posted: Sep. 15, 2005  |  Feedback

First, an update on my book: Even though it wasn't supposed to be released until Oct. 1, apparently and Barnes and Noble online have it in stock as we speak. Not sure about bookstores yet -- I think it depends on the store -- so if you want to flip through it before you decide on buying it, just call your local bookstore and ask whether they have it in stock. It's fun to harass bookstore employees, anyway.

From what I can gather, if you preordered the book, you should be getting it any day (or you might have received it already), and if you were waiting to order the book until it came out, then you can order it right now and have it within a few days. And no, I'm not putting the link at the end of this paragraph, because that would be shameless. Just know that, if this book doesn't sell, I'm going to pull a Ricky Williams and end up traveling around Australia in some 24-hour-a-day marijuana fog with a Grizzly Adams beard, stinky clothes and like $3 in my pocket. Not only would that be terrible, not only would my column disappear, not only would my family suffer as a result, not only would ESPN sue me for breaching my contract ... but it would be all your fault. So buy the book. Here are some early reviews:

"I loved it! I'm very proud of you!"
-- My dad

"This is the best book you have ever written!"
-- My mom

"I bought 10 copies already!"
-- My stepmother

"Great [expletive] book man, its gonna be huge!"
-- My buddy J-Bug

"Looks fantastic! Can't wait to read it!"
-- Jimmy Kimmel

As you can see, the early feedback has been tremendous.

Also, later this month, I'm embarking on a 10-day book tour starting Sept. 27 (New York City), then going to Stamford (Sept. 28), West Hartford (Sept. 29), Holy Cross (Sept. 29), Boston (Sept. 30 and Oct. 1), Washington (Oct. 4) and Chicago (Oct. 5). That schedule hasn't been finalized yet, but those will be the dates. So if you want an autographed copy that will bump the eBay value of the book from $5 to $7 ten years from now, here's your big chance to get the book signed and have an awkward 10-second conversation with me. And yes, if you insist, I will sign your breasts.

While I'm spending your money, if you haven't given to the Red Cross yet, here's the link. Make sure you click on the "Hurricane Katrina" choice so the money goes directly to relief effort in New Orleans. It's tax-deductible.

One more random note: Gabe Kapler's tearing his Achilles tendon while scoring on someone else's home run, reacting like he tweaked his ankle, finally crumbling to the ground, then insisting he wanted to run out the last two bases ... I mean, this has been one of the weirdest Red Sox seasons ever, and that pretty much crushed every weird thing that ever happened, especially because Dale Sveum was frantically waving him home even as Kapler writhed on the ground. All right, I made that last part up. But that was nuts. Sad moment though because he was one of the truly likable guys on the team. And while we're here, can anyone think of a single reason why a team would pitch to Big Papi in the last two innings of a close game anymore? Why isn't he getting the Bonds treatment here?

(Actually, disregard those last two sentences ... um, I think he's about to cool off. It's only a matter of time. Teams should take their chances with him, he can't possibly keep this up.)

Anyway, here are some follow-up e-mails, corrections and other goodies playing off things I wrote over the past week or so:

I had to write in to debunk the "Jerry Maguire" time lapse that was brought up in yesterday's mailbag. The game was on Christmas day, meaning that it probably started earlier at, say, 4:30 p.m. Phoenix time. This is a stretch but, if Maguire talks to Tidwell at 8:30, that puts him at the airport at 8:45. Southwest flies to LAX just about every hour, even this Christmas (I looked it up). So, pre-9/11, he's on the 9:15 flight because there is no way that flight is full on Christmas night. Now, because Arizona doesn't observe daylight savings, in the winter there is a time difference between LA and Phoenix. So, he actually SAVES an hour while in the air, putting him in to LAX at 9:15. Using SG's best case, "Mr. Black People" is in his car at 9:25, home by 9:45, just in time to save his marriage and catch the late SportsCenter.
-- Chris C., Scottsdale, Ariz.

(Note from SG: I don't remember the Christmas day part, but if that's true, the game would have started at the earliest for an 8 p.m. East Coast start, which means 6 p.m. Arizona time. He wouldn't have made the airport before 10:15/10:30 at the earliest, which means he wouldn't have gotten home before 11:15/11:30 at the earliest. More important, why would Renee Zellweger's sister have an "Angry Women Who Hate Men" support group meeting on Christmas night?)

Regarding reader Doug Cantor ruining "Jerry Maguire" for us, unless I'm missing a shot to a clock in that womens' group scene that states it's only 8:30, I think it's plausible that such a desperate group of women were still up at 2 a.m. when Jerry truly arrived. "With all the constant chocolate-eating" as the one girl says, perhaps there were still bon-bon's left to be eaten. It's sad that I felt compelled to save this movie for everyone.
-- Pat S, Cleveland, Ohio

About the "Jerry Maguire" questions: You're obviously forgetting that the various collection of divorced, well-over-35, single moms (non-moms after 35 would support my theory even better) would be up well past 2 a.m. bad-mouthing all the various men of their collective pasts. You figure they each have 3-4 terrible men in their pasts if they're 30-40. That means each one would talk for an hour minimum on average throughout the night. I don't have a true count, but I'm guessing there were 6-8 women in the room when Jerry walks in. That means if they started eating their pot-luck at 6 or 7, they'd all still be there at 2 a.m. Also, by midnight, they would have sucked down a gallon of coffee each -- essentially getting themselves wired on caffeine, furthering the yap-fest. And, of course, just as women compete to out-do each other with their clothes, jewelry, etc., they would probably embellish their horrible men stories to one-up each other, making the girl talk continue indefinitely. Therefore, I find the ending of "Jerry Maguire" incredibly plausible.
-- J.P., San Francisco

"Jerry Maguire" is one of my favorite movies, and as a result I've seen it about 3,459 times. The MNF game is flawed in terms of when it ends, but so how 'bout some of the other flaws. Rod Tidwell picks up an excessive celebration penalty with only 1:30 or so left in the game. This sets Dallas up for one last drive with a short field, but no one seems to care. Or how about earlier in the movie when they're discussing Rod's stats from the previous season. Go back and listen to them. They're ridiculous! But somehow no one at the draft even knows who Rod Tidwell is? Any football person should know who a receiver is that amassed something like 1,500 yards. Am I the only one bothered by this?
-- Mike W., Ann Arbor, Mich.

One more Forrest Gump moment for Al Michaels that you forgot: He announced the "Rod Tidwell Game" in "Jerry Maguire" that put the Cardinals into the playoffs and eventually led to Cuba Gooding Jr. starring in "Boat Trip."
-- Ethan, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Doug Cantor pointed out the horrendous timing problem in "Jerry Maguire." However, the worst example of this is in the "Blues Brothers." At the end of the movie they play the sold-out concert to raise the money to save the orphanage. The Blues Brothers play two songs before sneaking out to avoid the police. Even granting that they were late to the concert, considering that the entire audience is still in attendance it can't be much past 11 p.m. when they leave. There is then the classic line "It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses." The Blues Brothers then lead a massive police chase driving roughly 100 miles per hour. The 106 mile trip, therefore, should not have taken much more than an hour, putting them in Chicago at midnight. Yet somehow they arrive in Chicago around 10 a.m.! The fact that a federal building is open and operating is a sure sign that it is at least mid-morning. So what were they doing? What happened? That is a minimum of 9-10 hours that simply disappeared without a trace.
-- Eric H, Phoenix, Ariz.

Your columns are great ... but one thing, in your mailbag today you say Valerie Malone bought a 'Vette ... not true, she bought a Acura NSX with her money from Jonesy. Only one person can handle the 'Vette: Sanders. Rock and roll.
-- Peter, Salem, Mass.

I hate myself for knowing what I'm about to type, but I've got some more info for you on Valerie's finances. First, she bought an Acura NSX, not a Corvette. Second, Dylan lost $8 million, which he was splitting 50-50 with Jonesy for $4 mil each. Jonesy made a big deal about splitting things fairly with Val, which makes me think he split his half with her 50-50 since she was the one getting the money back. But even if he figured she only earned 1/3 of his $4 million, that leaves her with over a million bucks to blow on the After Dark and the Bel Age. Seems reasonable to me.
-- Kevin Quinn, Philadelphia

(Note from SG: I don't remember Dylan and Jonesy splitting the $8 million ... are we sure that happened?)

For "best slow clap," I feel somewhat betrayed by the fact that a self-confessed "Can't Buy Me Love" fan would neglect to mention Big John's inspired slow clap following Ronnie Miller's passionate lunchtime speech to Quint. I imagine I feel somewhat like Kenneth did after he caught Ronnie in the net on Halloween. I'm going to the arcade now to play a motorbike racing game.
-- Mike, Chicago

In your banter with Josh Schwartz, you claim that you want to see a TV character with a drinking problem have no repercussions. All you need to do is look to Homer Simpson! Now, I realize he isn't real, but still ... the man gets away with everything! Granted he's had a few rough mornings, but who doesn't? He gives the rest of us reason to believe that all in all, you CAN get away with drinking too much and live a fully functional life. Personally, I'm still waiting for the day I get to float around in a space shuttle munching on a bag of Lays that has popped open in no gravity.
-- Greg, Washington, D.C.

You missed a big moment in your discussion of the slow-clap. There was an entire SNL skit built on it -- it was a fake soap opera called "The Sarcastic Clapping Family of Southhampton." Here's the link to the transcript.
-- John M., St. Louis

Your recent mini-mailbag mentioned the sarcastic "I love you in ... " routine (congratulating big-time stars about earlier roles that they would rather forget). I think Tom Hanks was mentioned along with a few others. Here's a true story along the same lines: About five or six years ago, I was in Beverly Hills with a friend when we ran into Michael Richards, aka Kramer from "Seinfeld." My buddy walks right up to him and deadpans, "I really enjoyed your role in UHF." He was LIVID ... I don't think he enjoyed being praised for his uplifting portrayal of a jedi-esque janitor who becomes a children's variety show star overnight.
-- Eric, Redondo Beach, Calif.

When I was in LA, I was at a bar watching the early morning Sunday games (West Coast people drinking beers at 9 a.m. waiting for football. Really good) and Leo DiCaprio was there. We went over to him and told him he was "Phenomenal in Growing Pains." The look of death was priceless. Even better by the next line. I said to my buddy "I can't believe we're meeting Kirk Cameron!"
-- Crash, New York

The winner for the "I loved you in ... " game lies in the cast of "The Harvest". Check out who played the Lip-Synching Transvestite.
--Tim, Chicago, IL

(Other recommendations that came in for this category: Kevin Costner in "Night Shift"; Demi Moore in "Blame it on Rio"; Jennifer Connelly in "Hot Spot"; Vince Vaughn in "Rudy"; Courteney Cox in the "Dancing in the Dark" video; Chazz Palminteri AND William H. Macy in "The Last Dragon"; Nic Cage (billed as Nicolas Coppola) in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"; Laurence Fishburne in "Pee-Wee's Playhouse"; Jennifer Garner in "Dude Where's My Car?"; Jeff Bridges in "Tron"; and my personal favorite, Tim Robbins in "Top Gun.")

In your response to the guy questioning if Forrest Gump had HIV, you said that he ran for 18 months. He actually ran much longer than that -- 3 years, 2 months, 14 days, and 16 hours. I had a pair of Nike Cortez shoes in high school, just like Forrest, and let me tell you, if he ran more than five miles in those things, he would have knee and ankle problems that would last forever. Like I do.
-- Todd L, Canton, S.D.

In the mailbag, you took a little jab at Jon Stewart, saying someone could embarass him by mentioning his role in "Half Baked," since he takes himself so seriously now. As a "Daily Show" fan, I thought I'd let you know that Stewart mentions his "Half Baked" cameo on the show quite often, as recently as last week, as an example of why he sticks to his TV anchor role rather than pursue acting. His lack of embarrassment regarding the role is probably due to his audience, characterized by Bill O'Reilly as "stoned slackers" being far more forgiving toward the cameo than the average movie goer.
-- Conor L., San Diego

In a recent mailbag column, you mentioned Jon Stewart as someone you'd like to take down a peg by mentioning "Half Baked" in the context of "Hey, I loved you in ...." because he takes himself so seriously now. I call Shenanigans on you, sir. Stewart actually makes fun of his own acting (particularly in "Half Baked") on a pretty regular basis. I say that if you really want to get him, you should mention the emotional climax of "Big Daddy" or his role as an alien teacher who goes by the name of the actor from "Terminator 2" in "The Faculty." There, I said it.
-- Dominic M., Brooklyn, N.Y.

I thought that you would be proud to know that Bess, the most commonly used Internet filtering program for high schools, including my own, has all of your cowbell ramblings under the "global block list." Congrats. You officially corrupt the minds of the youth in our nation. Keep up the good work.
-- Brad Inman, Toledo

Watching parts of the U.S. Open match between Hewitt and Federer, I realized there was something that needed your input: Should there be some kind of special achievement award presented to Mary Carillo for being the first and only female sports broadcaster to not be incredibly obnoxious and really overbearing in seemingly trying way too hard to sound like they "fit in" in the men's sports world, and even BRINGING things to the table? We could even have Jack Morris present the award to her.
-- Alexander S., Twin Cities, Minn.

How can you rattle off a list of good assistants/crappy head coaches and leave out Ray Handley? You say you didn't have room? Fine, he still deserved to make it. Ray Rhodes at least made the playoffs. I think I speak for all Giants fans when I say that our Ray was [worse] by a factor of at least 7. I mean, one of my first memories of the NFL was performing the "Ray Must Go" chant with my dad. You must have known some big Giants fans at the time, so you must be familiar with the utter disgust we all had with him as a coach. I'm not going to bring up his benching of Phil Simms in favor of Hoss and his porn 'stache. I'm not going to mention a 13-3 championship team going a combined 14-18 over the next two years. I'm going to tell you a story and then let you go. I'm sitting with my dad and my grandfather watching a game. The G-men have the ball on the 1-yard line and it is fourth down. Pro-Bowler Rodney Hampton is not in the game for some reason, leaving Ray with two running backs: 175 pound scatback Dave Meggett and 250 pound Jarrod Bunch. Ray, of course, decides on a draw play for Meggett, who proceeds to get hit behind the line of scrimmage by approximately 58 defensive linemen. So, to sum up this unnecessarily lengthy e-mail, Ray Handley is not only responsible for the collapse of the post-Parcells Giants, he also managed to get me to, in a roundabout way, defend Jarrod Bunch. The horror.
-- Nick C., Storrs, Conn.

From yesterday's mailbag: How in the world could that girl that tried to seduce three roommates be called "Secretariat"? If that's not screaming for the name "Seattle Slew," I don't know what is.
-- Matt Boutwell, Maine

While sitting in the Montreal airport after a three-day bachelor party (which after reading your recent column about New Orleans I will champion as an underrated bachelor party spot, where I believe my soul and dignity completely wasted away into a pile of dust), I spotted the following poster in full page color in the NY Times Fall Movie Preview. Read the cast list very carefully. I believe this could signal the end of life as we know it on Earth. It has to be a misprint of some sort. I'm going to buy a generator and as many canned foods as I can fit into my trunk.
-- Nick, Lansdale, Pa.

I was shocked to learn in your last mailbag that in America, "pulling the goalie" means trying for a baby. In Canada, the birthplace of the phrase, you would instead be describing a sexual encounter that involves only one person (male). If you said that to a Canadian, he'd think you were just getting "assistance" from your wife, and be really really jealous. Just so you know.
-- Steve S, Calgary, AB

As a Pats fan, is one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He had no clue while with the Pats and now he is one of the best coaches in college football. I remember going to a game when he was coaching the Pats -- they were playing a crappy team and won. Not spectacularly, but they won. After the game he came sprinting through the tunnel, pumping his fists like they beat the '85 Bears by 30. He looked like a complete moron. He probably still looks like a complete moron, but at least he wins.
-- Archie, Fall River, Mass.

In your Sept. 14th mailbag you were asked how you handle comments about your daughter from friends with sons. I have two daughters and with each employed what I call the "now and later" defense. The now part consists of telling your friend with sons that if you hear that comment ever again, you are telling his wife about X. The later part consists of having your daughter beat up and basically emasculate your friends' sons every time you get together with them. No parent will allow their sons to get physical with a little girl (this works best with wives around), but girls are always considered to be just trying to play like a boy if they get a little rough. Guaranteed that your buddy's sons won't ever want anything to do with your daughter down the line.
-- Dan, Indianapolis

Not sure if you've come across this, yet, but if you are still fast-forwarding (with TiVo) through commercials (or, like me, through the interminable amount of time it takes for Mike Martz to call in a play), let me introduce you a little friend I like to call "the thirty second skip." Armed with that and the eight-second rewind button, you can jump through any length commercial break in two seconds.
-- Mike S., St Louis

Bad news for you, pal. "24" doesn't return until January. That way they can run the whole season without the gaps that plagued "Lost." It [stinks] now, but wait until they run four episodes in two days after the Super Bowl. Best show on TV.
-- Kyle, Marion, Iowa

As an avid Sports Guy fan for many years, I cannot explain to you how excited I am that you have finally caught on to "24". I've been watching for all four seasons. Just so you know, at the beginning of the season last year, Jack and Chloe, the geeky assistant, were the only two characters that were ever on the show before. Season Four was going along just fine, but the whole time, all the longtime fans were asking "Where are the superstars?" The episode where Tony makes his return, I knew during commercial it was going to be him, as Jack said "there is only one person I can trust." You knew it was going to be Tony and you could not be happier. Kind of like late '90s WWF, when a title match was going on, everybody was getting beat up, you hadn't seen Stone Cold make an appearance, and the camera zooms away and looks at the ring with the entrance ramp above it and the glass shatters. Very similar. Go Sox!
-- Hank, Providence, R.I.

I see you're on the "24" bandwagon now and want to ask if you know of any other TV/Movie character who had a worse day than Audrey Raines in Season 4? She was kidnapped along with her father ... they tried to commit a double suicide and were saved at the last minute ... she nearly watched her father take a bullet to the head before they were both saved ... also, her brother was somewhat responsible for the kidnapping, and if that wasn't bad enough, he came out of the closet by confessing about his threesome with two terrorists that ended up starting the whole thing ... her estranged husband came back into her life only for her to suspect him of being a terrorist, see him tortured by her new boyfriend, start to fall for him again, see him survive a surgery, then watch him die in another surgery because your new boyfriend needed the doctor to save someone else's life ... five hours later, she watched her new boyfriend die. Now try to complain about your day again.
-- Micky, Brooklyn, N.Y.

I'd like to nominate Clancy Pendergast (Arizona Cardinals D-Coordinator) for first-ballot induction to the Reggie Cleveland Hall of Fame.
-- Joe Carney

I rarely ever feel this way, but as the self-proclaimed king of "Seinfeld" enthusiasts, I have to take umbridge at your recent mailbag reference to Jason Alexander as George. First, Alexander was signed up to headline the show because of his name recognition from Broadway (he won a Tony the year before getting the "Seinfeld" gig). The first few episodes, he is obviously channeling Woody Allen until he realized that his character is Larry David, and began, admittedly, parodying him for the next few years until George finally took on a character of his own. The reader e-mail pointed out that we have seen nothing of Alexander since the show, which is true for most of your audience who focuses on TV and film. Jason Alexander has done quite well for himself on Broadway, which is the only place he ever wanted to have a career. Granted, I'm not saying theatre should be on the same scale as TV or movies, I've never been to Broadway and don't plan to go anytime soon, but they do tend to have quality actors, Jason Alexander among them. Perhaps the only downside of the new "Seinfeld" on DVD collection is that we fans get indisputable proof that Jason Alexander has nothing in common with George Costanza. Jason Alexander is basically the pretentious theatre geek we all hated (or were) in high school, he just happens to be very good at it.
-- Ryan Scott

I read your buddy Gus' review on "Madden '06" and I thought it was great. But he forgot the single best addition to this year's game. Being able to flip into the end zone. It's the little things.
-- Brian M., New York

A few facts to refute a pro-WNBA e-mail trying to claim that it took decades for the NFL and MLB to establish themselves, so you should give the WNBA more than just 9 years before you write them off: Well, the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was founded in 1869. It went on a nationwide tour and became an immediate hit, resulting in the formation of a new professional league, the National Association, in 1871. That league, it is true, folded after five seasons, but (1) the causes were largely the prevalence of gambling and the depression of 1873 and (2) it was immediately replaced by the National League. The NL also had some rocky moments, but by 1880 it was firmly established and starting to thrive, and within two more seasons (1882) the league was successful enough to spawn a full-fledged rival.

So, maybe it did take just a little longer for baseball to settle in than the current life span of the WNBA ... but baseball had to invent professional team sports in America in the process, and do so in the face of a depression and the aftermath of Civil War, with no mass media, playing exclusively on weekday and Saturday afternoons. I'd like to see the WNBA try that.
-- The Baseball Crank, New York

Until tomorrow.

September 2005