Ryen Russillo
Ryen Russillo is leaving ESPN for The Ringer (Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images for Rhone)

There are not a lot of people I respect at ESPN. Ryen Russillo is one of them. Well, I guess I should say was one of them. I didn’t tune into Russillo often. However, when I did, he typically had something smart to say whether I agreed with his point or not. Isn’t that the entire job of a sports analyst? Russillo was one of the few respectable names at ESPN. Now he is leaving to join Bill Simmons full time with The Ringer.

Over the last two years, Russillo split time between ESPN and The Ringer. At ESPN, he did the Russillo Show podcast. At The Ringer, Ryen primarily did his Duel Threat podcast which was a combination of NFL and NCAA Football content. He also made numerous appearances on other podcasts at the company most notable, the Bill Simmons Podcast.

This is probably a good thing for the viewer. ESPN prefers clowns like Jalen Rose and Stephen A Smith. Those are the guys that shit hole company wants to succeed. Guys like Russillo never got the publicity they deserved. That’s despite the fact that Russillo recently put Rose in his back pocket and it seemed like nobody cared.

Bill Simmons had this to say about the acquisition of Russillo:

“Ryen was one of my most talented co-workers when we worked together at ESPN, and I’ve been just as impressed these last 12 months with how easily he fit into everything we’re doing at The Ringer,” Simmons told Sports Business Daily.

ESPN can’t get anything right. One of the few things they did was the segments Scott Van Pelt put Russillo on late night Sportscenter. That’s over now. Maybe they will beg Stephen A Smith to work a 20th hour of the day. Now we get to hear more of Bill Simmons banging his head against the wall about what ifs and hypotheticals. I’m hoping Russillo expands on some of his content moving forward. As a full time employee of The Ringer, I’m sure that’s the direction things are going.