Solving the playoff mystery

Time for a new corollary

The Sports Guy chat transcript

Simmons: Chat transcript

Bill Simmons: What’s happening? Let’s get going …

Andy (Minneapolis): Have you noticed how all the NFL studio shows are letting the analysts do the highlights instead of the hosts? This drives me crazy, especially when I am trying to follow my fantasy players. They all miss half of the important plays, and I can’t even understand Shannon Sharpe. I blame Bradshaw for this trend.

Bill Simmons: See, I love this — my weekend isn’t complete until Shannon Sharpe has narrated the highlights for at least three games. I actually watch the CBS show over Fox because of this. It always sounds like his mouth is full.

Aaron (Los Angeles): How excited are you to potentially have Pete Carroll coaching against your Patriots twice a year?

Bill Simmons: Pumped and jacked! This is like Doc Rivers going to the University of Kentucky, winning a couple of NCAA titles, then everyone assuming he’s figured it out and could make a great NBA coach again.

Nate (New York): Is it just me, or does Greg Oden look like an old Bill Russell? What are the chances this kid is actually only 18 years old?

Bill Simmons: I get more questions about Oden’s age than anything else. It’s crazy. Somebody is going to have to produce a series of photos with time stamps dating back to his baby years. That’s the only way this can be solved.

Jason (Merced, Calif.): If you’re Al Davis, other than dying, what is the most important thing you can do this offseason to bring the Raiders back to respectability?

Bill Simmons: Spend money on a real coach. I thought the Raiders D was good last year. They clearly had some talent. But that team was cooked coming out of the gate. By the way, how do we know Al Davis is still alive?

Dave K (Minneapolis): How do ya like that Mark Blount guy now? Ripping it up on the Twolves like it ain’t no thang. Too bad all you “Celtic Faithful” were always so down on the poor guy. He just needed some proper motivation (READ: Not Doc) and to play alongside a real star in this league like KG?

Bill Simmons: He’s had a good 3-week stretch … he’s roping you in. He does this every year. Nobody has ever been picked up and waived more times in the history of fantasy basketball with the possible exception of Erick Dampier.

John (Wisc.): What did you think of Tim’s first day on The Apprentice?

Bill Simmons: I enjoyed it — it was weird watching a reality show and rooting for one of the contestants, that almost never happens, they’re always collectively loathsome. And if somebody submits a “this will give you good practice for when your daughter is on The Bachelorette 20 years from now, right?” question, I’m punching a wall.

Ryan (Utah): What’s going on with the Clippers? They have the same team as last year but they can’t get over .500.

Bill Simmons: It’s a variety of things — the Cassell-Livingston thing was handled awkwardly, Tim Thomas plays hard once every two weeks, Kaman lost his confidence after signing his extension, they had too many decent guys so they couldn’t get a rotation going, the coach is secretly inept, Brand looked tired starting the season … I wouldn’t say it’s one thing. But it doesn’t look like they’re having fun this season. Last year, they looked like they were having fun.

Scott (Houston, Tex.): Can I bring criminal charges against Charlie Casserly for the job he did on the Texans?

Bill Simmons: An interesting question. I’ve always wanted to see what would happen if a group of season ticket holders banded together and filed a class-action suit against a team to get their money back. I feel like Texans fans would have a good case.

Keary (Lawrenceville, Ga.): How funny would it be to see Isiah with his told-you-so smirk if the Knicks finish 33-49 but win the Atlantic Division?

Bill Simmons: I’m mortified by the Atlantic. Thought Toronto would be making a run over these next few weeks, but they looked awful last night against NJ, total mess. And NJ has Mikki Moore (who I’ve always liked) playing 35 minutes a game now. Celts are obviously awful, Philly is in tank mode … 30-33 wins will take the division. I still think NJ will win it though.

Alex K. (New York): What are the odds of Isiah signing Chris Webber to a multi-year deal?

Bill Simmons: Off the board in Vegas, cannot be wagered.

Jimmy (Arlington, Va.): How do you think Papelbon will do in the starting role? And your thoughts on Joel Pineiro (1 year, $4 million, coming off a 6.36 ERA, .311 BAA year) … worst offseason acquisition ever, or clever ploy to get Papi the MVP by forcing him to hit 30 walkoffs — one for each blown save?

Bill Simmons: I’m fine with Paps but was confused by the Piniero signing — we’re heading into the season with Pedroia (who looked truly terrible last September) playing 2B because we want to save money at one of the nine positions — seriously, that’s the reason — but we’re going to pay a long reliever $4 million? How does that make sense?

Brent (Akron, Ohio): I was pumped for 24 starting Sunday. They hyped it like Jack has nothing to do but save the world but die in the process. I’ve been waiting for him to die since Season 3. But then I remember, HE JUST SIGNED A THREE YEAR DEAL, HE CAN’T DIE. Is this good or bad and is there a sport equivalent to it?

Bill Simmons: I am all kinds of fired up. But you raise a good point … why leak Sutherland’s deal when it inadvertently tells us that there’s no way Jack Bauer could ever die? I thought the same thing. By the way, I haven’t had coffee yet, coming shortly … this chat’s about to wake up.

Brian (New York): What rationale could any baseball writer possibly have for voting Cal and not Tony Gwynn? I’m a die-hard Birds fan, but even I found that ridiculous.

Bill Simmons: It’s an idiotic system. I hate it. Three people voted for Dante Bichette!!! How can this be a real system? I wish they would emulate the NFL and make it a committee that only had qualified people on it. Or else, we’ll just let Gammons decide the inductees every year. I would be fine with this.

John (Cambridge, Mass.): What’s the general mood in Southern CA right now for the game on Sunday. I know you’re four hours or so away, but what the heck is going on with SD sports radio pleading with Chargers fans to not sell their tix to Pats fans? Is this a joke? I think it’s hilarious.

Joe (Boston): This is a sure sign of an impending loser: “The San Diego Chargers have restricted sales to the Divisional Playoff game to residents of Southern California … Orders by residents outside of southern California will be canceled without notice.” I hate California and Ticketmaster. You’re perpetuating this nonsense by contributing to the LaLa Land tax base.

Bill Simmons: Yeah, this is a real issue out here — all the Boston transplants are flooding the game and there aren’t enough real Chargers fans to hold them off — plus, people from back home are trying to get tix and fly in for the game. You’re looking at 10-12,000 NE fans there on Sunday easy. I think this is good for the Pats.

Nate (Philadelphia): Bill, when you saw the opening 4.5 point line SD/NE, admit it, you smiled to yourself and thought “Excellent, Vegas has no idea what’s going to happen.”

Bill Simmons: I did — that’s the signature “we have no idea what’s going to happen” line. And it’s stayed right there, which means nobody else knows, either. I think it’s one of the toughest playoff games ever to figure out. Do you take the team that looks unstoppable on paper, or do you take the team with the Coach/QB advantages? It’s one of those games where you’re going to feel dumb either way if the other thing happens.

Westy (Worcester, Mass.): Perfect 4-0 playoff picks so far … are you feeling the perfect postseason yet? 11-0. Who was better in your opinion: 1) “The Source” Stu Feiner, 2) “The Legend” Kevin Duffy or 3) “Doctor” Ron Bash?

Bill Simmons: A nice start … but I think these SD-NE and CHI-SEA games are really tough, pulling off another 4-0 would be nearly impossible. But to answer your question, I’d have to go with Stu Feiner because of his catchphrase — “It seems like I win every week … AND I DO!”

Jeannie (Philadelphia): Did you hear the Ohio State band playing the love theme from “Titanic” during halftime of Monday’s game? Please tell me I’m not the only one who found the parallels between the sinking ship and the sinking Buckeyes team hilarious.

Bill Simmons: I loved it. I was delighted. I would have enjoyed it more if my ears weren’t bleeding from Thom Brenneman. By the way, just got coffee … I’m about to wake up.

JR (San Diego): Tell Jeannie the answer is no because men don’t watch the halftime show.

Brendan (Middletown, Conn.): Why hasn’t anyone played up the new NBA ball-New Coke parallel?

Bill Simmons: I made that joke to my friends who work for the NBA. They didn’t laugh.

Keith (Cleveland): Why is it that every season of “Real World” has a borderline alcoholic? Not sure if you’ve been watching, but that chick Jen IS an alcoholic. And why is it that the person is always a pretty young girl, and why aren’t there any of those where I live? That’s the part that sucks. Any clue?

Bill Simmons: The funniest part of this is that there’s always an episode where the borderline alcoholic crosses some sort of line, so they have the intervention with him/her, and he/she admits that they have a problem … and then two episodes later, they’re getting bombed again. Landon created this move during the Philly season and it’s now a staple. Glad you brought up Jen though — she’s a mortal lock to be the first RW star who appears in porn. Mark it down.

Ted (Dallas): Roger Goodell calls you and says you are in charge of the halftime show. Who would we be watching?

Bill Simmons: I assume you mean the Super Bowl show. I would pick Bloc Party.

Pete (Boston): I am taking a poop right now.

Bill Simmons: Thanks for the info, Pete!

Jamie (Fairfield, Conn.): Speaking of Bloc Party, Bill why don’t they get as much love as they should in the States?

Bill Simmons: It’s very confusing. Hey, I’d like to recommend a music magazine now that Spin has been ruined — Blender is pretty good. I always get 35-40 minutes out of it. Just a lot of stuff going on and they always have 2-3 worthy download suggestions per issue. You can subscribe to it for like eight bucks.

Adam (Chico): Good call, Bill. I found Bloc Party and Arcade Fire last year, and it really offset the disappointment I felt from The Killers’ album.

Bill Simmons: Two other albums I really like — the new ones from Silversun Pickups and Built to Spill.

Melissa (Indiana): Hey Bill! In your Week 17 column, you stated that you could not wait until Peyton Manning was a ringless commentator being badgered by inferior quarterbacks about not winning The Big One. I thought that was kind of rude and mean. Please, clarify or explain your hatred.

Bill Simmons: I got a few e-mails about that — I don’t hate anyone. Just making a joke about the Manning-Marino parallels. Look, Manning makes himself a target by pumping out all these commercials and interviews, then doing the happy feet dance every January.

Neal (San Carlos, Calif.): Given his playoff history and propensity to choke, should Marty Schottenheimer fake a heart attack so his assistants can lead the Chargers to the Super Bowl? That’s their best shot. Rivers will soon realize that tightening around his throat are Marty’s claws as they head toward a conservative defeat.

Bill Simmons: I know I’m biased as a Pats fan, but seriously, can you remember a better Round 2 game than SD-NE? So many subplots, major star power … it’s just a fascinating game. I really feel like it could be a classic.

Mike W (Everett, Mass.): Bill, without even looking, this has to be one of the great final fours for a football conference ever, right? And wouldn’t any of the four be at least 6-point favorites in the Super Bowl?

Bill Simmons: From a star power standpoint, absolutely. I also can’t remember a Round 2 where nobody was favored by more than five points. It’s an unbelievable weekend. The only think that stinks is Seattle going to Chicago instead of Dallas — Dallas-Chicago would have been phenomenal. Instead, we get to watch Shaun Alexander run for two yards and fall down.

Murph (Bear, Del.): Do you think Brady has extra motivation now that Rivers made the Pro Bowl over him?

Bill Simmons: I don’t think he’s one of those guys who needs extra motivation … at the same time, it’s probably not a bad idea for Belichick to slip the Pro Bowl rosters in his locker on Sunday morning.

Tim (Kalamazoo, Mich.): What happened to your newfound love of the English Premier League? I hope you know that you are now one of the several million people who claim to like soccer but don’t actually follow through with it. Jerk.

Bill Simmons: I’ve been watching some, will kick it into another gear once the NFL season ends. My biggest problem is that I feel like I picked the wrong team … I keep gravitating towards Newcastle every time they’re on, I like their uniforms and their fans and I’m kicking myself for not taking them. But I feel loyal to Spurs even though we have no real history. I feel like someone who went to college and immediately got a girlfriend the first week without playing the field. I dunno. I need to figure this out. There was a game last month when Newcastle beat Spurs 3-1 and I found myself getting fired up every time Newcastle scored … and you know how I feel about sports bigamy. So I’m not going to write about soccer until I figure this out.

Sam (Syracuse): So far, hasn’t Season 4 of “The OC” actually been better than Season 3 was? Why the cancellation now? And could this unhappy ending have been avoided if they had just kept Alex (Marissa’s girlfriend) on the show?

Bill Simmons: Totally agree. It’s an outrage. I have a feeling that Josh Schwartz (the creator) was ready to pack it in, that’s the real reason — they announced two deals for new shows with him the same day OC was cancelled. I thought the show was good this year. His big mistake was doing too much in Season 1 — I said that at the time, it was too crazy of a pace. They had 350 plots in Season 1, they didn’t let any of them breathe.

Mike (Chicago): What is the deal with the new NFL ref pants?

Bill Simmons: You got me. They look like cricket refs. My whole thing with a change like that — who was sitting around in the NFL offices saying, “You know what we need to do? We need to change the pants for the refs!” How does that even come up in conversation? Is it somebody’s job to dress the refs? Did they feel like they needed to justify their salary by pushing for a pants switch?

Pete (Philadelphia): Adios to C-Webb! WOOOO!! Second highest paid player in the league! Good riddance!

Jason (Columbus, Ohio): Did you see the Sixers are close to buying out Webber? I understand they are going young (minus Kevin Ollie, of course) but isn’t this about three years overdue?

Bill Simmons: Here’s what I don’t get about these buyouts: If you keep doing them, what stops an overpaid player from completely tanking his situation so he can go somewhere else? Webber was due 20 million this year and 21 million next year — they bought him out and saved 5 million, which he can easily make back with another team. Why not just keep him around, not play him and force his hand? He’s already made nine figures … who knows, he might be crazy enough to take a buyout for half his contract just to avoid the humiliation of sitting on the bench behind Steven Hunter. It’s crazy that he could end up making MORE money than 41 million over the next two years when he can’t move.

Diallo (Ga.): Is Greg Oden overrated? OSU has lost to UNC, Florida and Wisconsin and he wasn’t real dominant against the Badgers or Gators. Could it be that he was a man among boys in high school and actually needs to work on his game? What if he continues to put up average numbers and is out of the first pick talk? Think he might cruise through Stern’s neighborhood and pistol whip him for costing him millions?

Bill Simmons: Come on, he’s playing with one hand (and it’s his bad one). At the very least, he’s the best defensive college center since Mutombo. I like Kevin Durant on Texas though — I think he’s going to be a franchise player, just like Oden. Nobody’s talking about him. It’s bizarre.

Jeff (Fairfax, Va.): Sports Guy, I heard you are doing some college basketball commentating for ESPNU. Any chance you parlay this into something we all want to see … you doing NBA stuff?

Bill Simmons: I’m just doing two games — 1/15 and 1/22 — because I wanted to write a column about what it’s like to announce a game. Don’t get your hopes up — there’s a 100-percent chance I’m going to be bad at this. As long as I don’t completely kill the game, I’ll be happy.

Ken (Tarzana, Calif.): My buddies are convinced you hate the Suns. Tell me they’re right.

Bill Simmons: Not true at all — they’ve been my favorite team to watch this season.

Kevin W. (Boise, Idaho): Bill, your most premature, incorrect statement of the 2006 NFL season has to have been when you said (in Week 3 no less) that the biggest blunder of the draft was when the Colts didn’t trade up to draft Maroney. A few picks later they got the guy they wanted all along in Addai. Both are excellent young runners but Addai clearly fits the Colts offense better as a more accomplished blocker and better receiver. And he had a better rookie season. Any regrets for making this comment so early?

Bill Simmons: No regrets at all. I don’t think Addai is that good — seems like a 3rd down back to me. I don’t watch the Colts and think, “My God, how are we gonna stop Joseph Addai!” Watch what he does against Baltimore this week — if he gets to 50 yards, I’ll be surprised.

Colver (Moscow, Idaho): Was Troy Smith’s performance Monday night the single worst championship performance ever? Is it possible for the game to have gone worse for his potential draft stock? I mean, when the fact that he invented the 12 step drop in a game is arguably the best thing that came from his performance, I think we may be talking about a monumentally bad performance. He’s a running QB who had 6 positive yards between passing and running! That’s incredible. I can’t wait for the Lions to draft him and turn him into a receiver.

Bill Simmons: Here’s my question: Why don’t we announce the Heisman winner after the bowl season? What’s the point of doing it so early? Same for announcing the NFL All-Pro teams before the end of the season. What’s the rush? It’s like announcing the baseball MVP in mid-September. I don’t get it.

Brian (Dallas): You think Ferris and Sloane ended up getting married?

Bill Simmons: And divorced.

Jeff (Cincinnati): Are you as highly anticipating the arrival of our current Real World Denver cast to the Inferno or Duel? I think we are going to have something special here with Tyree going head to head with Wes or CT in a battle which could result in a death while Jennifer is bonging a beer and yelling “rock star” in the corner, and Alex is playfully smiling and attempting to get one of the women to sleep with him. We might be looking at this cast coming into the challenges like we look at Bron, Wade, and Melo coming into the NBA.

Bill Simmons: That’s a great call. Tyree alone will be worth LeBron-Wade-Melo combined. He’s going to be involved in the first on-camera death in MTV history. I feel very confident about this.

James (Los Angeles): Shouldn’t Tony Burton (Duke from the Rocky movies) look into getting a second career as a motivational speaker? How can you not get pumped after he gives a speech? I left the theater and ran a three minute mile after his speech in “Rocky Balboa.”

Bill Simmons: I never understood why his career wasn’t bigger. Who doesn’t love Tony Burton? He couldn’t have been an angry police sergeant in an Eddie Murphy movie or something?

Keith (Brooklyn): Where on the Unintentional Comedy scale is the upcoming performance of Justin Timberlake in “Alpha Dog.” I mean, just looking at the posters with him and his gang tattoos starts to crack me up.

Bill Simmons: We’re starting out at 4.5 to be safe … I’m prepared to raise that to a 9.5 when the movie comes out though. I wouldn’t get too excited for this movie, I think they filmed it about three years ago.

Mickey (Hermosa Beach, Calif.): Bill, what did you think of Barkley as the color guy on the Lakers/Kings game last week? To me the two highlights were when he called Ronny Turiaf “Tony Turiaf” and when he said, “If only there was a stat that showed us how many points each team had in the paint,” followed five seconds later by the TNT crew putting the “Points in the Paint” stat on the screen.

Bill Simmons: I was obviously delighted for 150 straight minutes — that was my Dream Team of Dream Teams with Marv and Charles, I feel like that will never be topped. Here’s my question: Wouldn’t he be more valuable to TNT as a game announcer over a studio guy? Don’t more people watch games than studio shows? I have a feeling that they would have him do more games but Stern said, “NO WAY!”

Gilbert (Washington, D.C.): Hibachi!!!!

Steve (Landow): What are your thoughts on Ric Flair still wrestling? It is getting ugly, I feel like he’s going to die each time he takes a chair shot.

Bill Simmons: It’s horrifying. I can’t handle it. Although it’s more amazing that he’s even alive right now — being a wrestler in your late-50s is like being a 15-year-old Great Dane, you just don’t see them.

Dave (Georgia): Approximately how many “I told you so” e-mails will you get on Monday after the Pats get stomped in SD?

Bill Simmons: Possibly none — I haven’t made a pick yet. Still haven’t figured out how the Pats will be able to handle LDT.

Andrew (Indianapolis): You post a lot of negative comments on NBA GMs. I’d be interested to hear who you think are the five best GMs in the league and why.

Bill Simmons: The best GM is Buford for the Spurs. Every move they make is totally logical. I also like Ernie Grunfeld for the Wiz, his moves always make sense. I like Jim Paxson’s work for the Bulls even though I didn’t agree with his moves last summer. And I actually like what Bickerstaff is doing in Charlotte — they are biding their time and waiting for the right summer to make a move. Very smart.

Rick (Minneapolis): When you’re the GM of an NBA team, what is a guy like David Lee (my new favorite fantasy player) worth? With the exception onf Ben Wallace, what are rebounds and hustle worth in today’s NBA?

Bill Simmons: If David Lee isn’t on the 2008 Olympic team, I’m going to be furious.

Ethan (Seattle): How taxing is this weekend going to be? Four prime playoff games, really not a single one that I don’t want to watch … followed by A TWO DAY, FOUR HOUR “24” EVENT (what’s your prediction for this season, by the way?). How am I supposed to go to work next week?

Bill Simmons: It’s one of the all-time great weekends. I’m even excited for the 550 “24” commercials during Fox’s two NFC games. Plus, my Dad’s coming into town this weekend and we’re even seeing LeBron on Saturday night … I’m giddy.

Joe (Minneapolis): Have you seen the new FX show Dirt? If so, what are your thoughts on Courtney Cox finally being protrayed as the sexpot vixen just as God intended?

Bill Simmons: I saw the first episode and checked out during the scene when Rick Fox decided to ruin the rest of his life with one of the most mortifying sex scenes ever filmed. That was it for me.

Bill, (Washington, D.C.): Did it annoy you that Fox got to call the national championship game after not covering the regular season? I mean Thom Brenneman? C’mon. It’s too bad CBS didn’t bid for it and let Gus Johnson call the games — can you imagine if he had announced Boise State-Oklahoma? Ian Johnson would have had his proposal on tape with Gus Johnson doing play-by-play. “JOHNSON — on his KNEEEE!! HE SCORES!!!” Also — I’m surprised Fox didn’t fly in Joe Buck to announce the game, work as sideline reporter and handle halftime show duties. The guy needs some face time.

Bill Simmons: You know where I stand — I need more Gus Johnson in my life. I thought Fox’s coverage, in general, was almost surreal. What about Eddie George and Emmitt Smith trash-talking each other during the pregame show while Chris Rose sat there with a blank look on his face? He looked like the “Airplane” stewardess taking dinner orders from the two guys speaking jive. A bizarre night all the way around. By the way, I’d like to give the induction speech when Thom Brenneman gets inducted into the Blowhard Hall of Fame.

Steve (Los Angeles): It would really be something if the Bulls were stupid enough to hire Jim Paxson, after his failure in Cleveland. Especially when they have a GM who Bill Simmons named in his top 5, JOHN Paxson. Good one, Sports Guy.

Bill Simmons: Good call — I screwed up my Paxsons. Jim Paxson was the one who made my Atrocious GM Summit.

Joel (Cincinnati): Do you think Troy Smith’s performance was better or worse than Shane Falco’s implied Sugar Bowl disaster?

Bill Simmons: Tough to say. I’m not sure if Shane ever tried a 12-step drop.

Tony (Paducah, Ky.): Why is McGwire thrown under the bus but no one (sportswriters, talking heads, etc.) mentions Clemens and others publicly?

Bill Simmons: That’s my biggest problem with this whole thing, as well as the reason I wrote the McGwire column. Why are we so quick to blackball McGwire with no REAL evidence — I mean, if this was a court case, it would get thrown out — yet we’re still glorifying the hell out of someone like Clemens, whose career arc as a pitcher defies everything that ever previously happened in baseball history? Why is everyone piling on McGwire? I just assume that most of these guys were taking something in the ’90s and this decade … so if we blackball McGwire, does this mean we’re blackballing everyone from that era? I don’t think this can be a case-by-case decision.

Mark Brunell (Washington, D.C.): Umm Bill, I actually invented the 12 step drop in last year’s playoffs.

Bill Simmons: Sorry, forgot about that.

Ryan (Boston): Has there ever been a time in recorded history when the level of mediocrity was ever so prevalent in sports announcing? If I become a little more verbose do you believe that I could land an announcing job?

Bill Simmons: That’s why I wanted to do these ESPNU games — I’m more than willing to humiliate myself as long as I can definitely figure out how hard it is to announce a game. That’s my only goal. Do you just run out of things to say? To start spouting out cliches as a defense mechanism? I need to find these things out.

Big Al (Los Angeles): Let me get this straight … is this THEIR country?

Bill Simmons: No, no, no … it’s OUR country.

Mike (Clifton Park, N.Y.): Ever watch NBA TV’s fantasy show at 1 in the morning? Where do they find these guys for that show? And shouldn’t they add a second guy to it, I feel bad for the lone dude who has to kill 30 minutes of fantasy talk by himself.

Bill Simmons: I thought I was the only one who watched that show! Sometimes I want to call in just to throw him a bone for two minutes … I always feel like he’s going to assume nobody is watching and just start saying crazy things into the camera like, “Guess what I did today? I touched my own poop. And it felt good. Anyway, back to the Grizzlies …”

Neal Kerouac (Brooklyn): My only question is where is the equivalent to that NBA TV fantasy show on the NFL Network?

Bill Simmons: It makes too much sense … hey, since we’re here, I wanted to recommend those “America’s Game” shows they’ve been showing. The one on the 2001 Patriots was absolutely tremendous. I loved it. Every Pats fan should be required to watch it before Sunday’s game to get fired up.

Brian (Washington, D.C.): I’m currently reading your book, and I’ve got to ask you a serious question. Could your 6-year-old black Muslim alter ego, Abdul Jabaal Simmons, start at point guard for the ’06-’07 Boston Celtics? I think he could.

Bill Simmons: I think he could have started for three weeks, then he would have lost his confidence because Doc would have kept yanking his minutes around.

Peter (New York): Bill, at what age do fart/poop jokes become unfunny? I’m 29 years old and every time something like that is mentioned, I laugh uncontrollably at my desk. Thanks.

Bill Simmons: Hopefully, never. I’d like to think I will be in a nursing home someday and laughing because my roommate just farted.

Jesse (New Rochelle, N.Y.): Has it ever happened where a GM/Coach has been fired from one duty but kept the other? I’m starting to like Isiah the coach. Does James Dolan have the stones? Can David Stern mandate this?

Bill Simmons: Don’t get carried away with Isiah the Coach — the reason they’re playing well is because Francis and Q got hurt and Nate Robinson got suspended … that narrowed down Isiah’s rotation and defined everyone’s roles. When everyone comes back, he won’t be able to figure out how to dole out the minutes and they’ll go into the tank. You watch.

Josh (Indianapolis): Recently, some other guy here broke your record for longest ESPN chat. Is that why you’re having one now?

Bill Simmons: At some point, I’m doing a 10-hour chat and blowing the record out of the water. Just not today. “Some other guy” can keep the record for now.

Drew (New York): Matthew McConaughey and Lance Armstrong — both break up with their girlfriends and both are seen working out together with their shirts off, constantly. Your thoughts?

Bill Simmons: I’d feel a little better if they were hanging out with a third buddy who had a pot belly and laughed at their jokes — like Horatio Sanz, somebody like that. I honestly think McConaughey is crazy though — he turned into Wooderson about five years ago.

Eric (Chicago): I heard Scott Pioli declined a request to speak to the Giants for a front office job there after the Patriots granted permission. How relieved are you right now?

Bill Simmons: I think Pioli is smart enough to know that he’s the Joe Piscopo to Belichick’s Eddie Murphy. He doesn’t have nearly as much sway with the Pats as people think — Belichick runs that team.

Seth (Westchester, Penn.): Who would win in a Real World/Road Rules Challenge duel: CT of today or Alton from a couple years ago?

Bill Simmons: The bigger question: Why can’t MTV put them on the same show at the same time? I really feel like the RR-RW Duel should replace the NHL as our fourth professional sport. It’s more interesting, it’s easier to follow, it gets higher ratings … what are we waiting for?

Andy (N.C.): I blinked and the Black Groundhog Day show vanished … what happened?

Bill Simmons: Cancelled. Poor Taye Diggs. He’s had more chances than Aaron Brooks.

Padraig (Rochester, Minn.): Your McGwire defense sounds a little like Otter’s Delta defense. Nice!

Bill Simmons: Thanks!

Steve (Houston): Any chance Colangelo actually makes a team for the ’08 Olympics like he said he would, or will we see 12 All-Stars with no shooters or role players again? And how about Billups and Deron Williams running the point for Team USA? Their games fit perfectly. We need bigs like Odom, Randolph, and even Rasheed. Michael Redd or Ray Allen has to be on the team. And here’s a pool of role players to pick from to add to the roster: Kyle Korver, Raja Bell, Shane Battier, David Lee, Luke Walton, Mike Miller and Kevin Martin. Throw in Kobe and another star or two and we’re good.

Bill Simmons: Our biggest issue right now should be blackmailing Nash into becoming a U.S. citizen. That would be my No. 1 goal. Out of the guys you mentioned, Korver and Lee are intriguing — and not just as the Token White Guys for the posters and commercials. They have specific skill sets that you need for a tournament like that, and they won’t care if they aren’t playing a ton of minutes. I also think Deron Williams and Chris Paul should be the PGs, and we might need Boozer involved somehow. It’s going to be interesting how it plays out.

Bill Simmons: All right, gotta wrap things up … back with a column on Friday!

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His book “Now I Can Die In Peace” is available in paperback.

Filed Under: Series, Sports, The Sports Guy

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.

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