Monday, December 16, 2013

5 comments Bill Simmons Does a Thanksgiving Mailbag So Everyone Knows How Thankful His Readers Are That He Exists

Bill Simmons has finally provided his readers with a new mailbag and he did it just in time for Thanksgiving. Perhaps the holidays have Bill down and he needs a mailbag full of his readers telling him just how damn smart and creative he is to make him feel better. Mailbags are a writing crutch of sorts for Bill. He knows he gets plenty of email from his lemming readers and he can use mailbags to as his column for the week, as a source of stealing new ideas from his readers and a way to pretend EVERYONE wants a mailbag from him. I feel like most of Bill's mailbags start off with him running an email from a reader who really, really, really wants Bill to do a mailbag and then Bill relents in giving the readers a mailbag while being all like "If that's what the readers want so badly because I am so popular, then I can provide it." Of course now that I have said that, Bill doesn't start this mailbag out this way, but it's still chock full of his readers trying to write like they are him and worshiping him as much as possible. Mailbags do Bill's ego good.

Oh, and not that Bill is out of ideas for columns, but put up a mailbag two weeks prior to posting this one. I wish Bill would just stop writing if he's going to half-ass what little he does write.

Can I interest you in a Thanksgiving trip to Dr. Simbeau's Island?

Bill has given himself a nickname for the bad picks he makes. If you don't know why Bill calls himself Dr. Simbeau, then trust me, you are better off not knowing.

Before we feast on a 25-pound turkey that was bred with a deer, let's bang out Week 13 picks and some of your emails.

Always with the "us" and "we" stuff. Bill seems to use the plural form more and more of late.

For a holiday special, we're answering a whopping 49 emails this week, so we're going to be moving quickly.


And "we're" going to be answering a whopping 49 emails? Who is "we"? Is there someone guest-writing this mailbag for Bill or is he just now using the plural form to write about himself? Does he have a squirrel in his pocket that helps him answer the emails?

As always, these are actual emails from actual readers.

Which, as always, is a little sad upon reading the hero worship these actual readers have for Bill.

Packers (+6.5) over LIONS
Q: If the Giants are the All-Time "Nobody believes in us" team, then are the Lions the All-Time "everyone believes in us" team?  The moment people think or say their good, they lose.
—Crocker J., Fort Collins

Dear Crocker,

No. Just no.

That is all,


SG: Very true.

Extraordinarily true. Everyone believes this is true.

I can't lay a TD against a Packers team playing for its whole season, even with the words "Mike McCarthy," "Matt Flynn" and "super-short rest" involved. How 'bout the Packers? They just lost their best player for a solid month, they didn't win a single game, their coach made history with the first-ever OT screw-up under the new rules that confounded/angered/antagonized the advanced-metrics guys, and they're somehow hanging around in the NFC North.

What an amazing feat this is. It's almost like another NFC North team lost their starting quarterback for a good portion of the season and the other two teams in the division are the Lions and the Vikings.

Couldn't you see them eking this one out, followed by Packers fans hopping online on Black Friday looking for deals on "FLYNN LIVES" and "FLYNN KNOWS" T-shirts?

No, I can't see this. I can see Bill shoehorning a pop culture reference into every answer from his mailbag though.

Q: Liked your Megatron article. As a Cowboys fan, I did not even hate him while putting up record yardage on Dallas.

See? Bill was right about Calvin Johnson being universally loved and not hated. This one dude who is a Cowboys fan proves it as true. That's all the proof Bill needs that he is 100% correct no one hates Calvin Johnson.

So who was the last universally beloved NFL player?  They seem super rare.  I had to go back to Walter Payton.  Am I missing anyone else?
—MC Wright, Fort Worth

If MC Wright had read Bill's column on Calvin Johnson then he would know it is Barry Sanders.

SG: By my calculations, only five NFL players achieved a 100 Percent Approval Rating: Megatron, Sweetness, Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers and someone who was eventually banned from the list … that's right, Mr. Orenthal James Simpson.

By Bill's "calculations" he came up with these five players. By "calculations" Bill means "some bullshit I made up just now after five minutes of thinking about it and there isn't really a way to calculate the answer to this question anyway, but I'm going to pretend there is an actual calculation that goes into this in order to make it seem more factual as opposed to this simply being my opinion...which I think my opinion is fact anyway so it doesn't matter I guess."

As for coaches — you'd think John Madden had a 100 percent approval rating as a coach, but people held the Raiders thing against him.

Yes, "PEOPLE" do this. "They" hold this against Madden. If you can't see how Bill's writing has gotten progressively more and more lazy than you either don't want to see or are illiterate. He consistently falls back on a writing style that uses words like "we" and "people" to prove his points as being correct. It's remarkably lazy, yet he gets away with it. It's frustrating to read because Bill is making shit up as he writes and then hopes it all makes sense as he edits his columns. He's like the writers of "Lost" where he throws a bunch of shit together that doesn't make sense if you take the time to think about it. "You'd" think Madden had a 100% approval rating but "people" held the Raiders "thing" against him. A sentence like this written with such vagueness and lack of empirical evidence the sentence is true is purely the product of lazy writing.

You know which coach may have gotten there? Dick Vermeil. Who didn't enjoy Dick Vermeil breaking down like it was the last 10 minutes of Brian's Song in the locker room after every win? Poor Dick missed out on the YouTube era — he would have been the Justin Bieber of football coaches.

This is another lazy writing tool that Bill overuses. The YouTube clip. Bill's mailbags have a general format they follow when he answers a question.

1. Response to the question.

2. Elaboration from Bill on the topic.

3. Useless bullshit Bill makes up about the topic.

4. Pop culture reference.

5. YouTube video.

6. Bill checks to make sure the response is long enough to make it look like he's done a ton of work in answering the question and then moves on to the next question.

Q: In your Calvin Johnson piece you stated that only 5 non-QB players ever felt like their game had no ceiling, and yet you didn't mention Randy Moss. Seriously??? YOU (like me) WATCHED HIM FOR THREE YEARS WITH THE PATRIOTS AND SAW HOW EFFING GOOD HE COULD BE.

This SimmonsClone is attempting to write exactly like Bill does right down to the use of the word "Effing" in all caps. Get your own writing style.

I'd love to hear your defense for omitting the greatness that is Randy Moss from that list because as of right now, I'm 100% baffled. I thought I liked you Simmons, I really did.
—Charlotte, NC

SG: I blew it. Just forgot to throw him in there.

Bill didn't not include Moss intentionally, he just forgot to include him. So Bill is as smart as you Charlotte, NC (or is it Charlotte from NC?), but he just forgot to include Moss. He wasn't wrong, let's be clear about that. You don't believe Bill was wrong do you? He wasn't, he just forgot to include Moss.

(Bill inserts a YouTube clip of Randy Moss catching the greatest pass ever caught in an NFL game)

Without stopping. When this specific moment happened (in Week 1), I remember thinking, Oh my god, Randy Moss might catch 40 touchdowns this season.

And Bill was exactly almost right. Who would have thought Bill would relay a story about something he thought six years ago that ended up with him being right? What a shock.

(He ended up with 23. Still a record.) I remember calling my dad right after the catch — my dad answered the phone cackling like Vince McMahon. Afterward, I wrote that "the ceiling has been removed for the 2007 Patriots." So … yeah. I think that moment qualifies.

Wait, that moment qualifies? I thought the discussion was about five players who Bill felt like their game had no ceiling? Now Bill is talking about moments that made Bill think these players' game had no ceiling. So is he talking about players who continuously make great plays that makes Bill think their game has no ceiling or is he talking about moments that made Bill think a player's game had no ceiling? There is a difference.

Q: A full column dedicated to the brilliance of Megatron … immediately followed by Calvin coughing up the football to lose the Tampa game. You not only sprayed Calvin with your stink, you wiped with his jersey afterward. Feel free to walk into oncoming traffic, Simmons. You have no idea what it's like to be a Lions fan. Imagine being stuck with the '90 Pats for your entire adult life … that's what it's like being a Lions fan. Every time you bitch about how your poor Patriots got screwed, or how bad your receivers are, I want you to know the Lions have made it to the NFC championship game ONCE and NEVER played in a Super Bowl. God may hate Cleveland, but he flat out ignores the Lions. 
—Tad Dixon, Portage, MI

I'm torn between telling Tad to stop whining and laughing because Tad has pointed out Bill's incessant whining about the Patriots team that has been incredibly successful over the last 13 seasons.

By the way, Bill ignores the second part of his semi-question and focuses on whether he is a jinx or not. This is how Bill thinks. It all comes back to him and whether he is a jinx or not. The correct answer to nearly every question is to make the answer about Bill.

Q: If Derrick Rose turns out to be the second coming of Penny Hardaway after this injury, then I'm completely devastated already. By the way you picked the Bulls to win the title — YOU F--KING JINXED US SIMMONS!!!!!!!! 
—Taylor, St. Louis
SG: Dammit. Forgot about that one.

It's all about Bill. Bill claims to not have powers that can jinx, but the proof shows otherwise.

SG: Why do I have a feeling that, three years from now, I'll be suing someone who made a smash-hit horror film about a sports columnist loosely based on me (Will Bimmons? Simon Williams?) who begrudgingly realizes that he's a cross between the SI Curse and the Madden Jinx, then starts using his powers for evil?

Why do I have a feeling Bill is trying to be passive-aggressive in getting one of his devoted SimmonsClones to write this film and present it to Bill in the next mailbag in order to soothe and massage Bill's ego? Bill has to be the most egotistical writer I've ever read and that means a lot considering I have read quite a few Jason Whitlock columns. Bill is great, and don't you forget it or try to forget it, because he will remind you of how well-regarded he is. Just ask Jimmy Kimmel or Mike Lombardi, they will tell you.

I feel like the increase in Bill's ego has coincided with his transition from him starting out as "Guy who writes about sports like he is a voice of the fan while mixing in pop culture references" to "Sports personality who writes about sports tangentially to pop culture topics while believing he is the sole voice of the fan." At some point, Bill has become a voice of the fan to believing he is the voice of the fan.

Q: So what's the over/under on Prince FielderTexas BBQ jokes that we can expect from you in the next four months? My guess would be somewhere over the number of Khloe Kardashian BBQ jokes but under the Andy Reid Kansas City/rib jokes that you have used. 
—Bryce, Atlanta

SG: I can't make fun of Prince after what he did for my beloved Red Sox in the 2013 ALCS. 

I get the feeling Bill didn't watch the Red Sox until August of this year. I don't know this for a fact, but Bill tends to write about sports he watches (see: his few columns on hockey once he---I mean Grantland---got season tickets to LA Kings games) and he didn't post anything about the Red Sox until August. So I'm not sure they are as "beloved" to him as they used to be.

Then Bill answers two more questions while posting YouTube videos of hard hits that took place on the football field. Bill really does have a formula when answering his mailbag questions and lately he has incorporated a lot of YouTube videos into this formula.

Q: From ESPN: "Flacco didn't hide his dislike of the Wildcat when he lined up at wide receiver. He was so disinterested that he kept his hands in his front pouch and barely moved off the line after the ball was snapped." Now. Substitute "Dez Bryant" for "Joe Flacco." Watch the sportswriters salivate. 
—Scraps, Seattle

SG: I've always said this about Scraps — he speaks the truth. My newest B.S. Report character, Talking Head Guy, would have been fired up about this email:

I don't listen to the B.S. Report, but it doesn't shock me at all that Bill has a "character" and that character is called "Talking Head Guy." It sounds like the comedy found in this character is on-par with Rob Riggle's comedy on FOX's pregame show. Riggle's comedy act takes place during a brief respite from the talking heads on the pregame show, which means Bill is essentially becoming part of what he mocks when creating this character.

Q: I'm watching Broncos-Chiefs — they just showed Brad Childress in the Kansas City box wearing his K.C. pullover and bad white turtleneck (bar none the worst look in the National Football League).

Oh, I didn't know this was an episode of "Fashion Police." I wonder what the best look in the National Football League (or NFL as it is commonly called) would be?

Then Bill answers another questions and links two more YouTube videos. These YouTube videos take up time and space in Bill's column, both of which are necessary for Bill's readers to be tricked into believing Bill is still producing as much original content as he did prior to the time he became disinterested in writing columns anymore.

Q: Are we all just missing the fact that Peyton's number is 18, or in other words, 6 + 6 + 6?  Clearly this is the final piece of proof that is needed to conclusively identify Evil Manning.

—Zoe, Tampa, FL

Weak. Very weak.

SG: We're getting closer and closer to Evil Manning getting his own website. Here's the picture for the masthead.

Will a SimmonsClone just make a website about Evil Manning so it will appease Bill? If Bill wants it done, then the SimmonsClones will get it done. What Bill requests will be done...eventually.

Q: PRINT SOME EMAILS FROM WOMEN!!!!!!!! I mean that without the intention of sounding like a crazed feminist.
—Rachel, New York

SG: Come on, what about the one from Zoe in Tampa? In all seriousness — I'd love more mailbag fodder from female readers. Just know that I never look at the names until after I pick the emails. It's a meritocracy.

And because Bill is a raging sexist he knows that men are just inherently more funny than women, so that's why women don't get their emails printed in Bill's mailbag. Women aren't funny and are only good for references to them dragging men down in films and for pornstar references. It's science. Don't blame Bill.

Still, I'd love to get enough emails to pull off another Fe-mail Bag. We're nearing the 10-year anniversary of the last one (a two-parter!).

10 years ago Bill had enough emails from female readers to do a mailbag and he doesn't seem to have gotten enough emails from women over the last decade to make an all-female mailbag. Not that the most popular writer on Grantland has a target market of college aged white males or anything like that of course.

SG: Here's our Shakey's Pizza Watch for Week 13:...any expectations my wife has for me tomorrow that go beyond "Sure, I'll leave the TV for two and a half minutes to carve the turkey." 

Women. Always ruining the fun that men are trying to have. Just go make babies and cook dinner ladies, but then read Bill's column so he can get together 10 years of emails from women into a two-part mailbag in an effort to pretend his work appeals to women in any way.

Q: Two people in our fantasy league made a bet and the loser had to start Aaron Hernandez when they played each other.  The loser of the bet paid up and then lost by 0.1 points in Week 12 which knocked him out of our playoffs!  Aaron Hernandez  killing fantasy seasons from behind bars!!!
—Sean, Astoria

Hey bro, that was a great bet. You wouldn't think wasting a roster spot on Aaron Hernandez could in any way negatively affects someone fantasy team. Great job, bro.

Oh, and I'm calling complete bullshit on the loser losing by 0.1. It makes a great story, but I also tend to not believe in coincidences and for the loser to lose by 0.1 sounds like a lie.

Q: If the playoffs started today, Bernard Karmell Pollard's Titans would play the Patriots in the first round! He's coming for you. Hide your kids, hide your wives …
—Eric Bigness, Nashville

SG: Now I'm depressed. Let's just move on. 

This Bernard Karmell Pollard joke got old a few years ago. But hey, the SimmonsClones still seem to enjoy it and I guess any group of people that don't mind reading the same joke over and over again will think the "Bernard Karmell Pollard" joke is still really creative. It's just a recycled joke, which shouldn't shock me since a lot of what Bill writes feels recycled to me.

Q: Where does the Browns first round of 2012 rank in the all-time worst drafts in NFL History? 

—Sean M, Columbus OH

SG: I can't imagine anyone beating it.

You don't have to imagine it because I think it happened. The Colts had the #1 and #2 overall picks in 1992 and came away with Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt. That has to be worse than drafting Brandon Weedon and Trent Richardson. I know Emtman had injury issues and Coryatt never lived up to expectations but was solid overall, but having the #1 and #2 picks in the draft and coming up with these two players? Come on, that's worse than the Browns drafting Weedon and Richardson.

Right now, third overall pick Trent Richardson is averaging 2.9 yards per carry (44th out of 47 RBs) and inspiring jokes like, "Should we stop calling him Trent 3.0 if he can't get to 3.0?" and "If this were Pop Warner, the coach would have moved Trent to left guard by now." And 22nd pick Brandon Weeden is 33rd out of 34 QBs in QB rating (66.0), 36th out of 38 in QBR (23.9) and 40th of 41 in DVOA (-40.7)

This certainly isn't a great draft, but I think any team that has the #1 and #2 picks (even in a fairly weak draft) has to come away with at least one Pro Bowler from those picks.

Q: So yesterday, my two-week old son is getting circumcised and I'm in the room trying to remain calm. The doctor is giving us a non-requested play-by-play of what's happening, and as the clamp goes on, I'm still hanging in there. Then, I start imagining things the doctor say that would freak me out. It starts with a soft "Oh no …", then I imagine a loud shriek from my son. Then, for some reason, I imagine the doctor saying "And here comes Brandon Weeden …"

—Joe, Cleveland

It appears that Joe from Cleveland is desperately trying to be a sitcom character. He wants the role of the football-obsessed husband who thinks of inappropriate things at inappropriate times in voiceover. What kind of person would imagine the doctor saying things that would freak you out? Don't be a tool and pretend you think these things so you can email Bill in a desperate attempt for his attention.

(Fine, you caught me — I made this pick with my heart and not my head. I want no part of Pollard in Round 1. None. It's too realistic right now. COME ON, ANDREW THE GIANT! TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS THIS SUNDAY!)

So why are we calling him "Andrew the Giant" again? That's the best that can be done?

Bears (-1) over VIKINGS

Q: I think people are forgetting that Josh McCown is 34 YEARS OLD!!! He was actually the starter for the Cardinals in 2004(!) for 13 games. Here are a few other things that happened on the Cardinals in 2004: Larry Fitzgerald was a rookie, Emmitt Smith ran for almost 1000 yards, and Dennis Green was still the coach. THATS how old Josh McCown is. Even the Vikings wouldn't sign him to a long term deal right now … (thinking) … okay maybe the Vikings would. But nobody else.
—Danny Pelisek, Pasadena

SG: I gotta say, I did a quadruple-take when I read this email.

A quadruple-take nonetheless. Not entirely sure how one does a quadruple-take while reading something, but I'm sure Bill isn't exaggerating.

Josh McCown has been around for so long that I never realized he was THAT Josh McCown.

Which other Josh McCown would he have been? 34 years old isn't really that old and 2004 wasn't that long ago really. I think it is odd that Bill didn't know he was THAT Josh McCown since I'm not sure what other Josh McCown he would be.

Q: I have a new idea to make the NFL 8% more interesting.

I can already tell you are an insufferable person.

I really enjoyed the weather-delayed Chicago-Baltimore game (in Week 11).  It's kind of fun to have a game still in the 1st half at 1:40pm MST. Why couldn't we stagger the start times of the games all day long? I want to add this to the already wildly popular idea of having a 6:30pm MST (NBC game), and having a west coast game starting at 8pm MST (like the Raiders game from a few weeks back). Football all day!!!

—Dean Dominguez, Albuquerque, NM

Games can't be staggered because the networks wouldn't like this. FOX doesn't want to run a pregame show until 11:00am MST and then waste 40 minutes of programming in a certain market (potentially losing the football audience) to show a game at 11:40pm MST. Not every market gets every football game so the Denver market would get two AFC games (the Broncos game and another game) and the NFC game on a certain Sunday. Well, if the two AFC games start at 1:40 MST and 4:00 MST then there would be an overlap in what AFC games are being shown. Throw in the NFC game on FOX that could start at 2:00 MST and now the Denver market is looking at three football games all starting within two hours of each other. FOX and CBS would not like this. Plus, the Sunday Night Football game on NBC starts at 6:25 MST which means NBC won't have a captive football-loving audience to view the game since there are likely games that would still be ongoing when the Sunday Night Football game on NBC begins. Staggering the games sounds like a good idea but probably wouldn't work as it pertains to the schedule and contracts set up with NBC, CBS and FOX. Potentially the games could be staggered through the day to avoid overlapping with Sunday Night Football, but the networks still run the risk of losing their audience from the pregame show. It's just not a feasible idea since not every market can get every NFL game. Of course, Bill loves this idea and decides to improve on the idea since no reader can ever come up with an original idea that Bill doesn't try to top.

SG: Or at the very least, just have the random 2 p.m. ET start time for one of them (just to keep that 5-5:30 stretch lively before the Sunday-night game),

I'm confused. Why is there is a dead period from 5-5:30 when using Eastern Standard Time? Usually there is a football game that goes until 7:20pm EST and then a dead period for an hour. Is Bill talking about halftime from 5-5:30? Again, Bill doesn't seem to realize not every market gets every NFL game so the odds the 2pm EST would be shown in every market in the United States is incredibly low.

followed by the late-night straggler in Oakland, San Diego or San Francisco that starts at 8 p.m. PT. There's no reason we can't watch 13 straight hours of football on Sunday without any break whatsoever. 

So any time the Raiders, Chargers and 49ers play the game will be at 8pm PT or any time these teams play at HOME the game will be at 8pm PT? Because I can guarantee you most people don't want to attend a game on the East Coast that starts at 11pm ET simply because the game involves Oakland, San Diego or San Francisco. I don't see the problem with the current schedule and many markets may not even get the 8pm PT game anyway if that's not the game being shown in their area. And I'm pretty sure the networks wouldn't want to make every Raiders, Chargers or 49ers game a nationally televised game. I just think this is a bad idea.

Q: Here's the solution for Minnesota's QB problem: Sign Tim Tebow, then keep all four quarterbacks on the active roster (Tebow, Ponder, Freeman and Cassel). Each week, have Vikings fans vote to determine who starts, who plays the second quarter, who leads the charge after half time, and who finishes up the game in the all important fourth quarter.

It's "Bad Idea Day" in Bill's mailbag. I can't imagine what could go wrong with making a mockery of choosing a starting quarterback and taking the ability to choose the quarterback out of the hands of the head coach. Also, I would imagine Vikings players wouldn't be too keen on possibly changing quarterbacks in the middle of the game four times. But yeah, if life was a video game then this is a great idea. Actually, I take that back. Even on a video game this is a stupid idea.

Imagine the fantastic entertainment! When are they going to name me Commissioner of the NFL? Or at least General Manager of the Vikings?

—John Farrell, St. Paul

Yes, you are very impressed with your ability to turn the Vikings quarterback issues into a cheap game where the idiot fans get to choose who will quarterback the team.

SG: What a year for John Farrells! First a Red Sox World Series, now this life-altering email. TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-BOWWWWWWWWWWWWW! My votes: Cassel, Freeman, Ponder, then Tebow closing out the fourth. There's still time to pull off this plan! It's only Week 13!!!! Don't the Vikings need to distract their fans from another depressing December?

And of course the best way to distract Vikings fans from another depressing December (the Vikings made the playoffs last year by the way, which is a little fact Bill has apparently forgotten..."The Sports Guy" everyone! fact, the Vikings have made the playoffs three out of the last six seasons. So I guess "another" depressing December is a relative term) is to remind Vikings fans the quarterback situation is very depressing as well. I'm not sure it will be a big pick-me-up for the Vikings to make a shit show out of the quarterbacking situation.

Tampa will definitely finish with more than three wins. Same for Washington, a team that doesn't have its first-round pick and has the Shanahans trying to save their jobs (so they might keep playing hard).

Or as it turned out, they might not keep playing hard.

My advice to the Vikings: Make sure you blow Sunday's Bears game by having Christian Ponder throw 50-plus times in lieu of Peterson carving up Chicago's putrid run defense, and then it's smooth sailing (at Baltimore, home for Philly, at Cincy and home for Detroit). A 2-13-1 record awaits. That's enough for the no. 1 or no. 2 pick. You can do this.

(And remember … you still have one of the best tanking assets in football right now: the one, the only, Mr. Leslie Frazier! Here, look.)

One of Bill's readers also thinks Leslie Frazier is terrible so this absolutely means it is true. Bill doesn't need the reality of Frazier's record when he has his opinion and the opinion of others that agree with him to serve as empirical evidence that Frazier is a terrible head coach.

Q: While watching a Minnesota Vikings game with my friend, he said "Who is that 'walker' coaching the Vikings?" He was of course referring to the lifeless demeanor of Leslie Frazier. You've had some great Walking Dead cameo ideas, and here is another one for you: CELEBRITIES CAMEO AS WALKERS. 

Hines Ward has already appeared on the show. But great idea that is emphasized as a great idea by using all-caps. Putting something in all-caps immediately makes it a better idea.

Imagine this: Rick decides he needs some time alone to clear his thoughts. He takes one of the cars and goes for a little drive. He ends up on a bridge over a river. While sitting on the hood of his car, a walker comes stumbling across the bridge. He's still wearing the remains of khakis and a purple jacket. Oh, and he still has on his headset!

—Spencer Kraker, Seattle

A joke that only 25% of the "Walking Dead" audience would get? Why not do that? A television show about the zombie apocalypse is the perfect forum to make jokes about the ineptitude of an NFL head coach. I always wonder who still finds Bill to be funny and creative, then I read his mailbags and I realize these are the people who worship Bill and it all starts to make more sense.

Q: Cardinals fans are taking to calling Andre Ellington "Juke" Ellington due to his elusive running style.  We need a figurehead to really get his nickname up and running.
—Rob L, Whitehall, PA

SG: I'm right here! Done! Juke Ellington it is!

See? These mailbags are more about Bill massaging his own ego with how much his readers worship him than they are about anything else. If you want your email published, kiss Bill's ass a little bit by telling him how great he is. He will definitely publish your email at that point. This guy wants a figurehead to get the Juke Ellington name going and Bill likes to be known as a figurehead so he proudly does this. This ego he has...

Q: Relegating your NFL picks to a sidebar (like you did in Week 12) as self punishment misses the whole point.  We don't read your picks every week because they're so good.  We read them because they SUCK!  Now get back in there, and go to it.
—Dan Salvaterra, Roseland, NJ

I don't know how Bill's picks could suck since he introduces so many airtight gambling theories. How could his theories on gambling be so wrong when they are based on facts like Bill's opinion?

I wish the NFL and NBA did a Coach Swap during the first weekend of December. Imagine Casey blowing challenges and timeouts, J-Kidd flatlining on the sidelines, Mike D'Antoni sticking with the run-and-shoot no matter what personnel he had, Mike Brown trying to play 53 guys in one half …

There are eight guys who are inactive, so 53 guys can't play in one game. Maybe Mike Brown doesn't know this. Either way, this is a brilliant idea and it doesn't sound at all like Bill is throwing as many clever ideas at the wall in the hopes one sticks.

Now Bill answers the email of a guy who is complaining about his fantasy team.

SG: I enjoyed that email even if we had to edit 33 percent of it for some line-crossing. 

Who the hell is "we" in this situation? Does Bill of a sudden have an editor? Is Bill's use of "we" now extending to what he writes in his columns?

But that trade saved my West Coast season. Now it's do-or-die for me in my West Coast league — me against the random guy who runs Jon Hamm's team because Jon Hamm is too famous and busy to run his own fantasy team. If I win, I'm in the playoffs. If I lose, I'm probably out. According to the CBS Sports fantasy guru, I'm a 2-point underdog right now.

This is Bill's way of saying that he is in a CBS Sports fantasy league where Jon Hamm has a team. More than hearing compliments about himself, Bill loves to name-drop the people he knows that are famous. Jon Hamm is famous and now Bill has found a way to mention it in a mailbag. Big win for Bill.

Hamm's Team (-2) over Simmons's Team

Billy Zima needed to get involved. Take us home, Billy Z.

Has Bill mentioned yet he plays Jon Hamm's team in fantasy football? 

SG: If I had my own talk show called SIMMONS that erratically appeared in 19 different time slots on ESPN2 and ESPN News every night, "Penalty and/or Fine?" would definitely be one of my running segments.

Two things:

1. If you think this isn't Bill's way of trying to passive-aggressively get himself a television show on ESPN at some point or plant the idea in the head of an ESPN executive then I would submit you are wrong. If Bill got his own television show then this means he could stop writing columns permanently and would finally become fully entrenched as a sports personality at ESPN who doesn't have to write columns every week.

2. I doubt the NFL would allow ESPN to have a show where the host of the show would call attention to the inconsistency of the officiating in the NFL. ESPN would probably give Bill a kindly worded but firm memo asking him to drop this segment.

That's also one of the biggest reasons I like the Saints in Seattle on Monday night — they're gonna be able to throw the ball, their defense is just good enough to avoid getting blown out, and if that's not enough, you're not allowed to hit Brees unless it's somewhere between his nipples and his hips. (And even that might not be legal.) You shouldn't take an underdog in a big game if it's getting more than four points unless you think it can win … and I think the Saints can win or come damned close.

Sad face for Bill being wrong.

Q: It's not quite on the Jailblazers level of specific sport team nicknames, but is there a better current insult/joke than the Seadderall Seahawks?

Now this is a clever joke. I like this.

This team has been caught breaking the substance abuse policy more times than Lamar Odom.
—Marty Ward, Australia

And now the joke has gotten ruined because the writer wanted to be just like Bill Simmons and drop a pop culture reference into his question.

Q: First there was TAINT (Touchdown After INT). Then there was FART (Fumble And Return Touchdown). And now, I present to you, PUBES:  PUnt Blocked, Eventually Scored (or Punt Undertaking Blocked, Eventually Scored, but I'm partial to the first one)
—Grant, Columbus

SG: Wait, we're already in range? 

This whole column has been that range, but some of the Simmonsites are more covert about it in how they phrase their questions than others.

Q: So a friend of mine and I are getting ready to go over to our buddy's house to watch a game and we hear that his wife just got a boob job. What do you do when you get to buddys house?

Watch the game and don't email Bill Simmons to ask for answers to questions like this as if you need some sort of validation from him that you can't get by having this question answered by anyone else. That's what you do.

A — Congratulate buddy on wife's new boobs

B — Congratulate wife on her new boobs

C — Play dumb and ask buddy if his wife changed her haircut or something

D — Ignore the boobs completely

E — Other

—Jason, San Antonio, TX

SG: Yup, these are my readers.

Yes, there are Bill's readers. They require his validation to confirm they are as clever as they believe themselves to be.

Look for another mailbag in the next couple of weeks from Bill. He's fresh out of column ideas and I didn't see any ideas in this mailbag he could stretch into an entire column.


JBsptfn said...

Yes, Bill Simmons. That's what was missing. I need more of him in my life (lol).

BTW, I don't think that Eric Bigness is a real person. You are right. He has to be making a lot of this up.

Speaking of Weeden and Richardson, though, I do think that they are a worse first-round tandem than Coryatt and Emtman.

Some people compared Steve to Bob Lilly before he got hurt, and Quentin had a solid career. Richardson and Weeden may not play that much longer.

Also, here are some other bad first-round tandems:

1988 and 1989 Rams: In 1988, they took RB Gaston Green and WR Aaron Cox in the first round. Green sat on the bench in LA, ran for 1,000 yards in 1991 in Denver, and was out of the NFL two years later. So was Cox.

In 89, Cleveland Gary and Bill Hawkins from The U were the picks. Gary also had a lone 1,000 yard season (like Green), but was replaced in favor of Jerome Bettis in 93. Hawkins really didn't have a career.

2005 Vikings: Troy Williamson and Erasmus James. Enough said.

HH said...

There are eight guys who are inactive, so 53 guys can't play in one game.

Seven. Seven guys are inactive, and 46 play. Get it together, Ben.

Bengoodfella said...

HH, in my defense I am illiterate. I even used the Google machine to look up how many players are active on Sunday and then apparently decided I didn't like the answer so I wrote eight guys are inactive.

JB, I've done a search for some of these people before and a few times come up with nothing or so many people it is impossible to say for sure if it is that person or not who wrote to Bill.

There probably is a worse tandem than Coryatt and Emtman. Those two just popped to mind immediately since they were #1 and #2.

I forgot about Williamson and James. That was brutal. That could be the worst too. I wouldn't put Richardson/Weeden in that class quite yet, though it seems Bill pays attention to the immediacy of the 2012 Browns draft class more than anything else.

Frank said...

To answer the question, 'does Bill have an editor?':

You shouldn't take an underdog in a big game if it's getting more than four points unless you think it can win … and I think the Saints can win or come damned close.

I certainly hope Bill does not have an editor. If so, that editor is not earning their salary.

Bengoodfella said...

Frank, that's true. He has to have an editor though, right? I actually had read something a while back that Bill gets offended and doesn't like it when his stuff gets edited, so I would imagine he has an editor, but he/she/it is more someone who proofreads the column for accuracy more than anything else. I forget where I read that, but it doesn't shock me that Bill doesn't like edits to his columns.