Friday, August 3, 2012

4 comments Bill Simmons Hates Walking and Tries to Become America's Biggest Handball Advocate

Bill Simmons went to the Olympics this year. Once he wrote a pretty self-involved column about how he came to go to the Olympics and made it all about him, per his usual way of writing. I was going to cover it, but Larry B at Fire Jay Mariotti did a pretty good job of making the points I was going to make. So go read that. Bill has promised (threatened) updates from his time in London at the Olympics and he makes good on this promise (threat) by writing an entire column about handball. Not shockingly, upon viewing three games of handball, Bill Simmons feels at liberty to make some changes to the sport in order to get Bill Simmons to pretend he would actually watch handball at any point other than every four years at the Olympics. Also, Bill wants us to know London is a big city and you have to walk a lot. I'm personally shocked the city hosting the Olympics is large.

The London Olympics have taken good-natured heat because their logo looks a little like Lisa Simpson performing a sex act, and because their official mascot looks a lot like a fancy futuristic penis

I'd like to know what a futuristic penis looks like. I don't necessarily need a visual description, but I'd be interested to see if Bill believes in the near future male and female genitalia will adapt in some new, fancy fashion.

Both quirks fit in splendidly with London, the world's most perverted city.

This from the same guy who just wrote a two part NBA column where he basically stated, "Everyone watch 'Game of Thrones' because they show women's tits all the time!" I'm not sure he's the guy who should be calling anyone else perverted.

But it's the little things that win London the "biggest pervert" title — you know, like that timeout during yesterday's USA-France basketball game when cheerleaders ran onto the court and fans immediately started whistling and cheering.

In America, fans never cheer or leer at cheerleaders when they are running on the court. This is exclusive to the sexually repressed city of London.

This place is hornier than Antonio Cromartie.

This from the same guy who wrote:

That night on the phone, my buddy House agreed with Lisanti's disbelief and added, "Just so you know, that show has a ton of nudity." Well then! I started watching that weekend and the rest was history.

Again, Bill is probably not a position to criticize how horny other people are.

Still, it would have made more sense if the 2012 logo was a drawing of someone walking. That's all anyone does at the London Olympics. You walk. You walk, you walk, you walk, and then you walk some more.

Why can't all the Olympic events take place in a one square mile walk from each other? Who says "no" to this?

You walk so much that you can be standing in what seems to be the middle of everything, after having walked over a mile to arrive at what you thought was the middle of everything … and then you see a sign that says, "BASKETBALL ARENA: 25-MINUTE WALK."

OMG! Walking is so hard to do and very inconvenient. Bill is very happy he doesn't have an important dinner to get to while in London or else he would never make it. He wouldn't want to risk another potential disaster like when he went to Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals and had to be back in Los Angeles the very next day for a very important party.

If you think I'm kidding …

Actually, Bill is kidding. The sign says "20-30 minute walk" to the basketball arena. So it doesn't say it is a 25-minute walk. Accurately reading signs, along with walking long distances, are two things that Bill believes himself to be above doing.

You see that sign after you leave the Stratford tube stop (ground zero for Olympic Park — the only way in and out) and spend the next 25 minutes walking

If Olympic Park is ground zero, then this is in the middle of everything. "Ground zero" doesn't indicate an area is closest to every possible event.

This isn't a complaint, more of a belated revelation. I love walking.

No, it is a complaint. You spent two paragraphs complaining about how far it is to walk to Olympic events.

In my head, I just assumed you hopped on the tube, jumped off at the "Olympics" stop, zipped through security, flashed your press pass or ticket, then everything was right there.

Because London isn't in California, it must be really small and easily to navigate. The Olympics would only be held in small villages, not large cities...right?

Nope. Ever been to Disneyland and planned on hitting a ride, then realized it was a 20-minute walk across the park from where you were?

Or..."Have you ever been out in a crowded public place like a zoo, amusement park, or any other large area where the public tends to congregate and had to walk to your location?"

It seems Bill believes having to walk a lot is an experience exclusive to him. This type of thing happens at places other than Disneyland. I'm pretty sure nearly everyone has had to walk a long distance at some point in his/her life.

Imagine the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and U.S. Open happening at four different venues within a mile of each other, only if 10 famous musical acts were playing indoor/outdoor concerts in the middle of everything. How much space would you need to pull off that scenario? A lot, right? That's the Summer Olympics.

And yet despite knowing how large of an event the Olympics are, Bill was shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, to find out he is going to have to walk a lot to each different Olympic event. Who saw this coming? Why don't they offer golf carts to wealthy people like Bill so he wouldn't have to walk? Who says "no" to this?

Armed with a mack-daddy pass and the determination to catch as many events as possible, you'd be surprised how many decisions hinge on these four words:

Nice humblebrag.

"Sometimes when you have access to every single Olympic event you have to make tough choices about which ones you are going to attend."

That's how I ended up ripping off a women's handball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon (the first official day of the Olympics). My friend "Fitzy"

A footnote follows about this "Fitzy" character...

He wanted to stay anonymous in the column, so we're calling him "Fitzy," if only because I always wanted a friend named "Fitzy."

A friend who wants to stay anonymous in a Bill Simmons column? Do these type of non-starfucking people exist?

"I want my first Olympic event to be a little goofy," I said. "Something like handball or badminton."

And that's how I ended up losing my Olympics virginity: by going to a preliminary-round match (no real stakes)

No real stakes other than being a game that took place during the fucking Olympics. Other than this match involved the best athletes in handball from two different countries competing against each other, there was nothing really to see here.

of women's handball (a sport I knew nothing about)

Bill knows nothing about the sport of handball. If you think that means he won't end this column with five suggestions on how to make the sport better after watching the sport over three entire games...well, you just don't know how Bill Simmons and his massive ego work. Bill can fix anything in a matter of one day or in one viewing. If he was President of the United States for just one day he'd have this whole debt-crisis issue figured out, he would turn around the United States public school systems and have Congress working together like a well-oiled machine using the philosophy of ubuntu.

So always know, even if Bill knows absolutely nothing about a topic, after briefly studying that topic he is an expert enough on the topic to suggest changes. He's always wants to be the most creative and smartest guy in the room.

We arrived 20 minutes before the match, grabbed choice press seats at midcourt (or whatever they call midcourt in handball),

"...grabbed choice press seats at midcourt." How does anyone like this guy? He can't just write,

"Upon entering the facility we sat down and stared at the empty gym,"

He has to tell us EXACTLY how he got such great seats and EXACTLY where those seats were located in the gym as a reminder of who the hell he is and who the hell we aren't.

You know what's way more fun than you'd ever expect? Watching a world-class Olympic event without knowing any of the rules.

You would never imagine watching world-class athletes play their sport could be entertaining in any way.

Oh — and until I actually saw the court, a small part of me wondered if handball players took turns batting a ball against a wall like they were elementary school kids in recess.

(shakes head sadly)

A few things jumped out right away. First, Croatia's team unleashed a series of pregame high-five/hug rituals that would have humbled even Renaldo Balkman and Nate Robinson. We couldn't decide whether this was a good sign (that their chemistry was terrific)

Hasn't Bill said plenty of times that a team plays better when the players on that team like each other? So this could never be a bad sign, based on the "they give each other a lot of high-fives" theory Bill espouses in every single column he has ever written about the Boston Celtics since 2007.

or a bad sign (that they were overdoing this stuff because they stunk).

Impossible. We all know a team that likes each other always plays better because they like each other.

Anyway, the game started and we quickly realized that women's handball was a loony cross between hockey, basketball, lacrosse and Vince Vaughn's Dodgeball movie, only if it was created for people with ADD.

Right, "Vince Vaughn's Dodgeball movie." I'm glad it was cleared up whose movie that was, because simply calling the movie "Dodgeball" would have confused no one.

If the LeBrons and Griffins ever played handball, they'd probably be corner scorers. Oh, and they'd be ridiculously awesome. That too.

Yeah, great observation. If these guys ever played volleyball they would probably be pretty good at that sport too. The LeBrons and Griffins of the world are elite athletes. Their skills are transferable to sports outside of basketball.

On any fast break off a missed shot, the playmaker is always prominently involved. It's the marquee position on the floor. We nicknamed this position "The Nash" after Steve Nash for obvious reasons.

Well, obviously. Wait, why wouldn't this position just be nicknamed "the point guard" again?

That reminds me — those occasional long outlet passes and fast breaks in handball are way more exciting than you'd ever expect.

What an amazing event as described by Bill! I have absolutely no expectations or perceptions of the sport of handball, yet the long outlet passes and fast breaks have exceeded the expectations for excitement I didn't know I even had!

How Bill never got a permanent job writing for a newspaper coming out of college still blows my mind. His newspaper columns could have single-handedly turned around the fate of newspapers.

I found myself yelping, "Ohhhhh!" and "Whoa!" more than I expected, to the chagrin of at least one serious handball media member sitting in our row. (Whatever.)

Bill expected to only yelp (what is he, a dog?) "Ohhhhh" and "Whoa!" four times during the match, but he yelped these exclamations at least ten times. He does an excellent job of describing this to his readers. Reading this almost feel like I am at the event getting annoyed with Bill Simmons' and his yelling.

Not to mention, I can't believe this asshole serious Handball journalist was irritated at Bill cheering from press row. It's press row! Who says "no" to cheering from press row? It's not like it is discouraged to cheer from press row or anything.

Handball is also more consistently physical than basketball, as hard as that might be to believe.

I never thought any sport could get more physical than the NBA where putting two hands on someone's back or reaching in and accidentally hitting the opposing player's arm are fouls. Yet, I was wrong. There are sports more physical than basketball.

Nobody overreacts to getting popped in the face, and when someone gets hurt, they're actually hurt. This would NOT be a good sport for Vince Carter.

These jokes are landing like punches thrown by Ron Artest.

From what I could gather, you need three things to succeed in handball: a killer "Nash," one consistently good corner scorer, and a competent goalie.

After one game, Bill already thinks he knows what exact three things a team needs to succeed at handball. That's the formula based on a sample size of three matches viewed.

We were so enthralled by the Croatia-Brazil game that we decided to stay for the next one between Denmark and Sweden.

After three games viewed, clearly Bill is now the expert and he is qualified to make the five rule changes to the sport that he suggests at the end of this column.

Not only did that seem like a natural rivalry, but … um … did I mention the game involved Danish women and Swedish women?

From earlier in the column:

Both quirks fit in splendidly with London, the world's most perverted city. You knew about London's Page 3 girls, the city's raunchy television shows and its general bawdiness, as well as the Brits' ironic reputation for also being sexually repressed. But it's the little things that win London the "biggest pervert" title...London slays me. This place is hornier than Antonio Cromartie.

I realize Bill is away from his wife, but come on. After watching "Game of Thrones" because it had nudity and mentioning he stayed for the Denmark-Sweden game because they involved Swedish and Danish women, does Bill really have any room to call anyone horny?

an attractive blonde who doubled as Sweden's version of Nash, someone who was as talented as she was pretty. (Here, I'll save you the 25 seconds you were just going to spend frantically YouTubing her.)

Londoners are so perverse.

The next night, I returned to the Copper Box to watch Denmark play Hungary in men's handball,

Bill should be the commissioner of the International Handball Federation. Which is a real thing by the way.

Since we're here, I can't resist throwing on my sports tsar costume and making five no-brainer suggestions to subtly improve women's handball.

Since handball has been around for two centuries now, you would think the sport had worked out most of the rule changes necessary in that time. This would be a wrong assumption. Bill can't view a sport new to him or hear a new idea without marking his territory by trying to think of a better idea or rule changes for that sport. Nothing is perfect until Bill Simmons has placed his Midas Touch upon it. Handball is the latest lucky sport/idea to have been touched by the hand of Bill.

Suggestion No. 2: Each team drops a player for the last five minutes of the first half and the first five minutes of the second half.

Just to open it up … a little. Like when they have four-on-four overtimes in the NHL. Those 30-minute halves in handball are a tough haul for spectators — you need to keep the fans on their toes just a tiny bit more.

This from the guy who watched three handball matches and appears to be (short-term) hooked on the sport. Why wouldn't handball dramatically change the set up of the game to appeal to fans who watch the sport every four years?

Suggestion No. 3: Add a penalty cage.

Right now, a player gets punished for two minutes and simply goes back to his/her bench until the punishment ends. How is that punishing? Stick them in a humiliating cage across from their bench for two minutes! Yes, they should lock the cage and everything.

So rather than make it a sport, make it a spectacle like professional wrestling. That sounds like something the Olympics would enjoy being a part of. Putting women in a locked cage? That's the Olympic spirit!

Suggestion No. 5: Find an attention-seeking billionaire to help save handball in America by throwing gobs of money at a women's professional handball league that will eventually get the ball rolling so we don't stink at handball anymore.

Fine, this will never happen — I just wanted to bring up America's dire handball situation again.

Bill Simmons has ignored the sport of handball for forty years of his life. He watches three matches and now wants us all to be aware of why handball deserves our support. He just fucking discovered the sport and now he acts like he's been a fan for 10 years. He is AGAIN telling us about the dire handball situation in America. He has warned us multiple times about this topic over the past, but this is his last warning to us all. Enjoy the sport or watch it die the same slow death it has been dying for two centuries, including the last forty years when Bill himself didn't give a shit about the sport.

If you didn't know, we could have qualified for the 2012 Olympics in men's or women's handball just by winning the Pan Am Games last year. Our American women finished eighth out of eight teams, with the low point being a 50-10 loss to Brazil. Fifty to 10!!! The men's team finished seventh out of eight teams, so it's not like they were much better.

These were facts that Bill, of course, knew prior to watching the three handball games he watched in London. He didn't look these facts up at all when writing this column. He's a huge handball fan.

Think of all the basketball talent America cranks out — we couldn't steer a few studs toward handball? Would you rather come off the bench for a forgettable .500 team in the Big Sky Conference, or would you rather become one of the best handball players in the world, save handball in America, compete for a gold medal, then live overseas playing handball professionally?

Wow, what a douche. The man ignores the sport for forty years and now he wants to be the sport's ambassador.

Should America ever suck at a sport that revolves around running, jumping and passing? I'm going out on a limb and saying no.

Read this sentence and remember how popular Bill Simmons is. Then wonder how he became so popular because I am wondering the same thing right now.

That the best thing about the Olympics, as far as I can tell, anyway — you never know what might suck you in. Time to walk two miles to the next event.

Next up Bill is going to watch women's lacrosse and wonder why America ignores this incredibly exciting sport that Bill just started watching two hours ago.


rich said...

If the LeBrons and Griffins ever played handball, they'd probably be corner scorers. Oh, and they'd be ridiculously awesome. That too.

Lebron James is 6'8', 250.

I just looked up the olympic rosters for men's handball and two things of note:

1) There is no one listed as a "corner scorer" - it's not a fucking position. So LeBron and Griffin would be good at a fake, made up position.


2) Most of the guys are between 6'2" and 6'4" and under 220 pounds.

Now maybe Lebron's size would be a benefit, but there's probably a reason why those are the common heights (taller people playing basketball possibly being one of them).

It's like saying Lebron would be a world class soccer player - he probably wouldn't. Most of the world class greats are like 5'10" and shorter (Messi is 5'7"). Why? Because when you're short, your center of gravity is closer to the ground and therefore you can do shit that a taller person can't.

But I digress: it's almost like Bill wanted to go see a sport that no one really knew about so he could say whatever bullshit he wanted and people wouldn't be able to say "nope, that's wrong." Had he gone to a swimming, gymnastics or track event, people could call him on his bullshit.

Like when they have four-on-four overtimes in the NHL.

Bill doesn't seem to realize they went to 4-on-4 OT because the NHL wanted shorter games. So to keep the games from going 80 minutes (full 20 minute 5-on-5 OT), they just said fuck it, give them 5 minutes and give them a chance to score.

A 5-on-5, 5 minute OT would have meant pretty much every game would go to a shootout. So the NHL went to a 4-on-4 OT to get wins/losses without a shootout and to keep the games from going a while.

Those 30-minute halves in handball are a tough haul for spectators, you need to keep the fans on their toes just a tiny bit more.

So the NFL needs to remove a couple players and make the games 7 on 7 the final few minutes, you know just to open it up. Those 30 minute halves in football are a tough haul for spectators.

How is that punishing?

Because their team is now playing a man down?

How is sitting in a box for 2 minutes any more "punishing?" Anyone who has played hockey and sat in the box knows you go in and sit. There's no punishment there either. Oh no, a full two minutes away from my teammates?

If you foul a guy in basketball, you should force him to do pushups while the other team takes their free throws! And if it's a non-shooting foul, then the player's mother has to call the player up and scold him. This call will be played over the PA system in the stadium.

save handball in America by throwing gobs of money at a women's professional handball league

The men's version always comes first. If people won't watch men do it, people won't watch women do it. This isn't 1950 anymore, if I want to see hot girls play with balls, I can do that and see them actually naked.

The novelty of having hot girls playing a sport is not a basis on which to grow. For instance, the NFL was around forever before anyone even thought to make women do it while scantily clad and even then, people are watching because it's hot girls playing a sport they like already. If you don't like handball, then you aren't going to fucking regularly watch women do it no matter what. Even if they're nude, you watch maybe 10 minutes, get your fill of nude chicks and move on.

God damn I hate this assclown.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, that's a good point. I didn't think of LeBron and Griffin have a larger center of gravity. They may not even be good at handball due to this. It sounds like we could call him on his bullshit even if we don't know much about the sport.

You know Bill has wanted to give some OT ideas for the NFL. I bet one of them is to make it 7-on-7 in OT or something. I mean, who says "no" to this? It's more exciting for the fans and it proves Bill is smarter than everyone else.

The non-shooting foul idea where his mother calls and scolds him seems like a really good idea. Bill will put that on his list. I would think having to play a full man down does seem like a punishment. I don't watch a ton of hockey, but it seems like when one team has a man advantage over the other team it gives a large overall advantage.

That is a good point. People have to enjoy the sport before watching attractive women will make the sport popular. It seems to be an overall trend. So make the sport popular, then throw in attractive women, and you may have a successful league. There's a thing called the Internet. People aren't going to pay $10 to watch attractive women run around playing a sport they don't like.

jacktotherack said...

"Should America ever suck at a sport that revolves around running, jumping and passing? I'm going out on a limb and saying no.

Read this sentence and remember how popular Bill Simmons is. Then wonder how he became so popular because I am wondering the same thing right now."

Because people are stupid?

Also, how lazy is Bill Simmons? Even fatass Peter King doesn't bitch this much about walking.

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, yes people are stupid. I am a little confused as to what Bill was expecting. He is at the Olympics, which is a huge gathering from citizens of hundreds of countries around the world. Wouldn't he expect the events to be spread out and for there to be a bunch of crowds?