By Bill Simmons
Page 2

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 2, THE WINNERS: 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-16

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 2, THE ELIMINATED: 1-9


THE FOLLOWING NINE DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT TO ROUND 3

FINALIST NO. 1
Name: Joe Barkan
College: Vassar College, 2005
Residence: Bar Harbor, ME
Current Job: Student
Age: 21

ESPN6 will officially launch on April 11, 2005 with a gala celebration on Yawkey Way. Network creator Joe Barkan has personally invited such luminaries as mid-90's versions of Barry Sanders, Ken Griffey Jr. and Penny Hardaway, Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Elsa Benitez (sans Rony Seikaly), Paul Pierce (on Prozac), Matt Damon, Tom Brady, and every woman Matt Damon or Tom Brady has ever slept with to be present for the festivities. In order to awe an eager viewing audience with a groundbreaking premiere, ESPN6 will air a special edition of "Stankeeography," LIVE from the Red Sox ring and banner-raising ceremony at Fenway Park. Special cameras in the Yankee dugout will be trained on Alex Rodriguez, as he purses his purple lips in confusion, a deliriously enraged Gary Sheffield, and that "Yankee Stadium Ghost" Derek Jeter constantly mentions, who turns out to just be Jason Giambi. Later episodes of "Stankeeography" will chronicle the illustrious career of Alvaro Espinoza and take an in-depth look at the personal relationship between George Steinbrenner and Hideki Irabu.

Viewers yearning for the good old days will be pleased with "I Love the '86 Mets." This weekly program will feature those players from that fabled World Series Champion team who aren't too coked up to recall their glory years in Queens. Individual episodes include a hilarious reenactment by Dwight Gooden and Kevin Mitchell of Mitchell beheading his girlfriend's cat in a drunken rage.

Knowing its audience appreciates action, ESPN6 has assembled a team of NBA players -- Greg Ostertag, Curtis Borchardt, Jason Collier, Chris Kaman, and Sla-va Med-ve-den-ko -- to invade the mean streets of America's cities to challenge the best playground ballers in the country. Who wins in a loosely officiated pickup game between the tallest, most awkward professional players and the unrefined, athletic high-flyers of Brooklyn and Chicago? ESPN6 has the answer with "White Stiffs."

To celebrate a character who holds a special place in the hearts of all sports fans, ESPN6 is proud to present "The Vince Coleman Crackin' Fun Hour," a late night talk show hosted by Vince and featuring various athletes, celebrities and singers. Laugh along with lovable Vince as he asks his guests questions like, "Remember that time I threw an M-80 into a crowd of fans?" and offers his feelings on the runaway tarp that ended his '85 postseason.

ESPN6 isn't afraid to explore the dark side of sports. "Hard Knocks: Behind Bars with Jamal Lewis" chronicles the escapades of the incarcerated Baltimore Raven. Will this bruising running back command street-cred and rule the inmate hierarchy, or will an envious group of cons team up to make the millionaire Pro-Bowler feel like he's running backwards through a cornfield? Find out this spring!


FINALIST NO. 2
Name: Marion Fox
College: University of Rhode Island, 2002
Residence: Hoboken, NJ
Current Job: Financial Sales Assistant
Age: 24

CNBC has Susie Orman, The Food Network has Emirl Lagasse, and basic cable stations have Dr. Phil. What do all of these people have in common? They teach and you learn.

Whether you are the most avid sports player or just the average fan there are always more fun fact and information to be learned. Imagine being able to watch any sporting event from NASCAR to baseball, from golf to basketball and know what is going on at all times.

What better way to learn these rules then through a game show? I give you Obey the Rules!, a game show based on the handbook of rules for the major leagues and professional tournaments.Contestants will be divided into two teams of four, and each team member will compete against a member from the other team, answering questions or giving a demonstration of referee hand calls. The winners of each show will be determined by the points that they accumulate and will appear the next week to defend their title. The winning team at the end of the series season will then have the opportunity to choose tickets to any major sporting event from the Super Bowl, an NBA Final game, or even the Ryder Cup as their grand prize.

Quiz shows are always popular, but so are talk shows. Some woman wish they could learn more about sports and what makes them so appealing. Some men think that they are born with sports knowledge just like they are born with testosterone but unfortunately this is not true for all.

A weekly hour show taped in front of a live studio audience with one regular host and weekly celebrity guest co-host from around the many leagues of sports will discuss the basic premise of games and tournaments, as well as the rules and calls made my referees. Without alienating the sports fans who may think they are too advanced for a show of this nature, the weekly discussions will also touch base on calls made in the week's previous games, how they affected the games outcome, and of course fans will get to ask the celebrity guest questions via the open phone lines through out the show!

Just think, if this these shows were on ESPN back when Brady made the tuck rule a regular part of our vocabulary, maybe all the Raider fans would not have such resentment towards the Pats, because they all would have prior knowledge of the rules!! There would be less bar fights over calls made on the field and less money to be lost betting a friend you know what to do at the water hazard on the 15th green at your favorite course!


FINALIST NO. 3
Name: Pete Freedman
College: Syracuse University
Residence: Syracuse, NY
Current Job: Student
Age: 20

My TV just broke. I'm not too sure how it happened. All I know is that my cable jack popped out and I can't figure out how to fix it. So I can't watch TV now even if I wanted to -- and, believe me, I do.

That said, let me apologize in advance for what I'm about to write. The last thing I saw on television was a marathon of MTV's "My Super Sweet 16." Sure, I enjoyed every minute of it, but if all my ideas seem a little too outlandish, don't blame me -- blame Nina L. Diaz and Lily Neumeyer, the show's creators.

All warnings aside, I present to you a sampling of what I might produce if given the reins of ESPN6:

"Friday Night Bar Fights"
Exciting, dumbfounded brawls full of passion, grit and gore are sure to make for TV gold. It starts with a glance across the bar at the wrong girl, proceeds with a claim ("Hey, man, I saw her first!"), escalates with a challenge ("I'd like to see you try!"), and ends with WWE announcer Jim Ross screaming, "OH NO! This is TERRIBLE! I can only imagine the impact this will have on Smackdown!

"Tailblazers"
From the creators of the hit MTV dating show "Taildaters," this surefire hit features members of the Portland Trailblazers as they sit inside a van parked outside a Portland-area club. Watch as the much-maligned Blazers secretly keep tabs on their posse members at the bar and on the dance floor. If you think Qyntel Woods' reaction to his posse calling him "Q-ty Pie" behind his back in the first episode is outrageous, wait until you see Damon Stoudamire's in the second! Mighty Mouse, indeed!

"Brotherly Love"
There may be such a thing as too much Freddie Mitchell, but the viewers of ESPN6 haven't yet had their full! Watch as "Hollywood" and Jaleel White of Steve Urkel fame, who Mitchell claims is his closest celebrity friend (according to freddiemitchell.com), experience all things Philadelphian! It's zany!

"Average Joe: Milwaukee"
See Milwaukee Bucks forward and one-time top NBA draft pick Joe Smith wallow in his unfulfilled potential in front of a national audience. Think a more palatable "Ashlee Simpson Show," but with career numbers of 12.7 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. Claims of "I was worth every draft pick the T-Wolves gave up for me!" are bound to make this show your No. 1 pick each week -- or maybe entice you to give up your No. 1 pick for the next few years when you secretly try to watch the show before the deadline.

I know I'd watch these shows ... that is, if my TV worked.


FINALIST NO. 4
Name: Martin Locraft
College: The Catholic University of America, 2001
Residence: Bethesda, MD
Current Job: Architect
Age: 25

February 23, 2005

To: All ESPN personnel.

Re: Programming schedule for debut of 'ESPN6: Thrice the Glory of the Deuce."

For immediate release.

6:00 p.m. -- 6:30 p.m.
"Monkeyopoly": A new twist on everyone's favorite board game. Watch pint-sized marsupials roll considerably oversized die, barter over cardboard real estate and drive around in miniature pewter cars. Hosted by Roger Lodge. (Game, 25 min.)

6:30 p.m. -- 7:00 p.m.
"Three's Company": Kobe gets foiled again when he finds fresh 18-wheeler tire tracks on his driveway; Karl mulls retirement while cattle-farming in Wyoming; Vanessa celebrates the news of landing a recurring role on "Desperate Housewives." Introducing Rudy Tomjanovich as Stanley Roper. (Sitcom, CC, 23 min.)

7:00 p.m. -- 7:30 p.m.
"The Rebel Billionaire": Go inside the world of Daniel Snyder, where you'll get a look at the never-before-seen revolving door into FedEx Field's coaching office; witness the overruling of key on-field moves; and get a behind-the-scenes tour of his extensive collection of late-80s Ray-Ban sunglasses. (Reality / Horror, CC, 25 min.)

7:30 p.m. -- 8:00 p.m.
"Smackdown!": An expert's guide to perfecting the slap; hosted by Gordon Pritchard, Dean of Harrison University in New York. (Special, CC, 24 min.)

8:00 p.m. -- 9:00 p.m.
"Kingpin": Classic PBA footage of the 1979 Odor-Eaters Invitational. Witness the shocking upset of bowling giant Ernie McCracken by stylish upstart Roy Munson. (B&W, 52 min.)

9:00 p.m. -- 11:00 p.m.
"True Lies" (2005): Rory Culkin portrays a distraught seventh-grader, torn between burning his Jose Canseco rookie card or using it to make revving sounds in his spokes; with a moving performance by Noah Emmerich as former teammate and perennial slugger Mark McGwire. (Movie, CC, 1 hr. 39 min.)

11:00 p.m. -- 11:30 p.m.
"ESPN Obscurities": Join Mike Hall for daily highlights in disc golf, wiffle ball, jai-alai, croquet, bocce and much more. (Live, CC)

11:30 p.m. -- 12:00 a.m.
"The Simpsons: Homer at the Bat": Mr. Burns had done it; the Power Plant had won it, with Roger Clemens clucking all the while. Mike Scioscia's tragic illness made us smile, while Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile. (Animated, CC, 23 min.)

12:00 a.m. -- 1:00 a.m.
"Coming to America": Follow 20 European hockey players as they fight their way from the rinks of Prague and St. Petersburg to the arenas of Chicago and Detroit. (Documentary, CC, 48 min.)

1:00 a.m. -- 2:00 a.m.
"The Rookie": After misspelling "nauseous" on a sports-writing application, Martin questions whether or not he has what it takes to make it in the business. After an emotional phone call from Akshay Buddiga, his confidence soars once again. (Suspense, CC, 47 min.)

2:00 a.m. -- 5:00 a.m.
"Girls Gone Wild": "Big XII Coeds," hosted by Larry Eustachy. (Infomercial / Tease, 3 hrs.)


FINALIST NO. 5
Name: Anthony Mason
College: Indiana University 2004
Residence: Bloomington, IN
Current Job: interviewing
Age: 25

1. "The Sporting Nightlife: with Barbara and Jenna Bush"
Premise: The Bush twins go out on the town with athletes.

Pilot: Barbara and Jenna head to South Beach for a night out with Baltimore Ravens stars and University of Miami alums Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Guest star: Trick Daddy.

Episode 1: The twins are at it again as they "hit" up downtown Detroit with former welterweight champion Tommy Hearns.

-- I feel that there are endless possibilities for this show.

2. "Brown Beats the Pros"
Premise: I have a buddy named Brown who loves to make outrageous claims. Ever since he was 13 he has maintained that he beat Joe Hillman (a guard on IU's 1987 National Championship team) in a game of one-on-one. From that story, the idea for "Brown Beats the Pros" was born. Basically, Brown would challenge athletes in modified formats with the winner donating to the other's charity of choice. To add to the ridiculousness, I would host the show with former NBA all-star Anthony Mason with whom I share: a birth name, a nickname, above average court-vision, and a history of bad haircuts.

Pilot: Three Segments

"Full-court challenge" -- Shawn Bradley has to successfully dribble from endline-to-endline 10 times without Brown stealing three from him.

"Retired Knuckleballer challenge" -- With a minor league defense behind him, Charlie Hough has to throw 20 knuckleballs (for strikes) in a row without Brown getting a hit.

"Wheelchair tennis" -- Andy Roddick has to beat Brown in a tiebreak while sitting in a wheelchair.

-- This would be a great show for a season and would catapult Brown into other television opportunities for the network. However, I think by year two the best ideas will be things like Brown bass fishing against Babe Winkleman, where Brown uses real bait while Winkleman's forced to fish with a cigar butt.

3. "Merchant's Watering Hole"
Premise: Larry Merchant invites different athletes and celebrities out for drinks and conversation at a local dive. Flip Homansky tends the bar and chooses when to cut people off. Also, Harold Lederman would have to sit unseen at a back table and occasionally give his opinion on the topics of conversation and the condition of the participants.

Pilot: Any five people would work.

-- I know this is a rip-off of the Favreau show; but we are talking about ESPN6 and the term "original programming" can be used a little loosely, I would hope. Also, I would not want anyone to get staggeringly drunk so Flip would be quick with the towel, due to potential law suits and concern for the participants saving face. Really, I just want to hear Tiger Woods say, "Do you serve Zima?"


FINALIST NO. 6
Name: Mike McManus
College: University of Rhode Island (2003)
Residence: New York, NY
Current Job: Account Manager, New Jersey Devils (no joke)
Age: 23

Here is a quick rundown of this weeks programming on E6, or "Nomar" as the kids are now calling it. Here at Nomar, we like to get the viewers involved or at least get them to laugh at shortcomings of others.

Hollywood Gladiators -- Celebrities compete in different events against former wrestlers. This week: Jonathan Taylor Thomas tries to outlast Dean Cain in the Eliminator ... but not if Diamond Dallas Page and Koko B. Ware have anything to say about it.

Draw Four -- Original series from the makers of "TILT."This week: Champion "Reverse" Robert DiTrani finds out that the UNO circuit can be a scary place at the top.

Win Jeff George's Money -- Participants earn Jeff's money by catching passes while performing other activities simultaneously.

This week: Jeff finds work. Only this time his receivers are jumping of a diving board into a pool of jell-o.

Outside the Lines -- The cancellation of "Win Jeff George's Money" is discussed.

SportsCentury -- Dan Cortese

Celebrity Wall Ball -- Celebrities compete in suicide, wall-ball, "butts-up", a**, "sooey" or whatever you called it in 4th grade.

This week: Returning champion Dave Faustino defends his title. Jonathan Taylor-Thomas is out for revenge after last weeks brutal pegging.

Paintgolf -- Contestants play 9 holes while being shot at with paintball guns. Lowest score and fastest time wins.

Hockey Tickets: The Musical -- The touching story of a young hockey ticket salesman out to prove his worth.

PLAYOFFS?! -- Highlight montage of the week's best coach and player rants.

Sportswriter Boiling Point -- When will the yelling stop?

This week: Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless tell people what to think. Who will make more people angry? Call-in and be the judge.

My Fantasy -- Revolutionary technology creates daily or weekly highlight montages of players unique to your own fantasy team. Even Jason Collins.

Herman Edwards press conference

Be the Ball -- Fans get to reenact scenes from their favorite sports movies.

This week: The 2-point conversion and celebration from "Necessary Roughness."

Wha Happen? : The Trey Junkin Story

Hometown Heroes -- Viewers send in tapes of their athletic performances while notable announcers call the plays.

This week: Billy Raftery calls Upset City vs. Cheesed Out the Frame in the URI Intramural "B" League playoffs. "Mikey Paris ... to the hole ... FACE!"

Chris Cross -- The trivia game tests viewers knowledge of the brief careers of L.A. centers Mihm and Kaman.

Thin Ice: The Seth Kohn Story -- From Rutgers basketball fan to hockey ticket salesman to having the same name as a bumbling TV character, things were never easy for Seth. Will people find out that he once wore a Chicago Bulls yarmulka and make his life worse? Tune in and find out.

Or don't.


FINALIST NO. 7
Name: Justin Rebello
College: Northeastern University (2005)
Residence: Boston, MA
Current Job: Boston Globe Sports Section/City-Region Writer
Age: 23

ESPN6 Schedule:
6:00 p.m. -- World Madden 2005 Championships. Live! From Portland. Sponsored by Natural Ice.

7:00 p.m. -- The War Room. Sports fans debate with their favorite team's general manager.

Excerpt from tonight's program:

-- Joe Sullivan (Boston, MA): Why would you give Mark Blount a 6 year/$38 million contract?
-- Danny Ainge (Celtics GM): He was terrific in the second half of last season.
-- Joe Sullivan: But how lousy was his play before that? Did you consider that?
-- Danny Ainge: Listen, do you want to get hurt? Because I can hurt you.

8:00 p.m. -- The NCAA beer pong tournament qualifiers. Number 2-ranked Bunker Hill Community College versus unranked Duke.

9:30 p.m. -- NFL Coach Celebrity Poker
Highlights include: Mike Martz going all in with a four high; everyone folding when Jeff Fischer's frozen snot melts onto the cards; Mike Shanahan getting creamed on three straight big pots and finally stabbing Norman Chad in the heart.

10:30 p.m. -- The Tim McCarver-Derek Jeter Variety Hour
Singing! Dancing! Baseball the way it was meant to be played!

11:30 p.m. -- Sports DVD on TV: Athletes offer up commentary on classic games. On tonight's episode, Peyton Manning details his 2005 divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots. The episode had to be cut short as Manning diverted into profanity-laced tirades, pulled a Vanilla Ice, and chased the crew around the set with a baseball bat screaming "I AM THE PRO BOWL MVP! BOW DOWN TO ME!"

12:30 p.m. -- Loud Loud Late Night with Stephen A. Smith

Tonight, Stephen interviews a space shuttle launch.

Musical Guest: Spinal Tap.


FINALIST NO. 8
Name: Jim Regnier
College: University of Illinois '04
Residence: Aurora, IL
Current Job: Unemployed!!
Age: 23

The Life: Dave Wannstedt -- A camera crew watches every move as Dave Wannstedt runs another once proud football team into the ground. How does he keep getting high profile coaching jobs?! This is the guy who drafted Curtis Enis, Cade McNown, and traded a first round pick for Rick Mirer! And just to top it off he went into a hot seat season with Jay Feely and Jay Fiedler as his options at quarterback leading Ricky Williams to choose a life of smoking pot in the outback over being a multimillionaire celebrity in MIAMI! Quick story, I've heard that Wannstedt wears that ridiculous mustache to cover up a scar he got as a child when his sister hit him in the face with a shovel. I don't know if that's true but just the fact that it sounds like something that would happen to Wanny is proof enough that this show would be comedic gold.

Romanowski Autopsy -- Sure, he's not dead yet, but the over-under on that can't be more than five years. Plus who doesn't want to see what all those dietary supplements did to Romo's spleen?

Celebrity Grand Theft Auto -- Exactly what it sounds like, video of celebrities playing Grand Theft Auto. Would Peyton Manning rack up thousands of dollars by collecting hidden packages and cruising through side missions only to drive off a bridge on his way to whack Diaz? Would Ron Artest spend all his time raising his wanted level just so he can shoot down police helicopters? Would Eugene Robinson be clever enough to pick up a prostitute? These are questions that desperately need answering.

Cheaters: NBA edition -- Just imagine Doug Christie's wife beating him senseless with her purse during The Confrontation. Of course every episode would have to end with Joey Greco being stabbed. By the way, I can't begin to explain my disappointment when Simmons hypothesized about the best possible Cheaters episode and it didn't end with Joey Greco being stabbed. It made me reconsider this whole internship thing. Also never do a Google search for Joey Greco.

The Andreas Nocioni Hour -- Just an hour long show in which Andreas Nocioni is prominently involved. This would be the greatest show on television. First of all he looks like one of the cavemen from those GEICO commercials. Most importantly the entire world needs to be exposed to the Nocioni experience. He is without a doubt the most enjoyable thing about the Bulls resurgence. He plays like a random guy at the gym but he always has two inexplicably great/laugh out loud moments per game ... he's the anti-Mark Blount. Plus I'm pretty sure he doesn't speak English.


FINALIST NO. 9
Name: Lauren Silva
College: The George Washington University, 2003
Residence: Washington, DC
Current Job: Sports and Entertainment editorial aide at the Washington Post
Age: 23

What happens when four commissioners stop being judicious and start getting real? The Surreal World: Commish.

The Setting: Four commissioners living together in a suburban New Jersey home.

The Roommates:
Tagliabue: Likes: Playoffs on TV, Coors Light in the fridge, and ... TWINS. Dislikes: Janet's right breast, Maurice Clarett and Sharpies.
Stern: Likes: Dropped charges and bling-bling. Dislikes: Beers, fans and scorers' tables.
Selig: Likes: The Yankees, the Red Sox, and the Yankees and the Red Sox. Dislikes: Urine, Victor Conte and Linda Cropp.
Bettman: Likes: Canada, Minnesota, and the 1980 Winter Olympics. Dislikes: NASCAR, the sun belt, and anyone without the last name Bettman.

The Scene: Stern cooks a brisket, pausing to check if Bettman if cutting the beans at a 70 degree angle as instructed. Bettman, three-quarters in to a bottle of Jack, is not. "No wonder you can't run a league Betty, you have no pride in your product. It's about pride, not a quick fix. See the difference?"

"Do you believe in miracles?" Bettman slurs.

"Miracles? Hell no!" Tagliabue shouts from across the room. "I believe in medically enhanced erections, Madden and signing bonuses. I ... "

Bud barges through the door.

"That Canseco!" he shouts. "Like I don't have enough of Rose calling every five minutes ... My hands are tied Petey! Call Costas so he can write a book about why he should have my job. Last time I listen to Vince McMahon ... "

Stern takes dinner off the stove.

"You're late Buddy. Would it kill you to call? And what'd I tell ya about those drugs? Oy."

"I know. But chicks dig the long ball." Bud throws his coat at Bettman.

"My day was rough too," Paul sympathizes. "Betty! Beer Me!"

"Sifting through piiiles of endorsements, looking at new stadiums because we can't seat all our fans. Evaluating cheerleaders ... "

A half-drunk Bettman starts to hawk one in Paul's Coors.

"Don't even think about it son," Tags says, arrogantly pulling his "Salary Cap" down. "When are you settling this little 'dispute?'"

"Tags," Stern jumps in. "Salary caps don't solve everything. You need to know your market and sell a product that fits it."

Bud and Tags smirk. Bettman polishes off his bottle.

"Leagues need rules," Stern continues. "Like harsh suspension policies. And ... "

"Age limits?" interrupts Paul.

"No. More like halftime show regulations," Stern fires back, violently serving Paul. "And Jacksonville? Good call man."

"At least my guys keep it their pants."

"Fellas! Stop! Betty needs us," Bud says.

They look the dejected commissioner.

"Do you believe in miracles?" he asks.

"No!" They shout.

More after these words from our sponsors. And next on ESPN 6, Billy Crystal stops by "The Late Show" with Gheorghe Muresan."


THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 2, THE WINNERS: 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-16

THE FINALISTS -- ROUND 2, THE ELIMINATED: 1-9




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