Page 2 columnist
Editor's Note: This article originally ran on July 30, 2002.
What would happen if ESPN Classic's "SportsCentury and Beyond" series tackled the subject of a truly indomitable and unstoppable force like Michael Myers? The Sports Guy dares to imagine ...NARRATOR: "Welcome to 'SportsCentury and Beyond: The Serial Killers.' I'm your host, Chris Fowler. On Halloween night in 1963, 6-year-old Michael Myers inexplicably stabbed his older sister to death, then spent 15 years in a sanitarium without uttering a single word. On the day Myers turned 21, the state of Illinois attempted to transfer him to a maximum security hospital, but Myers thwarted their plans."
Bob Ryan (Boston Globe): "Night before Halloween, 1978. The state of Illinois sends two people in a stationwagon to pick up Myers -- his middle-aged doctor and a female nurse. There's problem No. 1. They arrive in a torrential downpour, then find all the wackos wandering around outside the hospital. There's problem No. 2. Doctor Loomis jumps out of the car, leaving the nurse alone in the car. There's problem No. 3. It's almost like they wanted this ... this maniac to escape!"Marion Johnson (the nurse): "I just remember waiting in the car, then feeling someone jump on top ... everything after that was a blur. Myers broke the window, I jumped out of the car, and he drove off." Jim Nantz (CBS Sports): "What a moment!" Tony Kornheiser (Washington Post): "So Michael's doctor sprints over and watches the car drive off, and he's just screaming, 'The evil is gone! The evil is gone!!!!' He knew. I mean, out of anyone, this guy knew what Michael Myers was capable of." Dr. Sam Loomis (Myers' doctor, 1963-1978): "When I met Michael in '63, I was told there was nothing left -- no reason, no conscience, no understanding, not even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this 6-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes, the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven years trying to keep him locked up, because I realized what was living behind that boy's head was purely and simply evil. When he escaped ... um, that was a little upsetting." NARRATOR: "So on his 21st birthday, the night before Halloween, Michael Myers was headed back home to Haddonfield, Illinois. The town would never be the same."
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NARRATOR: "Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis worked desperately behind the scenes to get Myers transferred to a maximum security hospital, telling anyone and everyone that Myers was the most dangerous patient he had ever observed."Bob Ryan: "If you're looking for people to blame for the massacre in '78, there they are, right there! Dr. Loomis told them how dangerous this kid was, and they basically laughed at him! It was an absolute disgrace with a capital 'D.' " Dan Dierdorf (CBS Sports): "I'm not so sure that that wasn't the biggest miscalculation of judgment in history." NARRATOR: "When Myers escaped from Smith's Grove on Oct. 30, 1978, he stole Dr. Loomis' car and drove 150 miles to Haddonfield, stopping along the way to murder an innocent truck driver and steal the man's clothes." Dr. Loomis: "The following morning, one of the other doctors told me that Michael couldn't have gotten very far because he couldn't drive a car. I remember saying, 'He was doing very well last night!' I knew he was heading to Haddonfield. I knew it." Mike Lupica (New York Daily News): "Look, if there's a tragic figure in all this, it's Dr. Loomis. I mean , here's a guy who devoted 15 years of his life to keeping Michael Myers locked up, and Myers escapes, and they still wouldn't listen to him." Chris Rock (comedian): "The thing that always amazed me was Michael driving the damn car. Kid's locked up for 15 years, doesn't say a word to nobody, he's catatonic ... now all the sudden, he's Dale Earnhardt Jr.? What'd they have, Driver's Ed at the Smith's Grove Sanitarium? And how'd he know which way to go? Kid can't speak and he can't read ... now he's following highway signs?" Geoff Gallo: "I think Michael put a tremendous amount of thought into his escape. Remember, he had been thinking about it for 15 straight years. He probably visualized every moment, like a great athlete before a big game." Dennis Miller (comedian): "In my opinion, that's what separated Myers from every other Hollywood serial killer. He could drive a car, cut phone lines, find his way around town ... he was like McGyver crossed with Ted Bundy. This guy was a killing machine. That's all he was about. The last time I saw someone this one-dimensional, I was playing charades with Bob Saget." NARRATOR: "The following morning, Dr. Loomis drove down to Haddonfield to warn local police about Myers. Hesitant to scare local residents, Haddonfield sheriff Lee Brackett and his crew staged a low-key search for the escaped maniac. Little did the Sheriff know that, within hours, his life would never be the same."
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Stuart Scott (ESPN): "Myers spends the next few hours following these phat girls around, even when two of them head off to babysit. Didn't kill 'em right away. Could have killed 'em. But he didn't kill 'em. Not yet. He had stupid patience. He was like a cat toying with a mouse. Holla."Charlie Pierce (Esquire Magazine): "There's Laurie babysitting in one house, and her friend Annie is babysitting in the house across the street. Plus, two friends are coming over. Michael Myers couldn't have planned this any better. It was like an all-you-can-kill buffet." NARRATOR: "Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett were waiting for him at Myers' old house, encouraged by the sight of a fresh dog carcass in the living room." Sheriff Brackett: "Loomis was convinced that Myers killed the dog. I said to Loomis, 'No man would do that.' And Loomis looked at me and said, This isn't a man.' To be honest, Dr. Loomis freaked me out. I didn't like him very much." Dr. Loomis: "I had watched Michael Myers for 15 years, watched him sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall, looking toward this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. I remember telling Brackett, 'Death has come to your small town, Sheriff.' He still didn't believe me." NARRATOR: "Ironically, Brackett's daughter, Annie, became the first casualty of the night. As she hopped in her car to see her boyfriend, Myers lunged from the backseat, strangling her and slitting her throat. As he was bringing the body inside, Annie's friends, Linda and Bob, arrived at the house." Jim Nantz: "Next stop: Murderville!" Hubie Brown (TNT): "OK, you're Michael Myers. You have a tremendous amount of upside for a serial killer, but you have to understand, you've been locked up for the past 15 years. You just killed somebody, so you're a little worked up. Now you're in an empty house with a dead body, and two kids arrive that are all over each other. You end up watching them having sex in the guest room. You feel a little left out, you're a 21-year-old virgin, your hormones are running wild, and you're a homicidal maniac to boot. You're telling me that you aren't absolutely itching to kill these two kids?" Dan Dierdorf (CBS Sports): "Bob heads downstairs to get beers. Myers lunges out of a closet, picks Bob up by the throat, then rams the knife in his chest so hard that Bob remains hanging on the door. Ho-ho-ho-ho! You think this kid wasn't strong? I'm tellin' ya, this kid was some kind of strong!" NARRATOR: "Myers returned upstairs to see Linda, wearing a sheet over his head and pretending he was a ghost. Linda mistakenly believed it was Bob playing a joke." Chris Rock: "Michael wanted to get some! Get down with your bad self, Michael!" Bill Simmons (ESPN.com): "This was probably my favorite Myers sequence, starting with him staring at Bob's dead body -- tilting his head back and forth -- followed by him pretending that he was a ghost. I mean, can you name another Hollywood serial killer that toyed with his victims like this? Myers rates very high on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. I will not argue about this. Good times. You couldn't make this stuff up. By the way, I'm drunk again." Tim McCarver (ABC Sports): "So Myers strangles Linda ... while she's talking on the phone ... to her friend, Laurie. And that ... was a BIG ... mistake. When Hollywood serial killers ... get caught... 73 percent of the time ... it happens ... because they screwed up ... and that number increases ... to 91 percent ... if they're killing people in a suburban setting." NARRATOR: "Disturbed by the strange phone call, Laurie decided to head across the street to check on her friends. Her life would never be the same."
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Christine Brennan (USA Today): "It got a little silly after that. In the sequel, we find out that Laurie was really his younger sister. Then in No. 4 and No. 5, he's trying to kill his niece. In No. 6, he's trying to kill his niece's daughter. Then in No. 7, he's trying to kill his sister again. The one thing that's clear is that Michael Myers was a misogynist."Larry Merchant: "I once asked Sugar Ray Robinson why he kept fighting, and Sugar Ray looked around, and his voice dropped, and he whispered, 'We all need to eat.' And then he ordered the home fries of life." Mike Lupica: "I mean, here's a guy who made seven movies and established himself as the greatest Hollywood serial killer of all-time, yet people only talk about Michael's first movie. You never hear people talk about the sequel, or the underrated fourth movie. That has to gnaw away at him. There's no question." Geoff Gallo: "Those next two decades were very, very tough for Michael. He was shot at least 40 times, he was stabbed countless times, he was shot in both eyes, he nearly drowned, he was set on fire twice, and he kept bouncing back. He even developed a pretty severe drinking problem after he was left out of 'Halloween 3.' And yet nobody ever talks about that stuff. Everyone just wants to talk about 'Halloween 1.' " Rob Neyer (ESPN.com): "I always thought 'Halloween 1' was his worst movie. He only killed five people in that one ... in a 93-minute movie, that gives him a MPK (minutes-per-kill) ratio of just 18.6, and three of his five victims were in the same house, which gave him a terrible KRF (killing range factor). Only Nicholson in 'The Shining' was worse. The best Myers movie was 'Halloween 2' -- he killed 12 people and had a 7.4 MPK. Only Jason Voorhees has topped that." Bob Ryan: "Please, please, please! I am here, to tell you right now, that Michael Myers's best movie was 'Halloween 1.' End of discussion, thanks for coming. Anyone who disagrees with that premise is simply and utterly insane." Bill Simmons: "The franchise should have ended after 'Halloween 1,' with nobody knowing what happened to Myers. Hollywood just got greedy after that -- even his mask wasn't as good after the first one. Regardless, he's still the greatest serial killer in Hollywood history. Nobody else comes close. Jason, Freddie Krueger, Chuckie, the 'Scream' movies ... none of them would have happened if Myers hadn't opened the door in the late-'70s. He was the Jackie Robinson of horror movies. Case closed." Larry King (CNN): "When you look up great serial killers in the dictionary, you get a picture of Michael Myers." Frank Gifford: "For so many years, Michael Myers, so many murders, so many memories ..." Magic Johnson: "People tell me there's gonna be another Michael Myers. There will nev-ah, ev-ah, ev-ah be another Michael Myers." NARRATOR: "So what does the future bring for Michael Myers? Recently, he appeared in 'Halloween 8,' where he killed a group of reality-TV actors who were spending the night in his house. Longtime Myers followers compared it to watching Willie Mays stumble around the outfield in the '73 World Series, but the movie earned a healthy $30 million and counting at the box office, almost ensuring another sequel. "Michael Myers might have escaped nearly 24 years ago, but you get the feeling that it will be much longer before we escape him. For SportsCentury, I'm Chris Fowler." Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine and his Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday. His new book "Now I Can Die In Peace" is available right now on Amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere.
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