Friday, May 30, 2008

0 comments Randy Hill Helps the World Avert Another Crisis

Do you believe in jinxes? Randy Hill does. Do you think the reason some teams don't make it back to the Super Bowl year after year has more to do with what the difficulty of getting to the Super Bowl in the first place entails? Randy Hill disagrees. Do cutesy columns about jinxes not belong on major sports websites? Randy Hill disagrees. Do you believe the Patriots are going to make the playoffs? Randy Hill agrees. Do I understand this column or what point Randy Hill was trying to prove? No.

Randy's article begins with the word "jinx" in it, which we all know does not exist, so this article is obviously tongue in cheek and he is going to mock the jinx. Right?

I understand and appreciate your distaste for the New England Patriots.

If you did, you would know it is not a distaste.

Maybe the word distaste is an understatement and should be replaced by the words screaming hatred.

I think my previous thought was that they could burn in Hell forever, but screaming hatred works for me. What is the point of your article?

With that in mind, I'm here to assist in building a reasonable case against the Patriots relative to their potential success during the upcoming season. Unfortunately, we have some work to do; according to the sharpies in Vegas, the Pats are favored to win the next Super Bowl.

I am not suing the Patriots for being a good team, I hate them for it, that and cheating, and also being douchebags, so there is no need to build a case. Oh, they are also douchebags who have bandwagon fans, I forgot that part. So this article is tongue in cheek, I think. He references how Vegas is always wrong. So, there is no need to "work" to build a case, we can just let fate take care of it's self?

But the anti-Patriots crowd may have karma on its side.

We have karma, Vegas always being wrong, AND a jinx. This is like a Fox Sports column version of a Science Fiction movie. If we had the Force, then and only then, would I feel good about the Patriots not making the playoffs next year. Also, if they weren't the best team in the league right now on paper, that would make me cuddle with my blankie tighter at night as well.

By the way, what the fuck is this "jinx?" If you are going to start a column off about a jinx, generally you want to define the jinx at some point.

Yeah, that would be the not-quite-infallible jinx attached to NFL teams returning to action following a Super Bowl defeat. With recent history as our touchstone, please note that six of the last seven Super Bowl losers failed to make the playoffs the following season.

Thanks Randy, and your fly is open.

So the jinx is that six of the last seven Super Bowl losers failed to make the playoffs the next year? I would agree and say this is odd but think it may have more to do with the parity in pro football and is a reminder of how hard it is to put together a good team year after year. Or it could be a magical jinx. Your fly is still open.

While acknowledging that it would seem impossible for the Patriots to sink to those levels, let's take a look at the potential categories defining their potential (though slim) for demise:

Although New England's candid-camera activities cost the franchise a first-round draft choice, the hit was mitigated because the San Francisco 49ers had coughed up a first-round pick to the Pats the year before. Commissioner Roger Goodell destroyed the video evidence, and despite recent allegations of injured-reserve shenanigans, the Patriots' greatest sanctions may already be in the rearview mirror.

That's it. The potential for demise is increased because they were not affected by the punishment the league gave them and the issue has been taken care of and should not affect the team in any way? You don't understand what you are writing. Put down the Natural Light and re-read the sentence you just wrote.

(Randy Hill as a doctor): "I am afraid it looks bad for little Tommy. He is bleeding internally and he may lose his leg due to the blood loss."

(Timmy's mother) "Where does he stand doc? Will he be able to walk again?"

(Dr. Randy Hill) "Fortunately, we stopped the internal bleeding and he is in the recovery room right now running sprints."

(Timmy's mother) "I thought you said..."

(Dr. Randy Hill) "We'll just pray the blood loss does not affect him too much. He is touch and go."
OK, losing cornerback Asante Samuel is good for the anti-Patriots crowd, but draft wonks believe the Pats did well (second-round pick Terrence Wheatley) at replenishing the DB pool. Never underestimate this franchise's ability to almost always develop its existing talent. Observers hoping the Pats' aging linebacker corps will become a liability grudgingly admit the addition of Jerod Mayo with the Niners' pick was a swell move. Adalius Thomas and newcomer Victor Hobson aren't exactly ready for the seniors' tour.

So are you being sarcastic and saying there is no way the Patriots miss the playoffs? Then you should have called the article, "Why there is no jinx and the Patriots will be in the playoffs" and specifically began the sentence before this list with this heading, "Turning the negatives for the Patriots to return to the playoffs into positives."

Here's the problem Randy. We have no idea if Wheatley is good and no one is going to know if Mayo is any good because he has not played a game yet either. So just saying these players are going to be good does not prove your point, whatever the hell that point you are trying to make is.

So you wrote the article as tongue in cheek saying the Patriots have nothing to worry about in making the playoffs, and then bring up points why they could not make the playoffs but not actually include any reasons why they would not make the playoffs in these points. Are we on the same page?

Jerod Mayo may be Jesus in cleats but you can't just assume he will be great and say, "See, they have nothing to worry about," and end it with that. Maybe Victor Hobson and Adalius Thomas are not old but the other two LBs they have are. Who the fuck is Victor Hobson?

OK, so the loss of this future Hall-of-Fame quarterback could be our last gasp at making an argument against the Pats' playoff return. It would help if EA Sports put Brady's likeness on the cover of Madden '09, but his absence must be part of some conspiracy.

I get it now, Randy is mocking Patriot haters! Funny shit Randy! So this whole article was written to mock people like myself who hope the Patriots miss the playoffs? You are pathetic and the sad part is I read your article like nine times and still don't know exactly what the hell it says.

After sifting through our four Pats-demise categories, it seems obvious that keeping New England out of the playoffs would require more mojo than this prevailing jinx can muster.

You said nothing negative about them in any your "demise" categories about the Patriots. How about these "demise" categories that happened to a couple other teams that did not make the playoffs. These could all happen to the Pats, but it would not be a jinx, it would just be how football is:

1. They end the season with 14 players on the IR (Panthers- 2004)
2. They lose their quarterback for the majority of the season (Eagles- 2005)
3. The entire team gets old at the exact same time (Raiders - 2003)

See, it does not have to be odd jinx that you just made up that explains everything, it can just be bad luck. Stop the jinx talk and begin writing articles that are coherent. I think you look like Randy Quaid a little bit.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

0 comments Mailbag Time!

I get tons of mail from avid readers and I thought I would share a couple letters with you with my actual response to their queries. I don't think this has ever been done before so try to pay attention to the novelty, and remember these are actual letters from actual readers to me, a professional writer.

Frank (Barnville, MS): You hate everything don't you? Is there anything that you do like or don't care to bitch about?

Bengoodfella: I actually like some things sports related. Among them is when a person actually begins a sentence when he doesn't know what he is talking about with, "I am not sure of this or I did not look this up," before spouting out some nonsense. I think my favorite above all is "I am just eyeballing this..." and then beginning a sentence with their opinion. I can accept idiots when they admit they are being idiots or can admit they did not look something up. I also like the NBA Playoffs and a nice pair of slacks.

Dominic (Putitinmibutt, MA): Could the fact you don't like the Red Sox or the Patriots have anything to do with the fact you're jealous of their success?

Bengoodfella: Actually it has more to do with the fact most Boston fans are bandwagon fans who don't know that much about their team and just cheer for the team enough to annoy me, but have plans to choose another team here in a couple years. Not to mention the teams are both annoying and I wish they would not exist. I do wish my team could have success over a span of four years though, that is sure a long time. Especially for you, cheering for one team for that long must get tiring.

Neil (Lomax, OH): What do you think of Jay Bruce? Tell me he won't be the next great hitter for Cincinnati.

Bengoodfella: I think he will go down as one of the greatest hitters ever. Did you know he was the first player ever to reach base successfully in his first six plate appearances? Did you also know he is the only person named Jay Bruce to get a base hit in the history of baseball? I was looking for more accolades but that is all ESPN would provide me. Who was the last great hitter for Cincinnati? Chris Sabo? Hal Morris? The bar is not set too high here.

I do get as excited as the next person for major league debuts of great young hitters but I don't think we should get too excited. Remember Jeff Franceour on the cover of SI three years ago with "The Natural" under his picture? Now he is the picture of average in RF for the Braves, but we love him because he is white and attractive!

Fred (Las Vegas, NV): I live in Vegas, and trust me, it is not as great as everyone claims that it is.

Bengoodfella: Never mention Vegas again to me or I will smack you in the face with one of Manny Ramirez's never washed dreads. How cliche has Vegas become? Who would continously write about it, unless that person was a walking cliche themselves? I had a friend who suggested Vegas for a bachelor party one time. I murdered him and fed him to my pet panther.

Fernando (San Antonio, TX): What is the purpose of the NBA coming out the next day and admitting the officials made an incorrect call at the end of a game? You can't replay the game and there is nothing you can do about it at that point.

Bengoodfella: The point is the NBA can feel good about themselves that they acknowledge the mistakes their shitty officials make. Flagrant fouls are ridiculously called as well. Now the NBA has the "unabated path to the basket rule" which is kind of like offsides except somehow it is dumber. Hard fouls happen and why the hell should a player give up a layup when they can send that person to the foul line? If the player is truly attempting to hurt another player then call the flagrant foul, otherwise the officials needs to swallow the whistle and hope one of the teams covers the spread.

On the opposite side is the technical foul calls. Players whine after every foul call. It becomes annoying to the viewer. Though in fairness, the whining would stop if officials called the game consistently.

Peter King (Boston, MA): Have you tried the vanilla latte swirl at Starbucks? I highly recommend it. Also, I would not bet against Brett Favre returning this year, I have the inside track because I am an insider in the NFL and will prove it by showing my text messages with players.

Bengoodfella: Here is my big question. Has anyone else but me noticed Peter's fascination with Chris Long? He mentions him in every MMQB and all he can talk about is how the Patriots would have loved to have him and what a great person he is. I refuse to answer Peter's question here because he always refused to answer mine.

Francis (Orlando, FL): You refer sometimes to living in your mom's attic, you don't really live in California and are a big time screenwriter or a professional journalist of any kind are you? Your writing, and you mostly, sucks, so I just wondered if you dumbed it down so no one would be on to you.

Bengoodfella: I do live in my mom's attic right now and I currently steal wireless internet from one of my neighbors. I do go outside but only to let my pet panther pee on one of my neighbor's lawns and then I immediately run back inside, take off my raincoat (I wear one with the hood up all the time rain or shine) and go back to the attic. I have not had a job for a few months now because I quit it thinking you had to be unemployed to be a blogger. I am still angry it turns out other popular bloggers have real jobs.

Jimmy (Seattle, WA): Are you excited Rick Reilly is coming to ESPN?

Bengoodfella: Here is what excites me about sportswriters, and when I say "excites me" it means I will read their columns and then immediately mock them. This is the criteria:

1. Knows very little about sports/refuses to do any research.

2. Writes articles that can be characterized as puff pieces and tends to oversentimentalize everything, but then treat an ordinary event as if it was a gigantic happening.

3. Is old school. Meaning hates blogs, thinks everyone who writes them is stupid and if it were up to them we would still be chiseling daily blogs in stone and then sending them out on horseback to the nearest town.

4. Has a vendetta against certain sports figures that will not change and said sportswriter will stop at nothing to make this vendetta work.

5. Writes columns that could appeal to a third grader.

Rick Reilly meets most of those criteria. I am absolutely thrilled to see what he is going to do at ESPN since he has never provided any hard hitting journalism or any good journalism that does not suck at the teat of the athlete. I thought ESPN already had enough people with editorial opinions and I think Chris Connelly takes care of the personal interest stories. I am almost as excited for this era as I am the new Sex and the City movie and the sequel to "Fat Like Me."

Charles (Atlanta, GA): What would you have done if you were Brian McCann last night and the umpire forced you to get in the batter's box after calling three straight completely questionable strikes in a row to you and the batter before you?

Bengoodfella: I am not going to be baited into answering a question from Charles about a team I may or may not really like, but let's just say Tim Wegler is not loved in the attic right now. I would have probably pulled a Juan Marchial to his Johnny Roseboro at that point. Not fucking cool to call balls and strikes with his eyes closed, but let's hand it to Bobby Cox for his handling of the pitching staff. Maybe in his 112th year in the league he will figure out when to pull a pitcher from a game and when to put a pitcher in. Told you I would not be baited.

Jimmy K. (Los Angeles, CA): I really fired Bill Simmons from my show and promised him he could use my name in his columns and I would pretend to be friends with him if he would never enter the writer's room again.

Bengoodfella: I knew it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

4 comments 21 Reasons why the Red Sox and the Patriots Can Go To Hell and Stay There

I have people ask me all the time, actually someone asked me just once, why I hate the Red Sox and the Patriots so very much. So I have decided I will outline my 21 point proposal on why both teams should burn in Hell...for eternity. I did not put that in the title because it sounds really mean but it is how I feel.

1. Manny Ramirez's home run trot- nothing gets my blood boiling like watching him raise his arm in the air and start waddling around the bases. I hate the Yankees but Kyle Farnsworth was my hero for an entire week for throwing at Manny. It is not Manny being Manny, it is Manny being a fucking show off, and it should be paid in full with a baseball to the head. I feel that strongly about this. You hit a homerun, congrats, now go take a shower, or just wash your hair, and keep being the great hitter you are, just lower the arm or you will be hit in the eye at your next at bat.

2. Bill Belichek- Pats fans always make him sound like a genius who just did not know the rules. He is not. He the is guy who cruises the streets in a van looking for young children and then when he gets caught with a 14 year old in the back of said van, he says he thought the child was 19. Then his friends remind the community how much money he has given to charities and how well the boys church choir he conducts sounds every Christmas.

3. 3 Super Bowl Titles- 2 of the appearances in the Super Bowl were helped out by breaks the Pats had gotten. In both cases if the rule change that eventually took place was in effect at the time the original game was played, the outcome would have changed. If the Tuck Rule was in effect now, then Tom Brady would have fumbled that ball and it would be the Raider's ball. In 2004 the NFL was propelled by the completely obvious pass interference by the Pats DB's during the Colts-Pats Championship game in 2004 to tighten pass interference rules. These are some "what if's" Bill Simmons does not enjoy doing. They also cheated by the way. So in conclusion, they won three Super Bowls, but were helped out in both cases by official calls that prompted rule changes.

4. They both are referred to by the media as a dynasty- Both are not a dynasty. The Pats won three Super Bowls in four years and have not won one in three years, so the dynasty time period has run out, and the Red Sox have not even come close, yet, to winning two straight World Series. If the Spurs are not a dynasty, neither are the Red Sox or the Patriots.

5. The Red Sox refer to their fans as a "nation"- This makes my blood pressure rise so greatly. Referring to your team as a nation invites bandwagon fans to join that nation. The team's fans "travel well" also. How come the team's fans did not travel well in 1999 or any other year where the team was not World Series Champs or ESPN had not pumped the team up as if they were underdogs, and not the very same team with the second highest payroll? This long question needs a good answer. By the way, in the annual poll the Red Sox were voted the 3rd most popular team in America. I will let you guess the other two who actually have a larger "nation."

6. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury- These two gritty guys really irritate the shit out of me. Ellsbury lives off his October from last year and Pedroia has a short shelf life. Sorry Sawk fans, give it a few years and I will be right.

7. Peter Gammons- His admonishment last year of A Rod, while the Red Sox were celebrating their World Series victory, for opting out of his contract was out of line. The Red Sox can turn even a great sportswriter into a homer looking to suck the teat of joy that is cheering for the Red Sox. For Gammons to sit on the field and say A Rod and Scott Boras lacked class was the epitome of homerism. A Rod owed nothing to the Red Sox and he could choose to opt out of his contract whenever he the hell felt like it. Sorry if it ruined your victory party Peter. Gammons was a Boston sportswriter for years and he should know that he does not have to report the A Rod opting out story if he does not want to, but he chose to, then bitched about it. Pathetic.

8. The Patriots beat the Panthers in the Super Bowl- I pretty much will never forgive them for that and they can burn in Hell based solely on it.

9. Bill Simmons- He is their ring leader, he is somehow is able to write a regional column from a national web site, and represents everything these douchebag fans think. He also does zero research before he makes fun of the NL and NFC, which makes me even angrier.

10. The douchebag fans- They are not smarter or even more fanatic about their team. They think they are and there is even a movie about them, Fever Pitch. I dislike the majority of them. I got in a verbal fight on New Year's Eve 2004 with three Patriots fans at a hot dog stand in Charleston, South Carolina. These guys were from Boston and when I called them all bandwagon fans and said they could go to Hell, they became even more loudmouth and started talking trash about the Panthers. I asked the entire three of them to name one thing about a Patriot or a Red Sox player that I did not know, to help prove what diehards they are. They could not. Douchebags. How is that for a true incidental bullshit story?

11. Kevin Youkilississis' beard- It is 2008 and the Metallica beard looks fucking gay on you. You have some Boston clam chowder from last night stuck in there and Dustin Pedroia is tired of getting burn on his private places. I don't care if you are the Greek God of Walks, learn to shave. Maybe trim it a little bit, so it does not look like a bush is growing from under your mouth.

12. Tedy Bruschi- He is fucking annoying and there is nothing anyone can do to make me think otherwise. I want to hit him in the head everytime I see that video of him putting three fingers up to the camera at the Super Bowl. I am glad he came back from his stroke or whatever he had, but isn't one of the side effects of taking steroids the possibility of a stroke at a younger age? Just a thought.

13. The proliferation of Boston area columnists on ESPN- If it is not Jackie Mac, Bob Ryan, Tony Massarotti, Tony Reali or any other random Boston newspaper columnist who is available on First Take, then ESPN always finds a way to get a Boston commenter in every discussion. If I had a dollar for everytime a Boston commenter appeared on First Take I would have enough money to save up for the mob hit I am going to put on Josh Beckett unless he shaves that annoying piece of shit under his lip.

14. The Pre-2004 whining about Bill Buckner- Every team at some point in their history has had a player screw up and cost the team a big game. I can think of one time for all my favorite teams right now, but every other team does not harp on it for years. Also, the columnists for said teams do not still talk about it in articles they write as though it was the bombing of Japan in World War II or some other historic and tragic event. Buckner should have had the ground ball, John Kasey should have kicked the ball in bounds and Chris Webber should not have called a timeout. It is over and the whining before they won the World Series in 2004 almost made me hate them worse than I hated the Yankees at the time.

15. The hatred for Roger Clemens- You hear Bill Simmons and other real Sox fans talk about how they hate Roger Clemens for tanking and then leaving town and winning a bunch of Cy Young Awards. The Red Sox GM came out and said Clemens was done, and regardless of what he was taking in his body, he was definitely not done. Clemens stuck it to you and you should hate your team for not treating him well and for having him do an F-you to the Sox for the rest of the decade. I would like to think if a player sulked his way out of town and played poorly to get traded the Boston area fans would not embrace this player if said player came to their team, since they hate Clemens so much. I guess not, ask Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, and Rodney Harrison. If it happens to you, then the player is the devil, if you are the beneficiary of the sulk fest, then you celebrate. That is standard sports fan thinking, just don't hate Clemens when you are the beneficiary of players who do the same thing.

16. Sweet Caroline- First off, the song has nothing to do with baseball, the Red Sox or anything that has anything to do with anything that goes on at the ball park. Basically they freely choose to use a Neil Diamond song as a chant of comraderie and joy at Fenway Park.

17. The Red Sox make me cheer for the Yankees- I greatly dislike the Yankees but I hate the Red Sox more because of the constant douche baggery they exhibit in every opportunity. The Yankees annoy me but the Red Sox definitely take the cake with their mere existence.

18. The Red Sox sign expensive free agents and then the fans bitch when they don't perform- Julio Lugo, J.D. Drew, and Matt Clement, what do they all have in common? No one wanted to touch them for the money they were being offered by the Red Sox and then they dared to underperform. Whose fault was this? Obviously the player and definitely not the Red Sox crack front office. I am talking to you Theo Epstein. Of course it is easy to take a chance on these players when you have a payroll large enough you can try to pay your way out of your mistakes by signing new high priced free agents. Instead of blaming the players for J.D. Drew's every strikeout, why don't you look at his results at every other stop in his career and ask why the hell the front office signed him?

19. The Beckett and Lowell for Hanley Ramirez trade- This was a grand move by the Boston Red Sox. Only the Marlins thought that Mike Lowell was done for good and would never hit well again. This trade irritates me because I want to mock the Red Sox for trading the best all around player in the National League but I can't because they got Beckett and Lowell for him and Anibal Sanchez is currently hurt, so he does not help my case much. In the trade I actually thought that Beckett was less of a sure thing than Lowell simply because Beckett was having so much trouble staying healthy. Shows how much I know, but one day, yes one day, I will mock the Red Sox for this trade.

20. David Ortiz- Combine the fact he is overweight, his nose is incredibly flat or he is somehow considered "clutch" and you have someone I do not like. The media and the Red Sox fans have an obsession with Big Papi, which is a stupid nickname, and it can not be stopped. When he started the year off slow, they did not assume because he is obese and over 30 he may not be as great of a hitter anymore, no they just made up shit about jet lag. I think my tipping point this year was when a columnist on SI said he was the greatest free agency signing ever. He was originally signed to a ONE YEAR DEAL! I Stephen A. Smithed that because any signing that is for a one year deal is not a great risk and therefore can not be considered a great free agency signing. A one year deal is a no risk proposition, if he sucks then he is gone, if he is great, you can talk extension. When I read that, I weeped violently into a pillow and wished it would all go away. He was a great signing, but not the greatest ever. This just pisses me off.

21. The Patriots are in the easiest division in football- Fine, bring up numbers like strength of schedule and other wonderful things like that, but then I ask you this...Which group of teams would you rather have your favorite team play twice a year? The last two Super Bowl appearances for each division is a stat I cherry picked and have put beside each division to show how weak the East is.

1. San Diego, Oakland, Denver, Kansas City- 2003, 1998
2. Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston- 2007, 2000
3. New England, Miami, Jets, Buffalo- 2008, 1994
4. Cleveland, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh- 2006, 2000
5. Seattle, Arizona, St. Louis, San Francisco- 2006, 2001
6. Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa Bay, New Orleans- 2004 (whimper), 2003
7. Green Bay, Chicago, Minnesota, Detroit- 2007, 1996
8. Dallas, Washington, Philadelphia, Giants- 2008, 2005

It is close but the AFC East is clearly the worst division based on my criteria. This has nothing to do with the Patriots going perfect last year other than the fact the division games are breezes for them. Other than the Bills, neither the Jets nor the Dolphins have been serious threats to the Patriots their entire division run of the past couple years. No one pays attention to the fact the Pats had no team over .500 in their division last year. The Patriots are a great team and will probably have another chance to go perfect this year unless someone in the division gets their shit together. This makes me hate them.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

0 comments Mock My Draft! Part 2

I am in shock because Bill Simmons has an incredibly readable column up yesterday and he also takes 3 swipes at ESPN in it. That always makes me happy. I am going to go ahead and say I enjoyed it.

Also, I realize there is going to be a lot of trades made in the draft and some teams are going to have fewer picks and some are going to have more, but this is what the teams should do regardless of the draft.

16. Philadelphia

What they need: They currently do not need a point guard. Chad Ford on ESPN said they should sign Elton Brand and I am not sure I disagree with that assessment. Assuming they do that and then follow it up with a draft pick here of a higher risk selection that may pay off in a couple years or a shooter. Either way, I think they will be in good shape. A kid develops for a few years behind Brand and is able to spell him effectively so as not to tire him out or a shooter that will make teams pay for double teaming Brand. Wasn't Rodney Carney supposed to be good?

How they will screw it up: For the team that has Shavlik Randolph on the roster, you know they will mess this one up. I look at this roster and see young guys who have never panned out and a group of 2nd and 3rd options, unless they trade for a first option, they are not going to go anywhere.

17. Toronto

What they need: I look at this team and I think to myself, only time is what this team needs, but then I look at the roster and the performance against the Orlando Magic in the playoffs and realize they either need a center or an actual athletic offensive player other than Chris Bosh. They could also go ahead and inform Sam Mitchell he will be fired after the next season and start a coaching search now.

How they will screw it up: They will draft another foreign player who takes a few years to develop, Chris Bosh will turn into a Canadian Jermaine O'Neil and Jose Calderon will play Jamal Tinsley followed by the inevitable T.J. Ford for Mike Dunleavy trade.

18. Washington

What they need: To resign Gilbert Arenas. The mediocre center duo they currently have is not really working all that well. Make it a trio! Grab Robin Lopez and then I want to see him and his other twin (?) Varejao battle it out in a playoff series. They are both white and have abnormal hair, so they have to be twins right? Actually, the Wizards could use a big man who is good and can contribute right now. Unfortunately there is one of those in the draft. So they will draft a young PF.

How they will screw it up: They will draft a young PF and not play Nick Young. It is so irritating the teams that draft young players, stash them on the bench and then they are never heard from again. I am going to scream if I hear one more team take a "project" center. I am talking to you Seattle.

19. Cleveland

What they need: A popular rapper to purchase a portion of the team and brainwash LeBron James into thinking they are actually going to put something around him. Sorry, Ben Wallace and Wally don't count. Give me one good reason they should not draft Bill Walker or Chris Douglas Roberts (a bit of a stretch admittedly).

How they will screw it up: DeAndre Jordan. Just kidding, no more role players though! They will grab someone who can't score or at least put up some points when LeBron pulls off a 5-37 night. Kobe had Shaq, Michael Jordan had Scottie, and Duncan has Parker and Ginobli, give LeBron someone who can score when he can't and someone who may play a little defense.

20. Denver

What they need: To not trade Carmelo Anthony. This is a team in dire need of a point guard to run the offense at 110 mph but someone who does not always look for his shot so AI and Carmelo can pump up 25 shots a game. They also could use a big man who can rebound all those shots because you know Marcus Camby gets tired. Maybe a trade would be a better idea at this point.

How they will screw it up: Trade Carmelo and keep Iverson on the roster. Iverson pouted his way out of one shitty situation and he will do it again. A tall person who can make up for K-Mart playing like he is the Kmart version of an NBA player (ba-da-boom).

21. New Jersey

What they need: This is the part where they can store a player in a different country and let him grow up for a few years if they choose to. Preferably, I would trade Vince Carter and see if Rush or Walker is available here.

How they will screw it up: Trading this pick in the Vince Carter trade to try and win now.

22. Orlando

What they need: That #2 guard spot is mighty empty on this roster. A swingman would look really good here, preferably one who does not always want to hoist three pointers and actually enjoys a little defense. They could also draft a project and hope it works out. I would hate doing this though.

How they will screw it up: Take someone who will get in the way of Dwight Howard in the middle (notice how Fabricio and every other center for the Spurs stays 8 miles away from Duncan when he is in the lane? Exactly the opposite of that). Or drafting DeAndre Jordan.

23. Utah

What they need: A decent point guard. Again, kidding. I say a center, but preferably not white and not a twin. Since this team does not run that much, I would think this would not be hard to find. They could also use some more bench depth.

How they will screw it up: Robin Lopez.

24. Seattle

What they need: A few more years, and again, no more project centers. This is the part of the draft where everyone drafts the young foreign players and then bitch when Gilbert Arenas, Carlos Boozer and other good college players get picked. So I think Seattle should just go ahead and draft a young project center and get it over with.

How they will screw it up: Drafting a young project center. If they want to win now, they could draft a college player with smaller upside, but if they want to wait, I say screw it up with a young project center. Robert Swift, Johan Seno (whatever your name is), meet your match.

25. Houston

What they need: Yao Ming to get the sand out of his vagina and play a full season. They also need to get rid of Steve Francis ASAP. I would take the best available collegiate age swing man in this spot.

How they will screw it up: Do anything to impend the development of Scola. He will be a grand player and drafting for the future does not seem like the best option. If they want to win while T-Mac's back is still not curved and Yao is not sent to a Chinese torture chamber for signing with Nike, they need to do so soon.

26. San Antonio

What they need: Someone who is under the age of 30 on the roster. I still can't believe they got Tiago Splitter last year. Maybe he will come to America in the next 10 years or maybe not, but still that was a great choice. I look for them to do the same this year. San Antonio is anti-American, so look for them to draft overseas.

How they will screw it up: I am not sure they have 3 more years of the Tim Duncan era available, so they may want to look for help now. That would involved drafting an American player and I am not sure they are comfortable with this.

27. New Orleans

What they need: Don't give up on Julian Wright quite yet but definitely get some bench help. Morris Peterson also looks a lot better as a 2nd player off the bench. They need to find someone through a trade or the draft to replace him in the starting lineup ASAP. They could also use a young PF to take some weight off West.

How they will screw it up: I think they are in a good position. Just don't trade away any key pieces to the team and be sure to include Bonzi Wells.

28. Memphis

What they need: Get Stromile Swift off the roster and trade Mike Miller at some point as well and get more picks or a big guy if there is not one available at this spot. This team needs someone who can lead the team and Rudy Gay is not that guy, he is too quiet. So trade for someone if no one is available in this spot and then ask the Lakers about Pau Gasol and if he can come back.

How they will screw it up: I don't think they need another point guard and I think Miller has some trade value, so they will screw this up by not trading Miller and then taking a player who needs a couple years to develop.

29. Detroit

What they need: A time machine to get younger as well. Detroit is pretty well set up for a couple more years but I can't help but get the nagging feeling they keep drafting back ups, which they do. They traded for 4 of the starters, so if they still stink at drafting, try to swing a trade to get a bit younger.

How they will screw it up: Draft another backup and then watch sadly as the entire starting lineup gets old in the same year.

30. Boston

What they need: They need to get younger very much more than any other team. The Celtics could use a backup point guard and some bench scoring help. They could also stand to look for a player who can help in three years when the Big Three are no longer around. They need to look for young blood to help them in a couple years.

How they will screw it up: They will look for help now, draft poorly and then have the #1 pick in two years.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

0 comments Mock My Draft! Part 1

I thought it would be fun, with the NBA Lottery last night, to look at where each team is picking and how they are going to screw up their choice, as most teams do. I am not claiming to be an expert or anything but these are just my observations. I am not going to put out any trades either that don't make sense, I am just saying what the team should find a way to do and how they are going to mess the pick up.

1. Chicago

What they need: To make a trade one year in the past for Pau Gasol or another big man. It is unfair Chicago got the first pick because they have had multiple opportunities to fix that team into a perennial powerhouse in the East but have refused to do so. If karma was a bitch, then the Bulls would be bent over a chair right now. They need a big man in the middle who can rebound and inject some life into this seemingly lifeless team.

How they will screw it up: They can't. It would take work to screw this one up. Pick Beasley, trade Gooden, Thomas or Noah or any combination for draft picks or semi talented player that fits well with the new coach's system. Pick Rose, trade Hinrich for a semi talented player that can actually rebound. I have a feeling Chicago will pick Rose or Beasley, then not make any trades, pissing off one or two players and then they will let Luol Deng become a free agent.

2. Miami

What they need: Anyone to help Dwayne Wade and Shawn Marion stay convinced there is actual progress being made. They can't screw this one up either. Whoever does not get picked by the Bulls should be picked up by the Heat. I would make no trades until they find out who they will be drafting.

How they will screw it up: Trade the pick. In the East, a core of Marion, Wade and Beasley/Rose would get the job done to make the playoffs. They need to not get in "win now" mode for next year. Wade is still slightly hobbled, so give him a year to get back to his old self. If Miami trades the pick, the only way they they would not screw it up is if they stay in the top 10, which they would not do.

3. Minnesota

What they need: A decent GM and a long term plan. Neither of which they currently have. I still don't get trading Gerald Green earlier this year. He is very young and giving up on him so early was dumb. They could use a big man that they can trade four years too late down the road. They could also choose to trade back and get a veteran big man in return. Good luck with that.

How they will screw it up: Pick a project who will take a few years to develop or choose another swing man who is not an impact player.

4. Seattle

What they need: A point guard. No more centers from foreign countries. Choose a point guard.

How they will screw it up: Not choose a point guard. If there is not one they like available, then choose a center from America. I can see Seattle choosing O.J. Mayo right now and then he and Kevin Durant fighting to the death for the ball.

5. Memphis

What they need: A tall person who can catch the ball when it goes in his direction. This will most likely not be available to them in this slot, so they need anything and anyone that can make them relevant again.

How they will screw it up: Reaching for a tall person who can not catch the ball when it goes in his direction. (Cough, cough DeAndre Jordan) If OJ Mayo is available, just choose him, then ask the Lakers if they can have Gasol back, because let's face it, that would be an awesome team.

6. New York

What they need: To run the ball a lot up and down the court and then get Eddy Curry and Jerome James oxygen. At this point, I think they need good basketball players and then wait for the shitty contracts they have on the roster to go off the books.

How they will screw it up: They are the Knicks. They will choose another player no casual fan in New York has heard of. If life was fair for the Knicks, OJ Mayo would fall here and they could market him until he opts out of contract and goes back to LA to the Clippers. It does not matter who they choose in this draft, it is who they choose for the next year after that, when there may possibly be a difference in team performance.

7. LA Clippers

What they need: They could use a point guard, like every other team here. The Clippers are like about 5 teams here at the bottom that I look at the roster and have no idea how they are not better than the record shows. They confuse me.

How they will screw it up: They are the Clippers. It seems to me like at every position they are solid, except SG, so I would choose a shooting guard of some type. Preferably someone who can play defense and actually help Maggette and Brand score. They will not choose wisely. Eric Gordon welcome to the Clippers!

8. Milwaukee

What they need: People who know how to play basketball. This is the part where Bill Simmons would draft Westbrook or Love and he would be wrong. Specifically, they need to have Yi learn how to play basketball better and quickly, Bogut to show that he deserved to be the #1 draft pick and trade Michael Redd. Redd is not a franchise player and I would think he could get a decent haul in return from a team that thinks he is more than just a second banana.

How they will screw it up: They will draft another project, then keep Redd on the team. I am telling you, I see D.J. Augustin in their future and I think he would make Bogut and Yi look a lot better. Since Scott Skiles is the coach they will probably draft a role player and then try to fit him in Skiles system. Dumb.

9. Charlotte

What they need: A center who can actually score and no more UNC players, coaches or executives. Kevin Love makes sense for them because I can see him throwing outlet passes to Richardson and Wallace. Something tells me they would be better off with a more athletic player who can play a little defense on the perimeter.

How they will screw it up: Draft Kevin Love and have a team full of players who have potential that is a B. I actually like Kevin Love but there is something about him that would make me not draft him and I can't place it. They will take him though and it will not work out.

10. New Jersey

What they need: 5-10 years in jail for raping the Mavs in the Jason Kidd trade. Seriously, they traded an old point guard for a young point guard and also got draft picks. What's up with that? They have to focus on getting in this slot a big guy who can rebound all of Vince Carter's bricks. This spot screams Darrell Arthur or Anthony Randolph to me. What do I know though?

How they will screw it up: Draft DeAndre Jordan. I am not a fan of his. Most likely they will over think this pick and choose a player who might fall to them but is not a good overall pick for the team. I am guessing an Eric Gordon or Kevin Love choice and that would not work for me or them.

11. Indiana

What they need: To have traded Jermaine O'Neal two years ago. Honestly, they need to blow it all up right now and start over ASAP. They will not do this. Keep Granger and a couple others. This can't happen though because they have big contracts and small results from many players. Most of all Indiana needs someone to take control of this team. It can be anyone. Just choose someone.

How they will screw it up: They will not blow it all up and just keep doing the same old same old as they have the past two years. You have to either get rid of the big contracts or eat them. They find themselves in this spot kind of often. Not in a good spot to get a great player but not bad enough to take a project. They are going to choose another decent swing man and then wonder why they don't get better results. Joe Alexander, welcome to Indiana!

12. Sacramento

What they need: Besides a team leader, a point guard and to trade Ron Artest? Nothing. There are 15 teams who need a point guard and the Kings are one of them. Use Artest to get a point guard or use him to move up in the draft to get a point guard. Just choose one.

How they will screw it up: They will choose a small forward or shooting guard that will never be able to beat out Martin or Artest for quality minutes or they will waste the pick on another big man who has limited upside. (Paging Spencer Hawes...)

13. Portland

What they need: Someone to make sure Greg Oden rehabs perfectly and is in the starting lineup in the opening game. I say trade one of the many, many good young players they have on the roster for a point guard and then give the team two good years. I know I sound like a broken record, but unless you have Kobe or LeBron, you need a good point guard to do anything in the NBA. It's science.

How they will screw it up: They can't. Greg Oden is going to play and taking someone who can take any kind of pressure off Oden to score a whole lot more than play defense his first year is nothing but good. That being said, DeAndre Jordan, that would screw it up.

14. Golden State

What they need: The sense to realize Nellie Ball is fun to watch but you are really not going to get anywhere with it. I would say a tall guy who can play defense, but again, every team needs that. Not much more than that, they just need someone for when they do have to play the halfcourt game, they are not relying on Stephen Jackson fadeaway jumpers.

How they will screw it up: Drafting another "deer," meaning another Brendan Wright, a tall guy who can score and run but does not care to play excellent defense and looks lost when he is not running down the court.

15. Phoenix

What they need: I personally think they have one good run left in them and what really killed them this year was not having Shawn Marion around. They need to draft a swing man who can come off the bench and score some points and play decent perimeter defense. I can think of one guy who is from Syracuse and a guy from Arizona that may fit this bill.

How they will screw it up: They will try to draft a point guard or a center to replace Shaq and Steve Nash. What they really need is a young guy who will actually make someone guard the perimeter at some point during the game so Shaq and Amare can have a little room.

Part 2 tomorrow...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

0 comments He's down? Kick him.

As a self labeled Simmonsologist, I can fairly say that I have followed Bill Simmons "feud" with ESPN very closely. Maybe he finally took my advice when I wrote him 2 years ago and told him he should start out on his own and make more money without ESPN. Of course, I wrote that to mock his "this NBA team needs to make a trade and is stupid if they don't," by telling him he is stupid for not doing something I just made up. Regardless, he may finally be taking my advice. He has a blog now:

He is also talking to about his relationship with ESPN, despite criticizing Jason Whitlock for doing the same thing, thereby breaking the Bristol Code of Silence. After reading how he wrote that "promises had been broken" and his constant "I feel bad for myself and I need sympathy" comments in the email to Deadspin, I decided I did not feel bad for him. Here's why:

1. ESPN made him and he wanted to be made. This is a perpetual celebrity dance that constantly amuses me. He went from the Boston Sports Guy to The Sports Guy, announces he is going to write for a national late night talk show but still stays with ESPN, goes on VH1's "Remember the 80's" show, writes a book, and then does some specials for E-60, ESPN's new show. So he uses his high profile as an ESPN columnist to get gigs and write books, but now when he wants ESPN to honor what they verbally agreed to when he resigned his contract, whatever that may be, he is pouting like an 8 year old needing sympathy so that way he is not another ESPN cast off that no one hears from again. He knew the deal coming in, ESPN owns you, they will let you use their name to give them and you publicity, but you have to abide by their rules. If you don't, they have plenty of other writers who would like the gig and many others who could fill the gig. He compares himself to Tom Cruise in the Firm on his blog and it is very much that way, but he is not privy to murder and embezzlement, he is asked to do other things that he is not comfortable with. What they are exactly, he does not say, but regardless if you want the fame, you have to play the game.

2. He has no leverage and he knows it. Without ESPN next to his cheesy ass picture he is just another blogger. Writing about the Celtics and the Boston area in general is very lucrative for him and has given him a standing on ESPN because he uses pop culture references as well that the kids just love. Despite his attempts to branch out into other mediums, he has done very little to make himself known as any more than just a national sportswriter who is a big Boston fan. He still likes and references Vegas, the Karate Kid and the Boston area. His columns have not changed, the references have not changed at all and most of all his writing style has not evolved in any aspect.

This particular one was written right as I was starting to find a groove and my column was starting to resemble what it's like now...

He admitted it in his Sports Guy blog in the last post. The article was written 10 years ago and talks about posses. Granted, it is a decent article, but instead of posses he has now become even more immersed in the Boston sports scene and generally only writes about Boston sports. ESPN has a very popular regional writer and they are aware of it.

3. He is using his blog to mock ESPN. Between the picture of Tom Cruise that screams, "feel bad for me" and this comment,

...only if nobody was killing five of the best jokes or making me re-write them so they weren't as funny.

you can see that Simmons is back on the bullshit excuse train. See, only morons and fucking tools are going to feel bad for him because the multi billion dollar corporation he works for and has made tons of money off, is forcing him to censor a little bit of his columns. Also, what are "the five best jokes" that are getting killed and why are they being killed? If he was a writer that was any good, couldn't he make a joke that would make it in a column? He did write for a late night show, correct? I am assuming they also had censors, so I don't see the problem.

Also, he has to re-write his columns so they are not as funny? I don't get it at all. I am supposed to believe ESPN is making him re-write columns so they are less funny to him? They want people to read his columns and they have no incentive to make him less funny, so I would assume any drop off in content and comedy is the writer's fault.

Here's what is REALLY happening. Bill is pouting because ESPN went back on some promise they verbally made to him, it was verbal, he has no recourse for it, so now he is pouting and playing the "I am a rebel" card, but he sucks at it and is mostly coming off as a protesting little bitch to anyone with a brain. ESPN made him to what he is today, and made him bigger than he ever had a right to be for what he writes. about. Instead of realizing this, he thinks he is some big star who is being held hostage by an evil corporation. They have protected him through not allowing user comments and allowed him to be the regional sports fan that he truly is by allowing him to constantly write about Boston sports and some of the other non-sensical columns that he comes up with. I don't know what promises have been broken and I also don't care. When you work at ANY job, promises and people's word gets broken, you just have to deal with it. So other than the promises, what the hell is his problem with ESPN? I don't know if I have mentioned this yet, but they fucking made him into what he is, so he should not bite the hand that feeds him.

I don't believe anyone is censoring him at all. If you don't believe me, read the column for March 2, 1999 on his blog and then read one of his latest columns with ESPN. Tell me what is different. The answer is nothing and that also tells me any problems with funny jokes and article content is not ESPN's fault. If he needs to know the problem with the jokes and content of his columns, then he needs to purchase a mirror.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

1 comments I Have Been Defeated...

I do not want to cover up my wonderful "guest" Peter King article I have below but I wanted to let you all (no "all" in there?) know I have been defeated.

Bill Simmons has written a KSK type pregame speech Doc Rivers "gave" to his team. He is mocking Doc Rivers, thereby I can not mock him. Bill has taken a blogger's way to mock someone and thereby not allowed me to mock him. Make sense to you? Me neither. The whole column is Doc Rivers' fake pregame speech and me being a closeted Celtics fan (you can guess why, and no I did not jump on the bandwagon, I jumped off and kept a 1986 Celtics mini-basketball up in my office. Before you hate me as much I as I hate my unlucky fate in life, please remember I partially jumped off a bandwagon out of embarrassment. Has this been done before?) did not read it. I don't care about it honestly and I am a Celtics fan from Bill's era. So you know it is bad. Fortunately for me, Bill felt the need to preface it with an introduction and I am on it like white on rice. There was one passage that was so egotistical, it had to be commented on.

Then I realized in my zeal I had misread it and it was a perfectly normal sentence that displayed no egoism. So in summary, Bill Simmons posted a column I could not mock, he included enough exposition to make me run to the attic and fire up the Mac only to find out I can't read, and I lost the only reader I had because I am a Celtics fan. Just a bad day all around.

Let me describe to you in Simmons' style the levels of fandom I have in my life so that you may possibly relate and see why I should not hate myself as much as I do for liking the Celtics and them being a popular team:

Level 1- you have uniforms of the team, you don't miss games they play and plan your life around them, you have broken one household appliance in a loss, you hate the teams that have beaten them in big games, pulled a muscle celebrating a win, and you live or die with their good and bad games.

My examples: my favorite baseball, college basketball, college football, and pro football teams.

Level 2- you don't really follow the sport obsessively but you know what is going on, you have team stuff that you wear and have around, if they win then you are happy but if they lose it will not ruin your day, you still hate the teams they lose big games to, and there is a reason you are not a bigger fan and if that reason did not exist, they could enter Level 1.

My example: my favorite pro basketball team

Level 3- you don't like the sport and like the team, you have no apparel of that team and no one probably knows that is your favorite hockey team, you will watch games with slight indifference but do actively cheer for them. They will probably never enter Level 2 unless you move to the direct vicinity of the team or start to enjoy the sport a whole hell lot more.

My example: my favorite hockey team

I feel better now, though my reader(s) still probably hate me and I still hate Simmons.

Please read the "guest" article by Peter King below and tell me how unfunny I am.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

1 comments Monday Morning QB: Buzz, Brett, and Ten Things I Think I Think by Peter King

The league is still a buzz with Brett Favre's un-retirement talk, but first, let's talk about the buzz on Buzz. There has been a lot of talk among league insiders, such as myself, about Buzz Bissinger and his rant at Will Leitch of on CostasNow. Most of it focusing on how that is going to affect the newspaper business after blogs are no longer read and when the time comes that most people will prefer to get their news from the league insiders, such as myself. I know Buzz very well and we had lunch with Brett Favre last week together. Buzz told me his side of the story and I understand his point of view, but he left after 10 minutes because he said he was weirded out a little bit when he looked at Brett and me so we did not get to talk long. Cinnamon buns. After he left, Brett agreed with me that he thought Buzz's tone was a little harsh to Mr. Leitch but the message should not have been affected. We agree with each other that Buzz had a point and just because it is a journalist's job to tell a story sometimes does not mean they don't get worked up and act like a crazed drug addict.

I consider myself first and foremost a league insider, because I can get interviews with athletes based on my good personality and wealth of knowledge on proper grammar, and not just because I work for a major news organization. Pass the rolls please. In a way, I am a forerunner for the bloggers because I put a lot of my personal life in my columns and I shoot from the hip and play no favorites among the journalism world. Brett agreed with me on my view of myself at the lunch we attended together, without his wife or any other adult present.

Most blogs are put together in bad taste with horrible grammar, curse words, general filth, and most of all a lack of food and drink references. These writers mock other individuals and try to make a mockery of the sacred industry of asking questions to athletes so they can answer them with non-answers or cliches. I read Kissing Suzy Kolber the other day and boy did I feel old. I did not realize Suzy was a sex symbol for bloggers, but I guess that is one more major difference in the media and those hiding in their pajamas in the basement who write blogs. Brett told me that he did not think Suzy was that attractive either at the lunch we had together, without anyone else around, and I agree with him. I like chicken tortillini. As a league insider I used to be on HBO and have been on CostasNow for many different reasons, but mostly to talk about Brett. There is a general feeling among my colleagues that blogs are dumbing down news reporting overall. Deadspin claims they report without a bias or by showing favorites. All media is able to do that as well, but do not have to use foul language or coarse descriptions of animal sex. I just ate an entire pizza. The journalism field is being sabotaged by those who don't know how to do an entire interview with a man in a towel in a locker room. Sometimes Brett doesn't even wear anything at all. Try getting a good volley of questions going when you can see a man's penis and see how you do. All you know as a journalist is that if you don't ask the question to the athlete in the right fashion, you may not get the correct cliche and soundbite. So you have to stay focused on your line of questioning and not Brett's private parts.

Now on to the main issue, Brett Favre. I got to spend the entire day with Brett recently, all alone and there was literally no one else around the entire time. After speaking with Brett at coffee after our lunch with Buzz Bissinger, it seemed as if he was truly thinking about returning to the NFL. I can't get some of the things he said at dinner that same day, while we ate shrimp kabobs with a light ranch sauce and drank coffee, out of my head. He feels let down by the Packers and I think he should, because they went out and got two QB's only a month after he retired. Brett told me a little later, as we watched a movie on the couch together, that he felt a little betrayed and the Packers should wait a few years to find a new replacement for him. We joked for hours about how he would like to show up the day before the first game and he could run the offense better than the guys they got now. I know he could and I would hope he does. Chocolate makes me horny.

The real key here is Deanna Favre. She does not really care what Brett does but just wants him to make a decision and do it within a quick time span. Brett and I think she is out of line. She wants him to spend more time with the team, and coming back to the NFL would really cut into that. Brett wants us to spend more time with the kids, just me and him, so there is something to be said for that. Family first is what I always say. Then dessert. Brett says Deanna's main problem is that I talk about him and her more than I mention my own wife, who I have never mentioned in my columns to my knowledge. Well, when my wife can run around the field like a little boy and toss a football with so much joy, maybe she will get a mention, but not until then. See, this is real blogging guys.

Fine Fifteen

1. New England- if they had gotten Chris Long, who I know wanted to be there in New England and I know New England wanted him, and I know this because I am a league insider, then I would rank them higher. I think Tom Brady is really motivated for this year to be perfect and I know Randy Moss is as well. Mmmm...bread sticks. The Patriots will be in the Super Bowl when all is said and done.

2. Indianapolis- Peyton Manning is driven to prove he can win two Super Bowls and I believe him. They will be in the Super Bowl at the end of the year as well.

3. Green Bay- only if Brett comes back, otherwise they fall to #24. Brett has that unbridled joy that motivates his teammates. He also has donuts. I think if Brett comes back, anything less than a Super Bowl victory is a failure. He told me this in words when we talked on the phone last night.

4. San Diego- Phillip Rivers has to grow up this year and if he does not, this team does not stand a chance.

5. Jacksonville- David Garrard has big muscles and I think he looks good in his uniform, so he and his team gets placed here. Call it a stretch and I will call you a racial slur. Fuck off.

6. Philadelphia- call it a hunch. Donovan McNabb is fired up this year and so am I. Pass me more grits.

7. Minneapolis- they run the ball well. That is all I really know about them. Brett won't let me talk about them.

8. Dallas- this team is ripe for an explosion this year and not in a good way. Romo reminds me of Favre in that they are both white and from the South. I don't think Romo gets too much credit for being a great QB. Even great QB's can't win home playoff games when they are the favorite two years in a row.

9. New York Giants- Eli Manning reminds me of Peyton Manning for some reason, but neither of them remind me of Tony Romo and Brett Favre. I enjoy mussels covered in hot sauce.

10. New York Jets- Eric Mangini is going to turn it around this year. He has a lot of ex-Patriots on his team and is doing the same things Belichick did in the beginning of his career at New England, except cheating of course.

11. Cleveland- Brady Quinn is going to be a real stud and he looks like it. We went to lunch the other day and had chicken pasta with peas mixed in and he agreed with me that a league insider such as myself will be fine if Brett retires.

12. Pittsburgh- if they can run the ball and score more points than the other team in every game they play, they have a chance to win the Super Bowl.

13. Seattle- I spoke with Mike Holmgren about Brett Favre and he said he thinks Brett is not going to retire either.

14. Washington- I just like this team, I don't have a reason why I like them, but that coach of theirs is going to be a winner. He used to be the QB coach for Holmgren who used to coach Favre so he must know something. I think I spilled some spaghetti on me.

15. New Orleans- This is the year the two back system they have in place really takes off and if they can get the Shockey trade through, they will win the Super Bowl.

16. Carolina- they love to grind it out like a John Fox team loves to do. I don't know anything else about them really. I ate too much shrimp gumbo.

Quote of the Week I

"I think Brett Favre is coming back provided everyone bends over backwards for him to be successful and he is able to coast on his reputation for one more year."

--Some guy in a bar to me the other day. I murdered him and buried his lifeless body outside of a Starbucks.

Quote of the Week II

"What can I do for you sir?"

--Clerk at Starbucks. I got a chocolate latte with a cinnamon swirl, but the clerk seemed really uppity to me. What happened to customer service here in America? I am a motherfucking league insider, treat me with respect. I followed him after work, slit his throat with my laptop disk drive and grinded his body through the new bean grinders they have at Starbucks. After that I got one of the new bran muffins they have, which are too heavy on the bran if you ask me.

Stat of the Week

Three times in one night. Ask Brett what that means, he knows.

Factoid of the Week That May Only Interest Me

The Red Sox have only won the Division once in the past 10 years. I did not know that at all. Probably some statistic a blogger came up with. I want more cake please.

Enjoyable/Aggravating Travel Note of The Week

What happened to first class seating? I can hardly stretch out, listen to my IPod and get free food service in some of the small spaces airplanes provide now. How is a person supposed to live like this? Then I checked into the hotel and there was no mint on my pillow. What happened to customer service? When I asked the cleaning lady about it, she spoke in some different accent with words I could not understand. I used her cleaning supplies to sedate her and then tortured her in the bathroom with my new ballpoint pens Matt Hasselbeck gave me. She squealed like a piggie very loudly so I had to put a towel in her mouth until she choked to death, while I enjoyed a nice cream brule from room service. I guess pain is understood in every language.

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think the Patriots really wanted Chris Long. By the way, his number is unlisted, does anyone out there know his number? I need to call him really, really badly. I enjoy cake.

2. I think if Tom Brady really wanted to, he could throw 100 TD passes. He just wants to have some respect for the game. I called him to confirm this and he never called me back. I texted him and he never answered. His number must have changed.

3. I think SpyGate is over with now that they have no further proof the Patriots were cheating. It's a good thing because this was a black eye for the league and Arlen Specter should have backed off earlier. Cheesecake is delicious. The Patriots have suffered enough for cheating, every team does it, so I think it should be over now.

4. I spoke with Sgt. McGuire today and he said all is well overseas and they feel like the tide is starting to turn for the better. I speak to him a lot because it makes me feel like I am contributing something to this country other than coffee references and useless football facts. I am deeply depressed and the illusion of being productive and useful keeps me alive. Cheeseburgers do too.

5. Arizona is always the favorite underdog by most sportswriters at the beginning of the year. I will believe it when they win a Super Bowl or two.

6. The Chiefs had a great draft and I really liked it a lot. It takes a lot skill and planning to be such a bad team you get tons of good draft picks. Then you have to choose good players at those positions. Kudos Chiefs, you have done well.

7. I think Jemele Hill hit that Karl Malone article right on earlier this week. We need a moral police in this society, people who can call athletes out who are married and have two children with their current wife but had a child when they were younger and no longer have contact with that child. While most athletes ignore all of their children by multiple women, it is worse to make a mistake when you are younger and then try to settle down your life with the woman you love and have children. I need more pastries for my office. It would be stupid to call out the athletes, like Chad Johnson who has children by four different women, go for Karl Malone because made one mistake. Good job Jemele, I commend you.

8. Chris Long is going to be an All Pro for seasons to come and I know for a fact, because I am a league insider, that the Patriots wanted him very badly. Brett agrees with me.

9. I don't know how Jay Mariotti does his job. He does not do research and does not enter the locker rooms to get interviews with players in towels, like me a league insider does, so how does he churn out great article after great article?

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

A. Coffeenerdness: Is there anything better than the new barista set up at Starbucks? I stole one of those last week and installed it in my house and it worked great. Has anyone tried the Green River Mountain Trail roast from Starbucks? Delicious, though it will keep you awake for days. I love huge casseroles.

B. Mr. Francona, your best lineup is with Ramirez and Ortiz hitting near each other. Has anyone in the world heard of this Jed Lowrie fellow? Just jumped on the scene didn't he? I think he and Ellsbury will lead the league in triples together one of these years.

C. I dislike most Buddhists.

D. I don't get House. I just don't get it. They talk using funny words and are not quite as witty as they used to be. I found out yesterday a British guy plays "House," so do they just dub an American accent over his British one? I don't get it.

E. Brett agrees.

F. Quick update on Mary Beth, she is doing well at work and really gets kidded a lot for me mentioning her softball games in my columns. Brett and I love her so much.

(Ed. note: I had way too much fun doing this.)

Monday, May 12, 2008

0 comments I Have a Very Important News Announcement!

I posted a whole freaking thing on Jay Mariotti and how badly he sucks and what a little bitch he is. Somehow I managed to save none of it and now I am too lazy to write something else. Let's do the cliffs notes version of what I wrote:

1. OJ Mayo took money, not a shocker, and I think it is very wrong the school gets punished and he is free to make a shit load of money in the pros. He committed the violations, not the school. They get sanctioned, he becomes a millionaire.

2. I have no idea "move the island" means and we doubt will find out until next year around this time.

3. Jay Mariotti is a bitch. I have studied his Wikipedia page and he picks fights with everyone and then backs down and refuses to confront them when they call him on it. Then he writes articles where he continues to take cheap shots. He is a bitch.

I'll do better tomorrow I promise guy(s).

Thursday, May 8, 2008

0 comments Random Thoughts

I have not found an article to tear apart and mock today, but I have a constipation of opinions that I wish to share with myself and my reader(s?).

1. The Green Bay Packer's draft- I am not a "Green Bay Packer or a Brett Favre fan. I actually am among the "Favre is a tad overrated" crowd. I found it funny when I read that sports guy at ESPN's chat that his father mentioned how Ryan throws the ball up for grabs too much and that was a BAD thing to him. To the rest of the world when Favre did that he was just enjoying the game and playing like a little kid who did not have a care in the world. It made me think, "I don't think the throwing the ball up in the air is a problem, I think it really depends on who does it if it is going to be a problem.

Back to the Packer's draft and their overall strategy. It seems like, and this is not necessarily a bad idea, they could very well have the greatest depth on their QB chart of any team in the NFL in two more years. They have Aaron Rodgers and then drafted Brian Brohm and Matt Flynn in this year's draft. Personally I like all three of those QB's, not to be Pro Bowlers, but to be decent QB's and Flynn would be a suitable backup for a team. My problem is they have drafted themselves into a QB controversy. There are a couple angles for me on this one.

First, Aaron Rodgers was drafted to be Favre's eventual replacement because Favre did the annual game of retirement chicken so they had to get a QB never really knowing if/when Favre would retire. He sat the bench for three years, not complaining or bitching, and learning what little he could from Favre. He could have gone anywhere else in the league and gotten a chance to start, remember this guy was going to be the first pick up until the last week before the 2005 draft. Life's not fair and I realize that, but I think between Favre possibly coming back to play this year and Brohm on the roster, Rodgers is in a no win situation. There are TWO QB's that fans will be clamoring to start if Rodgers, God forbid, has growing pains in the position. I think he has gotten shafted personally and deserved a better opportunity than he is being given to prove he can play. If I am Rodgers, I am pissed.

Second, Brohm was pretty much the Aaron Rodgers of this draft. He was a player that at one point was considered a top 5 pick and for whatever reason he fell. I am not on the Brian Brohm fan club bicycle at all, but I think there is one system that was screaming for him to play in it, and this system would maximize his talents. That is the West Coast Offense and Green Bay runs a variation of this offense. So now, not only is he going to be fighting for playing time with Rodgers in training camp, he is also going to be pretty upset if he loses the battle. Rodgers is a young QB, so if he wins the QB battle in training camp like I personally expect him to, he could logically be the QB for the next five years. Brohm is also a young QB, so if he wins the battle in training camp, then Rodgers is going to want the fuck out of Green Bay, if not this year, but the year after that. Now, Brohm could fail miserably at the position, but the fact the Packers are giving Brohm time to grow into the position and make mistakes, something they did not give to Rodgers for three years, is going to piss him off.

Basically I am saying I can see a situation where the loser of that QB battle wants out either this year or next year. Maybe the Packers can forsee this situation and that is why they drafted Matt Flynn, I obviously don't know, but at this point he can't be any better than a backup coming out of training camp, so putting him in the starting position this year is pleading for disaster.

There is not a situation in Green Bay where you can yank any of these three young QB's in or out of the starting lineup. The Packers are going to have choose one starter and stick with them. This is potentially very similar to the San Diego situation with Drew Brees and that worked out well for them, so Green Bay is not sunk, but I just think signing a veteran backup and not drafting two QB's was the best move to allow the team a little QB flexibility and also plan for the team better down the road.

2. The Detroit Tigers trade for Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis- I did not have a huge negative opinion on the trade. In my little brain, this was similar to the Red Sox trading for Beckett and Lowell, but my other problem was that this was not the Red Sox trading for Beckett and Lowell. Except this trade was a much better trade than that because even though they gave up more, they also got more. Why did I not like it that much? Here's my problem:

Willis' performance has been declining for a couple of years now and his numbers are reflecting this decline as well. He no longer seems to be able to fool batters and overall just seems more hittable. I did not look up any empirical data other than ERA, whatever that is worth, which has gone from 2.63 in 2005 to 5.17 last year. In the past three years his BAA has gone from .243 to .294, as well as his K/BB and K/9 have steadily gone down and up respectively. Throw all of those cherry picked numbers in with the fact his herky jerky motion was just screaming for him to get injured, and I was not as comfortable with him in the pitching staff of the Tigers as I would like to be. I realize he just got injured, so I am getting in on this after the fact and look like the sports guy from ESPN here, but I annoyed people with my opinion after the trade went down. I just thought that keeping Andrew Miller would have been a preferable option given the fact he is major league ready and a potential #2 starter. Throw in the move from the "inferior" NL to the AL and it seems even smarter to hold on to not acquire Willis.

Miguel Cabrera has not had any type of performance decline over the past couple years and he is actually a great acquisition. My two problems fell in two categories, the DT theory and he really had no solid position in the field to play.

It is a common joke among NFL fans that you don't pay a Defensive Tackle big money over a long period of time because they use that money to get fat and lose whatever effectiveness they had over that period of time. Whenever a DT wants a new contract, he slims down and some other sucker gives up a bunch of money. I heard Miguel Cabrera was losing weight this year and looked great, so my first thought was this is bad for the Tigers. Why? He was going to perform great, get a new contract and then eat his way out of the city like the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man (take that pop culture reference!). This has not happened yet and may never happen, but I genuinely felt like this was a possibility and still do. Old habits die hard and if a 24 year old has a weight problem, that problem will probably not get any better as they get older.

When the Tigers acquired Cabrera I also felt like the best position for him was DH, not 3B or the OF. Cabrera is not even an average 3B or LF, so you are losing defense at both positions when he is out there. Factor that in with the fact Brandon Inge is an above average hitter and an above average 3B, and would not appreciate being benched, which happened, and it seemed like LF is the best place for him. Now the problem is whether you really want Cabrera roaming around LF defensively. It sounds good with Granderson in CF, but you are almost negating Granderson's defense by having Cabrera put beside him. Now Granderson has to cover more field and Cabrera does not have the security of a Green Monster to stop a lot of the difficult fly balls like Manny Ramirez has. I just thought the best move for the Tigers would be to make a lower level trade to acquire a good young LF, which ironically is what a division rival of the Tigers, the Twins, did. I think Delmon Young would have looked good in LF for the Tigers, if they were willing to make a deal work, it would not have taken Andrew Miller to get the job done, in my opinion. I think a trade involving Bonderman would have gotten that done easily. Maybe not, but I think trading Andrew Miller and Maybin was a mistake in regards to what they got in return, which was a questionable pitcher and a player without a real position, but with a great bat.

I realize this is all in retrospect, but I did not agree with the trade from the Tigers point of view when the trade was made and there were the questions I had at the time and still do.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

4 comments The Most Boring Conversation Ever Part 2: Bill Strikes Back

I was bored reading through this entire chat, so I really had to muster up the anger to mock Bill for it. You know what though? It worked out really well for me, I am pumped up, have had coffee, mom is at work and the fan in the attic is working, so let's do it! Today's post is going to be full of twists and turns, I can feel it.

Nick (Boston): Bill - while nobody works harder than Mel Kiper, what is the point of grading drafts the day afterwards? I feel like if you draft skill-position players that everyone knows, you're universally praised - and with the opposite, panned. The Lions had the greatest draft of the last ten years when they were able to land Charles Rogers and Kevin Jones in the first round a couple of years ago. Madness.

Bill Simmons: Put it this way: I don't even read post-draft grading columns anymore. It's ridiculous. KC traded their best defensive player for extra picks... OF COURSE they had the best draft on paper, but who the hell knows? With that said, I thought Jacksonville and Carolina had the 2 weirdest drafts ... Carolina especially.

I am not even going to choke up saying this, but this is a perfect question and answer for Bill. He seriously nailed this. Nick from Boston, who may well be the smartest person in the New England area, brings up a great point and Bill responds with a smart answer. The Chiefs had a ton of choices, so they had a great opportunity to fill holes in their team, so Bill makes a great point about them logically having the best draft. Buttttttttttttt......

What was so odd about the Carolina and Jacksonville drafts?

Here is what we know about these two teams:

Jacksonville: plays in the same division as Peyton Manning, has a great running game, is really lacking the big offensive playmaker in the air to get over the hump.

Carolina: plays in the oddest division in sports where every year a new team wins the division, coach is very, very, very dedicated to running the ball, needs to help Steve Smith out someway, somehow.

Here is what they drafted:

Jacksonville: 2 DE, 1 LB, 1 CB, 1 RB (Derrick Harvey and Quentin Groves being the two DE's and the key picks for Jacksonville). Jacksonville is taking a page from the Texans book and getting two good DE in the draft to put pressure on Manning, they must think they have covered their WR need with Williamson and Porter in the offseason, and they drafted Chauncey Washington, who is vastly underrated by the way, in case Drew or Taylor get injured. Seems like they have a plan to me. Pressure the QB, pressure the QB seems to be that plan.

Carolina: 1 RB, 3 OL, 1 CB, 2 LB, 1 DT, 1 TE (Jonathan Stewart and Jeff Otah being a RB and RT respectively as the key picks for Carolina). They pick up a big RB and a RT in the first round to improve the running game which will take pressure off Smith hopefully, they must think the pick up of Muhammad and Hackett in the offseason helps Smith out in the air, and are playing for this year in a division where no team has won the division crown two years in a row in like 7 years.

Will these moves work out? Maybe not, but at least they each have a plan. I don't think the drafts were that odd really, I think Bill is an idiot.

Hater-meter: 0.

Sean (Seattle): Have you ever seen a pitcher with King Felix stuff? People talk about all these Cain's, Hughes, Buchholz, etc, but Felix is so much more dominating than any of them. 97 FB, 94 2 seamer with serious movement, 84 changeup with great arm action, and a 78 curveball for a strike when he wants. He doesn't even throw his slider anymore, and that was always considered his best pitch. Thoughts?

Bill Simmons: Pedro in his prime had better stuff (at least of the guys in my lifetime that I watched), but you're right, Felix's "stuff" is significantly better than anyone else's "stuff." he's the only pitcher who makes me flick to his games if he's pitching to make sure he's not throwing a no-no.

Surprise, surprise, Bill says Pedro was better. Look at the caveat he throws in there: "of the guys in his lifetime," which is since the 1970's, "that I watched," which is only Red Sox games and absolutely no National League baseball. So Pedro has the best "stuff" (why the quotes?) of any Red Sox pitcher since the 1970's and King Felix is a close second. So if you take half the league out of the equation and only count the last 30 years, King Felix has great "stuff." Congrats King Felix, now go get an ERA under 3.50 and have hitters hit under .260 against you at least once in your career and I may agree.

My only other thought is, "why would you ask Bill Simmons a question that was not pop culture related?" You should expect a Joe Morgan-esque answer on this because Bill does not watch any other teams!

Hater-meter: 4

DC (NYC): are you ready for the max scherzer era?

Bill Simmons: I don't see him making it - bad name for a potentially dominant athlete. he sounds like he should be working for Rusty Hardin.

The most popular sports columnist on the most popular sports website does not think Max Scherzer is going to make it because of his name. Just thought I would mention that.

Hater-meter: 7.

Scott, Knoxville, TN: Love you, love your stuff, I hate the Pats, so it's bittersweet to see Jerod Mayo going to you guys. I just hope you value a player as good and as smart as he is. Go Colts!!

Bill Simmons: I speak for every Pats fan: We're thrilled for the Jerod Mayo Era. It's going to be nice to watch an inside linebacker keep up speedwise with another team's running back.

Other than the swivel action He-Man I wanted for Christmas when I was 7, I have wanted nothing more in my life than for Jerod Mayo to be a huge bust. It would please me greatly. You know another reason why Simmons is an ego filled piece of shit? He begins sentences with, "I speak for every Pats fan..." You don't, you piece of shit, you speak for you, and you think you speak for everyone else, but you don't. Some fans may have wanted Sedrick Ellis or another player in the draft, so you only speak for you. Shut up.

Two bandwagon fans of different teams speaking to one another, how wonderful. I am guessing Scott from Knoxville is a huge Peyton Manning fan, so he is a huge Colts fan, which pisses me off. Just a guess here but I think Scott is a tool. There is no Colts fan that also loves Bill Simmons unless they are a self loathing piece of shit. Oh, and I can tell Scott is a real piece of shit.

Hater-meter: 8. (just for all the "shits" I wrote)

Horn (Topeka, KS): Over three weeks have gone by, and I haven't heard a single mention of perhaps the greatest (definitely in recent memory) National Championship game. What gives, Simmons? I thought you were a basketball fan?

Bill Simmons: Sorry, I have had an insane schedule the past three weeks - had a question about that game that I was saving for the next mailbag, and also, I did mention the whole "microcosm" theory I had about that game in the last Links. So wait for the mailbag.

Simmonsologists also know that Bill HAS to be write about everything and he has predicted most things before they occurred. Please don't encourage him to talk about college basketball, it just annoys real college basketball fans. This is what his answer should have said to this question.

Bill Simmons: Sorry, I quit paying attention after my prediction of UCLA winning the title was incorrect, and I did not want to bring it up so no one would know that I was wrong and realize I know very little about the sport. Someone did email me about that recently. I want you to know though, I made up some shit bag theory and it turned out correct, so that is what we will focus on when I do answer the question.

Hater-meter: 9.

Eric (Catasauqua, PA): You're Chris Wallace, you get the second pick in the lottery and Beasley goes 1, who do you take at 2 with an already crowded backcourt in Memphis?

Bill Simmons: I think he should auction off the pick. Rose only played at Memphis for 5 months, it's not like he's a hometown hero or anything. They should be turning that pick into one blue-chipper and/or using it to get Brian Cardinal off their cap.

GM Simmons strikes again. Pretend you win a new home in a drawing from HGTV. The HGTV representative shows up at your door and says, "here is your new home." GM Simmons would say, "I already have this string of really shitty trailer parks, I don't need a new home, what we really need is money and a smaller home rather than the one you are going to give me for free." This is why he should not be a GM.

My point is this. Being a hometown hero has nothing to do with this pick, what DOES have to do with this pick is you need a great player in the draft to help turn your franchise around if you are Memphis. Is Derrick Rose the one for Memphis or not? That is the question.

I am not sure what Simmons means by turning the pick into a blue chipper, because Rose is a blue chipper. How about you sell all the shitty trailer parks you have and try to start over with a new home? I think that is a better idea.

Hater-meter: 5.

Mike (Indianapolis): How good do you think Eric Gordon can be in the NBA, and what lottery team do you think would be the best fit for him?

Bill Simmons: I don't totally see it with him - beautiful shot and not a lot of big-game production. best-case scenario, he finds the right team that gives him time and minutes to develop like Joe Johnson did on Phoenix. Worst-case scenario, he goes to the wrong team and gets asked to do too much too soon.

This exact same statement, outside of the Joe Johnson reference, could be said about every upper tier prospect in every major sport. So which lottery team is the best fit again Bill? Remember this is your area of expertise?

Simmonsologists know when you ask Bill a specific question that does not involve New England teams or specific NBA trades, you get generic responses. Example A is right here.

Hater-meter: 3.

Jason S. (Columbus, OH): After listening to the Jack-O podcast a couple weeks ago I am convinced that we need an MTV classic! Like you wouldn't watch old Real Worlds, Road Rules, Remote Control, who knows maybe they could even devote an hour a day to playing some classic videos! At the very least we could make Aaron and Dominiq from LA sweat a little bit, Dom might even turn to the bottle again!

Bill Simmons: I have been poushing for MTV Classic for years. No idea why it hasn't happened yet - between the Real World, all the Awards shows, all the goofy specials they had in the 80's (remember John Mellencamp giving away a pink house?) and everything else, they'd have enough content, right?

Fuck you Jack S from Columbus, OH, Bill thought of that idea first. No matter what you do or suggest, Bill has thought of the joke or the idea first, so he agrees but how does it taste to be second motherfucker? Like Bahstahn creem pieh? Here's a sample list of things Bill thought of first:

1. The internet.

2. Chanting MVP.

3. MTV Classic.

4. Gravity.

5. Bikinis

Hater-meter: 2.

Brian (DC): Am I the only Red Sox fan that thinks Ellsbury is remarkably overrated? Every Sox fan thinks this guy will hit .330 and steal 150 bases and the fact of the matter is he will never be as good as he was in the World Series.

Bill Simmons: HOW DARE YOU!?!?!?????

No, you are not the only Red Sox fan that thinks this. Brian from DC, you seem to have Simmonsitis, where you think you have the only team and fan base in the world. Here's a secret: Everyone else in the world agrees with you. Ellsbury is a 3 tool prospect, it has been douche bags like you and ESPN that have overhyped him since he got hot for three weeks in October.

Notice how Bill does not respond to this with any arguments or any analysis, even though you KNOW he disagrees and thinks Ellsbury is the best thing since the Gauntlet returned. You know why? Because a member of Red Sox Nation does not argue with another member of Red Sox Nation, that's why. It's in the new book, "Red Sox Nation: Or how mildly interested fans of the sport baseball all latched on to one team because their lives needed extra meaning and they have low self esteem...and the other team they liked sucked and they want to be winners."

Hater-meter: 3.

D, SC: It's hour 3 and still no draft talk? Thanks for helping me get through another work day.

Bill Simmons: ive been waitring for some quality Draft questions - where are they? This seems like a good time to mention that my Dad, who watches every BC game, is convinced that Matt Ryan will be a bust because "he throws it up for grabs too much" (Dad's words). He's never been wrong about a BC player, ever. Warrants mentioning.

I see where Bill gets the Simmonitis from now. First off, this did not warrant mentioning, because I am sure he has been wrong about one BC player. Since when does Simmons wait for quality questions too? He posted some comments these assholes were making about Clemens and the Mindy McCready situation throughout the chat with underage jokes included. Based on that I think quantity, not quality, is what he is looking for. Maybe there were no draft questions that dealt with the Pats and that is why he has not answered any of the questions. I remind you one more time, he knows nothing about any other team, except the Patriots. Based on this, quality questions are probably not the problem, but "questions he can answer" is the issue.

Hater-meter: 2.

Matt (Seattle): I find it hard to believe the Pops picked Mattie Hasselbeck to be a Pro Bowl QB. Was he right on him???

Bill Simmons: Yeah, he really liked Hasselbeck. I take it back though - he was wrong on a BC guy once... Billy Curley. But that wasn't Dad's fault, he was getting old and kept confusing the guy for Dave Cowens.

I call bullshit on this one. I don't think he liked Hasselbeck to point where he thought he would be Pro Bowl quarterback. What is it with the Simmons family where they have to be right ALL THE TIME? If not, they think of what I call "a horseshit excuse."

Curley was drafted in 1994 and Hasselbeck in 1998, but the reason his dad missed on Curley was that Old Man Simmons was old in 1994. Not so much older in 1998, but mostly 1994. Maybe Curley just ended up in a bad situation where he was not given consistent playing time or was asked to do too much too soon. See? That Eric Gordon analysis can be used for every prospect.

Hater-meter: 9.

Josh (Troy, AL): hey Bill, how did your football fantasy league go this past year? i read in one of your columns that you thought you may have had the chance to go undefeated, and didn't know if it had ever been done before. I myself was until the second to last week, the injuries and madness ensued... I was just wondering if you sealed the deal. Oh, and props to Leodis McKelvin going 11th overall, I thought your Pats were gonna get him....

Bill Simmons: Nah, I lost twice during the season - won the title though. It's impossible to go undefeated in a league with good owners. I am convinced.

Read Bill's response but imagine him wearing a cowboy hat and relaxing in a rocking chair in a slow southern accent. Too much fun, huh? I love how he did not choke when he lost in the league, there were just good owners. He is probably in a fantasy league with the best owners in the world who are the most competitive and know the most about sports. See, this is "a horseshit excuse."

Hater-meter: 6.

Mike (Chicago): did your dad have flutie becoming the pride of Canada?

Bill Simmons: The Simmons family still believes that Flutie could have been an NFL force had he skipped the USFL and landed on the right NFL team. Nobody really figured out how to use him until he went to Buffalo. Raymond Berry didn't have a clue - it was a chore for Berry to stand upright on the sidelines for 4 quarters.

A sentence full of "horseshit excuses." This is what Simmons uses when he is wrong. Let's count them:

1. "Flutie could have been an NFL force had he skipped the USFL..."

-Remember how you ripped Charles Barkley for mentioning Rasheed Wallace's potential? But Flutie did not skip the USFL, just like Rasheed Wallace is not the best player in the league.

2. "...if he landed on the right team."

-If any player lands on "the right team" he is going to be good. Just like some QB's are better fits for different systems, but others just have natural talent.

3. "Nobody really figured out how to use him until he went to Buffalo."

-what were the other coaches having him do, kick the ball downfield to his receivers or making him play linebacker? He was a QB, so they were having him do the things that a QB does, which is take a snap and hand the ball off or throw the ball to a receiver. If he is a good QB, then that is how you use him. What you really mean is "nobody really figured out how to use a QB that is a hobbit." There is a difference between figuring out how to use a QB and having to use only a third of the playbook because the QB has physical limitations. Generally you don't refer to QB's as a position you may have to figure how to use the player. Usually it is a player that is too short for QB but could not take the beating of the running back position or a defensive player that is a tweener between LB/DE or S/CB that you have to figure out how to use them. Flutie could only play QB, so I am not sure how much more there is to figure out.

4. "Raymond Berry didn't have a clue..."

-now it is the coaches fault? Berry was 48-39 and 3-2 in the playoffs in his coaching career, so to blame him seems pretty stupid. It seems like anytime Bill is running out of "horseshit excuses" he falls back on it being the coaches fault. Doc Rivers, Grady Little, etc.

Hater-meter: 10.

Matt (Pittsburgh): How is it remotely fair that the Patriots, coming off the first 16 win regular season in history, are awarded the easiest schedule in the last decade? Are you excited to go 16-0 again but lose in the playoffs?

Bill Simmons: I have to be honest - the Draft was the first time in 10 weeks that I've read or thought about the NFL for more than about 10 seconds. I was traumatized by SB 42. And still am. This season could start 18 months from now and I'd be fine with it. I'm not ready to go back.

Remember this comment when he writes his first "Back to back 16-0 seasons" column. This is why Bill does not have a comment section on his columns, he can never think of a comeback to anything his readers say. I bet it takes him two hours to come up with his jokes and they still suck. This guy calls out his favorite team and all Bill can do is whine about how sad it was they lost the perfect season in the Super Bowl.

What's with his fucking sulking on this issue? Why is he acting like the Patriots loss was so horrible? They only lost one game the entire year! My favorite team did not even make the playoffs, so feel bad for me instead. This is another reason why Boston teams are pieces of shit, because any time they lose a series or a game, they want sympathy from the rest of the world for their bad luck. They have not realized yet that everyone hates them.

Hater-meter: 10.

(Boston): Bill...Does SB43 rank as the biggest punch to the gut you've ever felt in your life?

Bill Simmons: Sports-related, it was No. 3 behind game 6 '86 World Series and Game 4 of the '87 NBA Finals. The thing about the Pats loss is that we had 3 full hours to say, "Uh-oh, this doesn't feel right, this doesn't feel right" so the final drive was a huge stomach punch, but my stomach muscles were already flexed, if that makes sense.

See? In each case, his team was in the championship game and lost. Maybe ten years ago you feel sympathy, but at this point when Boston sports teams have won 5 titles in 7 years, it is hard to feel bad. Oh, but they still want that sympathy, it is like crack cocaine for these pathetic losers. How do you like them apples?

Hater-meter: 10.

To wrap it up, how about one of my favorite Simmons characteristics. The "it happened to me and I was there, so it was the biggest event that has ever occurred" characteristic. Except he contradicts what he said earlier in the chat.

Oliver (Los Angeles): How can two players in Juan Pierre and Fatman Jones be so different, yet play the same position, and so grossly underachieve? The two of them combined make a average 80 million dollar player

Bill Simmons: They are really the Lennon and McCartney of Free Agent Busts. Every sports fan in LA is going crazy about how bad they are during the 3 minutes per day when they aren't complaining about how everyone hates Kobe.

Really Bill? Here's what you said earlier this chat:

Dan ( Stamford, CT): With Barry Zito being 0-6 and being demoted to the bullpen, does this officially give the Giants signing him the title of worst signing ever???

Bill Simmons: What's funny is that it had the title on the day they signed him. Although Mike Hampton's contract has to be 1B to Zito's 1A on that list.

Lack of consistency Bill is why no one likes you and you can't write a column that includes comments at the end. If Pierre and Jones are Lennon-McCartney, then are Hampton and Zito the Harrison-Starr of worst signings ever?

Pierre and Jones were just two bad signings and anyone who knows anything about baseball should know this. I watched Jones for the past 10 years and knew he was on his way down in skill, but up in weight. Pierre has been criticized for at least three years now for being an out machine. The Dodgers knew all of these things before they signed them, which is why they are stupid and you even bringing this up is stupid and you are stupid overall and I am stupid for reading your chat.

Hater-meter: 10.

Self hater-meter: 1,000.