Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Let's Not Build This Up Too Much

Because if I do, I'm just going to let you all down. Let's just leave it at this: Bill Simmons has written an article comparing the 1986 Celtics to the 2007 Patriots. And it is awful. "Mission Impossible 2" awful. Worse than Jemele Hill awful. "Last Call With Carson Daly" awful. Crap, I'm building it up.

Breaking down Beantown's best

Breaking down the spirit of any ESPN.com reader who doesn't give a shit about Boston sports.

When the Colts ducked the AFC Championship Game with an indefensible choke job against San Diego, many die-hard Boston fans thought the same thing: Ralph Sampson.

After all, a heavily favored Lakers team pulled the same trick in the '86 Western Conference finals, allowing themselves to be "shocked" by the upstart Rockets -- with Sampson making the series-winning shot in Game 5 at Los Angeles -- to avoid what would have been a ritual beating by an unstoppable Celtics team. Twenty-two years later, Indianapolis couldn't beat the banged-up Chargers at home when the refs were handing the defending champs every call and Billy Volek and Norv Turner were prominently involved. Did they want any part of the Patriots in Foxborough? Apparently not.

Since Bill is so often creating rules and manifestos for analyzing stuff, let's just take this one and apply it to every single possible situation. Anytime the second best team in any competition loses to someone other than the best team, it's because they subconsciously chose to. They were afraid. They couldn't deal with the idea of ultimately receiving a "ritual beating" from that top seeded team later on. It's a fact. Write it down. Chisel it into stone, and mail a copy of the stone to every single coach of any team at any level anywhere in the country. They can use the stone as a paperweight, and a reminder of the above stated rule. Let's break down some recent examples.

2006 NFL Playoffs- The Ravens, terrified of having to potentially play the top seeded Chargers for the AFC Championship, subconsciously default their divisional round game to the Colts. (Just another example of how smart Brian Billick is/was.) The Chargers go on to win their first Super Bowl. Shawne Merriman is initially thought to be having a seizure during the postgame on-field celebration; it is later discovering he was just dancing like a fucking idiot.

2004 NBA Finals- Coming to grips with the obvious fact that no team of mortals will be able to best the unstoppable Lakers, the Pacers subconsciously decide to mail in their Eastern Conference championship series against the Pistons despite having won 61 games during the regular season. Reggie Miller subconsciously allows Tayshaun Prince to block his layup during the turning point of the series's 5th game. Detroit ultimately decides not to play LA for the NBA title, and instead immediately hangs a "2004 Eastern Conference Champions and NBA Finals Losers" banner in the rafters of their arena the day after topping Indy. Shaq, displeased by this because he wanted to actually play out the games, personally goes to the home of each Pistons player and defecates on their lawn.

2003 MLB Playoffs- Subconsciously realizing they are absolutely no match for the invincible Yankees, the Cubs decide to graciously allow Marlins to win the NLCS. It's a sensible move; they wouldn't want to put their fans through such a painful near miss! After initially refusing to even take the field against lowly Florida, the Yankees are eventually coerced to do so by Bud Selig who promises to take them all to Six Flags if they play. Yankees sweep the Marlins for their 27th World Championship. George Steinbrenner buys himself another helicopter filled with Faberge eggs.

So as you can see, Bill's right.

In the process, they cheated two unforgettable teams of punctuating unforgettable seasons by topping their natural rivals.

How selfish and rude. Who do they think they are? Losing games subconsciously on purpose like that, and taking the shine off someone else's championship! The nerve. Maybe they should have been thinking about someone other than themselves when they painfully blew those playoff games. Their fans should be embarrassed. And should also start hanging out in Joe Montana's diner. And letting a smarmy Masshole guy make chippy one liners to them about how their players are girly and Tom Brady and Larry Bird are so sexy, they have semen running through their veins.

And that's not where the similarities begin and end with the '86 Celtics and the '07 Patriots. For the past few months, I've been avoiding the inevitable "Dr. Jack breakdown" because the responsibility of choosing between the best Boston-area teams of my lifetime was too overwhelming.

Sound exhausting. I'm impressed you're willing to take on this massive challenge. I'm sure there's a terrible 80s movie with a plot that perfectly parallels this situation. See, here's things the way I see them. Some people just weren't wired to deal with success and happiness. You know that guy from college who you wanted to avoid after he hooked up with a chick, or when he was having a fun night out at the bars? The guy who was just too happy with himself for his own good? The guy who just couldn't seem to handle his shit when things were going well? The guy who would tell you unsolicited stories about his exploits, when a normal person who went through the same thing(s) was content to just sit back and enjoy his good fortune on his own? Take that guy and make him a thousand times more hateworthy. Then give him a job at ESPN, and provide him with a rabid group of delusion bandwagon jumping readers who are convinced they are better/more significant sports fans than people who like other teams. That's Bill, three years ago. Today? I have no idea how to describe him.

But following the undeniable parallels between the Lakers-Rockets and Colts-Chargers outcomes, in the words of REO Speedwagon, I can't fight this feeling anymore.

If I ever am hired by a major media outlet to write down my thoughts, I will be sure to reference as few 80s love ballads as possible.

(One crucial anti-jinxing note: So I don't have to keep writing "assuming the Pats eventually win the Super Bowl" throughout the column, we'll shorten that phrase to the acronym "ATPEWTSB." Got it? I don't want to be blamed if this Patriots' season somehow goes to hell.

Don't flatter yourself. Although I do hope that if the Patriots lose, some crazed fan actually does come to the conclusion that it was all Bill's fault and decides to collect on the bounty Kissing Suzy Kolber has put out on his hands.

This is a hypothetical analysis predicated on the realistic assumption that the Patriots, currently 1-3 favorites to win Super Bowl XLII and 14-point favorites in the AFC title game, will win two more games. Which seems fairly likely. You have to admit.)

I have to admit that I hate Simmons and every team he's ever written a puff piece about. That's the extent of things.

All right, let's break this baby down, Dr. Jack style …

I don't have the time or energy to cover every one of Bill's made up comparison categories, but I will hit some key highlights. If you really want to lose your lunch, follow the link and read the full 40,000 word treatise. There's not much to say about most of them except "Sheeeeeeeeit" or "fucksheeeeeeit" or "I want my 20 seconds back."

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Tom Brady submitted the best regular season in quarterbacking history (4,804 yards, 50 touchdowns, eight picks and a 117 QB rating)

Peyton Manning's 2004, a season in which he only played in 15 games (plus a single non-TD drive before being benched in the meaningless 16th game): 4557 yards, 49 touchdowns, 10 INT, 121 QB rating. Take out Brady's meaningless 16th game and he's below 4500 yards and now has only 48 TDs. His rating would also drop because he completed more than three quarters of his passes in that meaningless game. So, no, he didn't just submit the best regular season in quarterbacking history.

and came within a Wes Welker drop and an uncalled interference penalty away from completing every pass against the Jaguars in the AFC divisional playoffs.

He can thank his offensive line for that.

Meanwhile, Larry Bird cruised to his third straight MVP award in '86, averaged a 26-9-8 for the playoffs and created the 90-50-40 Playoff Club (90 percent from the line, 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range).

He created it a whole seven seasons after the 3-point line was implemented into the rulebook. Fuck you, guys who played before 1979. You're not allowed to be in the club. Pete Maravich? More like Pete Marabitch. Jerry West? Fairy West.

The phrase "peak of his powers" applies to both guys, and both were true leaders who connected with teammates on a supernatural level -- Brady and his receivers with their uncanny ability to freelance at the line of scrimmage,

Dozens of NFL quarterbacks do this. Few have the amount of time to throw or weapons to throw to that Brady enjoys, which is why they don't have his numbers. But this is no more "supernatural" than a second baseman/shortstop combo who sometimes pull off a no-look double play flip.

Bird and his teammates with their unselfish passing.

I've seen a lot of basketball in my day. Some guys are much better at passing than others. Bird was really good. I still have a hard time believing the adjective "supernatural" is applicable.

Now that's Supernatural!

Here's the trump card: I can't imagine any professional athlete executing his job better than Brady did through these first 17 games: He made the single toughest position in sports

Hockey goalies might have something to say about that. Or baseball pinch hitters, if that counts as a position. Or Olympic-level ping pong players.

look easy, and every time the Patriots needed him to come through, he did come through.

Every time they needed another TD to push their lead from 28 to 35, he was right there. What a gamer.

On top of that, he excelled during an unhealthy era in which we digest sports through various mediums, argue about them constantly and pick athletes and coaches apart on a 24/7 basis.

This is why not everyone makes it as a pro athlete- they're worried about what Tony Kornheiser is going to say about them on PTI, and whether or not people want them on their fantasy teams.

As Tony Romo showed over the past few weeks, many of these "superstars" can't handle it.

Yes. Romo can't handle the spotlight. That was his one and only problem last Sunday. Not happy feet. Not a vicious New York pass rush. Not mediocre mechanics. It's all about the fact that some reporters asked him about his recent vacation. Brady is so damn excellent at dealing with his off the field nonsense; that's the difference between him and Romo. Besides their offensive lines. And talent.

PRIZE ADDITION
Both Randy Moss and Bill Walton were considered on the downside of their careers, both were rescued from bad teams, and both transformed their teams from "really good" to "great." Statistically, Moss crushes Walton in every respect; his ability to stretch defenses, draw double-teams and provide a home-run threat for Brady dwarfs anything Walton did for the Celts. So this shouldn't be close.

Still, Walton's undeniable contributions remind me why I despise the increasing reliance on complicated statistics for basketball judgments: That season, he only averaged 20 minutes, 7.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists -- not breathtaking numbers by any imagination -- and yet, you had to be there to witness his infectious and sorely needed enthusiasm, the otherworldly way he and Bird freelanced together on pick-and-rolls, the way the Garden crowd responded to him, and how Walton's minutes allowed Bird, McHale and Parish to stay fresh AND keep the team playing at a high level.

Heart! Gristle! Grit! Guttiness! Playing the game the way it was meant to be played! Being white! The ability to enchant fans despite being objectively (basketball stats are not as straightforward an indicator of performance as baseball stats, but they're still pretty good) not that important to the team! That's what Walton brought to this Celtics team, and people all over New England who love white athletes rejoiced. I like Bill's thinly veiled shot at complicated basketball stats like PER here. Why use something like that, which quantitatively measures nearly every way a guy can help his team, when you can just vaguely speculate about someone's value based on the way the crowd responds to him?

With that said, the neatest thing about the Walton/Moss parallel is how they pushed the careers of Bird/Brady to another level. Nothing was more exciting this season than seeing Brady take seven steps back, plant his feet and heave the football as far as he possibly could to Moss,

What made these plays possible? Thanks again, offensive line. Here's your courtesy photo op, because you have crazy facial hair! Now go back to anonymity so we can all gargle Brady's balls some more.

and if you were a true basketball fan, there was nothing like watching Bird and Walton run pick-and-rolls and give-and-gos like they'd known each other for 30 years. What a cool category. I feel honored just to be writing this section.

Wow. Way to compliment yourself for something you made up, while still working on that something. That's incredible. Nothing says "douche" quite like patting yourself on the back for something you're not even done creating.

You're doing a great job on this post, Larry. Well thank you, it's an honor to be here. No problem, keep up the good work. Great.

What the hell is going on?

DEFINING REGULAR-SEASON GAME
Could you narrow it down to one for the Pats? I don't think you can -- at gunpoint, I'd go with the Giants game, but you could make strong cases for four or five other ones.

I would vote for the one where they scored like four extra garbage time TDs well after the game was in hand. Yeah, I remember that games well. All seven or eight of it.

As for the Celtics, one definitely stands out: A January comeback win when the Hawks raced to a 27-point lead at home and made the unforgivable mistake of talking trash right before halftime, leading to a ferociously ticked-off Boston team roaring back, scoring 14 straight in the fourth quarter and eventually winning in OT. I have this one on tape -- in the second half, the entire Celtics team morphs into Clint Eastwood during the final 15 minutes of "Unforgiven." It's incredible to watch. This game should run on ESPN Classic once a week.

Yeah, what sports fan wouldn't want that? I can't believe this hasn't already happened. I mean, if you like sports, you have to like the exact same teams and moments Bill likes, right? How could you not? It's the fucking 1986 Celtics, man. Destiny's team. What? You don't care? You want to see a variety of programs, covering teams from many different cities? Go watch QVC or something. Pussy. You're Canadian, aren't you?

HOME CROWD
Almost as big of a mismatch as Belichick-Jones, only the other way: The '86 Celtics had one of the most significant home-court advantages in sports history, finishing 50-1 at home (including the playoffs) and breaking records for "Most times a group of fans recognized that a great pass was about to happen even before it happened," and "Most times a crowd has ever lifted a team from one level to another."

We've seen this from Bill before: the idea that Boston fans are just different and smarter and more influential and more powerful than fans from anywhere else. In reality, the only thing that separates those of them that actually believe this from everyone else is being the country's only contingent of fans deserving of being launched into deep space. Listen, fuck-oes: you're not special. You're not different. I don't care what ESPN told you. Here's a bouncy ball. Go play in traffic. (Again, this only applies to those of you who think you're different and special. Which can't be anyone left reading at this point in the post.)


LOCAL LOVE FOR THE TEAM
ATPEWTSB, the Pats have a built-in advantage for the simple reason that football is more popular than basketball. On top of that, when the Patriots were vilified nationally after SpyGate, that made Patriots fans more attached to the team and the season became about something else. Everyone loved the '86 Celtics, but this Patriots season has been different -- it's a much more personal experience as a fan, something that can't fully be explained. When you're rooting for a team that everyone is rooting against, it's almost debilitating. I'm not kidding. I need a vacation after this season.

Please, for Christ's sake, take it. Take it and never come back. Go see Europe. All of it. You've always wanted to do that. Or go hole yourself up in a cabin somewhere and write that novel you've been thinking about all these years. As long as it's not about sports.

QUIRKIEST WRINKLE
For the Pats, it's the fact they finished 16-0 even though they were basically running Warren Moon's old run-and-shoot offense for the past 10 weeks. (I didn't even realize this until stumbling across highlights of an old Oilers game and realizing their offense looked familiar.)

Like fuck he did. I will bet you US $1000 that this is a huge lie. Bill did not notice this on his own. I've never been more sure of something unprovable in my life. There is zero chance he "stumbled" across this. He was undoubtedly tipped off on it by someone who actually knows shit about football, and is now trying to impress his readers. Just like how he always talks about how hard he used to drink in college. Similar to how I always claim to know what it's like to work a steady job and not live at home well into your 20s.

CAPACITY TO SHAME BIGGEST RIVAL INTO SUBCONSCIOUSLY GIVING UP BEFORE THE DAY OF RECKONING
Rockets-Lakers was an enormous upset, but not totally: The '86 Lakers were a subpar rebounding team and an aging Kareem was too much of a ninny to deal with the young legs of Sampson and Hakeem. So it was a semi-defensible upset until the series-clinching game, when Hakeem got thrown out for fighting and the Lakers still managed to choke at home. Really, that's how a defending champ should go out? Come on. As for the Chargers-Colts game, even though San Diego showed an immense amount of heart and Norv Turner's play calling was so good that he nearly caught fire on the sidelines at one point like an "NBA Jam" character, you can't say enough about that gag job by the defending champs. What a disgrace. Part of winning a title is defending the title after you win it … and that wasn't anything remotely resembling a defense.

Kind of reminds me of 2002, when the Patriots missed the playoffs the year after winning the Super Bowl. Nice title defense right there. Or 2006, when they were two-time defending champs and proceded to shit the bed big time against Denver in the divisional round. Speaking of gag jobs, the defining play of that game happened when Brady hit Champ Bailey directly in the hands in the Denver end zone to thwart a potential go-ahead drive. But I digress. Comments like Bill's here are the quintessence of insecurity. Trash-talking journalism only comes from writers who are more concerned with crapping on their team's rival than actually coming up with something most people might find readable or relevant. So when that rival loses a big game, it's all about "disgrace" and how pathetic the rival is. Look, the Colts weren't at their best. But Manning was good/great. Both his picks bounced off receivers' hands. And somehow, some way, Philip Rivers went off. The end result was that the Chargers won that game, the Colts didn't lose it. Any Colts fans out there who are feeling bad should just read this. Might be my favorite Simmons article ever. And it should be noted that as a fan of a rival AFC team, I hate the Colts.

THE GRANDKIDS TEST
Whether it's a team or a player, the test remains the same: Will you be bouncing your grandkids on your lap some day and telling them how great Player X or Team X was? (Note: I always thought this would be a great way to decide the Hall of Fame -- if somebody doesn't pass the Grandkids Test, they're out.)

Other HOF methods that are just as effective and reasonable as the Grandkids Test:
-The cherry pick one stat test
-The cherry pick one significant game he played well in test
-The cool name or nickname test
-The goofy facial hair test
-The I heard a funny story about him partying on a road trip this one time test
-The only enshrine guys who played for your favorite teams test
-The yeah but they let Gary Carter in test
-The I don't know, I mean he was pretty good wasn't he? test

MY DAD'S TAKE
With the Celtics holding a slim 12-10 lead, I phoned my father to get his grizzled take for the deciding verdict. Here's a rough transcript of our conversation:

Finally, Bill goes straight to the foremost authority on Boston sports to settle the argument. Why didn't he just do this from the beginning?

Dad: "I guess. [Thinking.] I have to go with the '86 Celtics. There was no way we were losing that season. Nobody could beat us in the Garden. With the Pats, our defense makes me nervous and nothing made me nervous during that Celtics season. Then again, if the Pats go 19-0 … [thinking] … you know, I can't believe you're doing this before the last two games! Why are you doing this again? This is the dumbest thing you've ever done -- it's even dumber than the time your car got stolen because you left your keys in your car door. Can't you wait three weeks? I'm hanging up."

FINAL VERDICT
We have to wait three weeks. For now, the Celtics have a slight edge. To be continued.

Gag me. So not only has Bill wasted almost everyone's time on a topic 90% of his readership doesn't actually care about, he won't even settle the debate for those who do. All I can say is please, whoever is in charge up there in the sky or the stars or wherever the shit you live- give America something to smile about this Sunday. Let the Chargers march into Foxboro and hand the Patriots' shit to them in a neat little box with a bow on top. Let LDT go off for 200 and 4 TDs. Let Antonio Gates magically heal and force Rodney Harrison into a constant stream of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties by pissing him off while beating him deep. Let Antonio Cromartie get in Brady's head and leave some Snickers wrappers lying around (Curb, anyone? Anyone?). Let Eric Weddle get a more masculine name. Hell, let Merriman act like a dipshit all afternoon, I don't care. I don't care. (No Philip Rivers allowed, though. That guy is a fuckstick. Let's keep Billy Volek at QB.) Please, please, please let this painful story have a happy ending.

Can you imagine the stuff Simmons will write if the Patriots lose? I can promise I wouldn't waste any of my time tearing it apart. It'd be just fine on its own. And we could all laugh together.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

--Part of winning a title is defending the title after you win it … and that wasn't anything remotely resembling a defense.--

2005 Red Saux swept by the White Sox 3-0.

Chris W said...

oh no but don't bring up the 2005 white sox because that will remind me of how THEY defended their title

blanco112 said...

How does this keep happening? I mean really? Are there that many Boston-liking people? Or is that so many people hate him they just want to see what kind of bullshit he writes next? How can ESPN literally pay a guy to write to one specific city out of all the sports cities and the US? And why of all cities is it Boston? Is it too late to change the name of this site to Firebillsimmons.com? Does it already exist? I wonder if my parents have room in their basement so i can start this...

Andrew said...

The only thing that could be better than a Pats loss on Sunday would be if it was coupled with Simmons and his dad dying of heart attacks in the waning minutes.

(At first I thought this was too cruel, and then I reread the article.)

Tonus said...

Someone remind Bill Simmons that the Celtics had a chance to administer a ritual beating to the Lakers the very next season... and failed.

cs said...

Great, great job ripping that column apart.

First of all, I don't want Simmons to have a heart attack if the Pats lose. I want to hear his pain and dejection in his podcast following it. I want to hear it. I want to soak it in. I want to rub my headphones all over my body.

Secondly, this: "What a cool category. I feel honored just to be writing this section."

What a fucking asshole. I'm glad you included this. We are three weeks away from Bill Simmons referring to himself as Bill Simmons.

I am never more happy to be living with a Giants fan. I can only hope, with the grace of God, they overcome the Packers and beat the Pats on a last second FG in the SB. A real soul destroying loss for Boston. Where the city is cast in perpetual darkness for years. One that reverses everything. Then the Celtics completely fold and lose to the Wizards in Round 2 of the playoffs. And the decline of the Red Sox, and a return to 20 years of a championshipless Boston. And things will be so bad, management will finally decide to knock Fenway down. And even though 30,000 diehard fans, Simmons, House, Jbug included, protest by sitting in the stands, they demolish it anyway.

larry b said...

Excellent point by Tonus. What a "disgrace" those 1987 Celtics were! You call THAT a title defense? They lost to a team that wasn't even in the finals the year before. Gag job all the way.

CS- Not tha monstah! Oh Gawd, save us Davey Robahts!

Anonymous said...

The irony of this column is there is really only one reason why he'd write it with 2 games to go in the Patriot's season.
He's nervous the Patriots won't actually win the next two games, preventing him from making this comparison he's been dying to make all season. So he pulls the trigger a little early, adding some stupid caveat at the start to recuse himself of jinxing the team.
But in the process, he submarines his whole premise of Patriot dominance. After all -- if they're so dominant and such a sure thing, surely he could have waited three weeks before publishing this excrement.

Jim said...

Fantastic piece...
Let's get a Pittsburgh writer to compare the '79 Pirates to the '05 Steelers, or an Oakland writer to compare the '73 A's and the '80 Raiders... why wouldn't we do that, because it's a dumb idea that nobody outside of those cities would care about!!!!

I hate the Chargers, but goooo Chargers!!!

stevekerr said...

It's official. After reading that column, I now hate Boston teams/fans more than I do New York teams/fans.

I really really really want to see the Patriots lose now.

cs said...

And out of curiousity, is there a reason Simmons is the only ESPN writer with no comments section? I think that's pretty weird.

Andrew said...

I fucking HATE both of these teams, but I kind of want to ask Bill to write a column about which team was better - the 1998 Yankees that went 125-50 or the 1986 Giants that went 17-2 and outscored it's playoff opponents 105-23.

John Foley said...

See, now this is a Simmons article worth hating on! I've been sending snippets of it to friends of mine for two days now, with accompanying bitchy asides by me.
Simmons was immeasurably more entertaining when his teams stunk. The fact that he realizes how annoying he is now does very little to mitigate the awfulness.

larry b said...

Thanks everyone for dropping by. You give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside with your comments, probably kind of like how Jemele Hill feels when a white athlete gets into legal trouble.

CS- Deadspiners inundated Simmon's first article that came out after they implemented the commenting feature with hilarious crap. So ESPN immediately blocked everyone from responding to his shit, a ban that continues to this day.

Jim said...

To only blame the deadspinners, doesn't give the rest of the world the credit it deserves! There are MASSES who hate him.

pnoles said...

Larry...where's the "i hate boston's sports teams" label?

larry b said...

The funny thing about Simmons is that in all my browsing of teh blogblogs I've never come across a die-hard fan of the way he is now. Sure, there are people who loved him pre-2004. And he's still immensely popular. But that popularity seems to stem entirely from people who are lukewarm supporters of him, based on either being Boston fans themselves or the kind of former big fan I was just referring to. I just can't seem to find any bloggers (or blog commenters) who are really big fans of the guy. Just people that sort of like him, and lukewarmly defend him when they find something like what I've written here. I guess there must be diehards out there somewhere, but I sure haven't seen them.

Jim said...

The "diehards" are gone, just Boston sports fans and people who want to mock him.

Richard Dansky said...

On the bright side, there's not a single Jimmy Chitwood reference in there.

Bengoodfella said...

I love how he writes a column a couple months ago about how sports are not all that important, then makes every memory concerning his favorite team seem as if it is a life altering event. I hope he knows the reason everyone is rooting against his team is because of obnoxious, "our fans are so much more loyal and knowledgeable," dipshits like him. I also don't think it was Warren Moon's offense that is the Run N' Shoot but is more Jerry Glanville's offense considering he ran it with the Falcons without Moon.

The Best Ever said...

This isn't his best work, but I think the guy has written some entertaining pieces over the years.

You people are all haters, and this site is just a rip off of firejoemorgan.com. Nice try buddy.

jones said...

Now see, Larry, this is a shitty Simmons column. The last one was fucking Joseph Conrad taking Charles Marlow up the Congo compared to this piece of crap.

Andrew said...

who wants to bet that "the best ever" is from Boston and his name is a reference to Brady?

larry b said...

Thank you, so-called "Best Ever", for three things.

1. Thank you for proving the point I made earlier about how no one seems to really actually be a big Simmons fan. "This isn't his best work, but I think the guy has written some entertaining pieces over the years."
My point exactly. If that's the best defense you can make for him, you're tacitly admitting that you think he sucks.

2. Thank you for pointing out that our site name and format are nearly identical to another blog that is much more popular than we are. You have a keen eye, my friend. Have you considered a career in crime scene investigation? I'm sure no one here could have possibly figured that one out on their own. Sorry, regular readers, the gig's up. We've been ripping off firejoemorgan this whole time. My apologies.

The story is, pnoles, dan-bob, Chris W, and myself made the blog as a joke. We wanted to make our own FJM so we could write angry shit on it. We didn't intend for anyone else to read it. Then through an unusual set of circumstances, we got linked by a couple legitimate sites and now we have between five and fifteen daily readers. It's awesome. But it's not the way we planned things, I promise.

Are we pretending to have invented this particular format? Obviously not, if you'd take a brief look at our site description located directly under the title at the top of page. Are we putting our own touch on it? We'd like to think so. We do things slightly differently than the other FJM. We do more stuff from sports other than baseball. We also do more stuff that focuses on bad writing in and of itself, whereas they focus mostly on bad statistical analysis. And finally (most importantly in my mind), unlike them, we're not so protective of the quality of dialog that may or may not take place about our writing to block comments. Because of that, shitheads like you have a voice here! And we wouldn't have it any other way.

3. Thank you for calling us haters. That's all we've ever really wanted.

Chris W said...

Wait--there's a fire JOE MORGAN website?

Larry! You lied to me when you said this was going to be the first internet "blog" devoted to ripping on bad sports journalism EVER. In the HISTORY OF THE INTERWEB!

larry b said...

Thanks, Jones. Had I known this was coming, I'd have probably ignored the pregame show piece.

the best ever said...

I'll take that bet andrew.

Actually, I could care less for Boston in general. I'm a 49er fan and watching the Pats dominate reminds me of the 49er glory days which pisses me off that they are now one of the worst organizations in football.

I enjoy reading most things Simmons has to offer. His writing style is unique to other journalists out there. Not every article he has written has been golden and it's expected that I won't like everything he has to offer. This article sucked and deserved to be ripped. I just think people start hating because of success and we get nitpicky.

the best ever said...

And I do apologize for the ripoff comment. Most great things come from taking one's creation and expanding it from there. I wouldn't be commenting if I didn't think there was entertainment to your writing.

Good luck to the people behind this site.

Chris W said...

the best ever is a class act!

and it's true--success is the main reason people hate...but not because they're necessarily jealous of success, but rather because success means we have to see their bullshit more often.

If Simmons wrote for the Boston Daily Chronicle Examiner Times I wouldn't hate on him because I wouldn't be in a position to read his shit most of the time.

Unfortunately he's one of the most prominent writers for the most prominent sports website in da biz.

so, like, yup

Bengoodfella said...

"Best Ever," the reason the "haters" rip on Simmons now is because at one point he was a good writer and relevant outside of a 25 mile radius of Boston. Now he writes useless drivel that helps ignorant, bandwagon fans continue to perpetuate the myth the Pats, Celts, and Red Sox are superior to other franchises in fan base loyalty and every other aspect. If a "hater" is someone who thinks national sportswriters who write opinion-entertainment oriented pieces should have some basis for their opinions, other than regional loyalty, than yes I would say I am a "hater." There is no difference in what Bill Simmons currently writes and what a Junior in High School could write. Anyone could write 5,000 words on why their favorite team is awesome, and make shit up about how great it is to like that team. Or write about how life is like his favorite movie.

Jim said...

5 & 15, really, that's all. Well I hope all you guys become rich someday from ad revenue and then I can say I knew you when I was one of 15.

Jim said...

Completely true bengoodfella

pnoles said...

jim -- we'll have a reader Hall of Fame....you, andrew, jeff, tonus, etc....ye shall all be enshrined.

larry b said...

BenGoodFella with comment of the day. Your prize is a strawberry Pop Tart. If you can't come to my basement to pick it up in the next 15 minutes, I'm keeping it.

Best Ever- No hard feelings, and I'm sorry I called you a shithead. Thanks for the kind words.

Jim- I was exaggerating, it's really more like between two and six. So now you're in an even more exclusive club.

Krug said...

I think this site is hilarious. However, I think to put Simmons and Marriotti in the same class is unfair. Simmons is actually pretty funny. I don't think you'd be able to destroy the NBA draft diaries (hint: do this) as easily as his pro-Boston crap. I am a NYer so I obviously hate all Boston teams. But he is a good writer, who just isn't using his potential write now by focusing on bullcrap. But Marrioti is just a hack, and is on a level all his own.

Krug said...

sorry Mariotti, not the 2 mis-spellings above.

Krug said...

right not write...wow do I suck.

Richard Dansky said...

I think destroying the NBA Draft columns would be a no-brainer. All you need is a "time until Joe Barry Carroll" reference metric.

jff said...

reader hall of fame?!?! you can count me in for a good 2.3 comments a month then!

and, picking up where larryb left off... i feel like all the pro-simmons guys need to constantly point out "simmons is a good writer" and "well yeah, x is true, but he's funny" which is true. he is, and probably always will have some decent writing chops. i don't think he'll be penning the next great american novel anytime soon, but as far as "journalists who can't stand letting the story be the story, and instead need to become the story themselves" he's got some talent... that's not the firejay team's beef... it's that he uses his talent on dog-ass articles about boston and movies... regurgitating the same shit over and over - which isn't cool

the first time i read "levels of losing" or one of his other bullshit trademark made up theories or whatever, i was legitimately entertained... i was. but he stayed pat and instead of upping his own ante, just kinda copy and pasted his own articles/ideas for the past however long... so he got kudos for being one of the blog guys who took it to another level... and now he gets ripped for being happy with just that, and not taking it to another, another level... you can blame readers for refusing to swallow re-used, old hat, same bullshit routine shit or you can blame him for becoming complacent, and whiny, and condescending, and... *trails off while listing 8000000 things*

larry b said...

Krug- Don't worry about your typos. They're safe here. This is an environment of welcoming.

Richard- Yeah, you need that, and a "Yi Jianlian Award" for the foreign player Simmons most brutally mocks, who then turns out to be a ROY candidate.

JFF- That is the most concise yet perfectly accurate blurb of analysis about Simmons I've ever seen. I think I will copy and paste it and use it as my own. Muhahahaha, thanks for putting it in the public domain, suckaduck!

I kid, I kid. Well done, though.

Chris W said...

dog-ass is my new favorite adjective