Bill Simonson — This Is Your Life

Tackleberry

By Jeff Moss
DetroitSportsRag@GMail.com
October 21, 2015

The big bully try to stick his finger in my chest
Try to tell me, tell me he’s the best
But I don’t really give a good goddamn ’cause
I got my lunchbox and I’m armed real well

— Marilyn Manson

This website will be old enough to have a Bar Mitzvah next March. For you gentiles out there, that means the DSR will have been around for almost 13 years. And in that time I’ve come across plenty of disgusting human beings on the Detroit sports and media beat — from sociopaths like Denny McLain to lunatics like Eric Pate and psychotics like The Mega Man**. But I am not sure I have ever come across a case as bizarre as West Michigan radio host Bill Simonson.

(**Ike Griffin, not Don Ciaravino. Although they are both garbage humans.)

Last year, when this website broke the news that Jim Harbaugh would be leaving the NFL for the Michigan Wolverines, the WBBL-107.3FM host mocked my reporting and ridiculed the notion that Harbaugh would ever leave San Francisco for Ann Arbor.

Because I went to the Howard Stern/Israeli Defense Forces school of amplifying every slight to Defcon 1, I unleashed an attack on Simonson via this website.

Due to the fact that Simonson is a non-entity in the Detroit market and nobody really even knows who the hell he is locally, I decided to limit my war on him to that one article — with the caveat that I would go after him with both barrels if he appeared on my radar again.

Well, Simonson made the idiotic mistake of showing up on my Doppler recently.

According to various industry sources, Simonson played a role in the marginalization of Ryan Schuiling on WBBL’s morning program and championed the return of continual ratings failure Michael Grey.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I used to regularly appear on Schuiling’s show in Grand Rapids. That is, until I dropped my original “Huge Pile of Shit” article and Simonson utilized his power at the Cumulus radio station to ban me forever.

As a result, I didn’t make any other guest appearances with Schuiling until he left 107.3 and ended up on 92.1 “The Team” in Lansing this summer. When I reappeared on Schuiling’s debut show — as his first guest — I spent most of my segment destroying Simonson.

That diatribe led to grave consequences for Schuiling. According to my West Michigan radio connections, Simonson played a major role in getting Schuiling booted from his color announcing gig with the West Michigan Whitecaps. The Whitecaps broadcast rights are owned by Simonson’s Cumulus radio station. You do the math.

Furthermore, out of nowhere, Cumulus decided to enforce Schuiling’s non-compete contract. Keep in mind that Cumulus never made any noise about keeping Schuiling off the air until AFTER I bombed Simonson on that first show.

I was told by sources that it was the butt-hurt, insecure Simonson HIMSELF who went to management and lobbied for Cumulus to keep Schuiling off the air for six months.

Now, I had the DSR legal team look over Schuiling’s contract. Our barristers concluded that Schuiling could win a court battle over the non-compete language but it would cost thousands of dollars in legal fees — something that both Simonson and Cumulus had to know.

So Schuiling agreed to stay off the airwaves of 92.1 in Lansing until November 1st.

Now, keep in mind that Ryan Schuiling isn’t Rush Limbaugh or Colin Cowherd. He isn’t making seven figures on the radio. He is just a poor schlub trying to make a living wage talking sports in a smaller radio market.

That is who Simonson was fucking with. In one of the most despicable acts of revenge I have ever witnessed while running the DSR, this piece of human filth allegedly tried to fuck with Schuiling’s career, not to mention his ability to pay his BILLS.

Schuiling wasn’t using his 92.1 paycheck to buy a timeshare in Cabo or St. Bart’s. He was merely trying to feed himself and keep a roof over his head.

It was at that point that I decided to take the gloves off once and for all and expose this piece of trash for who he is. So his minuscule radio audience and his dopey advertisers could finally see that the Emperor has no clothes.

Over the last few weeks I have engaged the services of private investigators in multiple states; completed hours of interviews with the poor folks who were unfortunate enough to have had encounters with Bill Simonson; and researched court documents — all in an effort to compile a dossier on this shit stain.

Some of this will be regurgitation from my December 17, 2014 article on “Huge,” but I wanted all of this information and documentation in one place for anyone Googling the man in the future.

Here we go ……

Simonson in Austin, Texas

Simonson’s first brush with trouble occurred while working at KJFK in Austin, where his mouth cost his station allegedly over a half-million dollars between damages and attorney costs.

I will let the Chicago Tribune take it from here …

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Simonson’s former station lost the appeal and Simonson’s defamation lawsuit became a landmark case in Texas.

If you’d like to read the entire opinion, you can click here.

Racism, Public Drunkenness and Resisting Arrest in Oklahoma

Incredibly, costing his previous station $455,000 over slanderous and false statements was nothing but an appetizer when compared to the run Simonson had while in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

At KQLL-AM 1430 in Tulsa, Simonson’s ignorance got him into trouble when he compared interviewing an African-American head football coach (John Blake) to quizzing Buckwheat.

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It would also appear that, while in Oklahoma City, Simonson was so confused in a restroom that he couldn’t discriminate between a urinal and a sink …..

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And what about that police report Tony Sellars referred to in that above post? Well, we aren’t sure if Tony ever found his copy, but for the discount rate of $250, the DSR contacted a OKC PI who did assist us in obtaining that document …

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You know you’ve had a fun evening when the only reason that you weren’t charged with additional offenses was because the arresting officer RAN OUT OF TICKETS!!!!!

So Simonson was charged with disorderly conduct and assault and battery in 1993. But this is what he told the Chicago Tribune in 2000:

“I’ve never done any jail time. I don’t have any criminal record. I’ve never broken any law in Illinois. The only time I was sitting in a courtroom was in the slander case.”

Umm, okay.

The “Alleged” Assault at the Cell

It took many years, but in 2000 it appeared as though Simonson was actually the VICTIM in an incident. When he was working at WMVP in the Windy City, Simonson claimed that he was jumped by a bunch of hoodlums outside U.S. Cellular Field after a White Sox game.

But even the Chicago cops didn’t take his bizarre story seriously.

Maybe the police treated Huge’s “beating” cavalierly due to Simonson’s insane description of the attack” ….

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“The little guy who threw the punch was Irish, an Irish kid.”

WHAT?!?!?! How the fuck did this lunatic know the perp was Irish? When he encountered Simonson and his friend, did the juvenile delinquent have an entrance song by the Dropkick Murphys? Was that the tipoff?

“There were some Mexican kids. A few Italians”? Did Simonson have time for a DNA test?

Moving on ….

The Bullying of West Michigan

Once Simonson landed in the Grand Rapids market, he developed an atrocious habit of bullying anyone who either criticized him or pointed out that he was acting like an imbecile. This usually led to threats of litigation from either Simonson or his attorney.

This section of the article could go on forever as I have received complaints from a HUGE number of West Michigan citizens regarding Simonson’s litigious ways, but I will limit it to just a few.

The Call to the Athletic Director

A high school coach in the Grand Rapids area had a few encounters on Twitter with the Simonson parody account, “NotThatHugeShow.” Keep in mind that Simonson HATES that farcical handle.

So the rational Simonson handled it like any grown, secure adult. He contacted the Athletic Director of this coach’s school and threatened to sue if the coach didn’t delete the Tweets.

The coach deleted those missives for fear of being served with a frivolous lawsuit.

The Bullying of a Reserve Cop

Bill Simonson wasn’t the only Simonson in West Michigan with a radio career. A gentleman by the name of Bob Simonson had also worked for decades in the Grand Rapids market. Bob also volunteered in the region as a reserve police officer.

By happenstance, BOB learned of a warrant for another Bob Simonson’s arrest. This coincidence was causing radio Bob Simonson some complications in his life so as a reserve cop, Bob Simonson alerted BILL Simonson of the warrant because the other BOB is Bill’s brother.

Got it?

So when Bob gave Bill the tip about his brother’s warrant, Bill Simonson went INSANE.

To make a long story short, let’s just say that Bill made Bob’s life miserable until Bob finally had to resign his reserve position.

But Bill wasn’t finished with Bob just yet. In 2012, after being out of the business for a while, Bob Simonson got a new job in the Grand Rapids market.

Bill allegedly contacted Bob’s program director and told the PD that Bob needed to change his last name because it was going to cause Arbitron diary confusion.

Can you imagine?

Thankfully, Bob told Bill to fuck off.

The Censoring of the Michigan Buzzboard

There is a very inside baseball website called the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard. It’s basically a trade message board that’s only interesting to people in those industries or to geeks who obsess over that sort of thing.

Simonson never liked this particular forum because he was bashed constantly for being …. ya know … a massive asshat.

But things got really bad when a person who allegedly worked with Simonson in the Cumulus building was able to somehow hack into Simonson’s email account.

The hacker started posting emails between Simonson and his advertisers on the Michigan Buzzboard.

This was an internal Cumulus issue, but Simonson didn’t see it that way. So he threatened to sue “MWMetalhead,” the proprietor of the Buzzboard.

That would be the equivalent of former Sony executive Amy Pascal suing the New York Times because the newspaper published emails that were hacked by the North Koreans.

Except it’s actually worse because it was a co-worker who was publishing these emails and not the owner of the website who loses money every year on his HOBBY!!

Because “MWMetalhead” didn’t want to hire an attorney to fight Simonson, he agreed to Simonson’s demand that the message board censor any mention of “Huge” or “Bill Simonson”on the site.

What a fucking piece of shit.

The Tony Paul Threats

Back in August when Ryan Schuiling left WBBL for 92.1 in Lansing, Simonson started telling contributors to his show that if they appeared on Ryan’s program that they’d be persona non grata on the “Huge Show.”

One of those Simonson guests was Detroit News baseball writer Tony Paul. Simonson threatened Paul with banishment from his program if he went on Schuiling’s show.

Paul told Simonson to fuck off and began appearing on Sean Baligian‘s show in Grand Rapids — which is Simonson’s direct competition.

This story demonstrates Simonson’s delusions of grandeur. Paul had appeared on Simonson’s show for five years and was an unpaid contributor.

In fact, in an interview with the DSR back in August, Paul told us that in the five years he spent being at Simonson’s beck and call when Tigers news broke, he was reimbursed with three rounds of golf, three Polo shirts and a beer.

This is the person whom Simonson thought he had over a barrel. Incredible.

Threatening LOW-LEVEL Kids Who Work for the Grand Rapids AHL Team 

The following is Simonson bullying two kids who were working for peanuts with the Grand Rapids Griffins …..

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The “Dan” whom Simonson is referring to in that Tweet is Dan DeVos. DeVos. Ya know, the billionaire Amway family. I am sure Dan DeVos had nothing better to do than to scold a couple of minimum-wage workers for ridiculing Simonson.

Get the fuck out of here with this shit.

I could go on and on about Simonson’s litigious threats — including  toward his radio competition — but suffice it to say the man has made more of them than the number of actual cases filed by Michael Morse and Sam Bernstein combined.

Fantasy Sports Cheating

Before we go into the next chapter of Simonson’s life you probably need a little background. Simonson was very good friends with an MLive.com sports writer named Brian VanOchten.

The pair were so close that Simonson allegedly tried to get the late Tom Kowalski removed from the Lions beat and replaced with VanOchten, a contributor to his radio show. This hilarious proposition went nowhere, obviously.

(Simonson is also an MLive contributor which we will hilariously get to soon.)

The Bobbsey Twins eventually had a HUGE falling out when VanOchten alleged that Simonson tried to cheat in a fantasy football league. Here are the VanOchten Tweets regarding the controversy ….

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And here is what Simonson’s friend REALLY thought of him ….

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It’s now been over three years since Simonson’s former BFF Tweeted that bullying people and brown-nosing a bunch of sponsors couldn’t last forever, yet here we are ….

How Did Simonson Ever Get This Much Clout In The First Place?

We interrupt this dissection of Simonson’s peccadilloes to explain how this huge bully ever gained his pulpit in West Michigan to begin with.

His patron was a Cumulus executive by the name of Matt Hanlon — who not only brought Simonson to the Grand Rapids radio market, but also forced Simonson’s mug on a local television station.

These two were thick as thieves, with Hanlon acting as Simonson’s henchman and allowing Simonson to threaten anyone who dare challenge the insecure maniac with legal retribution. The pair actually lived together for a time, which would have made for a great reality show.

Hanlon and Simonson eventually parted when Hanlon took a gig with rival Townsquare Media and he is now out of the West Michigan market completely.

Why?

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The Divorce

While in the Grand Rapids area, Simonson met a woman named Melissa who had two children from a previous relationship. They married — with Simonson legally adopting Melissa’s two children — and they eventually had three of their own, named Ace, Legend and Ava.

(Here is another good Simonson bullying story for you. A few years back, Melissa’s oldest son from her previous relationship failed to make a Little League All-Star team. This sociopath went on the air and bitched about this omission for THREE HOURS. He even went as far to mention the league by NAME. Guess what occurred? The adopted son ended up as a late addition. I am not making any of this crap up.)

I am not sure what is more bizarre, being so insecure that you’d name your children Ace and Legend or the fact that Ace’s middle name is Monroe. For lousy Tigers outfielder Craig Monroe. Hopefully Ace doesn’t grow up to have a belt fetish.

Can you imagine naming your kid after Craig Monroe? CRAIG MONROE? Naming an offspring after either Joakim Andersson or Will Bynum makes more sense. 

Anyway, the couple eventually separated (real shocker, I know) and went through an extremely messy divorce according to a variety of sources.

Here is where things get very interesting. On June 19, 2012, Simonson posted a blog on MLive.com (another gig Simonson allegedly procured because of Hanlon) that stated he was experiencing his first Father’s Day post divorce.

So why did Melissa Simonson file a petition for a personal protection order on April 8, 2014? Based on court filings it would appear that sometime after his divorce, Simonson graduated from bullying fellow radio hosts, minimum wage workers and message board operators to bullying the MOTHER OF HIS CHILDREN …..

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Simonson’s ex-wife’s accusations are chillingly consistent with the pattern of behavior that “Huge” has exhibited since first entering the public domain three decades ago.

And while Simonson’s attorneys denied Melissa’s accusations of sexual harassment; contacting her over ONE HUNDRED times in a 24-hour period; using abusive language; making threats regarding their children; badgering her friends; threatening to contact her employer; attempting to interfere with her volunteer coaching (ring a bell??); and beating on her car window, Judge George Jay Quist granted the PPO.

I am told by the DSR’s legal beagles that Judge Quist does not take these sort of things lightly and his issuance of the PPO against the very public personality is telling.

Also, Melissa’s claims of the police having to be called out TWICE during the “move out” and the reference to a realtor being present for one of the Huge outbursts are key elements.

What kind of disgusting human filth behaves in this fashion? The same hypocrite who — in the same month his ex is requesting a PPO against him — goes on the radio and bashes Ray Rice for treating women poorly.

Simonson’s Passive Aggressive Attempt to Stop This Article’s Publication

The DSR has been working on this expose for months now and Simonson is fully aware of it. In fact, we encountered a lot of resistance from Simonson loyalists —  yes, they do exist — in our quest to obtain some of the documents referenced in this report .

But I have not received any threats of litigation or any other type of bullying from Biff Tannen. Instead, I received these bizarre private Facebook messages from this public nuisance …..

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What the fuck????

Everyone else gets either warnings from Cumulus attorneys or late-night phone calls from Simonson himself and I get an attempt at mentoring?

Well, I gotta tell ya, Bill …. I was conflicted over becoming the protege of either Bill Cosby or of yourself. I chose Dr. Huxtable.  It feels less dirty.

Of course, this is the same ass-clown who allegedly called the police on me last year …..

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Make LESS sense, Bill.

The Awful Sports Takes

We are now 2,700 words into “The Colonoscopy of Bill Simonson” and we’ve yet to broach his horrific sports takes.

Now, I know being really STUPID about professional and collegiate athletics can’t compare to getting in drunken bar fights; urinating in a sink; bullying half of West Michigan; or causing the mother of your children to fear for her safety, but I’d be remiss not to mention that Simonson has a Sports IQ south of 50.

Since he ostensibly gets paid to discuss the subject.

There are just too many examples of Simonson’s idiocy, but we have culled some of his Greatest Hits.

MAKE SURE YOU CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO GET THE FULL IMPACT OF THESE HORRIFIC TAKES!!!!!

Here is Simonson’s take on Cameron Maybin. The former Tiger prospect’s career WAR is to the right …

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Simonson’s Michigan football and Detroit Lions predictions for 2007 ….

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Here are some Simonson predictions from 2008. It’s like he had a crystal ball…full of dense fog ….

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More HILARIOUS predictions. Simonson makes Ryan Ermanni look like Nostradamus ……

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Ya gotta believe me ……

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Simonson’s review of the Lions 2012 Draft needs no comment whatsoever …..

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Simonson picks Michigan to go 14-0 in 2012. They most definitely did not go 14-0 in 2012 …..

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Simonson compares Brady Hoke to Nick Saban and loves the Josh Smith signing ….

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Simonson sees great things for Michigan football in 2013 and disaster for MSU …..

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And some more dead-on HOMER predictions ….

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Thanks to DSR researcher Mihir Bhatnagar for doing the post digging necessary to expose this fuckstick. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of Tackleberry’s idiocy.

The Ratings and Cumulus

With all of the baggage that comes with Bill Simonson you’d think he must be putting up the ratings of either a 2002 Howard Stern or of the finale of M*A*S*H to justify the headache, but that is anything but the case.

Not only are Simonson’s ratings lousy, he does not even have the #1-rated sports show in Afternoon Drive in the Grand Rapids market. That honor goes to Sean Baligian who broadcasts out of his basement in NORTHVILLE — not exactly considered West Michigan — on 96.1FM.

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Sean is #7 at WMAX-FM and Simonson is #9 at WBBL in these ratings. And this consists of Men 25 to 54 years of age. Neither are actually doing very well — since this is their target demographic — but it is absolutely hilarious how poorly Simonson’s ratings are considering the advertisers he attracts and the clout he seems to wield.

I am not saying the Emperor has no clothes, but I just saw him in the Wendy’s takeout line and he is a Lions assistant coach.

Why do companies like Meijer, Brann’s Steakhouse, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Metro Health, the Michigan Lottery, Sports Clips, Fox Motors (owned by the DeVos family), Alliance Beverage, Auto Value, BeenGarter, Paul Miles Advertising, Montell Construction, Maple Hill Golf Club, Koegel’s, Better Made, Holt Hair Restoration, Celebration Cinema, Red Hot Inn and Eisenhower Center want to associate themselves with this douche bag — considering there is very little financial incentive to do so?

The lughead is getting beat in the ratings by a guy in Oakland County who just jumped at the first chance to get back into the Detroit market — even though Baligian’s decision to leave 96.1 for the sinking ship known as Detroit Sports 105.1 is dubious at best.

Of course, Simonson’s show is simulcasted through the rest of the state as well but I am told his ratings in those other markets make his Grand Rapids numbers look like he were hosting a GOP debate with Donald Trump moderated by a Kardashian.

And, due to Cumulus’ ongoing financial problems, you have to wonder what the future holds for Simonson at WBBL. The Dickey Brothers — who formed the media conglomerate in 1997 — were both forced out of the company last month amid rumors that the company is on the verge of entering bankruptcy protection.

A source told me on Monday that Simonson is about to be pushed out by Cumulus. If that rumor is true, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Which finally gets me to the topic of why I wrote this extremely long takedown piece in the first place, considering I have neither heard 45 seconds of the “Huge Show” nor do I care about irrelevant West Michigan broadcasters.

It wasn’t because of his attacks on me or the fact that he kept me off both WBBL and WTKA.

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No. I did it to stand up for the people who could not defend themselves because they feared either racking up attorney fees or losing their jobs.

I wrote this for Ryan Schuiling; the moderator of the Buzzboard; the reserve cop; the high school coach; the kids that work for the Griffins; the Davenport student; and the endless others who shared their Simonson encounters with me that didn’t make this article.

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Because the only way to stop a bully is to combat him with a bigger bully.

And I want to grow up ….. I want to be ….. so no one FUCKS WITH ME …..