Friday, November 14, 2014

2 comments Bill Simmons Does an Article About Y2K Quarterbacks, Because Can't It Just Be 2004 Again?

As I have probably explained before, I don't cover Bill Simmons articles as much as I would like to for two reasons. (1) He posts them as late on Friday as humanly possible when I don't feel like writing and posting anything else. What's interesting is Bill used to hate how late ESPN would post his columns and that was the source of his difficulty with ESPN management when he was on Page 2, yet on Grantland he posts his Friday column usually well after lunch and more towards 5pm. (2) It takes a lot of energy to post a Bill Simmons column. It's not an excuse, but it's a hill to climb, then factor in that by the time I'm getting to Bill's column MMQB and TMQ are needing to be posted...if anyone ever wondered, that's why I don't cover Bill Simmons as much. So anyway, Bill writes about the "Y2K-compliant" quarterbacks because he, like me, wants to go back to 2004 when he cared about his writing.

Nearly 15 years later, I remember three things about Y2K. First, many people were legitimately concerned that computers would freak out at midnight,

Not just concerned, LEGITIMATELY concerned. There's a huge difference in that one sounds more serious than the other.

It was secretly disappointing when midnight came and went without an electronic catastrophe.

No, it wasn't secretly disappointing. I was legitimately not secretly disappointed.

By the way, there are only six YouTube videos in this column. Only six! Such an improvement from Bill.

And third, I remember thinking about the end of the world and being bummed out about one thing and one thing only: not that I’d be losing the chance to have kids or get married,

Because anyone who has read Bill's books or columns knows that women are nags who can only ruin a successful man's life.

not that I’d be losing my dream of building a big audience for my “Sports Guy” column,

I call bullshit on this. It's not a bad thing, but Bill was always very dedicated to building his "Sports Guy" column and his brand. He started having a small amount of success around the year 2000, and since he calls it "his dream," I'm calling bullshit.

but that I’d live and die without seeing a Boston team win a World Series or a Super Bowl.

This is your weekly reminder from Bill Simmons that the Red Sox have won multiple World Series and the Patriots have won multiple Super Bowls. No matter what, he has to call back to a time when he wasn't so spoiled by his teams' success. He made his bones whining about how cursed his teams were, so he needs to get back to that spot quickly in order to give the illusion that he's the same guy he was 15 years ago.

We’re 14 years in. The words “21st century” actually mean something. And in the 21st century, exactly 10 quarterbacks have won Super Bowls.

• Tom Brady (five times)
• Ben Roethlisberger (twice)
• Kurt Warner
• Trent Dilfer
• Brad Johnson
• Peyton Manning
• Drew Brees
• Aaron Rodgers
• Joe Flacco
• Russell Wilson

Bill, you are missing Eli M---

Fine, fine. You caught me. ELEVEN quarterbacks have won a Super Bowl in the 21st century.
• Tom Brady (three times)
• Ben Roethlisberger (twice)
• Eli Manning (twice)
• Kurt Warner
• Trent Dilfer
• Brad Johnson
• Peyton Manning
• Drew Brees
• Aaron Rodgers
• Joe Flacco
• Russell Wilson

You are so creative and such a jokester. The Patriots have been the most successful NFL franchise since 2000, but Bill has to whine just a little bit that they aren't more successful.

The weakest QBs? Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson definitely “game managed” their way to titles,

Did you know that Baltimore won four straight playoff games with Dilfer completing 35 passes … total?

And now this motherfucker has the balls to run a QB camp, all while saying insanely stupid shit on ESPN like the Patriots just aren't good anymore, that teams can't win by losing games, the Panthers coaching staff wants Cam Newton to be a running back, and generally acting like he's Scottie Pippen when he's really just Luc Longley. I imagine the first lesson at Trent Dilfer's QB camp is "Go find a historically great defense and just don't turn the ball over. Success will follow."

Every time a Chiefs fan says, “I think we can win the Super Bowl with Alex Smith,” they’re really saying, “I mean, the 2002 Bucs won a Super Bowl with Brad Johnson!” I don’t know. Those were different times.

They were different times because a team could win the Super Bowl with just a historically great defense. The Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year with a historically great defense, but Russell Wilson is not Brad Johnson or Trent Dilfer. He's better than them.

The third-weakest QB on that list? Eli Manning.

I mean, it's a pretty good list with seven Hall of Fame quarterbacks on it. So being third-weakest isn't exactly a slam like Bill wants it to be.

I’m the wrong person to shepherd a “Could the 2007 Giants and 2011 Giants have won Super Bowls with any decent QB?” conversation, if only because I might intentionally injure myself. So let’s just agree that the Giants scored 38 points combined in those two Super Bowls, one of which went New York’s way because their 17th-string receiver caught the last pass of his career with his helmet.

Okay, Bill. Your teams never get lucky or fortunate. Never happened.

It’s too early to have an opinion on Russell Wilson’s Super Bowl, but the “Luck or Wilson?” debate finished filming in October. (Spoiler alert: Luck won.) Is Wilson an infinitely more athletic Brad Johnson? Is his 2014 performance suffering because his offensive line collapsed and he doesn’t have enough weapons (and not because we overrated him)?

I think Russell Wilson could use more to work with, but I also think he isn't going to be a fantastic quarterback on the level of most of the other quarterbacks on the list Bill provided that have won a Super Bowl since 2000.

The five best QBs of the 21st century, by any calculation, are Brady, Brees, Rodgers, Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning in some order.

Okay, it's settled then. Brett Favre, go home.

Why bring up that Y2K list? For one thing, if you forced me into a 21st Century QB Mount Rushmore decision, I would bump Brees before Roethlisberger. Brees has six career playoff wins, one Super Bowl win and one conference title game appearance. He spent his entire career playing home games in 75-degree weather (San Diego) or indoors (New Orleans). And the team that drafted him eventually gave up on him.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...I wouldn't disagree with Bill overall about where Brees has played most of his career, but I wouldn't say the Chargers "gave up" on Brees. They had drafted Rivers and did make Brees an offer to stay. If they gave up on him, they would have traded him or released him prior to drafting Rivers. The Chargers wanted to keep Brees around, so they weren't giving up on him, just simply not committing to him.

For regular season — Brees. For everything — Roethlisberger.

He’s the most underrated quarterback of the 21st century. It’s true.

No, it's not true. It's an opinion. It can be an opinion many agree with, yet it still remains as an opinion. The words you write are not facts, but opinions, even if they are well-regarded opinions from someone who holds himself in such high esteem like Bill Simmons does.

The Tahoe incident was eventually settled out of court, and the Georgia incident earned him a six-game suspension from Roger Goodell (eventually dropped to four games). Both damaged Roethlisberger’s reputation. In retrospect, every Goodell suspension seems suspect after how egregiously the commissioner botched Bountygate, then acted irresponsibly, incompetently and maybe even illegally and mendaciously after Ray Rice knocked his wife out (hopefully, we’ll have a result from the hearing about Rice’s re-suspension next week).

Careful, Bill. ESPN allows their employees to say insanely stupid shit, just don't say anything potentially 50% true about someone ESPN does business with and then dare them to suspend you.

Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that Roethlisberger hasn’t filmed a major commercial since 2009. (I couldn’t find one on the Internet, that’s for sure.) His national profile effectively consists of 16 to 20 football games per year, dozens of press conferences and the occasional “insightful” sitdown with Bob Costas (or whomever) that never reveals anything interesting. And we’re fine with it.

Yes, "we" are fine with it. Thank God that Bill Simmons is here to speak for "us."

That 2009 incident inspired us to collectively reject the mythology of Roethlisberger’s greatness, even though so many went the other way with Kobe Bryant earlier in the decade (in an undeniably similar situation).

I do somewhat disagree with this. I think the difference is that Roethlisberger is a great quarterback, but Kobe Bryant is one of the greatest NBA players of all-time. The difference is relative. Kobe's greatness has been rejected by quite a few (points at Bill), but the fact he is one of the all-time great NBA players has helped the mythology grow in ways that Roethlisberger's just won't. Roethlisberger is great, but he isn't one of the Top 10-20 quarterbacks of all-time, while Kobe is one of the Top 10-20 NBA players of all-time.

You know when I officially realized this?

After Ben Roethlisberger proved he was great and you had time to go back and point out what "we" should have known all along and then made up a gambling theory that will be untrue in a few weeks?

In the words of Dave Dameshek quoting Jerry Orbach from Dirty Dancing, when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Roethlisberger IS great.

Even if he doesn’t routinely throw up video-game numbers, you’d feel 100 percent comfortable riding him for any big game or any season-saving drive. 

Oh, I would feel that way? Thanks for telling me. I wasn't sure how I felt in this situation. But it turns out that I am comfortable riding Roethlisberger for any big game or any season-saving drive. These things that Bill knows about "us" that "we" don't know...

Back to the Y2K/Super Bowl thing: I brought it up because there’s another list of memorable 21st-century QBs who haven’t won a Super Bowl. Here’s that list …
• Rich Gannon
• Steve McNair
• Donovan McNabb
• Jake Delhomme
• Carson Palmer
• Philip Rivers
• Tony Romo
• Matt Ryan
• Colin Kaepernick
• Andrew Luck

Luck has been in the league less than three years. I get it, he hasn't won a Super Bowl, but he's memorable really only in that he will be really memorable in a few more years.

Delhomme’s topsy-turvy career peaked with 2003’s improbable hot streak — two playoff upsets, then Delhomme scaring the bejesus out of every overconfident Patriots fan during the Nipple Bowl.

I would disagree with the "improbable" part. I don't know if Delhomme was memorable or not, but he was pretty good during the 2004 and 2005 seasons. He definitely played well in the 2003 playoffs, but he also played really well during the playoffs in 2005 (well, 2 of 3 games). So Delhomme's career didn't peak during the Super Bowl, though it was a part of the peak.

As for the non-retired guys, Romo is Romo — the most polarizing QB of this century not named Michael Vick. But he could have made a Super Bowl on the right team. Same for Rivers, who’s really a better version of Romo with more kids. Ryan nearly won the NFC title in 2013, although he didn’t — so maybe that says something, too.

Matt Ryan almost made a Super Bowl, so that means something, but he didn't, so maybe that means something also. So basically the fact Matt Ryan didn't make a Super Bowl may or may not mean something. Everything is everything and something is always something.

And Luck, of anyone on that list, is the surest wager to win at least one Lombardi. Maybe sooner than we think.

I wasn't sure when "we" thought Luck would win a Super Bowl. Say I think Luck will win the Super Bowl this year. So how could he win a Super Bowl earlier than that? Huh, Bill?? HUH??? Stop using "we" as if you speak for everyone who reads your column you self-important ass.

Which brings us to Carson Palmer, who becomes The Most Underrated QB Of The 21st Century as soon as we stop underrating Roethlisberger. You might remember me making fun of Palmer in this column many, many, many times. Many times. Many, MANY times. And I stand by all of it.

Another superlative being handed down by Bill. It's one of those days for him. When in doubt, hyperbolize.

Also notice how Bill calls Carson Palmer The Most Underrated QB of the 21st Century, acknowledges he has made fun of Palmer many times and doesn't take any of it back. Bill openly admits to underrating Palmer, yet doesn't have the guts to just say "There could be a few things I was wrong about." There's only so much humility Bill can show in one column. If Palmer is underrated and Bill made fun of him, shouldn't some of those comments be taken back?

Still, no 21st-century QB had worse luck than Carson Palmer did. Barnwell covered this angle perfectly less than 13 months ago on Grantland, so I won’t rehash it here.

Palmer's ACL injury on a very good Cardinals team contributes to his bad luck. Still, I would disagree he has had bad luck in that Palmer could have chosen to play on a Bengals team with A.J. Green, a high 2nd round pick (instead of Dalton being drafted there), a quality offensive line and a good defense. He chose to demand a trade instead. So some of the bad luck was his own doing.

If you were blessed with a “Reset” button and the ability to play an athlete’s career 10 times, would the real-life outcome be the unluckiest career of those 10 times?

This is a question without a definitively provable answer. There's no reason to waste times with "what if?" questions that only go to serve a point that Bill wants to prove.

For instance, if you replayed Webber’s career 10 times, he goes down as one of the NBA’s 30 greatest players ever at least seven or eight of those times. Only three things could derail someone that talented: a major injury (happened), circumstances (happened) and bad luck (happened). If Orlando never traded Webber’s rights for Penny Hardaway’s rights and three first-round picks, he and Shaq would have destroyed everybody. (That’s bad luck.) If Webber hadn’t entered the NBA during the height of the Too Much Too Soon era, he wouldn’t have used his contract leverage to bully his way from a loaded Warriors team to a mediocre Washington team. (That’s circumstances — you never want to give a 21-year-old that kind of power, but that’s what the NBA was doing in the mid-’90s.) And if he never ruined his knee, Webber’s prime would have lasted twice as long. (The injury card, obviously.) So it took THREE different flukes to prevent Webber’s career from being as good as or better than Kevin Garnett.

But this real-life outcome wasn't the worst possible outcome. Webber could have blown his knee out during his rookie season and then never played in the NBA again. The same thing goes for Carson Palmer. What Bill presents as the worst possible outcome truly isn't the worst possible outcome. But again, Bill wants to prove a point and that's all that matters.

But one thing after another happened to him: The cheap-ass Bengals drafted him, then he blew out his knee on his first playoff pass during 2005’s breakout season, then he injured his throwing elbow in 2008, then he got traded to Siberia (the Raiders), then he landed in Arizona as the team’s 345th attempt to replace Kurt Warner with anyone competent.

Again, this isn't the worst possible outcome. Palmer could have blown his knee out during his rookie season and then hurt his elbow after that. Palmer also forced a trade to the Raiders, which along with Drew Brees taking the biggest contract offer when he was a free agent, seems to have magically become forgotten along the way. Palmer was traded because he demanded to be traded. His ending up in Oakland was a by-product of his demanding a trade and refusing to play for the Bengals.

When Barnwell posted his “Can’t-Miss Kid” article on October 18, 2013, it read like something of a football obituary. And rightly so.
So what happened?
Did Palmer read the article and go into Rocky-in-Russia mode?

Yes Bill, Grantland articles directly impact how professional athletes behave and train during the season.

Was this the all-time coincidence in the history of Grantland coincidences?
We only know that Palmer — within a few days of Barnwell’s column — suddenly transformed back into Someone You Might Be Able To Win A Super Bowl With. He’s won 12 of his last 14 starts, losing the other two by three points apiece. According to Mike Sando, he ranks sixth in QBR during that stretch (69.8, trailing only Peyton Manning, Rodgers, Rivers, Brady and Brees), and he has thrown for 3,918 yards and 27 TDs with just 11 picks.

That column also happened to be printed after Palmer had come off two straight games of playing well, as well as a soft part of the Cardinals' schedule. So he was playing well a couple of weeks before the article was written. It took Palmer a few weeks to fully grasp Arians' offense after not having been in the offense for a full year yet and he had shown signs of playing well prior to the column being written. It's all in the game log.

This isn’t one of those Josh McCown five-game rope-a-dope situations. Palmer has been playing extremely well for 13 solid months, even persevering when his receivers caught a recent case of the dropsies (mentioned here).

The Cardinals have a great coach, a great offensive line, and a great set of receivers. I think Palmer could have done something similar if he had stayed in Cincinnati.

Then immediately after writing that he was sort of wrong about Carson Palmer, but he won't totally admit it, Bill writes sentences sure to pop in his Friday NFL picks column again as a reminder of how smart he is...

But the Cardinals have some subtle omens going against them. They’re 16th in overall DVOA; they have a Pythagorean record that’s two wins lower than their real record (Barnwell Link No. 3!);5 and they’ve recovered nine of 14 fumbles (third-luckiest in the league) and they’re plus-10 in turnover differential. Any numbers nerd is waving a “REGRESSION!!!!!” flag right now.

Does that mean Arizona should consider throwing this week’s Rams game to be safe? Of course not. But the “Everybody Believes In Us” factor unnerves me.

Palmer got hurt, but I'm sure Bill chalk the Cardinals regression (which I'm assuming there will be some) up to the factors he lists here instead of the loss of their really underrated quarterback. 

Oh, and if I had told you 13 months ago that Carson Palmer would be leading a 2014 title contender, you would have asked which CFL team had signed him. There’s that, too.

No, I would not have.

It goes on and on and on. You can SEE them in the Super Bowl. But I believe in the Cardinals simply because they remind me of the 2003 Patriots, an exceptionally well-coached team with a knack for pulling out close games.

The Cardinals may regress, but Bill can also see them in the Super Bowl. It wouldn't concern me that Bill says both of these things, but it concerns me and I mention it only because anyone reads Bill's columns know that Bill loves to take credit for any predictions that turn out to be correct. How many times has he linked an old article where he points out something he said that ended up sounding smart? So his saying the Cardinals may regress, along with saying he can see them in the Super Bowl, leads me to believe Bill is playing both sides of the issue.

But let’s also agree that, occasionally, a football team shows up that just seems comfortable playing close games. For the Cardinals, there are six tangible reasons for this: exceptional coaching, an A-list secondary that shuts down third-and-longs, a superb red zone defense, multiple playmakers who can explode at any time, a running game that can protect tight leads, and a veteran QB who’s too old to get scared.

I’m in! I’m all in! Sign me up! I don’t care if the Cardinals have inadvertently become the “Everybody Believes In Us” team — they’re the NFC’s best football team, I believe in their tangibles and intangibles, and I even kinda-sorta-maybe believe in their QB

I'm guessing Bill was violently throwing himself off the Cardinals' bandwagon Monday morning once he knew that Drew Stanton would be driving the Cardinals' offense for the rest of the season. Without The Most Underrated Quarterback of the 21st Century that Bill has said critical things about and still really means, he probably doesn't believe the Cardinals have a chance anymore to make the Super Bowl.

Besides, in a 21st century that’s been as goofy as advertised, it makes perfect sense that Carson Palmer would start a home Super Bowl game … right? Please manage your gambling wagers accordingly.

Retract your gambling wagers immediately!

On to the Week 10 picks …

Jaguars (+7.5) over COWBOYS

Does anyone else love that we keep torturing the English by sending them terrible football games? They shouldn’t have messed with us in the 1700s — it’s their fault. I fully expect the Cowboys to finish 8-8 again, which means they’re blowing this game to Bad News Blake Bortles. My upset special: Jags 24, Cowboys 10.

Or not. Also, wasn't the exciting Lions-Falcons game played in London this year? Generally, the games in London haven't been great, but it's weird that Bill referred to terrible football games played in London when an exciting game was just played there.

Bill then links the YouTube video of Trent Dilfer saying the Patriots "Just aren't good anymore." It goes to show what a clown Trent Dilfer is.

Of course Bill runs some letters, because he can't write an entire column these days without a few reader emails. Someone has to produce content so Bill can talk about how much he writes, it may as well not be Bill. The emails from Bill's readers all end the same way as they do in other mailbags. Here's a sampling:

Bill, Ladies and Gentlemen, your 2015 Houston Texans!! Hook’em!

If Eli and Ben could do it twice, why can’t Rivers? NOBODY BELIEVES IN US!!

Bill's Simmonsite readers love to parrot his catch phrases. Bill and his readers have been using the same catchphrases for over a decade now...and in no way is that depressing.

San Diego’s Bye Week (-5.5) over Washington’s BYE WEEK

Q: Every analyst is jumping off the Chargers bandwagon like it’s carrying rabid dogs. Maybe it’s just out of room because it’s carrying all of Rivers’ children. Are the Chargers building themselves up to be the “nobody believes in us” team this year? They have all of the pieces — injured players that can fill the gaps, a defense that has been good when healthy, and a QB from the 2004 draft class that can catch fire. If Eli and Ben could do it twice, why can’t Rivers? NOBODY BELIEVES IN US!!

—Brian Djavaherian

BS: Glad you brought this up.

Brian, you now have Bill Simmons' approval. Consider your life now having some sort of meaning.

Right now, the Chargers are 5-4 and coming off three straight losses to a definite Super Bowl contender (Denver), a possible Super Bowl contender (Miami) and a probable 10-win team (Kansas City, a game that could have gone either way). They have a bye week to lick their wounds (and get healthy), then home games against Oakland and St. Louis. Let’s say they win those two. After that — at Baltimore, home for New England, home for Denver, at San Francisco, at Kansas City. And they can’t finish worse than 10-6.

I mean … even I don’t believe in them. And I picked them to be a Super Bowl contender.

(In other words … literally, NOBODY BELIEVES IN YOU, SAN DIEGO!!!! Keep an eye on this one.)

By the way, Bill has three AFC teams he considers as Super Bowl contenders at this point. Throw in the obvious, that he thinks the Patriots are Super Bowl contenders and his earlier love for Ben Roethlisberger and that's probably five teams in the AFC that Bill considers to be a Super Bowl contender. At this point, Bill seems to think any playoff-caliber AFC team is a Super Bowl contender.

Minnesota’s Bye Week (+8) over Indy’s Bye Week

Q: I’m sure you’ve gotten 100 emails on this, but the guy who had Adrian Peterson in my fantasy league dropped him last week. I have top priority this week so I can grab him for the stretch if his suspension is ended. This is clearly the best move from a fantasy perspective, but as a father it makes me feel ‘unclean.’ What should I do?

—Jacob, Somerville

BS: Hmmmmmm … I don’t know. Let’s ask Thom Yorke.

Bill then links "Karma Police" in a YouTube video. Screw karma. I picked up Adrian Peterson in a fantasy league all while absolutely not wanting Greg Hardy to be a part of the Carolina Panthers football team. It's fantasy, not real life. If I can draft players I don't personally like on teams I don't personally like, I can handle picking up a Top-5 running back when I have started two Browns running backs over the past two weeks.

Q: I know he isn’t there yet, but how many more holy shit plays are needed before Sammy Watkins is deserving of a nickname? We have MegaTron, so I was thinking Sammy would be MegaWatt.

—David, New York

BS: Come on, you don’t need a nickname when your first name is “Sammy,” and you definitely don’t need a nickname when you’re “Sammy Watkins.”

Bill couldn't think of a nickname to top MegaWatt, so he decided that Watkins doesn't need a nickname.

But you know what we DO need a nickname for? Anytime Mike Carey awkwardly breaks down any review of one of Jerome Boger’s atrocious calls. It’s like the streams crossing in Ghostbusters. Send me the best nickname and I’ll run it next week.

Everybody send Bill a list of nicknames and then he will spend most of the week trying to top the nickname that his readers have come up with. The smartest, most clever guy in the room? It has to be Bill at all times.

Andrew in Ann Arbor: “Jim Caldwell’s weekday coaching deserves a nomination for Sneaky Good Watch status. The Lions commit considerably fewer dumb penalties, turn the ball over less, and are generally a much less stupid football team this year. Under Schwartz facing the kind of adversity they had the last few weeks, they would have fallen apart and been blown out. That said, Jim Caldwell’s gameday coaching definitely needs to be included in the Shaky Watch this week. He punted on 4th-and-6 from the opponent’s 37 down 14, kicked a FG from the 2 down 21, kicked another FG from the 4 down 11, decided to settle for a 48 yard FG despite the Lions kicking woes, and most amazingly ran the ball with no timeouts left on third down and 25 seconds left. Which means his plan was to sprint the field goal team onto the field, which almost never works.

Yeah Andrew, but you forgot about the mind games and dinner Caldwell has with his players. It's the key to the team's success this season!

SAINTS (-6) over Niners

I can’t believe the Saints have a chance to go from 2-4 to 12-4. They’re catching the Niners at a perfect time, right when I’m getting emails like this …

Q: My brother and I just realized what the Jim Harbaugh era is. It’s mirroring M. Night Shyamalan’s career.

2011 – NFC Championship Game = Sixth Sense. (Wow that was awesome! Didn’t see that coming.)

2012 – Superbowl = Unbreakable. (Hey that was solid! Can’t wait for many more like this. The guy can’t miss. BEST COACH/DIRECTOR OUT THERE RIGHT NOW!)

2013 – NFC Championship Game = Signs. (Solid, but got a little bumpy. Next one will be better for sure.)

2014 – 4-4 so far = The Village. (Um WTF was that? Seriously???)

2015 = Lady in the Water (HOLY HELL!!! GET ME OUT OF HERE!!)

We need to get rid of Harbaugh ASAP! Just let the Jets have 2016 – THE YEAR OF THE HARBAUGH CRAPPENING.

—Jay Cohen, San Francisco

And naturally the 49ers beat the Saints at home causing this forced comparison to sound even more forced. What was that victory in this comparison to Shyamalan's career? Definitely not "The Last Airbender," not "After Earth," and beating the Saints at home isn't "The Village." So maybe Bill and Jay can shit all over the timeline and say it's Shyamalan writing "Stuart Little." Or else, it's just not a good comparison.

JETS (+6) over Steelers

Q: I can’t believe you wrote an article in which you bitch about the Patriots. Try being a Jets fan. Fuck you.

—Dan D.

BS: Didn’t you read what just I wrote? You’re getting M. Night Harbaughlan! Things are looking up! By the way, I think the Jets somehow cover this one. Can’t explain it. The line is suspiciously, curiously low for reasons that CANNOT be explained.

In hindsight, it's explained by the Jets winning the football game.

Q: Watching the Sunday Night Football game and listening to Al and Cris marvel at the incredible “James Harrison was retired three weeks ago and now is somehow playing like one of the best linebackers in the game” story for the 50th time that quarter, I couldn’t be the only one to come up with an easy explanation for that “somehow?”

—Zach H., Cleveland

BS: The Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivalry, everybody! It’s heating up!

This is ridiculous. Only MLB has a problem with PED's. Football has not ever had, nor ever will have, an issue with players using PED's. NFL players are just naturally huge individuals with muscles all over their body. Roger Goodell certainly has never put his head in the sand because he's no Bud Selig.

Quickly on the Rams: They’re the NFL version of me as a golfer. I started playing golf again this year after a self-imposed 20-year hiatus, which is actually a good story that I will tell some other time. In the past six months, I’ve played 15 times. My game is slowly coming back. Right now, I’m shooting between 95 and 100 from the blues. And every round is the same — I have four awesome holes and four horrible ones, with a slew of bogeys and double bogeys in between. That makes me a good best-ball partner as long as I’m playing with someone good.

That's a great story, Bill. I was just getting ready to ask about how your golf game was going. That is very interesting, please tell me more.

That’s the Rams — you’d want them for best ball, but not real life. During a 16-game season, they’re going to bogey or double bogey eight holes, fall apart on four holes and overachieve on four holes. They already birdied Week 7 (the Seattle game) and shot par in Week 9 (the Niners win). In Week 10, I see them crushing a great drive on a par-4, just missing the approach, then three-putting for a frustrating bogey.

As usual, Bill takes up more words than required to state something. Rather than just saying, "The Rams are inconsistent," Bill has to use an overly-long analogy takes up more space and sounds smarter than just calling the Rams inconsistent.

That’s right, Seattle. You know I love your city and you know I hate how OKC stole the Sonics from you. But save for opening night, your crowds have sucked this season. Peyton Manning went 80 yards in like three seconds to force OT on you. You lost to Dallas at home. You couldn’t blow out the lowly Raiders last week, for God’s sake. Are you suffering from Pink Hat Syndrome (a.k.a. too many bandwagon fans)? Are you taking this stuff for granted now? What’s up?

What is partially up is that Seattle fans can be loud, but they can't make up for the Seahawks not playing well. I realize Bill thinks that fans have as much of a direct, immediate impact on the outcome of a sporting event as the two teams playing on the court/field, but it's not entirely true. There is probably an impact on the opposing team's performance, but to wonder why the Seattle fans can't blow out the Raiders at home is just silly.

Two of Grantland’s finest employees are Sean Fennessey and Chris Ryan. They happen to be close friends, they occasionally drive to and from work together, and they can even communicate in staff meetings just by glancing at one another. Fennessey is a long-suffering Jets fan; Ryan is a long-suffering Eagles fan.

At this point, Bill thinks the fan of any sports team is "long-suffering" if his/her team hasn't won a title in the last 12 months. Almost everyone is long-suffering according to Bill. 

In 2014, the Sanchize landed in Philly as Chip Kelly’s reclamation project. Last week, Nick Foles broke his collarbone and Sanchez saved the day against Houston. He looked good enough that some people (a) picked him up in fantasy football, and (b) wondered if he could have a Plunkett-esque rejuvenation in Philly. And even if Chris Ryan will deny it to the death, deep down, he’s talking himself into the parallel “I mean, Sanchez did play in an AFC title game and beat the Patriots in the playoffs on the road” and “If anyone can turn him around, it’s Chip Kelly” narratives. Again, he’d never admit this. But he’s thinking it. 

And Fennessey? He’s just sitting there with a big smile on his face, like someone in college with a crazy ex who just found out that his or her good friend might be falling for that crazy ex. Should I intervene here? Nahhhhhhhhh.

This is a dumb comparison. If a person had a good friend who was falling for his crazy ex then I would hope the one friend would talk the other friend out of it. I realize that Bill is desperately trying to appeal to his target demographic by talking about boy-girl issues, but this just seems like a pretty forced (and stereotypically Bill Simmons) comparison.

This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 7-6
Season: 96-39

I went 58-0 from Week 4 through Week 7. Also, Roger Goodell had no idea what happened inside the elevator with Ray Rice until September 8.

This is Bill wanting to (wink-wink) remind his readers that he got suspended for three weeks because he is a rebel and says things other people don't have the guts to say...or at least says things everyone else has said, but he did it in a more public way in order to gain attention. 


Anonymous said...

And now Simmons can take credit for causing Roethlisburger's loss to the Jets and Carson Palmer's year-ending injury. He is quite the jinx, first he ruined an undefeated season and now this.

Also, tortured Eagles fans? I know they don't have a Super Bowl, but what is the average Eagles season in the past 15 years, 10 wins and a disappointing loss in the second round of the playoffs?

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, Bill has so much control over the NFL and the outcome of games, it's amazing.

Yeah, I know Eagles fans want a title and I don't blame them...but as a Panthers fan who has never seen back-to-back winning seasons I wouldn't mind being tortured like they are.