The Loves of Bill Simmons & The All-Stars That Really Matter

Bill Simmons Wants You To Know He Really Loves The World Cup. No, Really.

Lots of people have blogs. Heck, even I have one. You’re reading it right now. (Well, you won’t be for long if I don’t start writing something remotely interesting . . .)

No one can read every blog or on-line column (when would you have time for Youtube or other pages I can’t mention on a family Web site?), but one that I try to read regularly is Bill’s Simmons “Sports Guy” entries on ESPN.com’s Page 2. I’m not ashamed to say that I try to emulate his hilarious and impressively informative mixture of sports and pop culture here on Channel 3000.

At least until I saw one of his most recent columns titled “Why I Love The World Cup.” I initially assumed that the headline would be exposed as acidly sarcastic after reading the column, but I was wrong. After reading dozens upon dozens of Simmons’s entries which hilariously eviscerate seemingly every sports figure and television show known to man, I was shocked at this one which was lavish with praise and gushingly gushy without even a trace of wink wink nudge nudge irony. And to make matters worse, the column was about SOCCER!

Well, I simply won’t accept that Simmons made such declarations as “there isn’t a more electric moment than a World Cup goal” or “these games feel like life or death” without being strong-armed by the mucky-mucks at ABC/ESPN, who, looking to offset the bad ratings and lousy word-of-mouth that World Cup soccer invariably generates (especially this year with the Americans’ poor showing), must have solicited the article, knowing of Simmons’s strong hip factor.

Proof that Simmons is faking it here I believe can be found in his statement that he is “a World Cup fan, not a soccer fan.” What? Isn’t that like saying you’re a fan of Paul McCartney but you hate every song he’s ever written or performed? That statement only makes sense when you consider the far lesser financial investment that ABC/ESPN has in other configurations of soccer (like Major League Soccer) when compared to the World Cup.

Maybe one day, when released from the corporate clutches of ABC/ESPN, Simmons will denounce this vile column. Until then, I remain a broken shell of a man. I mean, who’s left to disappoint me? Will Bob Dylan suddenly license music for Victoria’s Secret ads? Oh, wait a minute . . .

The All-Stars

What about those All-Stars? No, not the players selected for the MLB All-Star Game! Who cares about that? I’m talking about those Big Brother All-Stars!

Personally, I was happy with most of the houseguests who were picked, both by the fans and by the producers. I would have swapped BB2’s Bunky for BB1’s Chicken George, and BB3 winner Lisa for BB5 runner-up Diane, but these are minor quibbles. At least the unbearable Ivette (the sole BB6 nominee left off) and the dimwitted “Cowboy” were sent home.

I also applaud the nominations of Danielle and Alison for the first eviction — those two made the grave early mistake of targeting themselves by aggressively pursuing strategy way too early in the game. It might have made more sense for co-HOHs Jase and Janelle to target the Will/Mike Boogie alliance, but those two are damn entertaining, so hopefully they’ll stick around for a while. (Mike Boogie’s comment about Chicken George being a minnow among sharks was the premiere episode’s best line. Seriously, Chicken George is back? A guy who thinks calling himself “Snoop Chicken Foot” and rapping about Julie Chen SIX YEARS after being booted off the show is still funny?)

My early pick to win it all is BB4’s Erika. She seems capable of (in reality-show speak), flying under the radar long enough to outlast the battle of egos that will destroy the other houseguests.
Oh, and about those other All-Stars? Can you take seriously a All-Star game in which the league’s current batting champ (Joe Mauer) is only a reserve player? Or when a leading candidate for both rookie of the year and the AL Cy Young (Francisco Liriano) is completely left off the team? Or when a silly rule requiring every team to be represented leads to other more deserving players staying home? Or when some of the game’s best players routinely come up with suspicious injuries around the All-Star break that causes them to miss the game? Neither can I.

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