Woof. Not sure I'm going to be able to finish this. It's at least one post after this one, and in the meantime he has put out a hilarious NFL season preview in which the Patriots are the second best team in the NFL. Gotta get to that eventually. Anyways, I'll try to breeze through this. Some of it is bad enough to be presented without comment. Like this:
Q: Are you aware that the President of the American Leprosy Missions is named Bill Simmons?
—Warren K, Adelaide, AUS
SG: Did you know that my middle name begins with a "J," and that the second Ku Klux Klan was formed in 1915 by the Reverend William J. Simmons?
Yep, so that's that. Go to Grantland if you don't believe me. Actually, unless you feel very very compelled to do so, don't go to Grantland. It sucks.
Q: How is it possible that Grantland's Best Song of the Millennium Bracket did not include "Seven Nation Army"? As the commander-in-chief of Grantland, I am appalled that you allowed this travesty to transpire. It is probably the most distinctive guitar intro of the last decade plus, and the song was definitely played enough to warrant a spot on the list. Use your powers and fix this immediately.
—Andrew, Thousand Oaks
IT IS INFURIATING TO ME THAT YOUR NONSENSICAL BRACKET BASED ENTIRELY ON SUBJECTIVITY DID NOT INCLUDE A SONG THAT SOME PEOPLE HATE AND SOME PEOPLE LIKE AND WHICH I LIKE.
SG: Heat fans ruined that song.
Everyone ruined that song, including Andrew from Thousand Oaks.
Q: In light of the ongoing debate over the name of the Washington Redskins, don't you think it's time Boston changed the name of Yawkey Way, given that Tom Yawkey was an open racist who refused the integration of baseball?
Let's watch Bill tapdance around this one. And by tapdance, I don't mean give the very obvious answer: "Redskin is a slur and Yawkey is not, so there's that. On the other hand, Yawkey was a huge bag of shit. It's unlikely either name will change, although there are great arguments that both should, but mostly let's just agree that racism sucks and both Washington's NFL team (ACTUALLY THEIR STADIUM IS IN MARYLAND LOL, signed TMQ) and Boston could use a lot less of it." No, by tapdance, I mean, talk about what a great guy Yawkey was and try to come up with reasons why honoring racists is a good thing.
SG: Given that Yawkey Way is the road you walk down as you're about to stroll into Fenway Park, yeah, I'd say that's a little awkward. Especially if you were a black Red Sox fan thinking to yourself, Wow, if it were 1949 and I was good at baseball, the guy they named this street after wouldn't have let me play on his team. Hold on, lemme work up a good loogie to spit.
But Yawkey owned the Red Sox for 44 years (longest baseball reign ever at the time),
helped turn the Jimmy Fund into one of America's best cancer charities
Relevant, but only to the extent Yawkey was actually responsible for this, and who knows what that extent is. Also, when I say relevant, I don't mean "Maybe Yawkey was a good guy after all," I just mean "Maybe Yawkey wasn't 100% a piece of shit."
and even got elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame.
His shadow hangs over the 20th century for Red Sox fans, for better and worse.
Mostly for worse. And he didn't even give Red Sox fans trying to defend him today the cold comfort of some on-field success.
Dave Zirin and I discussed this very theme on Wednesday's podcast: Changing a street name, pretending your history doesn't exist,
Love the ability of some people to pretend that not honoring someone or something is the same as pretending they didn't exist. We HAVE to name a street after Yawkey! We don't have a choice, we'd be lying to ourselves if we didn't! It's not hate, it's heritage!
and not giving your fans a chance to discuss and digest what happened …
And again, apparently without that street being named after him, there's just no way fans will be able to learn and digest the team's racist history.
I mean, that isn't the greatest idea, either. Yawkey was a flawed guy in extremely flawed times, and if the street makes you remember that and appreciate the progress we've made over the past six decades, maybe that's not a bad thing.
Yeah, that's it! Let's have an annual "Yawkey Day" at Fenway, where minority fans have to sit in segregated sections, and the Sox have to field an all-white lineup! It's the best way to appreciate how far we've come!
Here's what I'm thinking: What if we went the other way? What if you kept the name of the street, but you built statues of Pumpsie Green (the first minority Red Sox player), Jim Rice, Pedro Martinez and David Ortiz
Torii Hunter is extremely angry that Bill is trying to lump those last two in with the first two.
that would be strategically positioned along Yawkey Way? And then, you point out on each statue that the Red Sox were the last franchise to integrate their team, and that once upon a time, our racist owner Tom Yawkey fought for years and years to maintain an all-white Red Sox team? (Thinking.) Or we could just change the name to Dave Roberts Drive and be done with it. What Red Sox fan wouldn't feel like a million bucks walking down Dave Roberts Drive? I need to think about this some more.
He tried to save it with a half-joke at the end there, but let's face it, that whole answer is pretty sad (though not unexpected).
Q: I was just rereading "Now I Can Die In Peace" for the 10th time and couldn't help but notice your take on A-Rod after he slapped the ball out of Arroyo's glove like a ninny in Game 6: you said the play " … exposed A-Rod as a liar and cheater of the highest order, the kind who would turn over an R in Scrabble a pretend its a blank letter." Touché sir. You called it.
—Tyler, Durham, NH
Remember that time A-Rod broke an on-field baseball rule? THAT TOTALLY PROVED THAT HE WOULD ABUSE STEROIDS THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER. GOOD JOB BILL NOW PUBLISH MY LETTER. Tyler from Durham sucks.
Q: Did you read Bill Barnwell's piece on the yearly QB Championship belt? He gave Peyton Manning six seasons of belts and Tom Brady 1. My roommate and I think he's trying to get you to fire him so he can join Peter King's site.
—Danny, Lincoln NE
SG: We certainly can't rule it out. Obviously, I would have given Brady the 2003 and 2004 belts for leading a juggernaut that won two straight Super Bowls,
Or you could just do what Barnwell did in that article, and give the belt to the guy with the best stats, rather than the best defense and coach.
finished 34-4 over that stretch (including an NFL-record 21 straight victories)
18-1. 18-1. 18-1. That is all that matters.
and beat the Colts all four times they played (including twice in the playoffs).
That PROVES that Brady was better!
We left the 2004 playoffs believing that Brady was the next Montana, that he owned Manning and the Colts, and that there was no better money QB in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE.
Stealing my damn bit.
Had someone written a column in February 2005 based around the premise "I don't care what just happened, I'm still giving the QB Championship belt for these past two years to Peyton Manning," he would have seemed like a crazy person … right?
With Barnwell's stat-based criteria? No. Manning had like 1500 more yards, 25 more TD, 6 fewer INT, and a QB rating about 20 points higher those two years. Brady had an awesome defense and Bill Belichick.
And just so you don't think I'm a homer (you're right, we're about 10 years too late), I would have given Eli Manning the 2011 belt for carrying a 9-7 Giants team past Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, a terrific Niners defense in San Francisco, then Brady in the Super Bowl. We left that season believing that he was the best big-game QB in football, right? Same logic as Brady in 2003 and 2004.
You're an idiot.
As for 2012 … I don't know. Joe Flacco submitted one of the best QB postseasons ever, but didn't that feel more like a good QB catching fire for a month than someone becoming the league's best QB?
YOU'RE AN IDIOT.
Q: After Game 7 of the NBA Finals, SportsCenter cut you in the postgame show off right as you were going to say something about The Decision! What was it?????
—Matt Scully, SF
SG: Part of me never wanted to answer this question, just because I enjoyed so many conspiracy theorists thinking ESPN intentionally cut me off there. Really, you think ESPN would do anything like THAT? (Thinking.) Fine, it's probably the wrong week to ask that question. But if that were true, then that means I uttered the words "The Decision" and a panicked director in Bristol immediately screamed, "CUT HIS MIC!" within 0.015 seconds. Come on. Nobody can react that fast.
First of all, it's insulting that he thinks anyone reading this doesn't know that TV is on a delay FOR THIS EXACT REASON, that mics can be cut if people say bad shit. Second of all: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA (link does not refer to this same incident, but to one similar enough to make everything he just said pathetic and obviously disingenuous)
So what did I actually say? The same thing I've written in my column before — that "The Decision" was considered a disaster when it happened, but it's really the best thing that happened to the NBA since Jordan came back from baseball. From the spring of 2010 through the summer of 2013, everything happening with LeBron James was more interesting than anything else happening in any other sport.
Just like how Midnight Run is our least-aged 1980s comedy!
Anyway, that's what I said — and I did make that entire point. Magic was even nodding with that super-impressed, "I like where you're goin' with this, Bee-wwl" look on his face.
That's kind of racist.
Q: Did you see Nestle launched a contest to build a female sports fan her own Wo-man Cave, or as they're calling it, the WoCave? If anyone can come up with a better name than WoCave it's you.
SG: Thanks for your unwavering support, Sarah. You're right, if I can't top a name that sounds like the name of a magazine targeted at gynecologists, I should just retire right now. In my opinion, no female-twisted play on the words "Man Cave" can work. Especially the reprehensible WoCave. Forge your own identity, ladies. Since it's a place to hang out, a cave-like word like "nest," "den," "lair," "bunker," "lounge," "haven" or "hideaway" needs to
This goes on for an additional paragraph.
Q: What's your very best piece of life advice?
SG: You mean something that didn't come from George Costanza ("Just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it"), David Halberstam ("Being a professional means doing your job on the days you don't want to do it"), Ferris Bueller ("Life moves pretty fast — if you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it") and Milton Berle ("If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door")? Hmmmmmm. I'd go with this advice …
Don't worry about what other people are doing. Worry about what you're doing.
Nope. Not here at this blog. Worrying about what other people are doing is pretty much the only thing we do.