Wednesday's debut of Bill Simmons' new HBO sports talk show Any Given Wednesday could not have gone off any better. Simmons, a Boston native and former blogger who made his name on ESPN, discusses sports in what essentially amounts to a conversation at a local bar. And in Simmons' bar, like any, you run the risk of stumbling upon a raving-mad sports fan who — hear him out! hear him out! listen! — just has a few things to say.
Enter Ben Affleck. The fellow Bostonian was having an agreeable conversation with Simmons about his career, but at the brief mention of Deflategate — the scandal surrounding the mysteriously deflated footballs that made their way into the 2015 AFC championship and ended in a suspension for New England Patriots' quarterback, Tom Brady — Affleck completely unraveled.
What came next was a five-minute verbal barrage, in which Simmons struggled to get a word in. Affleck also shared his thoughts on why the Patriots and Brady were specifically targeted by the NFL for what, in his mind, amounts to a scandal with no real justification.
"This is a conspiracy of people working inside the NFL who all come from organizations that Tom Brady whipped their ass over the last 10 or 15 years ... who are now going, 'Get him! Hang him!' because they now have some slight, flimsy fucking pretense," he added. "They haven't done anything to address this crisis of domestic violence in the NFL, but the fucking football better not be 8% lighter."
Affleck's f-bomb-laden tirade caught the attention of the Twitterverse, some of whom posited that the actor, who at times seemed to slur his speech, was intoxicated — though Simmons was quick to dispel that notion. It was just two Boston guys talking about sports in the late morning!
You can check out Affleck's full Deflategate rant below: