It's a new year … It's a new start … Let's bring it in with a Sports Guy mailbag! As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.
Q: Has any movie ever predicted the future of sports better than BASEketball did, in 1998? Ridiculous end zone celebrations, stadiums named after brands, teams jumping cities for money. I remember watching it thinking it was outlandish to name a stadium after Trojan or Tampax. Now I could see it.
SG: Who knew Trey Parker and Matt Stone would be the George Orwells of pro sports? I want to see which league will cave first and sell its championship game or series to a sponsor. You know it's coming. Would you ever have guessed we'd be saying the "Allstate Sugar Bowl"? This could be one more thing Gary Bettman screws up. We may be headed for the Levitra Stanley Cup Final.
Q: What is the NBA's equivalent of George Bush's expiring contract?
-Bryan, Flagstaff, Ariz.
SG: Is the joke you're hoping I make more insulting to Stephon Marbury or Dubya?
Q: Which current athlete is most likely to give an impassioned speech that breaks down long-held prejudices (like how Rocky ended the Cold War)?
-Travis S., New Jersey
SG: I vote for Tim Tebow. Fox's Thom Brennaman spent 15 minutes with him before the BCS Championship Game and raved about the experience three different times during the telecast, like his life had been irrevocably altered. Can you think of anyone you've ever met for just 15 minutes—in your life—who would turn you into a blubbering stalker on live TV? I say we send Tebow to the Middle East. He can start with Al Qaeda.
Q: After GM Rod Higgins traded Jason Richardson, his explanation was, "We'll figure it out as we go on." Is hoping my Bobcats become a respectable franchise like hoping the WNBA will make money?
-Jeff K., Annapolis, Md.
SG: Come on, that's not fair! MJ is on the 11th hole right now trying to figure this out! Have some faith. Shhh—hold on, he's putting …
Q: If you could have the best seats in the house for any sporting event of the past century, which would you choose?
-Max A., Cleveland
SG: The only answer can be "USA 4, USSR 3." A tougher question: Which sports-movie event would you choose? I'd pick the game in which Michael J. Fox first turns into Teen Wolf. Name me a more stunning sports-movie moment. Fans in the stands are frozen for, like, 45 seconds. You're not topping the experience of being in a sparsely attended high school hoops game in which one of the players turns into a monster, then dunks on everybody. I'm sorry.
Q: Should Matt Cassel send a $4 million fruit basket to Bernard Pollard and the doctor who performed Brady's surgery?
-Marchy, Malibu, Calif.
SG: [shaking head]
Q: If you were playing dodgeball and had first pick of anyone, who would it be?
-Blake, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
SG: I'd say a QB makes the most sense, because they're used to throwing bigger balls with a quick release. So the answer should be Georgia's Matthew Stafford. That kid has a bazooka. But I'd pick Brett Favre just for the chance to make the Eric Mangini Did-Somebody-Just-Fart-in-the-Car Face after Favre singlehandedly kills my team by getting picked off two minutes in.
Q: You do realize that J.D. Drew will be the highest-paid Boston player in '09. That's a bad omen for the coming season, right?
-Hefe, Manchester, N.H.
SG: Short of chicken blood squirting from the Green Monster, yes, I'd say it's about as bad an omen as you can have.
Q: Being a Sooners fan feels like I met a great girl, and because we had the best sex any couple has ever had, I married her. But then she had a religious awakening and has since refused anything but the most basic, lights-off sex. We pretend to enjoy this joyless ritual, but what I really want is grounds for a divorce she'll never provide. Can I get a "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bob Stoops Era"?
-Travis A., Tulsa, Okla.
SG: What is this, Mailbag Karaoke? Okay, fine: Ladies and gentlemen, the Bob Stoops Era!
Q: If Jerome James swapped numbers with Quentin Richardson, how long would it take for his No. 23 to become the best-selling NBA jersey?
-Ty, Huntsville, Ala.
SG: Two days. And it's amazing the Knicks haven't thought of this yet.
Q: Two things happened yesterday: 1) Danny Granger scored 37, and 2) Yaroslav Korolev delivered my pizza.
-Mark, Washington, D.C.
SG: And the third thing wasn't "I wondered how Mike Dunleavy still has a job coaching and running the Clippers."
Q: Are we sure the laminated card Andy Reid holds on the sideline during the game isn't really a Waffle House menu?
-Paul, Durham, N.C.
Q: What would you call an anti-bandwagon? I'm on it for Tony Allen right now.
SG: I'd go with a hotel shuttle van. Ever ridden in one from the Vegas airport? They're hot; they keep stopping; they make you feel sick. By the time you get dropped off, you just want to lie down. Kinda like how I feel watching Allen. So there you go.
Q: Did you know Gabrielle Carteris turned 48 this month? Forty-eight! Barack Obama doesn't turn 48 until August. An original 90210 cast member is older than our president.
-Nora L., Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
SG: Are you trying to get me to kill myself?
Q: Can you guess which two jerseys the Heat have retired? Michael Jordan's and Dan Marino's. Quite a franchise.
-Ian S., New York City
SG: I've confirmed it on the Internet and still can't believe it. Preposterous. Is it too late to retroactively void Miami's 2006 title? We already had plenty of ammo after Games 3 and 6 were rigged and the fans did the whole everyone-wears-white-T-shirts-to-playoff-games gimmick. Isn't this the final piece of the puzzle? I can't take it. Marino and Jordan? Why not put Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas up there?
Q: After Al Pacino's speech in Any Given Sunday, the Sharks allow a TD on the opening kickoff? Are you kidding me! After hearing that speech, I'm ready to assault my postman for that inch! I'm ready to jump in front of traffic for that inch! Because that's what livin' is! The six inches in front of your face!
-David M., Vienna, Va.
SG: Yup, these are my readers.
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