Any Given Wednesday, Bill Simmons’ new weekly sports talk show, debuted this evening on HBO. It was ... exactly what you’d expect. It opened with a segment on the NBA Finals and LeBron’s greatness (featuring a Teen Wolf comparison less than two minutes in) before Charles Barkley joined the show to lay down his takes about why LeBron James will never be a top-five player as Simmons nodded along and occasionally rebuked Barkley for long-ago offenses against Larry Bird.
However, that interview was merely an appetizer for the insane Ballghazi-centric conversation between Simmons and a meaty Ben Affleck. I don’t know if it was the calming effect of getting to yak with another sports bro about BOSTON AGAINST THE WORLD or, uh, something else, but Affleck was in the mood to rant, and Simmons hardly got a word in edgewise in between Affleck takes such as:
“I talk to fucking football players, pro football players. Across the board they think it’s bullshit.”
“We’re running our greatest player ever through ... this, this mill of humiliation and shame, which is totally unwarranted for the sake of our own bruised egos and our embarrassment and to paper over our mismanagement.”
“Maybe it’s that Tom Brady is so FUCKING CLASSY and such a FUCKING GENTLEMAN that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion ... of some of his co-workers.”
Simmons reportedly will receive around $20 million for, presumably, more of basically the same over three seasons. One of the main innovations the show is supposed to offer is Simmons joining two famous people at one time and hosting a three-person panel discussion, where, presumably, all the famous people can riff and such. (In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Simmons mentioned that he’d want to pair Gregg Popovich up with Bill Belichick.) However, on the pilot, it was just two separate one-person interviews, with a great deal of nodding. It ended with Simmons congratulating himself for being so successful.
Sadly, nobody mentioned the Ideal Gas Law when talking about Ballghazi. There’s always next week!