The above, originally from the University of Texas and todaysthv.com, is a visual representation of the majority of Bill Simmons’ basketball-related writing of the last several months.

Every year, ESPN’s Bill Simmons keeps a running diary of the NBA draft. It’s one of his most time-honored traditions, and as he’s been doing it so long, he tends to go back to certain ideas quite often and mention them frequently, especially considering the column’s setup is essentially the same each year. With this in mind, a blogger from ballhype.com recently decided to poke fun at Simmons’ running gags, creating a drinking game based on his repetition of certain phrases and concepts. While I didn’t partake myself, I thought it would be interesting to keep tabs on what would have merited drinks after the fact. Simmons’ account of last night’s draft can be found here.

First off, two categories that one might have thought would be locks to get mentioned – “Tremendous Upside Potential” and the VP of Common Sense – were surprisingly absent. These were probably not mentioned so frequently since Simmons just days before wrote an entire column dedicated to what the VP of Common Sense would do about lottery picks. However, he did in his diary mention upside once with humorous intent, pointing out that analyst Jay Bilas said it to “save the day.” So, that can be counted as one drink.

He did not mention the Houston Texans passing on Reggie Bush or Jumaine Jones’ agonizing green room wait, so no drinks there. However, he does imply that Stuart Scott is unintelligible, so we’re up to two drinks.

He does not mention Ronald Jenkees or how good Jeff Green is (although he does mention Green, so if you plan on getting hammered, count that as a drink – here, it won’t be). There is something of a “Spencer Hawes bad” mention when he refers to him as “a young center who can’t rebound or protect the rim.” Three drinks (well, here, only a sip according to the game). Also, like clockwork, when Hawes is picked, Simmons says he is “looking disturbingly like Chris Mihm.” Four drinks.

No mention of him not renewing his Clippers season tickets, but extensive mention of his father’s displeasure with the Celtics’ moves. It’s mentioned a solid three times, as a matter of fact. Seven drinks.

He admirably refrains from mentioning Chris Wallace or Rick Pitino and the damage they did to his Celtics – no drinks there. The game then instructs the player to take a drink whenever Atlanta makes a pick, because given the sorry state of the team, “it’s what Hawks fans do.” I won’t count this toward Simmons’ total, especially considering he was impressed with the apparently solid selections the team made on the night.

He gets jabs in at Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge, two of his most frequent targets. Eight drinks. (Although if your favorite team was as screwed up as his right now, you’d probably be making fun of the people in charge, too.)

Simmons’ dog (and more surprisingly, Hubie Brown) are not mentioned once…no drinks there. Also, no outrage over Joakim Noah’s draft spot – no drinks there, either. While we’re at it, no mention of Simmons’ father being confused by Stephen A. Smith or Stuart Scott, and no references to Simmons fighting off “10,000 watts of electricity” due to any unflattering remarks about ESPN coworkers. At this point, players might be losing any buzz they may have had.

Also, he does not compare David Stern to Vito Corleone at any point, although he says it’s “only fitting” that his microphone goes out while announcing the drafting of the troubled Sean Williams. I’m not counting that as a drink, although someone playing along could count it if they’re desperate enough to drink again.

And actually…that’s it. He doesn’t mention any of the remaining things on the game’s list. Time to sober up, if this game even made you that drunk in the first place. The fact is, he used an impressively low number of personal cliches on the night, a fact that was aided by his “VP of Common Sense” article that he had already written. Maybe the most amazing thing is that, even on a night where he didn’t fall into old traps very often, he still referenced past points of his eight times (not including things he did that weren’t included in the game, like his use of the word “apoplectic”). It goes to show that once you’ve been doing something 11 years in a row where the basic premise is always the same, some repetition is all but inevitable.

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