Monday, May 28, 2012

Consider this my apology to Bill

Back when Simmons talked about how the Celtics LITERALLY (note: not literally) threw their hat in the ring for the 2012 NBA title, I laughed for a few minutes and then proclaimed that I would publicly apologize if they took their conference semis series to game 6.  Thanks to Derrick Rose's magical exploding ACL, the Celtics did just that and eventually outlasted a 35-31 Sixers team to make the conference finals.  So... sorry Bill.  You were right.  If we allow for a devastating injury to the most important player on the best or second best team in the conference, the Celtics might be one of the two best teams in the east.  I think Indiana is probably better than them though.  Anyways, based on what I saw in tonight's Heat/Celtics game, there's no way this series goes six like the Heat/Pacers series did.  Here's to Miami dropping game two and then winning the next three, so the series closes out in Miami and Boston doesn't win any home games.  Yeah, I'm a big enough jerk to think that scenario through.  And if Boston makes the finals I said I'd shut the blog down.  Let's hope LeBron and Wade show up for three out of the next six games so I don't have to renege on that one.

Meanwhile, I suppose I should probably start plugging away at Bill's latest article.  WHO SAYS NO?  Give me a good reason I shouldn't.  You can't.

The Playoff Eclipse Chronicles

OOOOH BIG WORDS!  Bill probably isn't responsible for his own headlines, but assuming that's the case, his editor is just as desperate to impress readers as he is.

"You're gonna write about this, right?"

Even when he's not doing a mailbag column, he still goes out of his way to make sure you know how much people like him.

Someone asked me that during halftime of Sunday night's Clippers-Spurs game. 

After Bill spent the first two quarters announcing without being asked that he was a sportswriter by trade.

We were in the home stretch at that point: In the previous 74 hours, the same spot in downtown Los Angeles had somehow hosted six playoff games, two elimination games, two doubleheaders and an allegedly important cycling race. If that wasn't enough, we also witnessed a solar eclipse and Antonio Cromartie's controversial halftime orgy with the Clippers dance squad. I only made one of those things up.

Antonio Cromartie has a lot of kids.  This has been a joke for several years now, and got beaten twice to death during the 2010 edition of Hard Knocks.  But sure, go right ahead.  Up next: a fresh take on Tiger Woods' marital troubles.

"Absolutely," I said. "I'm definitely writing about this."

And the person who asked the question was already out of their seat and well on their way up the aisle to the concourse.

"What's your angle gonna be? Just about going to all the games?"

"I only went to five of the six, but yeah."

So evidently he went to at least one Kings game.  Penner/Clowe joke goes here.

"You should just lie and say you went to all six. That would be a good column."

Someone who thinks they have an idea worth pitching to Bill: somehow... worse than Bill?

"I can't lie, people saw me on Saturday night. I wasn't here."


"Yeah, that makes sense."

The person thought about it for a second. And then …

Threw a full tray of nachos in your face?

"I don't know anyone who went to all six. But in a couple of years, I bet a lot of people will say they did."

And those people will be posturing to be recognized as gigantic assholes, because I'm sure Lakers playoff tickets are extremely expensive and Kings/Clippers tickets can't be too far behind.  In a metro area with like 12 million people, most of whom are shameless frontrunners, I imagine demand is through the roof right now.  Unless they were only hanging out with other gigantic assholes, or were somehow a diehard fan of all three of those teams (estimated number of people who are true diehards for both the Lakers and the Clippers: zero), who would brag about that?

It's a great point. People love fibbing about fan-related stuff. Eight years after the Roberts Steal changed Boston sports history, 83 percent of the swollen Red Sox fan base claim they were in Fenway when it happened, and even better, that they never left to beat the traffic (even though so many others did). 

Pretty sure he admitted to having left his seat (and having seen the steal from the concourse) at some point in the past few weeks.  Making him only 75% as much of a pud as those who left.

Every city has a handful of "I was there!" sports moments like that. 

I wanted to take a cheap shot at Cleveland or Seattle here, but I'm going to hold off.  FOR NOW.

You hear someone claiming to be there, you want to believe them … but you don't totally believe them. Hitting L.A. Live for six playoff games over the course of four nights? Harder than it sounds. 

It sounds fucking impossible. 

You need connections. 


You need money. 

No shit.

You need to be single.

What would be really helpful is if you had a job that never required you to be in an office.  Bill Simmons: the voice of the regular everyday average Joe fan.

Or, you need to be me. 

God, you're a twathole.

From this point forward, I'm just going to start claiming that I attended all six games. (And what an incredible weekend it was! I can't believe I went to all six games!) 

In case there was any doubt that Bill has fully assimilated into LA and its shallow, insufferable, self-important culture, take note that he just spent a few hundred words setting up the CRITICAL DISTINCTION between having attended five out of six big important events versus having attended all six. 

Nobody was happier about last weekend than AEG, the company that owns Staples Center and its surrounding real estate. A few years ago, that once-downtrodden area was improbably transformed from a collection of hideous above-ground parking lots to the perpetually happy "L.A. Live," a multi-block complex featuring dozens of offices (including Grantland's headquarters), restaurants, bars, the Nokia Theatre, a mammoth JW Marriott/Ritz-Carlton, an obnoxiously big movie theater, bowling (that's right, bowling!), and enough parking to handle upwards of 35,000 people at the same time. You couldn't ask for a better host for consecutive doubleheaders, simply because it's such an underrated place to waste time.

In what universe could a giant funplex of food, movies, bowling, and live entertainment in SoCal be underrated as a place to waste time?  Who would say that that place doesn't sound incredibly awesome?  People over the age of 95?  Eskimos?

My favorite L.A. Live story before last weekend: A few months ago, a Kings home game at Staples Center started at the exact same time as a Wiz Khalifa concert at the Nokia Theatre, inadvertently creating the single funniest swarm of congestion that's ever happened. Let's just say there wasn't a ton of overlap between the two fan bases. 

LOL people from different cultures have different interests!  White people be driving like this, but black people be driving like this!  Watch out Chappelle: there's a new heavy hitter on the sociological comedy scene.

That story got supplanted by my new favorite story about L.A. Live, which happened Saturday during the first of two doubleheaders: Two of my friends caught the Clippers-Spurs game, then found themselves with three hours to kill before the Lakers-OKC game. Hmmmmm … three hours … MOVIE!


They checked out movie theater times and found a perfect window to see The Dictator. So they walk over to the Regal Cinemas, buy tickets, sit down … and who do they see in another row killing time like them? That's right, Jimmy Goldstein, the stylish millionaire who sits courtside for seemingly every NBA playoff game, wears colorful leather jackets, sits next to long-legged blondes and always looks like he just smoked the biggest bowl on the planet. You know, this guy. Did Jimmy bring one of those long-legged blondes to The Dictator? Of course he did! I'm anointing this L.A. Live's greatest moment ever, 

Like I said, if you were on the fence as to whether or not Bill has become just another wannabe-important member of LA's vapid upper middle class, ponder no further.

narrowly edging former Grantland editor Lane Brown ordering a cobb salad from The Farm of Beverly Hills for 38 days in a row last summer.

Holy shit.  I'm done for the night.


Adam said...


Actually Sports Center had a story about a guy who did all six.

cs said...

"he was a sportswriter by trade"

Tenuous. Very tenuous.

Chris W said...

Jay Mariotti=Jackie Harvey?

Larry B said...

Item! I would never ask that Jackie Harvey be fired.

Jack M said...

I wouldn't say LA Live is under or over rated. It's just a huge hassle to get to. I mean do they really expect me to take the 90 to the 405 to the 10 to the 110 and exit at Adams?

Trey, what're you doing here!?

Jonathan Mathis said...

Yo, Larry. Good stuff, man. Do you hate Boers and Bernstein? Please say yes. I hate them with a passion. Give me a shout out. I'm known as Jonathan Mathis aka Sports Judge. I'm a sportswriter for SB Nation and Gridiron Grit. Can you take a look at my twitter page and write a short piece on how I ranted on Boers and Bernstein? Thanks, man.!/Jon9685

Chris W said...

Hating on Boers and Bernstein? :'(

Adam said...

So u mad bro because somebody is not afraid to call out Patrick Kane?

Jonathan Mathis said...

No, I'm mad because they never have any facts, their stuff is inaccurate, they have baseless arguments and they only attack people.

Adam said...

Ok, examples?