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Sports journalism owes Bill Simmons an emotional debt

Sports journalism owes Bill Simmons an emotional debt

I was in college when I first heard of Bill Simmons. I was blogging about Notre Dame football for the university, and I made up for my lack of in-depth sports knowledge by channeling the emotions that charge a sporting event. A co-worker in the athletic department told me my writing reminded him of Simmons' stuff, and I immediately dove into his body of work.

Simmons has a controversial place in the world of sports journalism—he's a know-it-all and likes to run his mouth. This sometimes-obnoxious combination gets him in trouble, like when ESPN suspended him last year after he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a liar. But perhaps most problematic is he’s an...

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