Here are all the terrible names Bill Simmons almost called his new website

After his public departure from ESPN last year, sports media entrepreneur Bill Simmons waited several months before announcing his next venture.

That might be because it took 10 weeks to come up with a name for The Ringer, which was later announced to be the future destination for the blend of sports and pop culture coverage Simmons showcased at Grantland. In his first newsletter to subscribers of The Ringer this morning, Simmons went over the many cringeworthy almost-titles for the forthcoming site. Here they are, with his commentary:

  • Klique ("Sounds like Kanye’s ill-fated answer to Tidal.")
  • Klaxon ("Sounds like a new fiber cereal that might blow out your colon.")
  • Watershed ("Sounds like a financial-planning service that might advertise on my podcast.")
  • Heat Check (no explanation — presumably stems from Simmons' love for the Di Niro flick "Heat?")
  • Chase the Night ("What does this have to do with a website? I have no freaking idea.")
  • The Intrepid ("Sounds like a boat.")
  • Rational Confidence ("Sounds like a failed college band.")
  • Fuck Off, ESPN ("Too easy.")
  • Binge Mode (On an earlier podcast, Executive Editor Chris Ryan noted he couldn't say this with a straight face.)
  • The Leap (Scuttled for copyright reasons.)

In other news, The Ringer announced today seven new hires from the ranks of Grantland, New York magazine and The Player's Tribune, to name a few. The site doesn't currently have a fixed launch date.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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