Friday, February 09, 2007

Bill, You Ignorant Slut

I try not to make a habit out of ripping Bill Simmons here at the Lounge. I've made this decision for a couple of reasons. One is that with the way his columns have been the last year or two, it would become very monotonous for me to criticize his recycled columns twice a week. If I'm going to be monotonous around here, I'd much rather it be with pictures of college women having a good time in various states of undress. The other reason why I'm reluctant to criticize the Sports Guy is that Bill Simmons is the Chevy Chase of the blogosphere. He was hilarious when he first hit the scene, but now he's been reduced to using the same devices (Clark Grizwold and pratfalls vs Pats/Celtics/Sox/MTV); and it's hard at times to remember that he was ever funny at all. Nonetheless, both were at the forefront of a new movement in their craft and are deserving of at least our appreciation if not our respect.

Having said that, I couldn't help but comment on the Sports Guy's most recent Page 2 column, "Welcome to the Basketball Blog," in which Simmons announces that he will now be following college hoops on a regular basis. The fact that he will be covering college basketball in itself is great. After some down years, the college game is going through a resurgence, and any additional coverage it can get from pop culture media is great; and so it's nice to have Simmons on the bandwagon. But once on the bandwagon, does he have to insist on driving it too? Doesn't he realize that not everyone waited until their football team was eliminated from the playoffs to start watching basketball? Some of us have actually been following the game since November. And yet his tone is so smug, condescending, and dismissive- it's as if the topic wasn't worth discussing until he had entered the room. (And before you say this is a case of the pot calling the kettle black, I prefer to think of myself as flipping, obnoxious, and playful, this column notwithstanding.) But hey what do I know? My dad didn't get me premium season tickets at the Garden to watch the Celtics play in the 80's, so how could I- or anyone else for that matter- possibly have a valid opinion on basketball if we are not able to put it in the context of past Boston greats?

Now I'm getting worked up. I should repeat that I do think his coverage of college basketball is a good thing. I realize that most sports fans are casual fans and have actual lives (strange, huh?), and therefore don't spend hours each day reading various sports blogs. For the sake of the popularity of college basketball amongst those fans, it's great that a popular writer such as Simmons is now giving the college hoops some publicity. I just wish that in his first posting on the topic, he didn't try to present himself as an actual authority on the topic rather than the neophyte that he is. It reminded me of his column on the World Series of Poker, when he tried to portray his early exit as proof that tournament poker had disintegrated from a game of great skill (like he possessed) to one of luck in which any fish could win. But in reality, any experienced poker player reading the column quickly identified Simmons as being the fish in the story. Simmons may be a big fish at ESPN, but when he writes about college basketball, he's a fish out of water. And a fish out of water quickly begins to stink. (Ok, I've beaten both the metaphor and the topic to death. Gotta wrap things up.)

On another note, I'm beginning to worry about the health of Kevin Durant. If Simmons obsesses about him any further, I just know a cocaine overdose is coming a few days after the draft.

For some excellent coverage of the 2006-07 college hoops season from writers who actually watched the '06 portion of the season, check out the following sites:

Complete Sports

AOL NCAA FanHouse
Grant Wahl's weekly SI column

(btw, I'm still having problems uploading pics to the server via blogger. Don't know what the problem is, but it's bumming me out.)

4 Comments:

At Fri Feb 09, 05:50:00 AM PST , Blogger Mini Me said...

Problems with pics? Where are the hot girls? Aww. I am pumped for college basketball. It is getting great and I can't wait for the tourney, baby!

 
At Fri Feb 09, 11:56:00 PM PST , Blogger twins15 said...

I still kinda like Simmons, but I had the exact same reaction to you after reading this. I don't think I've ever seen Simmons write about college bball other than like NCAA Tourney live-blogs (heck, he usually bashes it), but now it seems like he's coming in here with the idea like, "Hey, just trust me, college basketball really is good!"

Well no duh Bill. Not only is he jumping on the college basketball bandwagon (which, like you say, is fine by me), but he's acting like he's leading the bandwagon. And well, that couldn't be more wrong.

And yeah, I've been having some problems with blogger lately as well. :(

 
At Mon Feb 12, 04:31:00 PM PST , Blogger NFL Adam said...

That kid that covers Mid-Majors over at the FanHouse is wonderful.

 
At Mon Feb 12, 04:47:00 PM PST , Blogger insomniac said...

That kid is working hard to get the Aztecs into the dance. I like it.

 

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