Monday, November 12, 2007

Post Number One Thousand Billion Million About Bill Simmons Being A Piece Of Shit

I hate Bill Simmons. You hate Bill Simmons. Anyone living south or west of Connecticut hates Bill Simmons. It's old hat.

Anti-media types everywhere love to trash on The Sports Guy. He's an easy target; he's popular and constantly writes things that, were they said out loud in a sports bar, would get the guy who spoke them kicked in the balls. He also riles people up by being snide, hypocritical, insufferably and outwardly homer-ish, and generically just a big bucket of douche. And of course, for every action, there's a reaction: whenever he gets trashed on teh blogowebs, commenters who love him come to his defense. They point out that he's not a traditional sports journalist and isn't paid to come up with "hard" analysis. He's just supposed to seem like an everyday friendly kind of guy who happens to write about sports. 97% of these people are fans of Boston sports teams; the other 3% are too apathetic about sports to notice the homerism and manage to somehow work their way through the rest of the issues listed above. So basically, what you're about to read is old hat. I'm not blazing any new trails here. Yawn. Another blogger ripping on Simmons? How un-groundbreaking.

So as I sat down at my keyboard to write this tonight, I had second thoughts. I legitimately considered not writing what I'm about to write, not just because it's trite at this point but also because Simmon's article is soooooo flagrantly ridiculous that it's basically not worth talking about.

In the end, though, I couldn't let it go. I just couldn't. I had to do this. This time, he's gone too far.

Experiencing the chill of 'Victory'

In a 24-hour span last weekend, I watched "Victory" on cable and the Patriots-Colts battle on CBS. The two events had more in common than you might think.

If you don't remember what happened in "Victory," the Nazis organized a war-time soccer game between a German squad and a team of POWs led by a potbellied Michael Caine and the stunt double used for every Michael Caine soccer scene.

By any calculation, it's one of the 10 greatest sports movies ever. But my favorite part, other than Pele's wooden acting and the 15 different chill scenes during the game? Max von Sydow playing the Good Nazi -- the German officer who loves soccer and was promised a fairly officiated game, then slowly realizes the game is fixed as the refs ignore every Nazi cheap shot.

From the time the movie was released in 1981, I have measured every real-life contest with shady officiating against that Nazis-Allies game. (Important note: Even though it's a fictional movie, I've seen "Victory" so many times during the past 25 years that I now feel like the game actually happened.)

Right now, if you are not named Sully or Murph, several thoughts should be sound in your head. Not necessarily in any specific order, they should include the following:

1) Referencing movies from 26 years ago that no one younger than 40 has seen is not cool
2) Comparing events in a real life NFL game against those in a movie from 26 years ago that no one under 40 has seen is not cool
3) It would have been pretty easy to complain about the officiating without bringing up Nazis, hey, I'm just saying is all
4) How has Simmons seen this movie "so many times" in the last 25 years? Does he have it on Laserdisc? I don't even think USA would show this at 4 in the morning
5) I can't believe I'm reading another blogger's anti-Simmons rant

In response to #5, don't worry about it. I'm doing this more for me than you.

So the irony of enduring the Pats-Colts game so close to my umpteenth "Victory" viewing was just too bizarre. In fact, here's how bizarre it was -- while watching "Victory," I thought to myself, "I hope this isn't how the Pats game is called tomorrow."

As it turned out, I wasn't far off. Nobody outside of Boston made a big deal about the officiating because the Patriots prevailed.

Nobody outside of Boston made a big deal about the officiating because it wasn't one-tenth as bad as people like Simmons made it out to be. That's right, I said it. There were 2, maybe 3 blown calls during the whole game. (We'll go over those later.) Also, speaking of irony: correct me if I'm wrong, but weren't the Patriots once on the good end of one of the most controversial and almost definitely blown calls in the history of the NFL? And didn't it happen in a playoff game? During a season in which they ended up winning the Super Bowl? Are there any Raiders fans out there reading who can confirm my suspicions about this?

And besides, everyone was more interested in making excuses for the Colts (which reminds me, you can play the "Indy really missed Marvin Harrison card" so long as you also mention all the key guys New England was missing in the AFC Championship Game last January)

No. No. No. Considering that it's now this season, if you so choose, you can play that Marvin Harrison card all you want without mentioning something that happened last season. That's how sports work. Can Bears fans get away with saying "You can call our team bad all you want, as long as you also mention how good we were last year." I know several Bears fans. They would all laugh at any other Bears fan who said something like that. Because they are not living in the past.

and taking solace in the closeness of the game (giving everyone hope that New England's 19-0 season isn't a foregone conclusion).

The whole world isn't out to get New England, Bill. (Although they should be.) After it finished, most NFL fans who don't cheer for either the Patriots or Colt were enjoying what a close and exciting game it was. I mean, he's got people like me figured out. That's definitely exactly what I was doing. But what about some random die-hard Packers fan from Milwaukee? Or a Seahawks fan in Seattle? Were they really "taking solace" in the fact that Indy nearly won?

Few noticed the Patriots needed just nine minutes of quality football to defeat an undefeated Super Bowl champion on the road, or that they pulled off the comeback despite having 95 percent of the borderline calls go against them.

Again with the paranoia. I sure wish more of the sports world hated the Patriots. But based on my frequent browsing of all kind of teh blogosites, most people (besides their fans, Dolphin fans, Jets fans, and Colts fans) are pretty "meh" about them. The consensus is that while it's wrong of them to run up the score, you have to appreciate their talent and execution.

I knew the Pats were in trouble less than three minutes into the game, when Aaron Moorehead's entire left foot landed out of bounds on a first-down catch. Standing 10 feet away from him on either side, two officials improbably decided Moorehead landed inbounds, forcing the Patriots to waste a challenge to overturn a miserable call.

This is actual blown call #1 out of 2. And it got overturned. This kind of thing happens from time to time in the NFL. All 32 teams deal with it.

Of course, that moment wasn't one-tenth as egregious as the play when Ellis Hobbs got tackled from behind by Reggie Wayne while trying to catch an interception (8:58 remaining, second quarter), followed by the officials' whistling Hobbs for a 40-yard pass interference penalty because he made the mistake of bringing down Wayne's arms with his back. Hey, Indianapolis, here's a free first-and-goal for you guys. Enjoy!

Hmmmm... I didn't see that play. I did see a play in a similar situation during which Hobbs undercut Wayne without turning and looking for the ball. I wonder if Bill caught that one?

(Note: Watch NFL Network's replay of the game for the split-screen explanation by Mike Pereira, NFL vice president of officiating, who claims Hobbs impeded Wayne's path to the ball and initiated contact before turning around to find the football. Only one problem ... as Pereira is telling us this, the split-screen replay shows Hobbs turning around before there was any contact. It's an incredible 10 seconds of TV. I wish we could hire Pereira to describe other things that allegedly didn't happen while we show videotape to prove the opposite was true. "As this tape by Rick Salomon proves, Paris Hilton has never had sex with someone on camera ...")

This is by far the best paragraph in the article, and the primary reason I ended up talking myself into doing this post. Here's the video in question. There simply are not words to describe how wrong Bill is. Is he serious? To quote Larry David, "What [is he], fuckin' nuts?" Does he really expect anyone to watch the video and come to the same patently false conclusion he does? When combined with its corresponding video, this is officially the worst paragraph in the history of sports journalism. Now, is this a call you'll see made 100% of the time similar contact occurs? No. But as the rulebook goes, it was the correct call.

Throughout the game, the sketchy calls kept coming and coming. Like the head-scratching no-call when Dallas Clark pulled down Rodney Harrison as Harrison tried to catch an end-zone interception on Indy's first drive (10:09 remaining, first quarter).

Wrong. (Wish I could show you video.)

Like Asante Samuel's drawing a pass-interference penalty on an uncatchable 40-yard bomb that set up Indy's first field goal (4:14 remaining, first quarter).

This is actual blown call #2.

Like the incredible no-call when Moorehead blocked Rashad Baker in the back (how did Jim Nantz and Phil Simms both miss this?!?!?!?) to spring Joe Addai's 73-yard touchdown at the end of the first half.

Complaining about a missed block in the back call is so far from realistic I won't even address it besides saying that Bill must not watch a lot of football. Oh, and also, this one was about a two on a 1 to 10 scale of questionable blocks where 10 is the most questionable.

Like the 15-yard "unsportsmanlike conduct" call on Matt Light after Gary Brackett's interception, of which CBS couldn't even find a replay (14:04 remaining, fourth quarter).

Well if they didn't show a replay, it must not have happened! The use of quotation marks there is fantastic. I like this complaint almost as much as the Hobbs pass interference one; Bill clearly didn't see whatever Light did to draw the flag. And since CBS didn't show a replay (which is often the case with unsportsmanlike conduct calls), then it's automatically questionable. Great logic. You know what? I haven't seen any replays of O.J. Simpson "murdering" Ron Goldman. Maybe that never happened either.

Wait, there's more! There was the no-call when Rosie Colvin got held while trying to sack Peyton Manning on a crucial third-and-15 that the Colts ended up converting on their last touchdown drive (12:52 remaining, fourth quarter).

See: allegedly botched block in the back call.

Or the no-call on Indy's final drive when Bryan Fletcher was blocking Colvin at the end of a running play, got frustrated and ripped Colvin's helmet off right in front of an official (2:55 remaining, fourth quarter).

It was clearly intentional.

Or the no-call when Kevin Faulk got hooked directly in front of an official while reaching for a third-and-21 pass over the middle, followed by Tom Brady's flipping out and berating the official involved.

Brady: unbiased defender of truth and justice, who would have done the exact same thing had it been a Manning pass intended for Joe Addai. This is potentially actual blown call #3, but after watching it several times, I'm not so sure.

Or a pivotal first-and-goal interference call on Randy Moss when he made the mistake of running forward for five yards and turning around, which nearly murdered the Pats because they were trailing by 10 points and suddenly looking at first-and-goal from the 12 with less than nine minutes to play.

Moss has gotten away with so much offensive pass interference this year that it's not even funny. He's been running amok. How dare the refs actually call him for pushing off every once in a while!

(Note: I'd give you the exact times on those last two plays, but both of them were mysteriously deleted from the NFL Network's official replay of the game. Hmmmmmm.)

Yes, Bill. The NFL network is involved in a vast conspiracy to undermine New England's season and disband the team. Gregg Easterbrook is the mastermind, with Don Shula as his second in command. Keep telling yourself this. Nevermind that the NFL Network's official replays are heavily edited, omitting literally dozens of plays from every game that gets reshown. But go ahead, I'm all ears- tell me about how everyone is out to get you.

All in all, the Pats were whistled for a whopping 146 yards in penalties, a single-game record for the franchise. At one point, after a rarely seen "blocking someone while they're out of bounds" penalty on Willie Andrews, my dad called me just to say, "They're calling things that I never even knew were penalties!!!" It's one thing to have incompetent officiating for a football game; it's another thing to see nearly every call and non-call benefit the same team.

And it's yet another to see a guy who is a lifelong fan of one team and a rabid hater of the other claim such a thing when the two of them match up. This must be the first time in history of sports that someone thinks their team was treated unfairly.

In 60 minutes of play, only one borderline call went against the Colts -- a holding penalty on their second-to-last drive that erased a 25-yard Addai run.

Really? Where does it say that? The AP report of the game? Oh, nevermind. That's just a "fact" made up by Bill as he whips himself into a frenzy throughout the course of this article.

The final tally for the Colts: four penalties, 25 yards. We haven't seen homefield advantage work that well since Hitler invaded Russia.

Again with the Nazis! Although in this analogy, I guess the Patriots are actually being compared with them as both had to overcome the (alleged in one case, very real in the other) home field advantage. Then again, the Patriots ended up winning, so maybe he's trying to say... no, I won't go there.

With the Patriots playing at such a high level, you could argue the referees subconsciously favored Indy. After all, nobody likes rooting for Goliath.

The Patriots are no more Goliathish than the Colts (at least at the time the game was played). Both were undefeated. Of course, of the two, only one has been flagrantly running up the score on opponents all season. So maybe what Bill meant to say was "After all, nobody likes rooting for a bunch of dickheads."

We've seen this happen in basketball, when unstoppable big men like Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal were treated differently than everyone else by the officials; any defender was allowed to push, prod, elbow and basically clobber them for 48 minutes a game.

Shaq has averaged more than 10 free throw attempts per game throughout his career. Wilt averaged more than 11. I don't think either of these guys are/were hurting for calls. Also, this might be the first time I've heard anyone try to claim that dominant NBA players actually receive anti-preferential treatment from refs. Wow. Just... wow. Ask Dwyane Wade about that one.

But we've never seen it in football. So, yeah, you could say this happened. You could also say Roger Goodell doesn't want the Patriots to go 19-0, and the referees acted accordingly Sunday.

Yes. If you were delusional, and didn't bother to think about the massive ratings and exposure the league generates by having a team chase perfection well into November, and didn't further make the connection that Goodell is the league's commissioner, and undoubtedly sees those ratings and exposure as a good thing... yeah, you could say that. Hell, if you were that dumb, you could say almost anything. You could say that "Victory" is one of the ten best sports movies of all time. The sky is really the limit for your idiocy at that point.

You can't rank one fishy contest above another; you can only add them to the collection of ongoing examples. When Richard Steele stopped the Chavez-Taylor fight with two seconds remaining and Taylor leading every card, that wasn't any more or less fishy than Game 6 of the Kings-Lakers series in 2002, or the Soviets stealing the '72 gold medal from the USA hoops team, or Vince McMahon stealing Bret Hart's WWF title and giving it to Shawn Michaels, or the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl, or Games 3 and 4 of the 2006 NBA Finals between the Heat and Mavs, or even Robert Parish being allowed to remain in Game 5 of the '87 Eastern Conference finals after punching out Bill Laimbeer just a few feet from referee Jack Madden. The degrees of fishiness didn't matter as much as the general odor of rotten fish.

I can't help myself, I'm going to bring it up again. There's one more game that belongs on this list: it happened in 2002, and the Patriots were involved. So were the Raiders. And it was a playoff game. Give up? It was the 2002 Divisional Playoff game between the Raiders and the Patriots!

Last Sunday's game failed the seventh and last checkmark: Somehow, the Patriots overcame the "elements" and prevailed. Nobody praised them for this achievement because of everything that transpired since Week 1, when they cheated against the Jets, paid a stiff price and eventually evolved into the Cobra Kai Yankees, an arrogant, unapologetic, supremely confident juggernaut that ran up scores and turned everyone outside of New England against them.

I'm really not going to go over this too many more times. Plenty of people praised them. Plenty of fans, plenty of analysts. Of course, since Bill is such an arrogant fuckwad, and has already written three borderline-unreadable Patriot knob schlobbing columns this fall, he probably gets an outrageous amount of anti-Patriots hate email. This is probably the source of his impression that absolutely everyone hates New England. Bill, it's not them, it's you.

Was everything that "happened" (for lack of a better word) in Indy just a one-time deal?

What better word(s) can you substitute in there? Occurred? Transpired? Went down? I mean, I see what he's trying to say. He wants to say in a different way that the Patriots got screwed. But this is not the way to do so. At all.

Was it just an elaborate coincidence the Patriots couldn't buy a single break for the entire game? Was the NFL unveiling a new way of evening the score against New England because a $500,000 fine and the loss of a No. 1 pick weren't enough? Did the league decide no NFL team could conventionally stop the Pats, so they'll have to play against opponents AND referees for the rest of the season? Does the NFL have a hidden trigger much like the one used in the "Madden" video games, when everything starts going against your team as soon as it becomes clear there's a chance for an undefeated season?

No, no, no, and finally, no. This just in: the perceptions of a fan base about whether or not their team's game is being fairly officiated may or may not be accurate.

There's no way to definitively answer the previous paragraph.

I just did.

But if you're a fan of the Patriots, you've never felt as passionately about them as you do right now. The same "us against them" mentality that galvanized the coaches and players ended up galvanizing the fans as well.

Work with me here, Bill. We're going in circles.

You should see some of the texts and e-mails I received from friends during Sunday's game -- genuine anger and incoherence from some of the most rational people I know -- or the remains of my living room remote control, which didn't survive a 95-mph throw across the room after the no-call on Faulk.

I wish Rick Reilly were here so he could tell us that sports are just so darm beautiful sometimes.

Like everyone else who loves the Patriots, this season has become so personal that it's difficult to adequately describe. It's almost like watching a family member get raked through the coals, like being a member of Sen. Craig's family, only if he wasn't such a creep.

Are you sure it's not like being on of Hitler's closest personal friends as the Allies closed in on Berlin?

For better or worse, that's our mantra for the 2007 season. After the legitimacy of the three Super Bowl titles was questioned, there was only one response: 19-0. The players keep saying they're taking it one game at a time; I say they're full of crap. They want to join the '72 Dolphins and destroy everyone along the way. Why? Because bleep everybody, that's why. After Welker clinched the Colts game with a crucial first-down catch, he defiantly hopped up and screamed at the poor cornerback covering him, "YOU F------ SUCK!" Unquestionably, it was the defining play of the season -- not just that the Patriots converted the exact same situation that killed them last January (when they could have clinched a Super Bowl trip with one more completion on third-and-short), but that Welker displayed such arrogant disdain after finishing the Colts off.

Normally, I hate crap like that. Not this time.

Right. Not this time. Why? Because you're a fan of the team that's doing it. So stick with me here: I want you to take that mindset, and re-apply it to your opinions about the officiating during the Patriots-Colts game. See how that works? When your favorite team is involved in a situation, it makes you evaluate things differently than you normally would.

Once you enter "bleep-everybody" mode, it becomes a state of mind. You can't shake it. After they slaughtered the Redskins, everyone debated the merits of the Pats' running up the score and missed the larger point -- namely, that those inflated scores were serving a larger competitive purpose.

And although it may take a few years for them to fall from the ranks of elite NFL teams, those blowouts were also serving another purpose: ensuring as soon as said fall from grace occurs, every single other team in the NFL will be running up the score on the Patriots just like they did to opponents this year. Now, I can't get ahead of myself and be all excited about this. The fact remains that they're probably going to win it all this year. Still... when those blowouts do start happening, I'm going to enjoy them.

Later, generally defending his beloved Pats:

The players have always handled themselves with class, on and off the field.

Good thing he didn't include the coaching staff in that claim!

When everyone wanted them punished after CameraGate, they took their penalty without a whimper.

If only we could say the same about their fans in the journalism business.

When everyone wanted to turn them into villains, they puffed their chests and gave everyone an endless loop of Tony Montana's "Say hello to the bad guy!" scene in "Scarface" for the next two months.


Like it or not, everyone's getting something out of this. We get to watch one of the greatest NFL teams ever. We get to argue about them constantly. We get a world-class villain. And if they stumble some time in the next three months, we might even get a potential upset on the level of USA 4, USSR 3.

That's an insult to the 1980 US Hockey team, the 1980 USSR Hockey team, the Winter Olympics, the Summer Olympics, sports, and anyone reading it.

Again, this is totally new -- not just for Patriots fans, but for everyone rooting against them. Normally, we have to watch a sports movie like "Victory" to find a good villain. This is happening in real time.

Real time sports villians from the past 10-15 years:
Barry Bonds
Barry Bonds
Rae Carruth
Drew Rosenhaus
Todd Bertuzzi
John Rocker
Barry Bonds
Scott Stevens
Rasheed Wallace (although I do love him... "Both teams played hard. Both teams played hard.")
Mike Vick
Juan Gonzalez
Lawrence Phillips
Mike Tyson
Barry Bonds

Granted, almost none of these are villians for things they did on the field of play. Still.

And the quest for an undefeated season lingers over everything -- it's like watching someone throw a no-hitter, only if the no-hitter lasted for five straight months. Only two years ago, I wrote that the Colts would be crazy for pursuing an undefeated season and risking injuries when the only thing that mattered was a Super Bowl title. Now? I guess I'm a hypocrite.

Admitting it is the hardest part. Now the healing can begin.

If you asked any Patriots fan to pick between two doors that determined the rest of the season -- behind Door No. 1, the team would lose once but have a 100 percent chance to win the Super Bowl, and behind Door No. 2, there would be two-in-three chance at a 19-0 season or a one-in-three chance that the team would lose in the playoffs -- a surprising number of fans would roll the dice with that second door. Including me.

You heard it here first- if the Patriots go undefeated, there's only a 2/3 chance they win it all. If they lose a regular season game, might as well give them the Lombardi Trophy. Don't get me wrong, it's obvious they're the class of the league. Still, this is just a tad presumptuous.

If the undefeated season doesn't happen for the Patriots, let's hope it's because they were outplayed and not because of something more sinister.

(Larry B rolls eyes)

And let's hope this is the final time an NFL game gets compared to a soccer movie starring Sly Stallone and a bunch of Nazis ... and the comparison isn't a stretch.

Let's also hope this is the final time a sportswriter feels the need to reference either "Victory" or Nazis themselves four times in a single column.

Well that's all I've got. Be sure to check in Wednesday morning when I continue to venture into uncharted territory by making fun of Gregg Easterbrook for the exact same stuff I always do!


Tonus said...

I get the feeling that Phil Jackson is ghost writing articles for Bill "tuck rule" Simmons now.

Anonymous said...

Well, too bad the Tuck Rule was not a judgement call while P.I. is. The Raider game was called right, rule sucks? sure, right call? yes. The Hobbs play was a non-call at best. This site really nitpicks for no reason because they cant get jobs in journalism with their dad's money. Although Mariotti is a dick so I like the site name.

Jeff said...

pwned by anonymous!

Larry I can tell he's right too, because you've started using capital letters. Sellout.

pnoles said...

::sniff::....I...just can't believe that after my Dad donated 32 million dollars to the Chicago Tribune that they woulnd't let me become a small-time journalist. ::sniff::

Boy, are our parents rich!

eriz said...

actually that movies is loosly based on a friendly christmas eve soccer match between england and germany during WWI.

Also bill simmons is a big cry baby. Remember when the pats lost to the broncos in the playoffs 2 seasons ago? He bitched a lot then too

Anonymous said...

This is a perfect example of why Bill Simmons is such a horseshit hack!

In his (typical) rambling bullshit, he compares a Nazi POW camp with the Pats-Colts, then weaves in baseball references, hockey references and (naturally) a fucking NBA reference.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, content and subject matter of his "columns" aside, Simmons is a godawful writer. I think he just rambles into a digital voice recorder and then uses voice recognition software to transcribe his tripe.

I'd rather read something from Ted Simmons!

When began pimping this three-note hack (red sox, nba, poker) is what chased me away from its website.


Jeff said...

By the way Larry your sentiments on writing about Simmons are exactly the same as mine and writing about Jemele Hill. Like everything I read from her is ripe for a post. I just have to remind myself that just because 8 people read it on my site, doesn't mean I shouldn't keep posting her stuff.

jf said...

he sucks (he = the illustrious sports guy, not you larry b)

but, i have to admit i was a little disappointed you didn't mention the "it fits my criteria of 'games that are fishy because of their fishiness'" then goes on to make, and admit he's making, some shit pile list... then compare all the things that happened to the list he made for exactly this game... then make it some big point that the game encompassed all the points on the list... i can't believe that happened

few real nice one-liners too... one of my favorite pieces to date

jf said...

oh and to the anon nitpicking police guy... bitching about nitpicking, and then taking a single piece of the rebuttal article to complain about without mentioning anything else is... well, nitpicking

well done

fucking rich people and their fucking blogspots

larry b said...

Wow, so much love on the comment board.

Tonus- that's a great theory, although sometimes I wonder if Bill lets J-Bug and Hench get in there sometimes too.

Anonymous #1- You have just posted the all-time greatest comment in FireJay history. Congratulations. Can I pay you a million dollars to never read this site again? Because, you know, I have that kind of money lying around. Also: the tuck rule is definitely a judgment call.

Jeff- Yes, I am indeed a sellout. I got a new laptop (with my vast amounts of money) that has working shift keys. And you have 8 readers now??? When did this happen? Congrats, man! I had no idea. How did you do it? I'm jealous.

jf- Thanks for the kind words. I really should have worked the list in there, but that's the kind of Simmons bullshit that's borderline un-addressable. I'll cover it next time he makes up a checklist like that.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I choose not to create a login.

I admit yes I am nitpicking as well. But the difference is I have a job and dont have the time to create a webpage and copy the text of a bloggers comments commenting on a columnist.

I would say though, before attacking one of Simmons (Made up) lists, you should consider the one you made after not making a real point about Victory being a lame analogy in his column. I suppose the Godfather sucks to you cause it was made in the 70's and you could say "No one" has seen it?

Bash Mariotti all you want, you could argue he reports news, but Simmons is a humor columnist with a niche in the Northeast and nothing more.

larry b said...

I admit yes I am nitpicking as well. But the difference is I have a job

So do I! What are the odds we'd have something in common? Weird.

I would say though, before attacking one of Simmons (Made up) lists, you should consider the one you made after not making a real point about Victory being a lame analogy in his column. I suppose the Godfather sucks to you cause it was made in the 70's and you could say "No one" has seen it?

You're trying so hard, and I really respect that. But what you're doing here is called "creating a straw man." I didn't say no one has seen "Victory" because it's old. I say no one has seen "Victory" because no one has seen it, and that it also happens to be old. It sounds like a 26 year old version of "Glory Road" or "We Are Marshall." Inspirational sports movie based on a true story, blah blah blah. Will anyone be talking about either of those movies in 2033? Pretty unlikely. Obviously "The Godfather" falls into a slightly different category.

Like I was saying, though, good effort. You're trying sooooo hard.

Anonymous said...

To my fellow anom, I'm going to nitpick here, but are you seriously comparing Victory to the Godfather? Maybe you should reread Larry b's list, the criteria was mentioning a movie 26yrs old that no one under 40 has seen. See that's part of what makes the Godfather a classic, it stands up to the test of time while Victory is a movie no one under the age 40 has seen. Just saying.

As for Simmons, his niche is Boston which is a problem since he writes for a National audience. He's actually made me hate the Celtics. I didn't think it was possible.

Chris W said...


whatever happened to the way you used to post about Simmons.

You know "I really like Simmons when he's not writing about the Celtics, I mean he's a really excellent writer--he definitely does have's just--"

did you realize that the Simmons fanboys weren't buying it?

Or did you just get tired of living the lie?

larry b said...

Chris- Yeah. I was living a lie. The last time I genuinely liked Simmons was probably 2003. You saw right through me... you always do.

jones said...

Larry - were you born and raised in a meat freezer? Billions of people have seen "Victory". It sucks, but huge numbers of people have seen it mainly because it ran 23 times a week on HBO for about 12 years from 1987 forward.

"Why is this person talking about 'Star Wars', who's seen this crazy 'Star Wars' thing?"

anonymous - your employment status has nothing to do with anything. People comment on various things because it's enjoyable for them to do so; other people enjoy reading these comments.

This is pretty much what the Internet was invented for.

If you don't like it, build your own Internet, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Im not comparing Victory to Godfather from a quality perspective, but making the point that just because you have not seen the movie he references does not make it a poor analogy. I have seen the movie and am under 40. I cant then say well everyone has seen it, just as since you havent seen it you cant say no one has seen it. You still make the same sort of dumb list he does in your "Critique" of Simmons.

Although credit where credit is due. You are trying VERY hard with site. Nice effort.

eriz said...


Total US Gross:

$10.8 Million

"The Godfather"

Total US Gross:

$134.9 Million

Drew said...


I want to thank you for taking the time to post this SG rebuttal. He is getting into the offensively bad territory.

I have been an avid reader of his since his entry to Page 2. I used to be so excited when a new story link popped up.

Now, he just gets me agry with his homer-ism and badly constructed articles. He stinks these days and I am glad you are there to be the voice of a lot of peeps out there.

Someone has to say it...

Jim said...

Best you have done so far Larry. When I originally read that article I couldn't finish it, it was just awful. I was big fan of Simmons from about 02-06, then as the Boston area teams got better, he got worse, and worse, and worse. Simply unreadable now. I will now only read him through you! Keep it up!

Chris W said...


you fucking kidding me? victory?

i've never even heard of that fucking movie

Anonymous said...

Larry -

One other thing I think you missed, that really angered me. Take a look at the "you can't rank one fishy contest" paragraph again. He throws in the Parish haymaker as the token "hey, Boston gets away with stuff too, see, I'M SO UNBIASED" example. Except he picked Parish's knockout of the dirtiest player in the league, a blow that pretty much every non-Piston fan was happy to see. It's a subtle little "yeah, but hey, Boston sports teams, even when they get away with stuff, it's really all for the greater good." (What, no mention of the last time a Boston team got caught with a camera in an odd place?

The reason why Simmons is justifiably hated is because he's a niche sportswriter given top billing on the USA's most watched sports network's website. If he wants to be the Boston Sports Guy, he's welcome to do so, but please try to leave the rest of us out it - your little New England circlejerk is an unwelcome site to much of the rest of the nation.

Good Lord, I actually used to enjoy seeing the Patriots succeed - now I feel sick every time they win, solely because of this moron.

larry b said...

Thanks all for the encouragement. Please keep reading.

Godfather Trilogy's rank in DVD sales on #150
Victory's rank: #2,976

Also, those box office numbers need to be adjusted for inflation since Godfather came out 8 years earlier.

I love you because you're a regular commenter, but I'm staying firm on my stance about the complete obscurity of "Victory." Also, honestly, do you even have to ask where I was born? Obviously, in the very basement which I currently call home! Duhhhhhhhhhhhhh

larry b said...

Also, anonymous guy who I'm sparring with here: there's a difference between Bill's list and mine. Mine is just a general list about what people should think about his referencing of "Victory." His is an unofficial checklist to confirm that a certain situation (fradulent officiating) is happening. Again with the straw man. Not all lists are bad. Just made up lists, completely tailored to one's very subjective viewpoint of a situation, that are supposed to objectively prove that a certain sitation is occurring.

As Chris W would say, sheesh

larry b said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

"Not all lists are bad. Just made up lists, completely tailored to one's very subjective viewpoint of a situation, that are supposed to objectively prove that a certain sitation is occurring."

- Thats exactly what your list is, the B.O. mean nothing, and neither do DVD sales. The point is, it is a known sports movie (I would guess more than 50%) sports fans would understand (not just the few people commenting here) and it helped make his point whether you agree or not. Your list does the exact same thing his does, its made-up and tailored to fit your subjective viewpoint.

andy said...

First of all, not that it really matters, but I'm 25 and had never heard of the movie victory.

Second of all...thank you very much. I rarely get riled up by simmons anymore, because I know he's really not worth it, but I just saw the tagline on the worldwide leader's front page and started steaming enough to read (half) of the tripe he called an article. I hadn't read the whole thing until I saw it here. Thank you again. I had many of the same thoughts, but you guys are so much more eloquent/funny about it. I need to move back into my parents' basement so I can learn to do this too. Keep it up

larry b said...

Thanks Andy. Keep reading.

anon- I'm only going to go over this one more time. Bill made up a list that he purports to use in any situation to determine whether officiating is biased or not. (How convenient! In his view, all his points but one fit perfectly with the Pats/Colts game!) I made up a list that I purport to use in order to point out Bill was being stupid in that one exact situation. His list is intended for universal use, even though it's widely open to interpretation. My list is intended for use in this one exact situation, and is much less open to interpretation.

Should I explain this while using Nazism as part of an analogy? Would that help clear things up?

eriz said...

Also, those box office numbers need to be adjusted for inflation since Godfather came out 8 years earlier.

Nah, a bunch of that moolah is from 1997 when godfather was released in theatres. Plus no need to make 3 inflation calculations to prove that the godfather is like a billion times more popular/noteworthy than mother-fucking "victory"

jf said...

anon: "making things up is bad"


anon:"i'd guess, ummm, 50% or more sports fans have seen victory"

but wait, didnt you... isn't making up and guessing... ehh, nevermind

and say it with me this time:

well done

hmmm, making random wild claims with no factual evidence... has seen victory... poorly supports his points through shitty writing.... contradicts himself often... if anon keeps this up and says he knew oden would suck because he saw how he walked at the VMAs or some shit while hanging out with JIMMY KIMMELLLLLL (you know he used to work for jimmy, and he watches football with him!) then i don't think it would be too much of a stretch to assume anon and the sports guy are one and the same

Chris W said...

Look: I'll say it again.

I've never even HEARD of victory.

It's not like I've heard of the plot of victory but never knew the movie's name and now i'm like OH that's victory!

It's not like I knew there was a Michael Caine movie where he was a soccer player but never knew that it was called victory.

It's not like I've ever heard someone talking about soccer movies or a movie called victory and now I know that that's the soccer movie Victory they're talking about.

I've NEVER ONCE heard anyone even BREATHE a fucking whisper about victory. If in fact Victory was a movie of any renown, this situation (that I've never even heard of the movie) would be unlikely for a number of reasons

1.) I watch a lot of movies
2.) I was a film major in college and watched a lot of movies
3.) I have been watching HBO and so forth since I was like 12
4.) I hang out with a bunch of people who like really bad and obscure movies
5.) since I'm in grad school a lot of my friends are in their late 20's early 30's so I have a wide range of age groups to choose from.

This is essentially like reading Chuck Klosterman and seeing him go on and on about how relevant Ratt is. No Chuck, no one younger than 25 has really heard Ratt, Ratt hasn't touched their life. Maybe if you grew up in the 80's, you listened to Ratt, but once 1989 became 1990, Ratt stopped being relevant. And the thing is: Ratt was probably about 20 times as popular in their heyday than the movie Victory was.

Victory is a stupid reference. Why no reference "Semi-Tough" or something like that. Or THE PROGRAM. Remember that fucking movie?

No? Neither do I except that it existed and that some kid got hit by a car b/c of it.


Anonymous said...

"1) Referencing movies from 26 years ago that no one younger than 40 has seen is not cool"

- Really? that's not open to interpretation? No matter if you say it or not, the meaning behind what you write (or can be inferred) is that you can use your list to compare any seemingly obscure reference from a column and if it meets the test of your list then its dumb. You really are doing exactly what you hate Simmons for doing.

jf - Taking an (un)educated guess on the percent of fans who have seen victory isnt making up facts. Saying No one under the age of 25 has seen it and use that statement as the basis for a column is. I dont see any "wild" claim I have made, I just disagree with the author nothing more nothing less.

Drew said...


Some of you jokers are missing the point of this article. Who cares about the Movie reference.

It's about the decline of a good columnist and his arrogant insistence and blind assessment re: the Pats/Colts game.

It was almost as bad as not writing an article about the Super Bowl. He just couldn't get over his homer-self to say, ya know what, not the best game but the Colts deserved it.

And I don't even like the Colts! I am a Browns fan.

He should be writing for the Boston Globe at this point...

Anonymous said...

Don't you get it? Simmons isn't being serious, he's just making fun of Patriot fans. If you read the column in question as if it were serious, it doesn't make any sense. So clearly, he's just spoofing how Bellichek's paranoia has taken over the NE fan base. It's a pretty brilliant article and I think the reference to the obscure movie is just part of the satire. The fact that he writes for ESPN makes it perfect. Now we just need a column about how MLB tried to stop the Red Sox from winning the world series but they won anyway.

Anonymous said...

Thank God someone wrote this. When I read this Simmons column, I felt like I couldn't breathe. As he recounts the officiating, I remember thinking to myself: Does this lunatic think he can change reality by making shit up and typing it into his computer? Simmons has gone from being hilarious to entertaining to repetitive to annoying to downright despicable. So, thank you... I can breathe again.

Patrick Magee

Jonah Falcon said...

All you need to know about Victory was that it starred Sylvester Stallone as a soccer player. (rolling eyes)