From the Mag: The mailbag
Editor's note: This column appears in the July 9 issue of ESPN The Magazine.
Knee-deep into the worst sports month of the year, only one thing can save us: that's right, the Sports Guy mailbag! As always, these are actual questions from actual readers:
Q: How far did G-State have to advance in the '07 playoffs for it to become cool to wear a throwback Hardaway jersey again?
-- Andrew, Glendale, Calif.
SG: Three rounds past the NBA Finals.
Q: What would make Skip Bayless go Scanners on us? TO winning NFL MVP? A kicker taken first in the NFL draft?
-- James B., Orlando
SG: I'd go with Bonds' breaking Aaron's record, immediately retiring to replace Bud Selig, then pardoning every accused steroids guy from the past 15 years (including himself). There would be pieces of Skip's head as far as Worcester and New Rochelle.
Q: Is Danica Patrick becoming racing's version of Anna K?
-- Per H., Lebanon, N.H.
Q: Instead of Ping-Pong balls, why can't each lottery GM give a speech as to why his team deserves the NBA's No. 1 pick? We could even incorporate judges and fan voting -- like a presidential debate meets American Idol meets The Apprentice boardroom.
-- Matthew, Philly
SG: I love this idea, if only for the thought of Sixers GM Billy King staring into the camera and saying profoundly, "Look, I'm terrible at my job. Please, don't take it out on our fans. Give us the No. 1 pick. I can't turn this around on my own."
Q: Should fantasy baseball owners file a class-action lawsuit against J.P. Ricciardi for lying about B.J. Ryan's elbow problems? He's working with Mike Shanahan and Bill Belichick to collectively destroy the fantasy sports industry, I'm convinced.
-- Brian, Buffalo
SG: If we played the class-action lawsuit card, I'd rather use it on more important things, like getting ESPN to run women's basketball scores in pink on the 28/58 ticker, or keeping Jim Gray 100 feet from Kobe at all times.
Q: Here's my idea for a new show: Yankees Suck! We show classic Yankees defeats and calamities, as well as special features on Billy Martin firings, Steinbrenner's framing Winfield and a seven-part series on Carl Pavano. Can you help me get this on NESN?
-- David, Warren, N.J.
SG: Help you? I'm applying for the program director job! For my first move, I'd launch a reality show to find the next Yankees set-up man. We'd start with 16 candidates and vote off one each week, except a Joe Torre impersonator would be blowing out their arms by warming them up every day for 40 straight days. May the best frayed rotator cuff win.
Q: Can we create the opposite of the Tony La Russa All-Stars -- the Greg Oden All-Stars, for sports people who look 10 to 15 years older than they are, like LeBron, Venus and Oden?
-- Brandon, State College, Penn.
SG: Sure, but we'd have to call them the Otis Nixon All-Stars. Near the end of Otis' career, he looked like the oldest living survivor of the Great Civil War.
Q: I'm holding your latest column while reading it and listening to your podcast, so that's three of five senses right there. I need only to smell and taste you to complete the deal. How can we make this happen?
-- Charles, Houston
SG: Just so you know, I run these e-mails only for the day when I'm suddenly missing like James Caan in Misery.
Q: My buddies bought a bunch of tickets for the $177 million Mega Millions lotto, and we're buying an NBA team if we win. Would you be willing to be our GM?
-- Chris T., Topsail, N.C.
SG: Good news! The Grizzlies just accepted your bid pending the lottery results. And yes, I will be your GM. In fact, I accept the GM job for any reader who wins the lottery and buys an NBA team. You can even own the TV rights for when NBC turns our situation into a Freddie Prinze Jr. sitcom.
Q: If John Belushi were alive, what movie would he have made in the past 12 months?
-- Gerry, Toronto
SG: Either he would have played Seth Rogen's dad in Knocked Up, or he would have worn a blond wig for ESPN's original movie, Double Bogey: The John Daly Story. Maybe it's better he's not here.
Q: Is there any doubt that the casino in LeBron's new house will eventually lead to the biggest sports/entertainment scandal of the 21st century?
-- Thomas K, Orlando
SG: None whatsoever. It's going to make the Michael Vick dogfighting thing look like a speeding ticket.
Q: You risked all of your credibility on your man-crush Durant being the best player in the draft. Will you retire when he ends up being the next Van Horn?
-- Eric, Jacksonville
SG: First of all, who said I had credibility? I resent that. It took a lot of blood, sweat and years to get to the point where I have no credibility at all. Second, predicting Durant's greatness is like predicting that the team with more than three players at the ESPYS will win the Best Team ESPY. He's a bigger lock than LeBron's casino sparking 365 straight special episodes of Outside the Lines.
Q: I'm a diehard Knicks fan, should I be excited that our starting center (Curry) and starting power forward (Randolph) both have breasts?
-- Lenny P., NYC
SG: Look, there are very few times in a man's life when he should not be excited if breasts are involved, but this might be one of them.
Q: Columbus hosted the NHL draft, the annual Gay Pride Parade, ComFest (a music, arts and beer festival) and the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading-card national championship in the same weekend. Will there ever be a more incredible convergence of events?
-- Amanda, Columbus, Ohio
SG: Yes, if it happens next year, only while Elijah Dukes is being sworn in as mayor.
Q: Shouldn't Howie Kendrick and Reggie Willits switch names and restore order to the universe?
-- Greg, Meriden, Conn.
SG: Only if we can convince Jacque Vaughn and Tony Parker to do the same.
Q: Don't you love when fantasy "experts" get questions about in-season call-ups hitting .450 and give answers like "he won't keep up this pace." So Jack Cust isn't the next Babe Ruth? Where can I sign up for one of those
-- Brian, NYC
SG: I was going to pile on, until I remembered that I have the easiest gig in the country. Look at this column! They actually paid me to hand this thing in. I feel like Tim Thomas.
Q: I want to go to the top of a really tall building, take a leak, finish, zip up, and then have my pee hit the ground. I want my entire pee to be airborne. Man I love beer.
-- Paul D., Bothell, WASH.
SG: Yup, these are my readers.
Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His book "Now I Can Die In Peace" is available in paperback.