That Championship Mailbag
Bill Simmons [ARCHIVE]
January 25, 2013
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If you missed Part 1 of my NFL Playoff Mailbag that inadvertently turned into an All-Te'o Mailbag, click here. This is Part 2. As always, these are actual e-mails from actual readers.
Q: My buddy and I caught highlights of Ray Lewis's comments from his post-game press conference in Denver. I remarked that Ray, dressed as he was in a tweedy three-piece-suit, looked like the world's most intimidating sociology professor. That led us to create a game: Least likely professions for Ray Lewis if he hadn't played football. After discussing some options (most notable: flight attendant), we settled on "Pediatric Dentist." We just couldn't top the thought of a maniacal Ray squirrel-dancing into the room with poor little Bobby in the dentist's chair, screaming "THIS IS OUR HOUSE, THIS IS WHAT WE DO!!" at the top of his lungs while fireworks exploded, then reaching into the kid's mouth and ripping his teeth out with his bare hands. God we're going to miss Ray Lewis. —Kevin R., Treasure Island, FLA
SG: You know why I hate Kevin R. from Treasure Island? Because I just spent the last 20 minutes trying to top "Ray Lewis: Pediatric Dentist" and couldn't do it. Best I could come up with: "Ray Lewis: Tennis Linesman." Either way, we have the makings of a killer online animated series.
Q: Bernard Karmell Pollard has gone Uma Thurman on the Patriots. He has successfully knocked off Brady, Welker, and Gronkowski over the years. There only remains one man left on this man's quest for vengeance. He must … Kill Bill. Don't say I didn't warn you when Bernard Karmell Pollard chases a Patriot out of bounds by Belichick, gives him what appears to be a simple "pat on the back", when in reality he just performed Pai Mei's Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. Here's the trailer for this weekend's coming attraction … —Brian M, Chicago

SG: I don't like YouTube sometimes. But lemme say this … if Pollard crashes into Belichick and knocks him unconscious during this Ravens-Patriots game, leading to a Ravens victory and completing Pollard's annihilation of the Belichick-Brady dynasty, that would be the most unbelievable sports story in … well, in about four days.
Q: Who do you think will be this year's Pollard victim? I think Brady is too obvious, and he's already gone there. Same for Welker. Gronk is out. Lloyd's been a disappointment. Hernandez isn't really that well known. Shouldn't Vegas have odds on the Pollard victim? —Mike Bell, Alexandria, VA
SG: No!!! Vegas should absolutely NOT have a line for this! STOP IT!
Q: For whatever inexplicable reason, Fox decided to go with Thom Brennaman & Brian Billick over Gus Johnson and whomever, robbing America of the spectacular orgasmic delights in the crazy final moments of the Seahawks-Falcons game. Here's how to prevent this in the future: Simulcast every game with different broadcast teams, just like they do for Spanish, and let the viewers decide if they want to hear Gus Johnson or the flaccid Joe Buck. This should be on your agenda the first week's as Sports Czar. —Yaakov, Houston
SG: Even though you're kidding, this is a brilliant idea — NBC, Fox and CBS could send two broadcast teams to the same playoff game, then run play-by-play from the second group of announcers on either CBS Sports Network, Fox Sports channel or NBC Sports Network while using the feed from the live game. My three favorite outcomes here: (1) more Gus Johnson, (2) MORE GUS JOHNSON (!!!!), and (3) a solution for the problem of "We're headed for a fifth hour of Dan Dierdorf … is this game showing on any other channels?" That actually happened on Saturday during overtime of the Denver-Baltimore game. Five hours of Dan Dierdorf! Five hours! I always thought Dan Dierdorf was like a Viagra erection gone wrong — if you're on your fifth straight hour of Dan Dierdorf, you should see a doctor immediately. Anyway, I'm all for multiple announcing teams and more simulcasts. We certainly have enough channels.
Q: When a coach leaves a program that is about to go on probation for the NFL should we just call that a Pete Carroll from now on? —Scott, Las Vegas
SG: And if you can Pete Carroll a football program while also Lennay Kekua–ing it, that's called a Bobby Petrino.
Q: Last week on Grantland, Chris Brown wrote about Peyton Manning and the Broncos' offense. They lost. The week before, he wrote about the Redskins' run offense. They lost. He wrote about Manti Te'o right before Manti Te'o disappeared in the National Championship, and about Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense right before it was stuffed by Stanford in Oregon's only loss of the year. This week, he wrote about the Patriots' offense. I hope you're prepared. —Reid, Denver
SG: My most frightening scenario involving a "Chris Brown" will always center o the year 2027, when someone knocks on my front door to pick up my daughter for a date and it turns out to be Rihanna's new/old boyfriend Chris Brown. The possibility of a Chris Brown/Grantland jinx sinking the 2013 Pats? That's a distant no. 2. And I mean … distant. But it's still on the board. Terrible job by me — we could have easily talked Chris Brown into writing about Baltimore's deadly deep-ball offense. Dammit.
Q: There's no more underrated story line in these playoffs than Gonzo. Just won his first playoff game. Capping off the greatest career of any tight end in history. Second all time in catches, only to Jerry Rice. Only tight end to catch 100 touchdowns. Still makes ridiculous catches look routine. Everyone thought he was washed up when he arrived in Atlanta, but he still ends up being one of the four most productive tight ends every year. Remember when Gates vs. Gonzalez was an argument? Me neither. Every Kansas City fan I know has adopted Atlanta as second team. God may hate Kansas City, but at least we get to watch our best player in franchise history do something in the playoffs. I'm sure God will show his retribution after Gonzo wins the Super Bowl by making a hand full of leaping touchdown grabs in traffic and goes into the Hall of Fame as a Falcon. —Jordan Smith, Kansas City
SG: Wow, I didn't realize that Kansas City sports had fallen into the Ray Bourque Zone. That's what happened to Boston sports fans in the late-'90s — we were feeling so depressed and hopeless that we threw our support behind Bourque's Stanley Cup run in Colorado. What's more pathetic than living vicariously through the success of star athletes who left you behind? Here's a hint: NOTHING! It's the lowest you can go. Actually, that's not true … the lowest is when you throw a rally for them after they win. (That happened with Bourque, too.) But look what happened — the next decade rolled around and we won seven titles. There's hope for you yet, Kansas City.
Q: Tebow now has more playoff wins in the last 12 months than Peyton...
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