Why are you getting a holiday mailbag? Maybe I needed something to distract me from the terrifying realization that the Patriots' 2008 season rests in the hands of Brett Favre. Maybe I needed to make myself feel better after the Red Sox blew the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes. Maybe I needed a boost after the Celtics' 19-game winning streak came to a screeching halt on Christmas Day, thanks to Kobe Bryant and a gritty 15-man Lakers team (I'm including the refs). Or maybe I just wanted to throw a solid to Andrew in Seattle. As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.
Q: Worst day ever. I wet the bed. I found out my girlfriend of three years is moving to Arizona. I continue to exist as a Seattle sports fan. And, yes, I really wet the bed. Can you give me a holiday mailbag? Like you, I don't ask for much.
-- Andrew, Seattle
SG: You know what I'm giving you, Andrew? The biggest and weirdest mailbag ever. That's my gift to you and the people of Seattle during an especially grim holiday season.
(What? You don't believe it's especially grim?)
Q: I'm 23 years old. I live in Seattle. I have a girlfriend who loves those damn "Twilight" books and promised sex if I agreed to watch the movie with her Friday night. We ended up waiting in line for 45 minutes and the theater was filled with high school females. There were maybe five guys there total, and I was the only one with a girl, so read between the lines there. Once we got home she was too tired to do anything and went to sleep. The next day my alma mater, the University of Washington, loses a double-overtime thriller to Washington State, probably the worst team in collegiate football history. Have I officially hit rock bottom?
-- T. Chan, Seattle
SG: Sure looks that way. We're about three weeks away from FX creating a sitcom called "It's Always Rainy in Seattle." For T. Chan's sanity (as well as his partners in shame), let's create a list of silver linings for Seattle sports fans heading into 2009:
Layne Murdoch/Getty Images
Kevin Durant is putting up dazzling stats for his future former team.
2. No more Bill Bavasi, no more Clay Bennett, no more Huskies football coaches who don't have a pulse, no more agonizing Seahawks losses that were probably Mike Holmgren's fault (only he's such a nice guy you can't get mad at him).
3. One of Seattle's greatest sports heroes (Gary Payton) emerged as half of TV's greatest comedy duo since Norm and Cliff; every Tuesday night on NBA-TV, you get to watch GP and C-Webb do their thing. At least until David Stern has them liquidated.
4. Without Mark Teixeira, the Angels look vulnerable offensively -- especially when you remember Vlad Guerrero now walks like Greg Oden doing an impersonation of Fred Sanford pretending he's Lieutenant Dan. Could 84 wins take the AL West? Absolutely. And while we're here, your favorite football team still plays in the same division as the Rams, Niners and Cards and gets a top-10 pick next April! Things are looking up, Seattle. I can feel it.
Q: I always wanted to read your Red Sox book but never got around to ordering it. Luckily, I was walking through Big Lots this past weekend and caught it out of the corner of my eye and couldn't pass up the opportunity to get it at $3! If it makes you feel better, it was under a sign that said "Best Sellers." WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!!
-- Marc S., Tuscaloosa, Ala.
SG: The goal is to read the book! The goal is to read the book!
Q: You can go back in time and recast one sports movie with actors and actresses from that era. Which movie do you tackle, and what are your casting changes?
-- Corey, Salt Lake City
SG: I would tweak "White Men Can't Jump" with the following moves: Denzel Washington for Wesley Snipes and Sharon Stone for Rosie Perez. Here's why: Snipes killed that movie (at least for me) because he was such an obviously lousy basketball player in real life. Every hoops scene physically pained me; really, nobody could stop this 5-foot-6 guy who dribbles over his ear, shoots line-drive jumpers and does the same crossover move every time? He's so bad that every time it's showing on Encore or TNT, I keep waiting for Mike Dunleavy to sign him during the closing credits. I just can't handle it. As for Rosie Perez, remember when the Son of Sam claimed his neighbor's dog talked him into murdering people? If I listened to Rosie's voice long enough, I really feel like I could commit a homicide. And you know what else? I don't think I'd go to hell for it. Maybe 20 years in purgatory, but ultimately, God would understand. I'm amazed this hasn't been used as a defense in a murder trial yet: Overexposure to Rosie Perez's voice. Anyway, you put a legitimate hoopster like Denzel in there (better actor, too) as well as Sharon Stone at her sexapex (I just created that word), and that's one of the top 15 sports movies ever made. Alas.
Q: I recently read that the world's oldest woman died. She said she never drank alcohol or tried tobacco. I also read that last year's "world's oldest person" also refrained from doing those things. How does that make you feel that we have no chance of being the world's oldest people at some point?
-- Eric, Philly
SG: I knew I didn't have much of a chance when I was in a quarter-keg race back in college in which everyone had to make themselves throw up in a giant garbage can to keep going. After about 15 minutes, you just had to look inside the garbage can and you'd start throwing up. Wrote off the "world's oldest person" quest right then and there.
Q: So there's generally a ton of weed and tequila at our fantasy drafts. One rule we've put into effect is if you pick a player who's already been drafted, you must do a shot of Don Julio. Counterintuitive, I know, but that caused me to draft Matt Leinart in rounds eight through 11 two years ago. What do you think of this idea for your Sports Czar campaign?
-- Luke, San Francisco
SG: Love it. Love it to smithereens. Whenever an accidental repick happens, the offender gets berated with jokes and jeers, but it never makes up for the waste of 60 seconds as you waited for the pick, heard the pick, got ticked off, then spent another 60 seconds waiting for another pick. So there definitely should be a drinking penalty. Although I'd go with a more humiliating shot, something effeminate like peach schnapps or Kahlua. Maybe you could even buy a shot glass with Zac Efron's picture on it to push it over the top. Do they make Zac Efron shot glasses? What about Clay Aiken? Somebody really needs to start a Web site specifically devoted to selling joke items and mean-spirited items for fantasy owners, with categories like
- Sister jokes
References to O.J. Simpson and Rae Carruth
Loser championship belts
Humiliating college photos
Q: I had a stunning realization when I awoke this morning: Isn't Greg Oden the real Benjamin Button? I mean the injuries, the 45-year-old face, the creaky knees and geriatric hobble? This means for us Blazers fans things will only get better as he gets "younger." Phew.
-- Phil Taylor, Brooklyn, N.Y.
|PACKERS (-10) over Lions
I just love that the defensive coordinator of the first-ever 0-16 team was the coach's son-in-law. You couldn't make this stuff up.
STEELERS (-10.5) over Browns
Raiders (+13) over BUCS
FALCONS (-14.5) over Rams
Panthers (-3) over SAINTS
TEXANS (-3) over Bears
VIKINGS (-6.5) over Giants
PATRIOTS (-6.5) over Bills
BENGALS (-3) over Chiefs
Titans (-3) over COLTS
Seahawks (+6.5) over CARDINALS
RAVENS (-12.5) over Jaguars
NINERS (-3) over Redskins
JETS (-2.5) over Dolphins
EAGLES (-1.5) over Cowboys
Broncos (+9) over CHARGERS
Last week: 9-7
- "A quality flick and you get to see Kate Winslet naked, repeatedly."
-- Bill Simmons, ESPN.com
Q: Plaxico Burress, O.J. and Michael Vick all under one roof, house arrest for a year, 24/7 webcam. What would it take to stop you from watching this?
-- Joe Snow, New York
SG: Duct tape, rope and armed guards.
Q: Went home with a VERY good-looking chick two weeks ago and not only did she have three cats and a dog, but I woke up at 4 a.m. to find that she'd peed in the bed. The only thing more disappointing to me in my life was the '98 Vikes losing to the Falcons. SHE PEED IN THE FREAKING BED!!!
-- Matt, Fort Myers, Fla.
SG: Did she mention having a brother named Andrew in Seattle? You know what's amazing? This didn't even come close to being this mailbag's "Yup, these are my readers" question. Strong batch this month. It's like one of those unbelievable Hall of Fame classes in which you can't believe how loaded it was. Just wait.
Q: What would O.J. Simpson be like if he played in the NFL now? I mean, he has gotten into an absurd amount of legal trouble, and he played in an era when it wasn't normal for players to be accused of felonies. If O.J. Simpson was born 40 years later and was in the NFL right now, what crimes do you think he would commit? I think he would try to become a super-villain, kind of like the Joker.
-- Colin H, New Haven, Conn.
SG: Again, we are LOADED in the "Yup, these are my readers" department this month. Just wanted to make sure you believed me.
Q: I read your comment in the last mailbag about women in Atlanta being horny, successful and fun-loving, looking for love and questioning their self-esteem. Although you made that assessment after just two e-mails, after living there for eight years, I can say that you're on the money. If you're a heterosexual male going through a dry spell, forget about Vegas and make your way to the ATL. Their advertising tag line should be, "Come to Atlanta where the nookie is plentiful and free."
-- Michael, Columbus, Ohio
SG: One more before we tackle this subject
Q: I've lived in both D.C. and Atlanta. In Atlanta, college sports and the SEC still run the show; people just don't care about pro sports. On the other hand, do you like a skewed male-to-female ratio, hot Southern blondes in sundresses who can go whiskey for whiskey with you, possess a shocking amount of football and basketball knowledge, bring the thunder in the sack and have no problem (wait, DEMAND) eating massive amounts of fried food and/or pork products the following morning? Because if that's not your thing you should spend more time in D.C. I've been here two months. It's rainy, there are no college sports, but there are a lot of museums. So I've got that going for me. (Frantically looking for jobs in Atlanta.)
-- Adam, Washington
SG: So there you go. If you're a guy in your 20s or early 30s, move to Atlanta. Glad we settled that. And while we're here, with the college application season wrapping up, allow me to make my annual case for everyone to apply to warm-weather schools. Don't spend four years in cold weather. There's no reason. Go south, go west, but go. And if they have a good sports team, even better.
I know people who attended the following schools: Pepperdine, the University of California at Santa Barbara, USC, UCLA, Rollins, North Carolina, Arizona, Arizona State and the University of Texas. Here's how many of them regretted their choices: Zero. Meanwhile, the majority of my friends attended cold-weather schools and only a handful of them would travel down that same road again. Again, why spend four years of your life in cold weather when you don't have to do it? And why pick a college with crummy sports when you don't have to do it? Beyond everything else, remember this above all: It doesn't matter where you went to college as much as what you did when you got there. I have successful friends who went to every type of school; I even have successful friends who never graduated from college. So don't stress out about it, expand your horizons, don't be afraid to take a chance and please know that I'm telling you this only because I wish somebody had told me.
One last thing: Don't go to Princeton. I'm still waiting to meet my first Princeton grad that I might like. I am like 0-for-79. Princeton grads carry themselves like bad guys in a sports movie. Remember the scene in "Pretty In Pink" when James Spader ordered his two henchmen to beat up Andrew McCarthy because he didn't approve of McCarthy's poor girlfriend? There's no question that Spader's character went on to Princeton, just like there's no doubt Johnny Lawrence went to Duke. Neither hypothetical situation is up for debate. Just for the hell of it, here's where I think other movie characters went to college:
Scott Howard: Probably USC. At a small college, I think the whole "My roommate turned into a werewolf last night" thing would have been a much bigger deal and word would have spread more quickly. He needed a big university. Also, he definitely broke up with Boof by Columbus Day weekend.
Jimmy Chitwood: Indiana. Mortal lock. I'd also go with Purdue for Flatch, Butler for Merle and maybe a walk-on to the Indiana team by Buddy.
Kelly Leak: No college for him after it comes out during the application process that he was really 18 years old in the "Let Them Play!" game at the Astrodome.
Louden Swain: University of Washington and he drops out after four months. You never want to peak when you're 18, and it's not getting better than pinning Shute three weeks after bagging that hot 25-year-old who moved into your guest room. If he stays in school, I see him trying to dope his own blood with oxygen cells during his sophomore wrestling season and getting kicked out, anyway. I do not see Louden Swain graduating. He's working in an auto body shop in Spokane right now, and he's definitely bummed out that the Sonics left.
Daniel LaRusso: Probably a smaller school near L.A., like University of La Verne. He would have needed to be within driving distance of Mr. Miyagi, especially when their homoerotic tension was on the verge of boiling over in "Kid III" (as I covered in the 2002 "Karate Kid" trilogy column). Legally, lines couldn't have been crossed until Daniel-San turned 18. And yes, lines were crossed.
Danny Noonan: Princeton. I never liked Danny Noonan.
Q: I renamed my fantasy football team after you. I did that because now, when I post all of my clever insults and below-the-belt jabs, it says "Posted by: Bill Simmons." Sadly, my team finished in last place, so this was the highlight of my fantasy season.
-- Tom, Greenville, S.C.
SG: Even more sadly, it was the highlight of mine.
Q: If I had sex with the two-faced lady from the Southwest Airlines commercial, would I be able to count that as a threesome?
-- Pete, Beacon, N.Y.
SG: I would say no. But you'd still have the single greatest sex story of all time, even better than the time a friend of mine took home a Hall of Fame '70s TV babe and made sweet love to her even though she was in her late 50s and the year was 2007. That's my favorite sex story currently. But being with the two-faced Southwest Airlines lady? Legendary! Could not be topped unless you also included the three-breasted lady from "Total Recall," giving you a creepy threesome with five breasts and three faces.
Q: I was out until about bar time Thursday, rolled into work at 8 a.m. Friday feeling like my face had fallen off somewhere between 11 p.m. and midnight, and I had failed to notice. I got the required coffee and greasy breakfast and sat down without a remote ability to perform actual work, so I hopped over to ESPN.com and quickly realized I had a mailbag waiting for me from the previous afternoon AND there would be a Part 2 later on. Honestly, it was like the heavens opened up. Not sure whether the greasy breakfast or the mailbag helped my hangover more, but I insist we incorporate Friday morning mailbags into your contract. You are the literary equivalent of an Egg McMuffin. Yes, that's a compliment.
-- Sarah B., Chicago
SG: I'm in am ESPN The Magazine commercial in which the announcer pimps it by saying "award-winning columnists Bill Simmons and Rick Reilly." A few readers e-mailed me wondering what award I had won. The answer: None. I haven't even made that "Best American Sportswriting" book that nobody buys. But you know what? It doesn't matter. I am Sarah B's literary equivalent of an Egg McMuffin, and sometimes that's all you need.
Q: Saw this Sonics flask (note: link now defunct) in NBA.com's clearance section today and thought it might be the perfect gift for the former Sonics fan in someone's life. It's even on sale for 400 percent off. Enjoy.
-- Adam H., Raleigh, N.C.
SG: Damn! After we posted this column, the link for the perfect stocking suffer mysteriously went dead. You would have guffawed at the very least. Even if you're from Seattle. The good news: There are still 35 NBA flasks available, including two different types for morbidly depressed Wizards fans!
AP Photo/Simon Dawson
What if Iron Mike established a gentlemen's club called "The Tyson Zone"?
-- Ryan H., Pullman, Wash.
SG: You mean other than Mike Tyson? I'd go with the one-armed drummer from Def Leppard. First of all, just meeting the guy who provided me with one of my first great Ramblings jokes in college ("even the drummer from Def Leppard has a better arm than Steve Walsh") would be a dream come true. But meeting the drummer from the band who sang the most-played song in the history of strip joints ("Pour Some Sugar On Me") at an actual strip joint? And then to watch him get a one-armed lap dance and make "The bouncer just told him to keep his hand off the stripper" and "He seems a little drunk, maybe we should lend him a hand" jokes? How could you top that?
Q: How 'bout this hypothetical? It's 2012, Matt Cassel is the quarterback for the Vikings and standing with a Super Bowl MVP trophy in one hand and a Super Bowl trophy in another. It's his third Super Bowl MVP in four years, two with the Vikings and one with the Patriots in 2009. He states in his opening remarks, "I would like to dedicate this Super Bowl to Tom Brady for getting injured and allowing me to finally get my shot." Flash to Foxboro, where Tom Brady has never returned to his 2007 form and reinjured his knee three times since, and Bill Belichick has retired from coaching due to having a heart attack from seeing Cassel win his second Super Bowl without the Patriots. Jump to 2022, as the Patriots have become the '90s Cincinnati Bengals and you are hysterically crying while writing a piece titled "The Curse of Matt Cassel: IT IS REAL."
-- Andrew, Boston
SG: Just real enough that I made the same face that babies make when you stick a lemon in their mouths.
Q: I just finished reading Jim Bouton's classic book "Ball Four." Which baseball player today would be the best pick to write a similar type of book?
-- Kobi, Carlsbad, Calif.
SG: Has to be a Yankee, right? I'd vote for Mike Mussina and hope his "sudden" retirement happened because he was finishing up a scathing tell-all about the last few years of his career with every possible vindictive story about A-Rod, Giambi, Clemens and everyone else that you'd ever want to hear. This would be the greatest sports book ever, hands down. You're telling me you wouldn't empty every dollar in your checking account to read "Burning Every Bridge in the Bronx" by Mike Mussina?
Q: I woke up this morning (Thanksgiving) and sat on my couch and smoked some weed. The "Tyra Banks Show" was coming on. I sat there stoned watching for five minutes before I realized I was killing more brain cells watching her show than I had smoking pot. It's official: Listening to Tyra Banks' voice is worse for you than doing drugs.
-- Mike M., Lexington, Ky.
SG: And if she ever has Rosie Perez on, it would be like doing drugs while repeatedly getting clocked in the head with a two-by-four.
Q: So I had this idea for a movie. The bachelor version of a guy goes forward in time and finds his married self and kicks his butt for selling out his bachelor self and his bachelor values and going back on everything he promised he wouldn't do. The bachelor version finds him in the future by following his minivan to a toy store. The climatic encounter comes when the bachelor self finds the married self standing in an hour-long Black Friday line holding a Starbucks. And yes, I thought of this plot while standing in an hour-long Black Friday line amongst mostly female Black Friday shoppers in Christmas sweaters.
-- (Name withheld), Denver
SG: We have Nic Cage! He's already signed on! We'll call it "The Time Machine Mentor" or "Love Mulligan" and bang this thing out for next August. Stay tuned. And since you didn't leave your name, I'm writing it myself.
(Speaking of Cage, remember when I joked in my "Wrestler" review that we should all be thankful Nic Cage didn't ruin that movie? As it turned out, Cage was attached for a few weeks until the director won a power struggle to cast Mickey Rourke. I had no idea until a few readers alerted me after the column. How predictable is Hollywood?)
Q: Thank you for writing your story about Mike Dunleavy screwing up the Spurs-Clips game you went to. Someone had to tell the world of the atrocity that goes on in LaLa Land, and you've done it. It's like bringing to light the genocide in Darfur that people refuse to talk about. You're ESPN's version of George Clooney.
-- Terry A., Lodi, N.J.
SG: (Afraid to say anything.)
SPORTS GAL'S PICKSOak +13, GB -10, Phi -1.5, NYG +6.5, Hou -3, NO +3, STL +14.5, Cin -3, Bal -12.5, Ten -3, Pit -10.5, NE -6.5, Jets -2.5, Sea +6.5, Was +3, SD -9.
Last Week: 8-8
-- Steve, Pleasanton, Calif.
SG: The good news? The book comes out Oct. 27, 2009. The bad news? I'm still not done, and probably won't be finished until the end of February, if I ever finish this thing, and at this point it's unclear because I am slowly turning into the Unabomber, right down to a five-week-old, completely hideous beard I have going. We're at the point of the process that I'm driving in the desert with the Duke while helicopters are hovering over me and I'm muttering, "I've come too far, I've come too f------ far." Please include me in your holiday prayers.
Q: I dare you to think of anything better than taking a girl home from the bar on Halloween and watching her put on her costume as she's leaving the next morning. Yeah, can't be done. Hands down the best hookup moment possible.
-- Adam V., Hibbing, Minn.
SG: I mean, it's not the BEST hookup moment possible, right?
Q: If you're sitting on 24 wins in "Streak for the Cash," shouldn't you hop on a flight to Vegas and bet about $250,000 on the opposite of whatever you pick for your 25th selection? All the games ESPN.com puts up as straight win/loss picks are close in point spreads, so I am sure you could get a money line in Vegas that would pay out straight up. That way, you ensure yourself of a minimum victory of $250,000, and can win a maximum of $750,000. I mean, you gotta protect yourself at this point right? I'm sitting in class at law school going insane thinking about this guy NOT doing this.
-- Bryan, New York
SG: One catch: Where do you get the $250,000 to slap down at a sports book? This plan only works if you're a multimillionaire or you're running a Ponzi scheme. By the way, you're not gonna believe this, but Bill Simmons is a huge "Streak For the Cash" fan. Every time I get to three in a row, I start dreaming about ESPN.com's worst-case scenario of one of its employees (in this case, me) beating the game, followed by a mammoth Bob Ley investigation and 27 caustic Phil Mushnick columns.
Q: Here's an idea for when you're running the B.S. Network in a few years: What if you followed various NFL announcers around as they gave everyday people unsolicited and obvious advice? Imagine a soccer mom stopping for gas on the way to practice. The backseat is filled with screaming kids with said announcer in the front seat. As the van approaches a corner with two gas stations, we see one station is selling gas at $2.09 per gallon, and the other is selling at $2.19 per gallon. Here's where the announcer jumps in and spends 60 seconds trying to convince the driver to go to the cheaper station. While the mom pumps the gas, the announcer then spends two minutes explaining to the kids that $2.09 is less than $2.19 and why it's better to pay less for things.
-- Matt A., San Francisco
SG: And that, my friends, wins the award for "Best 2009 domestic analogy to describe how bad NFL announcing is." And that was a HUGE, HUGE point of the mailbag right there, we needed something funny. Did you see what Matt did right there? I want you to read that e-mail again and watch what Matt did he sets up the premise, delivers it and then BAM! He gets right out! He gets RIGHT OUT OF THE QUESTION. Let's look at it again -- sets it up, sets it up, punch line and BAM! You want to talk about a guy who's banging out great domestic sports analogies? You think this guy didn't want to make a mailbag? That's just a great, great job by Matt from San Francisco!!! And a great job by my editors putting Matt's question in bold. Great job, guys! Great job all around. That's just a great, great job.
Q: Hey, Bill, it's been a while since I e-mailed you and I am sure that you have missed me. I just wanted to stop in and let you know how much you suck. You are not a journalist. You are not even a sports journalist. You should be fired. It really makes me mad that people who actually work for a living are losing their jobs or are unemployed and you still get to sit there pretending to matter. I hope that soon ESPN comes to its senses and gets rid of you, but it probably won't. Anyway, I hope you had a good Thanksgiving, and I hope you have a good Christmas and New Year's.
-- Brad, St. Louis
SG: Um thank you?
Q: Beer + Weed + Bill Simmons = 1.9 GPA for fall quarter. Thank you, Bill, for helping me achieve my lowest GPA since the seventh grade.
-- Tysen A., Bellingham, Wash.
SG: Um you're welcome?
Q: YouTube has a new feature on its home page that recommends videos based on your previous visits. Mine included "Racist McDonald's Commercial," "J.R. Does the Stone Cold Stunner" and "Wes Welker College Highlights." I am wondering what they recommend for you?
-- Dan, Springfield, Mass.
SG: Mine are "Red Sox Win 2007 ALCS Game 7!!" "Tiny Dancer" (Dave Grohl's acoustic cover of it) and "News Blooper: News10 Halloween Prank Scares Morning Anchors." I think that sums up my life decently. Since we're here, I'd like to hand out the medals for "My Favorite New YouTube Clip Of 2008."
Bronze: Happy Halloween from Michael McDonald. This killed me for some reason. There haven't been nearly enough McDonald parodies done in my opinion. I also loved the Yacht Rock series from two years ago. Although nobody has ever properly paid tribute to the way Mikey Mac spat all over every microphone. My buddy Geoff and I had a running joke since the mid-'80s about every Doobie Brothers concert ending with the stagehands drawing straws to see who had to spend the next three hours squeegeeing all the saliva from McDonald's mike. Never got old.
Silver: Corey Feldman's Valentine Day's Song. My podcast comrade JackO and I discussed this for 10 minutes on a July B.S. Report (fast-forward to the 31-minute mark) and probably could have gone for another 20. It's borderline life-altering. I think Corey is singlehandedly trying to keep the concept of unintentional comedy alive. And it's working.
Gold: "No Easy Way Out," The Remake. God bless the three guys who decided that the world needed a shot-by-shot remake of the "No Easy Way Out" scene in "Rocky IV." It's just incredible. The guy who played Drago needed to be elected to some sort of Comedy Hall of Fame. Also, I'm enraged that I didn't think of this idea first. A tour de force all around. Should I even tell you about their follow-up "Hearts on Fire" parody that's nearly as good? Absolutely! It's the holidays!
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Are Raiders fans beginning to doubt the prescience of Al Davis?
-- Scott, Holiday, Fla.
SG: (Shaking my head sadly.)
Q: I don't care what the SEC says: The J-Kidd transaction was Cuban's greatest trading transgression of 2008.
-- Marchy, Malibu, Calif.
Q: So here I am, completely stressed out about taking my first semester of law school exams, about one cup of coffee away from having a caffeine-induced seizure, when my name pops up on the B.S. Report. Great job. You really made my day. Feel free to just start putting your random single friends in the podcast. I don't even care if they're entertaining, I'm just going to need to fill my fake relationship void with someone now that JackO's off the market. And by the way, it was a nice touch for him to add the "not really" after saying I had 74 hours to contact him, like I was going to show up at his wedding and scream "I'M NOT GOING TO BE IGNORED, JACKO!"
-- Claire in Atlanta
SG: Again, all single guys, Atlanta awaits! Just show up with a suitcase of clothes and a 500-pack of condoms from Costco and you're in business. You don't even need a place to live. Just go from one-night stand to one-night stand and shower there. It will be like a much more uplifting and racier version of "The Pursuit of Happyness."
Q: The other day my college friends and I went out for dinner at a family restaurant. As always when you take a bunch of college kids out of their element into a public area, it can get slightly inappropriate. One of my friends kept telling us to keep it down and that there were children around. The second time, I slammed down my fork and told her, "This is a free-flowing conversation that sometimes touches on mature subjects." Not only did this confuse her and shut her up, but one of my guy friends that didn't realize I was a fan of yours told me that I was every man's dream and my boyfriend was a lucky man. So thanks for getting me a compliment and somehow making it OK to talk about "mature" subjects in a public area.
-- Sarah, Dayton, Ohio
SG: We're nearing a record for "Most female readers in a single mailbag." According to John Hollinger's mailbag formula, I'm at the highest female-per-reader rate since T.J. Simers ran a mailbag with 34 percent female readers for The San Diego Union back in 1987. Speaking of Hollinger, I need to have him on the B.S. Report in 2009 so we can officially have our Jack-Locke "Lost" debate about statistics and sports. Put it this way: When you create a Power Rankings formula that spits out anything other than "The 27-3 Boston Celtics are the best team in basketball" two months into the season, it's time to either keep tinkering with that formula until the Celtics are first or to just scrap the whole thing altogether. I am prepared to verbally fight to the death on this. Let's hire Don King to start promoting it right now like a boxing match with a poster like this:
- THE CYBER RUMBLE
HOLLINGER VS. SIMMONS
Feb. 10, 2009
Q: How hilarious would it be if President Bush pardoned O.J.???!!! I just think that would be a great ending to a terrible presidency! He'd go out with a bang.
-- Gian Gonz, Austin, Texas
SG: This idea slayed me for some reason -- not the premise as much as how everyone would react to the news. I think it would make Bill Maher self-combust. He'd just explode like a hot-air balloon.
Q: Only you can describe what is crucially needed right now: the introduction of the Steve Young Face. That look he gets when listening to Emmitt say that team fights are "special" or dealing with Keyshawn is phenomenal. Describe it and give us some other examples of people sporting the "Steve Young Face" other than Katie Couric during her Palin interview.
-- Sean, Halifax
SG: See, I'd prefer to call it the Mike Myers "Nobody told me Kanye West was going to go off the cue cards" Face, which might have been my single favorite face ever. Regardless, is there any way we could stick a lemon in Steve Young's face while the other guys on the set are talking?
Q: Shouldn't Scarlett Johansson's breasts get their own billing on the promotional posters and ads for "The Spirit?"
-- Matt, Washington
SG: Absolutely. And I think they should do a press tour. I want to see Billy Bush interview her chest. I want to see Vanity Fair do a cover story on her chest. I want to see her chest appear on Letterman, Kimmel and Colbert. I'd like to have her chest on my podcast. And so on and so on. If she ever does a nude scene -- and I say the following without a hint of exaggeration -- it's going to be the biggest moment in the history of the Internet. Even the Internet itself would have to shut down for 10 minutes, step outside, have a cigarette and think about what just happened. By the way, if you never read the story about JackO and me seeing "Heaven's Prisoners" and me ruining the Teri Hatcher nude scene for him, click on my "Hardball" review and scroll down a few paragraphs. It's my favorite nude scene story. You know, until Scarlett throws down. Speaking of JackO, just for the holidays, let's give him the present of "Most times one of my friends was mentioned in the same column for different reasons," just because he's earned it, dammit.
Q: Is it just me or does JackO seem way too excited when he answers the phone for the B.S. Report? Like it's the only time the phone has rung the entire day.
-- Adam, Chicago
SG: Believe me, I have this haunting fear that JackO got fired two years ago but pretends to go to work every day -- a little like Jules in "St. Elmo's Fire" -- and when we find out, it's going to lead to him having a mental breakdown, then all of my college friends trying to break into his apartment while he tries to kill himself by opening every window on a cold day. I have mapped out the entire scenario in my brain, right down to how I would use a fire extinguisher to break down his door to save him like Billy Hixx saved Jules. By the way, where does the fact that I once wrote an entire column comparing Terry Glenn to Billy Hixx rank on the Unintentional Comedy Scale? I remember being really happy with this one at the time. Now it frightens me.
Q: I'd like to add Baxter to (last week's podcast) argument about "Greatest Movie or TV Dog Ever." Maybe he didn't take a bullet for Ron Burgundy, but he saved him from an angry bear! He always had Ron's back. I mean, he got punted off a bridge! Plus he spoke Spanish, wore pajamas, had the ability to eat entire wheels of cheese and poop in the fridge. He was wise, like a miniature Buddha covered in hair. How is Baxter not the best TV dog? I mean, "Air Bud" is a part of that conversation, but Baxter isn't? Just an egregious oversight. (And yes, you can blame TBS and its insistence on playing "Anchorman" eight times a day for this e-mail.)
-- Mike, Princeton, N.J.
SG: All great points. And if you're attending Princeton University, Mike, you're the first Princeton grad I've ever liked. If not, the streak continues.
Q: Is it bad that one of my first thoughts after this happened was "I should e-mail the Sports Guy"? Last night, I was with a lady friend and we decided to pop in a movie. She had never seen "Hoosiers," so naturally we put that in. But 10 minutes into the movie, it was obvious that she wasn't into the movie, and instead was getting a little frisky. So with the movie in the background, we entertained ourselves. The best part was there was a slight pause in the action and I turned to see the movie, and it was right when Ollie hits the free throws, and I thought, "This is awesome!"
-- Jason Z., Chicago
SG: I think my brain just broke.
Q: Is the real reason that CC finally signed with the Yankees because somebody finally told him that pinstripes are slimming?
-- Greg, Las Vegas
SG: Uh-oh, it looks like we've entered the part of the mailbag where I run a bunch of mean-spirited e-mails about the CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett signings. Hold on, we're about to experience some column turbulence! Please keep your seat belts fastened!
Q: At one point today (Dec. 10), CNN.com had the following headlines atop one another: "Yanks close to deal with Sabathia" and "Oprah feels like fat cow at 200 pounds." Coincidence? I think not.
-- Chris C., Philly
Q: The Yanks are poised to drop $160M on CC Sabathia and at 300 pounds, means $533,333 per pound of Sabathia is the accepted market value. In their defense, after he hits four bills in 2011 that number will drop to a far more reasonable $400,000 per pound. What can we expect the per-pound cost for CC to be entering into his final year under contract? Remember, we're talking about a man who looked like this in 1999 and looks like this entering 2009.
-- Dan, South Boston
Q: With his new FAT contract going to his head, I foresee a future 400-pound CC Sabathia struggling to get from the bullpen to the mound without an oxygen tank attached to his leg. At least Yankee fans can look forward to the day they rename the Snoopy blimps after him. "Aerial shots of today's game will be provided from our guys flying high in the CC II!"
-- Zap, Brighton, Mass.
Q: Someone has to come up with an A.J. Burnett Yankees Jersey with the number 82.5 on the back right? Maybe one of those T-shirt jerseys they sell outside of Fenway, but either way this has to happen.
-- RJ, Boston
SG: Yes, please! SIGN ME UP! MORE!
Q: CC Sabathia's all-time stats against the Red Sox: Nine games, 6.3 IP average, 63 hits, 15 walks, 44 strikeouts, 5.75 ERA, 2-7 W-L. I feel pretty good that the Yankees are gonna pay this guy $20 million a year to blow against the Sox.
-- Jason, Vienna, Va.
SG: I can't get enough!!!!!! MORE!
Q: All right, we both know of the existence of "The Hills" through our significant others. The empty husk that is Justin Bobby just gave a great example of "contract year." Despite being an unbelievably stupid and selfish mutant, he somehow turns on the charm when the attention is finally ending, setting up the poor "dead behind the eyes" Audrina for inevitable disappointment. Why? So that the crazy young girls out in L.A. (or anywhere) who are turning 18 see his "caring side" and he immediately restocks his stable of possible women, maximizing his worth. Justin Bobby is A.J. Burnett, right?
-- Andrew, Philly
SG: I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!! MORE!!!
Q: So you're the GM of the Red Sox and you received the following offers:
- 1. Johan Santana plus $40M, or
2. CC Sabathia and Ian Kennedy
I mean, it's a slam dunk that you choose No. 2 right?
-- Anthony F., Ancaster, Ontario
SG: KEEP GOING! MORE!!!!! MORE!!!!!!!
Q: My take on A.J. Burnett: Let's just put it this way, if the pitcher you just gave $82.5 million was only owned in 80 percent of ESPN fantasy leagues last year, probably a bad sign.
-- Mike P., State College, Pa.
SG: I WANT THIS TO GO ON ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!! MORE!!!!!
Q: We got Tex. We're baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack.
-- Uncle Rick, New York
SG: That's what my uncle e-mailed me right after the Yankees signed Teixeira. And after a brief emotional swoon, I'm firmly entrenched in "Why should I get bummed out that we lost out on a chance to spend $180 million on a guy who has never cracked the top six of an MVP vote?" mode. Besides, it's nice to see the Yankees regain their mojo as the most hated team in sports and turn the world against them. Although I cannot condone this sour-grapes quote from Sox owner John Henry after the fact.
"From the moment we arrived in Boston in late 2001, we saw it as a monumental challenge," Henry said. "We sought to reduce the financial gap, and succeeded to a degree. Now with a new stadium filled with revenue opportunities, they have leaped away from us again. So we have to be even more careful in deploying our resources."
(Note to John: They already hate us enough. Just stop. You sound like a rich prep-school kid lamenting the fact his Lamborghini isn't the most expensive car in the parking lot anymore. And while we're here, Fenway is a cash cow -- you can't play the "new stadium with revenue opportunities card" when you've done everything but stick hanging box seats on the Citgo sign. Boston's payroll has been somewhere between $120-145 million each year for the past five. Every middle-class fan you have has been priced out unless they want to sit in the bleachers or wooden grandstand seats down the outfield lines that face second base. Just stop. Please, stop. Thank you.)
Q: Merry Tex-Mas!!!
-- Brian C., Santa Monica
SG: (Gritting my teeth.)
Q: Did my favorite homer columnist have a good Christmas watching the Lake Show get its revenge on Boston? Hahahahahahahaha. Doc forgot to start Pierce's wheelchair in the second half. Good news: You still have the streak going, it's just in your pants. Check your undies. KOBE RULES!
-- Every Lakers Fan
SG: Sorry, I had to condense the 400 taunting Lakers e-mails from Thursday night into one super-annoying e-mail. Look, I think we learned one thing other than it's hard to beat a good team at home when they're getting every call -- when Kobe is the best guy on the floor, the Lakers win. He was brilliant Thursday. That's why the Lakers won. For whatever reason, he didn't do it in the Finals and that's why they lost. So basically, I learned nothing other than that my dad has a new nickname for Tony Allen: "The Heart Attack." And just an FYI: You can't get revenge for a 39-point loss in the deciding game of an NBA Finals by beating someone in a regular-season game at home. I am almost positive.
Q: I just finished reading your book and noticed an uncanny prediction: You wrote that if Manny had been traded to the Mets in 2005, you, your dad and Hench predicted that he "would hit between .380-.420, with 14-20 homers and 50-55 RBIs." In 2008, after being traded to the Dodgers, Manny hit .396, with 17 homers and 53 RBIs. Why aren't you bragging about this?
-- Alan C., New Orleans
SG: Because there was no question it would happen. It's like bragging that you predicted in October that there would be a huge snowstorm this winter. Speaking of Manny, the Yankees would be crazy NOT to sign him at this point. Imagine a 3-4-5 of A-Rod, Tex and Manny? You're guaranteed 120-130 HRs, 400 RBIs and a .420 OBP from the heart of your order for the next three seasons, not to mention pitchers wasting 20-25 pitches to get through them every time through the lineup. No starter would ever make it to the seventh inning against them. I am terrified of them signing Manny. Actually, why am I saying this out loud?
Q: Is there a sports equivalent to the little Chinese guy who was lighting the firecrackers during the robbery scene in "Boogie Nights"? That is, a virtual unknown who plays an integral part in one of the best scenes of all time, and without whom the scene would not have been nearly as good?
-- Ben, Phoenix
SG: You walked me right into thinking of David Tyree during the holidays. How dare you.
Editor's note: We didn't edit the spelling in these last two e-mails, for obvious reasons.
Q: This is officially my first drunk e-mail
ever. Of course, you've heard of the infamous "drunk dial" that happen all the time on college campuses and throughout the country. However, the drunk e-mail is less talked about. I love you. Not really. I love you in the most heterosexual way EVER. You are my hero. Me and my friends are putting down some beers and Red Bulls and vodkas talking some good sports and making Simmons-like analogies to life. I just told a friend who has two potential girls that he's "hitting" on that it's like when you have two players you want to draft in the next round of a fantasy draft (I used Anquan Boldin and Plaxico Burress). You don't have to decide when it's 12 picks away. Just wait, see how it plays out and make your decision. Most likely, one will be picked by the time you pick and it will be an easy decision. But consider them both for now. I love drinking. Peace.
-- Andy J., Champaign, Ill.
SG: Hold on, we're almost there
. I am twice as durnk as the first time i e-mailed. I have nothing more to say ecxept that I can't wait for your next podcast/ column.
-- Andy J, Champaign, Ill.
SG: Yup, these are my readers.
Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. For every Simmons column, as well as podcasts, videos, favorite links and more, check out the revamped Sports Guy's World.