By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Posted 5:15 p.m., ET, 6/30

Well, the Red Sox got positively crushed at Yankee Stadium last night. I wish you could wager on things like "Nomar will commit a critical error, followed by Sheffield hitting a mammoth three-run bomb, followed by Yankee Stadium exploding, followed by the dramatic return of the Derek Lowe Face." Good God. That could have been the worst moment of the season.

Derek Lowe
Just when you thought he'd get that $10 million contract -- the Derek Lowe Face returns.

Back in April, my friends were asking me why I wasn't more excited that the Sox grabbed six of seven from the Yanks. Not to sound like Shaughnessy here, but I learned a valuable lesson over the years: Never get excited about anything that happens in April and May. It's a long season. Seriously. Six months is a long time. I never get too excited/depressed about anything until September, with the possible exception of every Cesar Crespo at-bat. There are just too many twists and turns in a baseball season.

I'm writing about the Sox sometime in the next two weeks, so I'll save my extended thoughts until then.

Tying up some loose ends:

  • I'm still trying to figure out the T-Mac trade, or more importantly, what John Weisbrod is doing in Orlando. What would have been wrong with building around McGrady and Okafor, with Gooden, Howard and Jameer Nelson rounding out the starting five? And how was "Francis, Mobley and Cato" their best possible offer? I remember seeing that package listed in Chad Ford's column a few weeks ago and thinking, "Wow, that's not enough." Now those are the best three guys on the Magic? Yikes. People mistakenly believe that Francis is this young stud with uppppppppppp-side -- the guy turns 28 this season! He is what he is.

    I just thought that was a brutal trade for the Magic. Why not wait until February, when teams are more apt to give something up, plus you have a chance to see McGrady and Howard play together for a few months? Why not wait to see how this Dallas-Shaq thing turns out? If they end up NOT getting Shaq, Orlando probably could have pried something like Michael Finley, Devin Harris and Marquis Daniels (sign-and-trade) from the Mavs for T-Mac. That's not better than the Houston package? Jeez. I can't imagine how it feels to watch your team screw up like that.

    (Oh, wait, I rooted for a team that gainfully employed M.L. Carr, Rick Pitino, Chris Wallace and Danny Ainge over the past 10 years. I take that back.)

  • You're not going to believe this, but there's a show on VH1 right now called "The 40 Greatest Reality TV Moments." Have they ever done a show where they counted down something before? I can't remember. It's actually a pretty entertaining show -- they show some of the classics, like Johnny Knoxville farting in yoga class, Stephen slapping Crazy Irene in the face in "Real World: Seattle," Susan Hawk's speech at the end of the first "Survivor" and so on. You can't waste two hours of your life any more efficiently. It's fantastic. I would have put the argument about Puck eating Pedro's peanut butter at No. 1, but that's just me.

  • The Sports Gal's favorite show right now? "Blow Out," a reality show about hairdressers in Beverly Hills. It's on Bravo. She finally roped me into watching it last night and . . . I mean, I have to admit, it wasn't that terrible. It's like a cross between "Extreme Makeover" and "The Restaurant." The guy who owns the salon is named Jonathan -- he's like Rocco from "The Restaurant" after a partial lobotomy. Apparently, he's straight, which makes him the only straight guy in the history of the United States who ever owned a hair salon. And there are some goofy hairdressers who do goofy things. And over-the-top gay hairdressers acting catty (the Sports Gal's favorite part). And the requisite numbers of hot women who come into a hair salon to get a $400 haircut (my favorite part). There's really something for everyone. I need to watch a few more episodes before I'm ready to fully comment.

  • ESPN ran a show about the "Top 25 Sports Movies" last night . . . and the list was so ridiculous, so atrocious, that frankly, I'm not even sure what needs to be done to rectify it. I think I'm going to have to count down my personal "Top 50" right here on this site as reparations to you, the home viewer. It's like the voting committee for this list was Grady Little, Harold Lederman and the president of the Lifetime Network. I don't even know where to begin. This was even WORSE than the Sports Illustrated list last year. To make matters worse, I'm on the show, so it seems like I actually condoned some of the choices. Just shoot me.

  • "The Real World: San Diego" wrapped up last night, a mediocre end to a disappointing season. I'm not sure what went wrong here: Too much Frankie, not enough Jacqueese, not enough drama. I don't know. Maybe I'm just getting old. The show is just so damned predictable now: Jacqueese putting on the life jacket in Episode 2, the chick with the big breasts turning out to be a chain-smoking lunatic, the way they ended things with Brad and Cameran as the last two people in the house . . . you could see everything coming from a mile away. Somebody could spend an hour in Cypress Hill's dressing room smoking the hydro pot that they give to cancer patients, come out, watch one of these "San Diego" episodes and still be able to predict everything that's about to happen.

    From an Unintentional Comedy standpoint, there were some quality moments: Frankie getting on the plane home dressed as a punk-rock Juliet for Halloween (imagine sitting next to that freak in Row 22?); Frankie claiming she was too "punk-rock for this house"; Frankie's overwhelmed little sister, who was making the "My Sister is An Absolute Lunatic" Face for two straight episodes; Robin acting like every annoying drunk chick you ever hated; the new roommate not showing up for their boat job because he was tired of working after a good three days; Randy's classic quote in Greece about having his feelings hurt because Frankie said he was an alcoholic (I wish I could remember it -- send it to me if you remember the exact wording); and Jacqueese breaking Snoop's record for "Most times uttering the phrase 'You know what I'm sayin?'" during the episode where his Mom visited.

    I guess I was left with three questions:

    1. Was Jacqueese gay? A reader e-mailed me that theory last month and it changed the way I watched the show. Why didn't he make a move on anyone all season? Why did he dress the way he did? Was he supposed to come out . . . then he chickened out? Was he asexual? Was he just an unusual guy? I need answers.

    2. Why didn't anyone make a move on the smoking-hot Asian chick? She could have been one of the four-or-five best-looking roommates in the history of the show . . . and other than Jacqueese, she was the only redeemable character in the house. So what the hell happened there? Did she have B.O. or something? Guys weren't even hitting on her in bars -- it was like she was a high school football coach's daughter and everyone in San Diego was on the football team. Totally confusing.

    3. What happened with the alleged rape? Whose friends were involved? What was the fallout? How could they not even allude to this stuff? Everyone knows that something happened . . . so they pretend nothing happened? Pretty lame. Especially for a show that prides itself on "showing everything," even Ruthie driving drunk in Hawaii, when she could have killed somebody.

    (And yes, I know WAY too much about this stuff.)

  • In case you were wondering about an easy way to reach "Sports Guy's World," you can use either of the following URL's: www.sportsguy.net or www.bostonsportsguy.com. Those will redirect you right to the page.

  • Finally, in Monday's "Short Takes," I wrote a section about how this page would never fall under the "Insider" umbrella. My intentions were good: I was trying to assuage readers who were concerned that we would start charging to read new "Sports Guy" columns, so I wanted to assure everyone that that wasn't the case. But I did it the wrong way; it came out like I was slamming "Insider," and there are people at ESPN who work hard at getting the Insider content up every day. So that's not good.

    Here's the point I was trying to make: The thought of charging people for new columns makes me uncomfortable. That's just a personal thing. People are much more willing to pay for information from people like Kiper, Ford, Neyer and everyone else. You're getting something static out of those guys -- a specific level of information, a specific level of access. When you bring columnists into the equation -- people who are just trying to be entertaining and make sports more fun (like myself) -- the level of expectations changes a little. Some columnists can handle the change in that balance. I'm not one of those people. If I write a column that came out wrong or fell flat for some reason, I already feel bad enough that I wasted somebody's time. If I was making them pay for it, I'd feel even worse.

    Anyway, that's the point I was trying to make. And no, nobody at ESPN made me write those last two paragraphs. That's one of the goals of "Sports Guy's World" -- if I screw up in the way I wrote something, I have this "Short Takes" space to clear things up.

    Which reminds me, if you can think of a better name than "Short Takes" for this space, send us an e-mail at SGReaderRants@comcast.net. And please don't include the word "Blog" in your suggestion.

    Until next time.

    Monday's Short Take

    Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN the Magazine




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