Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Duh Gee Mr. Bill Sports Man I Sure Think Yer Smart n' Funny So Here's a Letter Sayin' That Stuff

I didn't think there was a way for him to become any more insufferable, but Bill's mailbags are getting progressively more self-serving every time he runs one.

Q: LeBron made announcement at 6:27 pm PT. Surprised he didn't do it at 6:24 so he'd be guaranteed to be Finals MVP next year.
-- Ryan, Indianapolis

SG: (Shhhhhhhhhhh.)

Q: For my 24th birthday, my roommates bet me I couldn't take 24 shots. They were right and I only made it 6 shots before I blew chunks. Thankfully, my roommate is a Lakers fan and he still named me MVP of my birthday.
-- Dan, Davis, Calif.

SG: (Shhhhhhhhh … no talking in the dugout.)

Hey, I tried to warn you last week- this isn't going to stop. For at least a year, or possibly ever. He'll write a Super Bowl preview article (as long as the Patriots make it... /rimshot) six months from now that features fifteen "6 for 24" jokes. It's inevitable. I mean, it's not like Kobe led all players from both teams in scoring during six of the seven games (including game seven, where pretty much no one on either team could have thrown the ball in the ocean if they were standing on the beach). Or averaged 27, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals for the series. Pau Gasol, presumably Bill's pick for the award (GUESS WHAT COLOR PAU'S SKIN IS?), was probably better than Kobe in games two and seven. But Kobe probably owned the other five games, and played well enough when the chips were down in the 4th quarter of game seven (1/3 from the field, 8/9 from the free throw line, 4 rebounds).

Let's take a peek at the stats for 2008 Finals MVP Paul "I flash gang signs on the court, but I'm too much of a dipshit to cop to doing so, oh and I also fake injuries and one time I got stabbed in the face" Pierce. What's that? 2 for 14 from the field in a game three loss? 4 for 13 in the game six series clincher? HOW COULD THIS MAN HAVE POSSIBLY WON THE SERIES MVP, THIS IS THE GREATEST TRAVESTY SINCE THE PATRIOTS MISSED THE 2009 NFL PLAYOFFS WITH AN 11-5 RECORD

Q: Would you have disagreed with an Atlanta Hawks fan assassinating Joe Johnson before he could sign that max $120 million contract?
-- Jared, Milwaukee

SG: I disagree with premeditated murder in all forms. Just one of my controversial takes on life. But you did stumble upon a fantastic sports movie idea: A die-hard Minnesota fan tortured by years of losing finally snaps after bumbling Wolves general manager David Kane (played by Greg Kinnear) signs overrated franchise player Ruben Tugg (played by Drake) to a franchise-crippling $120 million deal, then vows on a sports radio show to murder Tugg in the 10 days leading up to July 15 (when Tugg can officially sign the contract), prompting Minneapolis police to

This goes on for like ten more sentences. Douchechills. I think Bill needs a VP of Common Sense to edit his columns and tell him when to cut out 400 word non-jokes.

Q: The Decision had to be one of the five biggest days in the history of the NBA to not happen on the court. What would be your top 5 for this category? For me it goes like this: 1. Magic announces he has HIV; 2. Jordan's first retirement; 3. The Decision; 4. Len Bias; 5. Jordan announcing he's coming back. Your thoughts?
-- Luke, Rochester, N.Y.

SG: Mine goes like this: (1) Magic/HIV; (2) Bias; (3) "The Decision"; (4) MJ's 1995 comeback; (5) the day the Fab Five guys decided to wear loose shorts, which eventually persuaded everyone in the NBA except John Stockton to wear loose shorts (and ended the Nut-Hugger Era).

LOL @ every Boston fan's inability to get over Len Bias. It's like their own little Kennedy assassination. Look, the guy was really good in college. Maybe he would have become an all star or all time great. Maybe he would have either busted or had a mediocre career like so many other lottery picks. But good gravy on biscuits, to say that was a bigger moment than MJ's first retirement or first comeback, you'd have to be overdosing on cocaine. That's not even a discussion. It's like trying to claim that the microfracture surgery that ended Greg Oden's first season before it even started compares to, well, Len Bias's death.

Q: Is "If you wrote it as a movie script, nobody would believe you" the most overused line in sports?
-- @caffmeister (via Twitter)

SG: I would have agreed until "I've decided to take my talents to South Beach" became an iconic sports quote along the lines of Denny Green's "They were who we thought they were!" and Mike Gundy's "I'm a man! I'm 40!"

LeBron's quip isn't even in the same time zone as either of those in terms of "fame" (for lack of a better word to describe how popular a quote becomes). And I don't anticipate it getting there. Why would he think that that's the case?

I think "taking my talents to South Beach" will be overused because it's so malleable -- in just the past two weeks, it became a phenomenal masturbation euphemism and replaced "I'm gonna go take the Browns to the Super Bowl" as the funniest way to announce to a group of people that you're heading to the bathroom (and not to pee).

What? Who is doing this?

On top of that, it's a fun way to announce to friends that you're moving, getting married or switching jobs, as my buddy House proved in a mass e-mail last week that started

OOOOOHHHHHHH. Bill and his friends are doing it. I see. My mistake- I was foolish enough to think that we were talking about things that lots of people everywhere were doing, not just five or six unfunny 40-somethings living in California and New England.

Q: You're missing an essential ingredient to American interest in the World Cup: For once America is the underdog, and by quite a bit. It taps into that "little train that could" American desire that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Remember America's greatest sports moment is the '80 US hockey team beating the Russians … and really no one here gives a flying F about hockey.

-- Brett, Los Angeles

Actually a pretty decent point by this guy, I think.

SG: A great point. This is the WNBA's big mistake: If it ever wants to get people talking in America, it needs to start challenging men's teams and trying to pull its own version of USA 4, USSR 3.

My idea:

Always a good idea to prepare yourself for something mind-numbingly stupid when he types those words and then a colon.

Instead of the WNBA All-Star Game, let's say the league held a six-team, three-day tournament featuring the 2010 McDonald's High School All-American boys, a team of retired NBA players, the reigning Division III men's hoops champs, the Harlem Globetrotters, a team of celebrities and famous athletes (Terrell Owens, Floyd Mayweather, Michael Rapaport, etc.), and the 2010 WNBA All-Stars.

It's pretty clear that this answer is more joke than "no, really, it's a real idea, I'm serious," but it's worth noting that every one of those teams except the celebrities (and maybe the retired NBA players if they were older than 45ish) would probably beat the WNBA players by about 70 in a 48 minute game. It's certainly not a perfect analog, but for a little support for this line of thinking, Google "Karsten Braasch faces Venus and Serena Williams."

First of all, would you watch? (Yes. Of course you would. I would, too.)

Great measuring stick. You know what we need? More reality shows about attractive people looking for love, or people who are good at singing and dancing singing and dancing together, or assholes with social problems living in a house and getting shitfaced and fighting/fucking one another. Would you watch? Hell yeah you would! That's all that's on TV these days so it must be good for something.

Second, would it be the biggest moment in WNBA history if its All-Star team won this tournament? (Yes. Indisputably.)

Those All Stars can play the McDonald's All-Americans 1000 times- if the high school kids actually treat the game like it's one they really need to win, they will win all 1000 times. Probably by dozens of points each game. Many of those guys are one or two years from being in the NBA and a few of them are three or four years from being NBA stars. The WNBA's 6'3" power forwards really aren't going to be able to do much on either end of the court. I'm not trying to hammer this home too aggressively because I don't think this is a "no I'm not kidding, seriously, this would work" idea on Bill's part. I'm just calling it like I see it.

Third, if that team got waxed in such a tournament, would anyone hold it against the league? (No way.)

Yes- it would make them the laughingstock of the sports world for weeks (imagine good ol' sexist Woody Paige ripping them on Around the Horn) unless they played the game the day before the Super Bowl or something.

Q: As a female, I usually have a hard time admitting that I read your articles. I have a harder time admitting that I think you're hilarious. I feel like I should despise you on principle, because let's be honest, you're a pig. But I do like you. More than I care to admit. I find myself referencing you in everyday conversation. If I can use you to back up what I'm saying, I think it has more weight. And when guys find out I like you, they love it (thanks for that). So my question is, how do you do it? How have you managed to make a self-respecting woman eagerly await your next column, even though I've come to expect you to have at least one disrespectful comment in there?
-- Amanda, Richmond


Q: Did the disallowed handball goal in the Ghana-Uruguay game go down as the most blatant exploitation of rules in sports history? It was like if goaltending was called on the game winning basket of a Game 7 and instead of counting the basket, the rules dictate that somebody has to make a free throw to win the game. Are there other rule loopholes like this?

-- Brad Armstrong, Indianapolis

Well, no, it's not quite like that. Because of that play, Luis Suarez was awarded a red card and had to miss Uruguay's semifinal against the Netherlands. And since he's their second best player... yeah, that probably cost them. This question would make more sense if some nameless scrub defensive substitute had committed the handball. I mean yeah, Brad's got the right concept, but it doesn't apply well here.

SG: Only one that I could think of: If a player were running the winning touchdown down the sideline, then someone on the opposing sideline jumped onto the field and tackled him. But in college and pro football, I'm pretty sure that's an automatic touchdown. (This actually happened once: in the 1954 Cotton Bowl.) But that's the parallel. Seems like the easy rule fix would be this: If you commit a goal-line handball in extra time in the World Cup, it's an automatic goal.

Hooray! Let's allow soccer refs to make more judgment calls! Perfect solution! Listen, no one wants to commit a n obvious handball and award the other team a penalty kick. The penalty kick goes in 95% of the time (note: statistic completely made up) and you always end up looking like an asshole walking down the tunnel into the locker room. I admit that Uruguay got away with one, but the odds of that scenario repeating itself are slim to none.

Q: The MLS is taking the stance that Donovan is not for sale. While I think it's great to have Donovan in the MLS, this is not beneficial for American soccer. Donovan is in his prime, unlike Thierry Henry (on the downside of his career). Donovan should be playing in the EPL against the world's best competition, not in the MLS (minor league soccer).

-- Art Morath, Akron, Ohio

SG: Couldn't agree more. I don't see the MLS ever being bigger than Triple-A baseball in America, which is fine;


Triple-A baseball sells out stadiums,


works as a feeder system for the majors and remains lucrative.

Yes, structurally. They didn't come up with the idea themselves or anything. It's not like some genius AAA baseball team owner was sitting around one day, lighting his cigar with a $100,000 bill, and said "Wait! I've got it! We'll collaborate with Major League Baseball!" Additionally, MLS is already bigger than AAA baseball because dozens of its games are on national cable TV every year. Such a subtle detail could only escape Bill. Also,


Q: Am I the only one who does the following? Whenever I get more than about three-fourths of the way down your mailbag, I start scrolling very slowly through each question and answer so that the next one doesn't appear. That way, I won't errantly glance down and see the "Yup, these are my readers" line below, which ruins the surprise. It seems silly but also necessary -- it's much more satisfying to read the e-mail in anticipation of the eventual YTAMR.

-- Ari Ofsevit, Boston

SG: Yup, these are my readers.


Kill yourself.


Anonymous said...

Also, and this clearly stating the obvious, does Simmons think that Kobe Bryant was named the "Game 7 of the NBA Finals MVP?" Even for Simmons, this whole "6 for 24" bit is amazingly lame and just weird.

Anonymous said...

No need to reference the stabbing. Dude almost lost his life

Dylan Murphy said...

I miss the Bill Simmons of 8 years ago.

Angelo said...

I actually find the mailbags the most readable of Bill's stuff, and that comes as someone who is really not a fan. Of course, I enjoy you ripping on him more than I actually like his column, so don't think I'm telling you to enjoy it also.

I moved and decided not to get TV in my new place (at least for now). I thought I would miss out on Sportscenter and everything else, but I'm surprised at how easy it was to give up. Take that Disney.

Also, Anonymous #2, if we're going to talk about Len Bias including Larry's overdosing on cocaine joke, I think referencing a stabbing is not too big of a deal. You might want to find a more wholesome way to waste time on the internet, like stalking.

Larry B said...

I refernced it. Didn't celebrate it, didn't turn it into a laugh. Fact is, the guy got stabbed. I'm not going to sweep it under the rug, anonymous. This is America.

CB said...

Bill totally made "Amanda" up.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a hardcore fan of basketball by any stretch of the imagination, but having "the decision" ranked above Jordan's retirement and/or comeback when he was arguably the best player in the history of the league is simply moronic.

Also since we're talking about the all-time history of basketball, you'd think that the ABA, integration, etc. would all rank higher as well.

As for the WC and the handball rule, roughly 70% of PK's are converted (googled it). Also, if I remember correctly, any player can take the PK off a handball, so that improves the odds of converting as well. I think it's pretty funny that someone who watches the world's most popular sport once every four years thinks he knows how to fix it, like no one ever, ever, ever, knew about this rule before Bill and his readers.

JoshuaR said...

Nice point on Bias and comparison with Oden. Sure it was a big deal but no bigger than Jordan retiring and coming back. I mean we are talking about an unproved rookie going up against the best of all time.

Nice job.

I picked up Simmons NBA book from the library because I needed something to do and you could write a whole book like this on that book. For being the 'biggest NBA fan' his criteria for choosing who was the better player is laughable at points.

Anonymous said...

"it's much more satisfying to read the e-mail in anticipation of the eventual YTAMR"

Kill yourself Ari Ofsevit.

Anonymous said...

Bias' death was a huge deal on the national stage, especially since it led to most of the draconian drug laws that are now present in the country fueled by Congress' overreaction to an event that happened in their own backyard.|TOM:/bss/d099query.html|

Anonymous said...

The whole 6 for 24 thing is stupid, but Pau outplayed Kobe in pretty much all of the Laker home games, not just 2 of them. Kobe had several stinkers and was unable to score at all efficiently. In the case of the 6 for 24 game, he missed 18 shots. It's impossible to help your team after missing 18 shots, even if you score 23 points. It's like getting 12 turnovers in a game- you can't make up for it even with 15 rebounds.