Tag Archives: Bill Simmons

Throwback Saturday Part IX

Photo courtesy of kimoracochran.com. President Obama (pictured above) has proven that he really knows his hoops finishing in the 87.4 percentile of ESPN's Bracket Challenge last year.

By Josh Kramer

We have entered the third month of “Throwback Saturdays” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the routine.  This is a day where I look back at my posts on this date one year ago and two years ago.  Then we can decipher how spot on I was with my thoughts or how miserably wrong I was.  Typically, it is the latter scenario.  So what was happening on March 17, 2011?  How about March 17, 2010?  Let’s find out.

Nearly one year ago (March 18, 2011)..

Madness Highlights Thus Far

Here is a snippet..

No predictions today.  I will let my bracket play out a little.  But I wanted to check in and let you know my initial thoughts of this year’s edition of March Madness.

-Number one, I only went 11 of 16 in Round 2 (Round of 64).  That is not too good.  Shows how much I know.  President Obama went 14 of 16 and at the end of Thursday was in the 99.7th percentile in the ESPN Bracket Challenge (over 5.9 million participants).  Our President definitely knows his hoops.

-The Louisville game was by far the biggest shocker of the day.  I realize there were other upsets, but the Cardinals going down to an in-state Morehead State team?  I guess Louisville could technically be considered the 3rd best team in the state of Kentucky now?

-What a start to the first few games of the tournament. 4 of the first 5 contests came down to final second shots.  The tournament lived up to all of the hype and more in the first few hours of play.  And it is a good thing it did.  Because outside of the Michigan St./UCLA game, the nightcap was very weak, featuring multiple blowouts (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Bill Simmons: At the top of the game

Photo courtesy of Sanford's Soccer Net.

By Josh Kramer

The long anticipated “Bill Simmons Project” has finally launched.  And it has definitely been a huge box office type of opening if that is possible for a website.  Simmons is a role model to me and millions of other writers across the globe.  He was one of the first writers to embrace the internet.  He is currently at the top of the sports journalism game in every respect imaginable. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

I got the 22-year-old scoring machine Kevin Durant (pictured above) bringing home the All Star Game MVP on Sunday.

It is yet another Monday in the sporting world.  And things are as good as ever. Basketball is at full blow in both the Collegiate and the Professional ranks.  The hockey ice is beginning to heat up.  And Spring Training is upon us!

Lets take a look at this week’s top 5. Continue reading

“30 for 30 Brilliance”

Bill Simmon's "30 for 30" documentaries idea has taken the sporting world by storm over the past 11 months.

 Last evening, I was at the gym getting a work out in after a long day at the office.  While working out, I would fixate on the clock every few minutes.  Typically, I am never in a hurry to leave the gym in that it is my relaxation for the day during the work week.  It is kind of closure to my day before I sit down to eat dinner and watch the Red’s game.  But realizing that the “30 for 30” special featuring Michael Jordan was on at 8, I made sure to keep track of the time.  And once it hit 8 on the dot, I darted out of the gym, and sprinted all the way home.  From 8:05 until 9:00 (yes I was 5 minutes late), I did not move from my chair, even during commercial breaks as I watched, “Jordan Rides the Bus.” 

This has been a common thread for me and many other sports fans during the past 11 months for these “30 for 30” specials.  These specials have truly become a phenomenon.  And rightfully so.  The idea originated from one of the best in the business.  One of the guys in the sporting world, that whether you agree with his opinions or not, you are still going to read his column.  And his columns are some of the longest I have ever read regarding sports, but you better believe I read every word.  None other than Boston’s biggest homer, the “sports guy,” Bill Simmons. 

Simmons proposed the idea because he felt that some of the events that have occurred during the past 30 years, throughout the ESPN era, could really be more than just a another blip on the radar.  They could be turned into documentary specials.  There are many fine directors out there.  Why not really delve into some of these special events and capture the interest of current, past, and future sporting fanatics?  The first special of the 32 part series filmed in October of 2009 documenting the story of “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky, leaving Edmonton for Los Angeles, and completely changing the scope of the NHL.  Other “30 for 30” specials that have really caught my eye have been “Muhammad and Larry,” “Without Bias,” “The U,” “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs the New York Knicks,” and last evenings, “Jordan Rides the Bus.”  In total 18 of these 32 specials have aired.  And you better believe I am hyped for the next 14.  

I will admit I love Sportscenter and all of the shows that the greatest sporting network in the world (ESPN) has to offer.  Even at times if items get entirely too repetitive, that is all a part of the world we live in today.  Communication is constant and connectivity is at a premium.  But these specials, are done so well, are extremely informative, and very entertaining at the same time.  I guess that is what you get when you take big time directors and let them put out footage on sporting events.  Last evening, really brought back some memories of my young childhood.  I mean I could not have told you all the details of what had happened when Jordan left the League to pursue an ambition of playing professional baseball.  I was just a little kid.  This special last night though, provided me and probably the rest of America with some much-needed perspective.  I mean how many people knew that Terry Francona, the current manager of the Boston Red Sox, was Michael’s manager for the Birmingham Barons?  

These specials in essence, connect the dots for people.  They bring these major stories of the past to life and provide some closure.  Many of these stories may have been analyzed and shown on various sporting news shows over the years, but never has their been a major director showing the facts through expert cinematography. 

So thank you Bill Simmons.  America appreciates you coming up with this simple, yet innately innovative idea. 

And make sure to tune in next week for the special entitled, “Little Big Men,” which will document when the 1982 Kirkland, Washington All Stars shocked the world, and brought the Little League World Series Title back to the United States. 

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze. 

-TheSportsKraze