Culture

Bill Simmons Instagrams his anti-ESPN Starbucks cup

Commentary: The HBO sportswriter and TV host seems to have gotten a curious message on his coffee cup on Wednesday.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


And a good morning to you, too.

Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Some people claim to have funny names at Starbucks, just to see them written on their cup and called out loud.

Some have funny names given to them by baristas they know well. (I have received "Rasputin" and "Mr. Miserable.")

What, though, happened to HBO's Bill Simmons on Wednesday morning? The writer and TV host took to Instagram to offer evidence.

"An unexpected present from the barista at the Starbucks in Culver City," he wrote.

The present was a cup that wasn't adorned with the word "Bill" or even "That Man Who Used to Be on TV, I Forget His Name."

Instead, the cup read: "ESPN SUCKS!"

Should you not be a sporting sort, Simmons suffered a troubled exit from ESPN in 2015. He joined HBO, where his own talk show was canceled rather sooner than some might have expected, though he's still popular -- this post has already enjoyed more than 16,000 likes.

So what might have happened at this Starbucks? Was the barista showing his support for Simmons?

A Starbucks spokesman told me, "We regret that the incident happened, but we do think the partner had the best of intentions."

For its part, ESPN didn't offer its feelings on this grinding criticism.

The extremely jaundiced would muse that Simmons walks into his coffee shop and claims his name is "ESPN SUCKS!"

I don't believe that for a moment. This is LA. Everyone knows who's a star and who isn't, and this must have been a barista trying to ingratiate themselves with a star. That's what you do in LA.

The next step is, of course, for the barista to give Simmons a demo reel.

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