by John Walters

Note: I ran into someone last night who implored me to monetize this site, and then I patiently explained that Susie B. has already left me all of her Yahoo! stock in her will, so what’s the worry?

Happy Birthday to MH’s comic genius (or comic sans, I can’t remember), Katie M., whose birthday is today or yesterday or two days ago,, I’m not exactly sure when…


…to our old friend Rebecca Lobo (this guy only looks like her husband)….


…and of course to Britt Ekland, who appeared in “The Wicker Man” and was married to Peter Sellers

Starting Five

K.J. Wright summoned his inner Four Squares-playing child to bat this football over the end line

1. Bat Man

With Detroit’s Calvin Johnson going in for the go-ahead touchdown with under 2 minutes to play, Kam Chancellor punches the ball (POW!) out of his grasp, and then Seahawk teammate K.J. Wright bats it (THWACK!) out of bounds. And, like you, I found myself wondering, “WHAT ARE THE DETROIT LIONS DOING ON MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL?!?”

Was it an illegal play by Wright? Yes. Did it cost the Lions the football game? Probably, although they still needed to score and Russell Wilson, who’s no Colin Kaepernick, would have had about 90 seconds to lead a game-winning drive. And yet I can’t help thinking, Just don’t fumble the football, Megatron. Besides, the two most likely outcomes here were that the Seahawks recover or that the football skips out of bounds.

Yes, the ref botched the call. But seeing as how more people watching were more upset if they had Johnson on their fantasy team than if they are true Lions fans, I’m not all that bothered by it. Besides, Seahawk supporter Amelia Boone probably woke up at 4:03 a.m. today with a smile on her face, so that’s nice.

2. Lost at Sea (As Opposed to “Lost at Seahawks;” See Item 1)

The El Faro was 790 feet long, which is the length of two and 2/3 football fields or more than eight basketball courts, depending upon which sport you prefer

Lost in the news of Hurricane Joaquin was the fact that the freighter El Faro (“The Lighthouse”) was lost at sea in the Atlantic Ocean. The container ship carried 33 crew members, 28 of whom were American.

Was this a Sebastian Junger The Perfect Storm tale or a Susan Casey The Wave tale? Perhaps neither, as the freighter appeared to lose power in the eye of the storm en route from Jacksonville, Fla., to Puerto Rico, causing it to list or flounder as the storm approached. That’s sort of a hopeless position in which to be.

3. Harvard Loses…Again

That’s Matt Damon taking my high school football teammate, Scott Winters, to school on American history. Scott is the brother of Dean Winters, whom you know better as Mayhem on the All-State ads

So I checked a few times to confirm this wasn’t a hoax, but apparently a prison debate team recently defeated a Harvard debate team (though to be fair, it should be noted that the prison debate team’s closing argument was, “You wanna throw down, Ese?”).

4. “Attention, This Is Your Captain Shrieking…”

Well, he probably did not shriek, but an American Airlines captain did die in the midst of a flight from Phoenix to Boston. Michael Johnston, 57, died of what was most likely a heart attack. The co-pilot landed the plane in Syracuse. And that is why commercial flights have more than one pilot.

5. Where In The World?

Monday: Marieta, Mexico

Music 101

Sour Girl

Maybe STP would have had a longer shelf life if they had been able to step out of the shadow of contemporaries Nirvana and Pearl Jam, or if lead singer Scott Weiland were not the poster boy of the self-destructing lead singer (I know: you’re thinking, What about Kurt???). Anyway, Weiland is now a Notre Dame football fan, so obviously he’s found yet another way to court misery.

Remote Patrol

AL Wildcard: Lastros at Yankees

ESPN 8 p.m.

The Astros put 20-game winner Dallas Keuchel on the hill. Keuchel has not yielded a run to the Yanks in 16 innings this season. Meanwhile, New York’s highest-paid player, C.C. (Canadian Club? I’m already sorry) Sabathia, who earned $23 million this season with a 4.73 ERA, announced that he was headed to alcohol rehab yesterday. The best position player on the field may be Lastros rookie shortstop Carlos Correa. Two franchises headed in opposite directions.


by John Walters

“Never let go, Rose!” Kate Winslet turns 40 today.

Starting Five

What a fantastic shot here by Jonathan Bachman of the AP as Spiller crosses into pay dirt

1. “When The Saints Go Marching In…”

Overtime goes under its allotted time as Drew Brees connects with C.J. Spiller (related: it was a good weekend for Clemson football) on a swing pass that goes for 80 yards and a touchdown on the first play of the fifth quarter. Officially, it took :13 as the Saints beat the Cowboys 26-20.

The victory kept the Saints from becoming the league’s only 0-4 team. Meanwhile, two of the NFL’s eight divisions (AFC South and Dallas’s NFC East) have cumulative sub-.500 records.

2. 2 Little, Too Late

On the bright side, no one was flagged for offensive pass interference.

Once again, the Fighting Irish whiffed on a road opportunity against a ranked opponent in prime time (Hello Ann Arbor, East Lansing, Tallahassee and now Death Valley during the Kelly era; yes, we see you, Norman and Los Angeles).

Four crucial dropped pass. A killer fumble, caused by the kicker, at the opening of the second half. Notre Dame’s theme song was penned by Lit (“My Own Worst Enemy”) for three quarters during an historic deluge in Clemson and they trailed 21-3. That the Irish came back and came within 3 yards of forcing overtime is a testament to both their talent and grit (related; DeShone Kizer is already a pretty good quarterback and he’s got a chance to be great).

That they failed to play smart, tough football through three quarters (or at least that their offense did; the defense was sound after the first seven minutes) is partly on them, partly on their coach.

As to the final play (“Kizer rolls…”), it’s not WHY the Irish lost, but here’s why I don’t like it: It’s raining squirrels and monkeys, so use the conditions to your advantage. Anything that is misdirection forces a defense that is already at peak intensity (and liable to over pursue) to change direction. And that works to your advantage.

A great video showing the 2-point conversion here, and how Carlos Watkins of the Tigers simply blew it up.

Also: “Senior advisor,” Coach Kelly? It’s arithmetic.

An outstanding slate of Saturday games:

Heroes: Arizona State upsetting UCLA in the Rose Bowl with one of those season-defining plays around which a program may rally. I’ve never seen a 20-yard bulldozing for a touchdown in football at any level. “You get the sense that all the frustration from a disappointing first four weeks of the season was taken out on that one run.” You nailed it, Mr. Announcer.

Goats: Wisconsin. First and goal and victory against Iowa on your one or two-yard line and  you not only fail to run a simple counter handoff, but lose the football and the game.

Redeemed: Alabama, who slapped down Georgia 38-10 in a momentum-defining game for both programs.

Spared: Ohio State (and Michigan State), who yet again failed to demonstrate why they are ranked in the Top 3 in the nation with seven- (and three-) point victories over middle-of-the-pack at best B1G foes.

Scary: Look out for Stanford, who mopped up at home versus Arizona, 55-17, two weeks after taking down USC. Right now the Cardinal are the class of the Pac-12 and their opening day loss against a Northwestern team that currently has the nation’s No. 1 scoring defense doesn’t look so bad.

Underrated: Michigan at 21 in the Coaches poll and 18 in the AP poll.

Overrated: Florida State at No. 8 in the Coaches poll. The AP has them at No. 12, which is about right.

3. First Lady of 42 Helps Open SNL Season 41

Hillary (Kate McKinnon) fist bumps Hillary (Hillary Clinton)

The sketch your co-workers will be discussing around the Keurig machine involved Kate McKinnon as presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton having a chat with a bartender played by the actual Hillary Clinton. Smart idea.

The best moment comes when McKinnon, who is gay, chides herself (as Hillary) for taking so long to acknowledge gay marriage rights while the real Hillary tries to assuage her. Also: Darrell Hammond’s cameo is awesome.

4. Jacko is Backo

Like Steve Jobs, Dorsey is also a college dropout (NYU)

One of Twitter’s co-founders, Jack Dorsey, returns to become the company’s CEO (Dorsey had been interim-CEO’ing since July, but unlike Pat Murphy and the San Diego Padres, the two decided to stop living together “in sin” and make it official). This on the anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, the original prodigal son of tech monolith founders.

Does this mean the stock will eventually, some day, rise above $40 per share again (asking for a friend; no, seriously)?

5. Where In The World?

Friday: Bibliotheque National de France

Music 101

The Way You Look Tonight

We’re going old school today. The Billboard chart made its debut in 1936, and no song spent more weeks (17) at No. 1 that year than this one, crooned by Fred Astaire (singing wasn’t even his top talent). This appeared in the film Swing Time and won the Oscar that year for Best Original Song.


Remote Patrol

“The Man With the 80-Pound Groin”

TLC 9 p.m.

“The Man With No Penis”

TLC 10 p.m.

“You may want to see a doctor if…”

Honestly, I’m afraid to even search for what is on at 11 p.m.


by John Walters

Exciting news. The publishing side of MH has come in from their $400 lunches at Del Frisco’s just  long enough to pursue an exciting deal with Fuego Box, the primary sponsor of the Bill Simmons podcast. Fuego Box, they WANT to be your home-delivery hot sauce provider. We’ll have more in the coming weeks, but we can see this becoming at least a four-figure deal, that is if you include the two figures to the right of the decimal point.

Happy Birthday, Pippa! We miss you mocking your daughter on Letterman. (she turns 45)

Starting Five

I want them to name a hurricane “Tiger.” That way the band Survivor can appear on forecasts and warn us about “the eye of the Tigerrrrrr!”

1. Hurricane Rankings

1. Joaquin

Not Ranked: Miami

So you’ve got this dude named Joaquin entering the country without authorization and wreaking havoc on the economy? This is why we need to build a wall.

“Moore, Moore, Moore/How do you like it? How do you like it?”

Meanwhile, Golden Years at The U seem to be approaching an end, as Miami falls to Cincinnati and its backup quarterback, Hayden Moore, (the Bearcats are renowned for this, though: Tony Pike was lost to Zac Collaros, who may have been an upgrade) by a score of 34 to 23 (which is not a Chicago song; why would it be?). Nice unis, though, Miami. I like the “MIAMI” up the pant leg, but I’d go green or orange with it. Just some style advice.

2. “Somehow, This Has Become Routine”

— Disaffected single male, white, as the shooter? Check.

–Campus location? Check.

–Numerous dead? Check.

–“Thoughts and prayers?” Check.

Dig: I understand, as do most people, that guns themselves are not THE REASON so many of these shootings occur. And I think a serious discussion needs to take place as to the multiple factors that are playing into this epidemic. But the facile manner in which guns may be obtained by nut jobs IS part of the problem that is relatively easy to solve, no?

The man who sang “All You Need Is Love” was senselessly murdered by a gun 35 years ago. It’s not a new problem. But American culture’s toxic nature plus the easy access to guns means that these mass shootings will continue onward.

Last thing: Every news organization, particularly cable TV, that gives wall-to-wall coverage of these events as soon as they happen may not want to admit it, but they are helping to promote this scourge. A total loser wants to go out with, pardon the pun, a big bang? Might as well be famous on CNN. You won’t be around to hear it, but you do know that Wolf Blitzer will be saying your name. Yeah, it’s sick, but isn’t it part of their calculus?

Instead, I’d like more stories such as this one about Chris Mintz (oh, and he’s going to land a seven-figure book deal and a movie).

3. “Bear! Bear! Please Stop!”

If your answer is, “Things Mary Harmon Would Say” sorry, you’re wrong.

What I love about this video –and you may not agree — is how much I love the bear and how grating I find this woman’s voice. Her overall whiny nature. Also, that she goes all in with “gosh darn it!” Oh, and that she never stops filming.

Life lesson: Don’t pepper spray another creature in the face and then be upset when it exacts a little revenge.

Life Lesson #2: Learn your bear’s name. He probably didn’t appreciate being called “Bear” over and over again.

I do hope someone gives this woman a copy of the director’s cut of “Grizzly Man” as a Christmas present….

Finally: Remind me to never marry this woman. Remind everyone.

“It’s the end of September! Why are you here? You’re supposed to be asleep!”
Wondering if these were also the last words of Timothy Treadwell. I am guessing not.

This needs to become a NatGeo or Discovery reality show or at least a sitcom in which each week Bear ruins an item that our videographer deems inedible.

4. Rees’s Pieces

Remember how Austin Powers would boast that his middle name was “Danger?” Well, Taylor Rees’s middle name actually is “Freesolo.” Seriously. Her parents were climbers.

Rees is one of those annoying humans who is intelligent (Masters from Yale) and beautiful and doing fascinating things with her life like research projects in Greenland and Myanmar and making important documentary films with her fiancé about how to save the planet and I mean don’t you just hate her? Can’t she just watch “Real Housewives of Anchorage” or some other Alaska-based reality show (“Bear! Bear! Please Stop!”?) and be satisfied?

No, she has to be curious and passionate and oooooh! she just drives me crazy!!!!!

5. Where In The World?

Hey, JW, I’m beginning to suspect that this daily feature is just a means for you to have to write one less item each day and give yourself a break. 

My feelings are hurt. Honestly, people….

Yesterday’s answer: The desert of Oman, the only nation named after a jive saying.

Music 101

American Pie

Is this the MOST American pop song ever written? The greatest American pop song ever written? If you want to make that argument, I won’t disagree. Don McLean, who turns 70 today, saw his hit go to No. 1 for four weeks in 1972.

Remote Patrol

Notre Dame at Clemson

ABC 8 p.m.

Jaylon Smith: Murder Train

As Notre Dame alum and Clemson associate A.D. Tim Bourret notes, 1,977 weeks have passed since the Irish visited Death Valley in 1977. Joe Montana, who was on the same field that day as Dwight Clark, led the Irish back from a 17-7 deficit in the fourth quarter to win 21-17. The Irish went on to win the national championship.


by John Walters

We’re back. If you happen to be famous and your birthday falls between September 28-30, we apologize. We’ll get to you next year…

Happy 91st birthday to our 39th president!

Starting Five

Is Josh Donaldson (41 HR, 123 RBI) your AL MVP?

1. Fowl Ball!*

The St. Louis Cardinals win their 100th game and the Toronto Blue Jays clinch their first American League East title since 1993. The Blue Jays, who were 50-51 when they awoke on July 29, are 42-15 since and have three players (Donaldson, Jose Bautista and Edwin Incarnation) who have hit at least 37 home runs this season.

The Blue Jays are the first non-steroids era (or isn’t it?) team to have at least three players hit that many home runs in a season since the 1973 Atlanta Braves, who had Hank Aaron on the roster, along with Davey Johnson and Darrell Evans

* The MH editors understand that while fowl are birds, and Blue Jays and Cardinals are birds, that cardinals and blue jays are not fowl. Send your angry letters to Yankee wonderkind Greg Bird.

2. Bill Is Back

Remember Bill Simmons? The last we actually HEARD him, he was speaking with Diana Taurasi and Daryl Morey. Today marks his return to the podcast waves (maybe I should start listening to podcasts? Naw.). I bet it warms the Bostonian’s heart to know that in 2015 both he and Tom Brady were unfairly targeted for censure and/or suspension.

So, topics? DeflateGate, Letterman’s exodus, Jon Stewart’s exodus, Trump, Colin Cowherd, Colbert, the Mess That is The Colts, the Giants giving away a game or two, how the Sawx will sweep the Yankees this week, Taylor Swift and the Emmys.

3. Hall, of Famed Parents

Hall aspires to be first team All-Big Ten and then to work the main stage at Second City

Would you believe that Julia-Louis Dreyfus’s and Brad Hall’s oldest child, Charlie Hall, is a 6’5″ walk-on basketball player at his parents’ alma mater, Northwestern? GET OUT!

p.s. He’s a lefty (for the scouting reports)

4. Super Syria-s

In the summer of 2011 I found myself on a flight from NYC to Atlanta. My seat mate was a very nice and friendly Syrian emigrant, who charismatically and patiently explained to me that Syria was a ticking time bomb. Remember, this was four years ago.

I didn’t really understand what he was saying — I was probably trying to return to catching up on back issues of US Weekly — but I did remember that he said it, did remember that he reminded me that the most successful American mind of the past quarter-century, Steve Job, was of Syrian descent, and I did remember his sense of foreboding.

Well, now Syria is probably the most dangerous place on earth (outside of certain parts of Chicago). ISIS, Assad, Al Qaeda and now Putin has decided to launch Russian airstrikes there, but not at ISIS targets. The road to Damascus is a burgeoning mire of quag.

You think Israel is a bit nervous? And if Israel is nervous, America is nervous.

5. Where In The World?

Friday’s answer: Angel Falls, Venezuela

Music 101

Submarine Song

On the archipelago of forgotten discs, “Space I’m In” by the Candyskins occupies its own prominent island. I listened the grooves off this 1990 CD and thought this band, an MTV 120 Minutes fave, was headed to bigger things. Not so fast, my fiend. Strangely enough, the Candyskins were Oxford contemporaries of another Brit band who made it somewhat bigger: Radiohead.

Remote Patrol

Red Sox at Yankees

ESPN2 7 p.m.

Last decade, this decade, old stadium, new stadium, David Ortiz continues to haunt the Yankees….

The Sawx are not headed to the playoffs, but they may just take four straight from the Bronx Bombers inside the glorified ATM/mausoleum that is the new Yankee Stadium (Can we please tear down this monument to early 2000’s Wall Street avarice already?). Chances are the Pinstripes will be back here next Tuesday for a wildcard showdown with a team whose name begins with “A,” but there remains an outside chance that the Yanks are playing their last home game of the season tonight. Either way, no franchise has done a better job of cleaving itself of the loyalty of its fan base than the Yankees have since 2009. The House that the Core Four built is a testament to losing sight of what got you there.

p.s. For you NFL fans, the Ravens visit the Steelers at 9 p.m on CBS while ABC simultaneously airs “How To Get Away With Murder.” I doubt they planned this, but I like it. 


by John Walters

Hoping that Heather Locklear is vixen to have a very happy 54th birthday!

Starting Five

1. Eggs Communication

Davey: Did you hear the Pope arrived in New York City?

Goliath: Did I? We had brunch together this morning. He ordered the Eggs Predecessor.

Davey: When ordering eggs Benedict, I hear there’s no place like Rome for the hollandaise.

Goliath: True, but if Europe for a good breakfast, I think Francis more popular than Italy.

Aaaaaaand, scene. Thanks to @el_wuffel and @IrishElvis for the assists.

2. Big (Bad?) John

Krahn stands 7-feet tall and weighs 440 pounds

This is John Krahn. He’s a senior at King High School in Riverside,, Calif., and plays offensive line. He only plays one position, which almost seems unfair. I’m told he needs to lose weight to draw college interest. I think if I were a college coach, I’d be interested.

3. Bye Bye Boehner

Boehner: Orange is the new I Quit

Speaker of the House,

Orange is his face,

Says he met the pope,

And now he’ll leave this place

John Boehner chooses this incredibly slow news day to announce that he is resigning from the United States Senate. Kudos to former SI On Campus colleague Matt Waxman for noting that two J.B.-initial Orangemen announced their resignations in 2015: Boehner and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.

4. Documentary Wow

Largely because I didn’t have a working television for the past 5 months, I missed all of Documentary Now!, the parody doc series that ran for six episodes, was produced by Seth Meyers, and starred his buddies Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. But if there was one installment I wanted to see, it was “Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee,” which was a faux version of The History of the Eagles, which I did just re-watch again recently.

Anyway, this reviewer praises not just the comedy of that episode, but also the humanity and the acting. I hope to see it some day soon. “Catalina breeze…”

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday’s Answer: Q1, the tallest building in Australia (78 stories, slightly more than 1,000 feet tall), in Surfer’s Paradise.

Music 101

Lido Shuffle

The one and only Boz Scaggs, with a perfect summer song that hit No. 11 in 1977. The co-writer of this tune, David Paich, went on to found Toto.



by John Walters

Happy Birthday to Phil Hartman, who would’ve turned 67 today. “I got guys the size of you in my stool.”

Starting Five

1. Mecca-lomania*

The judges will also accept “Black Mass,” “Hajj Quest” and “Allah These Pilgrims Are Being Crushed”

Currently the number of dead is 717, all of them pilgrims making the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. As usual, Al-Jazeera has the most detailed story on the tragedy, detailing how pilgrims flock to Mina, on the outskirts of Mecca, to carry out a symbolic “stoning of the devil” by tossing rocks at three stone walls.

The stampede did not take place during the stoning, but rather before as one pilgrim camp  walked through another pilgrim camp. Watch the video at the bottom of the story.

2. Integrity is His Trump Card*

*Upon Further Review, the judges will accept “Atta Boye” as well as “Bridge (Over Troubled Walters)”

This is Boye Brogeland, 42, the man who is single-handedly (with 13 cards in it, I’d assume) trying to save contract bridge at its highest levels. Thanks to the Norwegians’ efforts, the top two ranked bridge players in the world, as well as another team that happens to be the European champions, have been exposed as cheaters.

Here’s my story in Newsweek about the entire affair, which features skulduggery, threats of physical violence and lawsuits, big money, and crooked people.

An aside that I was tempted to tweet, but I’ll save it for you readers. So this morning one of my sources emails me to tell me that a highly decorated writer had sent an email to her and others extolling the piece. Here is the email:

I know almost nothing about bridge except what Anderson has explained to me, but I found this article easy to understand—well-organized and very absorbing. I started reading it in the car as I pulled into a grocery store lot and got so involved in it that I sat there until I finished it. It is intrinsically a great story, involving large amounts of money as a motive for the cheaters, a host of brainy people trying to get away with it, law suits, threats of violence, even a few heroes, especially the Snowden-type character from Norway who was determined  to out the cheats. And Jeff calling a guy a prick. And a great ending: sue me. iv
Now, the beauty of this is that the email was written by one William Nack. A man who, like me, was employed by Sports Illustrated. In fact, I thought that we knew each other fairly well. I always considered Bill Nack to be the most gifted writer at SI while I was there, so it’s heartwarming to read this note, and yet what does it say about print that either Nack didn’t notice the byline or recognize the name? Funny.
By the way, Bill and I were two of the four writers who were laid off (or, as Seth Davis would say, “Fired”) by SI in 2001. Anyway, thanks, Bill. Without even realizing it, you made my day. I believe I’ve finally broken my maiden.

3. The Thompson Twins

Okay, they’re not twins. They’re sisters. Anne and Mary Thompson are both alumnae of Notre Dame and both are in the employ of NBC Universal (if that’s still a thing). You regularly see Anne’s reports on NBC Nightly News and Mary, the younger of the two, reports from the NYSE and other locales for CNBC.

This week, and I’m not sure if it is for the first time, the sisters have the same beat: covering the papal visit. They’re both filing reports on the pilgrimage of the Ultimate Pilgrim. Their parents must be proud, I’d think. A shout-out to Mary, who like your humble author (HA!) rowed for Notre Dame Crew.

4. My Two Dads Remake?

When I first saw this GIF of Jeremy Lin and Stephen Curry teaching Stephen’s daughter, Riley, to do the Nae Nae, I thought, This would make the perfect 21st century My Two Dads remake: you’ve got at least three ethnicities, three or four SI covers (thanks to the efforts of Pablo Torre), an MVP and an NBA championship. Who wouldn’t watch this show!?!?

5. Where in the World?

Answer to Tuesday’s photo: Astana, Kazakhstan

Here’s another shot of today’s question:

Music 101

Two Tickets to Paradise

Billy Joel may be the most famous “rocker” from Long Island, but maybe Eddie Money (born: Mahoney) may be its best guitarist/pop star. This was not the first hit from his eponymous 1977 debut album — that was “Baby Hold On”  — but time has been kinder to it.

Eddie’s grandfather, dad and brother were all members of the NYPD. He was in training to become a cop, too, before he opted for a music career.

Remote Patrol

Valley of the Dolls

TCM 11:45 p.m.

“Three young women pursue acting and end up being destroyed by the very lifestyle they desired,” says my TV video guide. Quite prescient, that, considering that one of the stars of the film was the ill-fated Sharon Tate.


by John Walters

Happy 66th to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen! Let the broken hearts stand as the price you gotta pay…

Starting Five

Immigrant Song

1. POTUS, Pope, US

“DraftKings or FanDuel?”

   “I’ve been wondering the same thing myself.”

2. Hat Trick, With Two to Spare

Lewandowski (right) accepts congratulations from bear (left)

Footballer Robert Lewandowski, who is Polish (duh, JW), scores five goals in just nine minutes for Bayern Munich in a Bundesliga match against Wolfsburg (“More like Lambsburg, amirate?”). Of course, Bayern only won 5-1, so if you are an SEC fan who happens to support Wolfsburg you are probably taking this opportunity to note that without Lewandowski’s five goals in nine minutes, Wolfburg wins. Go, Wolfsburg!

Watch the video. It goest from impressive (“Because that is what Robert Lewandowski does for a living!”) to simply dumbfounding. It’s quite remarkable.

3. Yogi: It’s Over

What a glorious mug

A fond farewell to Yogi Berra, Yankee, Hall of Famer, maxim manufacturer, inspiration for a cartoon character, catcher of the only perfect game in World Series history, purveyor of wisdom, husband, father, grandfather, World War II/D-Day veteran, 18-time All-Star, 13-time World Series champion, three-time MVP, Italian-American (whoop whoop!), and incredibly humble spirit. There was never anyone like him.

4. Pizza Rat:The Easiest Halloween Costume Yet

One rather large step for a rat, one leap for vermin-kind!

Sure, I was thinking of going as black-and-yellow dress that changes to blue-and-white, or perhaps hose myself down, wear boxers, have some seaweed hanging from me and be Rob Konrad, or there was always Caitlyn Jenner or a Patriot equipment manager, but what costume allows you to be constantly chomping on a slice of pizza? That sealed it for me: Pizza Rat, I am totally going as you.

5. At the Tops of their Fields

There is no one else currently in late-night who could have conducted such a smart and entertaining interview with the GOP frontrunner as Stephen Colbert did with Donald Trump. When SC reviews the tape, he will note that he interrupted DT far too often –that’s just nerves, methinks — but all in all it was hilarious and the Donald seemed to enjoy himself. He was far nicer than you see him during the debates.

And as Colbert said during the opening monologue, “Someday I may be able to tell my grandkids, ‘I interviewed the last president of the United States.'”

Now where do we find these fire-proof crocodiles?

Music 101 


Before there was Ashley Madison, there was the Pina Colada Song. Kids, in the Seventies musicians often actually penned ballads, songs that were stories. And some of them were like good short stories, with a plot twist. That was Rupert Holmes’s “Escape,” which hit No. 1 in late 1979 and was actually the last No. 1 Billboard hit of the decade.

Remote Patrol

Mr. Robot


Holm: The coolest waiter-thespian since Jon Hamm (yes, initial are the same)


Okay, the first season just ended a few weeks ago but I’m just catching up on Netflix. Rami Malek, whom you may remember from The Pacific or Night at the Museum, is terrific as your lead, Elliott, a hacker who works as a tech at a security firm. Christian Slater is his anarchy-leaning mentor, and my friend and former colleague waiting tables at Del Frisco’s, the fantastic Jeremy Holm, plays the bodyguard of the evil Tyrell.


by John Walters

Happy Birthday, Jill, Sabrina and Jill! Born 39 years ago today….

and also…

Happy Birthday to Mitch and the gang, born 26 years ago today. So many people who were saved in 3 feet of water owe your their lives.

Starting Five*

*Apologies for the twilight edition. The staff has been busy doing that job that pays the bills.

Francis XI: “Will I be able to check into my hotel before the series premiere of ‘Quantico’?”

1. XI’s The One

Yes he’s comin’

To your sacris-tay,

If you wanna papal blessin’ for your ying yang,

Or you want some absolution for your ting tang….

Pope Francis XI lands outside of Washington, D.C. as Twitter girds itself for Latino immigrant quips.

2. Cruz Control

Last night on Colbert (Don’t make me call it The Late Show; at least not yet), GOP candidate Senator Ted Cruz. I thought he acquitted himself well, even if I disagree with some of his points, until he decided to refer to Supreme Court justices as “five lawyers in Washington.” By that standard, he’s just an Ivy League twit.

Colbert’s intro was a jab: “My next guest is a first-term Senator and has an immigrant father (he could’ve added “and a Harvard law degree”). No, it’s not a rerun of 2008.”

Here’s the thing about Ted Cruz for me. He’s smart, but he’s not very warm. No chuckles. No charm. Does that matter? Personally, I think it does in that job. But your mileage may vary.

Tonight on Colbert: the big fish, El Trumper-ino. Set your Twitter to “Hot Fire.”

3. Yes, He’s An Absolute Jerk…But Is He a Good Capitalist?

Martin Shkreli: If you loved him in Harold & Maude….

By now, I imagine, you know who Martin Shkreli is: 32, hedge-funder, makes a boatload of cash, buys a small pharma company (Turing) that happens to make a drug, Daraprim, that AIDS patients need.

Shkreli then raises the price of one tablet of the drug from $13.50 to $750, a 5,500% increase, presumably between bites of lobster mac and cheese at Del Frisco’s. Tells The New York Times, “It really doesn’t make any sense to get any criticism for this.”

Please, America, if you happen not to live in New York or San Francisco: humans of this level of douchebaggery really do exist. I’ve met them. I’ve served them.

Two thoughts: Let’s say you or I were to overpower Mr. Shkreli (I think you could) and hold his head underwater. Every 20 seconds you’d pull him up and tell him that a gasp of air would cost him $100 and ask how he would like to pay. Now, from a consequences standpoint, is there any real difference between that and what he is doing?

On the other hand, when you mix for-profit businesses with life-saving measures, who is the one to decide what is fair? What if water were not a utility? You’re going to have to pay for it if you want to survive, no? Now, imagine when some company spends millions or billions on a drug that will save people’s lives. Without their investment, the drug does not exist. So who are any of us to tell them what their price point must be?

That’s all I have to say about that…

4. Selfie-Assisted Suicide

So that dude who died taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal? That makes 12 selfie-related deaths this year worldwide (reported), as opposed to 8 shark-related deaths. Does that mean the selfie-stick should be hunted out of existence?

5. Where In The World?

Hint: This is not Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.

Yesterday: Trondheim, Norway.

Music 101

Up, Up and Away

You (or maybe I) forget how many classic Sixties pop songs for which The Fifth Dimension are responsible. That’s lead singer Marilyn McCoo. There’s no song that was better built for Muzak, but this is one of those tunes that I loved hearing when I was in the back seat of the wood-paneled station wagon circa 1971.

The song won THREE individual Grammys in 1968, including Song of the Year, and is the apotheosis of what was known as “Sunshine Pop.”

Remote Patrol

The Muppets

ABC 8 p.m.

It’s time to put on makeup. It’s time to light the lights…

Is there anyone who didn’t love the original Muppet Show? Funny, very funny, with some heart thrown in. I was always a Fozzie guy myself. Hoping this new show isn’t all about Miss Piggy.


by John Walters

Happy 65th, ya’ big lug! And you won an Emmy last night! Nice.

Starting Five

Forgive the succinctness, but it has to be Medium Happy Express today. We’ll be back at our regular long-windedness tomorrow.

Chad Kelly leads the Rebels to a 43-37 win in Tuscaloosa

1. Three Mississippi*

*The judges will also accept “Rebel Rebel” but you’re going to have to supply the song link yourself.

The first stunner of the season occurs in Tuscaloosa, at Mississippi ends No. 2 Alabama’s 17-game home win streak and soundly defeats the Crimson Tide –they led by 19 in the 4th before Bama made it interesting — 43-37. Ole Miss deservedly moves up 12 spots to No. 3, though if you have them No. 1 or No. 2 this week there’s no argument here.

Being blindsided by an Ole Miss lineman? That’s ironic. Keep that spinal column on a swivel, Cooper Bateman.


2. Sign Language

Nobody appeared upset when they spotted this sign in the background; only when ESPN chose to feature it during its gallery of signage

So the above sign apparently upset a few people because you know, it’s the internet and being offended is an inalienable right as established by the founders of the Constitution, but defense would like to submit the photo below into evidence….

This pic also appeared on GameDay, a vestige from last October’s Rebel win in Oxford

3. Hamm, Not on Wry

Hamm is more like Draper than we all thought

Finally. After being nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series seven years in a row, Jon Hamm, 44, finally crawls onto the stage and receives a gold statuette on his 8th try (you’re only one behind me now, Hamm!). Since Mad Men ended, Hamm, who lost his mother at the age of 10, has been to rehab and has broken up with his girlfriend of 18 years, Jennifer Westfeldt. Remind you of anybody?

The speech, linked above, was short, sincere and humble.

Good stuff from host Andy Samberg (Did he ever mention Brooklyn 9-9 in that song? I don’t think so. My favorite moment: “Did you watch Castle?”). And a little tribute to the closing scene of Mad Men.

4. The Holy Spirit, Amendola

Amendola had just one catch yesterday (teammate Julian Edelman had 11), for 29 yards, but folks will remember it.

The photo above doesn’t do justice to Danny Amendola’s 4th-quarter, 29-yard reception in New England’s 40-32 victory at Buffalo. The 5’11” slot receiver out of Texas Tech (a.k.a., Wes Welker 2.0) seemed to launch himself into the heavens, clutch the overthrown pass by Tom Brady, and then allow the throw’s momentum to take him on a wild, safety-abandoning ride as he fell to the earth with blatant disregard for his skeletal structure. You have to see the video(s).

Mr. Brady, by the way, was 38 of 59 for 466 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. The dude who was supposed to take a seat for the first four games of the NFL season leads the league in passing yardage (754) and TDs (7, all without an INT).

5. Where In The World…?

No, the correct answer is not “Every city along the Eastern seaboard in the year 2050,” though that’s a good guess. Answer tomorrow.

Hint: The building materials correspond to a Beatles song title.