Since early this season, I’ve tried valiantly to avoid Bill Simmons, he of the puffy jowls, the nasally voice and the inept game predictions. His work this season is an unremitting stream of recycled jokes and ramped up Patriots gloating that is devoid of reason or the faintest whiff of shame. Punter summed it up nicely in a recent e-mail thread, “He’s gone from openly insightful (though somewhat dated) to a fact-bending homer.”

This weekend, I had to spend Saturday night working the cops beat for the paper. This is okay because you get the occasional gem like this one: 6500 BLK, 12TH ST. MALE ATTACKED BY FAMILY DOG WHILE STABBING HIS WIFE. ANIMAL IS ON THE LOOSE IN THE AREA.

But it also involves long stretches of inactivity, with which I must fill with football-related reading. Running through enough of it (or churning up enough masochistic urges) I eventually got to Simmons’ Friday picks column and came upon this stretch of mind-boggling retardery:

For instance, 0-6 Miami knows the ’07 Pats could knock the ’72 Dolphins out of the record books in three months. But what could they do to stop them? They’re not beating them in a game. If they made a fishy trade to help out one of New England’s rivals — like, giving away Chris Chambers to San Diego for a late second-round pick, for example — everyone would find it fishy and the league would crack down, because, after all, you’re not supposed to cheat in the National Football League. They’re helpless to stop it. In fantasy, fishy trades happen all the time and you can’t stop them unless you have a commissioner who’s stronger and more powerful than David Stern at his peak. Unfortunately, 98 percent of fantasy football leagues have a Gary Bettman type.

(Note: Thank God the NFL doesn’t work like fantasy and San Diego couldn’t steal Chambers away for a measly second-round pick simply because Miami wanted to take a dump on their fans, tank their season and preserve the legacy of the ’72 Dolphins. Because that would suck.)

Put simply, this is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve read all year from any writer. Take a million supermikes writing on a million Etch-A-Sketches for a million years and you wouldn’t come up with anything half as fucking asinine.

Really? We’re supposed to believe a team like the Dolphins, a winless team obviously in need of unloading big money players for value while they still can in advance of overhauling their roster, is dumping their no. 1 receiver for no other reason than to fuck the Pats chances at an unbeaten season? Taking that logic, maybe they might have shipped him to a team that the Pats HAVEN’T ALREADY BEATEN! Why? To protect a 36-year-old record?

We’re also to ignore the fact that Chris Chambers for a second-round pick isn’t actually that lop-sided of a trade?

We may need another bounty.