Sports fans make the best sports writers

This is why I consider Bill Simmons to be a sports fan who happens to write for ESPN, not a sportswriter:

To the dumbest round of preseason stories: glowing features about Art Shell’s coaching comeback with the Raiders, which proved the age-old adage, “If you let enough time pass in sports, people are bound to forget just about anything.” Shell’s 14-year absence from the sidelines had nothing to do with color; he was a terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE game coach. Do you know why we started using the phrase “bad clock management”? BECAUSE OF ART SHELL!!!! During the last two minutes of a half, Art Shell’s math skills made Herm Edwards look like Will Hunting. Really, nobody remembers this? For God’s sake, that’s why he got fired! That’s why I’ve been making “Art Shell School of Clock Management” jokes in my column for the past 10 years! That’s why he hasn’t worked since!

Everyone forgets this, too, but those Raiders teams were almost criminally loaded; it’s astounding they never appeared in a Super Bowl, although they did end up going down as the greatest Tecmo Bowl team of all time. In real life, they committed 12-15 penalties per game under Shell and were a mortal lock to blow any close game…. Unfortunately, no channel shows old Raiders games from the Art Shell Era, so nobody remembers how he stood frozen on the sidelines as the announcers said things like, “Wow, ANOTHER holding penalty on the Raiders; that’s their 10th today!” and “I’m not sure Art Shell knows that you can’t carry over timeouts from one half to the other.” Watch what happens this season. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Except for the hardcore baseball analysts, the sports media grasp of recent history is almost as bad as the mainstream media’s grasp of national and world history. As the Sports Guy points out later in the piece, the combination of a terrible game coach with the dumbest quarterback in the league should make for an fascinating season. This is why I didn’t draft any Raidess… throw in Randy Moss getting frustrated by Week 5 and you’d have to think that the Bay Area would feature the worst two teams in football if it weren’t for the ongoing debacle that is the Houston Texans.

But I don’t think the Sports Guy has to worry about a lack of material this year, even with the absence of the Mikes. I mean, the season hasn’t even begun yet and we’ve already got starting quarterbacks being benched and naked Lions coaches being arrested. As for the latter, the only thing missing was that Matt Millen or his wife weren’t somehow involved.

Forget the NBA, I love THIS game!