Friday, December 5, 2008

Bill Simmons: On top of things, as always

I'm not going to complain about all of Bill's lame jokes and dated references because I know he writes for ESPN, and they probably edit out a lot of good shit (although, no one put a gun to Simmons' head and forced him to re-up with ESPN). In addition, I continue to applaud Bill Simmons for being one of the first mainstream sports writers who began to question how/why Roger Clemens was having his best seasons at ages 41-43.

That all being said, I take rather serious umbrage with the following from his Friday NFL column:

RAVENS (-5) over Redskins

I can't wait for this sequence on "The Sports Reporters."

Mike Lupica: "If an aging baseball star had rejuvenated his career in a contract year like Ray Lewis did this year, to the point that he's almost UNRECOGNIZABLE compared with the has-been we've been watching the past three years ... we'd be asking all kinds of questions, wouldn't we? And that's really the difference between baseball and football, as we learned with Shawne Merriman's suspension last year. Ultimately, we don't care whether NFL players cheat or not!"


Lupica: "Look, I'm not saying Ray Lewis cheated. He was just the most logical example here ... unless you want to go with Rodney Harrison and the fact that they're still picking up pieces of his exploded LEFT QUADRICEP off the grass at Gillette Stadium."

So if he's the most logical example, then clearly comparing his stat lines to the past 3 years will prove what an obvious steroid user Ray Lewis is:

2005: Games: 6, Solo Tackles Per Game: 6.5, Assists Per Game: 1.33, Sacks: 1.0, INTs: 1

2006: Games: 14, Solo Tackles Per Game: 5.79, Assists Per Game: 1.57, Sacks: 5.0, INTs: 2

2007: Games: 14, Solo Tackles Per Game: 5.86, Assists Per Game: 2.71, Sacks, 2.0 INTs: 2

2008: Games: 12, Solo Tackles Per Game: 5, Assists Per Game: 1.92, Sacks: 1.0 INTs: 3


1. If ever there was a time to claim Ray Lewis was on steroids, it was last year, as it's the only year out of the past 4 where his tackles and assists have gone up from the previous year.

2. Gregg Easterbrook would claim that Ray Lewis hasn't changed at all because the difference between 6.5 tackles per game and 5 tackles per game is indistinguishable to human beings.

3. Ray Lewis is on pace to double his INT total from 2006 and 2007. Might have something to do with picking 2 against Sage Rosenfels.

4. If you're not Gregg Easterbrook, then you would probably say that the only way Ray Lewis is "unrecognizable" from the past 3 years is that he's gotten worse.

5. Simmons used the following methodology for determining Ray Ray is on steroids:

"Hmm, the Ravens are above .500, and their game against the Redskins got moved to prime time. Must be that defense of theirs. Some guy from Football Outsiders mentioned that Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reed are all really good, but that defense always comes down to Ray Lewis. Seriously, how old is that guy, like a thousand? What? He's 33? Not possible. He won a Super Bowl before the Pats dynasty started for fuck's sake! Dude is on steroids, no doubt. Shit look at the time, I need to iron my Teddy Bruschi jersey before going to my weekly Patriots Fans of LA Circle Jerk."


Martin said...

I'm beginning to believe that Bill began mailing in columns when he started arguing with the WWL over things. I was told that the last podcast interruption was because ESPN editing a chunk of him and his friend Jack-o talking about the election and Obama. How uptight does ESPN have to be at this point? I'm almost going to believe that Bill was giving an "F you" to ESPN, daring them to fire him, while writing crappy column after crappy column about every Boston team in existence.

His most recent columns I've found less annoying then usual. They've been decent with only parts being lame. This is new from his tried and true mid 2007-mid 2008 method of lousy column with one or two decent things.

On the otherhand, Easterbrook has become unreadable.

cs said...

I actually took that section as more of a slam of Mike Lupica and The Sports Reporters than a serious point about Lewis. I don't know though.

Jeff said...

Gregg Easterbrook draws no distinguishment to the 8 year period between the ages 26 and 34, as all of those ages round to 30.

Jeff said...

word probably should have been distinction. Not sure what i'm doing.