If you are a sports fan, then you have probably heard of ESPN online columnist Bill Simmons. Simmons is also known as “The Sports Guy” where “sports” refers to “the NBA, American League, New England Patriots, and nothing else.” The Sports Guy has a massive fan following thanks to his rare mutant power of using Al Pacino movies as analogs for any and all real-world situations. His fans are very loyal and will often cite his opinions in sports discussions. But in Simmons’ reader mailbag from Friday, one young fan–a Sam from New York–happily admitted to taking his devotion to another level.
I’m 18 and just graduated high school. When my college decisions came in in April, I narrowed down my choices to Dartmouth and Princeton and had no idea what to do. Whether it’s teenage indecision or my relative laziness, the only thing I could think of was your pure hatred for Princeton. So I chose Dartmouth. You, Bill Simmons, made the biggest decision I have ever made. Most likely, you will be responsible for whatever shenanigans I go through in life. Just wanted to let you know and say thanks.
Congratulations Dartmouth! A kid who makes a major decision largely based on the opinion of an ESPN sports columnist he has never met is now yours. Don’t be surprised if his fall class schedule is influenced by Jayson Stark‘s NL Wild Card prediction.
Now in Bill Simmons’ response to Sam’s e-mail, you might expect him to feel slightly apologetic for the way in which Sam apparently hangs on his every word. You’d expect Simmons to write, “Gee Sam, I’m flattered at how much my opinions matter to you, but you shouldn’t let what I think influence your decisions–especially one as important as which college to attend. There are plenty of reasons for you to opt to attend Dartmouth over Princeton and plenty of reasons to opt for the reverse. However, my opinion that anyone who attends Princeton is an a-hole should not be a factor.”
But that isn’t a very funny response. So instead, Bill Simmons writes this:
I couldn’t be prouder. To think, I saved you from a terminal case of insufferable “dooshdom.” Now I want to offer my services as the deciding vote for anyone’s college choice.
So he’s ecstatic about it. Simmons even goes on to provide an example of what he would recommend to a hypothetical high school senior deciding between Princeton and Duke.
I’m enrolling you at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. Maybe it’s not Ivy quality, but it’s a good school and you’ll get to wear shorts to class every day. Also, every day when you’re walking around campus you’ll think you’re a judge on ‘America’s Top Model.’ Just trust me. This case is dismissed. And remember, folks, as always, it doesn’t matter where you go to college, just what you did when you were there … and that the weather was warm.
Bill Simmons attended College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, so he clearly doesn’t follow his own advice. Besides, before anyone uses him as a college counselor, one should wonder why Simmons, as a Holy Cross grad and Sports Guy, doesn’t hate Dartmouth as well. At least Dartmouth and Holy Cross have a history. His hatred for Princeton can only be based on some deep secret, like Sonny Wortzik’s reason for robbing a bank in Dog Day Afternoon.
Okay, I clearly don’t share his mutant power.