Excerpts from the Bill Simmons Glossary

Bill Simmons, my favorite ESPN.com writer, has been spitting out hilarious columns since 2001. Since I’ve only been reading him since 2005, I’ve missed a lot of his greatest columns, and therefore miss a lot of his “inside” jokes.

Well, thankfully he threw all of us casual newcomers a bone: the Bill Simmons Glossary.

I bring you some of the best terms that Simmons has come up with – and not all of them are sports related for those of you that skim the sports stories. I do this because I care, and additionally, because I’m currently out of town and I have this set up for “auto-post.” I also do this because I’m seriously considering entering these terms into my personal vocabulary, and I’d like everyone to know exactly what I’m talking about.

I’d link the original posts, but they’re only available to ESPN Insiders, and I still have a problem with having to purchase words over the internet. Here is the actual Simmons Glossary post.

Thanks to Bill Simmons for this, but no thanks to him for never posting my e-mails in his “Mailbag.”

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• How to Spot the Guys Who Wield Just A Bit Too Much Power
The bouncer at any snooty bar … the deli counter guy who only gives samples to people he deems worthy … ice skating judges (especially the French ones) … softball umpires … the guy at Best Buy who checks receipts before you can leave the store … sixth-grade gym teachers … bank tellers … bartenders in crowded pickup joints … condo association presidents … sports radio hosts who hang up on callers when they don’t agree … everyone who works at a video store … stewardesses on long airplane flights … movie theater ushers … the maitre’d at any restaurant in Vegas or Manhattan … and the hotel worker in charge of the volleyball games at any resort.

• The Four Beer Analogy:
”…Let’s say you’re hitting a sports bar with your buddies for “Monday Night Football”. You could have two or three beers, throw down some chicken wings, play some Golden Tee, wager on the home team, bond with your boys, then head home when the outcome has been decided. Or you could do everything from above, but keep throwing down beers until you’re bombed and someone has to drive you home. Either way, it’s going to be a good time. Well, unless you have four beers. That kills you. You’re not sober enough to drive home. You’re not quite drunk enough that you feel like you really let loose; if anything, you’re more groggy than anything. And you drank just enough that you’ll have trouble getting up for work/class the following morning. The next day, you always end up wishing you had more beers or less beers. Just not four…”

• The Cheers Corollary
”…Great teams are like great TV shows — sometimes change can be refreshing, but you never want to rattle your nucleus too much. That’s why “Cheers” remained lively to the bitter end, because they successfully integrated new characters (Rebecca, Woody, Frasier, Lilith) while maintaining their core group of stars (Sam, Carla, Norm, Cliff). Shows like “Oz,” “ER” and “7 Lives XPosed” couldn’t say the same…”

• High Horse Factor
…It all comes back to the High Horse Factor. You know how sports columnists and radio hosts love hopping on high horses and villifying targets like Tyson, how they get all carried away and start gunning for the Pulitzer, how they write lines like “He’s the monster in all of us” and say things like “They could be fighting in my living room and I wouldn’t watch it”? Nobody rated higher on the High Horse Factor than Tyson, the grizzled sports columnist’s wet dream. Just once, I would have loved to have seen one of these media people tell their editors or producers, “You know what, I refuse to discuss Tyson on the radio anymore,” or “Please don’t send me to cover this fight, because I refuse to write about such a scumbag.” Never happened…”

• The “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that yet!” movie
”…My buddy Gus has a theory that every person has one “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that yet!” movie. For instance, Gus hasn’t seen “E.T.” yet. Impossible, you say? I’m telling you, he has never seen it. And the more people tell him, “I can’t believe you haven’t seen that one yet!” or “Do yourself a favor and see it, would ya?”, his defiance becomes even more resolute. He’s never seeing “E.T.“…”

(P.S. – we all have this. Chris, king of Driscocity, has never seen Star Wars, and reportedly never will.)

• The MJ/Rodman Corollary
”…You can only take a chance on a colossal head case if there’s an alpha dog around to keep him in check. Just look at Dennis Rodman’s career — he was fine with Isiah and MJ and a time bomb with everyone else. Same with Vernon Maxwell and Hakeem; Dennis Johnson with Bird (everyone forgets that DJ wore out his welcome in two cities); Stephen Jackson with Duncan; even Cassell and Spree with KG last season. Crazy guys suddenly don’t seem as crazy when they’re playing with someone they respect…”

• Mom Status
”…My Mom has always been a sports litmus test for me. If she’s asking, it’s probably a big deal. And this Yankees-Sox rivalry has officially reached Mom Status…”

• The Over-Clapper
”…Is there anything worse than an Over-Clapper, the guy in a sports bar who feels the inexplicable need to applaud after every play?

(In case you’re scoring at home, I’d rate the most annoying people in a sports bar or lounge this way, in order: The Over-Clapper; the Inconsiderate Chain-Smoker; the “Guy Who Sits Down Right In Front of You And Blocks Your View” Guy; the Guy Who Keeps Taking Cell Phone Calls; the Over-Excited Guy; the “Guy Who Gives Running Commentary and Thinks He’s Phil Simms” Guy; the Drunken Idiot; the Guy Who Gets A Little Too Angry; The Guy Wearing Too Much Team Paraphrenalia; and the “Guy Who Won’t Sit Down and Watch the Game But Keeps Popping In Every Five Minutes To Ask About the Score” Guy.) …”

• Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza Syndrome:
”…Putting together a basketball team is like cooking a Stouffer’s french bread pizza — you have to preheat the oven, wait 15 minutes, slide the pizzas inside, wait another 35 minutes, check to make sure you didn’t burn them, let them cook another five minutes, pull them out, then let them cool down for another 10 minutes so you don’t burn your mouth … and then, and ONLY then, do you eat the pizzas. That’s how the good general managers build their teams. But these new-wave owners and general managers want to eat the pizza right away, so they slip them in the microwave, zap the hell out them, scarf down in three bites and end up burning their mouths, and the pizza doesn’t even taste good as it’s going down…”

The Two Pacinos
…Can you think of another actor with a career quite like Pacino’s career, where the guy from 1972-1983 (Godfather 1 and 2, Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon, Cruising, And Justice For All, Scarface) seems like a completely different human being than the one from 1992-2005 (Scent of a Woman, Heat, Donnie Brasco, Insomnia, Devil’s Advocate, The Recruit). I’m not even talking about different actors; I’m talking about different human beings. Like how Pittsburgh Barry Bonds and San Fran Barry Bonds seem like two different people, right?…”

This was lovingly handwritten on January 8th, 2006