Writer Takes Bill Simmons' Ewing Theory, Renames It, And Claims It For His Own

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Everyone knows how I feel about crediting people for the information that they find and how uppity I get when it doesn't happen. Well how about taking something that ESPN's most popular writer created years ago, renaming it (not very cleverly), and publishing it on a major website?

I give you San Antonio Express-News' Gaylon Krizak and his "Tee Martin Principle"....

There are lots of reasons, and it's not a one-size-fits-all deal. But high on the list is a little something I like to call the "Tee Martin Principle."

Remember Martin? Don't worry — I'll wait (sometimes Google takes a while).

Martin is best known as the relatively nondescript guy who succeeded Peyton Manning as Tennessee's quarterback — and promptly won the national championship Manning's teams never even sniffed.

The principle? Sometimes, talented players like nothing better than the challenge of proving doubters wrong — especially when the doubt is caused by the absence or departure of an ├╝ber-talented player.

To an extent, the TMP also is on display about 150 miles west of Houston, where the Texas Longhorns are faring quite nicely without Kevin Durant, last season's one-and-done national player of the year as a freshman.
Umm....that sounds vaguely familiar to me. Oh that's right....it's Bill Simmons' Ewing Theory! This is from a 2001 column explaining the whole thing....
Dave introduced me to the Ewing Theory three years ago, and we've been tinkering with it like Voltaire and Thoreau ever since. Eventually, we decided that two crucial elements needed to be in place for any situation to qualify for "Ewing" status:

1. A star athlete receives an inordinate amount of media attention and fan interest, and yet his teams never win anything substantial with him (other than maybe some early-round playoff series).

2. That same athlete leaves his team (either by injury, trade, graduation, free agency or retirement) -- and both the media and fans immediately write off the team for the following season.

When those elements collide, you have the Ewing Theory.
Well that's good Bill and I think I can follow that, but can you give me an example?
2. Tennessee Volunteers, 1998: Even more ballyhooed than Van Horn during his college career, Peyton Manning leaves UT without either winning a national title or beating Florida -- and the Vols win the national title nine months later.
Oh okay...good. Just checking. Seriously people, if you're going to "borrow" material at least try to get a little creative and not just change a few words around. This isn't even trying.

I have no idea who Mr. Krizak is, but he might want to try stealing from lower profile writers before he takes on Simmons.

Ewing Theory 101 (ESPN: May 2001)
Don't forget 'Tee Martin Principle' (SA Express-News: March 2008)

(Thanks to SMF for sending the link along)

Update: Okay so Simmons has already commented on this. Thanks to Leezy for the quote....
"First we had the Ewing Theory ... now, we have the Tee Martin Principle! Oh, wait, they're the exact same thing! My bad. Even Scott Templeton would have handled this more discreetly. Although my buddy JackO is now rooting for this guy to rank sports and pop culture events on the "Not Purposely Humorous Scale"

Another large side order of links (Page 2)

15 Comments:

Yeah... B.S. addressed it in his "links" column last week.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/links/080314

the direct quote...

"First we had the Ewing Theory ... now, we have the Tee Martin Principle! Oh, wait, they're the exact same thing! My bad. Even Scott Templeton would have handled this more discreetly. Although my buddy JackO is now rooting for this guy to rank sports and pop culture events on the "Not Purposely Humorous Scale""

LeeZy said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:54:00 PM  

of course Simmons' original "Theory" is obviously flawed because Ewing did win a championship at Georgetown.. and reached the finals 2 other times with the Hoyas

and if anyone tries to say the mid-80's Hoyas were worse off with Patrick off the floor, they're ridiculous

James K. said...
Mar 18, 2008, 3:58:00 PM  

check that, if anyone tries to say the mid-80's Hoyas were worse off with Patrick ON the floor, they're ridiculous

James K. said...
Mar 18, 2008, 4:01:00 PM  

I've heard of this theory before Simmons and it sounds like he didn't even come up with it himself. (although he certainly brought it to the fore front of the sports world.

"Dave introduced me to the Ewing Theory three years ago..."

So I wonder when/where/how it originally got started. Anyone?

Doug the Punter said...
Mar 18, 2008, 4:07:00 PM  

I think Tee Martin cleans my cubicle at night.

GMoney said...
Mar 18, 2008, 4:33:00 PM  

The Georgia Bulldogs made it all the way to the final four, the year AFTER Dominique Wilkins left for the NBA. This predated Ewing by a couple of years.

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 5:50:00 PM  

James K.:

Simmons based it on the Knicks run in 1999 when Ewing was out with a broken hand.

Jason said...
Mar 18, 2008, 6:11:00 PM  

The Ewing theory applies to his time with the Knicks, not Georgetown.

Mr. Blonde said...
Mar 18, 2008, 6:12:00 PM  

I think I'll write an article next year called: "The Brett Favre Hypothesis".

Mal said...
Mar 18, 2008, 6:15:00 PM  

who cares ... simmons sucks and probably stole it from someone else anyway

Mar 18, 2008, 8:06:00 PM  

To Jason and Mr. Blonde,

Read Simmons' article again:

"The theory was created in the mid-'90s by Dave Cirilli, a friend of mine who was convinced that Patrick Ewing's teams (both at Georgetown and with New York) inexplicably played better when Ewing was either injured or missing extended stretches because of foul trouble. "

If I'm not mistaken he mentions Georgetown in there??? I could be wrong though....

james k. said...
Mar 18, 2008, 9:12:00 PM  

I'm not the biggest Bill Simmons guy in the world, but his Drew Bledsoe (Patriots) prediction--in May 2001--was rather prescient...

What about adding Auburn ('85) to Georgia ('83) and Virginia ('84)?

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 9:48:00 PM  

Whatever-the-name- Theory happened with the Virginia Cavaliers in 1984. With Ralph Sampson, we won the NIT the first year, were upset in the Final Four semi-finals the second, then never got out of the regionals his last two years. .

In 1984, a little team that could beat Syracuse and Indiana and then gave Houston a good run in the Final Four.

Just another example of the fun that sports brings.

Dave S.

Anonymous said...
Mar 18, 2008, 11:14:00 PM  

Regardless of your feelings about the validity of the Theory, it's been a part of Simmons' schtick for many, many years now. The point is that the guy from SA is acting like he invented the wheel. No, you just latched onto something that we already knew about, read about from Simmons for years, and made jokes about (especially in relation to Manning before the SB win).

Bouj said...
Mar 19, 2008, 11:29:00 AM  

Simmons has said that he is considering renaming the "Ewing Theory" as the "Tiki Theory". I wonder why...

Anonymous said...
Mar 19, 2008, 1:21:00 PM  

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