By Bill Simmons
Page 2


Nothing caps off a crummy day like searching for a late-night movie at 1 a.m., seeing "Heat" in the channel guide, then realizing it's the one with Burt Reynolds.

Donovan McNabb
"I wasn't sick. I was just tired." Wait ... is that better or worse?

Seriously, you take away the dry-heaving in big games, and Donovan McNabb's as good as any QB in the league.

Should I get DirecTV to refund my "NHL Center Ice" package, or should I just have them roll the money over for my "WNBA Season Pass"?

I don't know about you, but I'm still trying to figure out how Ed McMahon outlived Johnny Carson. That's right up there with Douglas-Tyson and Villanova-Georgetown in my book.

Now that Peyton Manning has a Pro Bowl MVP under his belt, maybe I was wrong -- maybe he IS better than Tom Brady.

Speaking of the Pro Bowl, what was the worst part of my losing parlay (AFC + the over)? The fact that the under was 65.5 points and the final score was 38-27? That my favorite kicker ever (Adam Vinatieri) blew a late chippie that would have won me the bet? That I couldn't even get angry because my favorite kicker ever was involved? That I was dumb enough to wager on the game during the same week I opened a fortune cookie that read, "Lavish spending may prove to be disastrous, be careful." Or that I bet on the Pro Bowl in the first place? I think it's a five-way toss-up.

Hands down, the greatest "Cheaters" episode of all-time would be the one where Joey Greco is caught cheating.

Should you tell Ahmad Rashad that he's starting to look like one of the Jackson Brothers, or should I do it?

Wait a second ... Corey Feldman wrote the book about steroids and Jose Canseco was traumatized at the Neverland Ranch? Or was it the other way around?

(Speaking of Jose, why hasn't anyone mentioned Ozzie Canseco in all of this? Isn't he the best possible proof of how steroids turned Jose's career around? It's almost like a before/after picture, isn't it? And do you think that, looking back, Ozzie was furious that he never started juicing up? Did the steroids make Jose blink more than Ozzie? I have about a million questions about this.)

Does anyone else think that the controversial lesbian kiss on "The OC" is simply paving the way for the controversial gay kiss between Ryan and Seth?

When Jim Nantz eats dinner with his family on Friday night, does he glance around with a happy smile and say, "And don't forget, we have to watch America's most-watched new drama tonight -- that's right, it's an all-new 'Numbers,' right here on CBS!"

Ten years from now, I just want to be in the same room when a grown-up Hart watches the tape of his birthday party on "My Super Sweet 16" ... and tries to swallow his own tongue.

Carlos Boozer
How many people in the world can honestly say "I'd rather be in Cleveland."?

What was the worst career move of the past 12 months: Carlos Boozer leaving LeBron, Mike Montgomery leaving Stanford or Lindsay Lohan dropping all that weight?

Speaking of bad career moves, there's comedy, there's high comedy and then there's every scene with David Caruso on "CSI: Miami."

You know what would be a good TV show? A reality show where Isiah Thomas runs something into the ground every year. One year, it could be a sports league or a cable-TV network. The next year, a movie studio. The year after that, a record company. The year after that, a third-world country. And so on. We could call it "The Midas Touch."

The best part about a stewardess asking if you want to pay for headphones to see "Shall We Dance" is when you get to quickly respond, "Oh GOD no."

All right, I've agonized over it, analyzed it from every direction, weighed the repercussions ... and the bottom line is that I'm still rooting for Pedro on the Mets, regardless of what happened this winter. Maybe he left Boston on bad terms, but as Koglan said in "Cocktail," "All things end badly; otherwise, they wouldn't end." So there.

Seriously, have trick candles on a birthday cake ever been funny? I mean, ever?

Don't you wish there were odds on this Michael Jackson trial, just so we could wager on things like "6-to-1 that one of the Culkins will be a mystery witness for the prosecution"?

If the Doug Christie jersey is the perfect gift for that one buddy who's a little too whipped, shouldn't the Freddie Mitchell jersey be the perfect gift for that annoying co-worker who talks too much and doesn't pull his weight? Freddie needs to enter our everyday language, as in, "Yeah, we finally fired him, he had a little too much Freddie Mitchell in him." Or, "Don't take him seriously; he's the Freddie Mitchell of our office."

Pitchers and catchers ... pitchers and catchers ... pitchers and catchers ...

Every time I read through my e-mails, I'm secretly hoping that there's one in there from Steve Bartman that says, "I'm ready to tell my story, and I'd rather have you write the column than Rick Reilly."

Few things in life can prepare you for Hedu Turkoglu's face on HDTV.

If the Sports Gal ever wrote a Ramblings, it would definitely include lines like "Julia Stiles can't even look pretty when she's playing a queen."

My top three random NBA wishes for 2005: 1.) Sam Mitchell gets hired to coach the Trail Blazers; 2.) Tayshaun Prince's sister marries Ron Artest to become the Artest formerly known as Prince; and 3.) Darko's championship ring shows up on eBay.

Jon Favreau
The days of Mikey wearing the tank top talking on the phone to Trent are long, long gone.

Even the first Jon Favreau stomach-stapling surgery isn't as inevitable as the Cardinals paying waaaaaaaaaay too much money for Shaun Alexander this spring.

Leftover Grammy questions: Did Jamie Foxx clear it with Sam Jackson before shaving his head? Is Stevie Wonder secretly excited that he's the last famous blind singer? Was there anything better than the Kanye West "I can't believe I just lost Best New Artist to Maroon 5" face? What's the difference between J-Lo's rear end and Kelly Clarkson's rear end? Is Bono officially in the David Robinson/Tony LaRussa Pantheon for "guys who just don't age?"

(Wait, there's more!)

Shouldn't Matt McConaughey be legally required to say "All right, all right, all right" every time he starts speaking in public? If I bought a black hat and an ugly shirt and grew a bad goatee, would this make me eligible to become a popular country music singer? Do you think the guys from Offspring are bummed out that Green Day made such a huge comeback while they're probably playing at the Somerville Holiday Inn this weekend? And isn't the best way to win a few Grammys just to fake your own death?

(By the way, here was my Grammy's highlight: My friend Jake and I were trying to figure out what name we would pick if we were budding rap/hip-hop stars -- along the lines of Usher or Nelly -- and I went with "Tripod" while Jake chose "Zeus" or "Apollo;" and right at that moment, the Sports Gal stuck her head out of the kitchen because she was making Rice Krispie Treats and asked if we wanted them gooey ... and we realized that "Gooey" would be better than any of the other names we were coming up with. OK, maybe you had to be there.)

Wait, does Matthew Fox's improbable comeback on "Lost" mean that he's too successful to show up for a "Party of Five" reunion?

Speaking of reunions, I wish there were cameras on hand for every parent that watched the "Happy Days" reunion, then tried to explain to their kids that Henry Winkler was once the coolest man on the planet. I just picture the kids pointing to the TV and saying: "Really, that guy? Are you sure? Every kid wanted to be like him? Really?"

I have to be the only person who spent 45 minutes on Google trying to figure out how to download the "NBA on CBS" theme on my cell phone.

Forget about the sex charges ... shouldn't they have incarcerated Jeffrey Jones just for inadvertently ruining the rewatchability of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"?

I'm not sure what will be a more electric moment -- the Red Sox raising that 2004 banner, or Giambi's first at-bat at Fenway. But I'm going to walk back to Boston for that game if I have to.

Jason Giambi
Jason came to New York for a title. He got one -- King of Steroids.

The highlight of my week in Jacksonville: Driving around on Monday morning looking for coffee ... and seeing the Dunkin Donuts sign from about 500 feet away. Made the whole week worth it. I felt like I was in a commercial. Even got a monosyllabic foreigner behind the counter who screwed up my change, just like old times. And when did they get those new lids that protect you from getting splattered with coffee when you're driving? Really, nobody had the courtesy to tell me about this? I could go on all day.

Craig Ferguson's accent is like dating a woman with one leg ... you can pretend that it doesn't matter, but it does, and that's just the way it is.

I'm not saying he needs to leave this minute; but at some point, we're going to need a taser and a crane to drag Darrell Hammond off the SNL set.

Hey, did we ever find out if Peter Gammons is wearing a Boston Globe cap or an ESPN cap into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Here's the point in the column where I was going to make a "When is the best of 'I, Max' coming out on DVD?" joke, but then I remembered that Fox Sports Net is the same network that put Tom Arnold behind a desk with John Salley as his sidekick ... I mean, you can't rule ANYTHING out with those guys.

Burning questions: Shouldn't NBATV buy the rights to Fox's "Who's Your Daddy?" concept? When are they making an "Escape from New York" prequel with Snake Plissken called "Escape from the Neverland Ranch"? Did anyone else gasp when they saw Ed Burns's old girlfriend from "The Brothers McMullen" in that car commercial? Was anyone else shocked that Steve Young made the Hall of Fame? Why did NBC go to commercial right after Larry Bird ran back out on the court during Game 5 of the Pacers series? Who was John Dory, and how did he get a fish named after him? When they launch the Train Wreck Channel, will "Boat Trip" be prominently involved? Was there any doubt that the O's would be dumb enough to trade for Sosa? And why isn't Joel Goodson mentioned in the same breath as Lynn Swann and Willie Mays?

Look, I don't care what network is showing the game -- no Super Bowl should end without the players hugging as John Madden says, "This is what it's all about, right here."

The only thing worse than being a guy in his 30s who still plays video games is being a guy in his 30s who still ogles video-game cheerleaders.

Clint Eastwood, Hillary Swank
At this rate The Rock and Tara Reid should be sweeping the Oscars in 2014.

If "Million Dollar Baby" had sucked, then "Clint Eastwood training a female boxer" would have been the Hollywood equivalent of "Mahorn and Laimbeer landing on the same bench of a WNBA team."

Remember when Puff Daddy hit a stretch of bad luck, changed his name to P. Diddy and instantly turned his career around? Well, shouldn't A-Rod change his name to A-Guez at this point?

When it comes right down to it, "Grand Theft Auto" is like a pack of cigarettes -- I'm terrified to even keep it in the house.

Finally, it's pretty sad that I write for a living and couldn't adequately sum up what's happened to the Patriots over the past few years, and yet my freshman-year roommate (and fellow Pats fan) Gene McDonough managed to do it in one paragraph of an e-mail:

"This is the same franchise that 15 years ago was owned by Victor Kiam and had a roster of four quarterbacks: a frightened Tony Eason, a decrepit Steve Grogan, a talentless Marc Wilson and a 5-foot 7-inch Doug Flutie. It's completely unfathomable how far they have come. It's the equivalent of waking up 15 years from now and discovering that Bangladesh is a military and economic superpower."

(Yup... pretty much.)

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.