Now THAT'S more like it.
One strangest running plots of being The Intern was hearing my old friends from UNC seethe that my name wasn't on my columns. You have no idea how seriously journalists -- even aspiring ones -- take their bylines. When I worked at The Daily Tar Heel, there was a kid that was a senior that wanted his to be "Senior Writer," but since he had never been an editor, he was forced to be a lowly "Staff Writer." And this was after covering 80 softball games.
Finally, you can all relax.
Another sideplot has been the BS Exposed build-up. There have only been five of these in seven months. If I were going to make a college comparison, I'd go with Thursday nights of sobriety. Anyway, as you know, my time in New England is short, but to atone for my spotty track record, and considering there'll be 75 more mistakes by the time Simmons' Intern Contest ends in 2008, I figured I'd crank out one more.
As always, I'll start with a few points of contention from the last Volume, followed by reader responses. I realize some of these exchanges resemble a debate about the careers of Macho Man versus Ricky Steamboat. You probably don't remember the particulars, nor do you really care. Nevertheless, it's my job to do this ... or at least, it was.
INCORRECT CORRECTION: From Todd Larson in Canton, S.D.: "You wrote that you were popping Percocets like Brett Favre. Favre was hooked on Vicodin, not Percocets. Percocets are for wussies."
CORRECT CORRECTION: From Eardie Curry in Houston: "Percocet is made up of oxycodone and Tylenol, while Vicodin is hydrocodone and Tylenol. Percocet is much stronger, and because it is a Class II controlled substance (other examples: Oxycontin, morphine, and cocaine), not a Class III (like Vicodin and steroids), it is much harder to get your hands on Percocets. There is a tighter loop of control over Class II substances. So, Percocets are NOT for 'wussies.'"
INCORRECT CORRECTION TO A CORRECTION: From Simmons himself: "Actually, Cornelius Bumphus was the saxophone player for the Doobie Brothers ... in one of their concert tapes, they introduced him as 'Bump City Bumphus.' And yes, he had a straggly beard. So there."
CORRECT CORRECTION: From Paul in Philadelphia: "The Doobie Brothers saxophonist was actually named Cornelius Bumpus (not Bumphus), and he also performed with Steely Dan. He died this past February of a heart attack. Check out his website.
Now onto the new stuff ...
In "A True Stomach Puncher," Simmons wrote: "6:29 -- All right, two amazing things here: First, the Dolphins have a white guy named Welker returning kicks. Second, this same white guy just ran a Patriots punt back 71 yards to the 2-yard line. Of course he did."
Then at 7:03 Simmons wrote: "That was a grueling Patriots drive: 12 plays, 10 runs, 54 yards and a Dillon TD. 14-7, Patriots. And the Dolphins don't have a first down yet."
Writes Chris Babcock in Savannah: "In the NFL a first down is awarded whenever an offensive team moves the ball past the line-to-gain. When the Dolphins ran the ball back to the two the line-to-gain was established at the goal line. When they scored they received six points and a first down."
In "Serving Up Wins," Simmons wrote: "Bookies and casinos hate losing -- obviously -- so their job is to keep adjusting the lines to attract an equal amount of action on both sides so they don't get killed."
Writes Chris Inra: "You're only half right. Bookies hate losing, but they don't make lines to attract an equal amount of money on each side. Steven Levitt, a famous economist, found that bookies maximize their profits by exploiting biases in gamblers' habits. While they expose themselves to some risk by doing this, they stand to gain much more than if they encouraged equal amounts of money placed on both sides. Here's the abstract of his study.
In "Hunkering Down in the Mailroom", Simmons wrote "See, the Celtics won't hire cheerleaders because they're afraid Red Auerbach will have a heart attack."
From Matt Sullivan: "This is wrong. They do have cheerleaders this year: The Green Team. In fact not just the hot dancers that all other teams have, but a full co-ed squad of cheerleaders, complete with the college-like uniforms. The do little routines; dance, cheer, and the 85 lb., 12-year-old-looking girls get tossed in the air and throw t-shirts. Somehow this evaded Red's stance on the subject, because they're more like the annoying marketing/mascot people than the blatant sex-driven performers that the Lakers have ... I was talking about the Laker Girls, not Kobe."
In "1-800-DIVORCE," Simmons wrote: "Remember that Week 1 game in Buffalo when the Jags completed that crazy fourth-and-long to Jimmy Smith, followed by the 6-yard Hail Mary to the eighth-string tight end? Did you ever think the sixth AFC playoff spot would be decided by that sequence? Me neither. Then again, I love this Jags team; Bledsoe would have killed the Bills in January. This worked out for the best."
Writes Matthew Kirkpatrick: "That pass actually went to Ernest Wilford, rookie wide receiver. I know Wilford looks like a TE and runs like a TE, but he's definitely not a TE. As was the case with The Great Kurt Warner Resurgence at the beginning of the year, things are not always as they appear."
In "Emptying out the holiday mailbag," Simmons wrote: "Any 'Million Dollar Baby' ad should have come with this tag: 'WARNING: CLINT EASTWOOD CRIES.' I know actors have to make that leap at some point, but this was 50 times worse than Stallone breaking down in 'Rocky 3' and 200 times worse than finding out about Mike Ditka's erectile dysfunction."
Writes Keith Kincaid: "Didn't Clint Eastwood already cry in 'The Bridges of Madison County'? Someone told me that he cried, so I refused to ever watch the movie, but you might want to check it out."
(Agin: "Time to bring out the heavy artillery ... ")
(The Intern's Mom says: "Well, I don't know if he actually breaks down and cries but as he's leaving Meryl Streep at the end of the movie and he tells her that -- what's the line ... oh, Jamie, let me think -- he's saying that this kind of love only comes but once in a lifetime. So he's saying that to her -- she's married -- and I know he's like, struggling to get these words out. But I don't know if you ever really see him cry because he's breaking down, but I don't know if you ever really see his face. She is sort of wiping his face, so I don't know. And of course, at the very end of the movie, he's standing out in a rainstorm, so you don't really know if he's crying or not there, either.)
(Agin: "FYI, my January cell phone bill was $263.05. So much for free advice, right? And when I look at this and realize we still didn't get an answer, it's safe to say that Mom's buying the farewell Papa Gino's.")
In "Emptying out the holiday mailbag," Aaron G. in Boulder, Colo., wrote: The other night we were at a party and got into a fight where someone threw a full beer at one of my friends. As we were leaving, someone said, 'He went Artest on you.' How long do you think before it becomes routine with a thrown beer?"
Simmons responded: "Um ... how 'bout starting right now?"
Writes Jon in Connecticut: "Wouldn't 'Going Artest' be the opposite? Big Ron did not actually throw the beer; the beer was thrown at him. In the story above, Aaron's friend would actually be Artest. The friend of the guy who threw the beer could say that Aaron's buddy went Artest on him instead of the way it's portrayed. If Simmons wants to help start a new trend he at least needs to get his characters straight."
In "A few of my favorite NBA things," Simmons wrote: "On the morning after Christmas, I was driving to a friend's house to watch football when I flicked on a local radio station, stumbling across a live interview with an athlete whose voice sounded familiar ... and it was Kobe! This was one of those weekend morning shows with three hosts trying way too hard, including the one female host who's there to 'sass it up.' Brutal show."
From Adam Cohon in San Luis Obispo, Calif: "Kobe was on the show hosted by LA Times sports columnist T.J. Simers and his daughter, known only as Miss Radio Personality in his column. That's only two hosts, but who wants to be petty?"
In "Clipped in LA," Simmons wrote: "As the Sonics showed this season, or the Pistons last season, there's something to be said for continuity in this particular sport. Guys need time to gell, to figure out their teammates."
From Gary G. in Vista, Calif: "Gel is something you use in your hair. Jell is something a team does in coming together. Gell, as you recently used it, isn't even a word. As we say here at the office, a child of 10 knows that."
(Agin: "How'd you like to work in that office? Congrats, Gary, for winning 'DB of the Month,' and I don't mean defensive back. I'll go on record saying this: If anybody ever tells me a child of 10 knows something, he'll have a child of three's voice for the rest of the afternoon.")
In "State of the Celtics, Part I," Simmons wrote: "Just seven months ago, Al Jefferson was playing against midgets in the middle of nowhere (Mississippi). ... Compared to every other high schooler who played right away as rookies, he's the only one who came from absolutely nowhere. McGrady went to Mt. Zion, KG played in Chicago, Kobe in Philly, Howard in Atlanta, and so on ... "
Writes Chris Smith in San Francisco: "I played in the same conference as Kobe, and his high school (Lower Merion) is the richest district per capita in Pennsylvania. About three players each year from the conference actually go on to play college ball. The competition was pretty good, but was certainly not the rough and tumble public leagues of Philadelphia (think of Rasheed Wallace as being one of the nicer guys to play there). Saying Kobe is from Philly is like saying the O.C. is part of LA. They are completely unrelated entities despite their close proximities."
In "A True Stomach Puncher," Simmons wrote: "We could have a Corey Haim-Corey Feldman presidential ticket and it wouldn't be any less improbable than the Patriots becoming the model franchise in professional sports."
Writes Blake Meinsenheimer: "C'mon man. Corey Haim can't be president or vice president as he was born in Canada. A guy who pimps IMDB as hard as you could use a fact check."
(Agin: "A milestone: this marks the first time that Simmons has been corrected two times on the same thing. Haim's Canadian heritage was discussed in BS Exposed: Vol. 1. Makes me wonder who's reading this before it goes up. Hopefully not him, since I called him 'Private Cowboy' last time out ... )
In "State of the Celtics, Part II," Simmons wrote: "Troy Murphy's double-double in the Fleet Center last night made me think of something: You could make a strong case that, in 2001, former Celtics GM Chris Wallace had the worst draft in the history of any sport."
Writes Thomas O.: "The Kings 1990 draft has to be worse. They had FOUR first round picks: 7, 14, 18 and 23. Guess who they got with those four picks: 7) Lionel Simmons: The L-Train had a couple decent years, but definitely not worth the No. 7 pick; 14) Travis Mays: lasted only three years in the league; 18) Duane Causwell: Career totals of four points and four boards per game; and 21) Anthony Bonner: Lasted only six years in the league (three with Sacto& seven points and four rebounds per game for his career. FOUR first round picks and not a single All-Star Game appearance to show for it? Other players in that draft after the seventh pick: Dee Brown, Jayson Williams, Elden Campbell, Toni Kukoc, Bimbo Coles, Cedric Ceballos. That HAS to be the worst. That draft set the franchise back a decade. It also capped off a horrible year, during which promising rookie from '88-'89 Ricky Berry decided he'd rather commit suicide then play for the Kings, and then the Kings drafted all-time bust Never Nervous Pervis Ellison in 1989. Awful."
In "Sprawling Out in Jacksonville," Simmons wrote: "Rich Eisen hung out with Corey Dillon and Tedy Bruschi, who looks so much like Marissa's gardener boyfriend from 'The OC' that I literally did a double-take. Never noticed that before. I wonder how he felt about the lesbian kiss between Marissa and the hot '80s-looking blonde last week."
Writes Wendy in NYC: "I watch 'The OC' regularly, and I don't remember a kiss between Marissa and Alex . Alex just put a necklace around Marissa's neck. I'm pretty sure I would have remembered it. Unless you're watching episodes not available to the viewing public yet."
In "Yup&these are my readers," Simmons wrote: "The sports equivalent to Ackroyd's 'We Are the World' appearance was Jimmy Fallon kissing Drew Barrymore -- on the field, on live TV -- right after the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. In fact, they were shown in a close-up within 60 seconds of the final out. And every Red Sox fan is determined to pretend that this never happened, and that it didn't taint the moment even a little bit ... so it wasn't a huge deal. Just like the Aykroyd thing."
Writes Blake Meisenheimer: "This is an obvious oversight. The correct answer is Christian Laettner playing on the original Dream Team."
In "A few of my favorite NBA things," Simmons wrote: "My dream has come true! A reality show about the Christies! ... If this works out, maybe the networks will start greenlighting some of my other ideas -- like 'Stoned Scrabble,' 'Gymkata: The Series,' or 'Hooker or NBA Groupie?', 'Long Distance Dog Jumping,' 'Black Bachelor' or even 'Pardon The Interruption II' with Tim Hardaway, Eric Dickerson and Dikembe Mutombo as Stat Boy. I have dozens of them."
Writes Billy Pruett in San Diego: "I wonder if you watch any of the outdoor dogs sports specials ESPN has on once in a while. They have long distance dog jumping. You fling a favorite toy off a dock and see how far your dog will jump to get it back. Can you believe they can jump up to 25 feet? If The Dooze is anything like my mutt, the only way to get him close to 25 feet is to chuck some prime beef into that lake and see if he feels like flying after it. Mutts..."
In "Hall of Fame Ballot-soap box", Simmons wrote: "Sandberg's case: Nine All-Star teams, one MVP, three top-4 MVP finishes, 9 Gold Gloves, unequivocally the best second baseman of the '80s and early '90s. Plus he played for the same team for his entire career -- again, that should count for something."
Writes Matt O'Brien in Reading, Penn.: "Sandberg, in fact, played 13 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1981. Not that I'm expecting Sandberg to wear a Phillies cap in the HOF or anything, but it should be noted that the Phillies actually made a bad trade once long ago ...
It's a lot harder to sound sarcastic in writing."