Monday, August 29, 2011

8 comments Don't Have Friends Because They Find You Annoying? Does Your Family Hate You For the Same Reason? Then You Should Email Bill Simmons

Bill Simmons is in the middle of doing a mailbag every single week for He got one email from a pathetic individual who missed Bill's mailbag full of partially made-up questions (Oh I forgot, the questions are all real and not a single one is made-up). Then Bill got the bright idea the world missed him answering questions from his blind followers and decided to do a mailbag for way-too-many weeks in a row. This is the mailbag for Week Three of Bill's weekly mailbags. Fortunately for everyone I saved you from having to read Week Two's discussions about mustaches, since Bill Simmons wearing a mustache on "PTI" caused a great discussion among his SimmonsClones. I would imagine there are a lot of SimmonsClones right now having lengthy discussions about mustaches and fu manchus so they can be like Bill.

This week Bill limits himself to a paragraph per response, not because he doesn't have enough original material for more than two weeks of a mailbag, but because he wants to get to more questions. See, Bill is a very popular writer and there are a lot of insecure individuals who feel the need to email him in order to obtain his approval. So Bill wants to give more SimmonsClones more time in the spotlight of having the honorable Bill Simmons answer their mailbag question. It's all very sad.

As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.

I’m not 100% sure I believe this. I see this one of two ways. If these are Bill’s actual readers it is fairly sad to hear such a large group of people attempt make such a blatant attempt to talk and act like another individual. It is a little weird how these people email Bill seeming to look for his approval. If these are not Bill’s actual readers and he is making the questions up, then Bill is pretty sad and too-impressed with his ability to tell jokes to act as if others mimic him so closely.

Q: Was the Georgetown/China brawl our generation's assassination of Archduke Ferdinand? Should I get my bomb shelter ready?
— Lee D., Portland

SG: I had the same thought: Please don't tell me Los Angeles is going to blow up in three months because of this.

If anything the United States should blow up parts of China for the officiating in those “Friendship Games.” It was so terrible, it wasn’t even possible to get angry. The Chinese officials would make a call and I would have no clue what the hell had happened, I just knew a different team now had the ball. Also, I am pretty sure at one point a Chinese official called a foul on an American player for fouling the basketball. To be fair to Georgetown, they handled themselves well for having (I think) a 57-15 free throw disadvantage in that game.

I kept waiting for Brick Tamland to magically appear wearing a Hoyas jersey and throw a trident at a Chinese player riding a horse.

In fairness to Bill, a pop culture reference from 2004 does count as new for him. So this is a new reference.

But here's the part that everyone missed: No matter how this shakes out, at the very least, don't we have the opening for the next 24 movie?

Yes, the part everyone missed is thinking the exact thought that Bill Simmons was thinking. Everyone missed having the same thought Bill did. Bill knows by using his telekinetic powers which tells him what everyone is thinking…and he knows no one was thinking of this terrible movie idea like he was. Bill is so original. Don't make him give you an example of how creative he is by making a list of pop culture "All-Stars"

You have the brawl, you have the chaos afterwards … and then, you have the obligatory shot of Jack Bauer watching from the stands and debating whether to get involved. Done.

If the purpose is to have a 24 movie which effectively ends the franchise and ruins any further interest in other 24 movies, this would be the set up that would allow this to happen.

Q: The Yahoo story on the U says Shapiro paid for prostitutes for the Miami players. Isn't the entire point of playing football so that you don't have to pay for sex?
— Jeff, Irvine

SG: The short answer: Not exactly.

Short answer: You took Bill’s joke, so he will now write a lot of pointless shit only to agree with you in the end…but only in a way you don’t realize he is actually agreeing with you.

I've spent the past year messing around with brainwashing strategies on my own son (who turns 4 in November).

Whoa, Bill has a son? I haven’t heard about this since he hasn’t mentioned his son over the last month. I assume much like the Red Sox or Bruins, when his son wasn’t interesting anymore or isn’t the smartest kid in class, Bill put his son up for adoption only to take custody of his son again once he became interesting again. Since Bill only talks about some of his sports teams when they are good, I would assume he would do the same in other parts of his life.

The one that's stuck: If you ask him "Who do girls like?" he responds, "Girls like boys who play music or football, or if they're Spider-Man." Which is absolutely 100 percent true. I wouldn't say the entire point of playing football is so you don't have to pay or grovel for sex, but it's definitely one of the top-five reasons, right?

So really the short answer is: Yes. The entire point of playing football is to not have to pay for sex. So Bill agrees, but in an obscure way to make it look like he is creative.

Jeff from Irvine, Bill Simmons agrees with you but he can’t allow you to be the one to tell the joke. It has to be him who tells the best joke. It’s pretty much an ego thing. You should know this by now.

Q: Now that this season of The Challenge is coming to an end I want to get your take. Seeing as how the "Frenemies" premise came from your mailbag, were you satisfied with how the "Rivals" season played out?

SG: I thoroughly enjoyed the season and believed — in all seriousness, without a hint of facetiousness — that this week's Challenge with Tyler/Johnny and CT/Adam was the single most dramatic sports moment since the Women's World Cup final.

I can’t believe there are still people who watch “The Challenge” on a regular basis.

My biggest gripe: Challenges and eliminations dominate so much of the show (and have become so athletically complex) that it chews away from the partying/fighting/ball-busting/hijinks time.

Which the partying/fighting/ball-busting/hijinks get old after about an entire season’s worth. That’s why Jersey Shore ratings aren’t what they used to be. It’s the same shit every single episode. I usually have to take a 2 year break between seasons of “The Real World” for this very reason. Watching people party gets old after a while, it is much more fun to be a participant than a viewer.

Q: 600 homers, 5 teams, no standout season, no ring. Who is Jim Thome's NBA equivalent?
— @hakondevries (via Twitter)

Really? No standout season? I guess 2002 when Thome hit .304/.445/.677 with 122 walks, 139 strikeouts, and 52 home runs doesn’t count as a standout season in somebody’s book? If so, this person is an idiot. Maybe you weren’t paying attention, but Thome had a few standout seasons. 1996, 1997, and 2002 should count. Let’s just say if Thome played for any team in a large market, not Cleveland, during this time then it wouldn’t be said he never had a standout season.

Really? 2002 wasn't a standout season for Thome. That's a fantastic season with zero steroid allegations brought against him.

Q: The picture of the 1980 Lake Placid Medal (from this week's Sports Collectors Convention photo essay) has to be a hoax. The USSR vs. USA game was a SEMI-FINAL game. Thus the USSR could not have won Silver because they did not even make the final.
— Matthew Havens, Greenfield, Iowa

SG: Roughly 2.3 million readers brought up this same point over the past 24 hours … and they were all wrong. It was a round-robin tournament.

Bill then goes on and on for a few sentences about why these 2.3 million people were wrong and explains the entire situation. No problem, except here’s the rub. Bill was wrong about this too. He didn’t know the USSR got the silver medal, but his ego can’t handle outright admitting from the beginning he didn’t know this either and so he rambles on and on and then leaves us with this:

It's weird how few people remember this.

Bill Simmons wasn’t one of these people who remembered this. As we will learn right now...

And I include myself: When I saw that silver medal at the Collectors show, I asked the guy, "Wait, didn't Finland win the silver?"

That’s where the answer to this question ends. So Bill goes on and on telling us exactly why Finland did not win the silver as if he had this knowledge prior to the convention. Then at the end he says he didn’t know Russia won the silver either. It’s just a weird way to word an explanation and I can’t think of any other reason Bill would write the explanation this way, except to not hurt his ego when admitting he didn’t know this fact either. Let's say someone asks me a question:

(Person X) “Ben, a lot of people only remember Sid Bream’s slide to beat Pittsburgh in the 1992 NL Championship Series, but a lot of people forget everything that led up to it was fairly remarkable as well.”

(Me) “I am amazed at how few people remember Terry Pendleton’s double that looked like it was going to go foul. It is shocking how few people remember this. Then, the normally sure-handed Jose Lind commits an error which, if field cleanly, would have led to the Francisco Cabrera hit and following Sid Bream slide never happening. How can people forget this? It would have completely changed the Bonds era. If the Pirates make the World Series and win the World Series he may choose to stay in Pittsburgh. The best player on a World Series team can’t leave can he? So the Jose Lind error gets forgotten by many people and I consider that to be more remarkable than Cabrera’s hit. No one recalls this though! That's weird. Someone reminded me of Lind's error the other day. I had forgotten about it too.”

Who answers a question that way? Explaining what happened and then revealing you didn’t originally know the answer yourself at the end of the explanation?

SG: The easiest way to get into my Mailbag every month: any fairly clever Shawshank e-mail. I can't lay off them, much like Carl Crawford can't lay off pitches in the dirt.

“Our high-priced free agent isn’t outperforming his contract! We’re so cursed to be able to afford expensive players, but not have them work out to be exactly the kind of player we want!”

I'm sorry for Bill's presence in the world Red Sox fans. It has to annoy you a bit when he talks about the Red Sox. Bill can be such a great writer at times, but I feel like he gives in to laziness sometimes in his writing.

Q: Honestly, you are the WORST person I have ever watched on ESPN. You, as a person, are completely non-descript. Your even worse than your uncle and my friends & I can hardly believe that we've found someone who's more boring than him. Honest to God, your terrible. Do us a favor and pick a good trade school and get out of sport's media business. Geez.
— Ron Cromer, Pubelo, Colorado

SG: Why don't do us a favor and get out of a city named after pubes?

There is no Pubelo, Colorado. So either Ron misspelled it, and Bill didn’t fix it so he could make a pretty weak joke, or Bill changed the name of the city around to make his weak joke. Either way, the result was a weak joke. I would have more respect for him if it turns out he didn’t switch the name of the city around to make a joke though.

Q: Enjoyed your sports memorabilia piece. A question though: Were there ANY women there at all? I mean, if there is 'press box hot' what constitutes as 'sports memorabilia convention' hot?
— Torey, Pittsburgh

SG: I'd put NSCC Hot just below Female Prison Guard Hot. It's so bad that you're startled every time you see a woman under 40. Even pregnant moms pushing baby strollers get checked out. One collector had the bright idea of having a pretty women in her early 20s sit in his station with him; she was clearly hired for the event (like a convention escort), but the ploy worked. Guys in Hawaiian shirts were awkwardly wobbling by like they'd just seen a lunar eclipse.


There are some surnames that demand a male person refer to another male person by a derivation of this surname in almost every context outside of a court of law. In my opinion the top 5 are: Murphy ("Murph"), Sullivan ("Sully"), Jones ("Jonesy"), Smith ("Smitty") and Brown (Brownie) with an honorable mention to O'Brien (Obie).
— Murph, New York

SG: Liked the list except I'd replace "Brownie" with "Fitzy" (for anyone named Fitzgerald or Fitzsimmons).

Like always, Bill Simmons can’t let a reader tell a joke without Bill showing how funny and original he is as well. It never fails. A reader comes up with a good idea and Bill will nitpick the shit out of it to replace part of the idea with an idea of his own. This is a great example here. Brown is a much more common name than Fitzgerald, though possibly not in Boston (which I should know by now is the only city that counts for Bill), but he feels the need to insert at least one of his own ideas in to show off his own creativeness.

Q: You have officially made me want to become a sports writer. The fact that someone might actually pay me to write random bullshit that crosses my mind like you do is both amazing and awesome at the same time. Thank you for the inspiration.
— Lewis, San Ramon, CA

SG: The "Backhanded Compliment of the Week" really needs its own sponsor.

Then maybe you should sell your column out in order to become a corporate shill. Maybe call it the “Miller Lite Backhanded Compliment of the Week.” Wait, that wouldn’t work because Miller Lite was already one of Bill’s corporate sponsors in his NFL picks column, so they can't sponsor two items in Bill's column could they?

Q: I am a little disappointed that my "preseason fantasy football" idea hasn't caught on. Wouldn't this make preseason games 100 times more watchable? Who would be the number 1 pick?
— Tory, Blacksburg

This brings me to one of my big questions. Why can’t there be a college football or college basketball (preferably college basketball) fantasy league? I haven’t done any research on this, so maybe it violates NCAA rules or something. I don’t care to have player’s names as long as they editable and there is an index where I can look up the player I am drafting so I can look up the name. I would play in this league.

(That was a serious idea partially written in the form of how Bill Simmons writes)

Q: I just read your photo essay for the 2011 NSCC, my only suggestion is that name for Landon Donovan's all male porn movie should be "Penalty Shot" or "Chip Shot" instead of "Extra Time".
— Mark, Deerfield

Damn it Mark from Deerfield! You DO NOT challenge Bill’s ability to think of funny jokes. He may be wrong, but he is still going to prove he is funnier than you are just out of spite.

SG: You're right that I blew that joke,

He blew the joke, but have no doubt Bill will now trump your measly joke Mark from Deerfield. Don’t you know Bill always has to be the funniest person in the room (or on the Internet) at all times?

but you missed the one I should have used: "Handballs."

Like Bill Simmons’ ego would allow his joke to be topped. Please.

Q: I was watching Con Air for the 200th time last night. How unlikely is it that Nic Cage got 7-10 years for a plea bargain for killing some trailer trash in self-defense??? From a PLEA BARGAIN! I mean I'm sure he was from Texas or something, he could have shot all 3 dudes in the face and gotten a year at most. Oh well.
— Chuck, Washington, IL

SG: And that's not even the most unrealistic part of the movie; it ends with Cage landing the Con Air plane in the middle of the Las Vegas strip at night without crushing hundreds of cars and plowing over hundreds of pedestrians.

Are Bill’s SimmonClones so blinded by their love for Bill they can’t see the trend when they write into him with an idea? I don’t get this. Every time a “fan” of Bill’s writes into his mailbag with an idea, Bill has to top that idea with one of his own. It’s pathological how Bill will not allow anyone else to make the last or the funniest joke in his mailbag. He always has to top their idea or joke with one of his own. In real life the asshole who has to be the funniest or most clever person in the room at all times quickly becomes annoying, yet the SimmonsClones continue to worship Bill. I don’t get it. The level of worship has always amazed me.

Please think about this for a minute. The only person Bill will allow to have a better idea than his is either one of his friends or a celebrity he knows. That’s it. Otherwise, if you aren’t famous or one of Bill’s friends he will always attempt to top your idea. If you are famous or Bill's friend, your ideas are gold. If you are one of Bill's followers (thereby not on Bill's level), then he will top one of your jokes with one of his own.

Q: How much longer before the U enters the Tyson Zone?
— Thomas Belcher, New York

How long before you get a life of your own and don’t email Bill to validate your existence? What is the point of emailing this question to Bill other than to get off at seeing your name in one of his mailbags?

SG: Strippers, prostitutes, abortions + cocaine = we're there.

I’m pretty sure if there was such a thing as “the Tyson Zone” then the Miami Hurricanes should have made it there two decades ago. But since Bill wasn’t writing for ESPN at that time, the Hurricanes have made it now. Remember, events in the world only happen in the world once Bill has acknowledged their existence.

I have nothing against the Miami Hurricanes nor do I think they should get the death penalty, but does this type of thing about the program really shock anyone? Only if you haven’t ever paid attention to the Canes past. I guess that’s the only way you could be shocked. Of course they aren't the only school that does it either.

Q: Dumbass — your "fu manchu" is NOT a fu manchu. It's a cheap dirty goatee. A fu manchu is what Sam Elliot rocked in Lebowski or Tombstone. Quit patting yourself on the back with pathetic facial hair. Glad you're 40 and finally have to shave. And nothing says "I'm lazy and not creative" more than a mailbag, asking your readers to write your articles and come up with ideas for you! Nice job.
— Paturzo, NYC

I thought reading this insult would feel good, but it just felt mean to me. Well, the next-to-last sentence didn’t feel mean actually, it felt sort of spot-on.

Q: I think that you need to give more credit to Curb's "Ski Lift" episode in season 5. Please re-watch this episode. How does it not get pantheon status?
— Rob S., New York

SG: Enough readers made this point (some passionately) that I'm giving it belated "Pantheon" status.

What an honor! Enough readers pointed out that Bill left out a great episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” that he will ever-so-kindly let that episode be a part of the fake list he keeps. It’s a real honor to make a fake list that Bill Simmons has created, even though his number of fake lists have to be nearing 50 by now. At some point, everything and everyone will be on a Bill's Simmons list of "All-Stars."

Q: Did you overlook Matt Stone and Trey Parker as contenders for the 2011's Funniest Guy Alive award or were they excluded on a technicality? I'm a big fan of Louis CK's work. I also think Larry David is a comedy GOD and has been far and away the greatest American humorist over the past 22 years (since Seinfeld's premier in 1989). They have both been great this year, but the Book of Mormon has been transcendent and the single greatest piece of comedy since Borat in 2006. Admit you were wrong.
— Kris, Long Island

SG: I was wrong. Pulling off the Book of Mormon, making it funny and getting non-Broadway fans to see it was harder than anything CK or David did.

(Bengoodfella has a heart attack at the realization Bill admitted he was wrong with no hedging)

Even if Larry David might be having a career year on Curb, that's the only thing he's doing; that drops him to no. 3 in the discussion right now (making him the Jered Weaver of this race), with Matt & Trey (Sabathia) and Louis CK (Verlander) in a dead heat heading down the stretch. I'm fine with cowinners if it comes to that.

Apparently Louis CK is now the official “comedian that everyone who works in the entertaiment industry says is really funny, but there are a large group of people who just don’t get it.” Lately, I have begun to think is partially sponsored by "Louie." Louis CK is like the opposite of Dane Cook and I don’t mean that as a compliment or an insult. A lot of people seem to like Cook for no reason. I’ve watched Louis CK’s work and just never gotten it. Sue me for being out of touch with good comedy I guess.

Q: Our IT guy was doing some work on my laptop and asked me for my network password. How do you respond to the old guy when your password is Vagina69?
— Rob M., Ames

I guess I would respond with “can’t I just type it in myself since no IT guy I have ever worked with has requested my password for anything and can pretty much access something remotely if necessary so this is clearly a made-up story.” That’s what I would say at least to the IT guy when he asks for my password. Maybe I don’t understand the in-depth work this IT guy was doing.

SG: Yep, these are my readers.

Yes, they are. It’s sad isn’t it?


rich said...

My biggest gripe: Challenges and eliminations dominate so much of the show (and have become so athletically complex) that it chews away from the partying/fighting/ball-busting/hijinks time.

Kind of like when I found out Survivor was still on tv, the fact that The Challenge (or Road Rules or whatever the hell it used to be called) is still on the air.

At the same time, on a show called The Challenge, Bill just complained that too much of the show is about the challenges...

There's too much football in a normal NFL game and not enough coaches yelling at players!

SG: Why don't do us a favor and get out of a city named after pubes?

It's not named after pubes. You see "pueblo" (the correct spelling and city in Colorado) is not named after "pubes" a term probably coined in the late 1980's. It's named after... Oh shit, it was a joke? God damn that was a bad joke.

it ends with Cage landing the Con Air plane in the middle of the Las Vegas strip at night without crushing hundreds of cars and plowing over hundreds of pedestrians.

Here's the stupidity of that statement in a nutshell. Why would the guys making the movie spend money on something so completely irrelevant to the plot as random people dying? Hey lets piss away a million bucks to do a special effects shot that serves no purpose!

And lots of cars were crushed in that scene along with a building (I think it was a Hard Rock).

Nic Cage got 7-10 years for a plea bargain for killing some trailer trash in self-defense???

Had Cage's character left the scene, there is no fight and so legally, Cage is primarily culpable for the fight. If you have the chance to do something reasonable (like leaving) and you not only don't do it, but provoke the other individuals? Ya... courts don't really buy the "self-defense" argument there. Remember, Cage wasn't jumped. He took his wife to the car and then went back to confront them.

Furthermore, if you are a trained soldier like Cage's character was, then if you walk into a situation where you know a fight will happen and you kill two people, you're going to go to prison for at least manslaughter. First because you had a chance to leave; second because it could be argued that killing two drunks was excessive as a drunk can barely stand properly let alone fight a damn Army Ranger.

the greatest American humorist over the past 22 years (since Seinfeld's premier in 1989).

Am I the only person in the country who can't stand watching Curb Your Enthusiasm for more than 5 minutes? It's just unbearable to me to watch some of those "jokes" go on and on and on and on. Kind of like Bill's mailbag.

It was okay on Seinfeld, but Curb really just seems to put the characters is situations so they can talk about the situation for 10 minutes. I've seen one full episode. Larry and some other dude had a discussion about a scarf for 4 and a half minutes... oh and Larry threw a tantrum when the person throwing a dinner party separated him from his date. ::shrugs:: To each their own.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, if Bill wants to watch more fighting he could watch the 14 other shows MTV has which features people drunkenly fighting.

I am still not sure about that "pubes" joke. I think he was mocking him for misspelling it, but then I may be giving him too much of the benefit of the doubt on that.

I do like how Bill has us debating whether Nic Cage could get jail time for his offense in "Con Air." I should have caught that though. What Nic Cage did was not in self defense. Like you said, he had an opportunity to leave the scene and he chose not to do that. I would venture to say his life wasn't in imminent danger either so he wasn't really defending himself from anything if I remember correctly. So I am not sure that classifies as self defense. Regardless, Nic Cage as an Army Ranger is enough fiction for me to believe about anything.

I really like "Curb," but I have found I enjoy the later seasons more than the earlier ones for some reason. I don't remember the scarf episode. I enjoy watching Larry David make an ass of himself. Still, I know it isn't for everyone.....BUT YOU SHOULD SEE "LOUIE!" IT'S THE FUNNIEST FUCKING SHOW IN THE WORLD AND IF YOU DON'T WATCH IT YOU ARE A MORON.

Anonymous said...

I love this site, especially when you go after that hack Simmons. But when you wrote:

"Yes, the part everyone missed is thinking the exact thought that Bill Simmons was thinking. Everyone missed having the same thought Bill did. Bill knows by using his telekinetic powers which tells him what everyone is thinking…and he knows no one was thinking of this terrible movie idea like he was."

I think you meant telepathic powers. Telekinesis is moving objects with one's mind.

Sorry to nitpick, but criticism begets criticism.

Seriously, love the blog and keep up the great work.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, that I did. I tried to think of a great excuse for why I used telekinetic instead of telepathic and I couldn't. All I can think of is I am an idiot.

Really glad you like the site and thanks for pointing this out. Criticism does beget criticism and I should be able to handle it. I nitpick writers so I have to take my own medicine at times.

JimA said...

Am I the only person in the country who can't stand watching Curb Your Enthusiasm for more than 5 minutes?

Nope. I can't get through 5 minutes anymore.

Bengoodfella said...

JimA, I haven't seen the new season so I can't defend that as much. I've heard positive things...though mostly from the Grantland writers so perhaps I should be suspicious.

Anonymous said...

In Florida we have a "stand your ground" defense where there is no duty to retreat so Cage would have an affirmative defense to murder. But it is a new law, came out since that awful movie and I have no idea about Texas.
The stupidest thing about the stupid movie was Cage going after Ving Rhames after the Vegas landing. Rhames didn't do anything to him and he was already reunited with his family. And his friend Bubba lived so it wasn't for revenge. So why the F would he risk his life to help the cops. Such a stupid movie.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I think since we are debating this point then Bill Simmons has won. He has us debating a point about "Con Air." For fear of furthering the debate, if Cage left the scene and came back (which is what I think happened) would that be a "stand your ground" defense I wonder since he had an opportunity to leave and came back?

I think in regard to your point a/b Cage going after Rhames, the movie had figured it dumbed down the audience enough at that point to where the audience wouldn't question anything that happened. It was clearly the plan of the movie.