Category Archives: Bill Simmons

Please Don’t Touch Mr. Young. It Makes Me Sad.

I just read on Awful Announcing that Steve Young was in rare form Monday evening during Monday Night Countdown and the post-game show.

steve-young-smileFirst off, he called ESPN “dumb.” Oh Steve, for all of your smarts, you can sure put your foot in your mouth sometimes. Like the time you called out Phil Simms on national television. I despise Simms as well, and think he was wicked overrated as a quarterback (just like his son), but I’d never call him out on it on national television.

Hmm…maybe I would, but I would do it under a pseudonym and hide for a few weeks following.

Steve, I’ll offer you the same piece of advice I offered Bill Simmons a few months ago. Don’t publicly “dis” your employer. Don’t blog on a underground Blogger account about how ESPN is the man and how they don’t let you post every 7,000 word tomb you write, even if you have a legitimate point. Don’t call out ESPN on ESPN, even if you have pent up anger about having to do a show with Emmitt “I Have Never Heard of Subject-Verb Agreement” Smith and Stuart “Boo-yah!” Scott. Both are examples of burning bridges. I tell my students all the time not to burn bridges, especially with employers, potential employers, and the like. If you ever want a job, it probably isn’t a good idea to burn bridges.

Steve and Bill, you need a career counselor to give you the counseling you obviously didn’t receive at Brigham Young and Holy Cross, respectively. I volunteer. Email me. I’ll help you.

Secondly, in the most egregious assault of one of my favorite athletes since Saturday night’s BU-BC game, a Carolina Panthers fan threw a beer cup at Steve Young. Fortunately, he missed. Steve stayed calm and professional throughout the incident, which does not surprise me. Think about it. For one, he’s a lawyer. Lawyers get stuff thrown at them all the time. (Well, I mean, not all the time. But they are the recipients of a lot of vile comments and hate, which are metaphorically thrown at them. Right?) Additionally, Steve Young has like five children under the age of 10. He has toys, clothes, diapers and cut-up-bits of food thrown at him every single minute of his waking life.

Therefore, having a empty beer cup thrown at him was not going to phase Steve Young. Nothing phases Steve, except for sharing a show with Emmitt Smith or Michael Irvin. But then again, wouldn’t that bug you too?

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Filed under Bill Simmons, ESPN, football, Monday Night Football, Steve Young

I Feel Smart, or Bill Simmons Hates His Job

I was reading the new Bill Simmons column during lunch this afternoon, when I tripped over the following paragraph:

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately: With any job, you’re going to have your ups and downs. At some point, you have to decide whether the downs outweigh the ups to the point that it’s not worth it for you to have that job anymore. You could call it a satisfaction/misery ratio. If that ratio swings past 20/80, it’s time to go.

And then this paragraph just totally turned on my “he’s trying to tell us something” alarm:

Speaking of Jay, I joked in last week’s NFL preview that “Any time ‘Our QB should be better this year because he’s finally treating his Type 1 diabetes’ is your best reason for making the playoffs, I can’t pick you to finish higher than 7-9.” That led to a few readers who either have diabetes or know someone with diabetes e-mailing to say they were disappointed that I made fun of diabetes just for a laugh, which immediately got me excited — since that clearly wasn’t the case — and secretly hoping the whole thing would snowball and ESPN would ask me to apologize, creating my dream scenario of me standing up for a harmless joke and the depressed state of comedy in general, eventually getting suspended because the American Diabetes Association was protesting me in Bristol, then having our ombudsman write a post about me to cap things off. That didn’t happen.

Simmons’ growing dissatisfaction with his position at ESPN is well documented throughout sports media blog circles. However, to come out and say that in a column, and let your editor run with it, makes me beleive that he is on his way out.

Do I blame him? No. Bill Simmons needed ESPN to reach a better place in his career, but he has a fan base that could easily transfer to his own site. He is his own brand. He was “Boston Sports Guy,” then became “ESPN’s The Sports Guy,” and, with the right web developers and savvy new media PR staff, could be just the plain “Boston Sports Guy” again. He could write as long as he wanted, as much as he wanted, whenever he wanted. He wouldn’t have to mince his words about ESPN personalities. Bill Simmons, if you are really thinking of the above, go assemble yourself a crack staff and get ready to strike out on your own.

But until then, don’t post loaded thoughts like the quotes above in your column for your current employer. Not a good idea, Bill Simmons. Up there with posting photos of you drinking with scantily clad underage girls on Facebook or MySpace (which he hasn’t done, but college students do all the time), blasting your current employer is not advisable if you want a successful career. We tell students that all the time.

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Filed under Bill Simmons, ESPN, sports media

This is the First Entry of My Version of Now I Can Die In Peace, which I will Compile When the Bills Unexpectedly Win the Super Bowl Sometime in the Next 5 Years

I don’t like to gamble. I cringe when my father hands me a scratch ticket for a holiday. My toes curl when my boyfriend drags me into a casino. Despite my superb football picking skills, I’ve never been tempted to place monetary bets on a week of picks. Maybe it was my penny pinching childhood. Maybe it’s because I think the existence of Native American run gaming facilities has significantly affected the social and economic status of Native Americans for the worse. When it comes to gambling, I can’t see the reward outweighing any risk.

However, I am going to take a gamble here. I am going to start writing with frenzy regarding this five week old football season. I am going to start writing with this frenzy because if I do, and the Bills, by some grace of G-d win the Super Bowl or at least get to the AFC Championship Game, I will be able to cash in. Continue reading

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Filed under Bill Simmons, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, gambling, Monday Night Football, New England Patriots, Rochester NY, Tony Kornheiser, Western New York

The Super Post: Young’s 8 Best Moments, Me & Fantasy Football, and Other Stuff…

While watching the Patriots-Panthers preseason game last Saturday night, I saw a commercial for the “Super Bowl Collection”–Super Bowls I-X and XI-XX in 5 DVD collections. Well, if they have up to 20, they’ve got to have plans for at least up through 30, so I scrambled online to Amazon.com to see what I could find out. Good news: Super Bowls XXI-XXX comes out the first week of November. Score! Just in time for my birthday and the holidays. I wrote in my profile that the only thing that would beat this would be 5 DVDs of just Steve Young.

Hmmm….

If Bill Simmons was allowed to program a whole weekend of NBA TV, during which he did a 24 hour Larry Bird marathon, I think I am allowed to give a list of Steve Young moments I want on DVD or on a weekend of NFL Network (well, provided I have NFL Network at the time it airs. That’s my next goal in life. 1) Graduate college. Done. 2) Move to Boston. Done. 3) Get NFL Network. Still working on it.)

So I thought about it as I went to bed. And here’s a partial list.

1) Super Bowl XXIX. A no-brainer. (And can I just say that while I was looking on Amazon for the DVDs, I finally finally found the 1994 San Francisco 49ers season yearbook video. You know, the collection they make for every Super Bowl Champion? I think the Patriots one is called “3 Games to Glory II” or something like that. I should know this by heart–that and “Still We Believe: The Red Sox Story” is for sale absolutely everywhere. Well, anyway, I finally found it–I didn’t own it originally because I was too young to order it when it came out. Guess what I’m buying after I finish buying my textbooks?)

2) The Deflection Return. I forget the team it was against, but it’s when he threw the ball, and two defenders jumped up in tandem to deflect it. They succeeded…but who ended up catching it?

Steve Young.

For years, my father has defended Young in any discussion about great quarterbacks by saying one sentence. “Only one quarterback that I can remember has ever caught his own pass.”

3) The Run Against the Vikings: October 30, 1988–This is when Young was still a backup. Legend has it that this run was the first time Chris Berman said, “He could….go….all….the…way!!!!!” I am unsure as to if this is true, but when I was in middle school, that run was used all the time in highlight reels. Of course, I didn’t see it when it happened: I was all of 6 years old and was a tad more concerned with first grade at the time.

4) The Spike Against The Bears, NFC Divisional Playoff, January 1995–I mentioned this in my 5 Hottest Quarterbacks entry in January. The Bears just were steamrolled over by the Niners, and it was the first and I think only time I ever saw Steve Young spike the ball after he ran it in for a touchdown.

5) “There’s Joy in Mudville” The 94 NFC Championship Game– If you lived in Western NY in January 1995, even if you hated the Niners, you loved this game, because it denied the evil Cowboys a third straight Super Bowl. I still have the newspaper from the day after that game, and the lead headline of the sports section reads, “THERE’S JOY IN MUDVILLE,” commenting on the soggy state of Candlestick Park during that game.

6) Monday Night Football Opener 1994, Niners vs. Raiders–This is when Jerry Rice broke some record that I’m blanking on against the Raiders. The Raiders were never even in it. I loved that game. I have the newspaper clippings from he day after that game somewhere in my mess of a room (I just moved into a new apartment. Don’t ask me where anything is.)

7) The Comeback II: Niners v. Packers, 1999: I remember screaming at the television with my entire family. We couldn’t believe they had finally beaten the Packers in the playoffs. I had given up on that game too–my father had actually walked into the kitchen, resigned that the Niners had lost. And all of a sudden, Owens made that catch and they won. Great ending. Young’s last playoff victory.

8) Any Niners game where James Brown broke in during the third quarter to say, “With the Niners up a gazillion to 3 against some really bad team, we are now switching you to a more competitive contest.” I only want those because I never got to see the rest of those games because we were switched out of them.

Those are the immediate 8 that I think of off the top of my head. There are definitely more, I just need more time and more resources around me to figure them out.

Consequently, this past week, ESPN Page 2 named Young’s 1994 season sixth out of the 100 greatest individual seasons in the past 25 years. Right on, ESPN. He was the highest ranked football player. Argue what you may, but I think Steve Young takes whatever accolades he can get, considering he’ll probably have to wait a while to get into the Hall of Fame (throwing my famous Hall of Fame trip off by a few years), so let him have this little one.

***

So I have become a fantasy football junkie. For the first time in my life, I have been invited to play–and not just in one league, but in two. I am going into this hard-core. I am determined for this not to be a repeat of my fantasy baseball league, where I lost all hope back in June. I haven’t won since the end of May. This is because I barely know baseball. I know enough…but not enough to really succeed. I gave it a good shot though.

But the thing with fantasy football is…well, I know football. Now, had I done fantasy football when I was 15, I would of seriously kicked everyone in the world’s butt, as I regularly did with football picks during my entire adolescence (and as I still routinely do now that I’m entering my mid-20s–eek, in 4 months I will be in my mid-20s. Freaky moment right there.) So this should ultimately be far less embarrassing than baseball was.

Out of my two teams, I have to say the Boston Bearcats outdoes The Bearcats (okay, I lack all imagination with team names.) And this is because of one reason: I drafted one far later than the other–aka, I had more time to research. Unfortunately, The Bearcats is in the most competitive fantasy football league you could probably ever be in (otherwise known as the MCFFLYCPEBI….or not.) I swear, the commish (one of my good friends from Ithaca) should probably change the league’s name to that. But not to fret–the core of both my teams is exactly the same: McNabb and T.O. My dad and I agreed that has the makings of an excellent team. It also could completely tank, but let’s hope they’re as prolific as they are being made out to be. Both my defenses totally rock as well: New England in one, Baltimore in the other. Speaking of Patriots, I also have David Givens, i.e. the only football player Marsha knows because she was forced to watch the Super Bowl and thought he was the hottest. He’s also a pretty good wide receiver. I know, I know, WRs don’t make fantasy teams, running backs do. Well, I do have to say I’m set with The Bearcats on the RB front: Bettis and Staley. Hate the Steelers, love their RBs. Anyone whose nickname is “The Bus” gets on my team.

So as of Thursday, we will see if I can contest in the land of fantasy football after a good two years of wanting to be a part of a league. Of course, I’ll still pick games. I need to back up my ego on something.

***

On the non-football front, the last week has been nuts. I moved into a new apartment and started my graduate assistantship with the Student Activities Office at Boston University. So far it is an awesome position–the office, the professional staff and the students are great. We went on a retreat to the Cape and it was very informative and a lot of fun. I just have to get used to not being student staff, but on par with the professionals. It can be very confusing. I’m still working for my Boston Mom at PERD (my boss there, Barbara, has been amazing this summer–she has become like my best friend in Boston, or at least my second mother) as well. I love my jobs…except for the florist. That is on the backburner. I’ll be there when I have time…which looks to be never.

My new apartment is nice as well, and Caitlin and I are busy reliving freshmen year at Ithaca. Caitlin’s first day in the apartment, we had crab rangoon. It’s just like three years ago…except we’re 22, not 18, we’re in an apartment in Chestnut Hill, not Tracy’s and I room in Terrace 5 and we’re in grad school, not undergrad. Oh, and the crab rangoon is not from Jade Garden on the Commons, but Chang’s House on Commonwealth Ave.

I should mention my two weeks of Olympics devotion–even though my Summer Olympic devotion is far far less involved than my Winter Olympics devotion is. For one, I was way disappointed in the makeup of the women’s gymnastics team–no “Scrunchie Girl.” Plus, I honestly don’t think Annia Hatch deserved a silver medal on vault. She’s a consistent vaulter, but not an awesome vaulter. In the individual vault event, there were at least two, three people better than she was. Plus, how can you leave off Holly Vise? It was just a weirdly put together team, but they did get it right with Courtney Kupets and Carly Patterson. Swimmers are fun to watch, but since I can’t swim all that well, I can’t relate. And that’s about it. Give me figure skating, hockey, and bobsledding over softball, beach volleyball and basketball any day.

I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to post again, but I’ll try my best to make it soon!

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Filed under Bill Simmons, fantasy football, Steve Young