Roger Brown Does Battle with ESPN Writer

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Roger Brown may have left his job as the Plain Dealer’s sports-gossip and real-estate columnist, but he’s still finding ways to make himself look like an ass. To refresh, Brown spent years firing arrows at various sports and sports-media targets from the safety of his cubicle. He didn’t appear to like anyone, except for Shaker Heights native Chris Rose, a broadcaster for Fox Sports Net. Brown didn’t just like Rose. He “liked him” liked him, in that creepy Biblical kind of way. Brown left The PD last year and worked briefly for Scene, penning one column before quitting because we wouldn’t let him play on our kickball team. He’s since turned up at the Lake County News-Herald, where he reportedly agreed to write columns in exchange for a free subscription and a nifty News-Herald umbrella. In his most recent column, Brown managed to draw the attention of perhaps America’s most popular sports columnist, ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons. Anyone who reads Simmons’ exhaustive NBA coverage knows he’s more than impressed with LeBron James. But occasionally in the last year, Simmons has dared to criticize the Cavs’ forward. When James messed around and dropped 48 on the Pistons last week, Simmons wrote one of the next day’s best pieces. Brown saw a chance to get his name in the big, bright lights of ESPN.com. He wrote:
Simmons spent months ripping and mocking James as an overhyped fraud -- and gained lots of national attention in the process. But after James' historic Game 5 performance, Simmons scrambled to save face in embarrassing fashion: He wrote a column on LeBron that was more slobbering and fawning than a 13-year-old girl writing a fan letter to Justin Timberlake.
A Simmons reader alerted him to Brown’s column, and Simmons responded quite thoroughly here (scroll about 60 percent of the way down). He even offered a little wager: “If Roger can produce anything I've ever written that called him LeBron an "overhyped fraud," I will send him a $200 check to double the salary that the News-Herald is paying him every week. … Bottom line: If you're going to rip another writer, make sure you've actually read the guy first.” Yes, I realize that watching Roger Brown vs. Bill Simmons is like watching Lindsay Lohan mud wrestle Roseanne Barr (in her national anthem singing days). It ain’t pretty, and it ain’t fair. But it sure is fun. – Joe P. Tone

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