To honor the great Larry Bird, Bill and Jalen have decided to do a leaguewide wrap-up every 33 days, or, as they call it, every Birdmester. In this episode — Part 3 of our video series — Bill and Jalen praise the funniest YouTube video, the biggest media-created controversy, the most heartwarming story, and more.
When you were growing up, did your parents ever make your whole family go around the Thanksgiving dinner table and say what you're thankful for? Mine did, every single year. And that's what we're doing with sports today. For two reasons.
First, because Thanksgiving is the greatest holiday of the year. It's the one day we all get to live like Rick Ross. Eat five times too much, sit back and rub your stomach proudly like a king, and then go take a long nap. Plus you get to have a vacation, leftovers, and four or five full days of outrageous laziness. In exchange, the only real responsibility is to take some unspecified amount of time to be grateful for what we have in life.
This stupid sports column can be that gratitude.
Second, and more importantly, we need this. I need this. Somewhere in the middle of Monday Night Football, sports just got too depressing. Derrick Rose going out for the year, watching RG3 go from the most exciting rookie we'd ever seen to the most depressing player in football, and then Bradley Beal — I'm still not ready to talk about how badly I jinxed Beal last week. But yes. There has been a lot of sports news lately that will bum you out. The most depressing sports news makes it twice as important to remember everything that makes sports awesome. And it's the season to rejoice and give thanks, so why not?
Here are 10 reasons all sports fans should be grateful this year.
You have to hand it to Major League Baseball. For years, other sports leagues embraced (or at least tolerated) the free(r) flow of highlights and full games throughout the Internet. Baseball responded by zealously shutting down any and all attempts to watch anything anywhere except MLB.com. Except MLB.com was impossible to navigate, giving you plenty of ways to view stuff that happened yesterday, but little to no chance of finding cool clips from five years ago, let alone 10, 20, or 50 years ago.
Then out of the blue, a treasure trove of amazing highlights became available, some even tracing back to the Say Hey Kid's Say Heyday. You could while away half a weekend watching Bob Horner murder baseballs, Glenallen Hill murder more baseballs, or countless other random moments. But the beauty of that release was also its biggest weakness: It was all very random. Searching for Nolan Ryan would force you to wade through countless clips of Ryan the executive before you had any hope of finding actual game footage of the Ryan Express. And good luck finding complete game archives. Aliens arriving on Earth, wanting to learn more about baseball and surfing MLB.com to do so, would conclude that the game consisted of 45-second clips, moving randomly from Jheri-curled speedsters swiping bases in the '80s to hulked-up sluggers crushing balls into kayak-infested bays 20 years later.
Then, a miracle happened. After years of doing everything short of executing anyone who posted baseball clips on YouTube, MLB announced a partnership with the site. Reading through the details of the deal made you want to punch yourself in the eye with a Kenesaw Mountain Landis bobblehead: "In 2010, MLBAM began offering full-game archives and highlight reels on a YouTube channel accessible exclusively in Australia, Brazil, Japan, New Zealand and Russia." Hey, thanks MLB! So glad to know I had to travel to Oki F'ing Nawa to watch a damn game on the Internet.
Larry Bird explains to Bill Simmons how injuries hobbled the Celtics of the late '80s, and says that his injuries were so bad that he would have retired and handed the Celtics over to Len Bias had Bias lived to play in Boston.
Jalen Rose recounts his playing days at Michigan after learning that Grantland has him listed as a no. 1 seed in our "Most Hated College Basketball Players of the Last 30 Years." Watch the video after the jump.