Bill Simmons is heading to HBO.
The long-time ESPN writer and vocal Boston sports fan broke ties with the organization earlier this year after a rather public argument but has finally found his footing and his future with an upcoming weekly TV show on the cable network. With his own career set, here’s what you need to know about the rest of the Simmons family, including his wife Kari. Get to know “The Sports Gal” here:
1. Kari & Bill Have Been Married Since 1999
The two tied the knot in 1999 during the early stages of Bill’s career while he was covering sports in the greater Boston area.
In 2001, Bill was offered a job at ESPN and joined the network to write three guest columns and over the next several years his position with the company only grew, as he helped create both 30 for 30 and Grantland. In 2002, the couple moved across the country when Bill joined Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a comedy writer for the show.
2. Bill Frequently Refers to His Wife in His Writing as ‘The Sports Gal’
Although Kari mainly keeps out of the public eye, she’s still a frequent mention in her husband’s columns where Bill refers to her as ‘The Sports Gal.’ In fact, throughout his time at ESPN, Bill frequently mentioned his wife and her viewpoint on everything from sports to entertainment.
‘The Sports Gal’ even occasionally took the keyboard herself, adding her opinion in the sidebar. Check out her rant on fantasy sports:
Bill did a recent podcast with “TMR” and I didn’t know who this was. Bill said it stands for “Talented Mr. Roto” and TMR’s job is to follow fake sports. That’s it? He should be docked like 50 points each week!!!! I just picture TMR blowing a flute and dispensing wisdom like the Pied Piper while thousands of League of Dorkers hang on his every word. And I guarantee those League of Dorkers all have girlfriends currently living in the Niagara Falls area.
3. She & Bill Have Two Children
Kari and Bill have two children together, a daughter named Zoe Simmons, born in May 2005, and a son named Benjamin Oakley Simmons, born in October 2007.
There were rumors when Benjamin was first born that his initials, which spell out “BOS” were actually a nod to the Simmons family’s prominent Boston sports fandom. However, the parents had a different nickname for Benjamin, calling him the CEO after his frequent early-morning wakeup calls.
Zoe meanwhile is developing into quite a sports fan in her own right and Bill had often written about how the two attended Los Angeles Kings games together after he bought season tickets for the local hockey squad.
4. Kari Graduated From St. Bonaventure University
After growing up in upstate New York, Kari graduated from St. Bonaventure University, in the western part of the state, in 1994. Although she didn’t graduate with a degree in journalism, Kari has picked up the writing bug, just like her husband.
The Sports Gal debuted her own columns in 2007, reviewing, of all things, The Bachelor.
5. Her Brother, Jim, Passed Away in 2011
Kari’s brother, Jim Crichton, passed away in 2011 at just 49 years old in Suffern, New York. Kari and Jim also had one other brother, Joseph and grew up in Pleasant Valley, New York with their parents, James Sr. and Sandra.