Tuesday, October 13, 2009

15 comments A Man and His Mailbag And A Man and His Hat

I am admittedly a few days late on this, but Bill Simmons included a mailbag with his NFL picks for Week 5. What kind of Simmons-idolizing questions do his readers have for him this week? And more importantly, what new “theory,” "face," or “corollary” will Bill make up this week? As always, the focus will be on the stupidity/moron-factor of the question by the reader as well as Bill’s response to the question.

If you like sports, like television and actively look for reasons to waste time, your two favorite months are probably April and October.

I am reading a Bill Simmons mailbag, so of course I love to waste time when that happens…no matter what month it is.

I love nothing more than to waste time. I even created a career around wasting time while intermittently handing in columns and recording podcasts. So yes, I like April and October.

This was a good joke. I like self-deprecating humor. See, I can be fair to Bill and don’t just write her to make fun of his readers who idolize him to the point of copying his writing style, ideas and pretty much everything he does.

Now that we are getting along, I want to use this space to say that Bill Simmons was right about the Denver Broncos this year. He had them as his sleeper team in the NFL this year and it ended up being true. Bill has been pretty accurate this year so far. He is doing well in his ESPN Pick ‘Em league and his Broncos prediction has been correct. Now that I have been nice, I will be mean again.

I love Halloween so much that I'll be stopping my book tour for two days -- even though it's the first week, only the most crucial part of the tour -- so I could fly cross-country to trick-or-treat with my kids.

It would have been much nicer to hear Bill say he loves Halloween that much and isn’t actually flying across country to spend time with his children. You know it's true. He says it is to spend time with his kids, but it's really for his own purposes. It’s like an anti-Full House moment.

(Bill’s kids) “Dad, you’re back! We missed you!”

(Bill Simmons) “Of course I am back, I love Halloween! I can’t wait to cruise the streets for interesting costumes and then dress up in a costume with your mom and go to Halloween parties where I am going to have interesting conversations with people about athletes and pop culture and then relate the conversations in an amusing fashion to my readers.”

(Bill’s kids) “Are you taking us Trick-or Treating?”

(Bill Simmons) “Sure, how else am I going to have an excuse to cruise the streets and look for interesting costumes Daniel-San and Adrian?”

(Bill’s kids) “Why do you call us that? Those aren’t our names. You don’t love us do you?”

(Bill Simmons walking away to get dressed in a costume) “Yup. These are my children.”

And with that being the case, we probably should crack open another mailbag. As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.

I still don’t believe these emails are real. I want to believe there are people in this world who idolize Bill so much they talk like him, write like him and further his ideas. I want to believe there are a lot of SimmonsClones out in the world, but I also have a big feeling Bill made up a lot of these emails.

On an off-topic topic, did anyone think it was possible 3 years ago that Art Shell could have been one of the best coaches the Raiders have chosen over the past 5 years? They could have hired pretty much anyone who could have outcoached Shell, but they hired Lane Kiffin and Tom Cable instead. Is it possible he was the best coaching hire for the Raiders out of the last three choices they have made?

Q: Is it too early to make jokes that LeBron's 2010 signing with the Nets will coincide with the return of one of his kidnapped children unharmed?-- Ian, Purchase, N.Y.

Before, the Clippers and Zombie Sonics were the best basketball situations for him (no way for both); the Lakers were out; the Bulls seemed far-fetched; and the Knicks are such a mess that adding LeBron would have been like reliving Gretzky and the Kings all over again. But Russian Mark Cuban's deep pockets coupled with Brooklyn and a decent young Nets roster? Intriguing!

I like the covert Gretzky mention two days after a show Bill worked on, “30 for 30,” debuts on ESPN with an introduction to the series that focused on a documentary about…………….Wayne Gretzky. It’s like he is trying to play Jedi mind tricks with his audience and get us to do what he wants, which is watch the show I have yet to actually getting around to watch.

Doesn’t Jay-Z have something to do with the New Jersey Nets as well? We all know Jay-Z is best friends with LeBron. New Jersey could be an interesting landing spot for LeBron.

I think it is not too early to take a look at that roster which currently has Devin Harris, Brook Lopez, Yi, Courtney Lee and Terrence Williams, with the idea they acquire LeBron James as a free agent. Bill may actually have a point here. Think about this lineup:

PG: Harris
SG: Lee
SF: James
PF: Yi (a guy who is still young and could really benefit from playing with LeBron)
C: Lopez

Isn’t that a lineup that could be a #3/#4 seed in the East without a doubt? Possibly they could even be better than that (the bench is a little thin for my tastes). I think just typing this has gotten me excited for the new NBA season. LeBron James with a good center, a good point guard, and a shooting guard who can hit three point shots and play a little defense? I feel like this is too easy to imagine it would actually happen. It never will happen because it make sense to me.

That reminds me, my daughter is one of the most outgoing kids on the planet. She is completely unafraid of any situation, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. But two weeks ago in a playacting class in preschool, she got shy and wouldn't do her fake scene. So why did she get shy? Turns out there was a new boy in her class that she really liked -- according to her, "He has curly hair, and I like how he dresses" -- and she was so smitten that she was afraid to playact in front of him. Who was the kid, you ask. The young son of Slash, the Guns N' Roses guitarist.

If anyone reading Bill’s mailbag had forgotten that Bill lives in Hollywood and knows A TON of famous people, this is just him reminding you. I wasn’t asking who the kid was. I don’t care.

Slash is also not the Guns N’ Roses guitarist anymore. I am 79% sure it is a guy who wears a chicken bucket on his head.

Q: At what point do we start addressing the Giants' Steve Smith as "Steve Smith," and Carolina's Steve Smith as "The Other Steve Smith"? Do we even go there, or should we just go the nickname route to definitely distinguish one from the other?-- Antonio S., Mexico City

You could just say “Steve Smith of the Panthers” or “Steve Smith of the Giants,” but maybe that just seems like it makes too much sense.

Right now, New York's Steve Smith is more relevant than Carolina's Steve Smith in every conceivable way except for one (teammate punching). He's having a better season; he's on a better team; and, truthfully, he might just be better.

Apparently it only takes 5 games for one Steve Smith to be considered better than the other Steve Smith. It’s not little Steve Smith’s fault that Jake Delhomme is a borderline retarded quarterback. Can’t we take that into effect that little Smith has to catch passes from Delhomme and big Smith gets to catch passes from Eli Manning?

Someone with the same name completely usurping that name from an established guy who plays the same position in the same sport at the same time?

I would bet 90% of the league would trade little Steve Smith for big Steve Smith straight up in a heartbeat. There is a reason teams plan their entire defensive game plan around Smith and there is always safety help on him. I know Bill is doing well at the whole NFL predicting thing this year but this is a major miss. Little Steve Smith is not done, he is just stuck on a crappy team with a crappy quarterback.

Why can't we approach this like versions of software? Carolina Steve becomes "Steve Smith 1.0." New York Steve becomes "Steve Smith 2.0." Done and done.

How about Carolina Steve Smith and New York Steve Smith? I guess it is too simple and it didn’t involve Bill trying to be the funniest guy in the room, which we all know Bill has to be at all times. No one can make a joke without Simmons trying to better the joke or add his own personal spin to the joke.

Q: As JaMarcus Russell's QB rating draws closer and closer to 0.0, shouldn't statisticians change the QB rating system just for him? I was thinking it would go something like this: Once a quarterback's rating drops below zero, he enters "the Russell zone". This rating is based on stats such as yards off target per pass, attempts to the wrong team and number of broken jaws in coaching staff.-- Bryan, Manhattan

By the way, the "historically (blank)" trend has become one of my favorite media trends this year, and I'd like to think I played a small role in it.

Of course Bill would love to think he played a small role in the term “historically (blank)” but that, of course, doesn’t mean he actually had a large role in the term. I am pretty sure Bill Simmons was not the first person to use the term “historically (blank)” and simply because he uses it frequently it doesn’t mean he is playing a small role in its use.

Little things like this are what makes me think that Bill Simmons has a huge ego and believes he is very important in the grand scheme of things. I pretty much feel like any success he has had went directly to his head and now he truly believes he is great.

Q: I'm a 24-year-old female looking for a Halloween costume that (a) isn't skanky (does that exist anymore??) and (b) will piss off as many people in NYC as possible. I'm from MA and it goes without saying a huge NE sports fan and somehow got sucked into living and working in Times Square for the past two years so I'd love a costume that would further alienate myself from the people in this city.

Runner-Up No. 1: Plaxico Burress

Yes, because the New York Giants are struggling so much this year (not last year, Andrew Perloff, because they did struggle then) without Burress. I would venture to guess not a single New York Giants fan would care if someone made fun of Plaxico Burress.

Runner-Up No. 2: Bernie Madoff supporter

It would be funny for 5 minutes and then nobody would care anymore. I don't even know how you would dress up as a Bernie Madoff supporter.

Winner: Derek Cheater

Yes, this would probably piss off a few Yankees fans, but after three minutes when they realize the person wearing the costume is a bitter and angry Red Sox fan they would probably spend the rest of the time at the party making fun of David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez and reminding this 24 year old female that the Red Sox got swept this year. Good idea in theory but in practice it would call more attention to her as a Red Sox fan, which would cause her more pain in the end…especially if she is an ugly Red Sox fan. No one will make fun of an attractive girl too hardcore but if she is ugly, all bets are off.

Also, I am glad it went without saying she was “a huge NE sports fan” but she still somehow felt like saying she was “a huge NE sports fan” since it was so obvious.

Q: I have a friend who has a blown-up framed copy of a Duke dad and son crying after a Duke loss hanging up in his house. Can you think of a better/more hilarious sports picture to have framed?-- Rob, College Park, Md.

How about a framed picture of the Maryland Terrapin men’s basketball team picture from 2004-2005 to 2008-2009 when the teams had a record of 102 wins and 63 losses, 3 NIT appearances, not getting past the second round in the NCAA Tournament? I think a cumulative picture of that would look really good. Maryland fans are great, many of them talk a lot of shit, but some like Rob here neglect to look at the fact they haven’t won a game against the team they are talking junk about since February 28, 2007.

Maryland has only lost 5 straight times to Duke, including by a score of 85-44 last year. This from the same crowd that said they had sex with J.J. Redick’s sister, who was all of 11 or 12 years of age at the time. The crowds at the men's basketball games have made an entire reputation out of being bitter and angry people. It’s what they are known for in the ACC. When UNC/Duke fans think you are obnoxious that says a whole lot.

I am just kidding Rob from College Park, Maryland. I wish Maryland the best of luck in the NIT this year.

(Yes, I realize Duke/UNC fans can be smug and assholes also. In my book, those two fan bases wrote the book on how to be jerks and smug. Both teams think they ARE the ACC for men's basketball. I am not smug about any of my teams, I get to be smug and a jerk one post per quarter and this was my post to do that. I don't like Rob from College Park, Maryland right now)

Q: I would like to make a formal apology to all of America. As a Packer fan, I had never experienced the sad fortune of listening to commentators gush over Brett Favre from the other side. To any fans of any team that ever played Brett when he was a Packer, I'm sorry. I never realized the severity of this slobbering.--DJ, Madison, Wis.

It’s ok DJ. You didn’t know. It’s not your fault.

Then Bill introduces the Tony Romo face, which is not entirely different from any other “face” he has ever put forth, it just belongs to Tony Romo so that is the only difference. Pretty soon nearly every athlete is going to have a “face” assigned to them by Bill Simmons.

After this, the mailbag gets even more full of pop culture drivel and his readers trying to be him to the point they are trying to name a university after Bill. The university named after Bill would probably claim to have a bunch of really famous graduates but they can’t remember their names or something to that effect. The university would start fights with other universities that could normally be settled on the athletic field but the Bill Simmons University would say they can’t do that because of Title IX or use some other excuse to hide behind. That would be BSU.

Bengals (+8.5) over RAVENS

Four straight Bengals nail-biters and Gus Johnson announcing Week 5? Do I need to spell this out for you?

Good call by Bill here. When he is not busy being a self-important and involved person he can sometimes get some things right about sports.

Other than that, there was not too much else in Bill’s mailbag. If I missed anything, give me a heads-up, but I think Bill is too busy getting ready for his book tour to write anything too controversial. Throw in the fact the Red Sox lost their series to the Angels and that means we are not going to have Bill paying any attention to the rest of the MLB Playoffs, which is just another reason the name The Sports Guy should be the Boston Sports Guy. If the Red Sox were in the ALCS we would count on a few columns about that, but since they didn't make it, "The Sports Guy" will ignore the sport. Stuff like this he does irritates me.

-Mike Celizic, otherwise infamously known as Hat Guy, thinks the Angels-Yankees series is the true World Series. There's a shock, Hat Guy not only has an East Coast Bias but doesn't give enough credit to the National League. He's never written an article that didn't talk about the Red Sox or Yankees when he talked about baseball anyway, so I don't know what I expect from him

Forget what the schedule says. The World Series does not start on Oct. 28. It starts on Friday when the Angels visit the Bronx to take on the Yankees in the ALCS.

If this sounds dismissive of the National League, it isn’t. There will still be a World Series regardless of who wins the ALCS.

No, that is pretty dismissive of the National league. Acknowledging a World Series will be played doesn't mean this comment isn't dismissive. Of course everything in Celizic's world revolves around two teams. I don't think he even knows the name of other MLB teams or what state the Rockies are located in.

Saying nothing that happens in the National League matters is dismissive of the league that won the World Series last year. Every time I hear someone say the Yankees are a lock to win the World Series I can't help but think back to 2001 and 2003. They were locks then too.

But if you’re looking for the series with the most buzz and the biggest chance of producing the kind of baseball you’ll remember forever, it’s Yankees-Angels.

Celizic's formula for success in the playoffs...

Memorable baseball + lots of buzz = World Series Champions.

Real life formula for success in the playoffs...

Good pitching + timely hitting = World Series Champions.

I wonder which formula seems to be more accurate for success in the World Series?

In their heart of hearts, the Yankees were hoping the Red Sox would again eliminate the Angels this year. They know they can beat Boston; it’s L.A. they’re not so sure of.

The Angels went 5-5 against the Yankees this year and the Red Sox went 9-9 against the Yankees this year. I don't know how the Yankees "know" they can beat Boston based on this season's record but they don't "know" they can beat the Angels when they have the same record, .500 against both teams. Maybe in Mike Celizic's hat loving imagination it is true the Yankees preferred the Angels over the Red Sox, but reality doesn't show the Yankees were hoping to face the Red Sox.

Celizic bases his entire idea the Yankees don't want to face the Angels on the fact they are 66-79 against the Angels since 1996. What he doesn't realize is that no one in the Yankees dugout even knows the Yankees record against the Angels in that period, so it probably doesn't matter at all. This is all he bases this assumption on who the Yankees would rather play on.

More than likely, if you buy Celizic's "the Yankees know their own history" theory, the Yankees would not want to play the Red Sox because the players on the team still have the memory of blowing 4 straight games to the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS and they lost 7 straight games to the Red Sox at the beginning of this year.

It may be the ALCS on your schedule, but in the Bronx, it’s the World Series. If you want to watch the best that baseball can give you this fall, this is it.

The ALCS is the best that baseball can offer. Again, Celizic is not writing off the National League or being dismissive of them, it's just all downhill for good baseball after the Angels-Yankees series. That's all. No offense to the National League of course.

I personally would like to see a Phillies-Yankees World Series. I want to see Brad Lidge try to close a 2-1 game out in New York. It's is my Christmas wish for this year.

-Finally watched the "King's Ransom" "30 for 30" episode and I wasn't as down on it as others seemed to be. I taped the ESPN2 version which came after a college football game, so I missed about 1/4 of the episode, so I may have missed important stuff. ESPN needs to make sure they don't schedule the 30 for 30" shows after programs with indefinite end times. That would help them in my opinion.

The positives about the program: I liked the fact they got the participation of the players in the trade, they had footage in the limo after the Jones-Gretzky wedding because it was sort of neat to see that, the photography was pretty good though there was a lot of standing around by the people and sort of slow takes, and I overall liked Peter Berg interviewing Gretzky today about the trade. You can tell Gretzky regrets it.

The negatives about the program: The voiceover was a little goofy at times. I can think of a time when Gretzky was talking about how the city of Edmonton and he were devastated by the trade but they were showing footage of him arriving in LA. I wasn't sure if the purpose was to show the difference in fan reaction but it threw me off a little bit because you were not really sure if the fans cheering on the side of the road next to Gretzky's limo were in Edmonton or LA...and Gretzky was talking about how everyone was devastated. It was odd. I also would have hated the Edmonton Oilers if I were old enough to hate them at the time. I thought they focused too much on the greed of Pocklington but didn't focus quite enough on the fact they weren't going to be able to keep that team together regardless. The players on the team would want too much money. It was a dumb move but there should have been a better focus on the actual reasoning behind the trade, which was Edmonton is small market and they had big market players who needed new contracts. Again, dumb trade, but I would have liked to see this acknowledged more. It was also a lot like the HBO docs, despite what Bill Simmons says. They were very similar in tone and in form.

We'll see tonight if the second one is any good. f


KentAllard said...

I have a blown up photo of Michigan State coeds crying in the stands after an epic fourth quarter explosion four years ago that saw them lose a 22 point lead with seven minutes to play. At home. This was the famous "slappy" game. And, yes, this absolutely does make me a bad person, and I feel a little bit of shame every time I see the photo and smile.

I didn't realize Maryland could talk smack about anything.

AJ said...

Please send that picture to me!!!!

AJ said...

You know what else is a negative about that Kings Ransom? It was about hockey. I don't know about you guys, but I'm pretty sure they did these exact same "documentaries" on FOX Sports a few years back...this isn't a new concept. I mean hasn't this stuff been done before, like on VH1?

Well I'm glad to know the real World Series is between the Angels and Yankees...I won't have to watch the exhibition games they play after that series is over.

Anyone else think the first round was really pathetic this year? 3 sweeps and a 3-1 series? I know some games were close, but i would have liked one or 2 series to get to the 5th game. I'm hoping these championship series are a little more exciting.

Bengoodfella said...

Nice. Where do you get pictures like that? I know UNC fans have tons of pictures with Greg Paulus' face in a guy's nuts on a dunk or Shelden Williams getting schooled by Tyler Hansbrough, so I guess you just blow those pictures up. It's cruel but you have to deal with it if you are a fan of a college team.

I always wondered if President Obama had ever seen the pictures of his right hand man Reggie Love getting tea bagged at a UNC party in 2000 (I think). I still have UNC fans who send me that picture. I think they just want to look at a guy's nuts.

Maryland fans are mean. I think it is funny but there are times I they go overboard like everyone else. For example, I would punch a Cameron Crazie in the face if I was trying to throw the ball in and they were waving their hands at me.

King's Ransom wasn't so bad, it moved a little slow for me. I almost felt like I could have used some more Gretzky interview action or something. Of course I missed 15 minutes of it.

Hat Guy knows nothing of the National League. He is going to be shocked as shit when he sees the Phillies lineup can match up with what the Yankees throw out there...if not, it's real close. I would put Utley, Howard, Ibanez, Werth up against a lot of teams. He'll find out if the Phillies get past the Dodgers. He doesn't even follow the NL, so he has no idea what he is talking about.

The final score of the rounds were boring but I thought the Rockies-Phillies and Yankees-Twins series was pretty good. The Red Sox-Angels Game 3 was good as well. I would have liked to see a Game 5, but so far it has met my expectations, which admittedly aren't too high.

Martin said...

Yeah, I would have liked more nuts and bolts from the Kings Ransom. It was a little too touchy feely, beat around the bush, for me.

Simmons might still follow the playoffs as long as the Yankees are in it, so he can hate on them. We won't get 4 columns on it, but maybe a couple paragraphs.

Also, what Bill doesn't seem to realize is that the Kings were on the upswing when they got Gretzky. They had a young improving team, but were playing in a division that had Edmonton and Calgary. Two teams that were still great, and both won Cups while Gretzky was in LA. Both he and the documentary made it seem like he was being traded to a minor league club with no talent.

What really killed the Kings was McNall, who turned out to be a con man and a thief. The year after they went to the Cup, he basicly got rid of half the guys who were making any money, and traded good young players to try and get one last shot vets with expiring contracts. All while trying to sell the team because his house of cards financial empire was falling apart.

KentAllard said...

If I can find an electronic form of the photo, I'll post it. I used to have the last fifteen minutes of the broadcast saved on the DVR, where MSU had only to run out the clock to preserve the last of their lead, and the MSU QB (Stanton?) threw a bullet to the chest of an opposing linebacker, who trotted to the endzone for the winning score. ESPN cut to the MSU student section, where the cheering ladies one by one sank into tears as they realized that, yes, they had Sparty'd again. It's also the game where in the aftermath, the Spartans formed a protective cordon around their midfield insignia, sure that ND would get even for them doing the same in South Bend the year before (John L. Smith admitted they practiced this all week, so they had spent time practicing what to do when they lost). Their opponents, of course, had already left the field.

Somewhere, I've also got files of John L. Smith slapping himself in the face at a press conference later in the week, and an audio file of a MSU radio sports guy who cracked up the next day on the air and went into hysterics.

You can only enjoy such things if you already know you're going to hell.

Bengoodfella said...

The part I watched never actually said who was traded to the Oilers. They mentioned who it MAY be but not exactly who it was or what the Oilers did with the draft picks. Maybe I missed the end part concerning this, but I would have liked to have known the outcome a little bit more so I can see Gretzky's obvious sadness at the move and place it in the proper context.

He may hate on the Yankees a little bit, but we won't get much.

The Kings did make a Stanley Cup Final and they were actually a good team there for a while with Gretzky. I thought it was funny they focused so much on the Oilers owner being a money grubbing dirt bag when McNall was the exact same way. Somehow he was the good guy of what I watched.

Bengoodfella said...

I need to keep a collection of anti-UNC stuff around. They have been so good lately it is hard to do but I am sure I could find stuff. You seem like you have a large anti-Michigan State collection. Clearly you don't like them.

Jeff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

King's Ransom was just boring. It needed a narrator and twice as many hockey clips, bad. Enough with the same people saying he was great over and over again. Show, like, 10 minutes of highlights throughout the hour. Note that I'm not a hockey fan at all. I get that it was about the move to LA, but keep it somewhat interesting.

That Celizic column was just garbage. At least a lot of bad writers can dream up a good topic before fucking it up. His topic is...watch the ALCS it should be good!

Gene said...


Your review of the Gretzky show is fair and I can't disagree with any of it. I thought it was pretty good.

HOWEVER, the proper way to review this is versus what BS told us was coming... A breakthrough, modern, totally new approach taht would put those "old fashioned" HBO docs to shame.

In my view, this certainly was not accomplished and I think HBO could have done a better job with the topic. Like some mentioned, the doc treat the thing as black and white. one totally bad guy's fault and the horrible wronged gretzky.

I guaranteed there is more gray here than they portrayed. Gretz had to see some upside in this due the additional money and endorsements he would make and that fact that his new wife was from Hollywood. That angle should have been explored as should the role of Mcnall.

In any case, was there anything new here in approach or content that was anything you have not seen before? In addition, hockey is a bad topic for the first show and if you are going to brag about how this would bring in the young viewers they could have picked a more timely story.

Lastly, don't show it after a live baseball game. ESPN made this same mistake with The Bronx is Burning but that was even worse because it was an eight part series. Something ran long and many people missed the first episode after which many of them said to hell with it.

Bottom line, a decent show but nothing close to what the hype master promised.

Gene said...


I did not see the marching episode tonight and looking forward to hearing your guys reviews.

But, you talk about a show with no highlights! What are they going to do, show some great replays of the band playing the Colts fight song.

I may be biased, but my advance prediction is that this one lays a big egg. I am not a big marching band fan, but it does just not sound compelling to me.

Bengoodfella said...

I thought the King's Ransom wasn't horrible but it definitely moved a lot slower than I was hoping for. I could have used a little bit more narrating and a little bit less "looks into the horizon" from Gretzky and others. The beginning was just dragging for me. I will give another "30 for 30" a chance though.

I hate marching bands. I just don't like them for some reason, so I am not exactly excited about seeing the one I DVR'd last night, but I am going to watch it in due time.

Celizic is horrible. The worst part is that he is free lance so they don't even have to have him write a column because he works for them, but they think he is good enough to publish.

Gene, good point that we should probably view the doc through the eyes of what we were told it would be. It wasn't groundbreaking and it wasn't all that different from what HBO already did. Not that it is a horrible thing, but you can't say it's different and then not have it different. Maybe the origination of each idea was different but the outcome looked quite the same to me.

I did think it was one sided. They glossed over the part where Gretzky could have taken a smaller salary (yet still liveable) to stay in Edmonton or refused the trade to LA. He did it because he wanted to play in a bigger market and his wife probably wanted to live in LA. They skipped that part or at least glossed over it. As much as the Oilers owner was an ass, Gretzky could have stopped this whole thing with a word or two...but he didn't. If they had focused on that as well, then shown Gretzky to have regrets I think it would have been a little more powerful. Sort of "the trade of the century was a mistake for all parties" type thing.

ESPN does need to quit running it after events with indefinite end times because last night's ESPN2 viewing of "30 for 30" came after a football game that was in the 3rd quarter at 10:47pm, when the show was supposed to be on at 11pm. So those who DRV'd it will miss it potentially and those who stayed up to watch it will go to bed. ESPN may need some programming help with that part of this.

Looking at it from the question of "what did ESPN do differently from HBO" there was not too much, other than the topic of course. I don't have HBO, but if I did, I would watch the HBO docs, but I don't think this one about Gretzky was more relevant than any of the HBO docs.

I am interested to see how they do a marching band doc...

Go said...

I'm embarrassed to root for the same team as the e-mailer who framed the crying Duke kid picture. It was a hilarious picture for about a week back in 2004 but to still have it and want to frame it is pathetic. I hope he is one of BS's made up fans.

Come on Ben. You of all people to repeat the hyperbole of the basketball media, "MD fans are the meanest." Please tell me how we stand apart from other schools. If there were incidents, such as chanting "F you JJ," they were years ago but they are still talked about, especially by the ESPN basketball analysts. Give it a rest.

I'd rather be apart of our fan base who can be really funny and creative such as http://www.deaconarchive.net/image/opponents/2.jpg than to be a Cameron Crazy dork with their lame chants and antics. The students pass cheer sheets around before games.

Funny how you never heard about Duke fans chanting "A-I-D-S" to Juan Dixon because his parents had died from the disease? All schools' fan bases, including Md's, do dumb and vulgar things.
We haven't beaten Duke in awhile but we have beaten UNC three straight years, including twice when they were number one. I do think this years Md's team should be around third or fourth in the ACC and we do, finally, have great recruits coming in.

Bengoodfella said...

You are right Go. I had my man-period for various reasons but sorry for being an ass and writing that screed against Maryland fans. I feel like talking about this more in a public forum, which if you care, I will do so tomorrow.