Friday, August 28, 2009

bill simmons: summer of mailbag revisited

If you aren't a reader of Bill Simmons, you are missing out. This guy is legitimately hilarious and seriously irreverant. His latest mailbag is a thing of beauty. Between his theories of "press box hot" and "pregnant hot" (I'm looking at you, Billy), athletes and their celebrations, and signs you spend too much time at work (which basically all apply to me), this column had me on the floor. Enjoy.

Q: I am a big fan of your idea of "Press Box Hot" in which any remotely attractive woman instantly becomes a supermodel when she walks into the press box. While in summer school this week, I realized this also applies to the awful classrooms in August full of dudes and freaky chicks. It made me think of other places where "Press Box Hot" comes into play like church, sports collector conventions and Star Wars premieres. Any others?
-- Evan, Hope Valley, R.I.

SG: You forgot Seedy Strip Joint Hot; Female Blackjack Dealer Hot; Women's Professional Athlete Hot (Danica Patrick and Jennie Finch are undeniably cute, but stick them in the sports world and they suddenly become Victoria's Secret models); American Gladiators Hot; '80s Movies Hot; Cleaning Lady Hot (we all have at least one friend who talked themselves into an older cleaning lady once and had his way with her, and if you don't have this friend, that means YOU were the friend); Nanny Hot; Sports Bar Waitress Hot (the Carla Tortelli complex); Wedding Hot; Female Musician Hot (which is what makes the bassist for Stellastarr* so hot, because she'd be hot anyway, but as a bassist in an indie band, she's jaw-droppingly, stupefyingly hot); Hip Hop Backup Singer Hot; Beach Around 3 p.m. When You're Overheated & A Little Punchy Hot; Pregnant Hot (you're damned right I went there); Goth Hot; Tattooed Hot; and my personal favorite, '80s Female Pro Wresting Hot.

Explanation for the last one: When I was 14, along with everyone else in my age range, I absolutely believed that (A) Wendi Richter was super-attractive, (B) Miss Elizabeth wasn't just beautiful, but classier than Princess Di or Nancy Reagan, and (C) I would sacrifice 10 solid years off the tail end of my life to see Missy Hyatt naked for 10 seconds. As far as I can tell, that's the widest swing between "actual attractiveness" and "perceived attractiveness," which is why '80s Female Pro Wrestling Hot tops everything else, including Press Box Hot and Sports Collector Convention Hot. I'm glad I'm here. ...

Q: Do you think Alex Ovechkin pounds the headboard after sex like he pounds the glass after a goal?
-- Justin, Lancaster, Penn

SG: There's no question. You just made me think of something, though -- each sport has its own unique celebration to some degree. Here they are:

Baseball: Walk-off hit followed by a circle with dudes jumping up and down in unison.

Football: Guy dances by himself as teammates watch him.

Basketball: Guy struts back up the court after a big shot, makes the Tony Montana "sticking out the lower jaw trying to look like a badass" face, preens for the crowd and eventually gets chest-bumped angrily by other people his size.

Hockey/soccer: Scorer gleefully skates/runs away from the goal and gets mobbed by teammates.

Golf: Awkward fist pump after a putt, followed by an extremely awkward high-five with a caddy.

Tennis: Guy sinks to his knees like he's absolutely incredulous (even if he's not).

Here's my question: Are we happy with these matches of sport and celebration? For instance, I'd love to see baseball players adopt the tennis celebration: hit a homer and just sink to your knees in complete shock for five seconds as everyone angrily stares at you. Wouldn't it be more fun if the winning tennis player sprinted 40 yards like a soccer player and acted like a crazy person? What if a golfer and caddy did a two-man jump-up-and-down celebration like baseball players after a walk-off?

Also, why are we so content with the celebrations we have? I love Ovechkin's self-check into the boards. It's fantastic. Why couldn't someone like Chris Paul make a big shot, wait for the timeout, run over to the scorer's table, then stage-dive into his sea of teammates like they're a giant mosh pit? Why couldn't a golfer hand his putter back to his caddy and his caddy could pretend to be electrocuted by it? Maybe the golfer could pretend that he's also being electrocuted, and they could stand there vibrating for a couple of seconds? We need more clever celebrations heading into this next decade. ...

Q: Can we have a "signs of too much time at work" list? I'd like to inaugurate it with "reading steve blake's wikipedia."
--@sdotsom (via Twitter)

SG: Very good start. I'd include these as well ...

1. You did mock fantasy drafts in's mock draft lobby picking from every position 1 through 12, just to "get a feel for how everyone else is thinking."

2. You send your friends e-mails with subject headings like, "Jeter HGH -- WOW!" and "Have you seen the topless Scarlett Johansson photos?" with tiny URL links that actually direct them to naked photos of dudes and it never stops being funny to you.

3. You spent 20 minutes looking for the most horrifying photo of a naked guy for the above reason.

4. You have a Google alert for your own name even though you're not a celebrity.

5. You change your Facebook/Twitter photos every few days to "mix it up."

6. When your company once banned certain Web sites from being surfed at work, you reacted like a cross between Norma Rae and Karen Silkwood as people wondered, "Wait, why is he/she taking this so personally?"

7. You go outside with co-workers for their cigarette breaks even if you don't smoke.

8. You're running your office's pools for NFL Picks, NFL suicide, March Madness, the Oscars, the Emmys, the Royal Rumble and the AVN Awards.

9. You heard that this mailbag was up, then wrote into your work planner for today, "2:00-2:15: Take a dump while reading new Simmons mailbag."

10. You just read No. 9 on the bowl, laughed and talked yourself into the whole thing being a total coincidence.

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