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Thursday, December 27, 2007
Updated: January 2, 2:15 PM ET
Two editions for the price of one

By Bill Simmons
Page 2

Let's jump into two weeks' worth of links for the holidays:

• In my last mailbag, I screwed up the pivotal sequence in "Karate Kid 2": Sato and Miyagi made up after Miyagi rescued him in the typhoon, and then, after Daniel-San and Miyagi were saving a little kid who was trapped outside, Sato renounced his nephew for refusing to help them. The general theme of the "How can Sato hold it against his nephew for refusing to help Miyagi after the poor kid spent his whole life being taught to hate Miyagi?" rant still stands.

One more thing since that section drew a ton of feedback: For the newer readers, if you never read my column about the Karate Kid Trilogy from 2002, click here. All three movies are covered in glorious detail.

• Some sad news: Stu Nahan passed away at the age of 81. Everyone in Los Angeles knew him as a local sports broadcaster; everyone outside L.A. knew him as That Guy who did play-by-play for every "Rocky" movie.

• If you missed it, iTunes named the "BS Report" one of its Top New Podcast Of 2007. From the way it's presented, we were either the No. 2 new podcast or just the second one they listed. You know what that means? As far as I'm concerned, we're No. 2! Thanks to Kevin Jackson, Joe Mead, Jason Soderberg, Randy Moore, Cousin Sal, JackO and Ronald Jenkees for all their help over the past seven months. By the way, JackO is up to over 50 fans. We're planning on hitting the 100-fan mark by spring 2011.

•  Here were eight pieces that I thoroughly enjoyed from the past three weeks:

1. Pat Forde's column on Bobby Petrino -- loved how he ripped Petrino apart and stuck to the facts without ever going below the belt.

2. Tim Layden's feel-good feature about Kevin Everett's recovery.

3. Joe Posnanski's column on Tony Gonzalez's Pro Bowl experience with Bill Belichick. It's incredibly hard to make a column work this well, with this much detail, when you only have 850 words.

4. Golf Digest's feature about Tiger, if only for the picture of Tiger flexing his biceps. Something tells me Tiger spends a lot of time looking at himself in a full-length mirror.

5. Aaron Schatz dismantling the myth that you need to run the ball and stop the run to win in January. I don't totally agree with him but was shocked by the numbers here.

6. Doug Glanville's insightful piece about the Mitchell Report and his time playing during the Steroids Era.

7. Here's the only way I'd follow the Bruins again: If Jim Pallotta bought them. We need someone with a $21 million house owning the B's. We really do.

8. The New York Post's mini-feature on the 10th anniversary of Chris Farley's death. Never knew that the "Chris Farley Show" sketch came from the fact that he acted like that with the hosts of the show. Also, the shots at David Spade for skipping his funeral were interesting.

• Check out these highlights from the '84 Old-Timers Game at NBA All-Star Weekend. First, it's amazing that Tommy Heinsohn didn't cough up a four-foot Marlboro Red. Second, the collection of talent on hand was shockingly good. And third, why couldn't this happen again? Who would be against an Old-Timers Game if you had Moses out there, and Kareem, and Dominique, and Isiah, and MJ ...

• Speaking of YouTube, they wouldn't allow me to run my single favorite homemade sports-related clip of 2007, but if you want to find it on your own, it's called "A Night At the Starbury." Highest of high comedy.

• Nick E. in Boston: "On your Week 15 podcast, you were talking about how Bruce Buffer was talking up his famous 'Get ready to rumble' quote. Here's TV Land's list of top 100 TV quotes. Buffer only makes No. 19. HEEEEEEEEERE'S JOHNNY!"

• Did you read about ESPN's new $100 million office building in L.A.? When it's done, I'm demanding my own office, my own assistant, a state-of-the-art coffee machine, a plasma TV, a PlayStation 3, and a never-ending supply of Dunkin' Donuts. Then I can just invite Chris Kaman over after Clippers practices, make him coffee and play video games with him. This is gonna be great.

• The Boston Phoenix interviews Dicky Barrett and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, together again for a series of holiday shows. Let's hope the casualties are low.

• Like every other NBA fan, I'm still reeling from Charlotte's improbable decision to save Joe Dumars' butt by sending him two expiring contracts for $25 million worth of Nazr Mohammed -- who should improve the Bobcats 25 to 28 wins -- although they may have swung the deal solely to spice up ESPN's All-Access day in Charlotte last Friday. Here was my favorite quote from the Charlotte Observer story about the deal:

"A Pistons source said the trade came together quickly, after the Bobcats made a proposal Friday about 3 p.m."

Translation: "Hold on a second ... (holding hand over phone for 5 seconds and pumping fist) ... Um, yeah, I think we'd do that one."

• Steve from Boulder became the 10,000th reader to send me a similar e-mail on Monday: "It finally happened! Someone wised up and made like Andy Dufresne, escaping from jail by cutting a concrete block out of the wall and covering it with a pinup poster. No other way the escape of a guy convicted of manslaughter would make me this happy."

• Wick from Athens was one of many who cleared up my "What did the French fans sing right before the final penalty kick in 'Victory'?" question from the last edition of The Links: "They're singing the the French National Anthem 'La Marseillaise,' which wasn't the first time American producers have used La Marseillaise in an emotional anti-Nazi scene. Check out this clip from Casablanca."

Also, Michael in Chesterfield, Ind., makes a good point: "During World War II, the French anthem was banned by the Nazis because ... well, just look at the English translation of the lyrics. So basically the crowd was expressing, in song, that they wanted to water their fields with the Nazis' blood!"

• Ryan Parker (the guy who wrote the "Thank Goodness for the Bruins" parody) belted out a Roger Clemens song

• Ian F. in Somerville: "In response to Andy from Daytona Beach regarding the inaccuracy of the yellow first-down line (in the last Links),
this article details how Fox apparently decided a few years ago to eliminate the first-down line altogether due to its prohibitive cost. My guess is that viewer response was so negative that they brought it back and have worked to develop a cheaper (and consequently, less accurate) version of the same technology."

• Butch S. in New York writes, "I compiled YouTube links to 101 classic TV show intros. Here's the link. I hope you share it with your readers so that my blog will get tons of hits and I can put advertising up and become a millionaire." Sure thing, Butch. By the way, I think the three greatest TV theme songs ever were "Cheers," "Hill Street Blues" and "The Jeffersons."

• If you ever wanted to know everything you could ever know about the Red Sox' payroll and every contract perk for every guy on the team, check out this incredible blog post.

• Chris from Notre Dame: "Here's a Variety article about how, despite its low overall ratings, 'Friday Night Lights' is getting all the key demographics it needs to stay on the air. This gave me hope on an otherwise rainy day before we hit finals here at N.D." Sadly, I'm hearing that the show is done if the writer's strike stretches into January/February (which it almost definitely will).

• Eric from Boston sent along a belated link on the heels of Floyd Mayweather's comedy tour de force on "24/7": "Remember this Las Vegas Journal story that told us that, 'Pound for pound, he's the best tipper' in Vegas?" This needs to be its own Web site -- the best and worst celebrity tippers in Vegas.

• Some more YouTube links courtesy of the readers:

1. Sasha in Boston sends along a breathtakingly bizarre link: Dolph Lundgren fighting Oleg Taktarov in Russia. That's right, Ivan Drago in a real-life Russian boxing match!!! This almost made my head explode. It's not even entertaining to watch. It's just crazy.

2. Bodie in Mission Viejo: "After watching this YouTube clip, I NEVER, EVER want to hear somebody complain about a bad beat or cold cards in a poker game. Truly amazing."

3. From Steve in San Diego: "I imagine you've had about 3400 people submit this, but I wanted to make sure you linked to the Wedding Dance. If you haven't seen it, hang with it for about 30-40 seconds. It's fully worth it."

4. The trailer for Season 4 of "Lost" finally made it online. Let's see if Americans start giving a crap about the writer's strike when Season 4 abruptly ends after eight weeks.

5. A scene from "The Wire" with a laugh track. Watch out for bad language, but this was well done.

• Loved the fact that Denise the Lunch Lady turned out to be a fibber about "losing" her job. By the way, I mistakenly called her "Delores" in Friday's NFL column. Sorry about that.

• Rock in Dorchester: "You've brought up the idea of an NHL team using a really fat guy in goal before so you'll be pumped to hear that an author tested out this 'theory.' Here's the link."

• Mike from Evanston passes along a link that lets us know which announcers are doing which NFL games every week. They should change that URL to whereisgusjohnsonthisweek.com.

• Multiple readers sent this along: Definitive proof that Adam Carolla is the worst impressionist of all time. That reminds me, enjoyed the Danny Bonaduce Era on Adam's show, especially the part when it abruptly ended.

• One more Carolla link: If you've never seen the "Grand Theft Submarine" cartoon where a "Loveline" listener crafted a cartoon around a fake movie pitch that Carolla made, definitely check it out. We can only hope the creator will make one for "Pedif Isle."

• I was extremely disappointed with Joe Esposito's finish in this "What Should Be the Theme Song for the 2007 Patriots?" survey on Boston.com. As we post this link, "You're the Best Around" is dead last. What an outrage!

• My vote for the least shocking story of 2007: Keon Clark admits that he's an alcoholic and "never played a game sober."

• If you have a couple of minutes, check out the trailer for Will Ferrell's upcoming '70s basketball flick. Could there be a movie that's more up Bill Simmons' alley? Not only is the answer "no," but it just prompted me to refer to myself in the third person. Let's hope this never happens again.

• Barney in Philly: "Have you visited this site? It is a Web site designed for coaches (that's how I stumbled upon it), but the guy who runs the site does an amazing job of breaking down the game and uses video to back up the X's and O's. It's become one of my favorite basketball sites. I hope you enjoy it."

• Charlie in Amherst: "Please post the "All For Love" video with Sting, Rod Stewart and Bryan Adams in your next links column! No video makes me more uncomfortable. You can mention so many things in this unintentional comedic masterpiece. I don't even know where to start. It's finals week here, yet I'm watching things like that instead. I love state school."

• Kyle in Quincy was reading my "How old is Yi?" paragraph in the Top-50 Trade Value column when "he remembered learning that in Asia when a baby is born they are considered 1-year-old. So that means people in Asia could potentially referred to as 1-2 years older than they really are in comparison to Western ages. I even checked it on Wikipedia."

• ML in Brooklyn: "If you ever wanted to be the Barry Bonds/Roger Clemens equivalent of online Scrabble, check out this site. My God it feels good to be an online Scrabble legend ... but at what cost? At what cost, I ask you! I'm ashamed of myself."

• With little fanfare, the Big Dig finally finished in Boston. And I have to say, it's incredible. Check out pictures 7 and 8 of the slideshow for one example of how different everything is there -- I mean, you can stand outside the Fleet Center, right where the old North Station "T" stop was, and see Faneuil Hall. Amazing.

• Leo from San Diego reports that I've accomplished one of my life-long goals (making up a fake NBA trade and having it get picked up in a foreign country as a real rumor: "Marca (arguably Spain's biggest sports daily, though some will argue because it's so Madrid-centric) had a link today indicating a possible trade that would join up the four Spaniards on the Raptors. I clicked into it and found out that they were crediting Bill Simmons for the scoop, referring to you as 'a reputed sports analyst with ESPN.com.' Entire countries are going nuts because of your trade machine addiction. You happy now?"

• Greg from Lexington: "I've been skimming through your archived ramblings and saw where you hoped to see a 'White-Trash Weddings' reality show one day. The wait is over. The best part is, Tom Arnold is hosting. God bless the writer's strike."

• Finally, you have to admit, it's a little bizarre that we live in a world where athletes now blog and respond to things that have been written about them. Check out Baron Davis' response on Yard Barker to the props that I gave him in my Trade Value column:

I need to give a huge shout out to my Guy at ESPN..Bill Simmons. Thanks for the props and noticing how hard our team and I have been workin.. "Crunch-time killer", I dig that! And my game has changed since entering Nellie ball, he allows me to show my talents on the court, u know the powers the beard brings me..lol. The way I like to look at it, the past is the past, this is my team, our game, and... I'm lovin it like Mcdonalds! Quick rhyme for yall! Get at me Bill... ill holla at the yard later!

Sure thing, Baron. Glad you liked it. Um, holla.

MORE LINKS: CLICK HERE FOR THE DEC. 11 LINKS