Tuesday, March 31, 2009

11 comments The Biggest Loser: Simmons Mailbag Edition Part 1

I don't really appreciate Bill Simmons trying to sneak a Tuesday/Wednesday mailbag into my week. It's not that I don't love a Simmons mailbag, but it means there is not going to be a Friday column, which I look forward to. Regardless this is a good-bad mailbag and Bill even leaves (relevancy alert) Twitter updates as he goes along and he has a head-on collision with math that leaves no survivors. He's not old and out of touch, he's just like us! As always this is a real mailbag with "real" questions from "real" readers, and as always I will be making fun of Bill's readers and those that pose the questions just as much as I mock Bill himself.

I am predicting I will get two commenters that think I am a moron for writing about Bill and mocking him.

Mailbag Part 1!

But seriously, how can I turn down an e-mail like this?

I need a mailbag like a fat kid needs the last slice of cheesecake.-- McGowan, Hamilton, N.Y.

You can ignore an email like that by realizing the whole "fat kid" joke really went out in the early 2000's, though I still find it acceptable to use these jokes, this one is one of the oldest and most uncreative versions. This is the perfect way to start off a Bill Simmons mailbag though. An unoriginal and derivative email from a reader who wants to be just like Bill.

Q: Recently, Morgan Freeman came to my town to help celebrate the opening of one of his restaurants, Pig 'N Whistle BBQ. He came around and greeted every table and talked with each guest, and everyone was getting their picture taken with him. I had a stroke of genius, though, and had my phone out. When Mr. Freeman reached our table, I asked if he would be so kind as to record a message for me. He said yes. Now I have this on my cell: "This is actor Morgan Freeman, Barnz is away from his phone right now but leave a message and he will call you back, I hope ... I hope." Is there a better choice for voicemail and a specific person to leave it?-- Barnz, Fayettesville, Ark.

I have enjoyed how Bill's readers come to him for validation that what they did was the best ever or they need his approval before they can officially feel good about making a list of the whitest players ever or making some other inane list.

"I did this Bill, is this the best ever? I base my self worth on whether you find me to be a cool person. Validate me Bill. Tell me what I did was clever."

SG: Nope. Not that I can think of. Although I definitely would have had him throw in a "I guess I just miss my friend" joke. Here's the rest of my Dream Guest Message top five:

"Great idea Barnz! Though you could have done better by doing exactly what I would do. Let me get the attention back on me by listing other celebrities who I would love to have do a voicemail greeting for me. As always, there is no creativity in this, I am just googling and copy and pasting movie lines they have performed and saying that is what I would like for my voicemail to say. Oh, and they are all from movies I have referenced multiple times before."

2. Jack Nicholson: "This is Jack Nicholson. Bill isn't home right now. You're entitled to leave a message for him. Just know that I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain where he is, especially to someone who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said 'thank you' and went on your way. Either way, I don't give a DAMN what you think you're entitled to!!!"

A Few Good Men. We have gotten a few mentions of this in Bill's previous columns.

3. Al Pacino: "Hi, this is Al Pacino. I don't know where Bill is right now. But I do know this. Life is just a game of inches. I am still willing to fight and die for that inch because that is what LIVING is!!! The six inches in front of your face!!!!! Now I can't make you leave a message. You gotta do it. So wait for the beep."

Any Given Sunday. Definitely made several appearances.

4. Buffalo Bill: "This is Jame Gumb answering Bill's cell phone. Bill's not here. (Long pause.) Is this a great big fat person?"

This is not a funny or memorable quote. If it were creepy, I could get some value from this, but it's not even really creepy.

5. Gene Hackman: "This is Gene Hackman for Bill's cell phone. There's a tradition with phone messages to not talk about the return message until you've left the initial one. I'm sure leaving a message on Bill Simmons' cell phone is beyond your wildest dreams, so let's just keep it right there. Don't worry about winning or losing with this message. If you put your effort and concentration into playing to your potential, to be the best that you can be, I don't care what the scoreboard says at the end of this message, in my book we're gonna be winners! All right? (Sound of a slow clap in the background.) OK? (Clapping gets louder.) Lemme hear it!!!!! (Everyone cheers, followed by a beep.)

Hoosiers. I think everyone knows how many times this movie has been referenced in a Bill Simmons column. Easily one of his favorite films.

There you go Barnz, rather than do something fairly creative like you did, you should have just had Morgan Freeman recite movie lines, that he probably in no way recalls, into your cell phone. One day, just one day, you will be as cool as Bill.

Q: Just bought the new edition of your Red Sox book on amazon.com, but since you are a podcast pioneer, can you record it as an audio book? I want a 60-part podcast series of you reading your book to me, because podcasts have made me basically illiterate.-- Wade, Sydney, Australia

I like how Bill updated his book for the second Red Sox World Series title. I know authors frequently do this, but again, why do any work when you can just piggyback off something that has already been written to sell more books?

Can anyone imagine 60 parts of Bill's book with his nasally whine speaking each word? I would hang myself with a Wes Welker jersey. This is one of the reasons I can't listen to his podcasts.

Q: Man, is it just me or does your NCAA bracket looks like an adopted child of a Paris Hilton-Lindsay Lohan marriage? Pretty at first, but quickly evolving into a complete train wreck.-- Chad, Greensboro, N.C.

Is it me Chad or did I warn your friend, Eddie, to never make contact with Bill Simmons in a mailbag again? I can find out where you live Chad. I have no job, no friends, I live with my mom and she no longer locks the attic door when she goes to work so I can get out easily. I expect more from you.

Does anyone else get the feeling this email was edited and the beginning part was ripping some of Bill's picks? I would like to think so.

First, the Villanova-Pittsburgh game was magical and reminded me why I had spent six days watching a mostly crappy tournament hoping something good would happen.

Villanova: Beating Duke and then getting blown out by UNC, just to piss me off.

Just take out the ACC's two top teams please Villanova. If (When) UNC wins the National Championship the Big East is still going to be the 2nd best conference because UNC will have potentially beaten every team in the Final Four, including two Big East teams this year, if UConn makes the Championship Game. Beat UNC and then I will forgive Dante Cunningham for that awful lightning bolt on the side of his head.

And fifth, other than everything I just mentioned, nothing excited me in March more than the release of USA Today Weekly's annual fantasy baseball issue (the one that has all the auction prices). I was trying to think of my 15 favorite days from this perspective: You wake up and you think, "Cool, today's the day when X happens!" My top-17 list looks like this: my daughter's birthday; my son's birthday; Halloween; the annual Celtics-Clippers game; Halter Top Day; Patriots' Day (Boston only); NFL conference championship Sunday; Christmas Eve; the first Saturday of NFL wild-card games; my fantasy football draft (the West Coast one where we all get together); first day of March Madness; the NBA draft; the NFL draft; (blank); (blank); Final Four Saturday; my anniversary; Sunday of the Masters; and strangely, the day when that fantasy baseball issue is released.

Not that I really care, but notice how low Bill's anniversary is on this list. There has been no mention of the Sports Gal in a long while, so maybe she left him for Dan Shaughnessy. I don't want it to happen but he has gone from featuring her in his columns during football season to not even mentioning her at all.

I know a long time ago he vowed to never mention his wife and kids in his columns but he breaks that rule continously concerning his two children, so where is the Sports Gal? I doubt he reneged on his "never mention the family" rule. Peter King doesn't mention his wife, but then again, he never has, so I ask again, where is the Sports Gal?

Also, I mentioned my anniversary because that means another year passed without my wife saying, "I should run from him while I can still find a second husband." So maybe I don't look forward to it as much as appreciate it.

Or maybe I am wrong...or maybe this is all a smoke screen to drive me insane and have his readers focus on his wife's disappearance rather than his writing. I am not giving up on my theory, no matter what he types.

Q: Do you ever shorten the first names of famous people? I find it very fun, and think that if someone like Russell Crowe had decided to be known as Russ Crowe his career would be different. How about Scott Pippen, Shaq O'Neal or Mike J. Fox. Do you think your life would be different if you had gone by Will Simmons? Yes, it would have.-- Kevin, Philadelphia

If anyone watches the Office, imagine Kevin from the Office reading this sentence out loud. It reads like something an 8 year old child would write, which is also how Kevin on the Office speaks. I wonder what part of this question makes Bill think, "My God, I have to write a response to this."

This SimmonsClone writes a question to Bill and then answers it. That doesn't stop Bill from answering it though.

By the way, I think "Will Simmons" would have put me on the Reggie Cleveland All-Stars. Not that I'd object.

Will Simmons sounds like a rich white guy's name. Someone who went to an expensive private college full of other wealthy white kids. Basically it changes nothing about you. Good try by Bill though to put his name in the fake group that he created. Very valiant effort.

So then the question came up ... in respect to Chavez ... is there such a thing as negative V.O.R.P.? -- Jason, Phoenix

Why the fuck ask Bill Simmons this question? What the hell would he know about V.O.R.P. or even if it can be negative? I can put a list together in my head of 1,000 people who are more qualifed to answer this question. Jason from Phoenix, you suck. Bill Simmons doesn't know the fucking answer and you should know better than to ask an entertainer this question. You could have asked me or potentially millions of other people (Yes, I upped it from 1,000 to millions in 20 short seconds, that is how dumb this question directed at Bill Simmons was) this question and gotten an answer. Instead you go to Bill. That tells me something about you.

SG: I asked our baseballprospectus.com buddy Joe Sheehan and here's what he said: "Yup, negative VORPs are fairly common.

See? Bill the "stat geek" had no fucking clue. Not one, so he asked someone else, just like he always does when it comes to any facts or numbers he needs.

A replacement-level player would actually be better than what the guy produces (and remember that VORP is adjusted for position, so the standards for shortstops are lower than for first basemen). Top-five last season: Tony Pena, -25.0; Corey Patterson, -19.3; Andruw Jones, -17.3; Jeff Francoeur, -16.9; Wily Mo Pena, -16.5."

I want to point out two things:

1. Jeff Francouer actually got a raise to $3.4 million this year, up from less than $1 million last year despite the fact the Braves could have replaced him with a replacement player and gotten better production. The arbitration system sucks.

2. 3 of these 5 players have played for the Braves organization in the last 3 years. Oh, and two of them were in the same outfield together in 2007.

Q: Wondering if you saw ESPN's hilarious interview with Herm Edwards regarding Jay Cutler's situation? When asked how he would handle the situation, Edwards actually said he would point to the team missing the playoffs by just one game last season and tell them, "Hey, that's something we can build on." Can you imagine Herm charging into the Broncos locker room following a 52-21 loss to San Diego to complete a monumental collapse and yelling "WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!!"??!!-- Rosie, Seattle

(Sound of Bill and his readers beating a joke into the ground, digging the joke back up and then beating the joke back into the ground.)

By the way, a belated "Got you!" to everyone who Googled Scarlett Johansson's topless scene in "The Killing Game" -- both the scene and movie were made up. You guys are too easy.

Ohhhhhhhhhhh! Bill got you bitches! How dare you believe anything out of Bill's mouth is factual. You guys should never believe that anything Bill says has any factual basis.

What other entertainer/major sports web site columnist makes shit up in his columns and then mocks his readers for believing what he writes? Aren't his readers supposed to believe what he writes? I thought that was the entire point of journalism, to write something the readers will believe and also something that provides them with information?

I don't know how his readers don't hate him.

Q: I'm an NYU student, so it's nothing new when a movie is being filmed near campus, as was the case today. Walking past with my friend, we wondered what movie it was, as it was clearly high budget. I remarked that it was probably another crappy Nicolas Cage movie. My friend stopped to ask a cop, who excitedly said "The Sorcerer's Apprentice with Nicolas Cage." This killed us, as we could tell from the title that this would be another instant classic.-- Mike, New York

SG: Note to Nic: It's not a good sign when movie fans can guess that you're filming a movie in their neighborhood with the clues "high budget" and "looks crappy."

I don't like Nicholas Cage by any stretch of the imagination but his latest movie, "Knowing", did pretty well at the box office. His movies generally stink but the movie did well, plus the movie had Rose Byrne in it and I am big fan of her, so he gets extra points in my book for her being in the movie.

So we ask you, do the large amounts of L.A .residents visiting Vegas each weekend factor into oddsmaker's decisions?-- Blair Fetter, L.A.

This is the part of the column where Bill encourages his readers to start gambling. It's not very responsible to encourage people to spend money gambling when unemployment is at its highest levels in a long, long time. You know there is a subset of white mails 18-25 years old who are reading this and wasting their mommy and daddy's money on gambling.

Now I realize Bill should not have to worry about affecting others because it is not his responsibility. But I have to ask...he doesn't have to worry about being factually correct when writing his articles because he is an entertainer, he doesn't have to make his predictions accurate because he is a fan, and he doesn't have to worry about the message he is sending his readers because he is just commenting on gambling and not encouraging it...so what part of his columns every week should he be responsible for, if not the message and content of what he writes? I get confused about this every time someone tries to knock me for taking Bill seriously.

We always talk about the tangible effects of the Steroids Era (it screwed up the numbers historically, compromised the competitiveness of the games and tainted some of the nicer memories we had as fans from 1990 to 2007), but the underrated effect was the realization that some of our greatest players were scumbags.

Is Bill fucking kidding me? How the hell is the realization that the best players were scumbag cheaters an "underrated" effect? After the Manny Ramirez and Kevin Durant "underrated" column, I am starting to think Bill thinks "underrated" means, "I personally have not noticed nor thought of this, so I am going to assume everyone else has not either."

The whole A-Rod steroid scandal was all about the tainting of the homerun record and the realization the one "clean" player everyone believed in was also cheating. I would actually say the scumbag effect has bothered me more than the memories and the competitiveness of the game issue has affected me. I don't pretend to speak for everyone else like Bill, but I think the fact many Hall of Fame players who the public really believed in turned out to be cheaters is more overrated compared to the fact nearly every record over the past 15 years is probably tainted.

Mark McGwire doesn't have the decency to admit that he cheated. Neither does Sammy Sosa or Raffy Palmeiro. A-Rod lied in 2008 on national TV, then lied about the lie.

Really, there was a lot of focus on this issue. Like tons of articles written about how A-Rod has ruined the lives of children in Africa and how Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire have shamed their entire family. Bill needs to look up the word "underrated" and try to figure out what it means.

Q: YES! YES, YES, YES!!! Please write about Anthony Randolph! I've been telling people about him all year long. There's never been an NBA player with his size and skill set. Ever. He's a looong 6-foot-10, runs like a gazelle, has great hops, and can handle the ball. Love it. As an added bonus, he looks like he's constantly crying or really getting his feelings hurt. He's fascinating. I get genuinely giddy any time the Warriors are on, for him alone. Can you please let America know about Anthony Randolph?-- Aaron, Chicago

Aaron, anyone who follows the NBA knows about Anthony Randolph and any hyperbolic evidence Bill has is not going to support the fact he is going to be a great player. Let's let him try anyway. Also, Randolph is not a scrub or anything, he is the #14 pick in the 2008 draft.

I caught him once and, in the span of two hours, he made three "MY GOD!" plays and broke down on the Warriors' bench because Nellie wouldn't put him back in, followed by an assistant consoling him through an entire timeout like Randolph was a third grader who got in trouble for something he didn't do, then had a meltdown and got kicked out of class. It was riveting. The odds of me missing another Clips-Warriors game for the next five years are 10,000-to-1.

Randolph is the youngest player in the NBA right now, so maybe he was sad that he got taken out of the game. Or maybe he was sad that if he had stayed in college this year his college team would have been a #4/#5 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

I know some people hate college basketball but one of the reasons I like college basketball is that players like Anthony Randolph can be discovered by fans BEFORE they go to the NBA. Bill and Aaron from Chicago probably have no idea where Randolph went to college, which is LSU. It just annoys me when Bill gets all excited over players that others have known about for a while.

In a related note, in my NBA mock draft last year I had Randolph maybe going to the New Jersey Nets at #11. Though I was not a huge fan of his, I thought it would be a good spot for him, but if you notice under #14 I pretty much said Golden State should not draft a player like him...then they did. There are no available minutes for Randolph in Golden State, though there should be.

I also had dislike for DeAndre Jordan, though it subsided when he went in the 2nd round, but I remember mock drafts had him going in the middle of the 1st round, which I thought was too high and that caused the dislike.

My point is that if you follow college/NBA basketball, you know about Anthony Randolph and Bill Simmons does not have to be the one in the "know" who can tell everyone about him.

Q: Can we get your thoughts on Schilling and the HOF? Here are mine: Saying he would help break the curse, and then DOING IT! Bloody sock -- beating the Yankees! Great postseason record. Regular season numbers are STRONG! Antagonistic relationship with the media (CHB in Boston, Pedro Gomez in Arizona) and management (Philly). Supporter of troops and ALS. Critic of performance enhancing drug users (in the sport) Of course many other things ... anyhow, I am so glad he passed through Boston. I cannot tell you how much 2004 meant to me.-- Matt, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Weird. Other than mentioning Schilling had a "great postseason record" and saying his "regular season numbers are STRONG" very little fact is used here. The rest is just shit that has nothing to do with how Schilling performed on the mound. A perfect question for a perfect Simmons mailbag. Screw the numbers, let's try to determine if Schilling deserves the HoF by talking about his support of ALS.

SG: Couldn't agree more.

Exactly. Bill never mentions his numbers either or even says he should make the Hall of Fame. This is the equivalent of just typing and not listening to the question...which was not actually a question by the SimmonsClone, but more of a statement.

Q: I was thinking about the biggest non-Internet era sports stories that would have made the Internet or ESPN talk shows explode. Here's my rudimentary list: Magic and HIV; Jordan retires for first time; Wilt scores 100; O.J. Simpson car chase; Kermit Washington's punch; Hatch CATCHING a penalty kick to save the Allies after they stay for the second half. What do you think?-- Mark, Seattle

"Hi, I am Mark, please justify my existence Bill by helping me make a list. I am bordering on suicide here in Seattle, please give me validation by answering my question. I worship you."

We need a "There's NO WAY IN HELL!" movie scenes category. Here's three off the top of my head: De Niro's triple; the ex-president bank-robbing surfers knowing who Johnny Utah was at the beach football game; Eastwood beating up The Swede in "Heartbreak Ridge." Feel free to expand the list. You could easily kill a few hours.-- Paul Hogan, Pittsburgh

No Paul, you need to get a girlfriend or perhaps a hobby...like right now. Stop relying on Bill as if he is an expert on everything movie related. You can make a list of the top "No way in Hell" movie scenes without him. I promise you can do it.

Why did Bill include Paul's full last name here? Was this a Crocodile Dundee reference? If so, I can get behind this reference.

Q: Why can't Hollywood make a movie about a guy who doesn't get married, keeps his friends, loves life, dates hot girls up until they get crazy. But also show his old college roommate married with kids, a nagging wife, a crap job he can't quit because of the kids and mortgage. This should be made and mandatory viewing for any single male by the time he hits 18. At least he would have a fighting chance. If you have a great marriage awesome. But I would tell you that nine of 10 married guys I know are in the old college roommate state of life right now. Good luck all you engaged men. (Suckers.)-- Gabe B., Waterloo, Iowa

SG: And that wraps up this month's installment for "Fellas, Don't Get Married!" By the way, I'd like to give a special shout-out to my buddy Sully, who's already trained his two young sons to answer the questions "How old will you be before you can think about getting married?" and "Where are you going to college?" with the answers "35" and "South or West." Now that's great parenting.

This whole "I got married and should not have" theme gets so old so quickly. It's not funny and it really doesn't make a whole hell of a lot of sense. If a person doesn't want to get married, don't get married, simply because Hollywood puts out movies where people get married doesn't mean you personally have to get married. Movies should not dictate what type of lives everyone has to lead, and I would assume Gabe is at the age where he should understand Hollywood glorifies everything. That is their sole purpose. To glorify and entertain.

When someone whines about getting married and how mean his wife is, it annoys me. When people who aren't married talk about how great it is to be single and how married people are stupid it annoys me. It is a personal choice, you don't have to make the choice or feel forced to make the choice to get married. Don't fucking get married if you don't want to, it's very easy. If a woman is a bitch and nag when you date her, then nothing is going to change when you get married. Of course, if your wife changes after you get married (which is what men will claim but is not just true, people tend to ignore other's faults), then that is a different story.

Look for more tips in my relationship book titled, "Oversimplifying Relationships In An Effort To Shut Up Those Who Whine About Marriage."

Q: Why won't you understand shooting percentages? 33 percent from beyond the arc is the equivalent of 50 percent from within.


If a guy shot 50 percent from the field, would you be killing him for shooting? Of course not. You obviously realize how stupid that would be. Yet that's what you've been doing -- FOR YEARS -- with your mind-boggling argument against 3-point shooting unless the guy can hit 75 percent of his 3s.


Just think about it for a couple of seconds. Please ... we are begging you.-- Nick, New York

In your eye Simmons! This is a man who gets it.

SG: Dozens of readers e-mailed me Nick's same stupid argument in a similarly condescending way, which is what makes the following so much fun: I'm not stupid, YOU'RE STUPID.

This man does not get it. Nick is talking condescendingly in the same fashion Bill talks condescendingly to his readers, like they are his minions who don't understand what he understands and have not experienced what he has experienced.

That 33/50 logic only makes sense in a professional basketball league in which they aren't calling fouls and you aren't allowed to pass to a teammate ... which, as far as I can tell, doesn't currently exist.

That's not logic, that is a fucking statistic. Fouls and passing have nothing to do with this number.

Let's say that one player attempts 12 3-pointers and makes four (for 12 points). His teammate attempts 12 2-pointers and makes six, but during that time -- because he's not standing 25 feet away jacking up 3s like an idiot -- he also draws three fouls on his defender, creates two assists for teammates, makes three of four free throws, turns the ball over once, and misses one layup that gets tapped in by a teammate (we'll call it 19 points).

Unbelieveable. Bill is couching his argument based on hypothetical circumstances of his own creation. It seems like the guy driving to the basket gets 6 more possessions in Bill's argument, assuming the layup is from a missed shot that counted among the 12 shots from 2 point range. I hate to be the one to point this out to Bill but he can't just give the guy driving to the basket (Player X) 6 more possessions to get points for his team. While it is true the guy shooting 3 point shots (Player Y) is taking shots further away from the basket, he can also make plays by passing or pump faking and hitting a wide open man under the basket. There are positive team plays that can result from a three point shot. I am digressing though.

The real problem is that Bill gives Player X 6 more possessions to get his 19 points. Player X has already jacked up 12 shots from inside the arc, he can't have a minimum of 6 more possessions to create the 2 assists, get fouled, turn the ball over and take one more shot. If Player X has shot the ball 12 times, to compare shooting percentages, he shouldn't get a chance to drive to the basket and get fouled or get assists, unless Player Y gets a chance to get as many possessions to shoot 3 point shots. Not to mention there was probably an offensive rebound on one of the 8 missed shots by Player Y which could have resulted in more points for his team. You can't just assume positive things are not going to happen when a guy shoots 3 point shots and misses it, and you also can't just give Player X more possessions.

I'm fine with shooting 24-footers over 20-footers, but getting into the paint will always be more valuable than jacking up 3s. It's just a fact.

No, it is not a fact. You can't make 2 point shots more valuable by adding in hypothetical positive things that could happen if a player drives to basket. I don't think anyone will argue that a team should not shoot three point shots all game, but adding in fake situations of your own creation doesn't mean you are right.

(Note to Nick and everyone else who mailed me the 33/50 argument: I'm doing the Dikembe finger wave at you. Don't come into my house.)

I kind of see Bill's point because I would not want a team to never drive to the basket, but you can't argue with the math...and the math says if a guy shoots 33% from three point range, this is as good as 50% from two point range. Making shit up does not mean you are right.

Q: On a side note, a few weeks ago, the manager at a local restaurant congratulated my stepdad on me making your Holiday Mailbag on Dec. 26, 2008. Subsequently, I received an e-mail from my mom titled "Makes A Momma Proud," and foolishly I had grand ideas of her praising me. However, all she sent was "Q: Beer + Weed + Bill Simmons = 1.9 GPA for fall quarter. Thank you, Bill, for helping me achieve my lowest GPA since the seventh grade. Yup, I'm one of your readers."-- Tysen A., Bellingham, Wash

Bill's readers are losers! How funny! Enjoy your job at Burger King Tysen A. from Bellingham, Washington. Maybe they will let you have access to the Internet to read Bill's columns on your 30 minute lunch break.

Part 2 coming tomorrow...Commenters let loose with what I have missed.


The Casey said...

So, in "The Sorceror's Apprentice", do you think Nicholas Cage is playing Mickey Mouse or the broom?

Also, I feel pretty sure that there have been a few NBA players with Anthony Randolph's size and skill set. They have just played for coaches who don't just throw 5 random players out there and tell them to play some ball.

Posnanski did an article on SI.com earlier this week comparing Schilling's regular season numbers to Kevin Brown's. They were remarkably similar. But, you know, bloody sock=HOF! DOING IT! BOSTON! Now we can pretend we're not inferior to New York until another season starts!

And that whole shooting percentage thing is making my head hurt. Are we really only halfway done with this mailbag?

Martin said...


My email I sent Bill was basicly your entire point about the extra possessions he created out of thin air. It's obvious he has zero training or experience in actual debate or logic, or even a statistics class. He also reset the argument into 3 pointers vs being in the paint, instead of 3 vs 2. He seems to think that there is no area between the two where people shoot the ball from. His entire self satisfaction and arrogance was infuriating. He couldn't even make the best and proper cases for his point of view.

One could make the point that taking the ball to the hoop and shooting from the paint is more effective because fouls are more likely, giving another benefit besides points. If he had made the case that a player who goes 5-10, and gets fouled twice and then goes 3-4 from the line is being more effective then someone just shooting 3's at a 33% rate, I'd say he had a point. He doesn't do this, he just makes shit up.

3 point guy, you get the ball 12 times, you shoot all 12, you make 4. 2 point guy, you get the ball all the rest of the time in the game to do whatever you want cause you r the win!11!!

Lastly, about the Nick Cage film: how does a shoot look "high budget" yet give the impression that it is a crappy Nick Cage film? Other then his National Treasure film, has Cage ever done anything in NYC? I think this entire email is BS. It's from a reader, but it's made up entirely by someone who read on the web that Nick Cage was doing a film in NYC. Sadly, the pictures I looked up make this look like a baaaaad film. Maybe it has witty dialogue.

Anonymous said...

I can so hear Kevin from the Office saying that...

Bengoodfella said...

I looked up The Sorceror's Apprentice online just to see if I could argue it would actually be a good movie and it looks very bad. Nicholas Cage plays a wizard in the movie reportedly. That's all I am saying. I am not saying Nicholas Cage is a great actor, I am saying his latest movie did pretty well at the box office and I don't consider him quite the box office failure of someone like Ben Affleck. Maybe I am wrong though.

Anthony Randolph is a one of a kind player Casey! No one has ever been like him, he is one of a kind and there will be no argument because one time I saw him make three great plays in a row and he has the record for most "Oh My God" plays in one week. Therefore he is the best.

I am way on the fence in regard to Schilling's career, but I don't think anything that happened off the field should be thrown into the argument. I don't care about his bloody sock, I only care about his performance on the field and I don't know what to think about him quite yet.

That shooting percentage thing really, really, really gave me a headache too. I edited it for about 10 minutes because it made zero sense after I wrote it the first time. I don't think I ever got my point across or what I was trying to say. He just made up extra possessions for Player X and that made no sense to me. The problem is that none of his examples are grounded in numbers or actual factual data, they are located in examples. It just like how he can't say what he means, he has to compare it to something else. Very bizarre.

The upsetting part is that he just gave Nick from New York the middle finger and there can be no feedback, so he is absolutely convinced he is correct. The reason he can't debate is because he can't use facts, he relies on stories and things he has seen.

He could really make a persuasive argument concerning this discussion because driving to the basket does make more sense, but he just failed to make the argument and just started talking.

I am not sure if Anonymous is mocking me about the Kevin thing or not. I would like to think not, but most Anonymi tend to mock me so I just naturally assume it was making fun of me.

Bengoodfella said...

I found this link here...


It's a pretty good read. This person takes Bill to task for the Ebay idea and I know nothing about gambling so I did not catch this, but apparently there is already a Futures market or something to that effect. Either way, an "experienced" gambler like Bill should know this.

I really feel like I am bullying up against Simmons, which is not my intention but there is no accountability in his columns. There is no commenting allowed and he pretty much can write what he wants, accuracy be damned. It is a lot like a blog in that fashion.

Anonymous said...

No, I was not mocking you. I was rolling in the floor laughing as soon as I heard Kevin's voice saying that.

Bengoodfella said...

Great, I am glad you liked that. He's the first person I thought of when I read that sentence. I don't know why.

Sorry, I am just so used to Anonymous people making fun of me, I wasn't sure if you were serious or not.

Though if it was a real person who was criticizing me they would have said it was ironic I used a pop culture reference in a post where I sometimes criticize the author for pop culture references. I actually just mock him for writing the same references over and over. I have to clear this up.

Thanks for reading.

Bengoodfella said...

I meant to say, for "using" pop culture references. Proofreading before posting my comments should be elementary.

Anonymous said...

Love your site. Have been reading it for quote some time now. I am so addicted, I read the cached copy at work as blogs are blocked and thats my only way around it.

Was wondering if you wanted to make a post or comment on this article.

The opening line to it could perhaps be the dumbest line in the history of sports journalism. And it basically goes downhill from there.

Bengoodfella said...

Thanks, I am glad you like it. I can't believe your work blocked blogs. Of course my work blocks any type of chat that a writer may have, which is why we don't often feature chats on this site.

The first line of that column is...wow, everyone has a right to their opinion, but that is an incorrect opinion in my mind. I wrote a little bit on Cutler today but that article deserves some attention as well and I plan on giving it that attention it deserves. How can anyone compare Cutler to Ryan Leaf? Thanks for the heads up on the article, I need to feature it...and I will.

AJ said...

I guess I don't get why someone who graduated 1st grade wouldn't understand that shooting the ball 12 times and making 6 from two point range equals 12 points, while shooting the ball 12 times and making 4 also equals 12 points. There is nothing else to factor in.

He tries to throw all that other crap in there, like tapping in a missed layup (which can happen if you miss a 3 pointer too) or creating fouls. However, this only works if he created a foul AND made the basket...since getting fouled and missing the shot does NOT count as a FG attempt, which would then not factor into the percentage.

The whole point is the amount of shots it would take to score 12 points and the percentage. It has nothing to do with fouls, assists, tap ins, etc. We are talking about percentage and if someone should shot the ball or not, that was Bills original point!!!

This is the sign of a true moron, anyone who defends something that is clearly not defendable.