The debut of Bill Simmons‘ highly-anticipated new show Any Given Wednesday on HBO featured another passionate Bostonian: Ben Affleck. Simmons — whose exit from ESPN was as abrupt as it was ugly — is a longlong fan of the Patriots and Red Sox, the same sports allegiances as Affleck, who used the opportunity to bash the National Football League in an ugly tirade.
For the unfamiliar, the league upheld the four game suspension for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady after the “Deflategate” scandal involving footballs that may have been improperly deflated for ideal throwing conditions in a championship game. The rabid fans of Beantown however have universally decried the whole scandal as a witch hunt aimed at taking down Brady and the consummate winning franchise.
Affleck was having none of it Wednesday night. He told Simmons, “It’s the ultimate bullshit fucking outrage of sports. Ever. It’s so fucking stupid.”
The Batman v Superman star argued that the NFL largely punished Brady after the quarterback refused to turn over his cell phone for investigation. “I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my fucking cellphone!” he continued during the show’s series premiere.
“So you think it’s a smear campaign,” Simmons offered.
“It’s a fucking ridiculous smear campaign!” Affleck shot back.
When the actor at one point directly called into question the integrity of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Simmons indicated that such language was most definitely allowed — perhaps encouraged? — on the new show. “You can absolutely say that on HBO. I don’t know if my former employer would have agreed,” he said, referring to ESPN and its cozy relationship with the National Football League. Simmons came under fire in 2014 for similar comments made at Goodell’s expense, which earned him a suspension of his own before ultimately getting the boot.
Watch the above clip from HBO’s Any Given Wednesday.
J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
[image via screengrab]
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org