Dear Bill Simmons: Goodbye Forever

Dear Bill Simmons:

I’m not sure how much longer I can write these letters to you every week. I’m running out of stuff to talk about. In fact, that’s what I wrote about last week, that I was running out of ideas. That’s something you can’t get away with two weeks in a row. Maybe this isn’t going anywhere. You can only cover so much in an imaginary, one-sided relationship. I mean, I don’t really know you, not any better than anybody else on the Internet does. And while yeah, I know some stuff about some sports, mostly New York Islanders related hockey stuff, if I ever did get an interview with you, and you started asking me anything about the NBA, or the New York Rangers, or anybody besides David Wright on the Mets, you’d probably be pretty disappointed in the overall trajectory of the conversation.

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Actually, that’s not true, I’m great at faking my way through most chit-chat, sports or otherwise. I know exactly when to say stuff like, “Yes,” and “Right,” and then I find the perfect moment to insert something cool that I read on Grantland. That’s how I found out about you, about the web site. It’s like, after so many years of standing at the periphery of group conversations, hoping that the topic of discussion might eventually turn to something other than sports, I found your writing, it drew me in, the way you can write about sports that doesn’t immediately cause me to lose consciousness.

That’s what I want to be a part of. Or, wanted to anyway. Like I was alluding to in the first paragraph, I don’t think it’s happening. I’ve been writing these letters to you every week on my blog for about two months now. And as the old saying goes, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, for two months, and if after that you still don’t see any progress, just give up on it dude, because how long are you going to keep it up for? Three months? A year? Just cut your losses and get out while you still can.”

I guess this is goodbye, Bill. I feel like I just got to imagine what it would have been like to have just gotten to know you. But whatever, I mean, just because you have a dream, doesn’t mean that it’s going to come true, right? And it’s not like I have nothing. Sure, I’m not writing for Grantland, having a wide, far-reaching audience of people being exposed to my work. But I have this site right here, this little blog. That’s something. Chuck Klosterman doesn’t write for me, but that’s cool, I don’t need Chuck. I don’t need you Bill. I don’t need anybody.

OK, I apologize, I was getting a little emotional there. There’s no need for me to be a baby about this, I just get a little overwhelmed sometimes with farewells. You’ve got your life, I’ve got mine. I’ll get through this. Maybe some day we’ll be walking opposite directions through a crowded city street. Time might start to slow down for a second as we cross each other’s paths. For whatever reason, we’ll make brief eye contact. I’ll give you a really subtle nod, a casual smile. You … well, you have no idea who I am, so even if you reciprocate the gesture, it’ll be totally hollow on your part, leaving you with a weird sense of, “Why do people keep nodding at me? What’s wrong with that guy?”

I could go on and on forever Bill, it’s like, some part of me never wants this to end. But it has to. Don’t try to talk me out of it. Or, if you’re reading this for the first time, but it’s years from now, I guess you can still call me up and offer me a job. But I have be realistic. You’re just way too popular for me to be constantly begging you for work every week from my very tiny, almost imperceptibly small corner of the Internet.

But it’s cool. I wish you nothing but the best in the future. If, by some bizarre twist of fate, I ever wind up creating an insanely popular sports and pop culture web site, and you for some reason fall on really hard times, struggle to find your way back to the top, but can’t get out from languishing in obscurity, and you start your own very small web site, and you start writing open letters to me every week, asking me for a job, I’ll totally make something happen for you. Even if I already have a different Bill Simmons working for me, even if he’s not even a writer, like he’s just an accountant or something, I’ll make room for one more Bill Simmons. I’ll even give you the good BSimmons@ email address and I’ll make that other Bill switch to BISimmons@. Unless you don’t feel like inheriting the other Bill’s spam folder. In which case … you know what? Let’s just say that we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.

Goodbye forever,

Rob G.

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