I’m always happy when people get to be themselves and write what they really want. That being said, it must be nearly impossible to work for a network superpower like ESPN and have that freedom. This is why I’m so excited sports writer/tv personality Bill Simmons has stepped out and created Grantland, a place where he and other talented writers mesh Sports with Pop culture. I only recently started reading Simmons, and I love everything he writes. While I don’t agree with some of his opinions (Boston sucks at everything, don’t get it twisted). That being said, here’s my favorite part from his “Mailbag” this week. It’s hilarious and so sadly true.

Q: I don’t blame you for bringing up Shawshank too much, AMC runs it on a 24-hr loop. Question: Let’s say Dufresne never escaped, Red was never paroled, and they were stuck in Shawshank for another 35 years through 2011. Who would grace Dufresne’s next few posters after Raquel Welch?
— TK, Fort Wayne

SG: Let’s go backwards — the three posters in the movie featured Rita Hayworth (circa 1949), Marilyn Monroe (circa 1958) and Raquel Welch (1966, the year he escaped). That means we’re on a pace of about every nine years, bringing us to …

1976: The iconic poster of Charlie’s Angels star Farrah Fawcett in her red bikini. Now, you could talk me into Red buying Andy a stopgap poster in 1972 of Pam Grier as Foxy Brown — partly as an “I thought you needed a black girl in your cell” joke, partly because the early ’70s were slim pickings — but I’m fine with waiting 10 years for Farrah.

1984: Red may have gotten antsy and bought Andy best-selling posters of Cheryl Tiegs (1978), Bo Derek (1980), Christie Brinkley (1982), or the incredible Heather Thomas (1983, during her brief, Earl Campbell-like apex on The Fall Guy), but Red was always drawn to icons … that’s right, Madonna. Probably her “Boy Toy” poster from her Desperately Seeking Susan days. I’m not happy about it, either.

1993: Pamela Anderson, Baywatch apex. Done and done.

2002: Britney Spears. Has to be. And yes, she turned 21 in 2002, which makes it all right. There’s no way Warden Norton would have approved of a jailbait poster.

2011: With apologies to Megan Fox … doesn’t it have to be Kim Kardashian? So if you’re scoring at home, we just free-falled from Rita Hayworth to Marilyn Monroe to Raquel Welch to Farrah Fawcett to Madonna to Pam Anderson to Britney Spears to Kim Kardashian. And you wonder why our country’s credit is dropping.


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