Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dear Bill, Please print my question, you're the best, I heart you, we're equally insufferable


I tried to use <3 instead of the word heart in the title, and Blogger thought I was trying to write in html and crashed. Well then. You learn something new every day. Anyways Bill did a mailbag last week. His mailbag columns are a special kind of Hindenberg, because they give him a chance to show off to his readers just how much his readers love him and think like him. I'm about to take several cheap shots at the people who had their emails published. I do this not because I think it's funny or worth my time to pick on these chuckleheads (although that may well be the case) but because their emails are just an extension of everything that makes Bill Bill. He has millions (or perhaps even thousands or hundreds) of emails from which to choose when he's throwing these things together. And he always picks people who write like him, think like him, and care more about which "The Bachelorette" contestant teams are like than what's actually going on in sports. Sure, a mailbag column looks a lot like a two way exchange, but in this case it's really just Bill talking to himself.

Ahhhhhh, Round 1 of the playoffs. My annual dream to finish 11-0 against the spread.

He's actually off to a 4-0 start (and correctly picked all four winners). He was also seven games under .500 during the regular season. Always sad when you're worse at picking against the spread than a round piece of metal with a president on one side and a building on the other.

My beloved Patriots getting a much-needed week off. Four games in 28 hours.

Madness! It's like a normal regular season Sunday-Monday, but a few hours shorter!

What's better than this?

Conference championship weekend? The first four days of March Madness? The MLB playoffs? The World Cup? Actually we shouldn't count the World Cup since it only happens every four years (BUT FIFA AND THE IOC ARE INSANE IF THEY DON'T CHANGE THAT TO EVERY THREE! JUST LOOK AT THE SITUATION NOW, IT'S BROKEN! MY DAUGHTER WANTS TO WATCH SPORTS SHE DOESN'T CARE ABOUT 33% MORE OFTEN!).

To celebrate, should we bang out an all-football mailbag before diving into the Week 1 playoff picks? I'm on the fence.

Should I spend a few hours fawning over myself, offering dumb ideas to fix things that aren't broken, and recycling the same jokes I've been using for a decade? I dunno, I've got a lot of other shit to do today.

Let's take one or two e-mails from readers and see how it goes.

YOU TEASE.

Q: I was in a meeting this week where the head hancho wanted to chew some people out and burn them.

This email sounds shopped. Or written by a complete douchegobbler.

What did he say? He said, "Sit down fellas, it's about to get crispy!" can we turn "It's about to get crispy" into an everyday saying?
— Michael S., Chicago

Mmmm. Douchegobbler it is.

SG: Great start. Really strong. Just need a little more prodding and we should be good.

"That sounds like something obnoxiously unclever I would say."

Q: Heard you talking on your podcast about adding a second bye week in the NFL (instead of going to an 18-game schedule). Here's my twist: for both bye weeks, EVERY team would be off. Not only would it eliminate the advantage of some teams having better bye weeks than others, but we could call them "Save the Marriage" weekends. Or, we could make a mandatory rule that all weddings would have to be scheduled for those 2 weekends only.

— Mike T., Danville

I can't tell which aspect of Mike's email is more embarrassing: the "It's the end of my world when I can't watch football every Sunday" angle, or the "Wish us fellas could do something about these darn wives of ours, always nagging us and ruining our fun! We're totally incapable of simply talking it out with them and reaching a compromise, so excuse me while I propose a solution that involves NFL executives fixing the problem for us!" angle.

SG: As much as I love the idea of "Save the Marriage" weekend … I mean … no football on Sunday? Come on. That's a little overboard. Allow me to tweak your idea: 18-week schedule, two bye weeks per team … but we'd have to pick one Sunday in October, November and December with a shortened schedule (maybe 12 teams get a bye), then everyone else plays in games starting at 4 p.m. EST or later. Couldn't that work as three pseudo-"Save the Marriage" days? Hey honey, you have me until 3:45 today! What are we doing?

UH OH! THE OL' BALL AND CHAIN IS ON MY CASE AGAIN! Gonna have to spend some time with her I guess. Shucks! Marriage is hard! If only I had communication skills and the ability to stand up for myself!

Embarrassing.

Q: Doesn't Tim Tebow remind you of Tom Cruise? There's a hyper, uber-personality to both. They're both devoted to small, intense religions (Scientology and the Church of Bob Tebow),

Huh?

yet we know very little about what goes on in both religions. Neither person seems quite "normal."

No celebrity seems normal, you fucking clod.

It's almost like both are acting and saying things that they expect real humans would do and say.

Tebow and the hype tornado that follows him everywhere he goes are a lot of things--(often) insufferable among them. But I really don't get a disingenuous vibe from him. Of course, Adam in Tampa's whole point here is not to say anything intelligent or profound but to get published in the mailbag. Accomplishing this goal sometimes requires a reader to write a question involving a celebrity and an athlete and just kind of making things up as he goes along. YUP THESE ARE BILL'S READERS.

Their careers don't really make any sense anymore, yet they're still considered successful.

In what way does Cruise's career not make sense? He was a sort of rich movie star. Now he's a really rich movie star. You are saying nothing at all while talking about famous people. This question sure as hell sounds shopped as well.

Their fans are cult-like in their devotion and their inability to question either.

Who are the cultishly devoted Cruise fans? Teenage girls in the late 80s?

Oh, and they're probably both repress—
— Adam, Tampa

HO HO HO! SPICY!

SG: I'm stopping you right there. Great call with Tebow and Cruise, although you could have added that (a) they both have names that sound like they were made up in a Hollywood pitch meeting; (b) they make the same face when they're running; (c) Cruise's euphorically over-the-top performance as the cornerback in All the Right Moves was a dead ringer for Tebow's euphorically over-the-top performance for the 2011 Broncos;

Holy shit, how are we still talking about this? I would rather listen to Skip Bayless talk about Tebow for a day straight than keep reading this.

Q: We all know that Tom Cruise runs in all his movies.

Grantland: for people who can't get enough Tom Cruise.

He runs aggressively and earnestly. There are countless youtube montages of him running. In MI4:GP (Imax) he outran an exploding Kremlin. But, how fast is Tom Cruise? He's obviously in great shape and does his own stunts, so he can't be slow … but he's also 5'6", so he has short legs. Still, I argue that he's actually really fast. Like a former DI defensive back who's now 50 fast. Not necessarily NFL fast, but still fast. Is there an answer to this?

Code for "I'm as vapid as you are, can you publish this please?"

How disappointing would it be to find out he was actually just average speed?

Not disappointing in any way, shape, or form?

— Max, NYC

SG: You can't answer this question without stumbling into a larger debate that has vexed Cruise fans for decades …

Someone shoot me in the heart.

Is Tom Cruise a good athlete?

Yes, that's what those late 80s teen girls were all worried about.

Here's my take: You know those short guys in high school who stayed in great shape, played D-back in football, served as a co-captain for the wrestling team, tried really hard with everything they did … and yet, if you played hoops with them, they were all over the place?

YES! EXACTLY! No. He might as well have said "Did you go to high school with me? Remember Chas MacGonaghcle, the short athletic guy who wrestled and played football and tried hard but sucked at basketball? Threw up at that one dance? Him."

That's Cruise. That means he probably topped out at a 4.9 in high school, maybe a 4.85 in college, a 5.0 in his 30s, and now, probably something in the 5.3 range, only every time he finishes the 40, it seems like he did it faster than that (only he didn't).

This answer, I shit you not, goes on for three more paragraphs. It's the longest one in the mailbag. My brain is bleeding just from explaining to you that it exists.

Q: Is Tommy Boy more or less funny now because he was trying to save the town of Sandusky, OH? If find it less funny now, in light of the sullying of the name of Sandusky?

— Jeff H., Mableton, GA

Everyone who's seen the movie already made that connection. None except you asked whether it affected how funny the movie is, because that's idiotic.

SG: Here's how I know it's less funny — i am typing so fast tht i don't even care aobut misspellings b/c I wnt to get away from this qeustion so badly.

I love it when Bill meta-writes. Great bit. Lofty bit. Magical bit.

Not bothering to include the question for this one. The answer is all you need.

SG: I still can't believe the NBA failed in San Diego. If I were an evil kajillionaire, I'd build a state-of-the-art NBA arena downtown — only 10,000 seats, suited specifically for basketball — almost like a killer college hoops arena but with a few more suites —

Yeah, with as wild as Chargers and Padres fans are, I'm sure you'd have no trouble packing the place some of the time if the team was playing well.

and steal someone else's NBA team and rename it "The San Diego Zoo."

Oops, nevermind, that's a worse mascot than Padres.

What marquee free agent wouldn't want to play for the San Diego Zoo? Who has a better chance of getting Dwight Howard next summer — the Milwaukee Bucks or the San Diego Zoo?

Maybe the most Simmons thing Simmons has ever Simmonsed out of his Simmonshole.

Q: After watching my Broncos somehow (painfully) back into the playoffs, I had a thought: What if teams could trade their playoff spot? Here's how it would work: any team that makes it to the playoffs with a .500 record or worse would be eligible to trade their playoff spot to any team in their own conference in exchange for that team's first round pick. The cost of the spot goes up (truncated for dumbness)

This is the worst idea I've ever heard, and the NFL playoffs might be the Platonic ideal of something that is not broken and doesn't require fixing.

TELL ME THE DOWNSIDE!?
— Brett, Bentonville, Ar

Like I said, he chooses people who talk and think like him. "Lakers send Kobe to the Thunder. Thunder send Westbrook, cash, a protected first rounder in 2019 and some socks to the Hawks. Hawks send Josh Smith and some scratch tickets to Philly. Philly sends Iguodala and an unprotected first rounder in 2031 to the Lakers. WHO SAYS NO? WHO HANGS UP THE PHONE? I SPENT 45 MINUTES CONCOCTING THIS ON THE TRADE MACHINE, SOMEONE VALIDATE MY EXISTENCE NOW."

SG: I can't. I really love this idea,

Of course you do, you don't give a shit about sports.

If the Eagles want Denver's Round 1 AFC home game, they can trade for it.

Why not? WHO SAYS NO?

Anyway, I threw this idea at my buddy Gus — a lifelong Broncos fan — who texted me back in 1.993 seconds, "Yes. I make that trade. We have no chance this year but good pieces. Draft picks would help us build."

Surprise among surprises that Bill is friends with someone like Gus. I especially like his revelation that if this atrocious idea ever came to pass and the Broncos could obtain draft picks in exchange for their playoff spot, those draft picks, stay with me now, tell me to slow down if you need more explanation, would help the team build.

Q: The best part of reading your mailbags was scrolling to the bottom to see what nutjob earned the last place spot and was granted the infamous, "Yup, these are my readers!" tagline. Why did it randomly disappear? Has your new fancy website changed you that much already? How am I supposed to know when the mailbag is over now?
— Amy, Jacksonville

Well, a good hint might be if your browser window won't scroll down any further and you've already read all the words on the screen. Another indication that it's coming to an end is if the questions stop asking about Tom Cruise and start including obviously fabricated sex stories. Anyways, if it is seen here in its entirety, this is my favorite Simmons mailbag submission of all time. I doubt this could ever be topped. Look at it, it's perfect. It fawns over Simmons, references a lame bit of his, and contains a proclamation that the person who wrote it only ever read the mailbag to enjoy that bit. And then it ends. Just like my patience for this nonsense.

3 comments:

Chris W said...

I suppose "Amy" could look for the token/invented female letter writer as a sign that Bill has mined as deeply into his creativity as he can handle

Adam said...

The fact that Bill thinks he could build an expensive arena with only 10,000 seats and afford to sign stars like Dwight Howard is fucking idiotic.

Plus, has Bill ever been to San Diego? It's the #1 outdoor activity city in the country. The fact that an indoor sports team with a terrible record failed in San Diego is surprising at all?

Anonymous said...

Well, no, the Eagles could not trade for Denver's playoff spot In this scheme as they play in different conferences.

Holy illiterate and ignorant fucknuts, Batman!!!