By Bill Simmons
Page 2 columnist

Thoughts while wondering when Bubb Rubb is getting his own talk show ...

When golf announcers call one of the players "a devout family man," that's definitely code for "This guy has no personality whatsoever."

Blues Brothers
"Blues Brothers 2000" was named after the number of tickets sold.

Every time Dan Aykroyd sings in public with John Goodman, John Belushi must start doing 360s in his grave like Terence Stansbury.

Here's my favorite running streak in sports: No NBA team that ever used Joe Piscopo as an announcer in the Finals has gone on to win the title.

I mean, everything just feels right about the Dontrelle Willis Era, doesn't it? He even has the perfect name. This is beautiful.

You know you're in Vegas when your asthma inhaler is crammed into your pants pocket ... right next to a fresh pack of Marlboro Lights.

One of the (printable) highlights of my bachelor party in Vegas: Getting into an elevator with a bunch of my friends, noticing Jeremy Shockey was in there, and knowing immediately that my buddy Sal would launch into his impression of a delirious Giants fan. "Shock-eeeeeeeee!!! Shock-eeeeeeee!" You knew it was coming. And poor Shockey could only smile and stare up at the numbers, praying we would reach his floor. But we had something like 30 floors to go. Things like that only happen in Vegas.

All right, I'll ask: Did Satan buy Ashton Kutcher's soul on eBay, or was it a straightforward transaction?

There can't be a worse feeling for an athlete than the "I just flipped the ball into the stands even though there was only two outs" feeling.

Larry Bird
This jersey is regularly presented at the "Whitest Person Alive" competition.

Hold on a second ... could somebody please explain to me why I don't own the 1988 East All-Stars Larry Bird throwback jersey from Mitchell & Ness yet?

I don't know what frightens me more, the fact that Matt Hasselbeck will go in the first two rounds of every fantasy draft across America, or the fact that I'll be disappointed if I don't get him. It's a tossup.

I don't know what I enjoyed more: The fact that the "Paradise Hotel" producers imported trashy, bug-eyed Toni from "Love Cruise" (the first repeat character in reality-TV history); the fact that she fancied herself an experienced vet of the process; or the fact that they thought nobody would notice. Hey, I'm PAID to notice this stuff. You can't slip this stuff by me.

Any time you find yourself questioning whether God really exists, just remember that Bill Laimbeer is stuck coaching the Detroit Shock.

I have to be honest: I always thought a book about A's GM Billy Beane would be called, "All Right, For the Last Time, I'm Not The Gay One!"

Wouldn't you love to see the ratio between "Movies where someone fell over a second floor-staircase and landed through a glass table" and "Houses in America that actually have a glass table"?

Cuba Gooding Jr.
Apparently Hollywood has forgotten to show Cuba the money.

No disrespect to Larry Merchant and Skip Bayless, but nothing hits my funny bone quite like an unnanounced live appearance at a sporting event from Cuba Gooding Jr. He's like a gift from the Comedy Gods. Couldn't ABC name him to replace Melissa Stark? Please?

E-mail that I sent to my buddy Gus last April: "I can't wait until the Broncos sign Jake Plummer, and I get to watch you slowly talk yourself into it over the course of the next few months. This will be the highlight of my summer."

You know, if this Sammy Sosa controversy was a thinly veiled excuse to get a twitchy, wife-beater-wearing Jose Canseco back in the public eye and saying ridiculously dumb things, then I'm all for it.

Let's face it: They should just change the name of Memorial Day to "Pedro Has Gone On The DL Day."

Speaking of holidays, President Bush needs to pass legislation that Gatti and Ward should fight every year until they can't walk any more. Would anyone be against this?

You have to love wrestling, if only for things like "A French bad guy team named La Resistance is currently holding the WWE tag-team belts."

Idea of the week: Every time an athlete does something horrible and needs to rehabilitate his image, he should show up at press conferences holding Jason Kidd's son. It could be like a running thing. Couldn't we ship him down to Tampa to get some camera time with Michael Pittman?

Ozzy, Jack Osbourne
Even Jerry Garcia would have looked up to these guys.

I don't want to jinx it, but Jack and Ozzy have a chance to be the Junior and Senior Griffey of drug rehab. They might break every record.

When you're opening a sports bar in a hotel, is it a federal rule that you have to name it "Champions"?

Just when you thought Tiger Woods playing Ruthie in "Real World: Hawaii" would never be topped, you see Keith Van Horn playing Simon in "Real World: Paris." That show never ceases to amaze.

Here's how you know when you have good friends: When some of them chip in and get you the "Golden Tee '99" arcade game as a wedding gift.

After you spend too much time in a Vegas strip joint, there's always that surreal hour afterward in the casino where you walk by females and keep expecting them to approach you for a lap dance. Totally discombobulating. It's almost as weird as being half-asleep on a red-eye flight and hitting that kooky state where your senses heighten, you can't differentiate between reality and fiction, and you keep waiting for aliens to emerge from the cockpit.

Speaking of lap dances, there isn't a better way to reject a stripper's approach than the sentence, "No thanks, I'm all set, I just had one." I wish those nine words worked in every aspect of life.

The Bernsen-Baldwin reality-TV rivalry is starting to resemble Kaplan-Conrad on "Battle of the Network Stars," isn't it?

LeBron James
"OK, this is our new hand signal and here's 50k for opening my mail."

Hey, don't you think when LeBron starts auditioning people for his new posse, those auditions should be telecast on live TV? Who wouldn't want to see three flunkies battle it out for the right to make some spending money, get their own room and warm up LeBron's car every morning? Would anyone be against this?

Wow ... Melvin Mora versus Bill Mueller for the AL batting crown! This is like DiMaggio and Williams all over again! I think Halberstam's at his typewriter right now pumping away.

When it comes right down to it, even Larry Brown and Allen Iverson didn't have as strange and complicated a relationship as Meg and Jack White.

If you're a Carmelo Anthony fan, everything's going by plan right now: Denver's just dumb enough to trade his rights to the right team, he'll be busting his butt for the next 15 years to prove he's better than LeBron, and he'll always be the underdog. You can't ask for anything more.

All right, I'll ask: Why couldn't they have just found the 2003 equivalent of Lou Ferrigno and painted him green? Who would have been against this?

I wish I could buy stock in things like "Roger Clemens will make an ill-fated comeback at age 44."

The Shining
A writer? You're not officially a person until you want to do this ten times a day.

You're not officially a writer until someone interrupts you while you're typing, and you try to be nice about it, but you secretly want to start screaming like Nicholson in "The Shining."

My most disappointing sports moment of 2003: The WNBA changing its draft setup and moving the players right next to the stage, with no steps and just a 10-foot walk from the chairs to the podium. How am I supposed to get through the spring without seeing female basketball players walking awkwardly in high heels???

I'll be honest: Now that HBO is showing "Ali" 25 times a day, it's starting to win me over. Ali, bomaye ... Ali, bomaye ... Ali, bomaye ...

Wait a second ... how is it nearly July and no drunken Red Sox fans have fallen off the Green Monster yet? I had April 18th in the Page 2 office pool. Isn't this the story of the year or am I crazy? I mean, zero fans? None? And we're almost at the All-Star Break?

You have to love boxing, if only because it's the only sport where someone says, "Timeout, you have too much vaseline on you."

Burning questions: Why am I the only one who's fired up for "Bad Boys 2"? Why hasn't there been a porno star yet named Huge Ackmann? Are Mick Fleetwood, Terry Bradshaw and Hulk Hogan all turning into the same guy? How does Mehmet Okur find time to play Mr. Big on "Sex and the City"? If Court TV shows the Spike Lee-Spike TV trial, do you think it will feature horrible directing and an overbearing musical score? And does Tim Tschida ever screw up and accidentally wear his Yankee jersey to work?

You know, when I'm running the country, things like "The 10-10-97 commercial using the music from the 'Natural' " will never happen.

Arliss
Arli$$ on DVD ... so Cop Rock shouldn't be far behind.

Lemme get this straight ... there's a 13-episode "Best of Arli$$" DVD out, Seasons 1 and 2 of "Angel" are out, and yet Season 1 of "Miami Vice" is nowhere to be seen? Really?

I'm glad MJ went out the way we always hoped: Wearing a retro "BULLETS" jersey and playing for a sub-.500 team. That was fun.

Hey, couldn't they come up with some sort of Home Run Conversion Chart for every homer hit in the past 12 years? Like every homer from 1991-2003 was worth 0.8 of a real homer? I just can't accept Raffie Palmeiro being in the 500-HR Club. It's too absurd. And while we're at it, can we settle on a spelling for "Antoine" once and for all? No more "Antwan," "Antwone," "Ant'one," "Antowain" ... just "Antoine." That's it. And let's enforce this thing. I've really had it.

My Mom's quote of the past six months: "What's up with this Shupac Takur? Why does he keep releasing albums? Wasn't he supposed to be dead?"

My all-time TV pet peeve: When TNT runs a "Rocky" Marathon and cuts out 10 minutes of scenes from the middle of "Rocky 1," then leaves the entire beginning of "Rocky II" intact ... which is the same 10-minutes from the ending of "Rocky 1." Why wouldn't they just start with Rocky and Apollo heading to the hospital? Does this keep anyone else awake at night?

Nothing's more exciting than those three seconds in pinball when you realize you're about to get multi-ball.

Luca Brasi
Luca hopes your first child is a masculine child.

Last week I was watching that "Godfather" scene when Vito Corleone sent Luca Brasi to "feel out" Solazzo and Barzani ... and that's when the Ramiro Mendoza Era in Boston finally began to make sense.

All right, here was my own personal Jayson Blair moment: When I was working at the Boston Herald, the interns (including me) would take turns typing up the agate for the scoreboard page ... so every once in awhile, I would sneak my old roommate's Geoff's name into the transactions for the first edition. Stuff like "MINNESOTA VIKINGS: Sign LB Geoff Gallo to the practice squad." Never got old. These are the things you do when you're making $8.32 an hour.

Tim Duncan, welcome to the Pantheon. 21-20-10-8. Holy s---.

When I'm running ESPN6, the only mortal lock for the schedule is "Pardon The Interruption II," starring Tim Hardaway and Eric Dickerson, with Dikembe Mutombo as Stat Boy.

Out of all the highlights in Arnold Palmer's career, where does having the "half-lemonade, half-iced tea" drink named after him rank?

Finally, you know how parents always remember their child's first words? I think I'm always going to remember the first time my puppy drank out of the toilet bowl. April 22, 2003. Some things you just don't forget.

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine, and he's a writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live.




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