Bill Simmons often chafed at some of the restrictions being an ESPN employee entailed, so now that he is gone, he is doing his best to test out his newfound freedom.
One of his first acts: Getting himself onto Mike Francesa's WFAN radio show.
Simmons in the past has written of his "Mike and the Mad Dog" fandom, but he was restricted from appearing on the program, and later from Francesa's solo version, because of his association with ESPN -- WFAN's competition in the New York sports radio wars.VoteMike Francesa: Fan or foe?
It started Sept. 25, when Simmons tweeted this:
"Random things I'm excited about starting next month, vol. 24: finally being able to go on Mike Francesa's show. This will be yuuuuuuge."
"Next month" arrived Thursday, and with it the premiere of a new Simmons podcast in which he criticized ESPN for its allegedly soft coverage of the NFL and DeflateGate. He also lamented his inability to appear on non-ESPN radio programs, saying, "Francesa, I could never go on and it was always a dream to go on."
By late afternoon Francesa's producer, Brian Monzo, tweeted:
"Programming note: Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. We will have @BillSimmons on the show sometime soon. @WFAN660"
Francesa said on the air that he had heard from "a zillion people" that Simmons wanted to appear. He said he made contact with Simmons and expects to have him on "if not tomorrow then next week or something. We'll work it out for Bill to come on soon."