The Astonishing Reach of Bill Simmons

simmons09.19.08.pngDespite spending all day, every day surfing the Internet and getting pretty tired of the World Wide Web, occasionally we stumble upon something that shocks us. Today is one of those times.

Earlier, we were reading today’s column by ESPN.com’s Sports Guy Bill Simmons, in which he mentions Gunter Parache, suggesting with multiple exclamation points that his readers Google the name. (“That’s right, Gunter Parche! Google that!”)

And Google they have, in dramatic numbers.


When we checked 10 minutes ago, Parche — the German citizen who stabbed tennis star Monica Seles — was the hottest search term on Google Trends. The popularity peaked two hours ago, but its hotness level is still listed as “volcanic.” (Perhaps, Homeland Security should consider renaming threat levels with similar terms.)

Simmons has long been a huge draw for ESPN but even so, it’s almost unbelievable that one simple mention can alter the Internet landscape. Ah, the power of suggestion.

(“Talk like a pirate day,” which is currently capturing the hearts and minds of the Internet, only ranks eighth, with a “spicy” level of hotness.)