IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Regis Philbin turns 85. That’s bonkos!

and in the interest of fair play…

Blake Lively turns 29

Starting Five

He’s not really that fat

The Sanchize*

*The judges will not accept “Dirty Sanchez,” but will consider “Filthy Sanchez”

In yesterday’s 5-0 win at Seattle, Yankee rookie catcher Gary Sanchez hit his 9th home run of the season—in his 19th Major League game. It was his 7th home run in the past eight games. Sanchez, who’s actually more highly touted for his rocket arm (the M’s tried running on him on Monday night and it went poorly for them) was later intentionally walked—twice.

Sanchez and Judge (right) are the future in The Bronx

What in the name of Kevin Maas is going on? The Yanks (65-61) are still five games back of the Orioles for the second wildcard spot, but they host the O’s this weekend at the Stadium. Win at least 2 of 3, and it’s going to be an intriguing September for a team that sleep-walked through the first four months of the season while walking the .500 tightrope.

2. (Does It Matter) Who Killed Andrea Cornish?

John Stone is guilty….of giving an Emmy-winning performance

The finale of The Night Of arrives Sunday evening on HBO, and to this point I’m not even sure if we can rule out the cat as a suspect. There’s palpable evidence of Duane Reade, the stepfather, the hearse driver, Col. Mustard and even Naz himself being the killer.

And that’s not even going after the neighbor (the man I originally suspected, in a nod to Rear Window), or Duane Reade’s buddy who spoke to the cops (though I don’t suspect him at all). And I guess after seven episodes, the way that this series has progressed, the answer that comes to my mind as to whodunnit is this: Does it really matter?

We’ve gone from wondering who killed Andrea Cornish to seeing how prison life has changed (and begun to agree with) Naz; to how an otherwise scrupulous D.A. will compromise herself to get a coroner to lie on the stand; to how the two men who are most dedicated to this case, Detective Box and John Stone, are both middle-aged loners who never had time for a life.

Maybe Mick Jagger had the best answer to who killed Andrea Cornish: “When, after all, it was you and me.” Or maybe, at least metaphorically, Andrea Cornish killed herself. Regardless, they’re all, we’re all, a little bit guilty of killing her. Does it really matter who actually stabbed her 22 times?

As first dates go, it was eventful

I won’t be surprised if The Night Of doesn’t give us satisfaction. After all, in a murder trial, it’s not the state’s or the defense’s job to find the real killer. It’s their job to prove the guilt or innocence of the person being tried. We’ve seen enough to know that the jury doesn’t know the half of it, so their decision will be less informed than ours. And we don’t know. I’m not sure The Night Of needs or wants to give us closure. I’m half hoping that it doesn’t.

3. “Hold My Gold”

Harper’s bizarre moment: caddying for Katie

Incoming Stanford freshman Katie Ledecky, a Maryland native, was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at last night’s Orioles-Nationals game in D.C. Oh, and bring your five gold medals (and one silver) for show-and-tell.

So she did. But then when it came time to make the pitch, Ledecky needed to ditch her bling. So she handed the medals to the best player in baseball. And he held them dutifully as she threw it to home plate (I was sorta hoping that seven other balls were thrown to other catchers but not until Katie’s pitch was almost in the catcher’s mitt). Cool moment.

4. The Odd Couple

Travis and Deitsch as you’ve never seen them before!

One of them is a manipulative, play-to-my-southern-white-male-frat-boy-constituency megalomaniac; the other is a “PC Bromani” from the Upper West Side. And now they’re playing on the same team!

When Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports announced a ““multi-year advertising and editorial agreement,” there were plenty of ramifications that begged questions: Will Stewart Mandel get a better press box seat than Andy Staples? Will the reunion of former AOL Sports editors Barry Werner and Mike Harris (two of my favorites) be synergistic? But the best is, of course, Will Clay Travis and Richard Deitsch learn to coexist?

This is perhaps the most legitimate feud Twitter pillow fight in sports media, with Deitsch once tweeting to Travis that he didn’t profile local sports radio guys (only days before Travis landed his national gig at Fox), and with Travis earlier this year “revealing” or lying that Deitsch had sought work in P.R. at a rival sports web site.

Maybe Jason McIntyre will play Jimmy Carter to their Sadat-and-Begin. We’ll see.

Still, Deitsch has done a lot of great work for SI.com with his weekly (and more often) Media column, but most of his favorite targets (Travis, Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Jamie  Horowitz) all work at Fox. So now there’s a conundrum…

Maybe Donald Trump won’t be the only New Yorker to pivot this summer…

5. F.C. PC

The U.S. Women’s National Team suspends Hope Solo six months for her “cowardly” comment regarding how Sweden played in the team’s quarterfinal match at the Olympics. As Eric Trump might say, “Guys. Guys! This is ridiculous.”

But it really is. First, the statement itself is its own punishment. Solo’s sore loser comment will stay with her. Second, Solo is 35 and probably wasn’t going to be in goal for the USA at the next World Cup or Olympics, anyway. And I don’t know of any major matches that USWNT has between now and February, so it’s mostly a symbolic gesture.

Finally, Han Solo called his own crew mate a “big furry oaf” and was never suspended a day by the Rebel Alliance! The rules are so inconsistent!

Music 101

Africa

There have been bands name America, Asia and Europe, but there is only one song named after a continent really worth knowing. Toto’s monster hit rose to No. 1 on the charts in early 1983, and rightfully so. It’s sort of life-affirming, no? I like to think of it as the best Peter Gabriel song not written by Peter Gabriel. For the record, this song is not about Rosanna Arquette.

By the way, if you know of an a cappella group that hasn’t at least performed this during rehearsals, let us know. Here’s the Angel City Chorale (yes, out of Los Angeles) hitting it out of the park:

Remote Patrol

The Late Late Show

CBS 12:35 a.m.

James Corden is a likeable bloke, and soon to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, but I don’t much fancy his show. However, we all love Carpool Karaoke, the tail that wags this dog. Tonight’s guest is Britney Spears, who will attempt to sing without writhing in her seat and  gyrating her hips against the host/driver.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

A Medium Happy birthday to Cal Ripken, Jr., who has now been alive for 56 consecutive years

Starting Five

The epicenter of the quake was near the town of Norcia

1. Earthquake in Italy

A 6.2 magnitude earth quake rocked central Italy at around 3:36 a.m. local time. There are are at least three dozen dead. The Leaning Tower of Pisa? Still standing.

2. The Human Fund

You get it, right?

Is the Clinton Foundation dirty? I don’t know (okay, yeah, to a degree). A cursory investigation by Medium Happy’s crack investigative staff (my cat and I) found that 88% of the foundation’s money goes directly toward its charitable mission (source: Charity Watch) but when you’ve taken in $2 billion, that means that $240 million that did not go to charity. Which is kind of a lot of money.

The Foundation, which Bill Clinton launched in 1997—the same year that George Costanza launched the Human Fund with the tagline, “Money For People”—when he was in office, can certainly be seen as a quid pro quo for people of influence to have an express lane to the government’s top officials, such as our former Secretary of State. P.J. O’Rourke said it best months ago: “Hillary Clinton is the second-worst thing that could happen to America.”

3. How Come We Don’t Know The Colorado Rockies (And How Come They Kinda Stink?)

LeMahieu

You wake up this morning to see that the Colorado Rockies (60-66) have the National League’s leading hitter (DJ LeMahieu, .344) and its leader in home runs and RBI (both Nolan Arenado, 33 and 107). And yet do you EVER hear their names on SportsCenter or just in general? Then there’s rookie Trevor “Toy” Story, who was leading the NL in home runs as a rookie before suffering a season-ending injury earlier this month.

Baseball’s best Nolan since Ryan

Are the Rockies simply a “flyover team?” And is DJ LeMahieu the guy who brings his Mac laptop to parties with a killer EDM play list? Curiously enough, LeMahieu, a 6’4″ 2nd baseman who won a College World Series with LSU in 2009, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and spent two years with them before being traded to Colorado.

We take this moment to remind you that the Colorado Rockies actually played in a World Series. I know: it sounds so strange to say, but it happened.

4. Seventh-Round Stud

Matakevich moves from Philly to Pittsburgh

Former Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich is undersized but he isn’t under-hearted (ooh, that’s good! I could be your friendly neighborhood sports columnist!). Matakevich was the most impressive defensive player (with the possible exception o a Clemson defensive lineman or two) I saw Notre Dame face last season (the Ohio State game doesn’t count; I don’t count games that kick off earlier than noon local time, especially on New Year’s Day) but because he is barely 6 feet tall and 230 pounds, he lasted until the 7th round of the NFL Draft, 246th overall.

Matakevich had four straight 100-tackle seasons at Temple and last season was the only player to lead his team in tackles every game. Plus, you never pass on linebackers with Slavic names (everyone knows that). The Steelers wisely selected him.

Now he’s being hailed as one of the best rookies in preseason. Watch some of his tackles (especially the first one, on a special teams play) here. He’s a keeper. He’s got that “Will somebody block that $#&@ guy!?!?” aspect to his game.

5. Where Have You Gone, Wink Martindale?

As host of the Hollwyood Squares, Peter Marshall had the act down cold (and he was the dad of Kansas City Royal first baseman Pete LaCock)

Last week in Deadspin Drew Magary had a typically hilarious and insightful piece about the Golden Age of Game Show Hosts and whether they are going extinct. He explained, and rightly so, that turning a comic into a game show host (Drew Carey, Steve Harvey) does not necessarily translate into good hosting.

The best game show hosts, the men of my youth, such as Peter Marshall, Wink Martindale, Bill Cullen, Gene Rayburn and Allen Ludden, knew how to banter with the celebs while making the contestants feel welcome. They were like Roger Sterling throwing a mid-afternoon cocktail party at the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce.

Music 101

Don’t Leave Me This Way

In 1977 disco balls hung from every ceiling,  and Thelma Houston‘s song was a smash. It hit No. 1 in April of that year. Houston (born Thelma Jackson; no relation to Whitney) disappeared from the charts as disco did, but…AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, Baby!

Remote Patrol 

No Country For Old Men

IFC 8 p.m.

Call it. I remember taking my parents to see this movie on Christmas day when it came out. My dad was a tough audience, but even he liked it. This is Tommy Lee Jones’ best performance as a law man, and maybe his second-best (after Lonesome Dove) as a Texas-based character (he was a retired law man in that one). It won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem. Deserved every  one of ’em.

 

IT’S ALL KATIE!

by Katie McCollow

NEXTDOOR

I’ve lately become addicted to reading Nextdoor, my neighborhood social network. My sister turned me on to it when I was lamenting Craigslist’s high-rape rate; “If only I could purchase a 4×6 area rug and not be scared I’m going to wind up in someone’s trunk,” I believe were my exact words.

“Try Nextdoor,” she said. Whaa? What is this, you say? Here is the description from Nextdoor’s homepage:

 
Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.
 
I quickly signed up for my neighborhood’s site. I love it! On any given day, I can log on and see a post about a lost puppy, suggestions for how to make homemade dandelion wine or a pair of old hockey skates for sale, all on the homepage! Sure, things are subcategorized if you choose to navigate it that way, but I prefer to read it in all it’s newly-posted,  hodge-podge glory. And, everyone signs their posts and comments  with their actual names, and lives around me so if I do go missing after answering an ad for an old rug, it’ll be easier to figure out which basement I’m chained in. Win, win!
 
But the piece de resistance is the pure entertainment value. Users get to comment/opine on everything posted, and boy, do they.  It’s the best reading this side of a public bathroom stall. 
 
The following is inspired by Nextdoor, but I encourage you to read, and join the real thing.

For Sale: Yogurt Maker

 

I have a vintage KitchenAid yogurt maker I got as a wedding gift 37 years ago. Needs agitator; otherwise works great. 50 dollars obo.

 

Leeanne

 

                                                            Replies: 4

 

Angie replied: I have an agitator from an old food processor, I wonder if it would fit? What color is it?  Would you take 47 dollars? Pls PM me

 

Bob replied: I already have a yogurt maker.
       Brianna responded to Bob: ha ha ha
       Jennifer responded to Bob: I think I’m speaking for a lot of people when I say we don’t appreciate comments like that here and I no longer feel safe
      Michelle, Englebert, Patrick and 16 others like Jennifer’s comment

 

Fred replied: I don’t mean to shame anyone who took offense to Bob’s comment, but I think it’s important everyone know that I know Bob personally and he actually does have a state-of-the- art yogurt maker. I’ve eaten his yogurt for years, and I know several people tried it at the block party.
       Bob liked Fred’s comment

 

Matilda replied: Will it double as a crock-pot? If so I will take it.

 

Looking to Start a Sewing Club

 

Hi neighbors, I’d like to create an old-fashioned sewing circle this winter. I recently began mending my dish towels by hand, and now I’m hoping to embroider a few. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned and hoping to learn more from others! Snacks, wine, sewing?

 

Jess
                                                               Replies: 3

 

Patrice replied: That sounds so fun! I’m in. I’m a terrible sewer but I’m great at drinking wine!
         Allejandra, Bill, Samuel and 8 others like this
         Nathan responded to Patrice: I think you mean terrible seamstress.
         Patrice responded to Nathan: But I’m great at drinking wine! ; )

 

Bella replied: Learn how to get grease stains out of upholstery with this quick tip!

 

Jennifer replied: Um, am I the only one who thinks this sounds archaic and sexist? Women sewing dishtowels and drinking wine–way to perpetuate outdated stereotypes.  And anyway embroidery and sewing are two very different things.
              Bill, Samuel and 12 others like Jennifer’s comment
              Blythe responded to Jennifer: I have an embroidery hoop I’d be happy to trade for tickets to Blake Shelton next month
              Jess responded to Jennifer: I’m actually a man, so…
              Alicia responded to Jennifer: Jess is my ex. He may not be trying to perpetuate outdated gender stereotypes, but he is definitely trying to bang all his female neighbors.  And he’s obviously mending his dishtowels by hand because he’s too broke to pay his child support.
              Bill, Samuel, Levi, Jason and 53 others like this
              Brianna responded to Alicia: ha ha ha
              Jess replied to Alicia: Your comment is in violation of our agreement

 

ISO Notebooks and Pencils

 

Hey neighbors! With my kids just about to start school again, wondering if any of you have some extra notebooks and pencils you’re not using? Or an old lunchbox or two or possibly some canned goods. Appreciate it!

 

Tad

 

                                                         Replies: 4

 

Dottie replied: Seriously? Try Walmart.
            Frank, Erica, Alicia and Verdeen like this
           Gregory responded to Dottie: I think it’s offensive that you would A) discourage someone from upcycling non-used paper and canned goods and B) direct them to Walmart, a place no forward- thinking person would frequent.
            Richelle responded to Gregory: I think you’re missing the bigger issue–why is this person having more than one child?
            Deandra responded to Richelle: I can’t have children, and I’m really offended that you said that. I would love to have some kids heading back to school.
            Brad responded to Deandra: Deandra, I’m so sorry to hear that. My cousin’s best friend also can’t have children and she finds it very rewarding to read to Kindergartners. PM me.
            Tad responded to Gregory: Wait, what’s wrong with Walmart?
            Dottie responded to Tad: That’s my point, you cheap f***!
            Bethany responded to Dorothy: I don’t care for that kind of language. This is a community board, not a cruise ship.

 

Dan replied: I have a lot of canned goods, but mostly beans? If you’re OK with garbanzo beans PM me.
             Sheryl responded to Dan: I have a wonderful garbanzo bean salad recipe. PM me.
             Dee responded to Sheryl: I’d love that recipe too, Sheryl! But my husband is allergic to garbanzo beans. Do you think it would work with leftover baked beans? PM me.
             25 people like this
Peter replied: I have an old chum bucket that could easily be used as a lunchpail. It’s got some paint flakes stuck to it and it’s not real big, but as long as you cut your sandwich into fourths, I think it’d be just fine.
           Alicia likes this
           Jennifer responded to Peter: Chum buckets are barbaric

 

Beatrice replied: Tad, what school do your kids go to? I have kids, too! We should get them together sometime. I homeschool, though.

 

Gently Used Tube Socks For Sale

 

Hi all, I have about 16 pairs of tube socks that I only wore for about three years, mostly for playing field hockey and going rock climbing. I got them from a fire sale at a mortuary. Still a lot of life in them! 10 dollars a pair obo.

 

                                                      Replies: 0

 

Looking for Recommendations for a Handyman

 

Hey friends, I’m wondering if any of you have a name/number for a reliable handyman? My kitchen sink has been clogged for almost 8 days. I’d rather not pay anyone, though, really hoping to work it out as a trade. I make balloon animals.  Also has anyone seen my guinea pig? He went missing right before the sink clogged.  Pictures attached.

 

Gustave
                                                     Replies: 2

 

Noelle replied: My son’s teacher delivers newspapers during the summers, I can see if this is something he could do
          Patrice, Allejandra, Ike and Maryjo like this

 

Ron replied: Have you been putting the balloons down the sink?
          Gustave responded to Ron: Ha ha, no of course not.

 

Shanda replied: If you don’t find your guinea pig, I have one you can have.
          Gustave replied to Shanda: I found him! He was in his cage!

 

Rash of Car Break-ins on 7th Avenue

 

Hi all, just a heads up that my brother’s dentist’s best friend heard that some vehicles were broken into along 7th Avenue over the holiday weekend. No one has seen anything. I noticed the other day that my Kenny Loggins Greatest Hits CD was missing from my car, though, and I was parked on 6th.

 

Dell replied: I saw Kenny Loggins in concert in 1982. Epic.
           Yolanda, Steve, Margaret and Xang like this

 

ISO Nanny

 

My wife and I are looking for a nanny for our three kids, ages 2, 5 and 8. Must hold Master’s Degree in Early Childhood development, be a certified gourmet chef and have a safe, reliable car no more than two years old, with three rows of seats. Fluent in Cantonese preferable. Live in. Hours are Sun-Saturday, 5 a.m to 10:45 pm and one “date night” sleepover per week. Our kids are allowed one half hour of screen time per 48 hours. Pay is 7 dollars an hour, with possible pay increase after 36 months. No benefits.

 

Doug
                                                       Replies: 1                        

 

Thea replied to Doug: Hi Doug, my daughter is 13 and would only be available after school three days a week- she has Irish dancing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is Red Cross-certified, though. She obviously doesn’t drive so you would have to pick her up. She is allergic to soy.
           Noelle, Shannon and Custer like this
           Liz responded to Thea: Where does she take Irish dancing? I’m interested in that for my kids
           Thea responded to Liz: The Irish Institute in Rockville.  It’s a wonderful program–all the wigs are hand-crocheted by cloistered monks.
           Jim, Kathy, Lew and 12 others like this
           Liz replied to Thea: Do you have to be Irish to participate? We did Ancestry.com and it turns out we’re 100% German.
           Thea replied to Liz: Oh no! But I’m sure it’s fine for the dance classes
           Jennifer replied to Thea: I’m really offended that you would say “oh no” to finding out someone was German. I’m not German, but still.
            Broderick, Emily, Lucy and Pathilde like this
            Doug responded to Thea: When would she be able to start? PM me.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

A Medium Happy 38th to the world’s most watched Uber driver, James Corden.

Starting Five

The Greatest Brit: Farah has now won both the men’s 5,000 and 10,000 in consecutive Olympics

Britain? Great!

You know who had a great Olympics  in Rio? The only nation with “Great” in its name (they’re the Tony the Tiger of nations). Sure, the USA steamrolled everyone in the medal count with more golds (46) and more medals (121) than anybody.

But—and here’s the thing—four years after hosting the Summer Games in London, Great Britain, a kingdom of humans with about 20% as many people as the USA, finished second in both golds (27) and silver medals (23), and were third overall behind the USA and China. The Brits, led by Mo Farah’s double in the men’s 5,000 and 10,000, amassed more gold medals and medals overall than than Russia, than Germany, than host nation Brazil (which has the world’s fifth-largest population). Great Britain has the world’s 21st-largest population.

Maybe there is something to this Brexit thing.

2. Mongolian Beef

After their wrestler was, in their minds, stripped of his medal, they did some stripping themselves

(Warning: The names in this story, in terms of spelling, have a degree of difficulty that only Simone Biles would dare attempt in normal settings)

Let’s do what most major news outlets on this story have not: Tell you whether or not the Mongolian coaches and their athlete were wronged or wrong. The answer is the latter.

News stories and tweets made the story all about how Mongolian head wrestling coach Tserenbaatar Tsogtbayar and assistant coach Byambarenchin Bayaraa went berzerk after their wrestler, Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran, lost to Uzbekistan’s  Ikhtiyor Navruzov (phew; the difficult part is over) after receiving a one-point penalty at the end of the bronze medal match. We heard and saw how the two coaches doffed duds, one taking off his shirt and the other going full Upper and Lower Mongolia, losing pants and shirt.

Few news services explained why. Seems that Mandakhnaran was up 7-6 in the closing seconds when he started celebrating (some old and middle-aged white guys, like me, might even refer to it as taunting), which meant that he was not engaging with his opponent. That’s a one-point penalty, which put the match at 7-7, and under the rules, the last man to earn a point, in the case of a tie, wins.

Mongolia chose not to attend the clothing ceremony. Its Olympic contingent leaves Rio with one bronze and one silver medal.

3. A Not So Tragic Tragically Hip Show

When Gord Downie, lead singer of Canadian band The Tragically Hip, announced that he had terminal brain cancer, the band did not shrink out of sight. The 52 year-0ld lead singer led the band on a short summer tour, with last Saturday night’s show in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario, being their fond farewell.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau attended. Canada basically shut down on Saturday evening, as the concert aired on CBC and there were also viewing parties at venues all over. The Tragically Hip never translated south of the border, which may have made them even  more popular in the Great White North.

An estimated 11.7  million people tuned in to watch the band’s final show. That’s about one-third of the population. Imagine 100 million Americans watching anything other than the Super Bowl, which is the only event that draws those types of numbers (%-wise) in the USA.

4. NFL vs NBC: Who’s The Boss!

A funny thing happened on the way to my great career move, Jon….

I still don’t get this. Mike Tirico departs ESPN after 25 years to head to NBC just as the Peacock announces that it is adding Thursday Night Football to its primetime lineup. So it’s assumed Tirico, the voice of Monday Night Football on ESPN, will get that gig.

But now the NFL, which apparently had veto power on whom NBC gets to put in that chair, said, “Nah, no thanks. We want Al.” So now what does the 49 year-old Queens native do, and how does 71 year-old Al Michaels (and we assume, Cris Collinsworth) feel about having his work load doubled? We kinda think Al enjoyed his relatively cush life with Tuesday through Friday free back in Bel Air.

To be fair, Thursday Night Football is only five games per season. CBS also has a 5-game TNF package and the NFL makes its No. 1 team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call those. The difference is that Nantz and Simms do Sunday afternoon games and are given a reduced workload on the weekends before their Thursday night games. Michaels and Collinsworth, who work the No. 1-rated show in prime time on Sunday nights, will not be given that option.

The weirdest thing is that Tirico is no neophyte or maverick. He’s not only the consummate professional, but the consummate corporate guy. He never editorializes in any fashion against the establishment, and he’s in his prime. It’s as if the NFL went out of its way to remind NBC who’s the boss (which was an ABC show, but you know…).

So now Sean McDonough has Tirico’s old MNF gig while Tirico, who co-hosted the closing ceremony with Mary Carillo* (*the best) and Ryan Seacrest last night, may not be hosting a sporting event in prime time for at least two years (Pyongyang). What’s he going to do at NBC? American Ninja Warrior? Notre Dame games?

Tirico loves/lives to work. Now he’s not going to be doing college hoops with his buddy Dan Dakich and he’s not going to be doing NFL? And no World Cup? I would not want to be his agent right now; those phone calls must be hot lava.

5.  The Max Factor

Redfield, a senior, has NFL talent, but where will he play next?

It’s officially Notre Dame football season, as Brian Kelly paid the school’s annual tax to the “If you’re gonna talk the talk” gods. Over the weekend six Notre Dame football players were arrested in two separate incidents and the most experienced (talented?) of them, two-year starter at safety Max Redfield, was dismissed.

On Friday night Redfield, linebacker Te’Von Coney, frosh wide receiver Kevin Stephenson,  DB Ashton White and sophomore running back Dexter Williams were headed south on U.S. 31 (for lack of a true north-south interstate in Indiana, you get his highway that winds through towns and where speed limit changes abound) and pulled over for speeding. Inside the car cops, with the help of a drug-sniffing dog named Cartoush, found weed and worse, an unregistered handgun. Redfield copped to the handgun.

Meanwhile, outside the Linebacker Lounge, which is literally a stone’s throw southeast of campus, DB Devin Butler got into a shoving match with a cop as he was dealing with some agitated females (was he the source of the agitation?) and was arrested for assault of an officer. He has been suspended indefinitely.

Max Redfield and Alize Jones (academics). Two starters gone for the season. That’s about the going rate in South Bend, prior to injuries.

Music 101

Take It Easy On Me

“Little River Band” is an Aboriginal phrase that translates roughly to “Styx.” Or maybe “Eagles.” This Aussie band had a string of radio-edible better-than-average hits in the late ’70s and early ’80s whose melodies still invade my mind from time to time: “Reminiscing,”   “Cool Change,” “Lady,” “Lonesome Loser,” “Help Is On Its Way” and this song. LRB never had a No. 1 hit, but all of those songs spent at least 18 weeks on the charts and all but one cracked the top 10.

Remote Patrol

Stranger Things

Netflix

A boy goes missing in Hawkins, Indiana, in the early 1980s. The town is also the site of a government lab. Then a local diner owner is fatally shot. And a teenage girl disappears. What’s going on?

Take a few ingredients from X-Files, Stand By Me, The Goonies and even E.T. and Poltergeist, and you have Stranger Things, which is more than just its iconic logo. Don’t want to oversell it, but it’s good. The young actors who play Eleven and Mike are phenomenal.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

A Medium Happy 70th, playa!

Starting Five

In the semi, Canada’s De Grasse almost caught up with Bolt, and both found it funny

The World’s Greatest Athlete

It was not the best of times (Usain Bolt’s 19.78 in the 200 meter final last night), but it was not the worst of times, either. Before Bolt arrived, no man had ever won the 200 meters twice, much less twice in a row. He has now done it three times.

Before Bolt, only Carl Lewis had won the men’s 100 more than once (he did so back to back). Now Bolt has done that three times in a row, too.

If he is part of Jamaica’s third consecutive 4×100-meter gold-medal team, that would be three golds in the world’s three fastest races in three consecutive Olympics. And zero finishes lower than first place. To me, Bolt is the world’s greatest athlete.

The World’s Greatest Athlete (Part II)

It’s tough not to really like Ashton Eaton, so I won’t even try. Last night he became the first American since and only American besides Bob Mathias to win a second consecutive decathlon gold. Eaton also holds the world record in the event.

He is the son of biracial parents who split when he was two. His white mother raised him in rural Oregon, and there were probably a few awkward episodes in his childhood. But Eaton, whose Canadian wife, Brianne, won bronze in the women’s heptathlon, seems like an incredibly grounded and humble dude.

Oh, by the way, “I Am Cait” was canceled this week.

3. I Am Kate

Grace is on track to perhaps earn bronze in the 800

It’s coming up soon, and I’m completely intrigued by the women’s 800 final. Our American favorite is the lovely and demure Kate Grace, a Yale alum whose mom, Kathy Smith, was at the forefront of the aerobics boom back in the 1980s (it was the Pilates of its time).

Maybe the answer is in the last name (I’m already sorry)?

However, the two favorite for gold and silver are Caster Semenya of South Africa and Margaret Wambui of Kenya. Semenya, we know a little about: she’s the athlete who has flummoxed the IOC and IAAF with questions about her actual gender. There’s really no nice way to say it other than biologically, she does not easily fit into either gender. It’s funny, if you watch, before her races Tom Hammond is obviously reading from a pre-written script to describe her ordeal, words that were probably typed by Joe Gesue or Aaron Cohen of NBC Sports to make sure that there are no gaffes.

Wambui is listed at 20 years old

What confounds me, though, is that nothing is ever said of Wambui, whose physique and hairline make you think of that scene where Austin Powers attempts to pull off the “wig” of Michael York’s mother. It’s not Wambui is a man, it’s just that to me she appears every bit as masculine as Semenya, but they only mention Semenya’s situation.

I think Wambui will win tonight.

4. “You’re Fired!”

Maanfort will now retreat to his man-a-cave

On Friday morning Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Manafort was fired/ resigned from the Trump campaign. Donald Trump has always been a kindred spirit to late Yankee boss George Steinbrenner, and apparently both have very little patience with managers. Then again, I bet Manafort would rather have Trump upset with him than Putin. Can’t blame him.

Later, Tiffany Trump resigned from the Trump family.

5. Peak Flori-Duh

Oh, Flori-Duh. You were worried that we had become bored with your standard strip-bar shoot-up or meth-fueled gator rape, so you had to take it nuclear to grab our attention.

What happened? Your typical double murder followed by an attempted face-eating. Austin Harrouf, a 19 year-old “rising sophomore” at Florida State, was out at a popular sports bar, Duffy’s, when he became agitated by the slow service (somewhere some server is racked by guilt). He randomly stormed off, saw a couple sitting in a garage, and fatally stabbed both of them. A neighbor came over to intervene and he too was stabbed—five times—but will survive.

Cops arrived as Harrouf was hunched over the male victim, biting off chunks of his face. They tried to Taser him and used attack dogs, but they could not subdue him. #BathSalts #GTBW

Anyway, the irony of this is that a former high school football teammate of the suspected killer said that the coaches did not play him very much, despite his good size and muscular physique, because he just wasn’t aggressive enough. Also, he was supposedly wearing a “Make America Great Again” ball cap when he committed the murders. Of course.

Music 101

Amie

This bluegrass classic from Pure Prairie League, a band out of southern Ohio, wasn’t a hit when it originally appeared on their eponymous debut album in 1972. But as the band played college campuses and as soft rock and bluegrass rose in popularity, the song drew more and more requests. It finally hit the charts in 1975 and peaked at No. 27, but FM radio deejays have never fallen in and out of love with it. They’ve always loved it.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

 

Star, 80

Happy birthday to film legend/sex symbol/conservationist/indie film crusader Robert Redford, who in his prime was bigger than Brad Pitt. Five essential Redford films: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, All The President’s Men (okay, two more: Three Days of the Condor and Jeremiah Johnson)

2. Horton Hears A “Says Who?”

Just when you think the 2016 presidential election cannot get any more surreal….

There were three “Says who’s?” in there, if you’re counting. That’s CNN anchor Brianna Kellar talking to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

3. Lie of Ryan

Too much fodder here; just know that you should always be suspicious of a 32 year-old man who dyes his hair white.

4. High Hurdles: Trio in Rio

Castlin, Rollins and Ali took bronze, gold and silver, respectively

A dazzling night on the track in Rio, as three American female high hurdlers swept the medals. Brianna Rollins, gold, was the first American to take gold in a track (not field) event in Rio.

5. Life In Aleppo

This is five year-old Omran Daqneesh after an air raid hit his hometown in Syria. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, you must agree that little boys and girls should not be subjected to this madness. Why do adults (adult males, let’s be honest) screw everything up?

Music 101

Lonely Boy

As backup musicians for Linda Ronstadt go, Don Henley and Glenn Frey enjoyed more overall success than Andrew Gold. But in 1977, this tune dominated the air waves, spending five months on the charts and peaking at No. 7. Plus, it has been used in both Boogie Nights and The Nice Guys (<–why did I forget to go see this?). Gold denied that the song is autobiographical even though, like the song’s main character, he was born in the summer of 1951. Here he is performing the song on The Midnight Special (even though he should’ve appeared on Solid Gold, no?) (Later era)

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Yes, we’re talking to you! A Medium Happy 73rd to Bobby D!

Starting Five

D’Agostino (ground) and Hamblin will now forever be linked in Olympic lore

Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand…

In a women’s 5,000 heat, American Abby D’Agostino was running directly behind New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin when their spikes became intertwined. Both runners fell. At first Hamblin appeared to be the more injured runner, and D’Agostino remained behind to help her up. The two took off running, and then D’Agostino’s knee began to bother her and she dropped. This time Hamblin waited to help her up.

At first, D’Agostino helped Hamblin up

Both runners were lapped, but both also finished their heat. Officials gave them an exemption to move onto the next round. The two hugged after crossing the finish line and created, yes it’s a cliche but it’s true, an unforgettable Olympic moment. Look at the joy on D’Agostino’s face.

I don’t care if it sounds hokey, this is part of why we love the Olympics. And it will also go a long way toward smoothing those icy relations between the USA and New Zealand. Wait, huh?

2. Upsets Aplenty

Brazil’s version of “Another point for Milos!”

The Brazilian women’s indoor volleyball team, two-time defending Olympic champions, fell to China in the quarterfinals, 3 sets to 2. In women’s soccer, Brazil fell to another cowardly effort by Sweden in the semis. And then THREE-time defending women’s beach volleyball studdess, Kerri Walsh Jennings (and April Ross-Rachel), lost to Brazil in straight sets in the semis, one day after her 38th birthday.

Simpson, who turns 30 one week from today, will always be the first American woman to have medaled in the 1500

In the women’s 1500 world-record holder Genzebe Dibaba of Ethiopia was caught from behind in the final lap by Kenya’s Chepngetich Kipyegon (yup, that’s how you spell it). Friend Of the Blog (FOB) Jenny Simpson finished third. If you’re scoring at home, Simpson and her close friend Emma Coburn each took bronze in their events and each became the first Americans to ever medal in their respective events, the 3000-meter steeple and the 1500.

3. Ravin’ About Simone

Biles is actually heels over head

With her gold medal in the floor exercise last night, Simone Biles wins four out of a possible five golds in women’s gymnastics, which ties for the most stunning single Olympics a female gymnast has ever had. Plus, she met Zac Efron, which has never before happened to an Olympian during the Olympics, as far as we know.

Latynina

For the record, the Soviet Union’s Larisa Latynina also won four golds in one Olympics, 1956 in Melbourne. Latynina also owns more golds (9) and more overall medals (18) than any female in Olympic history, though both Biles (4 and 5) and swimmer Katie Ledecky (5 and 6) are gaining on her and Ledecky should definitely be there in Tokyo, and possibly also in 2024 in…Los Angeles?

4. Tex Wrex 

The deal of the Art: He’s perfect, apparently

Art Briles: “I’ve been in [coaching] 38 years, and I’ve done, you know, lived the right way for 60 years of my life. I’ve never done anything illegal, immoral, unethical.

Rick Perry (to Gold Star father Khizr Khan) : “In a campaign, if you’re going to go out and think that you can take a shot at somebody and not have incoming coming back at you, shame on you.”

Maybe you two just don’t need to speak as much.

5. Forecast For Irish Defense: Plenty of Hayes

Daelin flashing the Ezekiel Elliott look at practice earlier this week

After nearly a week of practice, our pal Pete Sampson has taken his eyes off Chris Finke long enough to note that freshman defensive end Daelin Hayes has made quite the impression on the Irish staff. The 6’3 1/2, 250-pound Michigan native had more tout to his name than any other incoming frosh defensive player for the Irish, so this is not a big surprise.

Jay Hayes is ready to make a difference after 3 tackles in 2014 and no action last year

At another defensive end is “stout” (read: fat but in shape) 285-pound junior Jay Hayes, who is also 6’3″-ish and will also see plenty of reps. If your memory on Jay is hazy, that’s because the Brooklyn native was basically red-shirted. He also was benched for a game for sending out mean tweets. Hayes has moved from defensive tackle to defensive end.

 

Music 101

Everybody Wants Some

The only Van Halen song that inspired a film title, this came off the band’s third studio album, Women and Children First, which was released in the spring of 1980. It has trademark Eddie riffs and David Lee yowls. You can visualize Diamond Dave punctuating Eddie’s guitar licks with some killer karate kicks, no?

Remote Patrol

Rio Olympics

NBC and NBC Surrogates  ALL DAY

Ashton Eaton will attempt to become just the third repeat winner in the men’s decathlon, following Bob Mathias of the USA and Daley Thompson of Great Britain

Men’s hoops: USA vs. Argentina, quarterfinals, at 5:45 p.m. If the U.S. men, who have won a pair of games by the margin of a Steph Curry special, lose, they’re out of a chance for any medal. Track: Decathlon begins and the women’s 200 final. Both women’s beach volleyball matches commence later tonight, as Jennings Walsh-Ross Rachel (you have to admire my commitment to a tepid joke) meet Brazil’s No. 1 team for bronze, not gold. Also, men’s boxing, Neymar and Brazil meet Honduras in a men’s soccer semi, and right now I’m watching badminton on USA Network.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

A Medium Happy 4th birthday to Medium Happy. We start Pre-K next month!

by John Walters

Starting Five

The human race

Bahamian Flopsody*

*The judges will accept “Tor-so Close” and “Allyson Road” but don’t even think about putting “Miller Time” up there. Get that weak sh*t outta here.

Felix, Felix, Felix. Last night American Allyson Felix became the most decorated U.S. female track star with her seventh medal, but she probably does not feel great about it this morning. Felix, 30, lost out on a gold medal in what could be her final Olympic race by 7/100ths of a second. Shaunae Miller of the Bahamas dove for the finish line and Felix, who had made up serious ground on Miller in the final 100 meters, did not.

Miller’s time: 49.r4. Felix’s: 49.51.

There was nothing dirty or illegal about what Miller did. As Felix’s own teammate, Natasha Hastings, said afterward, “I did it myself twice this year. I dove [at the U.S. Olympic trials] for my spot here. And I did it in indoor nationals as well. You do what you’ve got to do to get over the line.”

And then again, some races are not Katie Ledecky in the 800

If it was Felix’s final race, she departs the Olympics with four golds and three silvers. You may recall that she missed out on a spot in the 200 in Rio when she finished 1/100th of a second out of a berth.

Felix’s defeat at the end of the night meant that for the first time since Day 12 of the Olympics in Beijing back in 2008, an entire day of the Summer Olympics came and went without the USA winning a gold medal. What can we say: Donald, you’re right.

2. “Extreme Vetting”

You know, before yesterday, had I heard someone use the term “extreme vetting,” I’d instantly think of beloved Yorkshire healer James Herriot being elbow-deep in a cow’s rectum. But no: now it’s Donald Trump‘s pet term for how to decide who is allowed to enter the USA.

There’s nothing wrong with letting the INS and other agencies do their jobs. It’s just that discriminating against people is supposed to be counter to “our way of life” (a term I heard two different Trump surrogates use yesterday, although no one seems willing to explain exactly what that means), doesn’t it?

There’s one very simple doctrine that governs what “our way of life” means. It’s not about preferring the NFL to cricket or hamburgers to falafel or Kid Rock to Wiz Khalifa. It’s simple: obey the laws. Do that and you are welcome here. Don’t, and you’re not. That’s the essence of the U.S.A.

Then again, if Trump was suggesting that we deport the members of “Extreme,” I can get on board with that.

3. United States of Emma-rica

Coburn made up serious ground in the final three laps to go from 4th place to the podium

Congratulations to Crested Butte’s own Emma Coburn, one of the nicest athletes we know, for both winning the bronze medal in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase and setting the American record by three seconds—breaking her own mark—yesterday. Coburn becomes the first U.S. woman to win a medal in this event. We loved when Lewis Johnson wrapped up his track-side interview with her and she asked if it was okay to leave. Her parents raised her right.

4. Goodbye, Larry

So Comedy Central canceled The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. And like, abruptly. This will be his last week.

I’ll admit that I didn’t watch it. After Wilmore’s abysmal performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner last spring, where he lost the room early and never recovered, it seemed that the clock was ticking. It didn’t help that he was the second-funniest black man on the dais that night, after POTUS.

Can America use a genuinely funny person to discuss matters of race in late night? Sure. Wilmore just didn’t seem to be pushing the right buttons. The better question becomes, With just under three months remaining until election day (I know, rest of the world, we tend to drag out our elections here), what does Comedy Central do with that vacant time slot? Does it attempt to persuade Jon Stewart to return? I doubt he would, but we’ll see.

5. Wall Tweet

Twitter (TWTR) stock on August 18, 2015: $29

TWTR stock on February 11, 2016: $13.91

TWTR stock yesterday: $21.10.

Yesterday the stock rose $1.32 and broke above $20 for the first time since early January. News that Twitter and Apple TV may be making a deal for streaming service of NFL games got Wall Street excited. Is Twitter finally out of the doldrums?

Remember, three summers ago you could buy Facebook (FB) for $24. Now it sells for $124, an increase of 400%.

Music 101 

I Hate U I Love U

This tune was released last March and peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard chart. It was No. 1 in Australia. Gnash is an L.A.-based DJ. Olivia O’Brien is from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and has resided in Napa. Soft-scrabble streets.

Remote Patrol

Olympics

NBC You Know The Drill

Now that she’s 38 years old, will Kerri Walsh-Jennings sense any change as she and partner April Ross-Rachel take the sand tonight against the top-seeded Brazilians in a semi? It’s also the final night for women’s gymnastics (floor exercises), the women’s 1500 meter final, and the men’s 10-K swim, which just sounds cruel. Also, women’s pole vaulting begins and we get our first look at Sandi Morris, previously profiled by this guy in Newsweek.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

A Medium Happy 38th to the ultimate gold digger, sand queen Kerri Walsh-Jennings, who goes for a fourth consecutive gold medal in Rio this week

Starting Five

Bolt breezed in the semis, but had to work hard to overtake Justin Gatlin of the USA in the final

RIO Speed Wagon

A sizzling and historic night on the track in Rio last night. In the span of less than half an hour, South Africa’s Wayde Van Niekerk set a world record in the 400 (43.03) and won gold running out of Lane 8, then Usain Bolt became the first human ever to win three straight 100-meter golds. On Saturday evening defending 10,000-meter Olympic champ Mo Farah was inadvertently tripped by teammate Galen Rupp, but still recovered to take gold.

Back home, Van NIekerk is coached by a 74 year-old woman whose last name is Botha. Take that, apartheid.

NBC’s Ato Boldon was outstanding, by the way, on both eh Van Niekerk and Bolt calls, noting on the former that it may finally be time to imagine that a man may run a sub-:43 and on the latter that Bolt now belongs in the conversation of all-time greatest athletes along with Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.

2. Talent Pool

The World Record line took silver

In his final event (until Tokyo in 2020?) Michael Phelps won his 23rd gold in the 4 x 100 IM relay. Katie Ledecky went Secretariat-at-the-Belmont on the field in the 800 freestyle, setting yet another world record—she has set the last five at this distance—and taking gold by 11 seconds! In Guanabara Bay, no one caught a crab (or a crap) as the U.S. women’s eight won a third consecutive gold medal in rowing, which is pretty ridiculous.

The Swiss missed an outstanding opportunity to knock out Brazil

Also: Ryan Lochte did not get shot, Simone Biles won her third gold medal in gymnastics, and males everywhere (outside Brazil) were disappointed to see Joana Heidrich and her Swiss teammate come within a point of knocking out No. 1 seeded Brazil in two sets, only to lose the second set 27-25 and then later the match. It’s on to the SI Swimsuit issue for the 6’3″ Heidrich, we imagine.

3. Here Come Da Judge (and Austin, Too)

Austin (left) and Judge went back to back yard in their first MLB at-bats on Saturday. Judge his a second home run on Sunday.

Yankee manager Joe “I Don’t Do Farewell Tours” Girardi’s week opened on a sour note, but ended on a sweet one. On Friday the Yankees overcame a thunderstorm and A-Rod’s farewell to win their third straight (Alex went 1-for-4, hitting an RBI double, and played a little 3rd base).

On Saturday Girardi inserted not one but two rookies, Tyler Austin and Aaron Judge, into their lineup. Both had been called up the day before, the latter around midnight. Both had to drive 5-6 hours from upstate New York overnight to arrive at Yankee Stadium for the 1 p.m. start. Austin got a car service because bad weather canceled his flight; Judge, who stands 6’7″, got a ride with his parents when they were summoned from Dinosaur BBQ at around midnight.

Judge’s blast, in a 96-degree furnace, bounced off the windows of the enclosed bar out in center field. No Yankee had ever hit it that far.

In their first at-bats, batting one after the other in the lineup, both Austin and Judge homered. Both hit their shots on 2-strike pitches. No two teammates had ever made their debuts and homered in their first Major League at-bats in the same game, much less back-to-back. Austin and Judge did this on the same day the Yanks honored their 1996 World Series championship team, so Mo, Jeter, Torre, Paul O’Neill and the rest saw it in person.

“You couldn’t script it any better,” said Girardi. For once this week, he was right. The Yankees won four straight.

4. Underwater in Baton Rouge

Welcome to LSU! Enjoy freshman orientation and rush week!

Four people are dead and 20,000 needed to be rescued, as floods swept across southern Louisiana. Gov. John Bel Edwards used the words “historic” and “unprecedented” to describe the deluge, except that as my former colleague Zoe Schlanger notes,

So depending on where your “dogmatic religion” versus “understanding of science” X and Y axes align, you can either blame this on God punishing mankind or on global warming (or both, or neither).

5. Brendan Dassey Goes Free

Dassey was 17 when he was convicted of helping his uncle murder Teresa Haibach

The nephew of Stephen Avery, the most innocent victim in Making A Murderer who was not actually murdered (i.e., Teresa Haibach) may soon be released from prison (after nine years). Brendan Dassey’s conviction was overturned on Friday. If you saw the Netflix doc, you know that Dassey, now 26, was a pretty simple high school rube at the time who had absolutely no idea of the gravity of the situation as cops coerced a confession out of him.

I do hope the WWE invites him to sit ringside for its next Main Event, and soon.

****
There certainly was enough Trump rhetoric/news over the weekend to justify an item, but we chose to just let you all have a day off. Gird yourself for tomorrow.

Music 101

Take It On The Run

In 1981 a supposedly minor league band out of Champaign, Ill., REO Speedwagon, released an album cleverly titled Hi Infidelity that was an absolute monster. This was their ninth studio album—you can imagine family members were wondering when they were going to quit chasing this dream—but it might as well have been a debut smash, as six songs made the Billboard charts, including “Keep On Loving You,” which went to No. 1. The album sold more than 10 million copies. This song, which hit No. 5, was recently covered/sampled/stolen by Pitbull. By the way, REO actually had a few hits prior to this album, such as “Ridin’ The Storm Out,” “Roll With the Changes” and our personal favorite, “Time For Me To Fly” (Okay, we’ll put that here, too).

Remote Patrol

Olympics

NBC All Dang Day

Rudisha is 6’3″ and hold the three fastest times ever run in the 800. The reigning Olympic champ is in many ways the Usain Bolt of his event.

Another outstanding day on the track, as we get the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase final, the women’s 1,500-meter final, the men’s 800 final featuring King David Rudisha, the women’s 400 final with Allyson Felix, and the men’s pole vault final.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

A Medium Happy 41st to Casey Affleck, the hidden gem of Good Will Hunting

STARTING FIVE

Touch. Down.

Fiji Gold

It’s always cool when a country wins its first gold medal. Fiji did that yesterday when it defeated Great Britain 43-7 to win the gold medal in rugby sevens. We should point out that Fiji is not the country that had that oiled up flag bearer at the opening ceremony. That was Tonga. Common mistake (Tonga has never won gold; nor has Togo, by the way).

“Rugby is our religion,” said one player. Fiji has 900,000 inhabitants.

Countries that have never won a gold medal, and tell me if you see a common thread here: Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Kuwait, Qatar, Sudan, Iraq. Quick hot take: Sports are a great antidote to terrorism.

Ravin’ Simones!

How good of a gymnast is Simone Biles, who won the gold in Individual All Around last night? According to NBC’s Al Trautwig, her winning margin of 2.1 points was a greater number than the COMBINED MARGINS in the victories from 1980 through 2012. That’s NINE Olympic Games. That’s incredible.

Many are calling the 4’8″ Ohio native the greatest gymnast of all time. She’s definitely in Nadia Comaneci’s class. Biles had committed to UCLA, but now she’s going to hold off and earn some $$$.

Manuel also set an Olympic record, 52.70, while finishing in a dead heat for first place

Meanwhile, Simone Manuel became the first African-American woman to win a gold medal in swimming, touching the wall first in the 100 meter freestyle, which is a total badass event. Manuel, 5’11”, attends Stanford. She is from Houston.

Biles is the first African-American woman to win a gold in her event, but she’s just so darn good that no one ever even thought about that (UPDATE: Apologies to Gabby Douglas, who was the first in 2012; our bad).

Thanks, Obama.

3. Michael GOAT

Yes, he won again. In the 200 individual medley, in which you do each of the four strokes for 50 meters. The most challenging race.

That’s 22 gold records (13 individual) for Michael Phelps, which—no kidding—puts him ahead of Leonidas of Rhodes who won 12 individual events back in Greece in the B.C. era. What has impressed me most is that at age 31 I don’t think Phelps has ever looked more physically impressive, and now he’s become the Michael Jordan of the pool. He carries himself out there now like he knows he’s the boss. These are supposed to be his golds.

I mean, Phelps, competing against the world’s fastest swimmers, won by an entire two seconds over the silver medalist. That’s insane. Biles-like. Ryan Lochte finished fifth.

4. Perfectly Ironic

To be fair, NFL PATs are now attempted from farther out than college PATs

It’s rarely newsworthy when a kicker misses a PAT. In preseason. Except that the kicker is Roberto Aguayo of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who made 198 PATs in 198 attempts while at Florida State (he also won a national championship and a Lou Groza Award as the nation’s best kicker).

So last night, in his NFL preseason debut in Philadelphia, Aguayo shanked his first try. Missed it. Clanked it off the upright. A second round pick (extremely high for a kicker), Aguayo said he had “butterflies.” Better get over that. The NFL has no less patience than it does for inaccurate kickers.

5. Tur de Force

An intriguing piece here on how Donald Trump targets women in the media (“Little Katy Tur”) and how it led to the NBC correspondent  needing to be protected by the Secret Service after a Trump rally. You have to imagine that in some back room meeting, the head of the SS is telling Trump, “If you would like to continue to have the privilege of our protection, zip it.”

Trump keeps inciting violence by his followers. One of these days one of them is going to take him up on it. And he, of course, will claim that it isn’t his fault, but only that people are angry because America isn’t great any more.

Music 101

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

This may not even be the best song on Pet Sounds, Brian Wilson’s sublime and ethereal effort for the Beach Boys. This 1966 tune, which peaked at No. 7 in the month of this writer’s birth, was released as a 45 single with “God Only Knows” as the B-side. As the B-Side! Anyway, when European outlets got the vinyl, they flipped it, making “God Only Knows” the single and this song the B-side. I mean, if you own that wax, that’s a keeper.

Remote Patrol

Rio Olympics

NBC All The Time

Huddle, celebrating too early and finishing fourth at the 2015 Worlds to teammate Emily Infeld, will attempt to fashion an updated iconic image of herself

We can finally open up the track, as the women’s 10,000 meters takes place tonight. Notre Dame alum Molly Huddle won this last month at the USA Track and Field Trials. You’ve also got Michael Phelps versus Chad le Clos in  the men’s 100 butterfly final and Katie Ledecky swims the women’s 800 freestyle final and could probably order a Starbucks and get it by the time everyone else if finished.