As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers. With a twist . . .
Q: I just read your mail bag and you didn't have any questions from females. Am I the only female that reads your column besides the Sports Gal and your mother?
-- Jennifer Williams, Houston
SG: No. In fact, I'll prove it to you.
Q: Can you explain to me why CMT was showing "Hoosiers" as their 'Cowboy Cool Theater' presentation on Wednesday night? I don't get the connection between country music and the greatest basketball movie of all time. Any clue?
-- Katie, Oshkosh, Wis.
SG: First of all, this is the most egregious appearance of a Pantheon Movie on a cable channel since Lifetime aired "Goodfellas" ... which, in retrospect, never happened. (You hear me? It never happened.) With Hoosiers on CMT, I would argue that CMT thought their viewers would empathize with Shooter and his destructive drinking binges, since 57.3 percent of all country music videos revolve around those same themes. If only Dennis Hopper had grown a mullet.
Q: Is there a female equivalent to the phrase "sausage-fest"? It would be inserted into sentences like: "I would never join an all-female gym. Sure, I wouldn't have to deal with guys ogling me all the time, but it would be a total [blank]." Is there a catchy phrase for this situation that I am unaware of?
--Sara Regan, Tempe, Ariz.
SG: Great question. I even sent this one out to my friends. Out of the top 100 possible answers, 100 of them couldn't be printed. In fact, nine of them would have redefined comedy as we know it. But since this Web site is owned by the Disney corporation ... well ... you know. I could come up with some generic ones, but they would end up being about as funny as one of Tammy Pescatelli's "I'm Sicilian" routines on "Last Comic Standing."
So here's what I'm hoping: People will e-mail back and forth about this, saying to each other, "Did you read Simmons' column today? What do you think the nine phrases were?" Invariably, the readers come up with nine or 10 on their own, one of them spreads, and eventually, the female equivalent of "sausage-fest" emerges in a grass-roots sort of way. Hey, I can dream.
Q: My single friends and I need you to come up with a Booty Call contract. Often, the whole "friends with benefits" gets soured because one person has different expectations than the other. The contract should alleviate these awkward issues. For example, the contract might stipulate whether at any point the other party might be asked to attend a wedding or a family function, if only so that the single person won't be asked the entire night why they're single.
Or the contract might say that under no circumstances can the other party be called after 2 a.m. on a weekday night. Or maybe before 10 p.m. on a weekend night. Or there may be certain actions that aren't allowable -- Julia Roberts' character in "Pretty Woman" had a "no kissing on the mouth" clause, although it's not exaaaactly the same thing since she was playing a prostitute. Or perhaps a stipulation stating that at no point should either party say in the morning that they "will call" the other party. We both know it's not going to happen. In fact, the odds are much greater that he will never call if he actually uses those words than if he had said nothing at all, or had said "I'll see you later." And even if he does call, it'll be so much later that you'll have already taken his number out of your phone and will have forgotten who he is, anyway. You get the point.
Since I can't afford the services of an attorney, I was hoping that you could whip up a draft and post it for general use. We single gals would be most grateful because, frankly, the whole booty call thing is getting way too complicated, and if one more guy starts bitching and moaning because I don't want him to sleep over, I'm going to axe the whole freakin' thing.
-- DC, Boston
SG: Just so you know, I'll be auctioning off your e-mail address on e-Bay next week with a reserve minimum bid of ten grand. We can split the profits.
Anyway, I think the Booty Call contract comes with six provisions:
1. You can't call it a "booty call." No self-respecting guy would ever use a phrase like that. Back in the day, I always used the phrase "stop-by" because it was intentionally ambiguous. Guys like ambiguous. It makes us feel comfortable. "Booty call" sounds like something Arsenio Hall would say to Magic Johnson in the late-'80s, followed by them both collapsing on an oversized sofa in hysterics.
2. No weddings or functions of any kind. For one thing, you can't meet anyone else if you already have a date, and weddings are an absolute hookup gold mine in your 20s (so why remove that option for yourself?). Also, you're opening yourself up to people coming over to you and saying, "So, what's going on with (fill in Date's name)?", and then you have to pooh-pooh the whole thing and people will mistakenly think that either he's gay or you're a harlot. This is much worse than anyone thinking you're single (and possibly available).
3. No unannounced stop-bys. You have to call first. I wouldn't put a time limit on phone calls -- it's like making a roto trade. The hotline should be open 24 hours a day.
4. I would leave in the provision of one or both parties saying, "I'll call you tomorrow," because it's tradition, as well as a nice litmus test -- if they say they'll call you tomorrow, and they actually do, they might be developing real feelings and/or have accidentally stumbled across "When Harry Met Sally" on HBO 7 later that night and gotten the wrong idea. I like the safety of "I'll call you tomorrow." It's right up there with a woman saying, "I've never done anything like this before." It's just good to get it out of the way.
5. If you're doing the F.W.B. thing with a guy who's actually bitching because you won't let him sleep over, you need to re-evaluate things. What guy wouldn't rather wake up in his own bed?
6. You should probably negotiate which actions aren't allowable before you enter into the contract. As your attorney, I would allow ALL actions and negotiate a provision that explicitly says "both parties will exhibit good hygiene at all times."
But here's the important thing: These stupid contracts never work. In the history of mankind, there has never been a F.W.B. situation that worked out in the end. Somebody always ends up wanting more than the other person, there's almost always bitterness, and if you manage to remain in touch with the same guy five years from now, I would be absolutely amazed. It's just human nature. My advice would be to find an actual boyfriend ... and if you can't find one, move to a different city. It's crazy to me how many women have trouble finding a decent boyfriend, yet they'll stay in the same city for 10 years. If you were fishing in one section of a river every day, and you never caught anything, would you keep returning to the exact same spot, or would you try your luck somewhere else?
Q: I wanted to address this paragraph in your ESPYs column where you complained about the Sports Gal's constant compliments of Tom Brady. First of all, great O.J. joke. But secondly, you mean to tell me that you can write countless articles about the top 10 hotties of the last 25 years (or something like that), but she can't say Tom Brady's hot?! C'mon, be fair!
-- Ellie, Chicago
SG: Yeah, but still.
(The greatest three-word comeback in the history of arguments.)
Q: The Sports Guy seems to say alot of things about quarterback Tom Brady, but one that keeps being omitted is that Tom Brady is extremely good-looking and one of the hottest football players I have ever seen!!!! That should be counted, too, when evaluating a quarterback!
-- Amber, San Antonio
SG: I'm telling you, if Tom Brady played for any team other than the Pats, I would be praying every night for him to get into one of those accidents like the one that happened to Seal.
Q: Have you also been kind of creeped out by "I Love the '90s?" Watching C-list comedians mock the things that I lived by in high school is just a little too close to home. Besides, it seems like a waste of time being ironic about things like Britney Spears' early years when she still has so much time to screw up her career and marry sketchy guys who look like truck drivers. Anyway, thank you for educating this woman about sports to the point where I can use my knowledge of how Clemens is evil to pick up a guy in a bar.
-- Emily, Washington, D.C.
SG: It's my pleasure. About "I Love the '90s," I agree -- it's impossible to celebrate the nostalgia of a decade that just happened. I enjoyed the episodes from '90 to '94 because that was a distinct era -- Gen X; 90210 and Melrose; Magic's HIV-positive test that sparked the AIDS scare; the "Real World"; the rise of MJ; the dual explosion of rap and grunge; Phil Hartman's prime; Clinton's harrowing election; the Madden '93-94 and NHL '93-94 video games; girls wearing baggy sweaters and refusing to put out; "Reality Bites" vs. "Singles;" even the birth of cliched summer blockbusters with "Speed." From a pop-culture standpoint, that stretch had everything you would ever want. Things happened from 1990 to 1994.
And then, to borrow a phrase, it "all came crashing down" -- with the MJ-less NBA, the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup, the demise of SNL (before the Will Ferell resurgence), the baseball strike, NFL parity, the O.J. Trial, Stone Temple Pilots, 2Pac getting shot and Kurt Cobain's suicide. All of that stuff happened in like an eight-month span. Truly the end of an era. Anyway, that should have been the show: Just those first five years of the '90s. I just don't think enough time has passed where we can look objectively at the latter half of a decade that produces things like Hootie and the Blowfish, Hanson and "Ally McBeal."
Q: Could you do me a favor? In the next mailbag, could you mention to my ex-boyfriend how much he sucks!!!! His name is Dennis Rand, something like "Dennis Rand is a big loser" or "Dennis Rand sucks" would really make my day, possibly my year. If you mentioned how he is a huge loser for not being my boyfriend anymore that would be even better.
-- Dolores C., Albuquerque, N.M.
SG: You know, I'm not willing to throw Dennis Rand under the bus like this. You need to tell me WHY he sucks. For instance, during the infamous Jeff Dorman Mailbag Exchange from three months ago, I was presented with hardcore evidence why Dorman needed to be slammed in a national column. Dorman was writing multiple columnists just to get into their mailbags, then bragging to his friends about it. This revelation only led to one inescapable conclusion: Jeff Dorman sucks.
In the case of Dennis Rand, there's a decent chance that he doesn't suck, and that your relationship failed for reasons you weren't willing to share. So I can't grant you this wish. I'm sorry.
Q: So my co-worker has asked me to partner with him in his fantasy football league this year. One of the other guys in the league has already rebelled, saying he wouldn't be able to take it if a girl beats him. Now I've read your column on your take about watching sports with the opposite sex ... what about playing in a fantasy football league with one? -- Irene, Pembroke Pines, Fla.
SG: You know what? I don't care anymore. I mean, I'm currently in a roto baseball league with my buddy Hench where nobody returned my e-mails for two straight months because we were in first place, followed by a rash of injuries that dropped us to second, followed by a guy trading Nomar and Joe Nathan to the new first-place team for Cliff Lee and Jeff DaVanon. This actually happened. We couldn't even vote it down. Then the guy spent the next week defending the deal on our message board -- how Lee was only a dollar, how DaVanon could be potent if he ever gets a chance to play, and so on -- when the bottom line was that he ended everyone's season and I hope he gets rabies.
In my West Coast football league, we had a five-hour draft last September where some of the guys were so serious, you would have thought we were dividing the contents of a will. You know things are bad when nobody cracks up after a fart. I also love any league where you send someone an e-mail about a potential trade, and they either A) refuse to acknowledge you, or B) send you something back like "What about Terry Glenn and Mike Cloud for Ricky Williams?" That league was eventually highlighted by someone trading Peyton Manning straight up for Amani Toomer -- no, we couldn't vote it down -- then somehow winning the league in December. Good times.
In my East Coast league, the one with my buddies from home, we exchanged four weeks' worth of e-mails trying to organize a Vegas weekend in August for our annual draft -- I'm not kidding -- as people slowly backed out, one after another, almost like it was a horror movie and we were camp counselors slowly getting picked off by Jason Voorhees. Good seeing everybody. Now we're doing some sort of online conference call thingie, which should be about as fun as a root canal. I understand that things have to evolve when you hit your 30s, but do they actually have to end?
Anyway, here's my point: As long as they have a sense of humor, return phone calls and refrain from making one-sided trades that ruin the league for everyone else, I would absolutely enjoy being in the same league with a female. Especially if she has big breasts.
Q: OK. Bill ... Sims ... The Simster. Sit down for this one. I take it that your trusty little intern has already briefed you on the latest gossip, but just in case, please sit down: Jessica Alba (that busted-faced, beer-bellied, Van Exel look-alike) is said to be dating none other than Derek Jeter. Just when you thought it wasn't possible for another Yankee to stab you in the back. Any thoughts?
-- Meg Hart, San Francisco
SG: I give them three weeks. More importantly, you just described Jessica Alba as a "Busted-faced, beer-bellied, Van Exel look-alike."
I just- I- I- ... I can't even speak right now.
(In the storied history of "Women trying to cut down chicks who are indisputably hot" -- which harkens back to the Stone Age -- that short description may have taken the cake. If she could cut down someone as pretty as Alba that gleefully, what would she say about much-iffier female celebs like Brittany Murphy, Christina Aguilera and the Hilton Sisters? I may have to give Meg Hart her own space on the Sports Guy's World page: The Catty Corner.)
Q: A few years ago, a friend of mine called this "Teen Wolf" scene to my attention: Near the end of the movie when the Beavers win the basketball game and everyone in the bleachers is cheering, a gentleman in the crowd is very obviously fiddling with his zipper, pulling it up. I don't even know if you see the man's face, the camera might have been focusing on Scott's father, Boof, Louis, or Pamela Wells, but the man's fly is definitely open. After my friend pointed it out, I was wondering how I missed it all these years. Have you ever noticed it?? -- Mary Little, Seattle
SG: Of course! For anyone who hasn't seen it, watch the last few seconds of the movie before the credits roll. Michael J. Fox blows off the Hot Blonde Chick to make out with his friend, Boof, which has to rank among the most improbable scenes in movie history. That's followed by Fox jumping into his dad's arms ... only right as they start hugging, you see someone in a red sweater sitting behind them who stands up, and his pants aren't even buttoned, much less zippered up. And this goes on for about two seconds before he realizes what happened, so you see him calmly buttoning himself up. Two seconds later, they freeze on that picture and we get that creepy slow motion montage with the closing credits. Highest of high comedy.
Speaking of "Teen Wolf," one of those goofy Internet things happened this week. Thanks to a now-defunct New York sports Web site, an Internet hoax gained steam (even fooling IMDB.com) that Mike Piazza played Fox's rival in "Teen Wolf" -- a. k. a. Mick, the Hot Blonde Chick's boyfriend who was improbably allowed to stand under the basket during Fox's climactic free throws. Maybe the guy looks like Piazza, but his real name was Mark Arnold, who looks like he's about 35 in real life during the movie. Piazza is 35 now, which would have made him 15 or 16 when they filmed the movie. I don't think so.
Anyway, it's funny as hell ... but sadly, it's not true. Besides, after seeing Piazza's reaction to Clemens throwing the bat at him, I can't imagine him fighting a werewolf at a senior prom. Not even in a movie.
Coming Next Week: Part Two.
Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.