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MWM
11-11-2007, 12:13 PM
I think the Sports Guy, Bill Simmons, officially lost me as loyal reader with his most recent column. He hasn't been near as interesting to read over the past year or so, but lately he's turned in to the whiny fan who wants every call to go his team's way and when it doesn't, there's some kind of conspiracy. And the "everyone just hates the patriots" card is getting REALLY old. He's always been fun to read, and I wish he would go back to when he was just trying to be funny. Hey Sports Guy, please come back. We miss you. You're no longer the guy we've all loved to read over the years.

But this is rubbish:


In a 24-hour span last weekend, I watched "Victory" on cable and the Patriots-Colts battle on CBS. The two events had more in common than you might think.

If you don't remember what happened in "Victory," the Nazis organized a war-time soccer game between a German squad and a team of POWs led by a potbellied Michael Caine and the stunt double used for every Michael Caine soccer scene. The great Sly Stallone plans the team's escape for halftime, then convinces the Irish goalie to break his own arm so Sly can steal his spot and lead the escape -- the single most improbable moment in sports movie history. It's not just that the goalie would say, "That's OK, I'll stay here; you guys can escape," but that he'd break his own arm to make it happen -- followed by the Allies' falling behind and eschewing the escape to play the second half (the second most improbable moment in sports movie history), rallying to "tie" the game on a goal that's disallowed, tying the game on Pele's bicycle kick, then clinching a tie in extra time after Sly catches Werner Roth's penalty kick (the third most improbable moment in sports movie history). That's when the crowd charges the field, overpowers the Nazi soldiers and allows everyone to escape. The End.


THE WEEKLY POWER POLL
THE ROD RUST DIVISION
32. Miami
31. St. Louis

THE BRUCE COSLET DIVISION
30. San Francisco
29. N.Y. Jets
28. Oakland
27. Atlanta
26. Houston

THE HAS-BEENS, PART 1
25. Cincinnati
24. Denver
23. Philadelphia
22. Chicago

MARGINALLY UNINSPIRING
21. Arizona
20. Carolina

THE HAS-BEENS, PART 2
19. Baltimore
18. Seattle

THE HOMEBOYS
17. Minnesota
16. Buffalo
15. Kansas City

FIRST-ROUND FODDER
14. Washington
13. Tampa Bay
12. Jacksonville

THE SEMI-SLEEPERS
11. Cleveland
10. Detroit

THE X FACTORS
9. New Orleans
8. San Diego

THE LOITERERS
7. Tennessee
6. Pittsburgh
THE BISHOP FROM CADDYSHACK
5. Green Bay

THE CONTENDERS
4. Dallas
3. N.Y. Giants
2. Indianapolis

THE JUGGERNAUT
1. New England By any calculation, it's one of the 10 greatest sports movies ever. But my favorite part, other than Pele's wooden acting and the 15 different chill scenes during the game? Max von Sydow playing the Good Nazi -- the German officer who loves soccer and was promised a fairly officiated game, then slowly realizes the game is fixed as the refs ignore every Nazi cheap shot. After the disallowed goal and Pele's bicycle kick, von Sydow finds himself so overcome by the beauty of the moment, he stands up and applauds the tying goal (the fourth most improbable scene in sports movie history). I remember buying the DVD a few years ago and thinking there would be a deleted scene when the Nazis hang Max outside the stadium, but it wasn't in there. Regardless, I watch that bicycle kick every time thinking, "Come on, Good Nazi, stand up and applaud, you know you want to, come on, just do it ..."

From the time the movie was released in 1981, I have measured every real-life contest with shady officiating against that Nazis-Allies game. (Important note: Even though it's a fictional movie, I've seen "Victory" so many times during the past 25 years that I now feel like the game actually happened.) So the irony of enduring the Pats-Colts game so close to my umpteenth "Victory" viewing was just too bizarre. In fact, here's how bizarre it was -- while watching "Victory," I thought to myself, "I hope this isn't how the Pats game is called tomorrow."

As it turned out, I wasn't far off. Nobody outside of Boston made a big deal about the officiating because the Patriots prevailed. And besides, everyone was more interested in making excuses for the Colts (which reminds me, you can play the "Indy really missed Marvin Harrison card" so long as you also mention all the key guys New England was missing in the AFC Championship Game last January) and taking solace in the closeness of the game (giving everyone hope that New England's 19-0 season isn't a foregone conclusion). Few noticed the Patriots needed just nine minutes of quality football to defeat an undefeated Super Bowl champion on the road, or that they pulled off the comeback despite having 95 percent of the borderline calls go against them.

I knew the Pats were in trouble less than three minutes into the game, when Aaron Moorehead's entire left foot landed out of bounds on a first-down catch. Standing 10 feet away from him on either side, two officials improbably decided Moorehead landed inbounds, forcing the Patriots to waste a challenge to overturn a miserable call. Of course, that moment wasn't one-tenth as egregious as the play when Ellis Hobbs got tackled from behind by Reggie Wayne while trying to catch an interception (8:58 remaining, second quarter), followed by the officials' whistling Hobbs for a 40-yard pass interference penalty because he made the mistake of bringing down Wayne's arms with his back. Hey, Indianapolis, here's a free first-and-goal for you guys. Enjoy!

(Note: Watch NFL Network's replay of the game for the split-screen explanation by Mike Pereira, NFL vice president of officiating, who claims Hobbs impeded Wayne's path to the ball and initiated contact before turning around to find the football. Only one problem ... as Pereira is telling us this, the split-screen replay shows Hobbs turning around before there was any contact. It's an incredible 10 seconds of TV. I wish we could hire Pereira to describe other things that allegedly didn't happen while we show videotape to prove the opposite was true. "As this tape by Rick Salomon proves, Paris Hilton has never had sex with someone on camera ...")

Throughout the game, the sketchy calls kept coming and coming. Like the head-scratching no-call when Dallas Clark pulled down Rodney Harrison as Harrison tried to catch an end-zone interception on Indy's first drive (10:09 remaining, first quarter). Like Asante Samuel's drawing a pass-interference penalty on an uncatchable 40-yard bomb that set up Indy's first field goal (4:14 remaining, first quarter). Like the incredible no-call when Moorehead blocked Rashad Baker in the back (how did Jim Nantz and Phil Simms both miss this?!?!?!?) to spring Joe Addai's 73-yard touchdown at the end of the first half. Like the 15-yard "unsportsmanlike conduct" call on Matt Light after Gary Brackett's interception, of which CBS couldn't even find a replay (14:04 remaining, fourth quarter).

Wait, there's more! There was the no-call when Rosie Colvin got held while trying to sack Peyton Manning on a crucial third-and-15 that the Colts ended up converting on their last touchdown drive (12:52 remaining, fourth quarter). Or the no-call on Indy's final drive when Bryan Fletcher was blocking Colvin at the end of a running play, got frustrated and ripped Colvin's helmet off right in front of an official (2:55 remaining, fourth quarter). Or the no-call when Kevin Faulk got hooked directly in front of an official while reaching for a third-and-21 pass over the middle, followed by Tom Brady's flipping out and berating the official involved. Or a pivotal first-and-goal interference call on Randy Moss when he made the mistake of running forward for five yards and turning around, which nearly murdered the Pats because they were trailing by 10 points and suddenly looking at first-and-goal from the 12 with less than nine minutes to play.


WEEK 10 PICKS
(Home teams in caps)

Falcons (+4) over PANTHERS
Vikings (+6) over PACKERS
CHIEFS (-3) over Broncos
Bills (-2.5) over DOLPHINS
SAINTS (-11.5) over Rams
Browns (+9.5) over STEELERS
TITANS (-4) over Jaguars
PATRIOTS (-22) over Bye Week
REDSKINS (-2.5) over Eagles
Bengals (+4) over RAVENS
CARDINALS (-1) over Lions
GIANTS (+1.5) over Cowboys
Bears (-3) over RAIDERS
Colts (-3.5) over CHARGERS
49ers (+10) over SEAHAWKS
Last week: 6-8
Season: 59-63-8 (Note: I'd give you the exact times on those last two plays, but both of them were mysteriously deleted from the NFL Network's official replay of the game. Hmmmmmm.)

All in all, the Pats were whistled for a whopping 146 yards in penalties, a single-game record for the franchise. At one point, after a rarely seen "blocking someone while they're out of bounds" penalty on Willie Andrews, my dad called me just to say, "They're calling things that I never even knew were penalties!!!" It's one thing to have incompetent officiating for a football game; it's another thing to see nearly every call and non-call benefit the same team. In 60 minutes of play, only one borderline call went against the Colts -- a holding penalty on their second-to-last drive that erased a 25-yard Addai run. The final tally for the Colts: four penalties, 25 yards. We haven't seen homefield advantage work that well since Hitler invaded Russia.

With the Patriots playing at such a high level, you could argue the referees subconsciously favored Indy. After all, nobody likes rooting for Goliath. We've seen this happen in basketball, when unstoppable big men like Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O'Neal were treated differently than everyone else by the officials; any defender was allowed to push, prod, elbow and basically clobber them for 48 minutes a game. But we've never seen it in football. So, yeah, you could say this happened. You could also say Roger Goodell doesn't want the Patriots to go 19-0, and the referees acted accordingly Sunday.

So let's just settle on the word "fishy." That Pats-Colts game was a little fishy. In fact, it passed six of the seven checkmarks on the Fishy Officiating Test. Here are those checkmarks, which I just made up 90 seconds ago:

The fans of the team about to get screwed need to worry even before the game, "I hope we win this one handily because there's no way in hell we're getting a call."


You need a series of inexplicable calls spread throughout the game.


The officiating needs to be so reprehensibly bad that the fans of the team-getting-screwed are calling/e-mailing/complaining/texting each other with comments like, "Oh my God, this is fixed!" midway through the game even before the next few horrendously one-sided calls happen.


There needs to be one call (in Sunday's case, the Samuel call) that makes you flash back to the shady offsides call in "Victory" when the British announcer screams, "The goal has been disallowed! The goal has been disallowed!"


The announcers need to openly question what's happening, as it's happening, at least three or four times.


You need a lingering feeling afterward that something fishy occurred, mainly because there was a clear motive for the biased officiating in the first place.


The targeted team needs to lose so its fans will spend the rest of eternity complaining about how they were screwed in the game.

You can't rank one fishy contest above another; you can only add them to the collection of ongoing examples. For instance, I would never argue Jessica Alba was prettier than Jaclyn Smith, just that both of them have secured a place in the Beautiful Pantheon for eternity. The same goes for the Fishy Sporting Event Pantheon. When Richard Steele stopped the Chavez-Taylor fight with two seconds remaining and Taylor leading every card, that wasn't any more or less fishy than Game 6 of the Kings-Lakers series in 2002, or the Soviets stealing the '72 gold medal from the USA hoops team, or Vince McMahon stealing Bret Hart's WWF title and giving it to Shawn Michaels, or the Steelers-Seahawks Super Bowl, or Games 3 and 4 of the 2006 NBA Finals between the Heat and Mavs, or even Robert Parish being allowed to remain in Game 5 of the '87 Eastern Conference finals after punching out Bill Laimbeer just a few feet from referee Jack Madden. The degrees of fishiness didn't matter as much as the general odor of rotten fish.



SPORTS GAL'S RANT
The Sports Gal is on hiatus after passing a 21-inch baby out of her body, but she did examine the Week 10 matchups long enough to ask via e-mail if the Patriots were on a "bi week." Let's hope not.

Here are her Week 10 picks: Panthers -4, Vikings +6, Broncos +3, Bills -2.5, Rams +11.5, Steelers -9.5, Titans -4, Eagles +2.5, Ravens -4, Cardinals -1, Giants +1.5, Bears -3, Colts -3.5, 49ers +10. Last Sunday's game failed the seventh and last checkmark: Somehow, the Patriots overcame the "elements" and prevailed. Nobody praised them for this achievement because of everything that transpired since Week 1, when they cheated against the Jets, paid a stiff price and eventually evolved into the Cobra Kai Yankees, an arrogant, unapologetic, supremely confident juggernaut that ran up scores and turned everyone outside of New England against them. There's a lingering hope out there that the Patriots will eventually get what they deserve -- that the Karma Gods will bite them in the collective arse -- and it should come in the form of biased officiating, a cheap shot that maims Brady or whatever else works. If the roles were reversed and this were any other team, I would be rooting against them just as passionately.

Still, I have to ask a simple question: Is the rest of the season going to be like this?

Was everything that "happened" (for lack of a better word) in Indy just a one-time deal? Was it just an elaborate coincidence the Patriots couldn't buy a single break for the entire game? Was the NFL unveiling a new way of evening the score against New England because a $500,000 fine and the loss of a No. 1 pick weren't enough? Did the league decide no NFL team could conventionally stop the Pats, so they'll have to play against opponents AND referees for the rest of the season? Does the NFL have a hidden trigger much like the one used in the "Madden" video games, when everything starts going against your team as soon as it becomes clear there's a chance for an undefeated season?

There's no way to definitively answer the previous paragraph. But if you're a fan of the Patriots, you've never felt as passionately about them as you do right now. The same "us against them" mentality that galvanized the coaches and players ended up galvanizing the fans as well. You should see some of the texts and e-mails I received from friends during Sunday's game -- genuine anger and incoherence from some of the most rational people I know -- or the remains of my living room remote control, which didn't survive a 95-mph throw across the room after the no-call on Faulk. Like everyone else who loves the Patriots, this season has become so personal that it's difficult to adequately describe. It's almost like watching a family member get raked through the coals, like being a member of Sen. Craig's family, only if he wasn't such a creep.

So that made it especially satisfying to watch them prevail in Indianapolis under such unfriendly "conditions." After the final three kneels and a delightfully icy handshake between Belichick and Dungy, I grabbed my dogs for a prolonged victory walk -- still wearing my good luck Wes Welker jersey -- and mulled a scenario in which the Pats finished 19-0, then picked first in the 2008 draft with the first-rounder acquired from San Francisco last spring. The amazing thing? It's not impossible. (Yeah, the Rams and Dolphins would need to win a couple of games apiece, but it's not impossible.) Upon my return home, I e-mailed a few Patriot friends to remind them that the 2-6 Niners had lost again and we were looking at a top-five pick. Just for kicks, I included Mel Kiper's top 10 prospects to whet everyone's collective appetite.

After a few minutes, one of them happily e-mailed back, "I love it, [bleep] everybody!"

For better or worse, that's our mantra for the 2007 season. After the legitimacy of the three Super Bowl titles was questioned, there was only one response: 19-0. The players keep saying they're taking it one game at a time; I say they're full of crap. They want to join the '72 Dolphins and destroy everyone along the way. Why? Because bleep everybody, that's why. After Welker clinched the Colts game with a crucial first-down catch, he defiantly hopped up and screamed at the poor cornerback covering him, "YOU F------ SUCK!" Unquestionably, it was the defining play of the season -- not just that the Patriots converted the exact same situation that killed them last January (when they could have clinched a Super Bowl trip with one more completion on third-and-short), but that Welker displayed such arrogant disdain after finishing the Colts off.

Normally, I hate crap like that. Not this time.

Once you enter "bleep-everybody" mode, it becomes a state of mind. You can't shake it. After they slaughtered the Redskins, everyone debated the merits of the Pats' running up the score and missed the larger point -- namely, that those inflated scores were serving a larger competitive purpose. Remember those few minutes right before the Tyson-Spinks fight, when poor Spinks looked like he might lose control of his bowels. He didn't want to get embarrassed or beaten up. You could see it. Just like the Dolphins and Redskins last month. Those blowouts weren't shocking because of the scores as much as the complacency and lethargy of the losing teams. They didn't seem outraged, offended or even mildly ticked off. They just wanted to get the hell out of there. If the "Eff-You TD" sprung from a certain place -- revenge, pride, hostility, whatever -- it's now emerged as a legitimate tactical weapon. Belichick doesn't care about running up the score; he cares that every inferior Patriots opponent looks like Spinks before the Tyson fight.

And I never thought I'd condone this stuff. Believe me. As my friend Jamie wrote to me this week, "I sit there and openly root for them to run it up on teams. I thought I had experienced every emotion as a fan; this is totally new."

Great way to put it. Since you couldn't fully understand this feeling until it happens to you, here's an example you might grasp: One of the smartest scenes in "Sopranos" history happened in the first episode of the final season, when a drunken Bobby Bacala sucker-punched an even more inebriated Tony and the two guys squared off. Even though Tony started the brawl by repeatedly insulting Bobby's wife, and even though Bobby was a better person and a better family man, you know who we were rooting for in the fight? Tony. He might have been a flawed and unredeemable person in almost every respect, but we were more invested in him. Deep down, we liked Tony. We forgive him for all his sins. What separated those final two shows from anything else in television history was the simple fact that we really, really, REALLY didn't want him to get killed. So what if he was a terrible, selfish, evil guy? We didn't care. We wanted him to live. That's what made "The Sopranos" such a groundbreaking show -- rooting for a bad guy was a totally new way to watch television.

So if you wouldn't blame me for rooting for a scumbag like Tony against Bobby, then don't blame me for sticking with my Patriots. The players have always handled themselves with class, on and off the field. When everyone wanted them punished after CameraGate, they took their penalty without a whimper. When everyone wanted to turn them into villains, they puffed their chests and gave everyone an endless loop of Tony Montana's "Say hello to the bad guy!" scene in "Scarface" for the next two months. Like it or not, everyone's getting something out of this. We get to watch one of the greatest NFL teams ever. We get to argue about them constantly. We get a world-class villain. And if they stumble some time in the next three months, we might even get a potential upset on the level of USA 4, USSR 3.

Again, this is totally new -- not just for Patriots fans, but for everyone rooting against them. Normally, we have to watch a sports movie like "Victory" to find a good villain. This is happening in real time. And the quest for an undefeated season lingers over everything -- it's like watching someone throw a no-hitter, only if the no-hitter lasted for five straight months. Only two years ago, I wrote that the Colts would be crazy for pursuing an undefeated season and risking injuries when the only thing that mattered was a Super Bowl title. Now? I guess I'm a hypocrite. If you asked any Patriots fan to pick between two doors that determined the rest of the season -- behind Door No. 1, the team would lose once but have a 100 percent chance to win the Super Bowl, and behind Door No. 2, there would be two-in-three chance at a 19-0 season or a one-in-three chance that the team would lose in the playoffs -- a surprising number of fans would roll the dice with that second door. Including me.

If the undefeated season doesn't happen for the Patriots, let's hope it's because they were outplayed and not because of something more sinister. And let's hope this is the final time an NFL game gets compared to a soccer movie starring Sly Stallone and a bunch of Nazis ... and the comparison isn't a stretch.

Jay Bruce
11-11-2007, 12:31 PM
I was thinking the exact same thing when reading his latest column. Over the years, I have really enjoyed Simmons, his Bad NBA GM Summit was absolutely hilarious, and I don't really follow the NBA. However, I stopped reading this one when he was constantly complaining about the calls the Patriots didn't get. They still won the game to go 9-0, can you really look for anything to complain about! I'm sure it must be great for him that his three favorite teams are all championship contenders, but the Boston lovefest is starting to become overbearing.

Hoosier Red
11-11-2007, 12:35 PM
His writing went down hill when the teams he openly roots for won championships.

redsfanmia
11-11-2007, 12:40 PM
A shill for New England area sports who used to be mildly entertaining because of his pop culture references but has now just become the epitomy of the whiny Boston fan.

cincinnati chili
11-11-2007, 01:08 PM
This column didn't have the same effect on me that it had on you guys, but I think he's crazy to believe that the Patriots and Colts aren't in the same class.

I have no dog in the fight, but it was clear to me last weekend that the two teams are VERY evenly matched. Plus, if the Colts had Marvin Harrison, that may have made the difference.

blumj
11-11-2007, 01:26 PM
His writing went down hill when the teams he openly roots for won championships.
I don't think he's changed, I just think that what he does doesn't work anymore BECAUSE the teams he roots for started winning. You can't keep writing that stuff about teams that do nothing but win, who wants to read it?

Hoosier Red
11-11-2007, 01:37 PM
I think you may be Blum.
When you are writing about the angst involved in watching your team come up consistently short. That's interesting.

When you're whining because your team isn't getting the respect it deserves, or the calls and you're 9-0, then it's just annoying.

MWM
11-11-2007, 01:42 PM
I don't think he's changed, I just think that what he does doesn't work anymore BECAUSE the teams he roots for started winning. You can't keep writing that stuff about teams that do nothing but win, who wants to read it?

Whatever the reason, he's just not worth the read anymore. And I used to read every one of his columns.

Chip R
11-11-2007, 02:04 PM
I agree with most of you, especially MWM. I've been a loyal reader even before he went over to ESPN but this column was just over the top. I saw that column and started to read it and I just stopped because I didn't want to read a sore winners column. I hope even some Patriots fans were embarrassed by that column. I want to give the guy a break since I know he has it in him to do better and his wife just had another kid so maybe he's just grumpy from lack of sleep but he can do much better than that.

blumj
11-11-2007, 02:25 PM
I agree with most of you, especially MWM. I've been a loyal reader even before he went over to ESPN but this column was just over the top. I saw that column and started to read it and I just stopped because I didn't want to read a sore winners column. I hope even some Patriots fans were embarrassed by that column. I want to give the guy a break since I know he has it in him to do better and his wife just had another kid so maybe he's just grumpy from lack of sleep but he can do much better than that.
I am a Pats fan, and while I kind of cringed reading it because I knew what the reaction to it from non-Pats fans would be, I have to admit, it is sort of how I felt while I was watching the game. And, I don't care what team you're a fan of or how good that team is, you watch your team pile up 146 yards in penalties and you're not seeing what they did wrong on more than half the replays, that is how you feel. But I also think it was okay for him to write it. It's what he does.

MWM
11-11-2007, 02:44 PM
He used the block out of bounds as evidence. That was an absolute no-brainer. He can shout the "they never gets called" card, but that's not true. It rarely gets called because it rarely happens because it's an easy for a sideline official to call. The blocker usually pushes the guy out of bounds and then lets him go. You don't do something like that right in front of the official and expect it not to be called.

And talk about things that NEVER get called, how about offensive pass interference. Two of his complaints are about offensive PI, then he complains about something that got called that he believes never gets called. Yes, I'm aware Randy Moss got called for a PI, but Randy Moss actually does interfere more than any other receiver I've ever watched. The only other guy who does it near as muchis Chad Johnson who also pushes off regularly. Not only does he complain that it got called, he claims all Moss did was run up and turn around.

And then he wants to complain about a non-call for holding? Really? Heck, most of the holding in the NFL doesn't get called. You could call holding almost every play. Refs rarely call holding on important plays in the game. It's the way it's always been. It happens from time to time, but not very often.

He also immediately dismisses the key player injuries to the Colts by calling on the AFC Championship game LAST YEAR? Seriously? What does one have to with the other?

Believe me, I'm not a Pats hater, but his column was soo full of BS I could smell it all the way up here. I don't think many people outside of Boston are going to agree with much of it. If he keeps this up, he's going to wind up writing for Boston pulications exclusively. He's going a lot too far with the whole "everybody hates us because we're so good" nonsense.

vaticanplum
11-11-2007, 03:24 PM
Bill Simmons did an incredible thing for sports journalism. And then other people started doing it slightly better at the same time that he no longer had to produce work of the highest quality in order to be heard.

He's kind of made himself redundant. To stand out in his own oversaturated field anymore, you have to produce work of real quality and walk the line between opinion and fact very well. I don't think he does either anymore. You have to work so hard even at things that come naturally to you, even when you've reached the top. He's not the first person to forget this.

Mutaman
11-11-2007, 03:54 PM
He ranks the Giants as the third best team in football? Am I reading that right. Green Bay beats them 35-10 in the Meadowlands and then wins 6 of their next 7, including at Denver and at KC in the space of six days, and suddenly the Giants are a better team than the Packers?

Granted, the Giants have rebounded nicely from their horrible start but its not like they've been beating the 27 Yankees-- look at their schedule.

Yachtzee
11-11-2007, 05:42 PM
Bill Simmons did an incredible thing for sports journalism. And then other people started doing it slightly better at the same time that he no longer had to produce work of the highest quality in order to be heard.

He's kind of made himself redundant. To stand out in his own oversaturated field anymore, you have to produce work of real quality and walk the line between opinion and fact very well. I don't think he does either anymore. You have to work so hard even at things that come naturally to you, even when you've reached the top. He's not the first person to forget this.

Very true. I think the other problem he has is that he often forgets what he wrote in the past and starts to contradict himself after a while.

In this case, he forgot two things:
1. He himself has previously said that after your team wins the Super Bowl, you're not allowed to whine about stuff like this for a few years. As the Pats have won 3 in recent times, I believe he has 15 years before he's allowed to whine about things like bad calls.

2. His "Victory" reference is way off base. I love that movie just as much as he does and to compare the Patriots to the Allied team in that game is just lame. If the Pats don't get calls, it's because they've put themselves in that position by cheating. This season has shown the Pats as cheaters and poor sports. They're like the Yankees of football, only more evil. People don't like the Yankees because they throw their money around in an attempt to buy championships. But at least they don't cheat and run up the score on teams. If they don't get the calls in one game, then boo freaking hoo.

WMR
11-11-2007, 05:48 PM
This is the first time I've skimmed a column of his and it will be the last.

Maybe he used to be better, but this column just plain sucked, IMO.

Danny Serafini
11-11-2007, 09:44 PM
He's being badly misused. When he was writing comedy columns with a sports theme he was hilarious. Now that he's trying to be taken as some sort of sports authority he's not good at all. Quit trying to be a half-journalist and go back to trying to make me laugh, because right now you're not accomplishing either. Oh, and we know you're from Boston, enough already.

MWM
12-04-2007, 08:41 AM
I'll be waiting anxiously for TSG's column this week about what a travesty that call against the Ravens (and against the Ravens throughout the game) was last night. I'm sure, in the interest of being consistent, he's already started to write it.

Benihana
12-04-2007, 11:18 AM
I completely agree. Bill Simmons used to be my favorite columnist hands down. Recently, he has been so annoying with his hometown bias that he has become difficult to read. The only columns of his I have enjoyed in the past year are the ones that don't talk about the Patriots, Red Sox, or Celtics. It's just getting far too annoying. I understand he used to be "The Boston Sports Guy" and he obviously still has a strong passion for his hometown teams, and I can't blame him for that. But if you want to be a national columnist with a national audience, you have to focus more on national issues and stop the whiny hometown bias- it's getting really old.

cincinnati chili
12-04-2007, 11:56 PM
I thought this recent one was pretty good. Bill of the present writes a letter to himself in Junior high school.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/0711130&sportCat=nfl

"Please put down the Intellivision controller and read this note."

RedsManRick
12-05-2007, 12:45 PM
I think that part of the complaints are a result of taking him more seriously than he intends to be taken.

TeamSelig
12-05-2007, 01:12 PM
He is alright, but I remember a few years ago when he tried to say that Reggie Miller wasn't a star and he lost credibility in my book, not to mention his constant homerism.

MWM
12-05-2007, 02:54 PM
I think that part of the complaints are a result of taking him more seriously than he intends to be taken.

Not when it comes to his teams. He's never anything but serious about them.

I really enjoy his writing when he's not obsessing about Boston teams.

Chip R
12-05-2007, 03:00 PM
He had a nice column about a week ago about taking his daughter to a Clippers-Cavs game.

BuckeyeRed27
12-05-2007, 03:06 PM
I went to the Clippers/Bucks game last night and he took the half court shot between the 3rd and 4th quarters for some lady. He was pretty funny before he took the shot. Just barely missed it.

dabvu2498
12-11-2007, 10:16 AM
Gotta give Simmons credit for this:

http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071210/SPORTS/712100474/1002/SPORTS


Jimmy V Week a success
Nearly $525,000 was raised for the inaugural Jimmy V Week, with the proceeds going to cancer research.

The joint effort of ESPN and the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research began Nov. 28 and wrapped up with the Jimmy V women's and men's basketball classics last week.

Jim Valvano led North Carolina State to an improbable national championship in 1983. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1992 and died the following year.

Fans could donate by phone or online.

As part of Jimmy V Week, ESPN.com's Bill Simmons conducted an online chat for 7 hours, 4 minutes.

"It was great to see so many fans join us and make a difference for cancer research," said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. "I'm also extremely proud of our employees, who worked hard to coordinate this initiative across our media."