Rarely in my life can I recall being so humiliated by something I handed in. Four times, to be exact.
There was 48 on my high school CPR test (To this day, if you locked yourself in Henry Warnimont's fridge, you'd be on your own); a 40 on a high school AP calc test (already covered in The Links ... had "What's the point?" written all over it in purple ink); the D+ on my political science research paper in college (one of those "Write or eat another hot turkey sandwich and watch NFL?" Thanksgiving Break moments); and a "You're capable of better than this" on a philosophy final. Come to think of it, in four years I think that's the only nice thing I heard out of a T.A.
Then there was the last BS Exposed. I can only guess which volume it was, because there's no record of it on Google. This is a beautiful thing. Counting the Boy Named Sioux fiasco, there are five (or more) errors in a column of roughly 15 corrections. Hitting on two-of-three ain't that great when you're Matt Stover. It's even worse you're writing a column calling out your boss. Let's take a look at the misinformation put forth last time:INCORRECT CORRECTION: "WOP" is an acronym for "without papers."
CORRECT CORRECTION: From Mike in Newton, Mass.: "I spoke with a linguistic anthropologist about this morning to check your facts. As it turns out, 'without papers' is only one possible explanation for the term 'WOP.' However, because there are no records of it ever referring to people of races other than Italian, there is no reason to think that's where the term come from. This anthropologist happens to be Italian and has done extensive research on Italian-American vernacular and slang, and assured me that the more likely source of the word is 'guappo,' which in Italian means 'flashy' or 'bold.' There term was in fact adopted for Italians in America who were overly flashy and looked for attention as being 'real' Italians."
INCORRECT: There are no shots of Julia Roberts' ... air-ee-oh-lah ... in "Pretty Woman." They were all of a body double named Shelly Michelle.
CORRECT: From Sarah in DC: "While it is true that the beginning shots of Roberts lying in bed in her underwear were played by a body double, I believe the Sports Guy was referring to the scene where Vivian first realizes she loves Edward and kisses him on the mouth. The camera does a fun trick where it pans behind the headboard of the bed, and you see (barely, through the headboard) Gere pull her nightie up over her head. It is clearly still Roberts at this point (you can see her face), and the side of her breast is very briefly barely visible. I'm a girly girl who has seen this movie roughly 13,857 times in the last 14 years, you can trust me."
INCORRECT: Teen Wolf never surfed atop Styles' van in "Teen Wolf." It was Styles who surfed, and the van belonged to Mr. Howard, who owned the hardware store.
CORRECT: From Hal Stead in Austin: "In 'Teen Wolf' Michael J Fox was surfing on Styles' delivery truck. Styles traded his convertible in for the truck (even swap) about half way through the movie. They called it the Wolfmobile. While it's true that Scott did drive his father's van around, only Styles surfed on it (when they were going to the party). By the way, I only know this because I watched the movie recently on a flight to Vegas. Also I left the DVD case on the airplane so if anyone happened to be flying Southwest and found it, let me know. I'd like it back."
(Adds Gregory Morris: "This is evidenced by the line by Scott's father 'I guess that was some else doing a hand-stand on Styles' Wolfmobile,' and the fact that it had 'Wolfmobile' written on the side of it. Why would Scott's father, who is trying to help his son with his 'changes,' advertise on his truck that his son is a werewolf?")
INCORRECT: In his "Rant in E-Minor," comedian Bill Hicks joked that Jay Leno would eventually blow his head off with an Uzi, not a shotgun, as was suggested by Simmons.
CORRECT: From Matt Morrison in Columbia, Md.: "I have to defend your boss on this one. During the first part of the bit 'Artistic Roll Call' on Rant in E-Minor, he says that he has an office pool concerning when Jay Leno is going 'to blow his Doritos-shilling head' off his body. He then says he has Joey Lawrence, while others think it's Patrick Duffy. In the bit, Jay interviews Joey Lawrence, then says 'What have I done with my life?', shooting himself with the shotgun, with the blood 'forming an NBC peacock on the wall.' The middle part of the bit has him selling Doritos with Satan on TV (Which is one of the ten funniest bits of all time). The third part of the bit is where Jay has both Joey Lawrence and Patrick Duffy, and he says 'If that was his lineup, he'd use an Uzi in his mouth.'"
So we're all caught up, and I'm ready to try again. I'm especially fired up after a reader wrote an impassioned email about how I should be defending Simmons, not letting punks getting away with ruining his good reputation for knowing the crap nobody else does. It was stuff Alfred would say to a disgruntled Robin when Bruce Wayne is on a date with Vicki Vale and he's spending another night playing Parcheesi in the Bat Cave. I'm not making any guarantees here. After all, our vice president directed everyone to a web site called Factcheck.com on live TV, so anything's possible. But a two-of-three ratio is a thing of the past.
I'm capable of better than this ...
In "No sure things in the Nation," Simmons wrote: "I thought Schilling was just appreciating the moment ... You really had to be there. It practically felt like a movie scene, like the climactic fight in 'Karate Kid 2,' when the Japanese are banging those goofy two-sided drumsticks and Miyagi tells Daniel-San, 'This time not for points, for life!'"
From Ryan McGreevy of Boston: "Unfortunately, you are incorrect in almost everything Miyagi says. As Daniel-San walks over the bridge, Miyagi calls him back and reminds him, 'Daniel-San, this not tournament, this for real.' I realize this is a minor nitpick, and that you used this quote to merely illustrate your point. But with your claim of being an '80's movie fanatic, I thought that you would, and should know this."
(Adds The Intern: "Two sided drumsticks? Aren't they round? I feel like I'm being suckered into an ethnic joke.")
In "No sure things in the Nation," Simmons wrote: "Pedro doesn't have that fifth gear on this fastball anymore; he's stuck with the four-cylinder engine, opening himself up to bloop hits, seeing-eye singles, 10-pitch at-bats and everything else."
From Ken Lau: "Having four or five gears has nothing to do with only having a four-cylinder engine. I know plenty of four-bangers that have five or even six gears. I think what he meant to say was that Pedro's fastball is usually stuck in fourth gear, unable to pick up enough speed to get into fifth, which is the faster gear. Or, to look at the quote mathematically, the two parts of the sentence cannot be equated. You cannot compare gears to cylinders. The two are not dependent on each other. Another way to look at it is that when cars need to pass or climb a steep hill, they downshift to fourth gear to apply more power to the wheels. So, when Pedro is in a jam and needs to reach back to really give his pitch some zing, that would be similar to a driver downshifting from fifth to fourth for that extra acceleration. Maybe Pedro actually WANTS to be in fourth gear, and Simmons doesn't know what he's talking about."
In "Friday Night to Sunday afternoon," Simmons wrote: "I wish Donald Trump made football picks in the boardroom at the end of every 'Apprentice,' just so we could see exchanges like this:
Trump: 'Next up, the Falcons are giving six and a half to the Lions ... I like the way the Falcons are playing. They've shown a lot of heart and they've had some good wins. And I don't like this Joey Harrington kid at all. I'm taking the Falcons.
(Glancing around for approval.) I feel good about that one.'
Carol: 'Yeah, that was an easy one. Harrington is terrible.'
George: 'You did what you had to do.'
Trump: 'Yeah, I feel good about that one.'"
From Brandon Boggs of Tuscaloosa, Ala.: "Bill wrote a funny and accurate exchange between Trump, George, and Carol. Problem is that the female associate's name is Carolyn. Don't think that's a big deal? Ask Bradford. He called her "Caroline" in the board room. Not good. I thought she was going to morph into the Undertaker and Tombstone him through the board room table. Bradford was fired that same episode. You better warn Simmons."
In 'Friday Night to Sunday afternoon," Simmons wrote: "If they're insisting on calling Tomlinson 'LT,' I'm just changing his name to 'Lawrence Taylor' in my columns. There was only one LT, dammit. Do you think LaDainian could have forced that fumble against Roger Craig in the 1991 NFC Title Game? Think he could have sacked Doug Williams three times after an all-night crack binge? Think he could have bodyslammed Bam Bam Bigelow? Think he could have gotten his own 'SportsCentury'? I think not."
From Alex Salazar Jr.: "Lawrence Taylor did NOT force Roger Craig's fumble in the famous title game. He recovered the fumble. The fumble was forced by the nose tackle, Erik Howard, who split a double team at the point of attack and hit Roger Craig behind the line of scrimmage, jarring loose the ball, which LT caught in midair. At the time, Madden called it the best play he had ever seen a nose tackle make."
In "Luck of the Nation," Simmons wrote: "Now I have the T-shirt hidden away from the Sports Gal, just in case she decides to accidentally wash it with the whites right before Game 7. Maybe the stain will morph into some crazy Legionnaire's Disease fungus. I don't care."
From Juan: "Now I don't want the Sports Guy going around misinforming the general public about diseases associated with bird poop. For one thing, Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire's Disease, is not a fungus but a bacteria and is not associated with bird droppings (you typically get Legionnaire's Disease from inhaling fresh water amoeba that are infected with L. pneumophila, sometimes transmitted through faulty air conditioning). Fungal diseases that you can get from bird poop include Histoplasmosis (Histoplasma capsulatum) and Cryptococcosis (Cryptococcus neoformans). Now, I know that you want to do everything you can to help along the beloved Red Sox make it to the World Series, but coming down with a fairly nasty respiratory infection isn't one that should be high on the list. Wash the shirt, my man. You'll thank me."
(The Intern adds: "All right! Some free medical advice from a guy with no last name and no location. You convinced?")
In "The Surreal Life at Fenway," Simmons wrote: "Then Pedro's favorite little person showed up -- Nelson De La Rosa, the 30-inch Dominican -- wearing a mini-Red Sox jersey and a cap. People cheered and lined up to take Polaroids with him. Somehow this all made sense."
From Timothy Janus: "The Sports Guy generously lists Nelson De La Rosa as 30 inches tall, when almost every other published report lists him at between 26 and 28 ¼ inches tall. So basically The Sports Guy gave the tiny actor a free two inches. Now two inches wouldn't be a gross inaccuracy if we were talking about normal sized man, but when you're talking about one of the tiniest adults ever to live, it's a huge deal. He tacked on seven percent to the dwarf's true height, which is like calling me 6'3" instead of 5'10", or like calling Irwin Fletcher 7'3" with the afro instead of 6'9". Thank God Simmons isn't building bridges."
In "Daddy's Déjà vu in Game 2," Simmons wrote: "By the way, Olerud was released by a 58-win team this summer. Classic Yankees. They could pick up a hooker in Times Square, plug her in at second base and she'd hit .280. It's uncanny."
From Gwen Davis of Seattle: "I understand what he's saying, but the Mariners eeked out 63 wins this year. (I know, it's depressing that I think this is important enough to mention. We still won 30 fewer games than last year.) But B.S. short-changed us almost 8 percent of our wins! We needed those to finish up with less than 100 losses (three years after 116 wins.) If Boston or NY had collapsed so unprecedentally (The Intern adds: 'Uh-uh¬ a word.'), more people would be talking about it."
In "The Rest in the West" Simmons wrote: "Isn't it strange that this is Carlos Arroyo's third NBA team? Really, he was practicing for Golden State and Washington every day and they had no idea he was this good?"
From Jason Goldstein of Denver: "He is on his third team, too bad he has never played for the Warriors or Wizards. Arroyo played for Toronto for 17 games in 2001-02, was waived and signed a 10-day contract with the Nuggets. The Nuggets signed him for the rest of the season -- playing 20 games in Denver. The Jazz then gave him a one-year deal in 2002-03."
In "The Rest in the West," Simmons wrote: "They keep Qyntel Woods, whose recent pit bull scandal could lead to him becoming the first Blazer ever to get A.) investigated by Don Yaeger and Lester Munson, and B.) his own segment on 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.'"
From Keith of Harrison, NJ: "Unfortunately Qyntel Woods would not be the first Blazer to have his own segment on 'Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.' 'Sheed had his own segment a few years ago. However, we can only dream that Woods and his dogs make a cameo on a very special edition of Animal Planet's 'Animal Cops: Portland.'"
In "Let's Get It Started ... " Simmons wrote: "My buddy Chipper lives in Milwaukee, the underrated city that gave us the Violent Femmes, the Zucker brothers, Latrell Sprewell, Laverne and Shirley, Dwyane Wade and Jeff Dahmer ... "
From Christopher Kukowski: "Dwyane Wade may have played college ball in Milwaukee but he's from Illinois ... just thought I'd let you know."
And finally, from Michael E. Beach: "Technically, Milwaukee didn't give you Jeffrey Dahmer, Ohio did. He is the most famous alum from my high school, Revere High, in Richfield, between Cleveland and Akron. Dahmer moved to Milwaukee after killing his first victim in Ohio. I don't know why I want Ohio to get credit for this .... but oh well."
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