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Deep Thought


The Dallas Cowboys are an extremely disciplined, well-coached team that will at a minimum play for a conference championship. And there ain’t no pretty girls in France.

It seems worth quoting this:

The Cowboys remind me of the Kardashians in that their strongest talent is a relentless ability to remain relevant. Much like the Kardashians successfully created the illusion that they should be famous, the Cowboys successfully created the illusion that they should be a Super Bowl contender. And they didn’t even have to leak a sex tape to do it. You know what Dallas’ record has been since 2000? 82-78. You know how many playoff games it has won over that stretch? One. That’s right … one more playoff win than Buffalo and Detroit.

I think Notre Dame retains the title as the sporting entity with the highest “relevance”-to-recent accomplishment ratio. But I think the Cowboys have pulled ahead of the Maple Leafs on the grounds that the latter have been so bad that their “relevance” actually seems to be diminishing slightly.

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  • So I clicked on the link, and was immediately hit with this bizarre, totally-out-of-nowhere bit of misogyny:

    My favorite random subplot of the preseason: when the Vikings watched Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels practice for a few weeks, then sent Jared Allen, Ryan Longwell and Steve Hutchinson to Mississippi to beg Brett Favre to come back … and a devastated Jackson had to meet with the media and say diplomatic things like, “I felt I was the best prepared. I felt confident I was going to be the starter. But I understand the situation.” This is reason No. 5,718 why women could never play professional football. If Jackson were female and Favre got injured in Thursday’s Saints game, we’d have this exchange on the sideline:

    –Brad Childress: “OK, T-Jack, just go out there and run the offense, we can win this.”
    –T-Jack (crying): “Oh, now you want me? Why don’t you ask Brett to win it for you?!?!?!? Why don’t you ask your little whore!!!!!!!????????”

    Um…what the HELL?

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yikes. Obviously, no endorsement of this misogyny intended…

      • Murc

        Misogyny? From a sportswriter? I am shocked, sir. My faith in their keen eagle eyes and ability to analyze the gutsiness and heart-itude of all players is shaken. SHAKEN.

        • Well, that is the thing about Simmons–he’s a great sportswriter but he’s also incredibly sexist. It’s always the question–is it worth reading the terrible gender stuff to get high quality sportswriting? Usually, the answer is yes but sometimes I really regret the decision.

          • mark f

            Throughout The Book of Basketball there are references to his “Grumpy Old Editor.” I don’t believe the editor exists. How else to explain what could’ve been the go-to reference volume for NBA fans (and in some ways did earn it) getting lost in “this guy is like a hot girl with small tits” and “like getting a lapdance from an ugly stripper” comments? And the Vegas stories! He doesn’t even know how to tell them. I swear, none amounts to more than “One time me and my buddy went to Vegas and played cards and smoked cigars for hours. Good times.”

            You know what his attempts at comedy remind me of? The Hangover; whoever wrote that had a bunch of ideas (“wouldn’t it be funny if these guys got drunk and woke up with a baby and met Mike Tyson?”) and figured that was enough. No need to actually write a joke when you can call each other fags and retards for two hours. Simmons has the same habit of sort of floating around an idea without adding any coherent punchlines.

    • elm

      The oddest thing about that (well, no, not the oddest, because the whole damn thing is odd) is that it’s not like we don’t have examples of male athletes pouting and refusing to play etc etc when they’re benched or overlooked. Scottie Pippen and the chair? But I guess that’s manly, because he threw a chair and didn’t cry like a women would have. (I don’t watch the WNBA, so I guess I’ve missed all the examples of female athletes crying when they’re asked to play after being benched.)

      • pv

        Believe it or not, Simmons sort of defends Pippen’s move in his book. He was groomed to think he was “the man,” so when his moment came and he got the moment to be “the man” taken away from him…

        So I guess that’s manly behavior.

        • pv

          I should correct myself: I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing. I thought you were referring to the incident when Phil Jackson called a game-winning shot attempt for Toni Kukoc in a playoff game against the Knicks, so Pippen refused to go back on the floor.

          I am unaware of any chair-throwing incident involving Pippen (the most famous chair-throwing incident, of course, involved Bobby Knight).

          • elm

            Actually, we are talking about the same thing and I’m the one confusing events. I meant to reference the refusal to go back in the game. There was another incident the following season (at a game I was actually at) where he threw a chair when he got angry at an official’s call. A lot of people at the time considered the two episodes linked and I conflated them in my mind.

            Either way, violent anger and refusal to play are clearly manly emotions. Only crying and calling people whores are girly emotions.

    • pv

      Sexism is a regular feature of Simmons’ writing. When I read him, I grimace at nearly every mention of women, since it is usually quite ugly.

      • prufrock

        Yeah, no doubt.

        There is also the ever present undercurrent of Masshole angst that runs through anything he writes that even lightly touches on Boston sports.

        Bill Simmons. Come for the misogyny, stay for the Sawx wanking!

  • But I think the Cowboys have pulled ahead of the Maple Leafs on the grounds that the latter have been so bad that their “relevance” actually seems to be diminishing slightly.

    Also because they play hockey….(sorry, couldn’t resist)

    • C.S.

      The Maple Leafs were once relevant in hockey?

      • befuggled

        The Leafs play hockey?

  • Chris Howard

    The Cowboys are relevant *now* because they’ve won their division 2 of the last 3 years and been to the playoffs 3 of the last 4. Nobody was talking aout the Cowboys when Quincy Carter was the QB and they were losing 10 or 11 games per year. Simmons just used this shoddy argument so he could work the Kardashians into the column.

    • elm

      You’re right that the Cowboys are a good team: but they’ve been trumpeted as Super Bowl contenders ever since Romo arrived, and that’s been fairly absurd all along. (Not to mention that how the Romo love has been fairly absurd all along, too.) During the Quincy Carter period, the Cowboys were still overrated, just no one thought they were Super Bowl bound then.

    • Ddeele

      I thought the Kardashian comparison was rather apt, and I’m a fan. Jerry Jones has proven again and again that successful self-promotion need not be associated with any form of achievement.

      That said, I thought the Boys showed some promise for the season. The offensive line was missing two starters, and they adapted their game plan fairly well. Romo was good with the quick release, and Felix Jones looks fine on the ground. The defense was sound overall, and even after beating themselves like buffoons, the offense put together a clutch drive at the end, spoiled only by the mismatch between Barron and Orakpo. Romo actually looked like a winner.

      Jones has done his patented marketing thing, and the marquee players are in place. The lack of a Super Bowl quality o-line and the absurd refusal to find a living place kicker may hold them back again this season, but I still predict they’ll win the NFC East.

      We now return you to your regularly scheduled Cowboys Hate.

  • The Leafs haven’t won a Cup since there were only six teams in the league. (We can quibble whether that 1993 team that played 21 playoff games in 41 days should have at least made the finals.)

    The Cowboys record is slightly better than that.

    The biggest problem the Leafs have is that–despite 33 and counting years of no-Cup, at least 20 of which were No-Chance–they continually sell out all games, including playoffs.

    Now, what could make it necessary to build a winning team there? Hmmm, maybe a rival in Ontario–somewhere around Hamilton or Kitchener would be good.

    Oh, wait. We need to put another franchise in some Southern Football city, just so we can say we’re there. And the current Leafs will subsidize the Panthers or Lightning or Stars or any other team that wins a Cup before them.

    Bloody Canadians. Too nice to realize the game is real.

    Jerry Jones doesn’t have that problem.

    • elm

      The Cubs have a similar issue of selling out despite losing. A rival club in the same city hasn’t changed that dynamic.

      But, anyway, there should be a team in Hamilton. Just like there should be a 3rd baseball team in the NYC area.

  • Boudleaux

    I’m sure that before last season there was parallel derision directed at the Duke Blue Devils, 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions.

    That reminds me: Kentucky basketball belongs on this list somewhere, doesn’t it?

    • Rob

      No because if Duke has a decent team the NCAA will do everything in its power to give them every single break to win a championship. See the Tournament seeding last year and the officiating in every single game they play.

      • Boudleaux

        Yes. Because it is not pathetic or anything to assert that seeding and officiating deserve the credit for, say, a 20-odd point drubbing of a West Virginia team.

        Remember also that you get to be right either way! If Duke wins, it’s because they had help. If they lose, it’s because they were overseeded. See? Magic.

        Thanks, anyway, for perpetuating the single stupidest canard in all of sports.

        • L2P

          WV, btw, was walloped by Purdue – a team no one confused with a title contender. That’s why they play the game.

          • Boudleaux

            Purdue and West Virginia both lost to Duke. Apparently because of seeding and officiating.

  • Davis

    They lost to the Redskins last night.

    My gym posts a quotation, usually inspirational, at the entrance. Today’s? Phyllis Diller: women can’t be football players because eleven of them won’t be seen in public wearing the same thing. I’m not making this up.

  • witless chum

    My favorite NFL memory in recent years was my Lions capping off another year of futility by nuking the Cowboys in a meaningless game and the estimable Mike Furey spiking the ball off one of the stupid stars in the endzone and breaking it.

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  • TT

    Calling Simmons a douche is like calling Yao Ming tall–it’s redundant, obvious, and just doesn’t do justice. His columns are about 12,000 words long. They sprinkle too few bits of occasionally interesting history and insight with way, way too many dumb, ultra-strained (we’re talking Mo Dowd-level dumb and ultra-strained), and/or sexist pop culture references. And then there’s his advanced case of Massholia. He’s like an annoying ex-frat boy who thinks Dane Cook is a genius and is still doing Jell-o shooters and Jager bombs in his 40s.

    • Henry Holland

      ^^ See also Bill Simmons’ soulmate, Chuck Klosterman.

  • Notre Dame’s women’s soccer team is a perennial power! Refudiate your remarks! ;)

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