By Bill Simmons
Page 2 columnist

What would happen if ESPN Classic's "SportsCentury and Beyond" series tackled the subject of a truly indomitable and unstoppable force like Michael Myers? The Sports Guy dares to imagine ...

NARRATOR: "Welcome to 'SportsCentury and Beyond: The Serial Killers.' I'm your host, Chris Fowler. On Halloween night in 1963, 6-year-old Michael Myers inexplicably stabbed his older sister to death, then spent 15 years in a sanitarium without uttering a single word. On the day Myers turned 21, the state of Illinois attempted to transfer him to a maximum security hospital, but Myers thwarted their plans."

Michael Myers
Forget his MPK and KRF stats. Michael Myers was Hollywood's greatest serial killer ever.

Bob Ryan (Boston Globe): "Night before Halloween, 1978. The state of Illinois sends two people in a stationwagon to pick up Myers -- his middle-aged doctor and a female nurse. There's problem No. 1. They arrive in a torrential downpour, then find all the wackos wandering around outside the hospital. There's problem No. 2. Doctor Loomis jumps out of the car, leaving the nurse alone in the car. There's problem No. 3. It's almost like they wanted this ... this maniac to escape!"

Marion Johnson (the nurse): "I just remember waiting in the car, then feeling someone jump on top ... everything after that was a blur. Myers broke the window, I jumped out of the car, and he drove off."

Jim Nantz (CBS Sports): "What a moment!"

Tony Kornheiser (Washington Post): "So Michael's doctor sprints over and watches the car drive off, and he's just screaming, 'The evil is gone! The evil is gone!!!!' He knew. I mean, out of anyone, this guy knew what Michael Myers was capable of."

Dr. Sam Loomis (Myers' doctor, 1963-1978): "When I met Michael in '63, I was told there was nothing left -- no reason, no conscience, no understanding, not even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong. I met this 6-year-old child with this blank, pale, emotionless face, and the blackest eyes, the devil's eyes. I spent eight years trying to reach him and then another seven years trying to keep him locked up, because I realized what was living behind that boy's head was purely and simply evil. When he escaped ... um, that was a little upsetting."

NARRATOR: "So on his 21st birthday, the night before Halloween, Michael Myers was headed back home to Haddonfield, Illinois. The town would never be the same."

(Break for commercial)

NARRATOR: "Michael Audrey Myers was born Oct. 30, 1957. Growing up in Haddonfield, his family never could have imagined where his life was headed."

Geoff Gallo (author of Myers' biography, "He Came Home"): "That's the amazing thing about this -- he was a happy kid. There wasn't a single sign that this kid was remotely abnormal. But something snapped."

NARRATOR: "On Halloween night in '63, Myers was trick-or-treating in a clown outfit, waiting for his sister's boyfriend to leave their house. When the boyfriend left, Myers walked upstairs and stabbed his sister 12 times, eventually winding up in the Illinois State Hospital in Smith's Grove."

Bob Costas (NBC Sports): "Nobody knew why he did it. He didn't speak for 15 years. Not a single word. Nothing. Amazing."

Frank Gifford (ABC Sports): "For so many years, Michael Myers, so many questions, so much silence ..."

Larry Merchant (HBO Sports): "Michael's parents left Haddonfield ... they tried to sell the house, but nobody wanted it. It was a real-life haunted house. Kids were terrified of the place. It reminds me of something Jersey Joe Walcott said to Ezzard Charles before their first fight in 1953: 'When people say a house is haunted, it usually is.' And that's why I like syrup, especially if the waffles are crispy."

Dr. Loomis
Dr. Loomis was the first to spot the evil lurking inside Michael Myers.

NARRATOR: "Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis worked desperately behind the scenes to get Myers transferred to a maximum security hospital, telling anyone and everyone that Myers was the most dangerous patient he had ever observed."

Bob Ryan: "If you're looking for people to blame for the massacre in '78, there they are, right there! Dr. Loomis told them how dangerous this kid was, and they basically laughed at him! It was an absolute disgrace with a capital 'D.' "

Dan Dierdorf (CBS Sports): "I'm not so sure that that wasn't the biggest miscalculation of judgment in history."

NARRATOR: "When Myers escaped from Smith's Grove on Oct. 30, 1978, he stole Dr. Loomis' car and drove 150 miles to Haddonfield, stopping along the way to murder an innocent truck driver and steal the man's clothes."

Dr. Loomis: "The following morning, one of the other doctors told me that Michael couldn't have gotten very far because he couldn't drive a car. I remember saying, 'He was doing very well last night!' I knew he was heading to Haddonfield. I knew it."

Mike Lupica (New York Daily News): "Look, if there's a tragic figure in all this, it's Dr. Loomis. I mean , here's a guy who devoted 15 years of his life to keeping Michael Myers locked up, and Myers escapes, and they still wouldn't listen to him."

Chris Rock (comedian): "The thing that always amazed me was Michael driving the damn car. Kid's locked up for 15 years, doesn't say a word to nobody, he's catatonic ... now all the sudden, he's Dale Earnhardt Jr.? What'd they have, Driver's Ed at the Smith's Grove Sanitarium? And how'd he know which way to go? Kid can't speak and he can't read ... now he's following highway signs?"

Geoff Gallo: "I think Michael put a tremendous amount of thought into his escape. Remember, he had been thinking about it for 15 straight years. He probably visualized every moment, like a great athlete before a big game."

Dennis Miller (comedian): "In my opinion, that's what separated Myers from every other Hollywood serial killer. He could drive a car, cut phone lines, find his way around town ... he was like McGyver crossed with Ted Bundy. This guy was a killing machine. That's all he was about. The last time I saw someone this one-dimensional, I was playing charades with Bob Saget."

NARRATOR: "The following morning, Dr. Loomis drove down to Haddonfield to warn local police about Myers. Hesitant to scare local residents, Haddonfield sheriff Lee Brackett and his crew staged a low-key search for the escaped maniac. Little did the Sheriff know that, within hours, his life would never be the same."

(Break for commercial)

NARRATOR: "When he arrived in Haddonfield, Michael Myers spent the night at his old house, then drove down to the local cemetary to steal his sister's gravestone. After that, he became smitten by a high school senior named Laurie Strode, following Laurie and her friends around for most of the day."

Laurie Strode: "He was wearing a white mask and a gas station attendant's suit, driving a green stationwagon that said 'FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY' on the doors, and he followed us everywhere we went. We didn't think much of it at the time."

Michael Myers
Laurie Strode was haunted by Myers well into the 21st century.

Stuart Scott (ESPN): "Myers spends the next few hours following these phat girls around, even when two of them head off to babysit. Didn't kill 'em right away. Could have killed 'em. But he didn't kill 'em. Not yet. He had stupid patience. He was like a cat toying with a mouse. Holla."

Charlie Pierce (Esquire Magazine): "There's Laurie babysitting in one house, and her friend Annie is babysitting in the house across the street. Plus, two friends are coming over. Michael Myers couldn't have planned this any better. It was like an all-you-can-kill buffet."

NARRATOR: "Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis and Sheriff Brackett were waiting for him at Myers' old house, encouraged by the sight of a fresh dog carcass in the living room."

Sheriff Brackett: "Loomis was convinced that Myers killed the dog. I said to Loomis, 'No man would do that.' And Loomis looked at me and said, This isn't a man.' To be honest, Dr. Loomis freaked me out. I didn't like him very much."

Dr. Loomis: "I had watched Michael Myers for 15 years, watched him sitting in a room, staring at a wall, not seeing the wall, looking past the wall, looking toward this night, inhumanly patient, waiting for some secret, silent alarm to trigger him off. I remember telling Brackett, 'Death has come to your small town, Sheriff.' He still didn't believe me."

NARRATOR: "Ironically, Brackett's daughter, Annie, became the first casualty of the night. As she hopped in her car to see her boyfriend, Myers lunged from the backseat, strangling her and slitting her throat. As he was bringing the body inside, Annie's friends, Linda and Bob, arrived at the house."

Jim Nantz: "Next stop: Murderville!"

Hubie Brown (TNT): "OK, you're Michael Myers. You have a tremendous amount of upside for a serial killer, but you have to understand, you've been locked up for the past 15 years. You just killed somebody, so you're a little worked up. Now you're in an empty house with a dead body, and two kids arrive that are all over each other. You end up watching them having sex in the guest room. You feel a little left out, you're a 21-year-old virgin, your hormones are running wild, and you're a homicidal maniac to boot. You're telling me that you aren't absolutely itching to kill these two kids?"

Dan Dierdorf (CBS Sports): "Bob heads downstairs to get beers. Myers lunges out of a closet, picks Bob up by the throat, then rams the knife in his chest so hard that Bob remains hanging on the door. Ho-ho-ho-ho! You think this kid wasn't strong? I'm tellin' ya, this kid was some kind of strong!"

NARRATOR: "Myers returned upstairs to see Linda, wearing a sheet over his head and pretending he was a ghost. Linda mistakenly believed it was Bob playing a joke."

Chris Rock: "Michael wanted to get some! Get down with your bad self, Michael!"

Bill Simmons (ESPN.com): "This was probably my favorite Myers sequence, starting with him staring at Bob's dead body -- tilting his head back and forth -- followed by him pretending that he was a ghost. I mean, can you name another Hollywood serial killer that toyed with his victims like this? Myers rates very high on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. I will not argue about this. Good times. You couldn't make this stuff up. By the way, I'm drunk again."

Tim McCarver (ABC Sports): "So Myers strangles Linda ... while she's talking on the phone ... to her friend, Laurie. And that ... was a BIG ... mistake. When Hollywood serial killers ... get caught... 73 percent of the time ... it happens ... because they screwed up ... and that number increases ... to 91 percent ... if they're killing people in a suburban setting."

NARRATOR: "Disturbed by the strange phone call, Laurie decided to head across the street to check on her friends. Her life would never be the same."

(Break for commercial)

NARRATOR: "Laurie Strode walked across the street and found her three friends brutally butchered on the second floor. In a chilling twist, Myers laid Annie's body on a bed, with his sister's headstone sitting behind her head."

Jim Nantz: "In the words of Elton John, it was a funeral for a friend!"

Frank Deford (HBO Sports): "Before Laurie has time to digest this, this, this, this, this, this horrifying scene, Myers emerges from nowhere and stabs her shoulder. Poor Laurie goes hurtling down a staircase, somehow limps out of the house, then limps back to where she was babysitting. The only thing that saved her -- the only thing, the only thing -- was that Myers refused to run after her. "

Bill Walton (ESPN): "That's a terrible job by Michael Myers! That's terrrrrrrrrrrrible!"

Bob Ryan: "Hey, Michael hated to run. Hated it, hated it, hated it. Maybe he didn't like getting all sweaty in that mask."

Bud Collins (NBC Sports): "That might have been the one thing that kept him from being the greatest serial killer in Hollywood history -- much like Jason Voorhees, he never ran after anybody. It's almost like he was afraid to look uncool. Rod Laver was the same way."

Chris Rock: "The next sequence was my personal favorite. Michael attacks Laurie in the house, she stabs him with a knitting needle, then she leaves the knife next to him. Jeez, why don't she just give him mouth-to-mouth? She goes upstairs, he follows her, she stabs him in the eye with a wire hanger, she sticks a knife into his stomach ... then she leaves the knife next to him again! What's wrong with this woman? It's like they were playing footsie! I'm like, '(Expletive), get out of the (expletive) house!"

NARRATOR: "When Myers regrouped and attacked Laurie yet again, Dr. Loomis miraculously arrived, tipped off by screaming in the neighborhood."

John Madden (ABC Sports): "Loomis shoots him once in the neck, boom. He shoots him five more times in the chest. Boom! Myers falls backwards off a balcony, dropping 15 feet onto his back. Splack! And Loomis was celebrating and thinking, 'This is what it's all about, right here.' "

Dr. Loomis: "I ran out to the balcony ... and the body was gone. I shot him six times! I shot him six times!"

Laurie Strode: "I asked him if that was the BoogeyMan, and Dr. Loomis answered, 'As a matter of fact, it was.' You don't forget things like that."

NARRATOR: "Michael Myers had vanished once again. And his life would never be the same. "

(Break for commercial)

NARRATOR: "After his coming-out party in 'Halloween 1,' Michael Myers never really recaptured the glory of those first 24 hours back in Haddonfield."

Michael Myers
Despite numerous sequels, Myers was never able to recapture the brilliance of the first "Halloween" movie.

Christine Brennan (USA Today): "It got a little silly after that. In the sequel, we find out that Laurie was really his younger sister. Then in No. 4 and No. 5, he's trying to kill his niece. In No. 6, he's trying to kill his niece's daughter. Then in No. 7, he's trying to kill his sister again. The one thing that's clear is that Michael Myers was a misogynist."

Larry Merchant: "I once asked Sugar Ray Robinson why he kept fighting, and Sugar Ray looked around, and his voice dropped, and he whispered, 'We all need to eat.' And then he ordered the home fries of life."

Mike Lupica: "I mean, here's a guy who made seven movies and established himself as the greatest Hollywood serial killer of all-time, yet people only talk about Michael's first movie. You never hear people talk about the sequel, or the underrated fourth movie. That has to gnaw away at him. There's no question."

Geoff Gallo: "Those next two decades were very, very tough for Michael. He was shot at least 40 times, he was stabbed countless times, he was shot in both eyes, he nearly drowned, he was set on fire twice, and he kept bouncing back. He even developed a pretty severe drinking problem after he was left out of 'Halloween 3.' And yet nobody ever talks about that stuff. Everyone just wants to talk about 'Halloween 1.' "

Rob Neyer (ESPN.com): "I always thought 'Halloween 1' was his worst movie. He only killed five people in that one ... in a 93-minute movie, that gives him a MPK (minutes-per-kill) ratio of just 18.6, and three of his five victims were in the same house, which gave him a terrible KRF (killing range factor). Only Nicholson in 'The Shining' was worse. The best Myers movie was 'Halloween 2' -- he killed 12 people and had a 7.4 MPK. Only Jason Voorhees has topped that."

Bob Ryan: "Please, please, please! I am here, to tell you right now, that Michael Myers's best movie was 'Halloween 1.' End of discussion, thanks for coming. Anyone who disagrees with that premise is simply and utterly insane."

Bill Simmons: "The franchise should have ended after 'Halloween 1,' with nobody knowing what happened to Myers. Hollywood just got greedy after that -- even his mask wasn't as good after the first one. Regardless, he's still the greatest serial killer in Hollywood history. Nobody else comes close. Jason, Freddie Krueger, Chuckie, the 'Scream' movies ... none of them would have happened if Myers hadn't opened the door in the late-'70s. He was the Jackie Robinson of horror movies. Case closed."

Larry King (CNN): "When you look up great serial killers in the dictionary, you get a picture of Michael Myers."

Frank Gifford: "For so many years, Michael Myers, so many murders, so many memories ..."

Magic Johnson: "People tell me there's gonna be another Michael Myers. There will nev-ah, ev-ah, ev-ah be another Michael Myers."

NARRATOR: "So what does the future bring for Michael Myers? Recently, he appeared in 'Halloween 8,' where he killed a group of reality-TV actors who were spending the night in his house. Longtime Myers followers compared it to watching Willie Mays stumble around the outfield in the '73 World Series, but the movie earned a healthy $30 million and counting at the box office, almost ensuring another sequel.

"Michael Myers might have escaped nearly 24 years ago, but you get the feeling that it will be much longer before we escape him. For SportsCentury, I'm Chris Fowler."

Bill Simmons writes columns for Page 2 and ESPN The Magazine. Over the next five weeks, his Page 2 column will only run on Tuesdays ... the old schedule will return in mid-August.



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