By Bill Simmons
Page 2

THE FINALISTS -- Group 1: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-12

THE FINALISTS -- Group 2: 13-17 | 18-21 | 22-25

Name: Matt Bank
College: Dartmouth College, 2004
Residence: New York, NY
Current Job: Structured finance paralegal
Age: 22

Like most people, my glory days of high school sports ceded to glory days of college beer pong. Those have since ceded to supremely inglorious days working at a corporate law firm dreaming up better ways to spend my time. I come from Concord, Massachusetts, spent summers in New Hampshire hiking and climbing with my dog, and then after college, as far as I can remember, my dad threw me out of a U-Haul on a corner in Manhattan, and now I'm pretty unhappy. I hang out primarily with guys who remind me of a perfect combination of Antonio Rocca, the Fonz, and Ricky Martin, and I'd bet on any given day I unknowingly step in 11 to 15 puddles of pee. Worst of all, I'm doomed by the bedeviling contractual obligations of professional sports leagues and television networks to watching the Yankees all summer, and the Jets and Giants all winter.

(As an aside: Did you know that Michael Kay has his own show on the YES network on which he interviews people in a weird empty room where they sit on stools and stare at each others navels? Here's a tough one: Would you rather sign Pedro Martinez to a 45-year deal worth $300 billion, or listen to Michael Kay twice in the same day for an entire baseball season?)

Here's why I'd make a great intern: I'm trying to go to law school. To go to law school, I have to take the LSAT. I started "studying" the summer before my senior year of college, but I really just watched Red Sox games and when it came time to take the test, I had to push it back from the October test date to December. Once the Sox lost in heartbreaking fashion, I forgot why I got out of bed everyday and the December test date came and went, so I pushed it up to the February date. The Patriots won the Super Bowl again, though, so I pushed it to October again -- ALCS time. I've pushed it to February and now I have another Super Bowl. I read every article in every newspaper and every post on every relevant message board and study this stuff daily. All I think about is sports. I'm your intern, Bill. I've been with you from the Digital City Boston days, and I'm ready to forget the LSAT.

Name: Justin Williams
College: Bryant University 2005
Residence: Smithfield, RI
Current Job: Student
Age: 21

What do Patrick Ewing and Kiefer Sutherland have in common besides extraordinarily bad looks? They both came up on my Google search for "Famous Interns." In the interests of full disclosure, the page also listed Linda Davis and Richard Petty, leading me to believe the word "famous" was used loosely. Nonetheless, I want to join those "celebrities" in the pantheon of "famous interns" by becoming the next Sports Guy Intern.

I grew up in Baltimore, but am now a senior at Bryant University in Smithfield, RI. Reading the Sports Guy's columns helped to not only introduce me to the New England sports scene and convince me to become a columnist for my school paper, but also helped me realize my career goal: to be on VH-1's "I love the collective years 2000 through 2009."

I figure by being able to breathe and speak, I've satisfied 3/4 of the requirements for being on the show. By becoming the Sports Guy's Intern, I believe the VH-1 producers could put "Justin Williams/ Writer" as a caption while I speak which looks better than "Justin Williams/ Pariah."

But that's why I WANT to be the intern; here's why I SHOULD be the next intern.

I have a sports background. I currently am a manager for the women's basketball team, where I get paid to play basketball at a low level: drawing comparisons to Shawn Kemp -- with 8 less children. I also played receiver at my Division II school for the past four years: drawing comparisons to Jerry Rice. Unfortunately, my career has not been as prolific: 1 rec. for 44 yards. Luckily, I was not banking on a future in the NFL like the LB in "The Program" who couldn't read "Adidas," so I've done well in school: winning conference academic awards and even getting to the second round of the Rhodes Scholarship selection process, much like Bill Clinton.

Speaking of Clinton, you should have a male intern so you don't get caught up like he did with Monica ... Just to reiterate, I'm a straight man.

I should be the Sports Guy intern because in addition to being a male, athletic, and intelligent, I'm black and can lend a 'fresh' hip-hop perspective. I do however promise to remember I'm college educated and thus will not force Ebonic phrases in every sentence like a certain UNC graduate does on a certain sports show. Boo-YAH!

Name: Rich Levine
College: Colgate University 2002
Residence: Boston, MA
Current Job: Editorial Assistant
Age: 25

Now, this might be an outrageous statement (maybe not quite Tom Chambers' head over the rim dunk on Mark Jackson outrageous) but I'd like to think I'm partly responsible for planting the seed for a Sports Guy Intern.

I e-mailed Bill back in the fall of 2001, as a senior at Colgate University, begging for him to take me on as his right-hand man, to anoint me the Belichick to his Parcells, the Johhny Utah to his Angelo Pappas, the Willow to his Madmartigan. Here's what I got back:

"I'm glad you like the column, but unfortunately there wouldn't be anything for an intern of mine to do other than take notes while I watch TV all day. Good Luck." -- Bill Simmons

After being somewhat confused as to why, with no sports journalism experience or references, I couldn't score a job by merely e-mailing an established ESPN writer who wasn't even looking to hire anyone, and with my future up in the air higher than Larry Nance circa '84, I figured it was time to pay my dues.

Two years of covering high school and college sports for the Burlington Free Press in Burlington, VT and the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, MA certainly humbled me (try asking for an interview with and subsequently getting blown off by a 15-year-old, pimply-faced field hockey goalie), but I was able to parlay that into a pretty decent job writing for Improper Bostonian Magazine (Where I had the chance to work with Bill a little for our Red Sox World Series Issue).

A lot has happened since I wrote that e-mail over three years ago. I've seen my hometown teams rack up more hardware than Tim Taylor on an ACE Shopping Spree and witnessed Charlie Weis, John Popper and Mary-Kate Olsen lose a combined 500 pounds, while Kirstie Alley, Shawn Kemp and Barry Bonds' head has packed that same 500 pounds right on.

But most importantly, at least for the purpose of this essay, I've watched the Sports Guy blow up to the level of intern-needing status. And although I'm sure, at this point, he'll need someone who can do a little more than jot down how many times Slater and Zach high-five during his afternoon viewing of Saved By the Bell, I know I'll be up for the challenge.

Name: Renee
College: University of Alberta 2005
Residence: Edmonton
Current Job: Accounting Student
Age: 23

To put it simply ... I'm a girl ... I'm very attractive ... and I have the 2004-2005 season of NFL Countdown on tape and I would rather watch that (yes even the Mike Ditka segments) than cuddle with a guy any day of the week.

Other things I have going for me include:

1. The fact that I pray nightly for any man that becomes involved with Doug Christie's daughters.

2. That I think its appropriate for a guy to cry only in the following situations:

    a) When his favorite sports team wins the championship.
    b) When he is a player on a team that team that wins the championship.
    c) When his dog dies.
    d) He is a Cubs fan.
    e) His cable goes on the fritz during the premeire episode of the Christie's reality show.

3. I have The Godfather DVD collection and I think I've watched it around 364 times.

4. I check out Dailylinks every morning so I know all the columnists and major papers.

To put it simply ... I am The Sports Guy in a cute young girl's body. I mean c'mon can you really beat that?

THE FINALISTS -- Group 1: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-12

THE FINALISTS -- Group 2: 13-17 | 18-21 | 22-25

Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. His Sports Guy's World site is updated every day Monday through Friday.