State of the NBA Finals

Time for another Boston breakdown

The mail and the Rocket

The mail and the Rocket

After shivering my way through a 10-day book tour on the East Coast, I was reminded yet again that the whole “warm weather teams can’t win in December” theory makes total sense. When you haven’t dealt with winter weather in awhile, your body forgets how to adjust, so you spend the whole time thinking, “Wow, this is cold, I’m cold, I can’t believe how cold I am, I think my ears might break off, I’m freezing, this is unbelievable, I’m ridiculously cold right now … ”

And it’s always in the back of your mind. Always. So that’s why I’m giving you my Week 15 Lock of the Week: The Bears somehow covering a three-point spread over Atlanta. You can thank me later. In the meantime, let’s hit a special holiday edition of the mailbag. As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers …

Q: I cannot believe you have not gone ballistic at the thought of Roger Clemens signing back with the Red Sox. How awful would that be, to have him back in a Sox uni to “complete the circle” of his career in Boston???
— Kevin M., Flower Mound, Texas

SG: Come on, don’t make me think about this. I’m begging you.

Q: The Dodgers hire Grady Little, Ron Artest has his expected brain fart, Theo comes back to the Red Sox as a “consultant” and the Sox are seriously considering trying to sign the AntiChrist. And all this happens while you’re on a book tour/vacation and limiting your columns? This can’t be a coincidence.
— Rick C., New Orleans

Two plugs for the next few days:

First, there’s one last book signing in Los Angeles tonight (7 p.m.) at the Barnes and Noble bookstore in the Grove. And on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, I’m hosting ESPN Radio’s drive-time “Sports Bash” show, which runs from 4 to 7 p.m. ET and appears in something like 200 markets across the country.

If they don’t have the show in your city, you can also listen to the show online through the streaming audio function on ESPN Radio’s Web site.

After that, I’m done. I swear.

SG: You left out Isiah Thomas signing Qyntel Woods; Matt Leinart’s goofy Heisman photos; the Texans throwing last Sunday’s game; the Sox spending an extra $11 million to trade a guy they already overpaid the previous winter; Lisa Guerrero’s Playboy spread hitting the newsstands; Brady getting named “Sportsman of the Year” and immediately injuring his leg; the Clippers going into a tailspin; and People magazine’s report that Pat Morita died from prolonged alcoholism. Out of everything, the Morita news stunned me the most. Does that mean he was actually drunk during the birthday party scene when Daniel-San puts him to bed? Did they ad-lib that whole thing because he showed up to the set bombed? Were there deleted scenes where Mr. Miyagi instructs Daniel-San, “Always liquor before beer” and “Man who throws down 15 tequila shots accomplish anything”? I feel like my whole world has been turned upside down.

Q: You’ve been noticeably silent on the topic of Gonzaga’s Adam Morrison and all the Larry Bird comparisons he’s drawing. While there are some similarities, Bird was a far superior player even in college — Morrison isn’t nearly the rebounder or passer that Bird was. With that said, they are roughly the same height and weight and I can say this much about Morrison: he’s clearly the best player in the country this year and he’s the best white non-point guard I’ve seen in my life. What’s your take on this?
— John Gale, Provo, Utah

SG: Wait a second — someone from Utah loves Adam Morrison? I’m stunned!!! Where do you stand on Steve Nash?

Just kidding … you’re right about Morrison. Phenomenal scorer, unbelievable range, remarkable competitor. I jumped on the Gonzaga bandwagon this season and started TiVo-ing its games just because I enjoy watching him so much. And yes, he reminds me of Young Larry as a scorer — not just his range, but the way he can shoot in traffic and score with a hand in his face, as well as the way his teammates rally around him (which happened even more for Bird when he played at Indiana State). But Morrison doesn’t affect games with his rebounding and passing, which were the qualities that always separated Bird from every other big scorer of his generation (and the reason he won three straight MVPs). So there’s no real comparison here.

Is there a little Bird in Morrison? Absolutely. But there’s also more than a little Bobby Dandridge, some young Jamaal Wilkes, a little dash of Rex Chapman, maybe even a little Nowitzki (the way he releases his shot) and Detlef Schrempf (all the garbage points). I don’t think there’s ever been anyone quite like him. Throw in the cheesy mustache and I’m about three more 40-point explosions away from flying up to Gonzaga to write a column about him.

(Note on the cheesy mustache: it’s not a porn mustache. Please stop calling it that. Jake Plummer had a porn mustache. Wade Boggs had a porn mustache. Morrison has one of those late-’70s ABC Afterschool Special mustaches — the guys with those ‘staches always took Charlene Tilton or Valerie Bertinelli into their brown van, tried to make out with them, gave them some shrooms and panicked when they started OD’ing, ultimately driving them down to an abandoned parking lot and dumping their convulsing bodies behind a picnic bench. That’s the Adam Morrison mustache.)

Q: Do you think Mario Lopez will bring Elisabeth Berkley as his date to the ESPN Christmas party?
— Eric S., Indianapolis

SG: (Giggling … )

Q: What do you think was the most uncomfortable part of Sunday’s “Survivor” reunion show: watching the ultra-competitive Steph try not to strangle Danni after getting stomped 6-1 or listening to Danni tell the preposterous story the producers came up with to explain how she recognized Gary as an NFL QB? The part of the ’80s he didn’t spend as a backup was spent throwing interceptions, and she recognized him 15 years after he washed out of the league? Even Jeff Kent could have come up with a better explanation.
— Ryan H., Long Beach, Calif.

SG: First of all, I can’t remember anyone making the leap like Danni did in the “Survivor” show — she went from looking like one of those 75-pound women who run the Boston Marathon to an out-and-out vixen in the span of five minutes; it was like the scene in “The Breakfast Club” when Ally Sheedy puts makeup on. Meanwhile, poor Steph was sitting next to her with another crazy perm and that plucked eyebrow thing going on — it was vaguely reminscent of when Venus Williams or one of the WNBA All-Stars tries to get dressed up. Completely discombobulating.

With that said, the Hogeboom explanation was the most insulting moment in the history of reality television … and that’s saying something. Look, I already feel like enough of an idiot for getting sucked into these shows. Don’t tell me that some chick who hosts a two-hour weekly sports radio show in Kansas City was recognizing Gary Hogeboom pretty much instantaneously. Not only would I have not recognized him, I have friends who are Cowboys fans and admit they couldn’t have picked him out of a police lineup now that he’s so much skinnier and has the gray hair/Carl Spackler underbite going. It’s completely improbable. There’s no way. It’s an impossibility.

Of course, there’s a way to settle this: Somebody needs to invite Danni on a radio or TV show and show her current pictures of various starting QBs from the ’70s and ’80s (Danny White, Steve Grogan, Joe Ferguson, Steve DeBerg, Dave Krieg, Richard Todd, Neil Lomax, Scott Brunner and so on) and see how many she can name. Heck, you could even throw in some easy ones like Jim Plunkett and Kenny Stabler. There’s no way she would agree to do this, because there’s no way she wasn’t lying, because there’s no way the “Survivor” producers didn’t tip her off.

(And I’ll go further — I think they wanted her to win the whole thing. The key moment happened when they were all bidding on food with their fake money and Lydia the Fishmonger stupidly bid on the mosquito net while everyone else spent their money on grub, so Danni easily snagged the hint for the Final Six immunity challenge. That was right out of the Paradise Hotel “Changing the Rules To Keep Our Best Characters On The Show” Playbook. Of course Danni was getting the hint — everyone else was too hungry to block her. That was an outrage. I’m surprised they didn’t have a “Throwing a football through a tire” immunity challenge to keep Gary on for one more week.)

Q: So, I know that you are on vacation (of sorts) but are you going to respond to the possibility of Clemens’ coming back to Boston?
— Brian, Boston

SG: Leave me alone.

Q: So I read your book … it was actually really good. But I have found that it has a weird power over men. I have been asked on five dates while “reading” this book in public. “Reading” is in quotes because now it has just become an accessory for me, like a purse. I actually finished it two weeks ago, but find that I can not leave the house without it. So, thanks, your book has become my new wingman.
— Brit, Chicago

SG: See, ladies? You need to get my book! Much cheaper than breast implants.

Q: After your Providence signing last night, I was wondering what’s the weirdest/funniest thing somebody has asked you to write as your “personalized message” at a book signing? I’m sure a man can only take so many “Donna Martin graduates!” before wanting to rip a book in half and start throwing chairs, a la Bobby Knight.
— Lou, Johnston, RI

SG: All right, top-5 weirdest/funniest requests from the last tour:

1. The guy who asked me to sign my name, then answer a question on the left side of the page: “Who would win a fight between 50 Cent and all three Hanson brothers if (a) the Hansons were equipped with survival knives while 50 Cent was unarmed, and (b) 50 Cent could take any of the knives and use them in the fight.” My job was to circle who I thought would win — obviously, I chose 50 Cent. But I did think about it.

2. Another guy asked me to sign my name with my fourth-favorite “Anchorman” quote. Not my favorite … my fourth-favorite. I went with “Milk was a BAD choice.”

3. Another guy asked me to do my Paul Maguire impersonation as the signature, which was actually quite enjoyable: “I want you to watch me sign this book right here, watch this, watch this pen moving, here it comes — BAM! Right there! You think I didn’t want to sign this book? You think this wasn’t a big signing?”

4. And probably my favorite movie request: The guy who asked me to write down the Colonel’s famous quote from Boogie Nights — “Jack says you have a great big (bleep) … may I see it?” The best part was the expression on the lady’s face at Borders who was helping me open each book to the right page — I think she’s still in therapy.

5. And finally, one guy asked me to sign his book, “Thanks for taking me to Brokeback Mountain last night, I had a blast.” That’s just comedy.

Q: You have shown an appreciation for look-a-likes many times in your columns and I think you have the sort of narcotics-influenced-but-not-addled mind that can look beyond the artificial barriers our societies create and see men for who they are, regardless of race. All of which is a long way of getting to the fact that Tom Brady and Yao Ming look a lot like each other and I would appreciate it if people could start talking about it. I would be especially grateful if other people could back me up on this issue with my girlfriend, who swoons obnoxiously over Mr. Brady and might stop if she could be forced to see his obvious similarity to the frankly lurchy Mr. Ming. Or Mr. Yao. I still don’t know how that works.
— Matt, Columbus, Ohio

SG: Excellent call, I’m with you. And while we’re here, I always thought former Giants linebacker Harry Carson looked exactly like Glenn Close. So there.

Q: Can you please break down some Artest trade scenarios. It’s been days since the trade demand went down and I’m tired of seeing Peja for Artest talk. I need something fresh; Odom, Maggette, Igoudala. You can play the GM game with real salary cap dollars.
— Zach D., Fort Collins, Col.

SG: I’m glad someone asked me this. I keep reading these Artest trade scenarios that make no sense — really, is he more crazy than some of the other lunatics in the league? For instance, I still maintain that Stephen Jackson was the craziest guy on the court that night — he challenged the entire Pistons team to a fight, charged into the stands throwing haymakers like he was fighting the Baseball Furies in “The Warriors,” then left the stadium shirtless and waving fans to dump beer on him. That was less crazy than anything Artest did? Throw in that Artest is only 26 years old, as well as one of the top 25 players in the league, and I can’t imagine why the Pacers would give him away.

So where could he go? Remember, they have a genuine chance to win the championship — they need to get someone back who can score from the swingman position. They’re not getting Jefferson, Igoudala, Lewis, Maggette or Deng for him, and they would never take on those Antawn Jamison/Wally Szczerbiak-type contracts. The Kings don’t work because Peja is a free agent this summer (too big of a risk). The Rockets and Suns don’t match up. Cleveland would never risk inadvertently sabotaging the LeBron Era when he could bolt in 2-3 years. The Knicks would only work if they included Channing Frye — even Isiah isn’t dumb enough to do that. Lamar Odom is too much for Artest; Ricky Davis, Josh Howard or Shane Battier isn’t enough. Any non-playoff team knows that Artest would flip out in a losing situation.

Anyway, here’s the team that makes sense: Milwaukee. They have Bobby Simmons, who could be best described as Ron Artest Lite — good teammate, good defender, reliable shooter, plays three positions, and he’s decidedly un-crazy. They also have two big men (Dan Gadzuric and Jamaal Magloire) who could be intriguing for the Pacers — possible upgrades over Scot Pollard and Jeff Foster. Just feels like something could work here. Plus, the city of Milwaukee has already survived Jeffrey Dahmer — Artest would be a breeze by comparison. I think that’s where he ends up. And if that gives him a chance to hang out on Latrell Sprewell’s yacht during the summers, all the better.

Q: Caught last night’s thrilling Cavs/Clips game and I have a quick observation: Mike Dunleavy has completely morphed into James Gandolfini; maybe this has been observed before, but looking at him last night was shocking.
— Mike Maruca, Cleveland

SG: Nope, you’re dead-on — he’s only missing the sweeping pot belly, the suspenders and the tomato stains.

Q: I can’t believe I heard this, but Paul Maguire said on Sunday night that he can think of ONLY one QB you don’t want to give the ball back to in a tie game with 2 minutes left — Brett Favre!!!! Has he heard of Tom Brady? Hasn’t Favre thrown about 75 game killing INTs in the past few years? With this in mind, what are the five worst announcer comments this year?
— Tom B., Duxbury, Mass.

SG: Not only did I hear the same comment, I remember thinking to myself, “Does he mean that you don’t want to give Favre the ball in a tie game if you’re a Packers fan?” Unbelievable. With the way broadcasters treat Favre these days — and it’s not just the Sunday night guys, it’s everyone — we may have to change the phrase “treating him with kid gloves” to “the Favre Treatment.” For years now, Favre has basically been the white Aaron Brooks — does all the same dumb things, makes the same dumb throws, snatches defeat from victory the same number of times, but puts up surprisingly good stats year after year. Only everyone piles on Brooks and makes excuses for Favre. Hmmmmm. I’d say more here, but I’m violating Scoop Jackson’s Page 2 territorial rights.

By the way, in my “Top Gun/NFL” preview before the 2003 season, I gave Favre the quote, “Wait a second … you were in a 4G inverted dive with a MIG-28?” with the following explanation: To Brett Favre, firmly entrenched in the “Marino in the mid-’90s” stage of his career. In other words, he’s just great enough to win some games on his own, not quite as great as he used to be, and unable to accept the fact that he isn’t quite as great as he used to be. So he forces balls in big spots, tries to do too much, and invariably ends up killing the Packers against good teams. And it has been happening for three seasons now. And counting. Now we’re wrapping up Year 6. And counting. I find this interesting.

Q: With the passing of Richard Pryor, I got to wondering who he would compare to in the sports world. I would say he was the Dr. J of the comedic world — something nobody else had ever seen. What do you think? While people say that Connie Hawkins really revolutionized the NBA, not Erving, the same could also be said for Pryor and Redd Foxx. Like Dr. J, MJ came along and took things to the next level, opening up the game for the likes of Kobe and LeBron. With Pryor, Eddie Murphy came along to make things easier for the next generation of comics like Chris Rock.
— Rob J., Cincinnati

SG: I’m down with the Pryor/Doctor J comparison, although you screwed up the time line a little bit — Doc (and David Thompson, to a lesser extent) paved the way for the MJ Era, while Pryor (and Foxx, to a lesser extent), paved the way for the Murphy Era. But I like the general spirit of the comparison. Like most of these things, you had to be there to understand, and that’s one of the biggest problems with following sports, music, comedy or anything else — there’s such a rush to anoint everyone and everything “The Greatest of All Time” that we tend to forget the people who were actually great.

Here’s an example: Ask the typical diehard NBA fan to slap together their greatest 12 NBA players of all time and their list would look something like this: Russell, Wilt, Kareem, Magic, MJ, Bird, Robertson and West as the definites, with the final four spots being rounded out by some combination of Erving, Shaq, Hakeem, Moses, Duncan, Karl Malone and Elgin Baylor. Well, when the NBA voted its 35th Anniversary Team in 1980, the 10-man squad was comprised of Kareem, Elgin, Wilt, Oscar, Russell, Erving, West, Bob Cousy, John Havlicek, George Mikan and Bob Pettit. What happened to the last four guys? Did they get worse over the past 25 years? For instance, Cousy won six rings, made 10 All-NBA first teams, played in 13 consecutive All-Star games, saved basketball in Boston and was unquestionably the most exciting player of the ’50s. Now he’s not one of the 12 greatest players ever? How can you include anyone from that era without including the Cooz?

(Whoops, I better stop talking about this before they ask me to appear on “Classic Now.” Let’s just move on.)

Q: What is the real-world equivalent of the Red Sox courting Roger Clemens to return for one more season? I think it has to be like watching your best friend get back together with an ex-wife who was smoking hot but walked all over him while they were married. Your friend will say, “She’s changed. Things are different now.” But everyone in your circle of friends will still be wary of her, and every dinner party or night out will always have that awkward vibe lingering. Sure, in the short-term, you know your buddy is having incredible sex with a hottie, but deep down, you know it will eventually be a train wreck again.
–John Rosans

SG: (Twiddling thumbs … )

Q: True or False: the “N” warning before any HBO movie or program may be the single greatest development in the last 10 years of cable TV. I know instantly whether or not something is worth watching. This is a good thing, right? Although there was a “Six Feet Under” that led off with the “N” — very promising — until the only “N” was a topless shot of a 53-year-old dead chick being embalmed. I felt like I deserved a refund for my hour. Thoughts?
— Scott, New York

SG: Glad you asked. For years, I have been pushing for a complete revamping of the cable TV warnings, and only because this should be a seamless, informative process. For instance, when they throw the old “SSC” for “Strong Sexual Content” before the movie, you absolutely know that there isn’t just going to be some sexual content, it’s going to be some STRONG sexual content. These are the movies that usually lead off with a detective sitting in a car watching someone’s house while some bored housewife pulls the pool boy inside for a daytime romp. The point is, you know you’re getting the goods with “SSC.” But the “N” could mean anything — two dudes naked in a shower, a 53-year-old woman getting embalmed, even Kathy Bates going topless in “About Schmidt.”

So I would come up with these categories:

SN — Standard Nudity

(Note: In other words, nothing special.)

MSC — Mundane Sexual Content

(Note: For those really lame sex scenes where the two characters are going at it in slow motion and there’s just some squinting and grimacing and that’s about it.)

SSC — Strong Sexual Content

(Note: I’d like to keep this one as is, just because it always puts a hop in everyone’s step. When I lived with my old roommate Ricky, we would always stay up late watching bad movies on our illegal cable box, and when the “SSC” tag came up, we would both start cheering — it was like winning in BINGO or something. I miss having a roommate sometimes.)

CESC — Career-Ending Sexual Content

(Note: This covers Chloe Sevigny in “Brown Bunny” and that’s about it. It’s almost impossible to kill your career with a sex scene.)

UDN — Unexpected, Delightful Nudity

(Note: This covers any scene where the nudity comes out of nowhere with someone you would never expect — like Katie Holmes in “The Gift,” Reese Witherspoon in “Twilight” or even Kelly Preston in “Mischief.”)

WDN — Wildly Disappointing Nudity.

(Note: For scenes like Teri Hatcher going topless in “Heaven’s Prisoners.”)

EN — Epic Nudity

(Note: For those once-in-a-lifetime performances like Natasha Henstridge’s in “Species,” Apollonia in “Purple Rain” or Nicole Eggert in “Blown Away.” I just feel like they deserve their own category. If you’ve earned the “EN” tag, that’s almost like getting an Oscar.)

GSN — Gratuitous, Sweeping Nudity

(Note: I like this one because you know where you stand — you’re getting nudity and lots of it. That’s important information at 2 a.m.)

RGN — Really Gross Nudity

(Note: This would cover old women getting embalmed, any nudity in those autopsy shows on HBO, Kathy Bates and Diane Keaton, those “Real Sex” shows where they show some nudist colony in Germany and there are like 100 hairy naked guys standing around, and so on. Give us a heads up. It’s imperative. You could probably argue that Kathy Bates deserves her own tag here — something like “KBN” — but whatever.)

MN — Male Nudity

(Note: That’s an important one — I need a warning if I’m going to see someone’s johnson, whether I’m getting dressed in a gym or watching TV at 1:30 in the morning. If Kevin Bacon decides, “I know this isn’t in the script, but I think this scene in ‘Wild Things’ could use a boost with my dangling member,” I want to be prepared. Again, give us a heads up. I don’t ask for much.)

MDDS — Michael Douglas’ Dangling Stuff

(Note: For those movies where Douglas feels like it’s a wise idea for him to walk away from the camera with his, um, stuff dangling between his legs like a grandfather clock. Why does he do that? We may never know.)

APR — Awful Prison Rape

(Note: Classic example — the Ed Norton scene in “American History X.” Come on. Just a mere “R” for “Rape” can’t possibly cover how traumatic that scene was. You stick the “APR” before the movie, I’m probably avoiding the movie.)

Q: Hey Bill, I’m graduating college soon and need a job so I’m thinking of challenging Dan Dickau for his roster spot. What do you think are my chances? Here are my stats: 5-foot-10, ’bout a buck-seventy, no bball experience past high school, white (but not as white), and can dunk on an 8-foot hoop. I could see this thing going either way, really. Thanks.
— Adam Sirois, Dover, NH

Q: I figured out who Brian Scalabrine looks like out there … ME! I suck. He looks like me trying to play with the Celtics. They could have got me for fishsticks and a ride home.
–John, Williamstown, Mass.

SG: As you can see, it wasn’t a banner summer of free-agent signings for Celtics GM Danny Ainge. I will now take out my contact lenses with sandpaper.

Note about last week’s “Perpetual Putridity” column: There were so many bad teams in the league, I somehow counted KC twice and forgot to include New Orleans, bringing the total up to 14 gawd-awful teams total (not 13). Sorry about that.

Week 15 Picks
(home teams in caps)

PATRIOTS (-5) over Bucs
GIANTS (-2.5) over Chiefs
BILLS (+9.5) over Broncos
VIKINGS (+3.5) over Steelers
COLTS (-7.5) over Chargers
JAGS (-16) over Niners
Seahawks (-7.5) over TITANS
Cards (-2) over TEXANS
DOLPHINS (-9) over Jets
SAINTS (+9.5) over Panthers
Cowboys (+2.5) over REDSKINS
Bengals (-8.5) over LIONS
Browns (+3) over RAIDERS
RAMS (-3.5) over Eagles
BEARS (-3) over Falcons
RAVENS (-3.5) over Packers

Confidence Picks:

  • Bears
  • Pats
  • Cowboys

    Last week: 6-8-2
    Season: 102-100-4

  • Q: Why did Paul Young get the props to open the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” You’d think with all the talent they could have had a better leadoff man. He was like Devon White, a good leadoff hitter in his prime, but never for an All-Star team.
    — Casey, Shakopee, Minn.

    SG: Couldn’t agree more — I think Plan B was the lead singer of the Outfield. But this got me thinking … why couldn’t they remake “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” with modern alternative stars? Imagine the excitement as the lead singer of Keane wobbled back and forth trying to belt out the opening stanza? Or the lead singers of the Killers and the Bravery trying to co-exist during the six-hour video shoot without throwing punches? Or even Bono coming back to sing that goofy “Well, tonight thank God it’s them … instead of you!!!!!” part (which always confused the hell out of me).

    Which brings me to a bigger point: I think they should remake this song and “We Are The World” every 10 years with new musicians making up “Band Aid,” just so future generations can get a glimpse of the musical landscape every decade. In 1984, the “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” lineup included Boy George, Annie Lennox, Simon Le Bon, David Bowie, Midge Urge, Paul McCartney, Paul Young, Phil Collins, Sting, Bono, George Michael and the lead singer from Kool and the Gang. If they remade the song in 1994, you would have had the following people there: Kurt Cobain, Eddie Vedder, Billy Corgan, Snoop Dogg, Robert Smith, Scott Weiland, Paul Westerberg, Dr. Dre, Sting, Adam Duritz, Bill Janovitz, Bono, Sinead O’Connor and Courtney Love. You’re telling me that wouldn’t have been one of the five most mesmerizing videos ever? We need a Commissioner of Music to ensure that these things happen.

    Q: I just got through reading an article about how Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting ready to visit Pakistan to see the quake devastation, and I couldn’t help but think this has to be one of the biggest cases of sucking up to a girlfriend/wife/significant other gone wrong in recent history. Like how when you first start dating a girl, you do everything she asks, like going to crappy chick movies, her grandmother’s 95th birthday party, picking her cat up from the vet, or stuff like that, just so she thinks you are actually sensitive and care about her interests, not just trying to get in her pants. Except in this instance, instead of going to the crafts store or whatever to pick out yarn for the sweater she is knitting you, you get dragged all over war-torn countries to look at death and devastation, when all you want to do is lie on the couch and watch football. I know it’s Angelina Jolie, but surely it’s not worth the rest of your independent life. Your thoughts?
    — Justin M., Atlanta

    SG: In Pitt’s defense, I think he’s just completely out of his mind — he probably thinks they’re still filming “Mr and Mrs. Smith.” Give him the benefit of the doubt here.

    Q: As soon as I saw the headline in top stories I started looking for your comments. Roger Clemens is interested in a return to Boston and you are silent all weekend. Is the Sports Guy finally speechless? Torn between your hatred for a mercenary and the fact that Clemens in this rotation, showing Beckett how to would nearly ensure another World Series. Surely you have an opinion. What gives?
    — Greg S., Longview, Texas

    SG: All right, fine. You win. I root for anyone playing for the Boston Red Sox. That’s my team, those are my guys. So if Clemens did come back, obviously, I would be rooting for the team to win during those games — how could you not? It would be like two divorced parents uneasily coexisting and making small talk whenever they cross paths because they know it’s good for the sake of the kids. But I would never get sucked back in by the guy. Ever. And that’s that.

    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 and in bookstores everywhere.

    Filed Under: Celebrities, The Rock

    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