Bill Simmons is probably one of SFN’s favorite writers. We are about the same age, grew up at the same time etc. His
“13 Levels of Losing” is a MUST read for all NC State fans.
That said, he jumped the gun on the Mario Williams/Reggie Bush debate like many of his friends in the media. In September Simmons made a couple comments that got everyone riled up. Today he took a step back. We posted both quotes so you could see them. We also refer you to this entry from earlier in the week.
Nov. 10, 2006
What Happened to Sports?
Texans (+10.5) over JAGS
We’re now at the stage of the Mario Williams-Reggie Bush saga when every true Texan fan on the planet (A) knows that Reggie Bush is averaging only 2.6 yards per carry, and (B) had mentioned that to at least 10 of his friends in the past few days, accompanied by a line like, “Hey, maybe this worked out for the best!” And you know what? You might be right. Bush looks terrible. I know he’s been a valuable decoy, but it doesn’t explain why he’s stutter-stepping behind the line on every rush. It looks like he spent the summer studying Thomas Jones’ game films from his Arizona days. Step it up, Reggie.
To the Texans. First, they passed on the next Gale Sayers (Reggie Bush) to take a project defensive lineman (Mario Williams) and nearly caused a riot with their beleaguered fan base. Then they explained their mind-set by saying, “We need help on defense, we don’t need a running back when we already have Dominick Davis,” which was like Vanity Fair passing up a chance to run the Suri Cruise photos because they were already locked into a photo spread with Gwyneth Paltrow’s second kid. Then they dumped GM Charlie Casserly, which always makes your fans feel good when you follow up the biggest decision in franchise history by immediately firing the guy who made it. Then Davis’ knee problems grew worse and worse, culminating in his getting placed on injured reserve this week. Then somebody named Wali Lundy was named the starting running back for Week 1. And this entire sequence unfolded in the span of five months.
So why am I giving the Texans a thumbs up? Because it took 21 years, but we finally have a scenario that knocks Bowie-over-MJ off the board. See, Portland taking Sam Bowie was at least SOMEWHAT defensible — nobody knew MJ would be a superduperstar, they had Clyde Drexler (a future Hall of Famer) playing the same position, and everyone forgets this, but Sam Bowie would have been an All-Star center if he stayed healthy. In fact, when he was healthy during the 1985-86 season, the Blazers gave the World Champion Celtics (who ended up going 82-18) more trouble than anyone — they even were the only team to win in the Garden that season, and Bird had to toss up 49 points, a game-tying shot in regulation and a game-winner in OT just to fend them off in Portland. Sam Bowie was no joke. The guy was good. And by the way, the Rockets also passed on MJ for Hakeem. Nobody remembers that part.
Look, I’m not condoning the move — Portland should have taken MJ. But the Blazers’ logic for taking Bowie was, at the very least, understandable. Houston’s logic was never understandable; the Texans’ decision to pass on Bush was shockingly brainless from the moment it happened, if only because you can’t disappoint your fans to that degree unless there’s a really, really, REALLY good reason. Now it looks like the dumbest sports decision of the past 25 years … and that’s before we find out Reggie Bush’s ceiling, both as an impact running back and personality. I just find the whole thing to be amazing. In a weird way, I’m glad it happened. Incompetence is always more interesting than competence. So thumbs up, Houston Texans. Well done. You’re the sports version of Enron.