Thursday, December 15, 2011

on a letter to the sports guy

Two years ago Bill Simmons came to a signing at my friend's bar as part of his book tour for The Book of Basketball.  I wrote in a previous post that I sent him an email afterward and he never wrote back, not even an intern's stock one line response, nothing.  And so we were in a bit of a fight.  A one-sided only I knew was happening fight.  But I was cleaning out my email archives last night and I came across the email.  Turns out it's basically the length of a small novel.  No wonder he never replied.  My wordiness gets me every time:

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Hey Bill,

I came out to the signing at Professor Thom’s a few weeks ago with my boyfriend (technically he’s my fiancĂ©, but we hate that word). We arrived early, book already in hand, got a bracelet from Pete and watched as the crowd filled in. It felt like Christmas. Like Santa was coming or something. (You’re Santa in this scenario, or maybe Christmas itself?)

I asked Mike what we should ask you. Maybe about my friend whose husband was a huge Steelers fan but since they’re divorcing, would it be wrong to get her to not be a Steelers fan anymore? Since they’re just the epitome of evil? Or maybe about how I love the Irish so much that during the tense scene in a scary movie I close my eyes, shut my ears, and hum the fight song to make everything better but still think that Ann Arbor would be a lovely place to live, and wondering if that makes me a bad fan?

So I’m running them over in my head, what to ask the wise man (now it seems you are one of the wise men, no longer Santa) his opinion on my most perplexing sports questions. And then the line was forming. And we were pushed to the front. And then we were up at your table and you were signing our book and I felt like Ralphie when he meets Santa in the mall and all he wants is an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle but he asks for a football instead because it’s nerve wracking being up there with Santa (ok, you’re Santa again).  And the only thing that I could think to ask when we were standing up there next to you was, “If the Bills go to Toronto, can I make Mike a Pats fan”. You said yes, which is a huge relief since the prospect of spending eternity with a Bills fan is just so depressing. But really? That’s what I went with? And that chick from Astoria who you talked about in your mail bag was there with the printed out e-mail for you to sign and, well, how do you top that? Who knew there’d be such pressure?

So Bill, for all the unanswered questions, it was still great to shake your hand and say hi. We wish we could have bought you a beer but, you know, the five hundred people on line probably would have been ticked. The boyfriend and I have been long time readers and are loving the new book. Thanks for being our go to man for life’s, and sport's, greatest questions. 

Caitlin Driscoll
Astoria, NY

me and Ralphie, such kindred spirits. Except he does get that Red Ryder in the end.

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