Just like last year, we're showcasing the people, ideas and memes that made Deadspin 2009 shine. Today: Bill Simmons.
Bill wrote a very large book about porn that contained an astonishing number of references to basketball.
The book found itself atop the bestseller list. It was such a phenomenon that, all across the country, people stood in long lines so that Bill might autograph their copy and pose for photos. Here's one, captured at the precise moment the author had a stroke.
Then everyone went home and Googled the Sports Fella's wife.
Yup, these are his readers.
This site's former editor wrote Bill Simmons's name all over his Trapper Keeper, but others were less enamored. Namely, the great Charles P. Pierce, some radio fathead in Oklahoma, some radio fathead in New York, and the dude who played the lead in TV's Brooklyn Bridge.
This was the year Simmons became more of a franchise than a mere columnist. Miller Lite sponsored a portion of his column, and he produced an impressive series of sports documentaries to commemorate ESPN's 30th birthday. He also pouted, fantasized about life after ESPN, and generally made a nuisance of himself to his bosses.
Specifically, as Adam Carolla put it, his "retard chicken pussy bosses."
Simmons campaigned for the Minnesota Timberwolves' GM job, a pursuit over which his buddy Malcolm Gladwell would later do some thin-slicing. The Timberwolves shrugged and hired a former sportswriter instead.