Normally, highlight videos are reserved for athletes. Very rarely will you see one for a pudgy 40-year-old, with graying hair and a nasally voice that resembles a cross between Fran Drescher and SpongeBob SquarePants.
But then there’s Bill Simmons, the man who became famous by writing two columns a month relating sports to pop culture and recording an hour-long conversations with his friends three times a week.
When Bill Simmons announced he was coming to Portland as a stop on the tour for the release of his latest book, “The Book of Basketball”, I knew I had to go. There was no question. It’s kinda like if you’re an aspiring comedian who lives in the South and Larry the Cable Guy came to perform in Pine Bluff, Arkansas: you need to go. Plane, train or automobile, it didn’t matter.
Bill Simmons’ rise to unparalleled popularity has had a massive impact on the world of sports media. Mainly, leading several thousand people who think they are funnier than they really are into starting their own comedically-slanted sports blogs. I can admit I am one of those people, although I like to think that I am actually pretty witty and clever.
Fortunately, I was able to convince three buddies to accompany me (read: drive me) and be there for, sadly, one of the most thrilling moments of my life.
I mean, honestly, how often can you have an awkward ten-second conversation with your idol, while three plainclothes body guards at a signing desk are trying to vehemently get rid of you as quickly as possible? Not everyday, that’s for damn sure.
So after driving two hours to Portland, and waiting another two hours in line, I finally got to speak with the man who’s columns have now forced me into spending twice as much time trying to be half as funny as Bill Simmons than studying for my classes. I can only imagine my dad’s head exploding into smoke after reading that sentence, when he pays nearly $3,000 a month for my out-of-state tuition.
More nervous than a Los Angeles Clipper fan during an inevitable fourth quarter breakdown, I managed to sputter out some jumbled jargon about how he was my inspiration and then go on to massively fumble my way through telling him about my website as I threw a uosportsdude.com t-shirt into his lap.
Upon seeing the not-so-clever attempt of imitation in the name of my site, along with an amusing logo of a cariciture of me resting upon the body of a duck, he actually seemed relatively interested in it, and quote said: “I like the shirt and I’ll check out your site.”
I felt like a 12-year-old school girl in 2001 at an N'Sync concert, except I wasn’t holding an “I Love Justin” sign and I didn’t have a pigtail.
Fingers crossed that he actually checks out my site.
With that being said, I promised a highlight video of the signing, and thanks to Tim Brown from the Oregonian , I can deliver. Enjoy!
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