by John Walters
Super Bowl Zzzz
Six turnovers. 15 punts. 18 penalties. 25 failed third-down conversions. If Super Bowl XLIX was 100 yards, Super Bowl 50 barely made it beyond its own 35 yard-line. Someone had the headline “The Old Man and the D.” Can’t improve upon that.
Von Miller and Denver’s defense was spectacular. As were Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Bruno Mars. Everything else was meh.
It’s easy to grin/When your ship comes in/And you’ve got the stock market beat/But the man who’s worthwhile/Is the man who can smile/When his pants are too tight in the seat.
Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before the fall.
Lots of blather about Cam Newton, again, last night and this morning. You can act any way you want to act. Likewise, people are free to REACT to your actions in any way they see fit.
Me, I made the error of inviting Twitter to explore the possibility that while some of the critiques of Mr. Newton may be a product of racial bias, that many of them may just be about thinking his behavior was immature. And, no, I don’t have the numbers on how many are one or the other.
The problem I have with all of this is that as soon as you wade into this quagmire, if you are white, you get called out on your “white privilege.” And here is what the other side—and not only do I hesitate to call them that, but I must impress upon you that the other side consists of people of all colors, not just people of color—may fail to understand. When you attack someone for exploring the issue simply based upon their color, all you do is encourage people to not broach the topic, because they’d rather not be labeled a racist simply for bringing up race. You’re not winning any people over to your side. You’re simply creating more people who silently seethe at you until someone like Donald Trump comes along and galvanizes all of them with code words like “Take our country back” or “Make America great again.”
You want to have an honest discussion about race? Argue the points. Don’t be prejudiced against someone making the point and condemn them out of hand for the color of their skin. After all, isn’t that the very injustice you are railing against in the first place?
Back to Cam. He can behave however he pleases. I’m not trying to change him. Did you see Jason McIntyre posting Russell Wilson’s postgame presser from Super Bowl XLIX? I happen to think there’s a qualitative difference between the two quarterbacks’ pressers. If you don’t, that’s fine. That’s your opinion and you’re welcome to it. I don’t believe it’s a white trait to think that Wilson handled this moment with more grace. But that’s me.
3. Alice Doesn’t Live (Here) Anymore
Granted, I don’t pore over New York Times obits as assiduously as my colleague, Richard Deitsch (I really admire this about him; truly), but this one on 89 year-old Alice Denham is fantastic. She moved to NYC in the early Fifties with aspirations of being a writer and soon found that men well, kind of noticed her. She knew everybody, and she knew every body.
4. Bern Your Enthusiasm
My favorite SNL skit of the weekend combines Bernie Sanders in Iowa with a typical Larry David-Curb style situation. Cecily Strong hits it out of the park as Susie Essman. Waiting for next week when Jay Pharoah stars in Curb Your Benthusiasm.
5. Seven-Minute History of Sports In Film
James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine and Zac Efron do a great job here. Just the costume changes alone are worthy of awe.
I haven’t seen the musical Hamilton yet (perhaps after the Medium Happy IPO) but friends and family have turned me on to the soundtrack, a hip-hop re-telling of the man who might’ve become one of our first U.S. presidents if he hadn’t gotten into a duel over a girl.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, who was born in the Inwood section of Manhattan (upper, above the GWB), is the genius behind the show and plays the title character. This is the show-stopper, the third song in.
8 p.m. 10 p.m.
Crazy. Beautiful. Yes, Olivia is both, but she’s much more of the former. Yeah, I know the entire show is audience manipulation and perhaps Olivia is just savvy enough to know that she’ll have longer fame shelf life if she puts on this act, but it is connvincing. Psst, Ben: Pick the twin. You’ll always have a back-up if it goes south…