Page 2 columnist
Please keep in mind, everything you're about to read came from actual e-mails sent in by readers over the past few weeks.On to the e-mails ...
I consider myself to be a very big Patriots fan, but I also have Lamar Smith on my fantasy team. When I was watching the Patriots-Dolphins game on Oct. 6, I found myself rooting for Smith to punch in TDs, but at the same time I was hoping the Pats would win. I was watching with friends, so on the outside I was cursing the Pats' D, but all I could really think about was calculating how many fantasy points Smith had accumulated. It really created quite a bit of inner turmoil for me. But after much debate, I have concluded you can't have it both ways. Your thoughts? --Brian D, BostonYou have touched on one of the great "Sports Fan Dilemmas" of modern times, the "Fantasy Vs. Real-Life Condundrum." And there's no answer. There really isn't. You can't control your emotions. I always root for my team and my fantasy guy, but occasionally you have those awful moments, like when Lamar Smith is sprinting down the sidelines and you're thinking, "Somebody stop him ... (GO! GO!) umm ... yeah, stop him (GO!) ... don't let him score (COME ON! GO!)," and then you just feel like crap. Think of it this way: You love your team, obviously, yet there's more of an immediate attachment to a fantasy team, because you picked those guys, and there's some serious pride at stake with your buddies. So it's an ongoing battle that can never be solved. As usual, I have no point. (Here's an even-better dilemma: What happens in the aforementioned scenario if you weren't a Patriots fan, but you wagered heavily on the Patriots? In that situation, you're thinking with your wallet, not your heart, so you end up rooting against Lamar Smith. Money wins over everything.)
What is your "Oh my god, she's really going to take her top off!" moment in movies? Mine is a toss-up between Jamie Leigh Curtis in "Trading Places" and Jennifer Jason Leigh in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." --A. Pappas, Longmeadow, Mass. An important question which deserved to be treated with the proper respect. I polled my Posse and they submitted the following nominations:
Apollonia Corleone in "The Godfather"; Prince' girlfriend in "Purple Rain"; Kelly Preston in "Secret Admirer" and "Mischief" (two topless scenes that split the votes and prevented her from winning); Katie Holmes in "The Gift" (jolting); Reese Witherspoon in "Twilight"; Jamie Lee in "Trading Places"; Halle Berry in "Swordfish"; Amy Smart in "Road Trip"; the old lady in "There's Something About Mary" (yuk); Elisabeth Berkley in "Showgirls" (even if you knew it was coming, for God's sake, it was Jessie from "Saved By the Bell"!); Phoebe Cates in "Fast Times"; Jennifer Lopez in "Money Train"; and Goldie Hawn in "Wildcats" (just because it was so disturbing).But the obvious winner ... Remember the movie "Just One of The Guys," where the star (Joyce Hyser, who hasn't been heard from since) switched high schools and pretended she was a guy for a newspaper column? And she ended up falling in love with her best friend, leading to the climactic senior prom scene, when she ripped open her shirt to prove she was female, and her buddy said, "Where do you get off having (bleeps)?" Memorable scene, underrated movie (and not just because Billy Zabka was prominently involved, or that the little brother was a borderline comedic genius) ... but more importantly, it represented one of those rare times when boobs were actually used as a plot device. This needs to happen more often.
From what I understand, Dan Issel told the drunken fan, "Have another beer you (expletive) Mexican piece of (bleep)." I assume the (bleep) refers to a common swear word. Here's my question -- how is that racist? I mean, if he said, "Have another beer you Irish piece of (bleep)" -- is that racist? What is racist about calling someone a "fill-in-the nationality" piece of "swear-word." Insensitive, yes. Racist, no. --Zach, Boston
I think it all harkens back to the whole "We're all Americans, and it doesn't matter what nationality you are" thing. By sandwiching the word "Mexican" with two swear words, Issel was implying that there was something derogatory about being Mexican, even if he didn't come right out and say it. Even if it wasn't racist by definition ... it was still wrong, wasn't it?More importantly, what does Dan Issel have to pull to get fired? He already has driven the Nuggets into the ground, his players nearly revolted against him last season, he has made some of the worst free-agent signings in NBA history, and now he has offended Mexican-Americans and provided one of the unintentionally funniest moments of the season (maybe my favorite "I can't believe that just happened" video clip since Fuzzy Zoeller wondered if Tiger Woods would serve chitlins at the 1997 Masters champions dinner). What's Issel's next move, coaching a game without pants?
Is the movie "Heaven Can Wait" a sports movie or a chick flick disguised as a sports movie? On one hand, you've got Jack Youngblood, Deacon Jones, and the Rams and Steelers in the Super Bowl. On the other hand, you have Warren Beatty (who did look a lot like Flutie in uniform) coming back from heaven to be with Julie Christie. ESPN Classic showed it a few weeks ago, but combined with your view on sports/chick flicks, I am thoroughly confused now. Please help! --Mark S, Columbia, MD Very good question; thanks for coming to me. There have been a handful of movies that straddled the line between "sports movie" and "chick flick," so we might as well issue rulings on all of them. There are three defining questions here: 1. Are sports an integral part of the movie? 2. Could the movie have worked just as easily by shifting the sports theme and turning it into a non-sports theme? 3. Do you inadvertently start watching it every time it's on (the key to any good sports movie)? Here are the rulings: "Heaven Can Wait" -- Chick flick
Not nearly enough sports stuff; they could have easily changed the whole Rams subplot to something else. And if that wasn't enough, Warren Beatty was playing a QB. Please.
"Rocky 2" -- Chick flick
We discussed this last week -- way too much Adrian, not enough Apollo.
Remember this one? The classic college flick with Robby Benson in a career-ending performance as freshman hoops player Henry Steele? The romantic subplot with Annette O'Toole was a little distracting, as was the Seals and Crofts soundtrack ... but it's still a sports movie. Way too much basketball, coupled with a legitimate "Chill Scene" in the final game. "The Champ" -- Chick flick
The boxing scenes were pretty good, but "Champ" was a little too maudlin to be considered a sports flick. It didn't help that the young Ricky Schoeder cried 370 different times during this movie. "Champ! Champ! Wake up, Champ! CHAMP!?!?!"
"Summer Catch" -- Chick flick
And a crappy one at that. I reviewed this three months ago.
Barely. "Youngblood" -- Sports movie
Although women dig "Youngblood" -- the Rob Lowe Factor: Wanna go, pretty boy? -- Youngblood was fun for the whole family, especially the part when Rob pulls a Tiger Williams and yanks Cynthia Gibbs' shirt over her head. Good times ... good times. "Karate Kid 3" -- Sports movie
Although the sexual tension with Daniel-San and Mr. Miyagi was practically suffocating.
"Jerry Maguire" -- Sports movie
This is the "Roe vs. Wade" of "sports movie/chick flick" debates. Some guys are adamant that this qualifies as a chick flick, and hell, they're probably right to a degree. But there's too much sports stuff crammed in here, and all the sports-related stuff is absolutely essential to the movie. Do I wish those moments like "You had me at hello?" and "You complete me" weren't in here? Absolutely. But I'll defend this movie to the death because of Cush the QB and his loser family ("Cush lash, Cush-lash, Cush-lash Cush-lash Cush-lash"), all the sports agent stuff with Jerry, and the transcendent Rod Tidwell, who might have been the best-written "athlete/movie character" of all-time. Great movie. And I don't care if you think I'm a wuss.
From Corey Haim (in the "E! True Hollywood Story" about him): "I'm just taking some time to work on me." Can you find a better co-dependent buddy than he has in Corey Feldman? --Tom S., NYC Absolutely not. HBO needs to open their checkbook and offer these guys a weekly talk show called "Corey Squared!" Seriously. Stock the set with booze and drugs, write sketches for them, find them some goofy guests and the UCR (Unintentional Comedy Rating) would shoot through the roof. I feel very strongly about this -- I'd watch it every week. It would be the "American Movie" of talk shows.
And just for the record, if you haven't seen the Haim special yet, you're missing out on the greatest hour in the history of TV. I'm not sure what my favorite part is yet, but I think I've narrowed it down to six:
I'm a big baseball fan and am a freshmen at BU. I'm new in Boston, and since I'm living across the pike from Fenway, I have become attached to the Sox this season. Do you have any advice for me as a new Red Sox fan?--Allie N., Boston Run. Run for your life.
Can you give me the Top 5 most effective answers to the following October question: "Honey, instead of you watching 12 straight hours of football this Sunday, why don't we drive out to Northampton to check out the foliage and maybe go shopping?" --Jeff C, Boston Sure. The foliage thing is a biggie here in New England, mainly because there are two or three weekends where the leaves are changing and women feel like it's their civic duty to emasculate you and make you drive them around and say things like, "Wow, look at that tree, it's gorgeous!" Just shoot me. The key is to keep coming up with excuses every weekend until the foliage window has closed. For example ... 1. The Rational: "Not this weekend, (fill in the matchup) is a huge game. I can't miss it -- I've been looking forward to it all week. Can we do it next week?" (This works because she probably won't do follow-up research to determine if your game really is a big game, so she'll have to accept your words at face value. Also, you're leaving the door open for the next weekend, so she won't be too disgusted by you.) 2. The Fib: "I can't, I'm going over to (fill in an emergency buddy's house) to watch the game. We already made plans ... I thought you were doing something on Sunday!"
(This works as long as you have a reliable friend who you can watch the game with on a moment's notice. Don't choose one of your whipped friends, because they might be doing the foliage thing. Also, when you say, "I thought you were doing something on Sunday," that's beautiful, because it shows her that you were thinking of her and you only made plans because she was busy ... she won't hold it against you that you were mistaken, feeling that you're just a moron with no long-term memory. Hey, whatever works.)3. The Lie: "Not this weekend, it's supposed to pour all weekend." (Only works if you have one of those girlfriends who never watches the weather. Pretty risky.) 4. The Compromise: "I really want to watch football on Sunday, sweetie. Can't we do it Saturday?" (The diplomatic move. You're sacrificing Saturday to enjoy Sunday. Everybody wins. If she made plans for Saturday, even better -- you can even turn the tables on her and say, "But I thought we were doing something on Saturday!" and make her feel like crap.) 5. The Confrontation-Starter: "Oh, that should be fun. Are you going to castrate me before we leave or when we get to Northhampton?" (So you start a full-scale fight to get out of it ... big deal. It's good to drop the gloves every once in a while. Keeps things fresh.) I think that the word "ensuing" is only used after the word "kickoff." It's not often you hear this word used anywhere else. One doesn't say, "After the ensuing dinner, I had some cake." Does the word "ensue" even exist, and if so, when has it ever been used. I feel that this word can only be used in a) gerund form, and b) immediately preceeding the word kickoff. --Justin Singer, Florida I feel the same way about the word "ejaculate." The Webster's definition is "to eject from a living body," yet you never hear somebody say, "Remember the time Roberto Alomar ejaculated that saliva on John Hirshbeck?" or "Was anything grosser than the time Clint Malarchuk had his jugular vein sliced by a skate and ejaculated blood all over the ice?" The word "ejaculate" is only used for specific circumstances ... and I think we know what those circumstances are. If you ever hear the term "ensuing ejaculation," start running.
Heard on TNT last night: "For the second time in my life, I am guilty of a crime ... parole violation. 'Course, I doubt they'll throw up any roadblocks for that ... not for an old crook like me." --B. Mandel, New York I'm so excited I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain ...
If Vince McMahon were the comissioner of MLB, what would your favorite offseason plot be? --Joe Christo, Massachusetts All right, I'll bite.
The A's hold a press conference to announce that they have come to a verbal agreement to re-sign star 1B Jason Giambi ... Oakland GM Billy Beane steps to the podium, strokes Giambi for a few minutes, then introduces him to the media ... Giambi comes up, shakes hands with Beane, and Beane holds Giambi's hand up over his head, like a prizefighter ... suddenly the loudspeakers start blaring Sinatra's "New York, New York" and George Steinbrenner struts into the room from the back, halting the press conference and yelling things at Beane as club officials try to hold him back, and ESPN anchor Jim Ross says, "What the hell is Steinbrenner doing here?"As a preoccupied Beane screams, "Get him out of here!" Giambi pulls out a baseball bat and strikes Beane over the back of the head, sending him sprawling across the podium as the media members look on, incredulous, and Ross screams, "Noooooo! Nooooo! Nooooooo!" Then Steinbrenner rushes up and stomps Beane in the head a few times as Giambi rips off his A's jersey, revealing ... A YANKEE JERSEY! The segment ends with Steinbrenner and Giambi hugging, followed by Giambi posing and flexing his muscles, Sinatra's song blaring "NEW YORK... NEWWWWWWWW YORK!" and Jim Ross screaming, "I can't believe it! My God! Jason Giambi has signed with the New York Yankees! This is a day that will live in infamy!" If that doesn't work, I would have the Rangers sign John Rocker (following up on their Carl Everett trade), then hire Mr. T to manage them for all press conferences.
It's just a matter of time before The Sports Guy gets asked to host SNL. Who do you select as the musical guest, and which 12 cast members (from any era) do you have on your show? --R. Sliter, San Carlos, CA
That's a tough one, if only because three of my favorite all-time cast members are dead (John Belushi, Phil Hartman and Chris Farley). So let's bring them back to life for 90 minutes and have the following cast of 12:Belushi (as the Incredible Hulk); Hartman (we'd need to do a "Sinatra Group" sketch -- "I got chunks of guys like you in my STOOL!"); Joe Piscopo (I'm guessing he's available); Mike Myers (I'd want to be on "Sprockets"); Farley (I'd want to be on the "Chris Farley Show"); Jan Hooks (just so I could definitively decide if she was attractive or not); Victoria Jackson (best ditz they ever had); Jay Mohr (his "Chris Walken doing ads for Skittles" imitation damn near killed me); Cheri Oteri (most talented female cast member ever); Horatio Sanz and Jimmy Fallon (I love that running sketch with them hosting a webcast from their dorm room -- how long before they turn it into a movie?). And Will Ferrell (the premier comedic genius of our time) would be prominently involved in every sketch. He deserves his own column at some point. As for the musical guest ... I'm going with Snoop and Dre, with "Nothin' but a G-Thang" and "(Bleep) wit' Dre Day" as the obvious song choices. Long live "The Chronic."
I am the only girl in my fantasy football league. At the beginning of the season, the "men" laughed and boasted about how "no woman can beat a man in fantasy football." They even said that any guy who lost to me would get made fun of mercilessly. Well, I am beating them all. However, I am not sure how to really damage their pride. Do you have any advice for women like me on how to really make fun of men who deserve getting made fun of? --Stacie H., North Carolina This one's easy ... it's the same advice that Phil gave Hank Kingsley in the watershed "Larry's Celebrity Roast" episode from the late, great "Larry Sanders Show." And if you don't know what that advice was ... well, too bad. (You really think I'm turning on my male brothers and helping out a chick? Come on!)
All right, we've waited long enough for you to weigh in on this: Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Mandy Moore or Shakira? --J. Dolan, New York
That's easy: Shakira. There's something just plain naughty about her. In fact, two weekends ago, she vaulted into the Pantheon of "Women Who Have Inadvertently Started a Fight Between Me and The Sports Gal." I'll explain ...You know how women will only accept that certain singers/actresses are attractive, and anybody who isn't on that list suddenly becomes a disgusting pig? Drives me crazy. Women don't care what we actually think, they only care about what they want us to think. For instance, they always try to push females like Kristin Davis (Charlotte on "Sex and the City") or Andie McDowell on us. Isn't she sexy? You don't think she's sexy? And when we say no -- they're attractive, but they're not sexy -- we become the bad guys. To make matters worse, then someone like Shakira comes along, shakes her booty, smiles with that s--t-eating grin and drives our girlfriends practically insane. I bet you like her, don't you! You would! You would like her! It's good to know that you would like a slut! That's what she is, you know that, right? You don't think I could look good if I was wearing a tableclotch, 20 pounds of makeup and 60 pounds of wax in my hair? Huh? HUH? The lesson, as always... (Well, you know where I'm going with this.) Whenever I am flipping through the channels and come across "The Karate Kid," I am stuck watching it until I hear My Line: "He's going to fight! Daniel LaRusso is going to fight!" Always gets me. Anyway, what's your sports movie line? --Bob B, Palos Hills, IL I agonized over this one, but I'd have to go with Paul Crewe's speech before the final play in The Longest Yard: "We've come too far to stop now ... for Granny ... for Nate ... (long pause) ... for Caretaker. Let's do it." Always gets me. And if you don't like it, well... you can stick that in your trophy case. Bill Simmons writes three columns a week for Page 2.