappointed he was in the bland call from Nantz. Simmons believed Nantz was scared to go outside the box in celebrating Matsuyama’s victory amid the racial divide seen throughout the country, citing cancel culture as the reason.
“We were hoping for one of his classic pre-baked one-liners when Matsuyama won The Masters. I think he was scared off. He felt nervous to me the last twenty minutes.” Simmons said before pointing to cancel culture as the culprit. “I don’t think Nantz wanted to go near anything. He kept kind of throwing it to Faldo and then when Matsuyama hit the first of all, he missed the par putt, he had the little two-footer coming back, he made it. He wins. And Nantz basically said, Hideki Matsuyama, the first Japanese golfer to win The Masters. I’ve never heard him put less thought, energy, creativity, anything into one of his calls and it was a scared Jim Nantz, let’s be honest.”
Expectedly, Clark asked Simmons if he had an idea of what Nantz should have said as Matsuyama secured the green jacket.
“So I had it. I had the savvy one,” Simmons answered. “Heat of the Moment, which was a song that won like five Grammys by a band called Asia in the 80’s. I think Nantz could have gone stealth and done, It was the heat of the moment, Hideki Matsui is our Masters champion. Something like that and then it just would have been really underground. Nobody really would have gotten it. But he just played it chalk. You know what? You just signed a new contract Jim Nantz. We don’t want a scared Jim Nantz. Come up with some sort of line. Anything? Disappointing.”
That’s not a typo, Simmons said former Yankees outfielder Hideki Matsui instead of Masters winner Hideki Matsuyama. So while Simmons was offering his better idea for Nantz after saying the CBS broadcaster was scared of being canceled, he made an egregious mistake that would have negatively headlined media outlets everywhere.
But assuming Nantz would have avoided that colossal blunder, Simmons is correct, no one would have gotten his Heat of the Moment reference. I certainly wouldn’t have. So was his idea even a better, more creative and momentous call for Nantz? A song reference that no one really understood the connection to. That’s some deep thinking from Simmons.
It wouldn’t have been the first song reference for Nantz, having previously quoted Bette Midler’s The Rose after Justin Rose won his first ever PGA Tour event in 2010. But Nantz wasn’t cryptic with that song reference, reciting a full verse. If Nantz left the audience wanting more on Sunday, I don’t think Simmons Heat of the Moment idea would have been a solve.
Brandon Contes is a former reporter for BSM, now working for Awful Announcing. You can find him on Twitter @BrandonContes or reach him by email at Brandon.Contes@gmail.com.
Dan Le Batard: ‘Does Sports Media Care if Interviews Are Done Well?’
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is.”
Mike Greenberg had praise for Jalen Rose this week. He said that no one but his ESPN colleague could have handled the interview with Ja Morant that has been airing on the network. Dan Le Batard has the exact opposite opinion of what he saw.
“What I saw was soft and didn’t seem to serve anybody except ESPN,” Le Batard said on his Thursday show. “This seems to be a lot of people around the economy of basketball and Ja Morant orchestrating an interview so Ja Morant can move onto the next stage of his branding.”
Whereas Greenberg thought the shared experience of an NBA career made Rose more likely to get answers from Morant, Le Batard said it created a problem. He accused Rose of letting Morant get away with using “talking points” in lieu of answering any actual questions about the string of erratic behavior and disturbing incidents the Memphis Grizzlies star has been involved with.
It wasn’t the only interview that Dan Le Batard pointed to. He noted that Pat McAfee’s interview with Aaron Rodgers may have drawn an audience of nearly half a million, but very little substance was offered.
“Does anybody in the audience, in sports fandom, or even, at this point, in sports media companies, care in a real and legitimate way whether the interview is done well or not?”
He added that the standard has changed for these interviews because the goal has changed. They are no longer about journalism as much as they are about branding, particularly in the case of ESPN’s exclusive interview with Ja Morant.
“An exclusive interview with Ja Morant, who hasn’t talked to anybody after his controversy, is going to get eyeballs, so it doesn’t matter how good it actually is,” Le Batard concluded. “All you need, if you’re the media partner, is please get me the famous guy to sit down.”
Jomboy, Aaron Boone Partner For Weekly Podcast Appearance
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following.”
It isn’t unusual for a professional sports team to partner with a local radio station for weekly interviews with team personnel. Even though Jomboy Media is a digital outlet, it didn’t stop the company from inking a deal to have Yankees manager Aaron Boone on one of its signature podcasts.
In a move announced Thursday, Jomboy Media has signed a deal for Boone to appear on its popular Talkin’ Yanks podcast — hosted by founder Jimmy O’Brien and Jake Storiale — once a week throughout the baseball season.
“I thought it was a really interesting opportunity, and a cool idea. These guys have been innovators in this business and they’ve built a massive, young following,” Boone told The New York Post. “I think Jimmy and Jake are both really good guys. And they’re passionate about what they do, and they love the Yankees. And, sometimes they’re a little misguided and it’s my chance to set the record straight every now and then.”
Previously, Boone had a weekly spot on 98.7 ESPN New York’s The Michael Kay Show, which reportedly paid him six figures.
“It’s going to be really fun and it kind of goes with the changing landscape of media,” O’Brien said. “The fact that two fans can create a show and in five years get to the point where they get to ask questions to the manager of the Yankees and bring whatever insight we can get out of that to our audience — it is pretty wild, a little surreal.”
Sports Media Reacts to Aaron Rodgers Telling Adam Schefter ‘Lose My Number’
“Here are some of the best responses from Schefter’s sports media colleagues to the tweet.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers appeared on The Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday and revealed that if he gets his way, his time with the Green Bay Packers is done. He intends to play for the New York Jets in 2023.
Rodgers told McAfee that the hang-up lies with Green Bay, which is trying to determine the appropriate compensation for trading for a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
Rodgers also revealed that he had an interaction with ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. Schefter, who was obviously digging as much as he could to get the scoop on what was going on with Rodgers’ future, texted Rodgers trying to confirm the information he had.
“I didn’t respond to Dianna Russini I think her name is,” Rodgers said. “But I would say the same thing that I told Schefty. Lose my number. Nice try.”
Upon hearing Rodgers’ account, Schefter followed up with a screenshot of Rodgers responding exactly how he said, and that sent social media into a whirlwind.
Here are some of the best responses from Schefter’s sports media colleagues to the tweet:
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.