Q: I live on the West Coast. And if someone doesn't put a hit on Dale Sveum sometime soon, I'm going to fly out to the East Coast and do the deed myself.
– Jason Underwood, Portland, Ore.

SG: As you can see, we had a tie for the "Derogatory Dale Sveum e-mail of the week."

Q: Mr. Simmons,

Just want to let you know the Ewing Theory can be applied internationally. In the English Premier League, Everton is known as "the other team in Liverpool" mostly finishing middle of the table, never anything spectacular. They had this wunderkind, teenager Wayne Rooney who is supposed to be the next Michael Owen (let's say, equivalent to Dwyane Wade-type impact). But all this speculation of whether they are going to sell him to another team because they can't afford to pay him what he wants finally leads to his going to Manchester United, pre-Glazer. So what happens? Without their best player, they tear it up and wind up fourth, qualifying for the final Champions League tourney slot, edging out crosstown rival Liverpool. At some point, you may have to rename it the Ewing Axiom and collect your well-deserved Nobel Prize. Then you can go to your shed and find hidden codes in US Weekly.

– Jack in Bangkok

SG: Um ... what just happened there?

Q: Are you a Bradley guy or a Muresan guy?
– Chris, Norristown, Pa.

Shawn Bradley
There's only one thing worse than NOT dunking on Bradley -- and that's when he blocks you.

SG: I'm a Bradley guy, if only because he was once Shaq's answer to the question, "Shaq, who's the one player you could score 100 points against in a single game?" Nobody in the history of mankind has been dunked on more than him – it's like the opposing players are sitting in the locker room before games saying, "All right, everyone throw in $500, first guy to dunk on Bradley gets the pot."

Q: I don't expect an entire column on "The O.C." season finale, but could you spare a few words on how you think they wrapped up this season?
– Rachel, Seabrook, N.H.

SG: Okay, twist my arm. As usual, they rushed through the plots too fast, leading to the biggest mistake of the season: Seth's Mom developing a drinking problem and shattering the joint record of Alison Parker and Bailey Salinger for "Fastest drinking problem by a TV character on Fox." I knew we were in serious trouble when she found out her father died, and didn't even ask "How?" – then dramatically grabbed her bottle and headed upstairs in slow-motion. That was one of those scenes where the actors needed to intervene and say, "No offense, but should we shoot an alternate ending? You know, just in case?"

Hey, every show of this ilk plays the drinking card at some point ("The OC" has already played it twice in 14 months), but if you're doing it, you need to get your money's worth. For instance, "Party of Five" pulled it off the best with Bailey, as he started dating an unredeeming bimbo and acting nasty to his friends – totally out of character, but believable because he was assuming too big a parental role with his family. This led to the obligatory car crash where Jennifer Love Hewitt's breasts were almost injured, and everything cresting with the superb intervention episode that was so grueling, you needed a cigarette when it was over. Now that's how it's done. With "The OC," they squeezed Kirsten's intervention between the third and fourth commercial breaks, and she didn't even get a cool song from The Bravery or Zero 7 for the obligatory family hug. Wasted story line.



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