1. Force of Nature
If you’ve spent any time in Oklahoma –or ever covered the Oklahoma Sooners — you know that the college town of Norman is 20 miles due south of Oklahoma City. And the locals in either town will tell you that locally, at least, the alley most likely to be hit by tornadoes runs east-west between their two precincts. It is that precise. And guess where Moore, Okla., is? Exactly. Fifty-one dead (that number will grow), 20 of them children. This same town experienced an even worse tornado (EF-5) back in 1999 that claimed 48 lives.
The storm chasers will tell you that the funnel was one mile wide and that it was a category EF-4 tornado. (Enhanced Fujita Scale). That May is the peak month for tornadoes. The newscasters who flew there from NYC last night will plumb human-interest stories for the next day or two. The “H&H Beat”: Heartbreak and Heroes.
I’ll tell you that there is room in our minds for the stats and room in our hearts for the devastating loss suffered by so many. But take a moment and appreciate this magnificent spectacle of nature. You live on a planet where such things as tornadoes and tsunamis, hurricanes and volcanoes exist. It is a planet full of wonder. The raw force of Earth is humbling.
Robinson Cano’s 13 home runs lead the American League
2. The “Bargain-Basement Yankees?”
That’s what YES Network play-by-play man Michael Kay called them after last night’s come-from-behind victory in Baltimore. Travis Hafner hit a game-tying home run with one out in the ninth inning and then drove in an insurance run in a two-run tenth for the 6-4 win. Mariano Rivera picked up the save, his 17th in 17 chances. New York, minus five of its starting eight position players for almost the entire spring, is 28-16 (we will note here that two men who wore pinstripes last season batted cleanup for their new teams last night: Eric Chavez, who is batting .343, for the D-Backs and Nick Swisher for the Indians; both teams are in first place). The Yanks have baseball’s highest payroll and its third-best record but are only 10th in run differential (+27), which is a testament to the job that its bullpen, particularly Mo and set-up man David Robertson (the best set-up man they’ve had since Rivera himself) have done.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (If by dinner you mean “late-night eggs”)
3. Ida Know
Kids, let “Mad Men” be a lesson to you. If you don’t know too much about your father’s past, but if he is white and devastatingly handsome, chances are slimmer than Ken Cosgrove that your grandmother is an African-American woman who times her home arrivals at the same time that the Grinch does. Give Grandma Ida credit, though. She had no idea when Don and/or Megan Draper would arrive home, but she still ambled into the kitchen to chef up some eggs for Sally. This woman has cojones. At the very least she should return and meet Roger Sterling for a drink.
4. “New York City’s Hottest Nightclub is…a Church?”
If you were wondering who those random characters attending Stefon’s wedding were on “Saturday Night Live”, well, they were not random at all. Every one of them was mentioned by Stefon during his 15 appearances on “Weekend Update” over the years (“HoboCops…homeless RoboCops”). It was sort of like the final episode of “Seinfeld”, when the entire gallery of recrurring characters returned — only this was funny. And, courtesy of PopWatch, a full directory of “New York City’s Hottest Clubs”, according to Stefon.
5. The Crossover Breaks Its Own Ankles
Jason McIntyre of “The Big Lead” reports that NBC Sports’ hip-cool-all-the-kids-will-watch-it-betwixt-games-of-cornhole show, “The Crossover”, is about to become 50% lighter. That’s because co-host Dave Briggs is out. The show is all Mama’s (i.e., Michelle Beadle’s) now.
Three summers ago, when Beadle first began blowing up, she made an appearance on “Letterman.” Dave asked her what she envisioned herself doing and Beadle replied, “I like your job.” (I can’t tell you if that’s what she said verbatim, but that was the gist of it). And Dave regarded her a little bit coolly. It was as if he was thinking to himself, I interview people more charming and witty than you at least once a week, sweetheart. They just don’t hand out these shows to trained monkeys.
In the salad days of “SportsNation”, I truly enjoyed Beadle and the banter with Colin Cowherd. She was the girl every guy wanted to have a beer or four with.
But something has changed. The more I’ve come to know Beadle as a TV personality, the less interested I’ve become. What do you talk about after you’ve exhausted “Anchorman” references and keg-stand anecdotes? She is always arch; she is always, if not sarcastic, then at least too cool for the event about which she is talking. It’s like reliving sophomore year of high school with each episode.
Michelle Beadle is the polar opposite of Jim Nantz. And no one wants a Jim Nantz clone, but Bizarro Jim Nantz is almost as bad. I’m finding that Michelle Beadle is the Oakland of sports hosts: there’s no “there” there. She’s really not funny enough to get away with poking holes in every sacred cow — at least Dennis Miller had genuinely interesting and occasionally brilliant insights — and you have to wonder why a woman in her mid- to late-thirties appears, at least on camera, to care only deeply about the very things that freshmen college boys do.
She’s smart. And she gets all the references. But until Beadle displays a genuine emotion on air (aloof is not an emotion) or demonstrates that she has a passion for something greater than Dodgeball or imbibing heavily during Triple Crown races, she’s just TV cotton candy: momentarily satisfying but providing little in the way of substance.
Game of Thrones Recap
Odds and ends of Sunday’s episode.
DNP-Coach’s Decision: Kingslayer, Lady Brienne, Petyr Baelish (still accepting high-fives for his awesome monologue two episodes ago), Varys, Jon Snow, Robb Stark and his smokin’ health-care wife, Theon and his torturer, all three dragons.
1. So, Sansa Stark married a dwarf and Arya Stark is headed to a wedding with The Hound. If I were Ned Stark, I’d ask to be beheaded. If the latter Stark daughter ever does breed, will she create an Aryan race of offspring?
As soon as this is over, I’m registering on KingsLandingMingle.com
2. “The Second Sons have faced worse odds and won.” “The Second Sons have faced worse odds and run.” Good one, Jorah! Can I get a rimshot, please?
3. Don’t you love how every time we are reintroduced to Stannis Baratheon, he is standing in his war room, all alone, just staring at the board. It’s as if he’s playing the world’s longest, largest, most boring game of Risk and he still cannot decide if he should invade Madagascar. Thank God for the cougar-witch. She makes this sub-plot bearable. Also, I’m totally using the line “Come fight death with me” at some point.
“As soon as my work here is done, I will open a wind chime boutique in Studio City.”
4. Cersei Stark’s type can be found hanging out at wine bars all over Manhattan’s Upper East and West Sides. “I’ll have another Sauvignon Blanc, and nobody cares what your father once told you.”
“July in Sag Harbor, and then August in the Outer Hebrides. And you?”
5. I did the counting for you, but there were two uses of each four-letter c-word (men’s and women’s genitalia divisions) and two full-frontal nudity scenes.
6. Dario: “The Gods gave men two gifts to entertain ourselves before we die: The thrill of ( ) a woman who wants to be ( ) and the thrill of killing a man who wants to kill you.” Might I add, “Breaking Bad on Netflix?”
7. I hate to reference a family that I loathe even more than the Lannisters (although, I gotta admit, only Cersei and Joffrey bug at this point), but my advice to Sansa Stark comes from that cloying 2005 Christmas film, “The Family Stone”: “You have to let your freak flag fly.”
8. “No leeches were harmed in the making of this episode.” Wait, what’s that? “Three leeches were harmed –charred, in fact– in the making of this episode.”
9. “I vomited on a girl once in the middle of the act. Not proud of it” — this episode was Tyrion Lannister’s (Peter Dinklage’s) clear-out-and-give-me-the-ball moment. His set piece. And of course he was smashing. Tyrion has been a forlorn and even whiny character all season long, but he finally had his moment to shine. He is the most noble of all the Lannisters, if not the most noble man in all of Westeros. When Sansa Stark said, “What if I never want to share my bed with you?” and Tyrion replied, “And so my watch begins”, I thought to myself, That’s Westeros’ slang for “We are ND!”
10. Did you also get a very Sir Wesley and Princess Buttercup vibe going on between Daario Naharis and Daenerys Targarian? Daario, by the way, is the very reincarnation of former San Diego Charger longsnapper David Binn. Also, and I don’t know if this was intentional, but did you notice that the term “philosophical difference(s)” was uttered in consecutive scenes, first by Daario and then in the following scene by Samwell Tarley? Was that intentional?
Okay, that’s all I got for now.