Tale of two cities

Sizing up the NBA’s Big Picture

Chat wrap up

Chat wrap up

Buzzmaster: Hellloooo, SportsNation! Welcome to our final live edition of The Show from Super Bowl XL before the big game on Sunday. Friday kicks off with the Sports Guy,Bill Simmons, followed by his Page 2 compatriots Chuck Klosterman, Jason Whitlock and Jim Caple. Joe Theismann will then wrap up the day, so send your questions now and we’ll save them for our guests!

Bill Simmons: Hey everybody — I’m 8 minutes early and just drank enough coffee to kill a pony. Let’s get started …

Jay (CT): I’m a Sox fan. I got on a plane from Chicago to NY and they announced the pilots name as Captain Schiraldi. Would I have have justified in getting off the plane?

Bill Simmons: I would have freaked out like Charles Grodin in “Midnight Run.” No jury would have convicted you.

CP (Fairfield, CT): what do you think of your man Paul Shirley getting a tv show?

Bill Simmons: I think I’m surprised that it was “Seven Lives Exposed” on the Playboy Channel.

Chris (Colorado Springs, CO): Just about to leave for vegas! Who are you picking to win the game?

Bill Simmons: My column comes out on Page 2 around 12:15-12:30 EST (with my Super Bowl pick). Let’s just say that I didn’t pick the Seahawks.

Brett Erickson (Fargo, ND): Sports Guy. I had a dream about you the other night, and it was a really LONG, drawn out dream too … So okay, wherever I am in my dream, it’s winter, and my brother is there too. My brother then reveals to me that he is really good friends with you, which surprises me! Then I go to some bar, and I meet some drunk blonde in her early thirties who is really really really nice, and I drive her home, and you’re there. Turns out that she is your wife! Which makes me happy because I think I’m on your good side. Then the next day, I go to this bar again, alone. And I see you there, and I hide from you because I don’t want you to know I’m at a bar alone. Then, apparently, I’m at the bar again, I’m with some people and we’re running from the police in the snow, and I call my brother to save us, and in the meantime I stumble upon this house, and I decide that we’re going to hide in it. I knock on the door, and your wife answers, it was your house! And you’re playing pool. And then I woke up. Because of this, my girlfriend thinks I need to stop reading your columns. And I think she might be right.

Bill Simmons: I don’t care what happens, as long as you remain 100 yards away from me at all times.

Pat (Salisbury, Maryland): Bill, is there any stopping Beth on the gauntlet? She has to be some nasty hybrid of Kobe and Derrick Coleman. She mails in the missions and then dominates the Gauntlet, unreal.

Bill Simmons: Here’s the crazy thing about Beth: She’s 36! She’s Brett Favre’s age!

Bill (Ithaca, NY): I read Brady is doing the coin flip at the super bowl…two questions: 1) when did active players start doing the pregame coin flip? 2) how is this even remotely acceptable to patriot nation? I know he’s been there, done that, but doesn’t this come across as a bit arrogant and all but asures the pats won’t be getting back to the super bowl during the belechick/brady era?

Bill Simmons: I’m just excited that the news came out that Brady was battling a sports hernia for half the season — now I have another excuse to fall back on when I’m trying to convince people that the Steelers were lucky this season.

Lloyd (Boston, MA): Can the Steelers win if Polamalu doesn’t play? Or even if he’s 50% with a bad ankle?

Bill Simmons: I am not worried about Polamalu — you would have to chop one of his legs off for him not to have a huge impact on Sunday’s game.

Jim (Murray, Kentucky): Sports Guy, the Clippers are 2 1/2 games behind the Suns, a magnificent effort from a perennial underachiever. All I hear about is Brand this or Cassell that, but noone talks about James Singleton! HE is the real key to this year’s team! What do you think?

Bill Simmons: Couldn’t agree more — last year, Bobby Simmons was my guy. This year, Singleton is my guy. The Clips would be winning the pacific right now if freaking Dunleavy had started giving him PT before late-January. He’s like a poor man’s cross between Ron Artest and Ben Wallace.

Mikey (Hoboken): Bigger story today: the super bowl, or the fact that Heather Locklear is single again? Can I have a prediction for both?

Bill Simmons: I just enjoyed the fact that Rachel Perry reported the news on Adam Carolla’s radio show this morning and said Heather had filed for divorce from “Richie Sambooka.” High comedy at 8:00 AM.

Sham (WBL): no one cares about your SB XL prediction. I want to know what your prediction is for the Seth Cohen drug scandal. How’s it gonna end Sports Guy?

Bill Simmons: Just one of these times, I want a TV character to start casually smoking pot on network TV with no repercussions. I’m not sure why they went in that direction — I’m just excited that Johnny broke Tom Cruise’s record in “Few Good men” last night for “The worst performance ever by an actor who’s pretending that he’s drunk.” What a moment. And did you know it was possible for a smashed 17 year-old to rock climb while holding a bottle of tequila? I cadn’t even successfully take my contacts out when I’m drunk. What a ridiculous show.

Steve, (Seattle WA): Bill, why didn’t the World Wide Sports Leader hire Eugene Robinson to give the scouting report on the nightlife in Windsor, Ontario?

Bill Simmons: That’s a great question. That’s my vote for most underrated sports scandal — Eugene needed to “unwind” on the night before the Super Bowl, so he went out and pulled a Hugh Grant. On the other hand, you can’t blame him — the dude went to Colgate. Not exactly a sexual hotbed. Believe me, I spent 5 weekends there over the course of 1987-1992. Let’s just say that I never had to crack open the condoms. Maybe he was making up for lost time.

Mike W (Chicago): Bill, don’t you think Peyton Manning can’t wait for the Pro Bowl so he can remind everyone he’s still the man?

Bill Simmons: I don’t think there’s any question. he has a chance to become a 4-time Pro Bowl MVP. That’s saying something.

Pat (Chicago): Bill we are having an argument at work that you must settle. Who would win in a fight between Jack Bauer and John McClane from Die Hard.

Bill Simmons: You’re having this argument at work? Wow. Anyway, I would go with jack Bauer, anyone who could say the line, “The only reason you’re conscious right now is because I didn’t feel like carrying you” gets my vote.

Dave (Seattle): Bill, can you explain the difference between a hernia and a “sports hernia”? Is it just a hernia you get playing sports?

Bill Simmons: I think there should be all different hernias — sports hernias, sex hernias, drinking hernias, and so on.

Josh G (Columbus): Bill, where’s the explanantion for why Peter King kicked your ass this year at NFL picks?

Bill Simmons: Because he doesn’t pick against the spread? That could be it.

Bill (New York): As a Colgate grad, am I supposed to be upset at your crack about the numbing effects the extreme cold has on female libidos or take it on the chin, hang my head, and say damn it’s funny ’cause its true?

Bill Simmons: The latter. Now take a cold shower.

Pete (DC): Is it safe to put our money on the Seahawks now that you have picked the Steelers?

Bill Simmons: Absolutely. You have my blessing. I am the NFL Mush of 2006.

Mike (Seattle): Aren’t you like 3-7 in the playoffs? Why are people asking for your pick this Sunday?

Bill Simmons: Hey, I’m 4-6 pal!

Brandon, New York, NY: Audrey on 24 is absolutely killing me right now. Jack’s trying to meet with Novick to inform him of a rogue agent in the white house staff and she’s calling him demanding that Jack tell her if he still loves her? I mean are you kidding me? Could that not have waited until Jack was done, I mean the country’s fate was hanging in the balance.

Bill Simmons: I am EXTREMELY concerned about 24 right now. Just in the first few weeks, Jack allowed himself to be followed by a 16 year old kid, then got sucked into a love triangle at CTU while there was nerve gas to be found. What the hell? Since when did Jack Bauer care about anyone? This is the same guy who shot Ryan Chapelle at point blank range! Also, why is Kiefer Sutherland whispering all his lines now? And what’s up with the Edgar character? I feel like they’re playing a practical joke on us. But the biggest problem has been Rudy joining the cast — I just can’t take him seriously. Every time he enters a room, I start chanting “Rudy! Rudy!” and the Sports Gal tells me to shut up. Couldn’t they include one scene where he’s inexplicably wearing a Notre Dame football jacket? What about Charles S. Dutton randomly playing a CTU janitor? They need to kill off Rudy and Edgar ASAP.

Matt (Wellsville, NY): What the heck is Bettis doing in SB XL? He has hasn’t been XL since grade school

Kyle (Boston, MA): Totally agree with you about the OC. There is no way that a guy could possibly do enough drugs to be able to sit through Save the Last Dance. What do you think about what Marc Stein said about the C’s and Chris Paul? Should they have traded Pierce for the 3rd pick and taken Chris Paul?

Bill Simmons: An excellent point about Seth. You would need to be shooting heroin directly into your jugular vein to enjoy Save the Last Dance. As for the PP trade, last summer I wanted them to do it because they would have saved about $10-11 million on the cap and PP was acting like such a head case. Now? I wouldn’t do it. I think Pierce is a top-12 guy. His head is on straight for whatever reason.

Brad (Wichita, KS): You have to issue your uncensored columns out on a DVD “Sports’ Guy, the Director’s Cut”

Bill Simmons: A very good idea.

Jake (Greensboro, NC): Sports Guy, should the Super Bowl ever be held in a city that hasn’t hosted a Real World?

Bill Simmons: Absolutely not. I came up with that theory a few years ago and I still think it flies.

JC (NJ Yankee Nation): When is the next book coming out — Your writing has ways of making my colon relax

Bill Simmons: That could be a good title for the next book! “My writing has ways of making your colon relax,” by Bill Simmons

Eric H (Chicago, IL): I watched “Weird Science” last night. Kelly Le Brock is now on “Celebrity Fit Club.” Is there a sports equivalent to seeing that depressing turn of events?

Bill Simmons: Seeing Magic Johnson involved in that “3-Ball” fiasco 3 years ago.

Brian (Lansing, MI): Bill, how many Pistons should be Eastern Conference All-Star reserves?

Bill Simmons: I think all 5 should make it. Seriously.

Rob (Boston): So, the Clippers are playing the Celtics in the Garden tonight. Are you rooting for the Celtics or the Clippers???

Bill Simmons: Please. I’m a diehard Celtics fan. I would never root against them under any circumstances. But they don’t have a snowball’s chance of beating the Clips right now. The Clips are playing great. And by the way, check out this week’s ESPN Mag for an EXCELLENT piece on Sam I Am.

Jeff (Cleveland): Bill…I’m getting married in September…any advice besides ‘don’t do it’?

Bill Simmons: Elope.

Jeff Rosenhousen (NYC): What are the last few CDs you’ve bought (or downloaded)?

Bill Simmons: I haven’t bought a CD in about 15 months. Some of the bands I’ve been downloading lately: Bloc Party; Snow Patrol, LCD Soundsystem; Giant Drag. I would have bought all those albums if it wasn’t easier to just download them. The last album I bought was the Killers, which has reached “Pearl Jam: Ten” status for me.

Mark (Bechtel, SI): I think HORSE should replace the Slam Dunk Contest, too!

Bill Simmons: Interesting idea, Mark! You should write about it!

Charley (Houston TX): How come no one is talking about the Mavs? They’ve won 10 in a row and they’re playing Avery style of basketball by slowing the game down and showing much improved defense. Not to mention some very unselfish basketball. And they’ve beat all the contenders: DET, SA, MIA, PHO

Bill Simmons: I’m talking about the Mavs! I think they’re the 2nd best team in the league right now. But I think they killed themselves by not trading for Artest — it was their one chance to add an elite player and they didn’t do it. I’m sorry, there’s no way Kobe drops 62 on them in 3 quarters if Artest is on the floor.

Kevin (Waltham, MA): Did you see the look on Hilary’s face during Bush’s state of the union. I was scared for the poor guy. Reminded me of that lady with the crazy eyes on temptation island.

Jeff (KC, MO): I think paternity testing should replace the slam dunk contest

Bill Simmons: Would there be judges?

Dick (Sacramento): Any correlation between you going to 3 of the last 5 Super Bowls with the 3 you have attended having the Pats taking part?

Bill Simmons: Here’s the weird thing: Each time the Pats didn’t make it, I had decided well in advance that I wasn’t going for Page 2. But just to be clear, if they had made it this year, I absolutely would have gone for the weekend. Even if I had to walk to Detroit.

Adam (College Park, MD): Who would you be more scared to see on the street…Isiah Thomas or Antonio Davis’s coffee throwing wife?

Bill Simmons: Mrs. Davis. I just feel so vindicated about this whole thing — I can always spot crazy chicks and toupees, it’s a gift.

Isiah Thomas (Courtroom): Bill, I got enough problems right now. Truce?

Bill Simmons: Truce.

Chris (Charlotte): Is it acceptable to pee in the shower? I need a ruling on this.

Bill Simmons: It’s not just acceptable, it’s mandated.

Jeremy (Las Vegas): Was a Hooter’s Casino in Vegas really necessary? It opened last night.

Bill Simmons: I vote for “unnecessary.” I have never been in a Hooters that had even 1 female patron — it’s the sausage fest to end all sausage fests. This is basically going to be the first-ever all-male casino, only with waitresses. Bad times.

Harrison (Boone, NC): How surprised were you when Stephen A.’s show got moved to 11 pm?

Bill Simmons: Who?

Mat (Scottsdale, AZ): Do you think MNF should bring back ED, Lisa Guerraro, Dierdorf, etc? Just make it the announers as bad as possible, heck, even put Magic in the booth. Ratings would definitely go up.

Bill Simmons: I want OJ back in the booth. We need OJ back in some form — whether it’s a reality show, Naked Gun 4, an NFL Network gig or whatever. It would be awkward and riveting.

Mark (South Orange): Where can I buy a computer with a breathalizer system that will lock me out sites like amazon, ebay and half.com when I reach a certain alcoholic limit? How many needless DVDs and CDs do we have to suffer through before a change is made?

Bill Simmons: Come on! Why do you think my book is still selling?

Andy (NY, NY): Hey, where is Jerome Bettis (“The Bus”) from originally?

Bill Simmons: Chicago? Milwaukee? I think it’s somewhere in the Midwest.

Brad, NYC: Who is your editor Kevin Jackson going to be rooting for on Sunday? Isn’t he a well-documented sports bigamist? Have you been brow-beating him for 2 weeks?

Bill Simmons: He’s rooting for Seattle and has renounced the Steelers. At least that’s what he’s telling us.

Sean (Indy): at what point is it just outright sad that everyone in the stadium cheers just for darko to walk to the scorer’s table, and then explodes when he hits one jumper?

Bill Simmons: Why wont Detroit trade him? That’s my question … aren’t they one more bench player away from locking up 70 wins and possibly going 16-0 in the playoffs?

Jake (Chechnya): How many points would the ’87 MJ have averaged in today’s NBA?

Bill Simmons: No joke: I think he would have averaged 40-plus a game. And he would have sprung for 85 at one point.

Jeremy (Akron, OH): Is it really that big of a deal that LeBron won’t do the slam dunk contest? Some people seem to think its some sort of right that he is denying us. This isn’t the old school dunk contest when MJ participated, and I think if people want to see him dunk, they can just watch the Cavs when they’re on

Bill Simmons: What would leBron possibly have to gain by being in the dunk contest? it would be like Mariah Carey entering American Idol. Makes no sense.

Julian (Los Angeles): whats your prediction for the clippers? you can’t still think they’ll finish third in the west. realistically, maybe a 5 seed and a first round matchup against the mavs. what do you think?

Bill Simmons: I think they can win the Pacific. Here’s the thing: Nash has been healthy all season. He’s due for one of those “out for 7 games” stretches where they go 1-6. The Clips can catch them. I’m just excited that I get to go to some playoff games. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that my Clips tix would pay off with playoff games. And imagine if they get the No. 3 seed and somehow play the Lakers in Round One?

Sean (Boston): What do you think of the Fleetcenter returning to the Garden name?

Bill Simmons: I think it’s awful. Just awful. There’s only one Garden. Stuff like this makes me mad.

Boose (Louisville, KY): Your predictions for 24?

Bill Simmons: I bet Jack saves the day somehow.

Paul (Chicago): SG, how long until AC Green calls for royalties on 40-Year-Old Virgin? I mean, he had to hate that his virginity was CONSTANTLY a story, but then they go and make a blockbuster movie mocking his life and don’t pay him a dime for it?

Bill Simmons: I couldn’t agree more. They should have just had Steve Carell wearing his hair in horrible gheri-curls.

Neal (Hartford): Isnt it time the Celtics bring Gerald Green back from the NBDL already? I mean, even Sebastian Telfair and Darius Miles got more action in their rookie years. The C’s (diehard fan here so its hard for me to say this) stink, badly. He should get some time, even if he is skinnier than Lindsay Lohan.

Bill Simmons: Couldn’t agree more. The team isn’t going anywhere — throw him out there. The NBDL makes me nervous, there’s something very “amateur-porny” about it.

Newman (Santa Monica): Do you think Johnny is dead on The OC or just hurt, really badly?

Bill Simmons: My biggest fear is that he’s going to end up in a wheelchair, and every episode will have Marissa wheeling him around while Johnny talks about how he made a mistake on the cliff and he misses surfing. if that happens, I will stop watching the show. That will be the final straw.

Ross (Salt Lake City): How many weeks before the fake boobied chick on Survivor gets voted off? I say she stays til the end only because the young guys will ALWAYS keep eye candy around. My wife says by the end of February. She’s no threat. Thoughts?

Bill Simmons: Those girls always get voted off immediately — it’s a Survivor tradition. CBS doesn’t want the ratings to be TOO high. if I was running the show, I would have immunity challenges like “It’s a wet t-shirt contest with judges” and “sprint 500 yards while trying to holding as many stick as possible in your cleavage” to keeps these womenb around

Ryan (Seattle): whats going to be a big surprise for sundays super bowl game?

Bill Simmons: The Rolling Stones. I just don’t think anyone is adequately prepared for how old they are and how bad their music is now. It’s like they’ve become a cover band of themselves. Everyone will be in disbelief.

Dave (San Diego): Biggest question of the day: does Dave Chappelle cry on Oprah today? Your prediction …

Bill Simmons: I say yes! And on that note, time to turn it over to Klosterman … enjoy the weekend!

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine, and his Sports Guy’s World site is updated every day, Monday through Friday. His new book “Now I Can Die In Peace” is available on Amazon.com and in bookstores everywhere.

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Bill Simmons is the founding editor of Grantland and the author of the New York Times no. 1 best seller The Book of Basketball. For every Simmons column and podcast, click here.

Archive @ BillSimmons