Friday, March 04, 2005


Anyone read today's Bill Simmons column on the sports equivalent of U2? What a weird little article. I've been a big fan of Simmons lately (like you, I'm sure, we've had our ups and downs), but this is just crapola. At one point he wrote, "Take everything you ever read or heard about MJ, then double it -- that's what we'd have if U2 had played ball." Get outta here with that...

Interested to hear some opinions on this...and on U2 in general, because after Rattle and Hum I just tuned 'em out.


At 3:35 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

MJ didn't dominate long enough? Set aside for a minute the fact that I'm not really sure U2 has ever really dominated much of anything, and certainly not to the degerr Jordan did, but they absolutely didn't dominate any longer than MJ did, and if you make some calculation for sports years vs rock performing years, I think U2 would fare much worse. I think he must have an incredibly inflated view of U2. Maybe if he was talking aobut the Beatles, I could agree, even though I'm not a big fan, but U2? Off the top of my head, I can only name one U2 song, and I'm a font of useless trivia.

At 3:49 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Yeah, this article is outrageous and insulting to MJ and Gretzky and a slew of great musicians.

If U2 were an athlete, Simmons would have written five 3,000-word columns on how they should have hung 'em up years ago.

Interesting question -- who are the Beatles in the world of sports? Gotta be someone who was innovative, adaptive and kicked fucking ass for a short period of time and then quit at the top of their game (perhaps while having internal struggles). Jim Brown? Barry Sanders? Sandy Jewfax?

I'll go with Jim Brown.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...

"There hasn't been nearly enough made of these guys."

Of U2? Are you kidding me? U2 and Bono are everywhere. C'mon Bill.

And if U2 was everything MJ but double, what about the Beatles? Are they some sort of Gretzky/MJ/Babe Ruth hybrid?

I'm all for overstatement, but twice MJ? Again, C'mon Bill. You stink anymore.

God I hate myself.

At 3:53 PM, Blogger Jason Mulgrew said...

Also, Ace, same time on the Beatles. I swear I didn't read yours first.

Also, can we all agree that The Sport Guy's World has been an unmitigated disaster? Instead of all the crap he puts up there, how much better would it be if he just guaranteed a column every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday?

At 4:00 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

"Instead of all the crap he puts up there, how much better would it be if he just guaranteed a column every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday? "

Funny, I was gonna say the same thing about you...zzzzing!

But you're 1000% right. SG's World is an abomination, although I really wouldn't know as I haven't even gone to it since it started.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger poophopanonymous22 said...

u wanna talk about abominations, well, try this one on for size, today i go read slacker dear friend mulgrews blog, and it is now blocked, been here since september with no problems, and now, no more, whats the deal with THAT????

At 4:17 PM, Blogger Army Archerd said...

Simmons lost me when he did the OC/90210 comparison and said the OC had a better theme song. To me, that's worse than any MJ and U2 comparison.

At 4:18 PM, Blogger Don Fiedler said...

"Maybe I'm biased. Some people have photo albums; I have U2."

No, Bill. You're definately biased. You just fell into your own trap: you think about U2 in a way that is uniquely significant to you. It's an impossible point to make because, a few paragraphs earlier, you said:

"we rely on emotions and memories, on what a particular band meant to us."

So you wrote an article about something you explained is unquantifiable. Great work, Bill.

Agreed on the Sports Guy World page. Could this intern crap be any more self-serving and, well, boring?

At 4:24 PM, Blogger John Howard said...

I'd agree with you that The Beatles are Jim Brown. And enough with the Barry Sanders, already, the guy was great, and all, but he was also the most overrated player in NFL history.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger jakezebra said...

Going into the article you know it's going to be straight gar-baGe as it's tagged with the ESPN magazine editor's note. The note should read: This article appears in ESPN the magazine, which is fantastic if you desire outdated sports articles and an ungainly, floppy magazine.

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Donnie, well-reasoned. Couldn't agree more.

JRH, you're an unabashed Emmitt fan and that's cool, but do NOT call Barry the most overrated player in NFL history. He simply was not overrated, he was truly great.

Zebra, your take on ESPN Mag is dead-on, that thing blows more goats than Noah Vanderhoff (ahhh, I love that joke, probably wrote that on Slack about 30 times).

And lastly, and this may be debateable for some of you, but the Grateful Dead runs fucking circles around U2, I don't care about fucking "popularity."

At 11:11 AM, Blogger jakezebra said...

I neglected to mention the other huge problem with ESPN the magazine is that the damn size makes it impossible to rest it on the top of the toilet. Part of it is always hanging off, and even if Seems To You that you've gotten it to stay, as you Walk Away it slides off.

At 4:57 PM, Anonymous Spanish Miguel said...

So U Dos has no freakin sports equivalent? Say it aint so, Bill.

U2 couldnĀ“t be easier to compare to an athlete. Consistently good stats, no real heart or soul, good looking, and at the root, uninteresting: Allan Houston, Pat Lafontaine, Rafael Palmeiro, Todd Martin - could it be any easier?

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Ha, great work, Spanish. U2 = Todd Martin. I love it.

Zebra, excellent Walk Away reference. Always a great tune.

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

It seems to me that Mr. Simmons is in dire need of something new to write about. U2 not having a sports equivalent? It's not really the "what" but more of the "why" that pisses me off with this article. Is it because of longevity? Maybe, but there are athletes who have taken that word and pounded it into the ground (see: Clemens, Roger; Howe, Gordie; Bourque, Raymond; Ryan, Nolan; Malone, Karl), so longevity is not the case. Is it because of # of hits (equivocating it to championships/success)? Eh, not really. As JRH stated, U2 hasn't really ever dominated anything and what they have dominated it was for a short time. Take Gretzky, Jordan, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Brett Favre, etc. These guys have/had been dominating their respective sports for their entire careers, they never went on a Zooropa or Discotheque tour.

Everything MJ but double, huh? Impossbile. MJ not only changed but became the face of sports, marketing, sports marketing and globalization during his career. Because of MJ, companies like Gatorade and Nike would not be the giant conglomerates that they are today (at least that's my opinion). What kid didn't want to be MJ during the late 80's/early 90's? What kid wasn't dribbling a basketball with their tongue hanging out, practing their baseline fade-away? I don't see many kids walking around with huge fucking sunglasses on trying to rid the world of HIV. I think the situation is just the opposite: Is their a musical equivalent to MJ/Gretzky/Ruth? The only one I can think of that's even close to #23 is the other MJ, our near and dear child molester.

I just don't think that U2 changed the "game" as much as Jordan/Gretzky did. Sorry, it's early and I'm rambling.


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