I am very thankful that not many people were taking pictures of me in the mid-'80s, but those that do exist look pretty much exactly like this, right down to the Sox painter's cap with the nicknames ("DEWEY," "JIM ED," "BIG FOOT") stacked around the sides (and to the nonexistent bicep).
This photo, though, is of the sports nut of my cohort who made good, young Bill Simmons, circa 1985, from Jonathan Mahler's profile in this weekend's Times Magazine, which I have to say didn't really add much more to my understanding of the man than reading one of his columns would have, much as I loved Mahler's book on Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, The Challenge. (The curious can check out my interview with Mahler and one of the heroes of his book, Lt. Comm. Charles Swift. It's one of my favorites, and it also set a never-to-be-broken record for most bodies crammed into our old, tiny "studio" space at Amazon.)
How will Simmons's new Grantland project at ESPN turn out? It launches tomorrow, but the early sample articles they've had up for a while, well, point out to me how hard it is to extend the Simmons brand when Bill Simmons is not doing the writing, although Katie Baker's Knicks piece gets pretty close. Worth noting, meanwhile, that they decided to lead the preview with two pieces by women, despite (or because of) Simmons's proud gender Neanderthalism.