So many links this week that I’m not even writing an intro. Here we go
- Joe from Madison, Wis., writes, “Did you know there’s a Bucks Career Fair coming up March 5? The timing is impeccable! This is a sign, you should book your flight immediately. If you need a place to crash, fly into Madison I’ve got a couch.” By the way, if you’re a college kid in the area and you feel like crashing this event with a “SIMMONS IN 2008! YES WE CAN!” sign, we’ll post any and all pictures on ESPN.com.
- On Friday, I did a 30-minute interview with Steve “The Homer” True, the host of Milwaukee’s drive-time sports show on ESPN Radio. You’ll admire my long-term strategy, my moxie, my conviction and the way I handled The Homer’s questions about some controversial choices I made in college. As it turned out, The Homer is in the same fantasy baseball league as my old college roommate, Chip, who betrayed me by telling The Homer a few college stories and somehow forgot I was the guy who had the video camera in college. Chipper, we’ll call this an official warning. Slip up again and you’ll become a YouTube star like the “Chocolate Rain” guy.
- Brian W. in Minnesota alerts us, “Not sure if you’re aware of it, but a sports columnist being an NBA GM isn’t unprecedented. Sid Hartman actually did it for the Minneapolis Lakers back in the late ’40s-early ’50s. Better yet, he never gave up his column in the Minneapolis Daily Times, he did both simultaneously! Better yet, he’s still writing a column 50 years later, now for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.”
- A fantastic point from Scott C. in Sunnyside, N.Y.:
“Your campaign for Bucks GM made me curious about the guy you are trying to oust. If incompetence wasn’t enough to get Larry Harris fired (and for you to get your shot), I believe this link should end the discussion.”
- Another good point from Tom in Green Bay: “Check out this Draft Express piece from 2005. Larry Harris goes over why the Bucks took Bogut and not Chris Paul. The reason? T.J. Ford! The guy they let go a few months later. I’m going ice fishing.”
- You knew this was coming: My own “Simmons for Bucks GM!” Facebook group! There actually are a few of them (I liked the title of this one the most), but that first one had the most members when we posted these links a whopping 115 in all. Come on, we could boost that number, right? People of Milwaukee, IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE!
- Finally, the two most well-known Bucks bloggers have taken up my cause: Brewhoop.com and Hardwood Paroxysm. Special thanks to the Hardwood guys for their impressive Photoshop skills, which almost made up for the fact they called me a “douchenozzle.”
(Random story: When I was a senior in college, we had a student who fancied himself as a future PBA bowler and wore bowling shirts with his name written on them. When he objected to a bowling joke in one of my “Ramblings” column for the school newspaper, he challenged me to a bowling match, and I eagerly accepted because I was only one year removed from bowling a 199 at Greenwich Lanes. We battled on a Thursday night at the bowling alley in Auburn, Mass. Something like 300 people showed up to watch me get crushed. Which I did. The guy was wearing a bowling shirt and a wrist brace and had a signature fist pump after each strike. You have to love college. $20,000 a year at the time.)
(By the way, I’m on the fence do I write an “American Idol” column? When I say I’ve never watched it before this season, I can’t emphasize that strongly enough. So I have a lot of thoughts coming in fresh. I can’t decide.)
While we’re here, don’t forget about my ever-expanding Sports Guy Collection of clips on YouTube. Here are nine new suggestions from the readers:
- Danny B. in Vacaville, Calif.: “Check out this ‘Blair Witch’ camera angle from Oracle Arena the other night when Baron Davis hit the game-winner against Boston in front of the biggest crowd ever. Remind you, it’s February, this team could miss the playoffs despite winning 50 games and hasn’t won a title since Bea Arthur was hot. I love being a Warrior fan.”
- Chris M. in Houston: “Check out this dunk contest with Pierce and VC from 1995. Vince was doing ‘Nique-type stuff in high school!”
- Dave in Houston: “There’s video of Tracy McGrady scoring 13 points in the final 35 seconds to beat San Antonio a couple of years ago. I was at this game, and it is still one of the most amazing performances I’ve witnessed live. It was one of those moments when the crowd suddenly realizes, ‘Hey, wait a minute. We could effing win this game.’ When T-Mac dribbles down the court at the end, you knew he was going to make the 3-pointer.”
- CK in Hawthorne, Calif.: “Don’t know if you have seen this Tecmo Bowl re-creation of ‘The Helmet Catch.’ The man who created it is worthy of the Oscar for Best Screenplay Adaptation.”
- Tom J. in Connecticut: “You thought Pacman Jones made it rain? Wait until you see Paul Shirley in this montage from NBA 2k8.”
- Andy in Worcester, Mass.: “Thought you might enjoy this little nugget from the Philadelphia Daily News (toward the bottom)
Gilbert Arenas is apparently constructing a replica of Hugh Hefner’s pool (complete with grotto). Not the worst thing an athlete has ever built in his backyard, but a highway to the danger zone nonetheless.”
(Follow-up note from Simmons: If any professional athlete in the past 15 years belonged on an L.A. team, it’s Gilbert Arenas. Can’t David Stern step in and force the Wizards to trade Arenas to the Clippers just like he forced Memphis to trade Gasol to the Lakers last month?)
- Anthony in Ann Arbor, Mich.: “I have a link to add to your Unintentional Comedy list; I see you have the Ken Patera botched promo where Mean Gene can’t hold in his laughter, but this one’s even more incredible — Patera calling Hulk Hogan a woman and gay-bashing San Francisco while Mean Gene giggles.”
- Paul C in Buffalo: “Here’s a clip of Jennifer Tilly making one of the worst moves in poker history. Phil Ivey’s face at the end makes this clip priceless.”
- Gagan in Toronto: “How lucky is Vince Carter and Nike that the following commercial never aired, considering Vince gave up on the ensuing season and was traded from Toronto within a couple of months?”
(Follow-up note from Simmons: That is an AMAZING misfire of a commercial. You must watch it.)
Two nights ago, the Sports Gal pay-per-viewed “In the Land of Women” while I was sifting through 3 million e-mails from Seattle, and I ended up getting sucked in. The movie stars Adam Brody, who I once called the next Tom Hanks during the height of “The OC” craze. Not one of my finest moments. (He’s destined to be the star of one of those witty “How I Met Your Mother”-type sitcoms, which isn’t a bad thing at all. But he’s not the next Tom Hanks.) Brody plays an L.A. writer who goes back to Michigan to spend a few weeks with his dying grandmother and ends up getting sucked into the lives of the family across the street. And you know what? This probably could have been a decent indie movie except I was too distracted by Meg Ryan’s face. She plays the mom of the family across the street and was supposed to have a flirty relationship with Brody, only she kinda looks like The Joker now. I couldn’t get past it. This wasn’t like a Priscilla Presley-type, over-the-top plastic surgery where she looked like Catwoman; half the time, she still looks like Meg Ryan, then she’d smile or make a face and turn into The Joker. I couldn’t handle it and kept talking about it every time she had a scene. Finally, the Sports Gal asked me to leave. I have to be honest, I only saw the first half of the movie, but I still can’t recommend it.
As for our two running segments that we launched last week
1. “This Week’s Most Depressing Link about Clay Bennett Murdering the NBA in Seattle While David Stern Does Nothing.”
We’re leaving this vacant this week after printing nearly 23,000 words of “Save the Sonics” content Thursday and Friday. But since Howard Schultz was the guy who started this runaway train by selling the Sonics to a guy who wanted to move them, here’s a link to the Starbucks Gossip blog, which features every unflattering piece of news you’d ever want to know about Starbucks. Enjoy.
2. This Week’s Irresistible Request to Pimp a Goofy-but-Entertaining Web Site or Blog.
I’m making the irresistible request this week: So long to our friends from www.straightcashhomey.net, who parted with Page 2 last month but continue to crank out horrendous jersey sightings daily on their site. This remains one of my favorite Internet ideas of the past five years. Come on, check out the Feb. 25 entry of the guy working at his desk in a Curtis Enis jersey. How can you not love this site?
- Damian in Toronto: “This is one of the more interesting Springsteen interviews I’ve read in a while. Loved hearing him weigh in on Obama vs. Hillary, what his teenaged kids listen to, and what’s on his iPod.”
- Scott P. in Fremont, Neb.: “Since you are a resident of the Los Angeles area, I need you to verify the content of the following quote from Anne Donovan, U.S. women’s basketball coach: ‘With Lisa (Leslie) coming back and (Candace) Parker coming out, that’s going to be a formidable combination for years to come. I know L.A. is dancing in the streets right now.’ Be sure to have the Sports Gal take a picture of you and Michael Rapaport frolicking together, rejoicing in the glory of this momentous event.”
- Ryan in Arlington, Va.: “The Hardball Times posted an item where the premise is to find the least value possible for the outfield positions.
Using ‘Net Win Shares Value’ (a dollar amount representing how much a player contributed in relation to the total value of his contract), they have Podsednik in left, Edmonds in center, and your boy J.D. Drew in right. Sometimes sabermetrics can be a really complicated way of figuring out what everyone already knows.”
- Sam in Lake Bluff, Ill.: “You will not believe what MLB.com is selling on its Web site, how can this be legal? And would any girl EVER wear this?”
- Tom R. in Charlotte, N.C.: “Remember the ‘legacy key’ that Steve Sanders had at West Beverly? Well, it looks like it has turned up at Chapel Hill High School.”
- Matt in New York: “You might want to rethink your theory about blackjack and coaching. Check out this 1991 Dave Anderson column and remember, Ray Handley was a really lousy coach.”
- Willis K in Chicago: “Before you accept the Bucks GM job, you should know that the headquarters of the United States Bowling Congress, the heart and soul, the shirt and shoes of American bowling, located in Milwaukee for more than a century, is threatening to pick up and move to Texas.”
- Marc in Middletown, R.I.: “I know you try to avoid politics in your columns (and rightly so), but did you see this article on the Sox going to the White House last week? Putting aside the normal accolades you’d expect from this sort of thing, the one thing that struck me was just how knowledgable and (intentionally!) funny the Bush quotes were. When was the last time you could actually say that about him? I can’t shake the feeling that he belongs in baseball, not in politics. In fact, it explains a lot about the last eight years. OK, I’ll stop.”
- Ricky in Alexandria, Va.: “Any NBA GM who takes Mike Beasley with the first pick in the NBA draft should be forced to read this article. Yeah, I can see Jordan not working out for an entire year because it was too cold. RIGHT!”
- Zach in Greenville, S.C.: “I wrote you before the trade deadline, saying that the Cavs didn’t have to make a trade. However, even though I do not believe Ben Wallace will significantly help the Cavs (the other players acquired will), I can’t help but be glad that the Cavs got rid of a player who would say this. Brian Windhorst nailed the commentary after the quote.”
- Jay in London, Ontario: “I regret to inform you of the passing of an integral part of the ‘Road House’ family, as well as a legendary musician, impresario, radio personality. Jeff Healey has passed away at age 41. Long may he play the stage of the Double Deuce.”
- Anthony in Encino, Calif.: “I’m not sure why I’m sending you this link, or why I would expect you or any of your readers who aren’t from Pittsburgh to care. But you seem open to collective expressions from a fan base, and I want to join what I imagine to be a wave of Steelers fans and Western Pennsylvania natives calling for more attention to be given to the passing of Myron Cope. As clichéd as it might sound, he really was more than an announcer, and the Steelers really are more than a football team. People love the Steelers because they represent what’s best about Pittsburgh, and Myron, in turn, represented what’s best about the Steelers. As a Steelers fan, I mourn the passing of a symbol of the team and the city, but I also mourn the passing of a man who just loved life, and dedicated himself to enjoying life and making sure those around him enjoyed it as well.”
Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. For every Simmons column, as well as podcasts, videos, favorite links and more, check out the revamped Sports Guy’s World.