Dartmouth Pre-Frosh Easily Manipulated By The Opinions of Sports Columnists

simmonsIf 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.

  • You forgot…

    Michael Corleone went to Dartmouth.

  • You forgot…

    Michael Corleone went to Dartmouth.

  • That Guy

    To be fair, Simmons always talks about how he regretted his choice of a cold-weather school and how miserable he was. But let’s get back to mindlessly trashing the Sports Guy because he connects with his readers.

  • That Guy

    To be fair, Simmons always talks about how he regretted his choice of a cold-weather school and how miserable he was. But let’s get back to mindlessly trashing the Sports Guy because he connects with his readers.

  • JS

    I admit up front that I’m a Simmons reader, so I’m sure most will write this off as just another cranky loyalist, but I don’t really care.

    There’s a major aspect of both the Q and the A that you forgot to mention in all of this. And maybe they don’t teach it in the Ivy Leagues, or maybe because you’re remarking on something that is being totally taken out of context, you just failed to notice it, but, um:

    Sarcasm?

    Ever heard of it?

  • JS

    I admit up front that I’m a Simmons reader, so I’m sure most will write this off as just another cranky loyalist, but I don’t really care.

    There’s a major aspect of both the Q and the A that you forgot to mention in all of this. And maybe they don’t teach it in the Ivy Leagues, or maybe because you’re remarking on something that is being totally taken out of context, you just failed to notice it, but, um:

    Sarcasm?

    Ever heard of it?

  • Another guy

    Anybody who thinks where they attend undergrad is important is delusional. go some place fun for undergrad. You can attend an ivy for grad school.

  • Another guy

    Anybody who thinks where they attend undergrad is important is delusional. go some place fun for undergrad. You can attend an ivy for grad school.

  • Something Clever

    And anyone with that mindset probably won’t be getting into any Ivy League schools when they finally decide to leave Miami Beach.

  • Something Clever

    And anyone with that mindset probably won’t be getting into any Ivy League schools when they finally decide to leave Miami Beach.

  • Sean

    You would think an “Ivy League” blog would have some sense of tone and not be so short-sighted. I’m sure the kid didn’t solely base his college choice on the thoughts and opinions of a sportswriter. Who knows, maybe the kid didn’t even get into either school. Maybe he just wants to get published in the mailbag and thought that this would be the best angle.

  • Chris

    so Bill Simmons is responsible for an 18 year old being dumb enough to make a decision based on his column, which clearly is meant to be taken in a humorous light 99% of the time? Gotcha.

  • Sean

    You would think an “Ivy League” blog would have some sense of tone and not be so short-sighted. I’m sure the kid didn’t solely base his college choice on the thoughts and opinions of a sportswriter. Who knows, maybe the kid didn’t even get into either school. Maybe he just wants to get published in the mailbag and thought that this would be the best angle.

  • Chris

    so Bill Simmons is responsible for an 18 year old being dumb enough to make a decision based on his column, which clearly is meant to be taken in a humorous light 99% of the time? Gotcha.

  • Dooshdom

    You can’t possibly be serious. Do you also bitch about Michael Phelps being solely responsible for America’s youth smoking weed?

  • Dooshdom

    You can’t possibly be serious. Do you also bitch about Michael Phelps being solely responsible for America’s youth smoking weed?

  • Some Guy

    Really? I think you are taking this much too seriously.

  • Some Guy

    Really? I think you are taking this much too seriously.

  • C-Dub

    Have to agree with pretty much everyone so far – Simmons makes light of pretty much everything, so how can you take it so seriously? not to mention there’s a good chunk of his readers who probably would write anything just to get in a mailbag (thus chalking up the entire decision to Simmons when it probably wasn’t that simple). the ridiculously uptight/defensive response here actually probably does more to back up Simmons’ argument of “dooshdom” than the kid.

  • C-Dub

    Have to agree with pretty much everyone so far – Simmons makes light of pretty much everything, so how can you take it so seriously? not to mention there’s a good chunk of his readers who probably would write anything just to get in a mailbag (thus chalking up the entire decision to Simmons when it probably wasn’t that simple). the ridiculously uptight/defensive response here actually probably does more to back up Simmons’ argument of “dooshdom” than the kid.

  • bdab

    wow, time for someone to relax. they obviously don’t teach “reading into sarcasm” at these schools, or else this would not have been written.

  • bdab

    wow, time for someone to relax. they obviously don’t teach “reading into sarcasm” at these schools, or else this would not have been written.

  • Autoadmit

    To be clear, Darmouth is a great school. Indeed, it was a good choice.

  • Autoadmit

    To be clear, Darmouth is a great school. Indeed, it was a good choice.

  • guy

    keep screaming down here guys, simmons can almost hear you way up there

  • guy

    keep screaming down here guys, simmons can almost hear you way up there

  • @C-Dub

    C-Dub is correct. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the letter writer made the whole thing up to feed Simmons’ ego about disliking Princeton. And, the tone of this post makes it sound like no one in the history of college admissions has ever rejected Princeton for a non-Harvard or non-Yale Ivy. It may not happen often, but it happens, and just think, it opens up another spot at Princeton every time it does.

  • @C-Dub

    C-Dub is correct. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the letter writer made the whole thing up to feed Simmons’ ego about disliking Princeton. And, the tone of this post makes it sound like no one in the history of college admissions has ever rejected Princeton for a non-Harvard or non-Yale Ivy. It may not happen often, but it happens, and just think, it opens up another spot at Princeton every time it does.

  • Jay

    The fact you care that Simmons gave a loyal reader advice proves your “dooshdom.” I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • Jay

    The fact you care that Simmons gave a loyal reader advice proves your “dooshdom.” I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • holla

    Michael Corleone went to Dartmouth.

    Wikipedia says Dartmouth, either the book or movie says Furman

  • holla

    Michael Corleone went to Dartmouth.

    Wikipedia says Dartmouth, either the book or movie says Furman

  • Damian

    Why the Deadspin hate of Simmons? Deadspin, you do realize that you and Simmons are essentially fighting the same fight, right?

    Were it not for Simmons, and in particular, the audience he cultivated, I’m not sure Deadspin ever germinates. So Deadspin, in the words of Sinead O’Connor, “Fight the real enemy.”

  • Damian

    Why the Deadspin hate of Simmons? Deadspin, you do realize that you and Simmons are essentially fighting the same fight, right?

    Were it not for Simmons, and in particular, the audience he cultivated, I’m not sure Deadspin ever germinates. So Deadspin, in the words of Sinead O’Connor, “Fight the real enemy.”

  • Jamesllegade

    You pray every day for 1/10th of his traffic.

    Douche (doosh).

  • Jamesllegade

    You pray every day for 1/10th of his traffic.

    Douche (doosh).

  • LOBSTER!

    Of course Simmons gets more readers: he actively appeals to sports-loving guys who get drunk and stare at boobs. There are a lot more of those in America than there are Ivy Leaguers despite a fair bit of overlap.

    Having met Simmons in person, he’s actually quite nice, but he puts on this persona when writing just so people hate him, love him, and love to hate him. It works.

  • LOBSTER!

    Of course Simmons gets more readers: he actively appeals to sports-loving guys who get drunk and stare at boobs. There are a lot more of those in America than there are Ivy Leaguers despite a fair bit of overlap.

    Having met Simmons in person, he’s actually quite nice, but he puts on this persona when writing just so people hate him, love him, and love to hate him. It works.

  • stu_tv

    lighten. up.

  • stu_tv

    lighten. up.

  • D’12

    Guess who is now retiring…

  • D’12

    Guess who is now retiring…

  • D’12

    And by ‘retiring’ I mean no longer writing his column in the magazine.

  • D’12

    And by ‘retiring’ I mean no longer writing his column in the magazine.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~ab_gangulee/newsite/index.html Abishai100

    I was a TA (teacher’s assistant) in the Education department, so I’m thinking about the relationship between movie posters printed on hemp/recycled paper.

  • http://home.earthlink.net/~ab_gangulee/newsite/index.html Abishai100

    I was a TA (teacher’s assistant) in the Education department, so I’m thinking about the relationship between movie posters printed on hemp/recycled paper.

  • alicedebrax

    That sounds really cool. It's wonderful that people can make life changing decisions like this one from a sports column although I have to admit I would be a bit more skeptical when it comes to my own future. Nevertheless it's a great story.
    ________________________
    Adam Carpenter – hockey pool coach

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