Monday, June 28, 2004
Updated: June 7, 6:24 PM ET
I'll do it . . . myyyy waaaay
By Bill Simmons
Posted 5:15 p.m., ET, 6/28
Hey, it's my own page!
For years and years, I've been pining for my own page on ESPN.com that would have something similar to Peter Gammons's ghostly visage. I was half-kidding. I wanted the page, but I was all set in the ghostly visage department. So when they covered the main part of the site with that giant caricture of me, you can only imagine my horror. The e-mails were pouring in from my friends: Just about everyone had a joke. The readers seemed to be universally horrified. The only person who seemed to enjoy it was my Dad, who was excited about my giant head in the cartoon. "That's just about life-sized, isn't it?" he said. Dad thought this was 10 times funnier than Kirk Snyder's suit on Draft Night.
Anyway, you will never have to click on this page and see a giant caricture of me ever again. I promise. And contrary to how things may seem right now, this page wasn't set up to be a glorified archives page. We just decided to launch it during Draft Week so we could have links to all my old draft columns, so you could look back at comments like, "Kentucky forward Tayshaun Prince . . . 6-foot-9, 113 pounds. I can't even begin to imagine where an NBA contender would play him."
(And yes, I actually wrote that.)
We want this page to fill in the blanks. I'm writing two columns a week, plus my magazine column (which only counts as like a half-column since they won't give me more than 800 words). I just felt like I could be writing a little bit more that that -- shorter, timelier stuff that would be different from the columns. Unlike some other national columnists who parlay their success into an excuse to cut down to one 950-word column a week, then spend the rest of the time coaching Little League and playing golf, it would feel like I was mailing it in if I wasn't breaking a sweat. So that's what I'm doing.
Hopefully, this page will emerge as a place where you'll stop every day, just to see if there's anything new. Or because you're bored as hell.
Here's what you can expect.
1. I'm going to update this "Short Takes" space a few times a week. Sometimes, the posts could be two paragraphs; other times, the posts could be longer than that (like this one).
For instance, on Friday, I mistakenly wrote in my NBA Draft diary that Kris Humphries is white. Turns out he's bi-racial. My mistake. We apologize. I would have loved to have posted a correction on Friday, but this part of the site wasn't running yet. So now we can.
Or, let's say the Red Sox make a trade for a crummy utility infielder to replace the decomposing Cesar Crespo, and I want to post some sort of reaction. Or I see something on TV and have to post my thoughts on it the next morning. Or I had a gambling experience that needs to be mentioned. Or I ran into Tiffani Amber-Theissen at the car wash. Or I stumbled across an especially inspiring NBA game on ESPN Classic. All that stuff is going right here.
2. We're going to be launching a "Links of the Week" column either this week or next week -- just my favorite website links of the week with some additional commentary and one-liners. This was something that evolved into a daily feature on my old "Boston Sports Guy" site. At the time, "The Links" was an original idea. Now a bunch of people do it. Whatever.
3. There will DEFINITELY be some sort of Sports Movie page.
4. We're going to have links to my last three columns, as well as my archives page.
5. I'm leaning towards three ideas that may or may not be done in some form. Like a "review" page -- quick reviews on books, movies, TV shows. Or an all-Boston blog. Or just a space devoted to movie reviews. I'm not sure yet. I want to see how much time everything takes, as well as if any ideas affect the quality of the Page 2 columns (a worst-case scenario for me). So I'm going to keep tinkering until I find the right balance.
Please note that the SGW page will keep changing over the next few weeks -- it's a work in progress. Just give me the benefit of the doubt until I figure out exactly what I want to do. That's all I'm asking.
We have high hopes for the page. ESPN even hired an intern to help me out. His name is Jamie Agin, a recent graduate of UNC. But we're calling him "The Intern" from here on out. Now, if you just graduated from college, you're saying to yourself, "Why him and not me? Why wasn't there a contest? What the hell?"
But nobody could have beaten out Jamie. He's been reading me since the first month of my old website, back when he was in the ninth grade. He was a frequent contributor to the old mailbag columns on my old site. He even wrote a column for me called "The Freshman," about his freshman experiences at college. And I've been to the Neverland Ranch with him over 100 times. So don't take it personally.
That reminds me. We created three e-mail accounts that The Intern will specifically be going through himself. Here they are:
SGWeeklyLinks@comcast.net -- This is for the "Weekly Links" page. If you stumble across a story or column that you thought was particularly entertaining, ridiculous, fascinating or funny, please send it along to this address so we can check it out. Just so you know, we can't link to any sites that contain any form of nudity. We're also not linking to columns from websites that either A.) aren't news websites; or B.) aren't well-known sites, for legal reasons. If we link to a homepage I've never heard of; and six hours later, that person decides to put up pictures of Jenna Lewis's sex tape, I'm in deep doo-doo. So if you're a struggling writer on the Internet and you're trying to make a name for yourself -- believe me, I've been there -- we can't help you out. But we wish you the best.
SGDailyQuote@comcast.net -- I want to have a "Quote of the Day" in the bottom right corner of the site. It's going to change every day. So if you hear anything good (like a doozy on "The Real World," or a Mike Tyson insta-classic), or if you have a personal favorite, please send it to this address.
SGReaderRants@comcast.net -- If you feel like ranting about anything and wasting The Intern's time, we may even publish it in a special "Reader Rants" column. Believe me, he has a ton of time on his hands. Feel free to insult him and his friends, as well as his personal life, his hygiene or anything else.
Until next time.
Bill Simmons is a columnist for Page 2 and ESPN the Magazine