Jack from Swarthmore, Pa., e-mailed Wednesday just to say, "69 days!
What's that you say? The people are demanding more mindless bullshit? Well, I hope they're also demanding a bunch of unoriginal "Boston is full of racists" jokes from me. Because they're about to get both.
Also- heh heh. Sixty nine. Am I right? You know what I'm getting at!
69 days since your last mailbag!
Wait, how many? 69? 696969696969? Mmmmmmmm-hmmmmmm.
You're killin' me! For god sakes, I went through finals without a fresh mailbag to sink my teeth into.
Simmons remains eminently popular with his base: retarded 19 year-olds attending snobby schools in the northeast.
Over 1,500 hours of mailbag-less time.
How are we supposed to survive without Bill's opinion on the current season of "Lost?"
Quite frankly I've stayed awake many a night pondering my mailbag future.
Quite frankly, I hope you get run over by a cement mixer.
So please for me and the rest of your readers -- write another mailbag!"
I promise I'll write you a saccharine-sweet email if you do!
Fine, fine, fine.
An excuse not to write a real column? Twist my arm.
As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.
Q: I am a broke college student
Read: polysci major at Boston College whose parents have threatened to take back the Lexus and cut the monthly stipend back to $500.
who recently spent two weeks of beer money for a bleacher ticket for A-Rod's first Fenway game just so I could chant "A-Roid" with everyone else.
Ahhh. A-"Roid." I see what you did there.
Now they're saying he could be out for two to four months, and I won't be living here when he finally comes to Boston.
You never know when he'll be back, either. Damn you and your unpredictable scheduling, MLB.
Can you please rank this on the Levels of Losing for me?
-- Sean P., Boston
By taking the time to write this email, you've pretty much lost at life.
SG: The levels of losing? Can't you see the big picture here? We haven't seen the Karma Police work this quickly since Swayze's sleazy buddy got impaled on the broken glass in "Ghost."
Hey- remember the 80s?
Either A-Rod needs surgery, or he's going to play in pain all season. In fact, I demand that Fenway plays "Karma Police" for A-Rod's first at-bat.
And the 90s? Bill does!
Although we won't hear it because everyone will be singing "A-Roid! A-Roid!"
He's totally going to hear us, and there's nothing he can do about it. THE FENWAY FAITHFUL GET THE LAST LAUGH AGAIN.
Holy hell am I excited for the 2009 baseball season.
You mean, holy hell am I excited for the Yankees and Red Sox games of the 2009 baseball season. What? There's a whole other league out there, which contains neither the Yankees nor the Red Sox? Fuck 'em.
Q: This is a little bit closely related to your holiday gifts column only with a spin: How about sponsoring Mike Dunleavy's page on basketball-reference.com and making a sarcastic comment about him on it? Hey, its only 10 bucks.
-- Bilal, Boston
SG: Done and done. What's sad is I spent a solid 45 minutes crafting the right testimonial before finally settling on what I wrote.
ONLY 45 minutes, you say? (Go click on it, everyone.) Yup. This is the razor-sharp wit of The Sports Guy. That Jimmy Kimmel is a lucky, lucky man to have talent like this backing him up.
Q: Too bad you decided not to have break-up sex with the Boston Bruins this year, isn't it? It's like an ex-girlfriend who switched to contacts from glasses, let her hair grow out and discovered aerobics. Now she's the hot girl at the bar.
-- Alex, D.C.
Wow, he's like the vulgar Rick Reilly.
Their fans deserve better regardless how this season turns out. As I have said a million times, as soon as the Grinch sells the team, they have me back 365 days a year. And not a moment sooner.
It's cute how he pretends he never totally disowned them. (Read the first mini-paragraph here) I mean, they're good again! What do you want him to do? NOT jump back on the bandwagon? Pretend like he didn't originally swear them off not because of some bullshit about the owner, but because they were bad for a few years in a row?
Q: Do you think the relationship between Rocky and Apollo could be considered the original bromance?
-- Kevin McB, Oakland, N.J.
SG: No way. The original bromance was Lewis and Clark.
This is why he makes the big bucks. He also goes on to list off about 75 other famous alleged bromances. Conspicuously absent from that list: anyone from Boston and a black person.
Q: I recently watched "Almost Famous" for what has to be the 20th time, and it seems like every time I've watched it, the movie was better than the previous time. It got me thinking about other movies where this applies, and my short list included "Pulp Fiction," "Shawshank," and "The Usual Suspects." I feel like there has to be some sort of name for this phenomena, and of course, I have come to you for guidance.
-- Bhavin, Philadelphia
Because I am too fucking stupid to formulate my own opinions about this very subjective and reasonably simple question.
SG: I'd go with a wine reference even though it doesn't totally work. Most movies are like chardonnays or pinot noirs -- you can drink them right away or any time within a span of 10 years. Many cabernets, Bordeaux and Barolos hold their vintage really well and you can actually enjoy them for as along as 10-20 years. Kinda like "Midnight Run" or "Hoosiers."
AND TEEN WOLF! AND KARATE KID! DANIEL-SAN AND MR. MIYAGI HAD A BROMANCE!
Q: Can you think of the sports equivalent of the spouses of buddies whose Facebook friend-request you accepted who constantly update their status on the topic of taking care of their kids? Like "Jenn is watching her little ones nap" and "Sarah is playing 'Bob the Builder' with her kids! Yay!" As a 28-year-old unmarried man, it's not that I don't appreciate females or motherhood, it's just that I don't care. For the same reason that I don't update my status with "Kully just put on jock itch cream."
-- Kully, Guangzhou, China
SG: Wouldn't the sports equivalent be like ending up with an undesirable throw-in for an NBA trade (aka Marcus Banks)? The more interesting angle for me is how Twitter and Facebook reflect where our writing is going thanks to the Internet. In 15 years, writing went from "reflecting on what happened and putting together some coherent thoughts" to "reflecting on what happened as quickly as possible" to "reflecting on what's happening as it's happening" to "here are my half-baked thoughts about absolutely anything and I'm not even going to attempt to entertain you," or as I like to call it, Twitter/Facebook Syndrome. Do my friends REALLY CARE if I send out an update, "Bill is flying on an airplane finishing a mailbag right now?" (Which is true, by the way.) I just don't think they would. I certainly wouldn't. That's why I refuse to use Twitter.
Thank goodness. At least someone in the sports journalism world is maintaining some standards regarding the way he writes. It's been at least two weeks since he wrote a column comparing the Bird-era Celtics to the current Celtics by using a grading scale based on "The Hills," and concluding the former were better because they had more white guys.
Q: I listened to your spot on Adam Carolla's new podcast, and for the first time ever you swore and it wasn't bleeped out. It was surreal, and I gotta say I'm developing a taste for it, Simmons. I'm afraid I won't be able to go back to the genteel Sports Guy. It's like your long-term girlfriend, who's really conservative in bed, gets really drunk one night and she unexpectedly turns into an animal. How can you go back? How?!
-- Max R., Sydney
Tee hee! Bad words!
SG: Just wait until my book comes out! Lots of swears and even a few completely inappropriate topics handled without any diplomacy whatsoever.
I couldn't possibly be less titillated. What? A book featuring an opinionated idiot talking about "inappropriate" topics using swear words? What's next, porn on the internet?
Q: When De Niro gets off the highway to kill Waingro at the hotel in "Heat": The whole movie you want De Niro to kill Waingro, but you don't want De Niro to go back when he's home free with Judge Amy. Is there a more ambivalent occurrence of emotions in any movie?
-- Alex, Syracuse, N.Y.
Hey, does anyone out there want to hear Bill break down "Heat" again? I sure hope so.
[Simmons' opinion omitted]
Q: In Matt Cassel's first news conference with the Chiefs, someone asked Cassel if he was looking forward to meeting Bernard Pollard. Shouldn't he immediately take some of his new money and buy Pollard a new car? The best full circle moment is the fact Cassel would still be a nobody if it weren't for the Chiefs and now he is playing for them. GOD, I LOVE THE NFL!
-- David, Elon, N.C.
1. Black Sox (to his credit, mentioned by Bill)
2. College basketball point shaving (also mentioned by Bill)
3. Steroids in baseball/the Olympics/pretty much every sport
4. Tim Donaghy
5. Pete Rose
So, no. Especially when this imaginary situation involves something so incredibly difficult to do. You can hit a QB in the knees 100 times and not do what Pollard did to Brady once. It's not like, even if this had happened, Pollard could just up and guarantee that he would end Brady's season. I'm really doing far too much to dignify this scenario by writing four sentences about it.
Q: I listened to your Monday podcast and was interested in your "Kansas City Theory." I thought that a good example of these things being cyclical was Cleveland in 2007. Both the Browns and Indians had unusually successful seasons when compared to their normal vomit-inducing play. If you add this with the Cavaliers' play in the LeBron Era, it's hard for anyone to deny that this theory bears at least some merit.
-- Brad H., New York
For those who are unfamiliar, the gist of this theory is basically that sometimes multiple teams from the same city all do well at the same time. Genius! What brilliance! It's got to be attributable to some bullshit Bill made up, rather than just random statistical chance.
SG: See? It happens! Some other good examples: the '84 Tigers (paved the way for the "Bad Boy" Pistons, the Barry Sanders Era and the Steve Yzerman Era); the '01 Pats (the '04 Red Sox and '08 Celts, as well as two more Pats titles); Chicago in the mid-'80s (the '83 White Sox, '84 Cubs, '85 Bears and the Jordan Era); Seattle in the mid-'90s (Sonics and Mariners); Pittsburgh in the late-'70s (Steelers and Pirates); Cincy in the late '80s ('89 Bengals, '90 Reds); Boston in the mid-'80s ('85 Pats, '86 Celts, '86 Red Sox); New York in the late-'90s ('98-'99-'00 Yanks, '00 Mets, '99 Knicks; '00 Giants); and L.A. in the late-'80s ('88 Dodgers, '87-'88 Lakers, '89 Raiders). There is ample evidence that a city can catch fire like a hot blackjack table. Just remember we had this conversation when they're calling it "The Year of K.C." in seven months.See????!?!? That proves it!
Q: Let's say you are at LAX and you are about to board your flight, but then you notice one of the cast members from "Lost" on the same plane. Do you still get on that flight?
-- Brian, Richmond, Va.
THERE'S your "Lost" question. The Big Lead approves.
Q: I was just looking over previous mailbags and came across your prediction of Olivia Wilde becoming a bigger, more relevant star than Mischa Barton within five years. This is uncanny. I shall never doubt you! Any other bold predictions?
-- Vinit, Winnipeg
Yeah, he was really going out on a limb with that one. I mean, everyone and their brother was convinced that Barton had unlimited talent and was due for a multi-Oscar career. How bold of Bill to predict that her career would flop after she left "The O.C."
Possible. Who cares.
Second, the words "Michael Phelps" and "rehab" will appear in the same sentence.
Wrong. At least, wrong for the next, say, 20 years.
Third, at the end of the NBA Finals in June, one of the happy players will yelp happily to Michele Tafoya, "We goin' to see Oh-baaaaaaaa-maaaaaaaaaaaa!" exactly how I just wrote it.
LOL, black people talk funny! That's why people from Boston hate them so much- Bostonites are supposed to have a monopoly on that.
Fourth, America will turn against Judd Apatow.
Given that we haven't yet turned on Michael Bay or Brett Ratner, I really don't see this happening.
Fifth, they're going to figure out a way to retroactively test all the Olympic urine samples from the '70s, '80s and '90s, and that will become the next gigantic sports scandal that dominates your life (and not in a good way).
Sixth, Mike and the Mad Dog will be back together in time for Opening Day 2011.
Possible. Who gives a shit though.
Seventh, the Detroit Tigers will have a fire sale for their players starting in June that will rival anything the Marlins ever did.
In order to have a fire sale, you must have valuable players with whom you are willing to part. So Cabrera, Verlander, and Granderson are out since the team isn't trading them. Similarly, guys like Guillen, Thames, Sheffield, and Ordonez really don't have much value left. But when the Tigers ship Placido Polanco and Brandon Inge out of town... you heard it from Bill first.
Eighth, Howard Stern, David Letterman and Bruce Springsteen will all retire within three months of one another, it will happen within the next 30 months, and all three of them will do it quietly without fanfare. So, there you go.
A prediction so obscure that I won't bother criticizing it. Could happen, I guess.
Q: I've written many times and I am pretty sure you have never looked at my e-mails. But in all seriousness, I like the podcasts even more than the columns. I was introduced to you five years ago when I entered college by my first roommate.
Never listened to a podcast 'til my senior season.
On the lax team!
Now I love them because they drown out the voice of my wife.
-- Charlie, Endicott, N.Y.
Oh man, married life isn't all it's cracked up to be, is it? Harf harf harf harf! I once saw a sitcom about that very topic! Bill, your thoughts:
SG: That was the first installment of a new mailbag feature tentatively called "Fellas, Don't Get Married." I have high hopes for this one.
Therrrrrrre we go.
Q: Thanks for making me choke up at work with the column about your dog. I decided to move The Dooze immediately into my greatest dog rankings, just ahead of the dog from "Amityville Horror" that saved the dad from falling into the gate of hell. Powerful column. Thanks.
-- Andy, Decatur, Texas
I didn't rip on this column at the time it was written because I figure it was super-low hanging fruit. But really, come-fucking-on. Holy Jesus balls. Your dog died of old age? What a horrible, horrible hand fate has dealt you. Surely that warrants a 12,000 word column. You're a sportswriter, cocklips. Write about sports. I'd rather read five more columns about the 2007 Patriots than one more sentence about Bill's personal life and its mundane tragedies.
SG: ...even my wife would admit The Dooze didn't top the "Amityville Horror" dog. I mean, we're talking about a black lab rescuing a master from the gates of hell here. The Dooze only would have toyed with the gates of hell if a tennis ball rolled near it. I still have the "Amityville Horror" dog ranked first, the Dooze second, Hooch third, Scooby-Doo fourth, Marley fifth, Cujo sixth (just because he came soooooooo close to mauling the annoying little kid from "Who's the Boss?"), Dino Flintstone seventh … and Paris Hilton's chihuahua last.
TOPICAL! How about that Octomom, huh?
One more note: Four of the five greatest sports movies of all time are "Hoosiers," "Field of Dreams," "Rocky" and "The Natural" in some order. The fifth is up for debate. Just make sure those four are included.
Only Bill's opinions on movies count. Yours is wrong. (See Jack's post below.)
It cannot be argued or debated from the standpoint of quality, originality, rewatchability, likability and chill scenes.
What makes for a good movie is now objective, not subjective.
What's interesting is that THREE of those movies undeniably have racist undertones: "Hoosiers," "Rocky" and "Field of Dreams." The first two revolve around a white underdog toppling an invincible black champ;
The kind of movie people from Boston can really get behind.
the third completely ignored a half-century of indefensible prejudice against minorities in Major League Baseball. Even worse, I loved all three movies for years and years and would watch any of them right now if they came on. Does this mean I should be writing this column with a white hood on? I can't come to grips with this.
It sounds like you're pretty close. It's a rare moment of self-awareness for Bill.
Q: I'm a 30-year-old ex-college athlete who likes rare steaks and fake breasts. I just read your Dooze column and had to disappear into the bathroom at work so my co-workers would not see me crying. Damn you.
-- Dave, Philadelphia
Pretty weird how Bill's editors keep making him print these congratulatory emails, huh? Yeah, if he were choosing the emails himself, it would be pretty fucking lame of him to keep choosing ones like this. Good thing it's not him doing that choosing though. Yeah, it's definitely someone else.
Q: We've all seen "Cast Away" and, of course, remember the emotional scene as Wilson the Volleyball floats away from Tom Hanks in the middle of the ocean. It's time to admit to ourselves those two were more than just friends. I mean come on … four years on an island together … no female or any other sexual outlet around. Hanks did the deed with the Volleyball and probably regularly.
-- Carl F., Merrimack, N.H.
SG: Yup, these are my readers.
Who may or may not be funnier than Simmons himself. Hard to say. Is it possible for all of them (as well as Simmons himself) to simultaneously contract kidney failure? If only.