Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Jan 2006

Show Me the Playoffs!

Bill Simmons isn't sure who he likes this weekend, but we at Football Outsiders hope to have our Crazy Playoff Stat That Figures Out Round 1 Games (CPSTFOR1G for short -- and it's pronounced "Cupstuffer-1G") up later today.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 06 Jan 2006

38 comments, Last at 08 Jan 2006, 10:09pm by Racer X

Comments

1
by spenceKarl (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 3:45pm

Can't wait for the FO playoff previews. They're the best.

2
by Bill (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 3:48pm

isn't it about time for the simmons gimmicky irrelevent movie quotes year in review column? that's GIMQYIRC, or as the kids call it, gym-check.

3
by perrin (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 3:58pm

Good grief. Was that 900 words on how he didn't immediately have guesses for which teams would win?

And if that's not enough, here were Jacksonville's last nine wins: Rams, Texans, Ravens, Titans, Cards, Browns, Niners, Texans, Titans. Combined record: 38-106. I'm just sayin'.

The Jags lost to the Rams. And their first four wins: Seahawks, Jets, Bengals, Steelers. I'm just sayin'.

4
by Patty (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:11pm

I'm thinking that perhaps Bill needed to play with his kid just one more time before writing that column!

5
by DJ Any Reason (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:14pm

... God I hate Bill Simmons...

6
by Sara (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:24pm

I love Simmons, usually, but he's been a little off this year. Maybe the midnight feedings and the book tours are getting to him. I mean, he's calling delhomme Beelzebub, for cryin' out loud.

7
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:27pm

And here are New England's 7 wins since their bye week: Bills, Dolphins, Saints, Jets, Bills, Bucs, Jets. Combined record: 41-71.

8
by Tom (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:29pm

I'm wondering if the blank article would have had more insight?

9
by Drew (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:29pm

Re 7

You forgot to add the "I'm just sayin'."

10
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:29pm

Last week: 8-7-1
Season: 124-124-6

Thats flipping a coin as far as I'm concerned.

11
by sonofbrocklanders (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:44pm

#2 i agree, i miss those columns.

It's tough for SG to criticize a team for winning against nobodies when your team is 3-6 versus teams with winning records and 7-0 vs. bums.

12
by Sara (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 4:54pm

#7 - that's what I'm saying. Lately he's been relying more on personal opinion and bias than on analysis.

13
by Jon (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:08pm

Starting QBs against the Patriots in the Pats' last 4 wins: Bollinger, Losman, Simms, Bollinger. Combined games started as of the start of the 2005 season: 2. I'm just sayin'.

14
by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:09pm

I thought the CPSTFOR1G, was weighted DVOA for the season, plus 17.3% for the home team.

Let's see how that works:

Tampa ([3.8%+ 17.3% ]= 21.1% ), should lose to Washington (26.3% ).

New England ([5.1% + 17.3% ]= 22.4% ) should beat Jacksonville (16.3% ).

New York ([21.0% + 17.3% ]= 28.3% ) should beat Carolina (18.0% ).

...and Cincinnati ([11.4% + 17.3% ]= 28.7% ) should beat Pittsburgh (22.1% ).

Wow. That perfectly matches tBSG's predictions, albeit his are with/against the spread (although he picks all the winners to cover). Huh.

15
by Bill (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:21pm

It's actually a little sad sometimes when he talks about how much he gambles. Having to borrow 500 bucks from your mom to settle bets when you're in college isn't funny, it's gambling addiction.

And I like his take on Chris Simms not being able to win a big game because he's young, shaky, and untested, but then predicting the Bears winning in Seattle with Grossman at the helm.

16
by ABW (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:36pm

Re: #12

Um, there was a time when the Sports Guy relied on analysis? I must have missed that column.

17
by Peter (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 5:39pm

Simmons is one of my favorite writers. I wouldn't take his analysis too seriously- just enjoy the writing and the humor and try to resist the apparently incredibly strong urge of FO readers to insult sportswriters.

18
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 6:16pm

I was just impressed with the fact that he made his "rare" visit to FO to look for a stat and couldn't find one. Doesn't a pretty large percentage of the site relate to the Cupstuffer 1G?

19
by Jesse (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 7:34pm

RULE NO. 6: Ignore final records and concentrate on how the team finished the last five or six games of the season

In the article The Pick: Bengals 28, Steelers 26

I'm just sayin'

20
by Bill (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 8:14pm

I like a lot of Simmons work. He can get very snide at times for really no good reason.

21
by Sara (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 10:13pm

#16 - perhaps I should've said, Simmons's instincts/bias occasionally correlate with analysis. I don't always agree with him (he's developing a real hatred for my team), but he's a hell of a writer.

22
by Ron Mexico (not verified) :: Fri, 01/06/2006 - 11:53pm

Summary of Simmons' article:

1. I like to gamble.

2. The Pats aren't dominating this year, so every game is confusing to pick.

3. Mention random "Rule of gambling on football."

4. Contradict that "rule" with one of my picks.

5. Mention another random "rule."

6. Contradict that rule with another pick.

7. Pick Patriots to win the Super Bowl.

Sadly, this drivel is the best ESPN has to offer.

23
by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:43am

wow. that FO reference set the standard for "backhanded compliment." that quip and the minute and the half of my life i wasted reading this piece certainly cemented the assessment of simmons i made years ago.

it is clear the guy is a gifted writer and a sharp satirist but he allows it to reveal some disturbing aspects of his character. the gambling is one but what i find particularly repulsive is his habit of parading around misogyny as if it were an admirable character trait.

which is one thing if it is just you and your buddies in the living room having a few brews watching the game. its quite another to say it in such a public forum and validate the actions of folks that shared this perverse view.

i'll stick with the analysis and stats on FO. and tanier's whip sharp weekly rundown takes care of whatever i might be missing from skipping the sports guy.

24
by admin :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:48am

I don't mind Simmons mentioning us. Actually, it made me feel like a doofus for taking so long -- until late in the afternoon -- to post these things. And I think that I end up picking the same teams as Simmons, except for the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game where I really think neither team should be favored over the other. That one is gonna be really fun.

25
by Ted (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:49am

"Even made a rare visit to footballoutsiders.com". Why does he feel the need to explain his visit here is rare? Is he worried that his core audience will think less of him if he admits to coming here regularly? This isn't meant to be a Simmons bashing because I like the guy but I found that interesting. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

26
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 2:07am

So am I the only one who likes his columns anymore?

27
by Ryguy (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 2:10am

re26: Yeah, yeah. I happen to agree with comment 8... to which the answer is yes, a blank page might be more insight than some writer's stream-of-consciousness.

28
by Kevo (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 3:50am

After having read his book, I got a better understanding of how his writing style is from a fan's perspective, which is fairly rare in the sports writing biz. So I'd expect him to be a complete homer (and he admits that he's a homer). That should explain his irrationality well enough.

I enjoy reading him because unlike most writers, he makes me laugh every once in a while. I don't hold his opinion in very high regard.

29
by pcs (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 4:34am

Simmons usually is good for a laugh or two, I think. But there are very few topics less interesting than a writer writing about his writer's block. Don't waste my time just because you can't get your s--t together today.

30
by CaffeineMan (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 5:19am

No, I still like Simmons. Sometimes he mails it in, but I've seen very few columnists that don't do that sometimes. He's still funny and he still comes up with things that I think are right on. It's out of intuition, rather than careful intellectual analysis, but I'm not hung up on the process, since I like the effect. And if you really hate gambling... What are you still reading Simmons for? He's a classic what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of guy.

31
by Ted (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 5:55am

Trogdor, I still like Simmons I just thought that comment about his "rare" visit to this site was a little odd.

32
by R.J. (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 7:17am

Bill Simmons has mentioned FO at least twice before (that's how I found this great site) -- mostly along the lines of "it's a great site but I don't understand half of what they are doing". I took his comment about a "rare" visit to mean he knew there might be something good here and was desperate enough to try to make the effort to understand it this time. (I mean, if you bet on football there are dozens of easily found websites that give analysis/picks/etc. -- the fact that he went out of his way to mention FO specifically I think was a compliment to this site.)

33
by Catholic Samurai (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 10:46am

RE #26, 32:

I enjoy The Sports Guy's columns because they are entertaining. Also, I don't believe that his comment about FO was meant to be backhanded. He probably just doesn't lurk here all the time because he doesn't have enough time to figure out what all the stats mean. Hell, I'm here a few times a day and I still am learning how to process all the information. Usually it's too much to process and I go outside and beat rocks against the monolith, but that's just me.

34
by dryheat (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:35pm

I'm stunned this many people turn to someone called "the sports guy" for serious analytical content. I don't think BS ever intended himself to be more than a humor columnists who loves sports.

35
by HLF (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:43pm

26 (Trogdor),

I enjoy Simmons' columns, when not about baseball (most. boring. ever.) or basketball (apathy!). I also believe you've read enough comments here on other outside author articles to know that:

1) No one who's disinterested will fail to at least skim it
2) No one who's disinterested or dislikes the particular author will fail to post the reasons why they dislike or are disintered in it
and 3) relevence is optional (at best).

Goodness, it's hard enough to find people to read in this world that (FOR FREE) are genuinely funny with some regularity, enjoy writing about sports, and are free (did I mention that part?).

Other than that, I'd like to join in with everyone else and critize this linked article because it didn't help me to fix my car, it said nothing about Iraq, and didn't help me choose the right wine to go with my salmon tonight.

Oh, misogyny? Absurd. Please.

36
by Independent George (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:46pm

Oh, Lord, is this going to turn into the TMQ discussion threads where we do nothing but nitpick and bash the writer of choice?

37
by Peter (not verified) :: Sat, 01/07/2006 - 12:50pm

#26: Nah, I'm still a huge Simmons fan. Even the disturbing powers of the FO comment thread can't make me hate him.

38
by Racer X (not verified) :: Sun, 01/08/2006 - 10:09pm

I agree that this column was his weakest in awhile, but I still generally enjoy him.

I myself tend to think of him just as a humorist...but it's clear if you read him enough that he *wants* to be taken seriously.

The thing you have to understand is that he has always looked down on highly rational thought. He mocked the sabermetrics movement in baseball and actually still does to this day IIRC, and there's his backhanded compliment in this column. I think he actually said once that Jim Rice should be in the Hall of Fame because "he put up tons of homers and RBIs in an era when that was what everyone valued and nobody knew what OPS was" or something like that. Park effects and walks? Nonexistent in his world.

To him, in essence, sport is drama more than anything else. He once wrote something like "The foremost measure of an athlete is the number of 'Oh my God!' moments he gives us," and tends to think that players' successes and failures are determined by personality. Maybe the latter is a product of his obssession with the celebrity culture, I don't know...

At any rate, his columns tend to fall into the "shut your brain off and enjoy" category for me, and he's the best at it...it's the Sam Raimi Spider-Man franchise of sports humor, if you will.