Tagged: bill simmons

Reefer Gladness in the NFL

Great timing! The first weekend of NFL football regular season play – and it really is so darn playful the way those boys run around – begins today. So we couldn’t be more delighted that the National Football League has asked us to help explain why their players – please don’t call them “warriors”; that...

Suspension of Disbelievers

North Korea is launching rockets, Syria is slaughtering its citizens, and the Filipino community is organizing a massive get-out-the-vote campaign for a crucial election (not for something boring and unimportant like a public office but a cause that’s got folks passionately engaged: the American Idol finals). So the astonishingly weird five-game suspension of Miami Marlins...

The Clock Manager

We pause today from our usual examination of Things That Matter (or at least sometimes seem to) and turn our focus to something that actually really does matter, something that matters profoundly, and to more people than we can probably imagine: football. Although our feeble, cannabis-influenced brain can’t properly formulate a satisfying answer to the...

Sophocles in Happy Valley

The tragic hero, Sophocles taught us, is an otherwise great man (a warrior, a king) with a flaw that makes him perilously human, which is to say imperfect and prone to terrible mistakes that may or may not involve the family matriarch. Thanks to the magic of theatrical drama, we who witness the tragic hero’s...

The Meaning of Sports

Reliable sources report that there’s some sort of governmental event going on this week in Washington, D.C. But anyone who has cable TV knows that the really big news is that the NFL Divisional Finalists have been set, and either the Pittsburgh Steelers or Arizona Cardinals will win the upcoming Super Bowl.  Lest you scoff,...

Athletic Noise

If you’re a betting man, someone who likes to play the odds, chances are you would wager against the proposition that a professional athlete will say something insightful, useful, enlightening, touching, or even partially intelligent in a post-game interview. Sure, million-to-one longshots occasionally pull through, but is it really worth spending a lifetime of ESPN...

Judging Athletics

Let us consider the absurdity of judged sports now, before the inevitable scandal sure to arise sometime before the current installment of the Olympic Games have concluded, before nationalist passions and hometown prejudices cloud the discussion, and before headline writers ask “Was She Robbed?” Let cool heads prevail. Diving, gymnastics, and figure skating are athletic...

Department of Trivial Inquiry: Eye-Blacking

Seeing some of the BCS Championship game last night, between USC and Texas, reminded me that there’s almost always betting value in the underdog. It also raised a not very important issue: What the hell is with the eye blacking? When I was a lad, football players painted black stripes below their eyes, on the...

Performance Enhancing Drugs

The sports world is aghast — as it often seems to be — that athletes in disciplines as diverse as track & field, football, and baseball are ingesting “designer” steroids that allegedly make the competitors bigger, stronger, faster, and eminently more endorse-able. Since an organization like the NFL can’t possibly claim that it’s looking out...

The ‘Broken’ BCS

Many tears were shed this past weekend in Los Angeles, and the lachrymal mourning wasn’t over starving Africans or bleeding Afghanis. The crying – and the whining and the righteous indignation – was inspired by a college football ranking system that kept the USC Trojans out of the putative national championship game, the Sugar Bowl,...