IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

Note: There’s an ‘L” in my surname. I never directed the Ohio State marching band. Just like there’s no “L” in Greg Auman’s name…and he never directed the Allman Brothers.

The Gladiators have won three games this season on the final play of regulation

1. Cleveland Rocks

The Cleveland Gladiators, an Arena Football League team, are 16-1 with one game remaining, at Tampa tomorrow night. They’ll have home-field advantage throughout the playoffs all the way to the ArenaBowl on August 23. Wouldn’t it be funny if a team ended the city’s 50-year playoff famine before Johnny Manziel or LeBron James ever suited up?

My story in Newsweek here

2. As Dad Doubles Down on the Oakland A’s…

I’m so glad I talked my dad out of taking Brazil.

Hilarious moment from abroad, brought to our attention courtesy of “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver. Before the World Cup, Singapore ran an anti-gambling ad in which a little boy is downcast because his father “bet my savings on Germany.”

But Germany won!

(Didn’t anyone at the ad agency realize that die Mannschaft was a favorite? Or did they just go on the whole “a European side has never won a World Cup on South American soil” maxim? Listen, if you want an ad like this to work, you always go with, “My dad bet my life savings on England. ENGLAND!”)

I’d like to see an updated ad in which the dad is one of Singapore’s most successful touts, promising “mortal locks” on field hockey and cricket matches.

3. Lupica’s List

Joe Girardi, who won a World Series ring as both a player and manager, did not make the list; Tom Coughlin did

So the New York Daily News releases a list of the “50 Most Powerful Figures in New York Sports” (No. 1, James Dolan, a benefactor of nepotism who’s decided to victimize all of us because of it). One sports writer makes the list: Mike Lupica at No. 21…who writes for the Daily News and whom I imagine believes he should be higher on that list.

Notably not on the list? Michael Kay, who has been the TV voice of the Yankees since 2002 and who also has an afternoon sports talk show on WEPN-FM; the New York Post’s longtime acerbic sports media columnist, Phil Mushnick; anyone from the New York Times, including well-respected sports media columnist Richard Sandomir; any player from the New York Jets (okay, that’s understandable); not a single local sports anchor, including long-time WNBC anchor Bruce Beck or highly regarded Al Trautwig; Walt Frazier or Mike Breen, who’ve been doing the Knick games for years; and while longtime Mets’ media relations gatekeeper Jay Horwitz is included (at No. 50), Jason Zillo, who has performed the same job for the Yankees for more than 15 years and who is very well-liked and highly regarded, is not.

It comes off as a list of people who 1) you just cannot exclude or 2) Lupica cronies. I imagine he had to have vetted the list.

4. One Reporter’s Gaza Odyssey

Last week NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, who personally witnessed the attack on a Gaza beach in which four boys playing soccer were killed, was a high-profile face of the Israel-Gaza conflict. Mohyeldin, who is Egyptian and American and is fluent in Arabic, has reported from inside Gaza during previous conflicts.

Then Mohyeldin was pulled out of Gaza by NBC in favor of its top dog foreign correspondent, Richard Engel. In fact, on the day of the strike that killed the boys, NBC Nightly News had Engel report the story from Tel Aviv–as opposed to Mohyeldin.

One of three things were happening here: 1) Someone high up at 30 Rock thought that Mohyeldin’s reporting leaned toward the Palestinian side, 2) Engel was asserting his alpha-dog privilege or 3) NBC was afraid that its viewers wouldn’t respond as well to Mohyeldin, or to someone who has a name like his, or looks like him (i.e., not Jewish), as they might to Engel, who is admittedly a familiar face and a highly regarded reporter–and has a name and a face that is not as alienating to Middle America.

It may have been a little of all three, though mostly No. 3. NBC, which first pulled Mohyeldin out of Gaza for “safety concerns” before immediately installing Engel there, has been called out for its hypocrisy. And so now the Peacock has returned Mohyeldin to the Palestinian settlement.

Why do network executives make life so hard on themselves? My experience is because they think they’re the only people in the room with a functioning brain.

5. It’s A Shame About Ray

Nevermore?

Our latest Get Rich Slow idea, a daily sports show that takes umbrage on an issue, The Daily Harrumph, has yet to be picked up by the networks. So I guess we’ll just have to discuss Ray Rice here. Not much to say other than that, yes, two games seems rather lenient.

Did we see what happened inside the elevator between Rice and Janay Palmer, then his fiancee and now his wife? No. Is that relevant? Honestly, I don’t know. Do I agree with Clay Travis, whose Fox Sports column on the issue concluded that it’s society’s fault, and here I quote, “that’s our fault, not the NFL’s?” Heck no. One of my favorite teachers of all time, Jack Labonte, used to say that the “it’s society’s fault” catch-all argument was “a piece of crap” that people use when they’re too lazy intellectually to delve into the actual reasons. I agree.

If you think the punishment is too lenient, it’s the NFL’s fault. It’s not ours.

Personally, striking a woman is never defensible (Jay-Z handles righteously irate and hostile females in elevators with much more aplomb; maybe the NFL should show that video in its next rookie orientation). And Raven coach John Harbaugh should understand how bad he looks when he answers a question about Rice’s suspension with, “It’s not a big deal.”

This steamed rice is nowhere near as hostile

The only against-the-mean thing that I will say is this: As a member of the media, I’m finding the media’s instant I-wasn’t-there-but-I-know or I-don’t-live-in-that-world-but-I-know approach to these daily controversies (Tony Dungy, Rice, etc.) tiresome. At a certain point you have to understand that there’s some nuance to situations, and that the people closest to the situations, who live within the situation, may have a better grasp of it than the guy seated in front of his lap top.

On the surface, Is Ray Rice knocking out a woman a deplorable crime that deserves more than a two-game suspension? Yes. Is that all there is to this? I don’t know. Do you?

Reserves

Velvet ropes sold separately

Lambo Field

This vehicle, and those velvet ropes, belong to Seattle Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch. He’s an immensely talented player, and he’s holding out for more money. Which he has a right to do –Seattle simply won’t pay him, and we’ll wait to see who blinks first.

Lynch, clearly, is no pauper. Nor is the man who signs his checks. It’s not about fair, it’s not about whether Lynch “needs” a raise. It’s simply about the old Madonna tune –yes, a Madonna tune from the film “Dick Tracy”– (“Nothing’s Better Than) More” and about leverage. We’ll soon find out who has it.

Madonna, by the way, is worth $1 billion.

Where in the World?

Yesterday: the Mercury City Tower in Moscow, Europe’s tallest building

Not Casterly Rock

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

Three weeks after Angell was born, the Cleveland Indians won the 1920 World Series, five games to two, over Brooklyn

1. Angell in the Outfield (and Infield)

Roger Angell, baseball’s poet laureate whose prose has run in the New Yorker  (that magazine that never puts photos on its cover) for decades, is at long last being inducted into Cooperstown this weekend. Why the delay? Angell is not an actual member of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) as he does not actually cover a beat for a newspaper. SI‘s Tom Verducci, a future Hall of Famer himself, profiled Angell for the magazine this week.

2. Aviation’s Awful Week

You already know about MH 17 and the 296 lost passengers and crew. The Dutch welcomed their dead back yesterday.

But just in the last 24 hours, a TransAsia Airways turboprop plane that was attempting to land in a thunderstorm on the island of Penghu, near Taiwan, crashed on its second attempt. There were 47 fatalities.

Yesterday also, Haris Suleman, an Indiana teenager who with his dad, Babar, was attempting to fly around the world in 30 days in their prop plane crashed near Samoa. Haris died and Babar is still missing.

And just last night, an Air Algeria Flight, AH 5017, lost contact with air traffic control en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers. There are 116 people on board. The flight took off from the capital of the land-locked African nation which, if you know its name without looking it up, you’re a far better master of political geography than I. I can’t even spell it, but here goes, “Ouagadougou.” (“You’re too, shy-shy/Hush, hush/Eye to eye“)

3. Dim Whitlock

What’s that thing where you label an entire race, creed or color of people as all having the same trait, particularly if it’s a trait that is a negative one? What do they call that again? I dunno.

Anyway, ESPN’s Jason Whitlock appeared on “Olbermann” recently and did his very best to become the show’s first guest to also be that night’s “World’s Worst Person” by declaring that Canadians “don’t want it as much,” the “it” being championships.

Let’s leave Whitlock behind; he’s long since proven that he’s a joke and often a disgrace. What I hope for is that Olbermann will be Olbermann. If Whitlock or any other national figure had said this off his program, Keith would have lambasted him on air and probably given him a WWP dishonor. But since Whitlock is a fellow member of the WWL Cult, and since he is appearing on Keith’s program, he just received a gentle chiding. Why? Why won’t Olbermann be as objective and passionately righteous with ESPNers as he is with everyone else? It’s holding back his show.

4. Bringing Up “The Baby”

I would NOT want to change that diaper

So I used to host this little film festival in my apartment in the dead of winter in which friends each brought a film, then we sat around and watched the films, made fun of the one our friend Mark B. brought (even if it was good…only because we knew how much thought he’d put into selecting the movie and because it would upset him; we were wonderful friends that way), eat chili, get gassy, and eventually pass out. We called it the Johndance Film Festival.

Anyway, if the festival is ever revived, I’m bringing “The Baby,” a horror movie I recently caught at about 2 a.m. on Turner Classic. It was released in 1973 and is the story of a 21 year-old man whose mother and sisters –both of whom are runway model smokin’– still treat him like an infant. He doesn’t walk or speak and is confined to a crib, though there doesn’t seem to be anything mentally or physically wrong with him. It’s good creepy. Check it out if you get the chance.

5. New Feature: Humans Who Stoke Our Inferiority Complex

z

This is Rula Jebreal. She is a Palestinian/Italian journalist who grew up in an orphanage. She became a physiotherapist, then the first foreign anchorwoman in Italian television history, then a best-selling author, then a documentary film maker, then an MSNBC contributor. She also speaks five languages.

Jebreal made waves recently when she criticized MSNBC for, in her opinion, being egregiously one-sided in its Gaza-Israel conflict coverage. If she’s not a panelist on “Real Time” within the next month, I’ll be surprised.

Reserves

Roll Tide the Knot

We’d like to pat ourselves on the back with the restraint that we showed in our coverage (non-coverage) of the A.J. McCarron-Katherine Webb nuptials, but the wedding took place on the weekend of the World Cup final and we just weren’t paying attention. We missed it. In an effort to maintain our integrity, we’ll only post this pic that the new bride posted from their honeymoon as a link.

Where in the World?

Yesterday: Corinth Canal, Greece (Nicely done, Crash)

Hint: Tallest building in a certain continent

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

Headley already has more walk-off hits this season than Derek Jeter…because Jeter’s so overrated.

1. Chase Heddy (“That’s Headley!”)

On Tuesday Chase Headley woke up in Chicago, probably in a swank hotel in The Loop, ready to play a game of baseball that night in an iconic ballpark. And he did–but it would not be Wrigley Field. At about 11:30 a.m. Headley was informed that he’d been traded to the New York Yankees, so he promptly hopped a flight –most likely to LaGuardia– and suited up in pinstripes for that night’s game at Yankee Stadium.

The Yanks and Rangers battled 12 scoreless innings (not enough scoring in baseball–so boring!). Then the Rangers scored a run in the top of the 13th. Then the Yankees tied ‘em in the bottom of the inning. Then, in the bottom of the 14th, Heddy (“That’s Headley!”), who entered the game around the 5th or 6th inning and was 0-for-3 batting ninth, poked a game-winning single to left-center.

True Yankee.

Headley is wearing No. 12. The only Yankee who is and who can possibly wear a lower number –the others are all retired or soon will be–is lead off hitter Brett Gardner, who wears No. 11.

2. Taylor is the New Fetching

Schilling, beaming, signing ‘graphs before her appearance

So, I’ll confess: I haven’t seen “Orange is the New Black” because I don’t subscribe to NetFlix. And I don’t get out to many Nicholas Sparks films, so I hadn’t seen “The Lucky One.” And while, yes, she was marvelous in “Argo” as Ben Affleck’s wife, she only had one scene, the last scene. And I don’t recall if she even had a line.

So I really didn’t know much about Taylor Schilling. Last night, though, she appeared on Letterman and now I may have a crush. Funny, smart, self-effacing, lovely and utterly thrilled to be seated next to Dave. Here’s a clip that captures much of her charm (watch at :29), and then a later one. At the end I think she wanted to give Dave a hug, but then she pulled back some. Dave still gave her the coveted kiss on top of the hand, which signifies that you went over and above the call of duty as a female guest.

It’s funny. You watch her on Craig Ferguson and there’s lots of uncomfortable flirting, mostly in one direction. The interview with Dave is much less awkward.

3. Grass Half Full

Now also available for wedding receptions and exorcisms

That’s Notre Dame Stadium yesterday, as they install the Field Turf. I’ll reserve judgment for now, but I’ve always preferred natural to artificial turf. I’m told that the stadium will now be available for multi-purpose use, such as Tommy Shaw concerts (you’ll get that if you were a student in the spring of ’85) or perhaps a Bookstore semi-final.

We’ll miss you more than the grass

The biggest visual differences, besides the texture of the grass, going forward? 1) An interlocking ND at midfield, which I like, and 2) no Alex Flanagan, which I don’t like.

4. Rom-Com Rubes

Bringing Up Baby: Cat got your tongue?

So, Grantland.com decides to do a “Rom-Com Hall of Fame”, but since it’s Grantland, which is an arm of ESPN, an entity that firmly believes that the earth did not begin to spin until 1979, their list is limited to the past 25 years…because “When Harry Met Sally” invented the rom-com, or so they say.

Which is ridiculous and myopic.

The “modern rom-com” can’t hold a candle, much less a Roman candle, much less a “Roman Holiday”, to the greatest Rom-Coms of all time. And you need not be a fossil to appreciate or know this. Sanaa Lathan? Jennifer Lopez? Colin Firth?

Gents (and Ladies), may I suggest Cary Grant? Deborah Kerr? Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy?

I’m not saying that the ONLY good Rom-Coms are the old ones. What I am saying is if you are even going to pretend to have an astute discussion on the genre, you start with the following: “It Happened One Night.” “The Thin Man.” “An Affair To Remember.” (watch that scene; notice how much is said that’s not in the dialogue) “Bringing Up Baby.” “Roman Holiday.” (Then go back and watch “An Affair To Remember” once more, because the first 10 minutes have simply the best banter in the history of Rom-Coms).

I don’t mind that the average Grantland reader doesn’t know this. I do mind that Grantland, which purports to edify the masses, chooses not to know this. Harrumph-ity do!

5. Tour de France Update

He’s obviously doping

I’m in a rush this a.m. so I’m just going to leave this spot blank and depend on MH’s most loyal reader to fill in below in the Comments section with today’s update on the Tour de France. :)

Reserves

Hipster Ennui

Summer is the season for pranks in New York City. You’ll recall that the Human Fly, George Willig, who scaled the World Trade Center, and Philippe Petit, who tight-roped across it, did so in the summer time. So over night Monday, some one(s) scaled the Brooklyn Bridge and replaced the American flags with white flags.

I did like the New York Post headline: “HIPSTERS SURRENDER.

The police are still searching for the pranksters, while I phone my 23 year-old friend A.J. and innocently ask him what he was doing in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday morning.

Where in the World?

Yesterday: Yunnan Mountains, China

Hint: Not Panama

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

This year’s Badwater 135 did not go through Death Valley, but still covered 135 scorching miles in central California

1. Bad Ass

Yesterday at 8 a.m. was the start of the annual Badwater 135 Ultramarathon, one of the more insane races in or out of the continental U.S.A. Since the race’s inception in 1987, competitors have started at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park, the lowest spot in the continental U.S., and finished at the base of Mount Whitney, the highest spot in the continental U.S. This year, citing safety concerns (“Booo)!”, the National Park Service prohibited the race from being staged inside Death Valley National Park, so the new start is taking place at Lone Pine. It is still 135 miles in length, though, and the extremes will actually be more severe: Previously: 13,000 feet of ascent, 4,700 feet of descent. 1014: 17,000 feet of ascent, 12,700 feet of descent. The race began with 98 runners –invitation only. The winner, Harvey Lewis, a teacher at the Cincinnati School for Creative and Performing Arts, came in at 23 hours, 52 minutes and 55 seconds.

2. Miles Apart, Offensively

Petco, where hometown hitters routinely take the collar

Approximately 93 miles, and some of America’s most exclusive real estate (including Camp Pendleton, home to a massive U.S. Marine and SEAL Team base) separate Angels Stadium of Anaheim and Petco Park, the latter of which is home to the San Diego Padres. Mileage-wise, they’re pretty close. Runs-wise? The Angels have scored 491 runs, the most in baseball. The Padres have scored 189, the least. The Angels, as a team, are batting .268 (3rd-best) while the Padres are batting .215, the worst. The Angels have perhaps baseball’s best all-around player, All-Star Game MVP Mike Trout. The Padres just traded their RBI leader, 3rd baseman Chase Headley, to the New York Yankees.

3. From Hamas to James

Martin Fletcher, reporting from Gaza in Frank Costanza’s cabana-wear…

Let’s tie two seemingly –no, two actually–unrelated events involving sovereign areas with a border on the Mediterranean Sea. Here’s Jon Stewart last week knocking Israel for its “warnings” before it strikes the Palestinian homeland of the Gaza Strip (“an amuse boom, if you will”) and here he is last night with a clever little device.

…while colleague Ayman Mohyeldin reports from Gaza, having pilfered Tony Romo’s protective gear

Meanwhile, in Spain, Real Madrid has acquired James Rodriguez, the breakout star of the World Cup, who scored a tournament-high six goals in Brazil. Real Madrid now have forwards Rodriguez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, while their El Clasico rivals FC Barcelona boast Lionel Messi, Neymar and serial biter Luis Suarez. I’d call it a draw.

James, Suarez, Neymar,and Messi, the best players from their respective South American nations, all now toil in Spain.

4. Bean Counters

The original Chipotle in Denver

Stock in Chipotle (CMG) is up nearly 12% today (from $590 to $660 per share) after the company posted better-than-expected earnings figures. Better-than-expected should be the company motto. Founder Steve Ells, a former line cook in San Francisco, opened the first Chipotle in Denver in 1993 using an $85,000 loan from his dad. Ells calculated that he’d need to sell 107 burritos per day to be profitable. After just one month of operation, he was selling more than 1,000 burritos per day. Chipotle went public on July 29, 2009, at $95 per share. Within 14 months the stock had doubled in price. As it approaches its five-year anniversary, it is now nearly seven times its original worth.

5. Iron Man is a Rich Man

Downey: It helps to have a sense of humor about one’s self

As Tony Stark, Robert Downey, Jr., played a billionaire philanthropist, genius inventor, incorrigible playboy and the fourth in line to succeed whoever is currently ruling what once was Winterfell. As an actor, Downey is playing the highest-earning star in Hollywood. Or so says Forbes.

Where in the World?

Friday: Pink Lake, Australia

Hint: Where are all the people?

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

Axis of Evil? Putin was in the same box as Sepp Blatter (L) and LeBron James just eight days ago…

1. What Now?

You’re the President of the United States and you need to address the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17. Even though it was not shot down over U.S. airspace. Even though it was not a U.S.-based carrier. Even though, at most, only one of the 298 victims was a U.S. citizen and that person had dual Dutch citizenship.

But you must address it. If you don’t, your enemies –and we know who they are –will taunt you for being cowardly. They want ACTION. Great. Do they want to send their sons –much less themselves– into conflict? Are they willing to sacrifice the lives of people they love over a Russian-backed civil war in a nation most of them have never been to or will ever visit?

Here’s a New York Times editorial on what Russian president Vladimir Putin is thinking. He’s been thinking this way for at least two decades.

What would you do? (Spoiler Alert: You’re going to get hammered no matter what you say.)

Oh, and then there’s that whole Gaza versus Israel deal. That’s the back burner crisis? Wow.

2. Up…and Down

After launching this ball into the gallery, McIroy underwent Tommy Armour surgery.

Rory McIlroy joins an exclusive list –Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods –of men who have won three major championships before their 26th birthday… while Tiger has his worst finish (69th) of his professional career, shooting a 294. And then Tiger’s weekend went from bad to gorse (!) when the 64 year-old captain of the Ryder Cup team, Tom Watson, shot a final round 68– seven better than Tiger.

Woods is still ranked 9th in the world –McIlroy is second, behind Adam Scott–but it’s curious how both have handled relationships and it begs asking if there’s any correlation. McIlroy dumps his fiancee, Carolyn Wozniacki, in not chivalrous fashion, but his play improves. Tiger is still winless in a major since the whole blow-up with Elin, who has since gone on to be her college’s valedictorian.

Does Woods, 38, have another major title in him? He’s certainly young enough. That’s not the issue.

3. Jim Rockford is Definitely Not In–Leave a Message

Hartley and Garner: an incredible ad team

R.I.P. to James Garner, one of the better manly men actors of his generation and arguably the best actor whose surname is a verb. “The Rockford Files” was standard at my home as a child, but partly because my dad somewhat resembled him. Great theme song.  The entire sequence of still images fit the mood of the show to a T. Very of its age (Styx meets Boz Scaggs.)

Also, in the Seventies, half the country thought Garner was married to the fetching Mariette Hartley, so convincing were the pair’s Polaroid ads. A Polaroid was a camera that also functioned as a camera. It was a long time ago.

Garner was known to an earlier generation as Bret Maverick before he became  Jim Rockford (same creator, or what we’d now call “showrunner,” for both: Roy Huggins). Also loved him in “The Great Escape”, but he also did comedy. It was almost as if Hollywood didn’t know whether to make him the next Rock Hudson or Robert Mitchum. Alan Sepinwall’s tribute… which describes Garner’s work as “relaxed genius,” which is perfect.

4. Bill Hader: Bibliophile

Hader is an anagram of “Read H.” Don’t know what the “H” I’m talking about.

Nice piece in the New York Times weekend edition in which SNL alum Bill Hader delves deeply into his love of books. Not bad for a guy who never attended college. I was hoping he’d go Stefon here (“New York’s hottest bookstore is….”), but it’s fun to read about a guy celebrity who’s so engaged in literature.

5. “To-ga! To-ga!”

Togashi takes it to the hole fearlessly.

Washington Wizards rookie Glen Rice, Jr., (25 ppg) was deservedly named MVP of the recently concluded NBA Summer League in Las Vegas, but maybe nobody (Jim) garner-ed more attention than five-foot-seven Yuki Togashi of the Dallas Mavericks. The spudly Japanese point guard, who is only 20 years old, scored 16 points in 30 total minutes of play.

Will he play for an NBA team this season? We’ll see.

 

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flying over Poland two years ago

1. Bullet the Blue Sky

Here’s The Guardian with a purported recording between the rebels, realizing they’ve made a catastrophic error in their mission. Nearly 300 dead, half of them Dutch, including some of the world’s top AIDS researchers who were en route to Melbourne for a conference.

Two other noteworthy mid-July air disasters:

July 17, 1996…TWA Flight 800…. “Breaks apart” shortly after takeoff from JFK… 230 die.

July 19, 1989….United Flight 232, Sioux City…. 112 perish, though 184 survive.

 

2. Giant

One of the more famous NFL photos of all time was shot by Morris Berman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I’ll admit, I have only skimmed the first few paragraphs of Seth Wickersham’s profile of Yelberton Abraham “Y.A.” Tittle, now 87, but it appears that Seth just Gary Smith’ed the heck out of this story. Wonderful read. Tittle was a New York Giant from Texas, where the film “Giant” was set and shot.

3. Jerry & Jon

Stewart and Seinfeld had the best chemistry yet of any duo on “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”

I look at “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” as a multi-millionaire’s little gift to us, but Jon Stewart ribbed his pal Jerry Seinfeld for “making a second career out of getting breakfast with your friends six times a year.” Here’s Stewart and Seinfeld in this season’s final installment, among the two or three best,  which starts out in a Gremlin, a vehicle that Stewart refers to as “a method of contraception.”

Of course, these two Jewish comics had to wend their way to the Holocaust.

Jerry: “The term ‘concentration camp.’ I don’t think it was a camp.”

Stewart: “Well, they did have bunks.”

4. Chasing the Bear

Asked what an “acceptable finish” would be in Liverpool, Tiger tersely replied, “First.”

Tiger Woods was 32 years old when he won his 14th major, the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Jack Nicklaus was 35 years old when he won his 14th major, the 1975 PGA Championship in Akron, Ohio.

Nicklaus was 38 when he won the 15th of his 18 majors, the 1978 British Open at St. Andrews.

Tiger is now 38, and he is competing at the British Open this week…and has yet to win his 15th major.

The six-year drought is the longest in Woods’ career and has surpassed, in days, the longest drought of  Nicklaus’ career, which came between his 17th and 18th majors, 1980 and 1986. Those were his last two majors. Nicklaus drought lasted five years and eight months. Woods’ is currently at six years and one month.

Tiger shot a 3-under in yesterday’s opening round at Liverpool, which puts him just three shots back of leader and noted Lilliputian golfer Rory McIlroy.

5. (More) Death on Everest

From the moment that a bunch of Sherpas perished in an avalanche on Mount Everest last spring, the only question was which month the tragedy would become Outside’s cover story. Answer: August. The big surprise is that it’s not penned by Jon Krakauer, but rather Grayson Schaffer.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

If you haven’t yet, do yourself a favor and read Bill Hubbell’s essay on The Captain, Derek Jeter, in the post below.

Amjyot (L) and Amrit Pal (R) in a game against China last year

1. Turban Outfitters

On Saturday two of the top players on India’s national team, Amjyot Singh and Amrit Pal Singh, were told minutes before tip-off at the Asia Cup  that they would not be allowed to wear their turbans, which are customary Sikh headgear. India lost by 23 to Japan.

Then again, the following night, the two Singhs’, turban-free, were both game-high scorers (13 points apiece) as India defeated China for the first time in its 78-year history as a national team. My story in Newsweek.

An aside: The arena in Wuhan was not even half-filled, which is funny since India and China are the world’s two most populous nations.

2. ESPYs

I don’t watch the ESPYs. I just read the disgruntled tweets of everyone who is watching the ESPYs. But I hear they did a nice thing for Stuart Scott, which is cool. He’s handling his bout with cancer with true courage.

3. Newman Is An Island

“Hellooooooooo, Newman!”

It struck me yesterday afternoon, right around the time I read Drew Magary’s “Hater’s Guide to Derek Jeter.” (I love Magary’s work for Deadspin, I should say, although if I may get all Phyllis on you for a moment, I don’t think he needs ALL the F-bombs to be funny. Anywayyyy….). If your life is that bereft of hope and happiness that you need to seek out reasons to loathe Jeter, maybe it’s more about you.

And that’s how I came to Seinfeld and Newman.

On his eponymous, quasi-autobiographical sitcom, Jerry was successful, single at an age when most men aren’t, and universally loved while never being too polarizing. Except for one person: Newman. The portly postal worker thought he saw through Jerry’s charade. Oh, how he wanted to nab him for mail fraud.

So, to me, if you hate Jeter it’s probably more about the fact that you hate how much other people love him. You think hes’s receiving more than his earned share of adulation. And so I ask you, WHY do you care?

Worth noting: Jerry’s best friend was George, while Derek’s was Jorge.

Also, if it’s just too darn strenuous to scroll down, here’s Bill Hubbell’s wonderful essay on “Jeets.”

Oh, and yeah, this from Vanity Fair will rob you of the next 12 minutes of your life. But it’s worth it.

4. That Went Well…

Sonders is off to FOX Sports. Her husband, Eric Kuselias, is…off.

So this is Holly Sonders (her second mention in MH this week), and it’s not difficult to see what FOX Sports, and before them, The Golf Channel, saw in her. And her husband is Eric Kuselias, who long ago worked at ESPN and then moved to The Golf Channel before landing at NBC Sports (though, really, I’ve never, ever, ever, in the most Taylor Swift-ian way, EVER, understood his appeal).

Anyway, our friend Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead out-Deitsched Sports Illustrated on the scoop that Kuselias overplayed his hand with Sam Flood and the boys at NBC and (well, just read it here). I’ll just add that 1) The Golf Channel is owned by the same people who own NBC, which you probably already knew and 2) the president of The Golf Channel is Mike McCarley, who started out as NBC Sports in P.R. and has deservedly risen through the ranks. Good guy, always enjoyed either dealing with him and then later working with him.

FOX only wants me. Sorry. Now don’t say anything that’ll get a pot of molten gold tossed over your head.

So do Holly and Eric move to L.A.? And is his (agent’s) next call to the NFL Network –he was doing Pro Football Talk– or FOX, or does he just ask for a job at Sports Nation. Meanwhile, it’s all very Danaerys and Viserys –minus the sibling aspect–between Holly and Eric right now, I’d imagine. She’s the potentate of the pair, while he deludes himself into thinking he is.

And you know how that turned out.

5. Welcome to the Dahlhaus

His first miracle? Rendering thousands of women speechless.

This is model Ben Dahlhaus. I don’t know much about him other than the fact that not a few soft-news websites have done stories on how “ridiculously gorgeous” he is this week, which, yeah, he is. And that he kinda looks like what people think Jesus kinda looked like, if Jesus smoked.

Where in the World?

Tuesday’s answer: The Thin House, London

Hint: this is not the product of an industrial accident

The Captain of the Night

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On Friday night, September 26, 2008, Derek Jeter played in a baseball game that didn’t matter. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 19-8 that night and up until this week’s All-Star break, it was the only one of Jeter’s 2,685 regular season games where the Yankees had been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

2,685 baseball games played and only one that didn’t matter. One.

Jeter took his All-Star bow last night at Target Field and it was nearly perfect.  From his taped introduction from the voice of God to the thunderous ovation from everyone in the stadium before his first at bat. National League pitcher Adam Wainwright provided a nice touch by placing his glove and ball on the mound and stepping off the back to join in the applause and stretch the moment to the appropriate length.

Jeter finally settled into the box and as the FOX announcers let the moment bathe in natural sound, a nit-wit fan (Was it A-Rod? Who let him in?) was clearly heard yelling, “overrated” twice.  Jeter obviously didn’t hear him, but you’d swear he did as he shut the clown up by lacing a double to the opposite field. You have a criticism of Jeter? You’re wrong, and he’ll prove it quickly.

In the “twitter can make a mountain out of any molehill” world we now live in, Wainwright was bashed for suggesting he’d piped a couple of pitches for Jeter. Many took to the twitter pulpit immediately as if Wainwright had bet on the outcome of the game and shot up steroids while doing so. “Wainwright has clearly stained the sanctity of the game and should be burned at the stake!”

Intrepid (and oh so young and pretty) reporter Erin Andrews played her part, attaching a grave look to her face when she questioned Wainwright about why he’d killed that man, rigged the election perhaps gutted a couple of fastballs to Jeter.

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When it all got back to Jeter postgame, he gave a short response that nicely encapsulated why he’s Derek Jeter.

“He grooved them? I don’t know man….if he grooved it, thank you. You still have to hit it.”

Perfect.

Above the fray and out of the nonsense, just like always. That’s Derek Jeter.

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Another opposite field single and another goose-bump inducing moment when he exited the game after taking the field in the top of the fourth. Jeter saluted the National League dugout before tipping his cap to the crowd and then hugged every player in the American League dugout. (And these were real hugs, Jeter hugs, not A-Rod hugs where he was already looking glassy-eyed past the guy he was embracing. You almost expected each player to get a gift basket after Jeter moved on to the next guy.)

Oh, and the American League won, of course. Derek Jeter was on their team, so they won, that’s how it works.

Jeter arrived in MLB in the mid-90’s along with Alex Rodriguez and Nomar Garciaparra, as a trio of superstar shortstops. They were the progression of the position that Cal Ripken had started: shortstops who could not only field, but hit like stars. Miguel Tejada soon joined them. When all the dust settles, Jeter might be the only one of them in the Hall of Fame.

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A-Rod became infamous. Nomar and Miggy became Almost Famous. Jeter? He’s cool man, trust me, I’ve seen him and he’s cool. WAR doesn’t measure how cool somebody is and Jeter’s as cool as any cat that ‘s played baseball since George Brett.

Let’s get this part out of the way: He never won an MVP. He never won a batting title. He never hit 25 home runs. He only reached 100 RBIs once. Now let me repeat this: There’s no stat for cool. There used to be a stat for clutch, but Jeter broke it.

If you want to tell me that Jeter’s zone coverage analytic declined over the last decade,  go ahead, but I’d ask that you put down your protractor and go look at pictures of Minka Kelly, Jessica Alba, Adrianna Lima and Jessica Biel.

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Derek Jeter won five rings. Derek Jeter has more hits than any other New York Yankee ever. He’s the longest-tenured captain of the greatest franchise in the history of sports. Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve was quoted this week as saying, “He’s not just the captain of the Yankees, he’s the captain of baseball.”

Here’s one for the stat-heads: Jeter is one of only two players to have over 3,000 hits, 250 home runs, 300 stolen bases and 1,200 RBIs. The other is Willie Mays.

No stage was ever too big. The bigger the game, the better Jeter got. He worked his ass off and got everything he could possibly get out of his talent. At 40, he’s clearly not the player he once was, but did you think he’d let anybody down last night in his final All-Star game? With the entire sports planet watching him and hoping for the best, he went two-for-two and made a fantastic fielding play. The lights were the brightest imaginable and Jeter came through. That’s what he does.

“The flip” is perhaps his most famous play, and some have deemed it as overrated over the years. It’s not. Who backs up a cut off throw down the first base line? A guy who’s paying attention to everything around him, that’s who. Go watch the clip again, Jeter takes off the second Shane Spencer uncorks his throw because he knows it’s sailing over the head of the cutoff man and ending up in no man’s land.

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Jeter spent a lot of time in no man’s land. Five rings. No scandals. More beautiful girlfriends than George Clooney. For god’s sake, Jeter let go of the only woman on earth who didn’t want to marry Tim Riggins.

No sports fans on earth hate something as much as Red Sox fans hate the Yankees. But even Red Sox fans are going to get misty and mumble “Derek freaking Jeetah” under their breath when the captain plays his last baseball game, which is scheduled to be Sunday, September 28 at Fenway Park.

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It will be nearly six years from the day that he played in the one game that didn’t matter.

But of course it mattered. Derek Jeter was playing in it.

– Bill Hubbell

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

Just another two guys who were born in New Jersey.

1. Target Practice

Bottom of the first inning, Target Field, Minneapolis:

Derek Jeter, double.

Mike Trout, triple.

Miguel Cabrera, following a Robinson Cano whiff, home run.

All four of those American League All-Stars will some day enshrined in Cooperstown, methinks. The American League, which won 5-3, hit for the cycle by the bottom of the third, as Jeter singled in his next at bat. Both of Jeter’s hits were opposite-field jobs. Brian McCann, take note.

As for Adam Wainwright “grooving” a pitch to the A.L.’s leadoff hitter, which he joked about doing, then denied doing to Pam Oliver Erin Andrews? Perhaps that was just his way of tipping his hat to The Captain.

2. All In

I’m lovin’ it

The most newsworthy NBA event to take place in Las Vegas this month? Probably LeBron James‘ 58th-floor confab with Lee Jenkins of Sports Illustrated in the Wynn Hotel.

Number 2: The early validation of Creighton’s Doug McDermott –I’ve been on record as calling him a Top 5  pick (he went 9th) since at least March–who scored 31 points in the Chicago Bulls’ second NBA Summer League contest on Sunday and buried 20 points in just 26 minutes of action, a 34-point defenestration of the Minnesota Timberwolves, last night.

Oh, and the fans love him.

One thing to file away: His nickname is Dougie McBuckets, and he’ll be playing in Chicago, which happens to be the world-wide headquarters of…McDonald’s. Oh, I think this is going to work out just fine.

3. Yellin’ vs. Yellen

CNBC doesn’t care whether or not you like Santelli. They care that you find this compelling TV–which it is

It’s easy to loathe CNBC’s Rick Santelli, at least for the masses, because 1) he’s white 2) middle-aged 3) seems to have little empathy for the poor and 4) he yells and 5) he’s talking about things that few want to discuss and that most don’t actually understand.

His latest rant took place on Monday, and the topic was Fed easing, and my guess is that more of you can explain WAR than you can Fed easing (hey, me too).

Help me if I’m wrong here, but it seems that Santelli is angry at Janet Yellen and the Fed continuing to give us PEDs even though we don’t need them to overcome our injury because we’re no longer injured. Now she’s just giving us the PEDs because our offensive numbers are inflated. And he’s saying that the longer we continue to use PEDs –the new normal –the harder the thud will be when we are eventually taken off them. And Steve Liesman, who at least argues in a sane and rational way, is saying, “But look at how happy everyone is now.”

But I may be wrong. Please feel free to correct me.

I did agree with Santelli on his famous earlier economic rant, the gist of which was, Just because you live in a house that you put a down payment on does not mean you OWN the house. If you bought a house whose mortgage you clearly could never afford, and then the bank forecloses on it, tough. That house was never really yours–and the rest of us who were prudent enough not to buy something we could not afford should not have to bail you out. But that’s just me. I’m kind of a hardass on that stuff.

4. They Will Rock You

He’s just a poor boy, from a poor family

Queen, with original members guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, and without bassist John Deacon and also without the greatest front man in the history of rock and roll (the judges will also accept Mick Jagger), recently launched a summer tour. Gifted “American Idol” alum Adam Lambert is playing the role of Freddie Mercury, and while no one can ever match his charisma and vocal gifts, Lambert is coming close, apparently.

The magazine Rolling Stone just did a feature on the theatrical and utterly original British band –and it should have earned the cover over Melissa McCarthy, but whatevs– that is worth a read. And here’s the band’s entire set from Live Aid, 29 years and 3 days ago, from Wembley Stadium. It was the band’s rebirth, and what May called “the best day of our lives.”

(Check the moment at about 6:00, when Freddie leads the entire stadium in the clap-clap for “Radio Ga Ga.” That’s power. Apparently, all the other artists looked on in disbelief, and Elton John rushed up to them after the set and told them, with a laugh, that they’d just stolen the show. It was incredibly gratifying for Queen, who by this time appeared to have been left behind by the new wave of, well, New Wave.)

5. So, Not the Bruckner Expressway?

Thelma and Louise may have voted for it, but Highway 153 did not make the list

Here’s Outside magazine with a compelling list of “America’s Best Car-Touring Roads.” I’d add –though not to say they are more scenic –Connecticut’s Merritt Parkway and Mississippi’s Natchez-Trace Parkway. Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Morro Bay in California is pretty spectacular, too.

Where in the World?

Monday: Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

Hint: This home would suit Twiggy

The final World Cup-themed “Men in Blazers” podcast, with a nod to, at around the 20th minute, the notion of German superiority in all things. Also, right before 2:00, “Algentinian Malbec.” From the “CRAP part of SoHo.” Also, an excellent suggestion from Jordan Weissman of Slate for an annual Fourth of July sports event that would hopefully take the focus off competitive eating.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

STARTING FIVE

Cespedes and Puig: Real Cubans, although real Dominicans (Cano, Ortiz) are also smokin’.

1. Cuban Missiles

Cuba’s Yoenis Cespedes “for the rest of us” (I didn’t watch; Did Boomer use this?) won the Home Run Derby last night for the second year in a row. I don’t want to say the contest was a protracted affair, but Dr. James Andrews performed three Tommy John surgeries in a kiosk beyond the center field wall between the first and last homer.

2. Hat’s Entertainment

Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Joe Torre, Tino Martinez and Jorge Posada

Cut from the final version of Nike’s “Tip of the Cap” ad tribute to Derek Jeter

1) Howard Stern, who was here before and will be here after, and is one of the few New Yorkers as popular as Jeter but also wealthier.

2) Alex Rodriguez tipping his hat while staring at a mirror (thanks to @okerland) and backed by his legal team.

3) A group tip from Mariah Carey, Jordana Brewster, Jessica Alba, Adriana Lima, Jessica Biel and Minka Kelly –all clad in over-sized pinstriped nighties..

4) Stephen Colbert, who  lives in New York and even has a segment titled “Tip of the Cap.”

5) Times Square’s “Naked Singing Cowboy”, who is arguably the second-biggest male attraction in the city, and, like Jeter, wears a hat as part of his uniform.

6) Lena Dunham…naked.

7) Former New York Yankee (assistant to the) traveling secretary George Costanza.

8. Former mayor Michael Bloomberg, pouring out a 32-ounce soda.

3. Just Missed

Please, God (or Mother Nature), improve your aim

The 113th U.S. Congress has apparently just reached its Lightning Round.

I’m sure it is only a coincidence that only a day earlier a congressional blog noted that this edition was the ultimate “do-nothing Congress” (even its sexual congress is lacking, from the dearth of recent scandals), having passed fewer laws of substance than any.

They truly do not work for us; they work for themselves. Or, as John Oliver put it on Sunday, “You’d think that in a democracy, policies that benefit the very few at the expense of the many would not have a chance to succeed. But they do…”

4. Spokes and Sprinkles

This is a good time to remind you that “deluge” is a French word

(with our own tip of the cap to unpaid Medium Happy cycling correspondent Susie B.)

The Tour de France overtakes “Noah” as 2014′s Wettest Drama. Through 10 stages, wet weather (“Il pleut!”) has pelted the peloton (the peltoton?) and, sorry, Gene Kelly, but not no one is singing about it. Last year’s champ, Chris Froome, dropped out one day after crashing in during a stage that mixed pelting rain with cobblestone streets.

Kelly: Indifferent to cycling woes

Two-time champion Alberto Contador dropped out yesterday after crashing on a descent and breaking his tibia. Popular rider Mark Cavendish dislocated his shoulder after crashing on the final sprint, which is his specialty, during the race’s opening stage in Yorkshire.

Right now Italian Vincenzo Nibali wears the yellow jersey and has a 2 minute, 23 second lead as the Tour takes a day of rest. But he’s only a spill away from disaster.

5. SEC Media Doze

My suggested cover for the 2014 University of Florida football media guide. Own the moment, Gators

Four days in Birmingham in July???

What was second prize– a jailhouse visit with the Alabama tea bagger?

If all 14 SEC media guide can be condensed to one disc, can’t this Hoover Happening be condensed into one two-hour phone call? Answer: yes.

Reserves

Pam in her prime

Pamelot

I covered the NFL for Sports Illustrated in the mid-Nineties, right as Pam Oliver’s career was taking off on Fox, and here’s what I can tell you: not a few players, when told that Fox wanted to do a feature on them during the week, specifically requested Oliver.

She was, and still is, a gorgeous African-American woman. And she’s also good at her job. She just happens to be 53 now, not 33 or 34 or 35. She’s the age of a lot of these players’ moms now.

Yesterday, my old friend and colleague Richard Deitsch broke the story about Oliver’s No. 1 role being usurped by everybody’s favorite Trubiotics salesperson, Erin Andrews (“It supports digestive AND immune health!”) and the internet reacted with its typical gnashing of teeth and tearing of garments (And I thought, Wow, I do miss the World Cup).

Another old friend and colleague, Jeff Pearlman, tore off this appeal-to-the-masses take on the whole sad incident.

Someone wrote me on Twitter this morning that Oliver had experience at six stations before she landed her FOX gig. Great! I don’t care if she’d memorized the NFL Fact & Record Book. She’s a terrific reporter, but then so is Vic Carucci (Who? Exactly) and no one gave him a high six-figure deal to stand on a sideline and report news and land interviews.

Carucci is an inveterate Cleveland Browns reporter; actually, FOX or ESPN should hire him now

My point? Oliver landed this job, at least in part –and if you are honest with yourself, more than just “in part”–because of how telegenic she was and because not only did that appeal to viewers, but it also appealed to players who were more willing to talk to her. So if part of her initial evaluation was superficial, and that evaluation provided her 20 years of high-profile living and income, as well as a wonderful gig –when not being struck in the head by wayward passes–why is everyone so upset that a second evaluation based on superficial values bumped her to No. 2?

And, by the way, when two FOX executives fly to your hometown to break the news to you, that’s a sign of respect. Most people in most jobs never get that.

And so the era of Pamelot draws to a close. Is Oliver “better” than Andrews? All depends on your definitIon of “better.” Andrews is 36, has a larger contract and also more leverage. And 10 years from now she won’t. That’s how this game works. And everyone who plays knows it.

Then again, maybe Roger Goodell is still pissed off over this….

Holly Sonders. Sure, I’ve seen Jack Arute strike this pose

Finally, we would be remiss if we failed to note that yesterday it was announced that Fox had just hired Holly Sonders (who is married to Eric Kuselias, Over-Chicked Hall of Fame first ballot inductee) away from the Golf Channel. So maybe they had to clear some air space for her?

Remote Patrol

All-Star Game

Fox 7:30 p.m.

King Felix, or as one Sports Guy Mailbag reader once dubbed him, “F-Her”, will start for the A.L. at Target Field

In which The Captain, Derek Jeter, will hit a slow roller between the pitcher’s mound and third base, leg it out for an infield hit, and be named MVP. The Midsummer Classic will never again draw the viewers it did when I was a child, in the Seventies, because a prime-time nationally televised baseball game (there was at the time one per week) is no longer an event, nor is seeing players from the American League face off against those from the National League something we only see in this game and in the World Series. Also, there’s Candy Crush and binge-watching of Orange is the New Black.

By giving us Christmas once a month, Bud Selig has devalued Christmas. As if it took a genius to see that.

Also, 37 players on a roster?

And, you start the best players, then sub them out while not allowing them to return, but you decide that the stakes of the game are which league’s champion hosts the final two games of the World Series?

More is not more, Bud. Less is. Ask anyone who ever put on a bikini.

My suggestion: 25 players to a roster, and you may sub position players back into the game. And if your favorite team doesn’t have an All-Star, tough. Tell them to play better. NEXT!