Bill Simmons debuted a brand new buzzy show on HBO last night and brought on as one of his first guests Ben Affleck, an actor who cheated on his wife Jennifer Garner with their children's nanny. Ben Affleck is from the Northeast. There is a football team there called the New England Patriots which Ben Affleck loves very dearly. Probably more than his full-back dragon tattoo.
So Bill Simmons asked Ben Affleck on his show (which is supposed to be about sports) how Ben Affleck feels about Deflategate, a moment in sports drama where Tom Brady (football player) was suspended for (allegedly) deflating footballs during a playoff game to help his team win.
Affleck is angry about this. Like says "fuck" 15 times in 5 minutes kind of angry about this. He is also probably very drunk. His eyes are glazed over and his words to slip into each other. If he approached me in a bar looking and sounding like that, I would leave. Could this be caused by his passionate anger about Deflategate? Sure. Believe what you want.
On and on Affleck rants with Simmons trying to get a word in. "Tom Brady is fucking classy," Ben Affleck says. "I talk to fucking football players, pro football players. Across the board they think it’s bullshit."
The clip from the show available online is 5 minutes long. Affleck, semi-guided by Simmons, spends 4 minutes and 45 seconds ranting about deflated footballs in a single NFL game before he closes with this comment:
"We haven't done anything to address this crisis in domestic violence in the NFL, but the fucking football better not be 8% lighter."
Is he right? Absolutely! Maybe-drunk Ben Affleck is very right that the NFL should do something (anything) about how many of their players are domestic abusers. But that true scandal, the one that ruins lives and puts people in hospitals, is yet again a secondary footnote to the real drama: how a team won a fucking football game.
It's unsettling to watch a man as drunk or passionate as Ben Affleck gets in this clip, but it's also more than a little concerning for the future of the much anticipated Any Given Wednesday. If this show is going to be two white men, one drunk, sitting across the table from each other using violence against women as a piece of evidence for why a multi-million dollar a year athlete should have gotten a lesser punishment, then the only thing separating it from every other sports talk show on television is 15 f-bombs.
Kelsey McKinney is a culture staff writer for Fusion.