Thursday, June 23, 2016

‘Any Given Wednesday’: Bill Simmons and guests get salty for sports nuts

Bill Simmons has never been a shrinking violet when it comes to expressing his opinion on sports, pop culture and anything else crossing his radar.

On two websites (the now-departed ESPN-powered Grantland and his latest online venture, The Ringer) and his cancelled ESPN program, Simmons weighed in on various hot-button topics animating the national water-cooler conversation, eventually running afoul of ESPN’s managers.

“Any Given Wednesday,” Simmons’ eagerly-anticipated weekly show, premiered Wednesday on HBO, a television platform known for edgy programming. Simmons needs no cable-TV liberation from the constraints of language to get his point across, but “Any Given Wednesday” reveals the sportswriter-turned-mogul hosting a show that, to go by the premiere, is a marked departure from most TV talk shows.

In the bespoke-suit world of high-profile sports television, “Any Given Wednesday” stakes out different territory, with a style that’s refreshingly Converse All-Stars, a shot and a beer.

Read the rest at TheWrap

Image credit: Ben Affleck and Bill Simmons: HBO/Jordan Althus

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