Seriously, there's being a whiny bitch when your favored sports team loses a big game, and then there's … this.
Full disclosure: I do not hate "Sports Guy" Bill Simmons. I wouldn't read him every week if I did. I love the Gen-X style immersion of sports into pop culture thing that he does, I really do appreciate the enthusiasm he shows for both sports and things like TV and movies, and nine times out of ten, the guy produces a damn finely written column.
That being said: the homer thing has just gotten sad. Dude pulls every excuse short of "they lost on purpose" for New England's drubbing at the hands of Indianapolis on Monday. They were injured, the NFL changed the rules on them, the Colts had too easy a schedule, Peyton Manning is a doofus whose teammates hate him. Half of these things sounded like old Yankees columns with A-Rod's name crossed out and Peyton's written in. And the NFL put the fix in for the Colts, did they? I keep forgetting who decided to give the Pats the home game in this matchup the last two years. And isn't a cream-puff schedule just as likely to keep a good team from being battle tested for a big game?
Of course, the biggest beef I had -- and this one is a carry-over from Simmons's Red Sox columns, too -- is that he still tries to play the martyr card. Oh those poor defending World Champions! Will they ever catch a break? This is why I appreciate even the most obnoxious of Yankee fans. They don't try to bullshit you into thinking their team is David to anyone's Goliath. They get beat, they get pissed, they tell you your team is "one-and-done," and they go back to saying how dead your asses are next year.
Look, I get that he probably got six thousand of the most obnoxious in-your-face e-mails from Colts fans after the game, and I’d probably want to rub some noses in shit if I were him, too. But this column was weak. Shut up, take your lumps, and lie in wait for the playoff rematch, dude.
Oh, and while we're on ESPN, I cringed a mighty cringe today when I saw that Page 2 had given a regular column to Chuck Klosterman, of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs fame. I was all set to be annoyed, right up until I read the thing, at which point I remembered that Chuck's a pretty damn great writer. He pretty much nails the sports purist mentality, and puts enough of his tongue in his cheek to let us know how ridiculous it all sounds. I like it a lot. Although it left me with the same thought I had after reading Sex, Drugs .., which is that Klosterman is a great read, but if ever I were to wind up in a conversation with him at a party, I’d literally have to gnaw my own limbs off to get the hell away from him. "No, I don't need to know why Jake Plummer is the Steely Dan of NFL quarterbacks, Chuck. And I don't care to find out what my opinion on NBA free-throw shooting says about me as an American. And –" *chompchomprrrRRRIIPPPP* "Ahh, freedom at last!"