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To: Chuck Klosterman
Subject: RE: Face Off
Time: 12:45 p.m. ET Chazz, Did you ever think about going the "Chaz/Chazz" route? Were you afraid of being compared to Zabka in "Back to School?" My friend Sheck has a Chazz Fetish. He refers to everyone in the sports world named Charles as "Chazz" (like Barkley, Noll and Woodson). For whatever reason, it always cracks us up. He even called Prince Charles "Prince Chazz" once. Of course, this is the same guy who (just last week) spent 10 minutes debating over the following question: "If you were single and completely unattached, would you rather have consecutive Super Bowl titles for the Pittsburgh Steelers (his favorite team), or one night with Josie Maran?"
To: Bill Simmons
Subject: RE: Face Off
Time: 2 p.m. ET Bilbo, I think the fact that you prefer "Singles" over "Reality Bites" destroys your credibility, both as a "sports guy" and as a "guy." Here is what I mean: The Matt Dillon character in "Singles" and the Ethan Hawke character in "Reality Bites" are -- as one-dimensional caricatures -- the same person. It's just that in "Singles," that persona is painted as pathetic and stupid; in "Reality Bites," it's expressed as brilliant but troubled. This is why "Singles" is not -- in any context -- a youth movie. It's about old people (one of whom is a city planner!) who just happen to listen to Soundgarden. It's a film for people who bought Heart records when they were first released. Meanwhile, "Reality Bites" is about what happens when the counter culture becomes the mainstream culture, which defines it as socially progressive. Which is why I support Ricky Williams in totality. First of all, I don't think Ricky Williams is an unambitious stoner. I think he just hates football, and I don't think there was ever a time when that wasn't true. But -- like so many people -- he was socialized to assume that he had to play football simply because he was good at it. He had this natural gift for running off tackle, so he tried to convince himself that this was his identity. And this is how people who live within the "Singles" paradigm think about life. Individuals living inside the "Singles" paradigm argue that Ricky is making a mistake; these are the same kind of people who think Winona Ryder should have ended up marrying the Ben Stiller's character because he had a better job. Ricky Williams represents intellectual freedom. Prior to this season, I never really cared about Ricky Williams, and I generally assumed he was going to have a Herschel Walker-like pro career (i.e., he would evolve into a one-dimensional north-south runner who'd have a few big statistical years without achieving anything close to greatness). As it turns out, he's now my favorite NFL athlete since Nolan Cromwell. (Also . . . I think part of the reason so many aging sportswriters attacked Williams is because they couldn't deconstruct his logic. Athletes usually express retarded platitudes whenever they try to explain their behavior, such as, "I'm just doing what's best for my family." A sentence like that could mean anything, so it ultimately means nothing. However, how does one respond to a guy who overtly admits he wants to go to Asia in order to be high all the time? It's like trying to deconstruct the lyrics to the song "Peaches.") As for your questions: 1. What's the defining '80s movie?