By Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated
Don't we all wish sometimes that we had had the powers of Superman -- primarily to do good, of course, but also to engage in some innocent snooping? We would never use our X-ray vision for anything X-rated, nor would we use our super hearing for any untoward mission. But, oh, how we would have liked to have been a fly on the wall when the following conversations -- somewhat a compendium of the year's screwups -- took place.
Patricia and Matt Millen
Patricia: Honey, you've got a cushy network job and a reputation for being a winner. Why take over a questionable team with a built-in quarterback controversy when you've had no experience running anything besides your mouth?
Matt: Hogwash. I'll have this thing in Detroit up and humming by mid-September, first of October, tops.
Felipe de Jesus Almonte and Rolando Paulino
Almonte: You sure about this? My kid's shaving every other day and you're saying he can pass for 12?
Paulino: I'm positive. Anyway, so what if he gets caught? It won't be any big deal at all. It's only Little League. Nobody even covers this thing.
ABC toady and Don Ohlmeyer
Toady: Look, boss, Dennis Miller is one thing. But Eric Dickerson barely knows that a touchdown's worth six points.
Ohlmeyer: He had some rough spots last season, I'll grant you that. But he's a pro. Mark my words: By the end of the year they'll be mentioning the Dickster among the all-time greats of sideline reporting.
The only logical person on the Bowl Championship Series committee and the BCS pooh-bahs
Logical person: I'm telling you, there still will be controversy in December.
Pooh-bahs: Nonsense. With this last little tweak of the formula, we've taken care of every possible contingency and we're going to have ourselves a nice, comfortable, controversy-free championship game.
Vince McMahon toady and Vince McMahon
Toady: Uh, boss. It just doesn't seem like we got this thing nailed. I mean, it ain't quite pro wrestling and it ain't quite football.
McMahon: You questioning my judgment? The man who out-Springered Springer? The man who coaxed a legit guy like Dick Ebersol to climb into bed with him? They're ain't nothing else to do on Saturday night. Ratings will be through the roof.
Baltimore Ravens assistant and Brian Billick
Assistant: With all due respect, boss, I think your ego's a little out of control. Rehearsing for HBO is not the way to defend a Super Bowl championship.
Billick: Got nothing to do with my ego. It'll be an excellent tuneup. I think we'll come back stronger than ever.
Lord of Baseball and Bud Selig
Lord of Baseball: And you're saying, Bud, that if we announce we're cutting two teams, nobody will care?
Selig: I'm positive. And if we somehow get hauled in front of Congress on this antiquated antitrust thing, I'll have 'em eating out of my hand, just like I have you guys.
Tie Domi's pea-sized brain and Tie Domi
Pea-sized brain: There's only a few seconds left and this game's lost anyway. You're a thug, they know you're a thug, so don't hit Scott Niedermeyer with that stick.
Domi: I'm coming up on him. There he is. I've got a clear shot. I'm telling you, nobody will notice a thing. Here I go ...
Kyle Turley's pea-sized brain
Pea-sized brain: Don't do it. Don't do it. You're only going to hurt the team. Put that helmet down! All right, they twisted Brooksie's neck but this won't ... Put it down! PUT IT DOWN!
Turley: Here it comes! AARRRGHHHH!
Lords of the NBA and David Stern
Lords of the NBA: OK, this franchise thing's not working out in Vancouver, but what makes you think they'll welcome a team in Memphis with open arms?
Stern: It's Memphis, man. Home of Sun Studio, right? They love Elvis, BBQ and hoops. I'm telling you, this move's a slam dunk.
Houston Astros coach and Larry Dierker
Coach: You think we should be walking Bonds every time? We'll look like punks, and Jeff Kent's gonna beat us anyway.
Dierker: Only way to play it.
Arizona Diamondbacks coach and Bob Brenly
Coach: I don't know, Skip. Byung-Hyun Kim looked kind of shaky last night. You think this is the spot for him?
Brenly: I'm telling you, he'll get us outta this and be as good as new.
Chicago Bull factotum and Jerry Krause
Factotum: Look, Crumbs, I know you're a personnel genius, 'cause I've heard you say it. But we're getting a solid 20 points and 10 rebounds from this Dukie. Why give him up for an untested high school kid?
Krause: I know what I'm doing. Don't I have six rings? Tim Floyd's gonna turn this youngster loose for 40 minutes a game and -- mark my words -- by the end of the year everyone will have forgotten Elton Brand's name.
Sports Illustrated senior writer Jack McCallum covers the NBA beat for the magazine and is a regular contributor to CNNSI.com.