Monday, January 23, 2012

9 comments Attack of the SimmonsClones!

When waiting that interminable long wait for Bill Simmons to post his Friday evening NFL picks, I realized I had not covered anything Bill Simmons has written lately. It isn't completely my fault to be honest with you. I don't read what Bill Simmons writes anymore on a weekly basis. He writes once a week and I'm usually not interested in what he writes about and I have no interest in hearing his podcasts, though I hear they aren't half-bad. Anyway, when I saw it was a Bill Simmons "real" mailbag full of SimmonsClones trying to appease their leader by completely copying the way he writes and just generally idolizing him, the Simmonsologist in me knew I had to not only mock Bill but those uber-Simmons fans who write into him in a desperate attempt to be exactly like Bill. Look, you can enjoy Bill Simmons' writing and not be a SimmonsClone. I call those who try to write exactly like Bill and seem to live for his acceptance "SimmonsClones." If their leader acknowledges and justifies their existence in this world by answering one of their questions in which they attempt to sound like Bill Simmons, well there is nothing else to live for at that point.

If I finish 11-0 against the spread in this year's playoffs, these Friday mailbags will keep going for the rest of my life, and yours, and your kids' lives, and your grandkids' lives, and for the rest of eternity, so help me Tebow.

I do like how Bill refers to "Tebow" in place of "God." It seems obvious, but I think it works fairly well. Bill can be a good writer at times. Also, I knew Bill would not finish 11-0 in the playoffs. His regular season picking record was 120-127-9, so if Bill finished 11-0 in the playoffs it would be like a #10 seed winning the NCAA Tournament.

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

Except for the emails Bill has made up of course. It's debatable to me at times whether these readers are just that pathetic to idolize Bill like they do, or it just turns out Bill makes some of these letters up.

Q: Congrats on going 4-0!!! Nobody believed in you!!!!!!

— David, Boston

SG: It took me 20 seconds to realize this wasn't a compliment.

I think David from Boston was going for the whole cliche that teams spout after they win a big game that "no one believed in them." At least I think that's what he was going for.

Q: The opening kickoff for Pittsburgh-Denver hitting the CROSSbar and coming to rest exactly on the 20 yard line sure seemed like an Omen, right?

Yes, it was an omen. The best part about Tebow's ascendance (see what I did there?) in the NFL conversation is the use of religious jokes and imagery in writing. I feel like its opened up a whole new avenue of jokes and imagery to use in sports.

A Tebow title coupled with a Clippers championship and you going 11-0 in the NFL playoffs … yeah, those things would make me quit my job and live off my 401k for the next six months until the world ends.
— Mike Desko, Chicago

SG: You don't have to worry about a Clippers championship, Mike — that's not happening on Vinny Del Negro's watch.

"Hi, I'm Bill Simmons and there isn't a single other executive or head coach that is as smart as I am. Everyone should hire me as their General Manager or head coach because I have the ability to make up fake trades and then ask 'who would say no' to the trade. Clearly this talent will translate perfectly to the real world. Someone please hire me."

You'd have a better chance of seeing Chris Paul and Blake Griffin French-kiss after an alley-oop.

I wouldn't put anything past Chris Paul. We all know how much he loves punching men's testicles. Maybe he likes that "athletic bi-racial Ginger" thing Blake Griffin has going for him. It's as if Derek Jeter, Michael Jordan and Carrot Top mated.

(Of course, if they fire Del Negro within the next few weeks and rent Phil Jackson for a four-month, $10 million playoff run … )

And the Clippers would only have to spend $10 million to do this? Where can they sign? Paying out the ass for a head coach is Bill's idea of an innovative way to improve the Clippers. There has to be some middle ground between keeping Del Negro as the head coach and renting Phil Jackson for a playoff run. I'm also not sure Phil Jackson can do much about the roster deficiencies that could plague the Clippers in the playoffs. I can't imagine why no one has hired Bill Simmons as a General Manager yet.

Q: A thousand years from now, will people build scenes of the 2010 NFL-Draft in front of their houses just like they do with the nativity play now? In the Pittsburgh game, they played in the stadium that's closest to heaven (Mile High). Tebow threw for 316 yards. Rothlisberger's interception came on 3rd and 16. Pittsburgh's time of possession was 31 minutes and 6 seconds.

SG: You just described why I have never been more frightened for a Patriots game. It's the first-ever Boston sporting event with zero upside. Name one result that would make Patriots fans feel fantastic afterwards.

How about the Patriots jumping all over the Broncos from the beginning and Tom Brady destroying the Broncos defense for nearly 30 points in the first half? Sure, I cheated and wrote this after the game, but I think Bill wants his readers to feel bad for what sees as the Patriots "no win" situation. He should probably just be happy his favorite team is in the playoffs, but whining about his teams' fate comes so naturally to Bill I'm not sure he can stop.

Even if Super Bowl XLII will always be the worst defeat in the history of the franchise, this particular loss would be more excruciating because we can see it coming

YES! I love Bill's use of italics for emphasis at the end of a sentence. I would say for many franchises the loss in a Super Bowl is the worst defeat in the history of a franchise. Of course, most other franchises haven't won three Super Bowls over the last decade or so. This is why Bill gives Boston-area fans a bad name because of his inability to be self-aware. The Cleveland Browns haven't won anything significant in decades, yet Bill wants us to know how painful a loss in the playoffs would be for him.

How painful would a loss to the Broncos have been for the Patriots? It would even be worse than that one Super Bowl the Patriots somehow managed to lose. I realize the Pats had lost two straight playoff games and they expect more. Don't even get me started with Bill talking about how he can see the Patriots lose coming, while he also acknowledges what a huge upset it would have been if the Broncos beat the Patriots. No Pats fans wanted lose to the Broncos, but I feel like there should be a little perspective here. Bill is basically complaining his wallet can't fit all the one-hundred dollar bills he has and his diamond shoes are too tight.

If I were a Patriots fan, I would petition that Bill stop writing about New England area sports. I'm not saying Bill doesn't have a right to mourn a tough loss, but the way Bill writes is he seems to attempt to garner sympathy from his readers, many of whom would love their team to have a chance to lose a big game in the playoffs.

Here are four actual e-mails I received from gainfully employed, successful, rational people who root for the Patriots.

I don't want to spoil anything, but they all back Bill's point of view this would be the worst loss in the history of the Patriots team...or at least until next time the Patriots play a big game, in which case Bill sees that potential loss as the biggest loss in the history of the Patriots team. It's so tough being successful. I bet Bill thinks Jaguars fans have it good. At least they don't have to deal with the pain of losing big games.

E-mail no. 3 (a response to E-mail no. 2): "I have spent more time considering where to watch this game than what to feed my child this week

How about you feed your child a dose of perspective this week? Like maybe don't going around acting like someone you love or know has cancer or has died suddenly if the Patriots lose. How about feeding your child the reality that potentially losing a playoff game isn't the end of the world and quit acting like a playoff loss would literally be the end of your life as you know it? The Red Sox are going to be good this year, the Celtics---well they still have Rondo, and you can always jump on the Bruins bandwagon if all else fails.

Home seems like a bad call — I really might break something and it might lead to divorce. I'm a mess about this game too. I really have nothing soothing to say."

Home is a bad call, because breaking something out in public or at a friend's house is so much better than breaking something at home? Your wife won't divorce you if she finds out you destroyed a bar room stool in a hissy fit over your favorite NFL team not winning a game?

Who do you think wrote this next email "to" Bill? See if you can take a guess. Let's look at some characteristics of this email to figure it out.

E-mail no. 4: "My cousin Kristin's wedding reception is at the exact same time as this game. No TV's at the reception — my Dad already checked.

Talking about his father's obsession with his favorite sports team. Actually, talking about his father at all.

We are going to have 40 people grimly huddled around my iPhone watching what promises to be one of the biggest upsets in sports history as we're watching some stolen internet stream that cuts off right as Tebow's potential game-winning pass is soaring in the air, followed by me giving my father CPR for the next 20 minutes.

Another mention of his father reacting negatively to a Boston-related sports event. Extreme pessimism while also predicting the loss would be one of "the biggest upsets in sports history."

(Really? Would the Broncos having beaten the Patriots be one of the biggest upsets in sports history? The Broncos beating the Patriots probably would not have been one of the biggest upsets in sports history. The line on the game was 13.5 points, which is a lot and I am not denying it would be an upset, but one of the biggest upsets in sports as a whole? I think this is using hyperbole in order to prove a point. That point? Feel sorry for the writer of this email because his team is so good, it would stink to lose to a team that isn't very good.)

I have never felt more pessimistic about a sporting event in which my team would have to be beaten by a 7-to-1 underdog to lose — not ever."

Exaggerating what a potential loss would feel like and using hyperbole to describe how he feels before the game, while yet again acknowledging all of his sad feelings are unlikely since it would be a huge upset.

Guess who wrote it...

(By the way, that last e-mail was written by me. And it's all true. Cousin Kristin — you're lucky I like you.)

Bill Simmons wrote it to himself. Bill wrote this email much like the other "emails" in his mailbag that he presumably writes to himself but doesn't cop to it.

Q: The Saints/Lions game is happening as I'm writing this — in fact the Lions are up 14-7 with just under four minutes to play. Game over, Saints win. Why? The camera just showed Stafford with his hat on backwards. Brim-to-the-Back Guy cannot win a Super Bowl, and I don't think there's any way Brim-to-the-Back Guy out-duels Drew Brees in the Superdome.

Here is one Brim-to-the-Back Guy. I'm pretty sure he has won two Super Bowls.

Here is another Brim-to-the-Back Guy. He has won two Super Bowls.

Another Brim-to-the-Back Guy. He has one Super Bowl victory.

My point is perhaps Michael Keeney from Wisconsin should stop trying to be creative and funny in order to impress Bill. The quarterback for the Packers had his hat backwards at media day last year before the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl the Packers won. Fail. Stafford wears his hat backwards a lot, but this is a weak theory since quite a few Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks have worn their hat backwards at some point or another.

Has any Brim-to-the-Back Guy won the big game?

Tom Brady and the other two quarterbacks I linked. I can do what you didn't do and do more research on this non-pertinent issue. You have been in a Bill Simmons mailbag, so I am sure you now consider your life complete and don't care what I have to say.

Some'll claim Big Ben, you can't exactly say he was the leader of those Super Bowl teams.

Yeah, you can. The first Super Bowl the Steelers won despite Roethlisberger's performance, but he definitely led the Steelers to their second Super Bowl. A Brim-to-the-Back Guy won that Super Bowl.

You've got your finger on the pulse; you've the mighty combined forces of Grantland and ESPN's crack research teams.

The only thing Bill has his finger on the pulse of is whatever causes idiots like this to write in to Bill's mailbag and try to be exactly like Bill. To answer this question, you simply need a rudimentary knowledge of how to do an internet search.

SG: This was such a brilliant observation that, for about nine seconds, I thought about stealing the point entirely and pretending I never heard of Michael Keeney of Madison, Wisconsin.

Bill probably isn't kidding. We have reached the very bottom of the barrel when it comes to what is considered "a brilliant observation" if this observation, which also happens to be factually incorrect, is considered brilliant. Bill's mailbags are pretty much a masturbatory venture for him and his readers. The readers are thrilled to be in Bill's mailbag and it excites Bill to see idiots write in to his mailbag, come up with inane theories, and desperately attempt to write like Bill does. The readers get pleasure from seeing Bill print their emails and Bill gets pleasure from seeing how popular he is.

The only elite QB with less of a chance in a big game than Brim-to-the-Back Guy is Brim-to-the-Side Guy. In fact, the secret of Tom Brady's maturation into a franchise QB wasn't dropping to the sixth round; it was when he decided to stop being Brim-to-the-Back Guy.

Well, except for the fact he won a Super Bowl as a Brim-to-the-Back Guy. I'm guessing in order to keep this brilliant observation going, we can just ignore the theory not only is stupid, but also is factually incorrect.

Q: Did Marvin Lewis pull out the best Brad Childress performance of the season in Round One? It was just AWESOME!! I think he took pity on Bill Barnwell and decided to give him material until the end of the season.
— Pierre, Paris, France

Get ready for a Bill Simmons recycled joke. He changes the name, slightly changes the format, and then you have a ready-made recycled joke. Bill has done this quite a few times in his columns, but it started with the Atrocious GM Summit. I recall Bill writing about how a group of bad coaches/GMs should get together on a game show and compete against each other to prove their awfulness quite a few times. The joke worked better as the Atrocious GM Summit when it was introduced about 6 years ago, but because Bill has given up on thinking of actual creative ideas, he rips off his own idea and creates...wait for it...a Bad Head Coach game show. Creative, no? Actually I mean...creative? No.

SG: You know how ESPN tried to turn 2011 into The Year of the Quarterback? I wish we tried to turn 2012 into The Year of the Coach, if only so we could have created a 16-coach game show formatted somewhat like Chopped, with the contestants making impromptu coaching decisions instead of impromptu cooking challenges. Imagine Andy Reid, Marvin Lewis, Brad Childress and Norv Turner battling in the season finale of Botched.

Andy the Host: "Gentlemen, it's the second quarter of a playoff game, you're playing on the road and trailing by three, you're at midfield, the two-minute warning is coming up,

I'll save you the pain. It goes on like that. The idea was great the first time, the second time it wasn't so creative, and now once a few details have been switched around it is simply the same joke told a different way that has the same punchline of "these guys are clueless."

Basically, Bill is trying to pass this idea off as original, when it is just a variation on another one of his ideas. He tries to fool his readers into thinking it isn't recycled. When I used to do JoeChats (R.I.P.) I would sometimes do a "I wonder how this would work in real life..." scenario with one of Joe's responses. It was a continuing theme and I didn't change details around to pretend it wasn't a continuing theme. It's a continuation of a running idea. Bill changes the packaging around in an effort to think a Bad Head Coach show is different from his Atrocious GM Summit or any of the other ideas Bill has had for a coach/player/team/GM to make bad decisions in the company of each other in a competitive format.

Q: I understand why football coaches cover their mouth with their hand, clipboard, play chart, etc. during the game, but wouldn't it just make more sense for the headset manufacturers make the mouth pieces larger so that the full mouth is covered? Wait, did I just give away an amazing business idea??
— Doug, Oakland

SimmonsClones just want so desperately to be seen as creative in Bill's eyes. Do you know how stupid it would look to have a headset mouthpiece cover up the entire mouth? Not to mention when the coach wants to talk to someone who isn't on the headset he would have to push a rather large microphone to the side of the headset. The microphone would probably not go all the way to the side of the headset because the coach's face would be in the way of the huge microphone moving too far up and down.

Q: Has there ever been a more physically gifted WR than Calvin Johnson? Is it even close? He's clearly on the Bo Jackson All Stars (athletes we'll never see clones of.) I'm sure you have time to fill out the rest of that roster, which is way tougher than the NBA version, the Allen Iverson All Stars.
— Brock E., Denver

Another variation of the same theme. An All-Star team being named where each individual on the "team" have the same characteristic. I think Bill Simmons is very talented and when he gives a crap there aren't too many better writers. When he doesn't give a crap, we get another All-Star team named in a mailbag and then later posted to his Wikipedia page.

My list is short and sweet: Bo, Deion, Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, Michael Vick, Steve Young, Lawrence Taylor, Walter Payton, Randall Cunningham … and we're done, unless you want to include Jerry Rice (for being a freak just for being so technically perfect/precise) or Rob Gronkowski (who probably would have made the list if not for Jimmy Graham, who's equally superfreakish, which somehow nullifies the superfreakishness of both guys because part of being a freak is having no frequal).

So two players at the same position can't be on the team because their "superfreakishness" cancel each other out. Yet, Calvin Johnson and Randy Moss are both on the team, as are Randall Cunningham and Steve Young. Bill makes the rules, then somewhat contradicts his own rules. Not to mention, the idea a person who is a freak has no equal is faulty. A freak is a person who is unusual or irregular. There can be more than two irregular tight ends in the NFL at the same time.

Q: I just read your newest mailbag. I was disappointed because I spent most of it reading the bold text. You are an excellent and intelligent writer. Your readers, typically, are not. I would like to hear more from you and less from them. Please consider my concerns.

Sincerely, Finney.
— Finney, Clemson

SG: I'm guessing Finney didn't enjoy the last few e-mails. And for the record — the mailbag is my favorite column to write and has been since 1997. So there.

Bill attempts to pass it off like he enjoys writing the mailbag because it gives his readers a chance to speak. I would submit that's false. Bill likes to write his mailbags because it is an ego trip for him to read so many people write in trying to sound, act and think like he himself does. Above all, it seems Bill has an innate need to be adored and be considered the smartest guy in the room. He needs confirmation he is adored and he is the smartest guy in the room. His mailbag confirms both of these things for him. Believe me, I don't dislike Bill Simmons but I also don't believe he has very much respect for the readers that have made him so famous and successful.

Q: An idea for the 18-game schedule: each team plays 18 games, but (except for kickers and punters), no player can play in more than 16 games during the regular season. And this should be strongly enforced — if a player plays in even one play in a game, that counts as one of the 16. Imagine the endless debates over what games you decide to rest your best players — do you rest your starting QB against the weakest team you play, or maybe the best if you figure you're not beating that team anyway? Do you rest all your best players in two games, or mix and match? NFL Countdown would have to expand to 5 hours!!
— Mark Wooster, L.A.

I kicked around this idea a bit a year ago when the owners seemed to want to go to an 18 game schedule. It's scary for me I have the same idea as a SimmonsClone. Of course, eventually Bill will claim this idea for his own like he did with the Ewing Theory.

In fact, here's a vague, loosely-held together theory for you. Bill Simmons is like the band U2. Here the parallels I draw:

Early career

Bill Simmons wrote differently from the perspective of his audience. He was one of them and wrote like you and your friends talked and talked about the same things you and your friends talked about. He was good enough to write mainstream, but didn't write like mainstream writers. There was something different about him.

U2 was a different band. Political, but still rock and with enough mainstream sound to be mainstream, but was different from mainstream bands. They were like a college band that made it big.

Reaction to success

Bill Simmons reacted to success by writing a lot of the same things he had written before. He expanded on his previous theories and attempted to start new theories. Then he attempted to expand on his success in different avenues by writing for the Jimmy Kimmel Show and doing a Sports Guy cartoon. The audience didn't like that as much.

U2 reacted to success well (Achtung Baby) and expanded on their previous sound on that album. U2 then tried to expand on the sound more to take the group's sound in a different direction, but still be U2 (Zooropa). This wasn't popular with the audience.

Response to initial failure

Bill Simmons responded to the (somewhat) failure of writing for a talk show by diving back into his columns, writing a book, and expanded his brand at ESPN by executive producing "30 for 30." He achieved success doing this. Bill Simmons had found what worked for him and he wanted to search out change, but within the cocoon of knowing he still worked for

U2 reacted to the failure of Zooropa and Pop, by writing an incredibly U2-sounding album "All That You Can't Leave Behind." They achieved success by going back to their original sound. They had re-found success and wanted to search out slight changes in sound, but within the cocoon of still sounding like U2.

Later Career

Bill Simmons started, which is a site where he writes once a week, mostly writing non-challenging columns which doesn't really show growth in Simmons' writing ability nor does it really present anything new to the audience. It is popular, so Simmons is more comfortable being popular and re-creating his previous ideas than challenging himself to get better. He has seen mainstream success and failure and knows what it takes for each. His writing doesn't need to improve because people will read his columns and his venture is backed by ESPN (and other great writers), so the odds of failure probably aren't great.

U2 followed up "All That You Can't Leave Behind" with essentially two sequel albums that sound very U2-ish. It doesn't change the U2 sound around. The band knows what sells albums and what audiences want to hear. They don't want to see them expand on their sound, they want U2 to re-create previously successful ideas. They know what mainstream success requires and what could have the potential to fail. The band's writing doesn't need to improve because people will buy their albums and the band has enough name recognition and forums to get their music out a new album with the "U2-sound" won't fail at this point.

I have always thought of U2 as the same band as R.E.M. if R.E.M. re-wrote "Out of Time" every four years, which they didn't. This made R.E.M. less popular, but I think it gave them more credibility as artists. There's nothing wrong with either Bill Simmons or U2 doing this, but I would like to see both of them grow a little more in their art.

SG: A possible wrinkle: If every team plays 18 games, that's 72 quarters in all … so why not tweak it so every player (except kickers and punters) can only play 62 quarters total?

Because that overcomplicates the issue. Bill's need to always improve on someone's idea, because he can't he isn't the smartest guy in the room, backfires here.

Did I mention that, as I type this email, I'm down on knees literally praying that my Tampa Bay Buccaneers hire 68 year old Marty "One and Done" Schottenheimer instead of Wade Phillips, Brad Childress or Mike Sherman? Not that those two thoughts are related or anything.
— Brandon, Vancouver

SG: Here's why I think the Bucs should hire Marty — you know how old people reach that stage when they just don't give a crap anymore and it's awesome?

(Cue overly long explanation that could be summed up easily in two sentences, but won't be due to Bill believing he comes off as more creative by comparing one thing to another in order to explain what he means rather than just saying what the hell he means)

That reminds me, here's a good rule of thumb for trades and coaching hirings: Float the guy's name out as a possibility, then check out the reaction from fans of his old team (bloggers, message boards, sports radio, etc.).

Remember, this guy actually believes he can be an NBA General Manager. We all know the most intelligent, non-reactionary group of people in the world are bloggers, people on message boards and callers to sports radio. Checking the reaction of these fans from his old team in no way could fail, could it? What could go wrong?

If the consensus can be described as "incredulously, deliriously and overwhelmingly sarcastic," you shouldn't trade for that player or hire that coach. It's that simple.

Yep, it's that simple. Bill Simmons for Bucks GM!

As a quick aside, I want everyone to remember in his January 6 mailbag Bill Simmons said the 49ers would not make the Super Bowl because their quarterback is Alex Smith. Bill then predicted the 49ers would beat the Saints.

Then Ragnar from Honolulu, who I won't rip because he lives in Hawaii and I want to live in Hawaii, criticizes Jim Nantz's call of the Steelers-Broncos game.

SG: I mean, Nantz had 10 minutes between the end of regulation and the first play from scrimmage in OT to come up with a clearly-written-ahead-of-time line just in case Tebow threw a game-winning pass in overtime!

Let's look at these lines Nantz should have come up with if Tebow threw the game-winning pass:

"Eighty yards, no flags, one miracle!"

I can somewhat see this one. Nantz would have to predict the play was a miracle, which any touchdown by the Broncos in overtime would be called a miracle regardless of whether it was or not. Nantz would have just inserted the amount of yards on the touchdown pass into his call. Still, for this specific call Nantz would have had to predict Tebow would throw an 80 yard touchdown pass.

"This is the dawning of the age of Demaryius!"

So before Demaryius Thomas caught the game winning touchdown pass, Jim Nantz should have predicted it was Demaryius Thomas who would catch the game winning touchdown pass? Nantz was expected to predict the Broncos would not only throw a game-winning touchdown pass, but that Demaryius Thomas would be the one to catch that pass, and then think of a catchy phrase to reflect this? This is what Nantz should have been doing in between the fourth quarter ending and overtime beginning? It just seems like this is a lot of predictions to make. Does Bill expect Nantz to do this with every Broncos player prior to overtime?

"Sudden death, sudden life, Tebow rises again!"

The Broncos never trailed in the game. This phrase therefore doesn't make sense.

"Look out, New England — the white Bronco is still on the loose!"

Creative, but a white Bronco isn't really relevant to New England and this seems like it would be roundly mocked. Of course, who am I to argue with Bill Simmons?

Q: Imagine if a Tim Tebow sex tape came out. It would have to be the biggest sex scandal fallout since Bill Clinton right? I asked several of my friends if they would rather see that or their football team win the Super Bowl and we all went with the sex tape.
— Ben Kendrick, West Hartford

The idiocy of Bill's readers sometimes shocks me. This guy's friends would rather see a Tim Tebow sex tape rather than their favorite team win the Super Bowl? I think he's making this up.

Q: I've been sucked into the Tebow magic but the porn industry seems to be dragging its feet. My buddy Marc and I were trying to come up with a proper name for the inevitable XXX Tebow movie and the best I could come up with was Bible Banger. Marc had the better one: A Third That's Long.

— Mike, Chicago

SG: All that work and neither of you could come up with Raging Tebowner? Yup, this is your sports columnist.

Yeah Bill, Mike from Chicago's idea was better.

Trying to remain objective while breaking down what would unquestionably be the most horrifying loss in Patriots history — not the worst, not the most bitter, but the most horrifying — was tougher than I thought. But here's the key point: You can't call the Broncos a "Nobody Believes in Us" team anymore.

And yet, earlier in this column Bill said the Patriots losing the Broncos would have been one of the biggest upsets in sports history. I'm confused. So the Broncos can't say "Nobody Believes in Us" anymore, but if they had beaten the Patriots it would have been one of the greatest upsets in sports history?

On Football Outsiders, Aaron Schatz wrote that — if Denver beat New England — it would be the third biggest upset of the last 20 years by F.O.'s DVOA ratings, trailing only Super Bowl XLII (arrrrgh) and Colts-Chiefs in 1995 (a gloriously macabre combination of bad luck, turnovers and Marty being Marty).

Bill leaves out an important point. Aaron Schatz wrote it would be the third biggest NFL PLAYOFF upset in the last 20 years if the Broncos had won. I still somewhat question if the Patriots losing to the Broncos would have been one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Maybe it would be one of the greatest upsets, of course it didn't happen so it doesn't really matter.


Ericb said...

Now we can look forward to two weeks of Simmons reliving and whining about the Tyree catch. Good times.

Bengoodfella said...

Ericb, I can't say I'm pumped up about that. I'm so excited I can hardly contain my excitement. As Bill would say, good times.

rich said...

Home seems like a bad call — I really might break something and it might lead to divorce. I'm a mess about this game too. I really have nothing soothing to say."

I'll probably watch the game from home by myself because of this very reason. I don't want to be around anyone when I inevitably start yelling at player Y for doing something stupid (probably Aaron Ross after a illegal contact penalty on 3rd and 19) or the refs for blowing a call.

You do that shit in public, you piss off everyone around you.

We are going to have 40 people grimly huddled around my iPhone watching what promises to be one of the biggest upsets in sports history

I love how Bill is and yet so insecure. How is this one of the biggest upsets? The Giants have already beaten NE this year on the road, so... upset? Sure.

Of course, the fact that Bill tosses in the fact that the game is going to be an upset is both arrogant in the belief that a Giants win is an upset, yet 16 year old girl insecure about the Patriots chances. Seriously, stop hedging yourself.

Boston fans are fucking obnoxious.

I have never felt more pessimistic about a sporting event in which my team would have to be beaten by a 7-to-1 underdog to lose — not ever."

The same 7-to-1 underdog that beat the Patriots in NE without Bradshaw or Nicks.

Yup... why bother playing the game, Giants are toast.

In fact, the secret of Tom Brady's maturation into a franchise QB wasn't dropping to the sixth round; it was when he decided to stop being Brim-to-the-Back Guy.

Except Tom Brady was a good QB at Michigan. His problem wasn't being a "brim-to-the-back" guy, it was being out of shape at the combine and losing playing time because of Drew Henson.

Has there ever been a more physically gifted WR than Calvin Johnson?

Physically? Sure. Moss, Owens, Andre Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald. All were freakish athletes, some were just mentally challenged.

(who probably would have made the list if not for Jimmy Graham, who's equally superfreakish, which somehow nullifies the superfreakishness of both guys because part of being a freak is having no frequal

This is what's wrong with this country. You have these older people in their 40's who still want to be cool. No self-respecting 40 year old should ever write something like that. I mean, for fuck's sake if an 18 year old wrote something that stupid and vain you'd call him a moron.

A possible wrinkle: If every team plays 18 games, that's 72 quarters in all … so why not tweak it so every player (except kickers and punters) can only play 62 quarters total?

This might be the single dumbest idea ever put out there. What happens at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters? Team driving along and then oh shit, new players have to go in to play because the 62 quarter limit was hit!

This also screws up substitutions. If you're the third string DE, you might take a few snaps a game just to give your starters a breather. Now, coaches are going to force tired players to continue playing because they can't have two plays counting as an entire quarter against the limit.

Imagine if a Tim Tebow sex tape came out. It would have to be the biggest sex scandal fallout since Bill Clinton right?

What exactly would the fallout be? Rich white, athletic dude banged a girl? The horror, no one would get over it.

To be honest, I think he'd gain more fans if he started having sex, because he'd be more like the rest of us and therefore more relatable.

Oh and I'm pretty sure the Tiger Woods' thing was a pretty big sex scandal, as was the Sandusky thing, as was Lawrence Taylor. So it'd be the biggest sex scandal in like 6 months?

On another note, I hate the Tebow hype and I think he's a shitty QB, but to root for a sex tape to ruin the guy's reputation is pretty disturbing to me.

Anonymous said...

so I can only come to one conclusion after reading this..Bill Simmons ran over your puppy...I'm sorry man, I'm a dog lover and it sucks to lose a pet especially when they are still so young.

Martin F. said...

Thank God, because punctuation or sentence structure is something we wouldn't want you to gain from reading the blog.

Simmons latest non-sense. He wants to be the VP of Common Sense, and from years ago, the base of the idea had merit (have teams hire someone not a fan to look at trades or marketing ideas or draft picks and go "Why?" essentially). Unfortunately he now thinks that any idea he has is "common sense", and opposing ideas are out of whack.

He thinks the Rams should draft Griffin out of Baylor with the 2nd pick, and trade Bradford, because he doesn't think Bradford is very good, and Griffin might be the next Cam Newton. As Mike Lombardi tried to point out to him, trading Bradford is almost impossible because of his contract and the cap hit they would take, as his contract was under the old system. Because it is under the old system, NOBODY wants to trade for him. Bill won't even listen though and he keeps saying "The VP of Common Sense has to make that trade."

Earth to Bill the VP of Common Sense for the OTHER TEAM says you're out of your freaking mind. Also, drafting Griffin does no good to solve their bad D Line, piss poor receivers, and crappy O Line. Cam came into a situation with at least a decent O Line and Steve Smith and an average defense. The #2 pick is going to help them more if they trade it than trying to convince someone to take Bradford.

After ten minutes of arguing, he finally relents but has to take that shot like a 10 year old. "Well, I'd still want to take Griffin at the 2, but you might be right." Yes Bill, because taking a QB with the #1 overall, and 2 years later another QB with the #2 overall will not set your team back in any way.....moron.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I don't know why Bill wrote that "freakish" sentence like he did either.

The idea of players playing 62 quarters is so overly complicated, it is useless. It is at the point people believe an idea from Bill Simmons is a good idea. It's not. This is an overly complicated, convoluted idea that only serves to get away from the actual playing of a football game. Of course, as we all know, Bill isn't a sports fan. He only likes the drama and gambling around sports.

Anon, clever. What I find it hilarious when I get an anonymous person disagreeing with what I write about Bill Simmons is I have covered a Bill Simmons article 10 times in the last year. 10 times. I cover Peter King & Gregg Easterbrook nearly every week and I write about 4 times per week. Nearly every time I write something about Simmons one his disciples writes making jokes about me or criticizing my criticism of him. I don't have to really write anything about Simmons and his SimmonsClones. The mere criticism of him followed by devout followers defending his honor helps prove many of my points for me on how they want to be exactly like him.

Trust me, he used to be better. He didn't run over my dog, but he got lazy and has given up putting effort into his writing in order to coast on previous theories. It's frustrating because he is talented, but instead of taking the time out of his day doing anything but writing he resorts to doing mailbags in order to reinforce the idea from his overly-devout readers that he is still creative. Why be creative when so many people are impressed with his half-ass work? This is a guy who calls himself "The Sports Guy" when he only has an interest in sports as it surrounds the storylines and gambling around the sport.

Martin, interesting. Peter King made a really good point in MMQB yesterday about Alex Smith and quarterbacks in general. He said it is amazing what a QB can do when the OC builds the offense around that QB's strengths. He said teams need to commit to making the QB successful. So while it is popular to give up on Bradford, Lombardi is correct in my opinion. Bradford doesn't have trade value and the Rams are better off using that pick to gain more picks and improve the team.

This is another situation where Bill wants a trade to be approved b/c he wants it to happen. He does this all the time for NBA trades. Bradford may have trade value, but that contract is tough. I think the Rams are better off keeping the pick and building around Bradford. Give him another year before dumping him.

The problem with the VP of Common Sense idea is that sometimes common sense doesn't match reality. The reality is if the Rams could get another team to take Bradford's contract w/o him restructuring it, it would be hard to get much value for him. The #2 overall pick has much more value and then you give Bradford another year.

sptrfn said...

On a lot of those mailbags, there seems to be men with low social value who are amazed when a hot chick talks to them, or are talking about how their friend got lucky to get a hot babe.

Simmons gets a lot of clueless guys with no social value to write him. They are just like him.

Bengoodfella said...

Sptrfn, I can't decide if these are guys with low social value or if they pretend to be of low social value to fit in with the tone of how Bill writes. I don't know why a person would intentionally seem to have low social value, but that's beside the point.

The guys who write into the mailbag do write just like him and I think they make up stories about their lives to get in Bill's mailbag. They are socially awkward people, just like you and me, just like Bill is a fan of (Boston) sports (entertainment around the sports and not the actual sports event), just like you and me!

sptrfn said...

Ben, I don't consider myself socially awkward, but I see your point. If that is what is going on, though, there are some sad puppies in this world.

I don't know or care what is going on with Simmons and his readers. I do know this: I have read Bill's columns in his archive, and he can be entertaining.

However, what is with him and his friend's nicknames? Is he in some dorky group or something like that?