IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy Birthday, bitch!

Starting Five

Parker and Ward

1. Commonwealth of Shock

I struggled with the above photo. Just three days earlier I chastised (have you noticed I do a lot of chastising? I have) CNN for blacking out the portion of the Hunter Hawker crash where the plane actually touched down –and ended people’s lives.

And so, yes, I could’ve led the way the New York Daily News or New York Post are doing this morning. The difference is that the killer is manipulating me here. That’s exactly why he shot the scene on video. He knew he wouldn’t be around to see this morning’s newspapers.

Two more things. Even though the man who took the lives of Alison Parker and Adam Ward was not wearing one, we have entered the GoPro-to-Facebook-and/or-Twitter Social Media Murder Age. Welcome, all.

Lastly: You can talk about guns, or mental illness, or depression. They’re all part of the problem. But never forget: some people are just evil. Some people are just bad. They’re assholes. And it’s not always a matter of, Well, if someone had loved them better as a child, etc… We often look for reasons as to why someone could be so malevolent. Sometimes, it’s just their nature.

Watson had some terrific insights on yesterday’s tragedy

Fortunately, however, they are always going to be outnumbered by decent people. People like Jaye Watson, an Atlanta-based on-air person who typed these words yessterday.

2. Not a Single Bo Peep*

We haven’t heard Bo diddly from Todd’s son since he resigned

*The judges will also accept “That Little Devil”

You’re 33 years old and the running backs coach at Arizona State. Your dad, who is 50, is the head coach of a that program, which is ranked No. 15 in the preseason AP poll. And then, two weeks before the Sun Devils’ first game, you resign.

The word in Tempe is that Bo Graham had a relationship with a student athlete (I’m hearing a gymnast, who has since graduated), that that is against ASU’s by-laws no matter the age of the student-athlete, that Todd Graham told his son to cut it out, and that Bo went all Johnny Paycheck on his father.

Not that Graham or ASU had shed any light on the details of Bo’s resignation. Former Sun Devil QB Rudy Carpenter tweeted out a cryptic message when the news broke:“Not a good idea 4 college coaches to get caught with students or student athletes. OUCH.” So Rudy’s going to have to wait a little longer before the Sun Devils retire his number.

Tough position for Todd Graham to be in, but one that he helped Foster by hiring his son. In 2007 and 2008, Bo was the running backs coach at his dad’s school, Tulsa, but then left to be the offensive coordinator at Tulsa Central High School (anyone see a pattern developing?).

To Bo’s credit — and Todd’s — Tulsa did lead the nation in total offense those two seasons.

This piece, by Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic from two years ago, is illuminating as to the father-son dynamic at play here.

Is Bo’s transgression as insidious as, say, Auburn maintaining a bogus major (Public Administration) just so football players can remain eligible? Well, no. But it’s more intriguing because it’s all cloak-and-dagger in Tempe at the moment. Oh yeah, and sex.

3. Joey Bats’ Code of Silence

The word from Bautista is, or at least was, mum.

If you haven’t heard, Toronto Blue Jay All-Star Jose Bautista is refusing to speak to Sportsnet, the network that airs their games. The oddity? Both the Blue Jays and Sportsnet are owned by the same company, Rogers Communications.

What’s the problem? Back in May Sportsbet took out a Blue Jay rookie, Devon Travis, for a fluff segment that would show Travis purchasing a suit. It was the network’s idea, but it was Travis who was stuck with the $600 bill. Bautista that that was, in the words of another baseball idealist from an earlier era who also was very protective of a teammate, “Cruddy.”

Tanner Boyle was alos beloved for sticking up for his teammates, although I doubt Lupus ever went to Brooks Brothers

Sportsnet, as its defense, claimed that it did not pay for the suit because it did not want to give off the appearance of having a conflict of interest. You’re way past the “appearance” stage if you work for the same people who own the team that you are covering.

Update: Joey Bats has ended his boycott. Did someone at Rogers finally spring for Travis’ suit? I hope so.

*Thanks to our Canadian correspondent, Moose, who insists that you will not find her email address on the Ashley Madison hack list.

4. Guitar Wizard

Howe, 68, is in the midst of a 27 shows-in-37 nights North American tour with Yes

Yes, a repeat (“See what he did there?”), but I really, really enjoyed speaking with legendary Yes guitarist Steve Howe for this piece in Newsweek. When I first contacted Yes’ management on the Isle of Man or Isle of Wight or one of those cool isles, I sent an email. About an hour later I received a phone call…from Steve Howe himself.

We spoke for hours. He’s a truly funny, self-effacing genius. If you pay attention to “Your Move/All Good People” you’ll note that he plays two very different guitars on the same song and at least three different styles. He truly is a Wizard of Guitar.

5. Justin, Just Out Of Luck

Against a lineup that featured future Hall of Famers Albert Pujols and Mike Trout (okay, sure, I’m projecting, but I’ll go out on that limb), Justin Verlander pitched eight no-hit innings last night. The Tiger ace allowed a leadoff double in the ninth, meaning that he is stuck on two career no-hitters.

Only five pitchers in Major League history have hurled three or more no-hitters: Nolan Ryan (7), Sandy Koufax (4), Bob Feller (3), Cy Young (3) and Larry Corcoran (3).

Notes:

–Corcoran hurled all of his no-hitters before Ryan, Feller or Koufax were born. His three came between 1880 and 1884, all for the Chicago White Stockings (the future Cubs, NOT White Sox) at Lake Front Park.

–Verlander would have joined Koufax as the only pitcher to win both the league MVP and a Cy Young award. He would’ve also become the first pitcher to hurl three no-no’s and sleep with an SI swimsuit issue cover model.

Corcoran went on to a lucrative career as the spokesperson for W.B. Mason

–Koufax won 3 Cy Youngs and Verlander has claimed one. The award did not come into existence until 1956, which is why Corcoran, Feller and Young never won one. Seems kind of unfair: Tommy John can have Tommy John Surgery, Lou Gehrig can have Lou Gehrig’s Disease…but Cy Young cannot win a Cy Young Award?

–Who threw the most one-hit games? I’m glad you asked. It’s a tie between Ryan and Feller, “The Heater from Van Meter,” at 12.

— Corcoran, despite going 43-14 in 1880 and having three other seasons in which he won at least 31 games, is the only one NOT in Cooperstown. Career record: 177-89. Corcoran was also an ambidextrous pitcher.

Music 101

 

 

Leave It (A Cappella)

My personal favorite Yes tune –Yes, I’m jonesing on Yes — and here is the version that only appeared on the B-side of a single. Also, here’s a kickass amateur version by the UCLA Scattertones (Rule 73: Don’t laugh out loud or clap DURING an a cappella performance; it’s not about you). Highly competent college a cappella here. They could take on the Bellas — and the Trebles.

Remote Patrol

Go outside and play. There’s nothing on.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Culkin, a New York City native, landed a role as a mischievous boy in Chicago while…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.  Birthday Boys

In the late 1980s the producers for a John Hughes film set in Chicago’s tony north side suburbs (weren’t they all?) were casting about for a mischievous lad to play the lead role of Kevin McAllister in a film titled Home Alone.

At the time just such a lad lived in the Lincoln Park section of Chicago, and he was even already enrolled in an acting class. He wanted to audition for the film. There was just one problem: his parents, both attorneys, realized that he was just too perfect for the role and they weren’t quite sure that they wanted to raise a child actor.

And so John Mulaney, who turns 32 today, never auditioned for the part, while Macaulay Culkin, who turns 35 today, landed it. And if you know Mulaney at all, you know that he really would have been almost too real to play that part. As it turned out, Culkin did just fine with it.

“And now you know…the rest of the story.”

P.S. If you watch this bit from Mulaney’s stand-up, you can ascertain that he still wishes he’d been given a shot at the role.

2. Notre Dame’s Screen Pass

Artificial Turf? Check!

Luxury Boxes for Well-Heeled Boosters? Check!

Alternative Uniforms? Check!

Truman Show-esque documentary crew hounding players and coaches? Check!

Giant Video Board! Check mate!

In 2007 then Notre Dame athletic director Kevin White told Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune that the Fighting Irish would not have an in-stadium giant video screen in his lifetime. Either White was wrong or he has about two years to live.

Yesterday Notre Dame announced that beginning in 2017 it will place a giant video board in the south end zone, which means that it will be directly in the line of sight of Touchdown Jesus, who undoubtedly hopes that the administration will have the courtesy to leave him the remote the other six days of the week.

Hey, I’m not Anti-Innovation across the board. I like the Shamrock Series unis (especially the all-whites from the ASU game). I cheered when the Irish stopped running their offense out of the famed Notre Dame Box. And I think the video board will be a great help: I’ve always wanted to watch two extremely pale humans named Dylan and Meghan smooch on a Kiss-Cam.

Still not a fan of the Field Turf. And I never will be.

3. The Daily Harrumph! NazIsis Edition

Curt Schilling’s Facebook meme read, well, you have eyes, it’s right above you.

After Schilling posted that yesterday, his employer, ESPN, suspended him.

Curt. Curt. Listen: Never go Hitler. Just…never. There is one exception to this rule: If you happen to be Jewish AND you happen to be funny, then you can go Hitler.

Mel Brooks. Springtime for Hitler and Germany/Deutschland is happy and gay/We’re marching to a faster pace/Look out, here comes the Master Race!”

Woody Allen. “I can’t listen to Wagner. Every time I do, I get the urge to conquer Poland.”

Larry David: “The thing about Hitler I admire is that he wouldn’t take any shit from magicians.”

So , maybe if you’re Jewish and funny. But Curt, I don’t know if anyone has ever told you this, but you look quite Aryan. Your name is quite Aryan. And while that should not matter as you express this idea — comparing a regime that tried to annihilate a religion to, of all things, another religion — it sorta does.

I’ll give Curt this, though. I watched a documentary on Hitler last night just in order to write this item with less ignorance. Hitler’s plan was to intimidate through fear and violence (yes, you already knew that, but he started out this way; it was partially how he rose to power). ISIS is doing the exact same thing. They just lack a dynamic speaker.*

*But, really, ISIS really are a bunch of absolute, craven nihilists. Probably the worst organization of our lifetime. They’re like a Down With People group.

4. Huddle Humbled

Infeld ran through the finish line as Huddle raised her arms in illusory triumph

You know what really blows after running a 10-K? Losing out on a medal on you final step. Those of us who have run non-elite 10-Ks are aware that there is always THAT GUY who sprints the last 20 yards so that he can beat you to the finish line and brag that he came in 1,291st place as opposed to 1,292nd. We loathe THAT GUY.

But, when the race is the Women’s 10,000 meter World Championship, well, you are permitted to be that guy. And so Emily Infeld passed her U.S. teammate, Molly Huddle, on the very last step of the 6.2 mile race to claim bronze. Painful lesson for Huddle, a Notre Dame alum. One she’ll remember at next year’s Olympic Trials.

5. Murder in Roanoke

More senseless deaths

A morning news crew shooting a remote in Roanoke, Va., this morning was murdered when a man approached them, as they were shooting live from the porch of an apartment complex, and fired. Killed were reporter Alison Parker, 24, and videographer Adam Ward, 27.

Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Chattanooga, Littleton, Baton Rouge… (I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few, but hey, there are so many). The fun never ends in America. Keep shooting, cowards. Keep shooting.

As Trenni Kusnierek noted on Twitter after the news broke, there are politicians who are vying for president and openly discussing tweaking the 14th amendment. But nobody will touch the 2nd amendment, now will they?

Keep living in fear, America. And keep feeding that fear, pols. It sells guns, it sells weapons, it sells billion-dollar contracts to manufacturers who have pols (or former pols) on their boards. Keep selling that fear. And yet the last time mainland America was attacked by an actual foreign military was….1918.

Music 101

Light and Day

Easily one of the five best live shows I ever attended: the Polyphonic Spree at Irving Plaza about 7 or 8 years ago. One of the members was the woman now known as St. Vincent. This song also appeared on Scrubs. (note: this was the zenith of this highly underrated sitcom; they should have ended it on this montage. Dr. “Dorkian” had finally figured it all out). They’re a hippy, trippy band from Dallas who at the time had 28 members and were always in danger of losing one for a bit due to pregnancy, but I always enjoyed ’em.

Remote Patrol

Cubs at Giants

ESPN 10 p.m.

Handsome, 6-5 Kris Bryant (20 HR, 75 RBI) probably will never have to pay for his own beer on the North Side

San Francisco, the most dominant team in baseball in even numbered years, hosts the Cubbies, who have won two less World Series in the past 106 years than San Fran has in the past three. Ah, but Chicago has won 6 straight, is 26-11 since the All-Star break, and though they’re in 3rd place in the NL Central, look poised for a wildcard berth. Kris Bryant looks to be the NL Rookie of the Year. October at Wrigley? We can hope.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 45th to Claudia Schiffer!

Starting Five

Heather Thomas and Lee Majors were never part of Cris Carter’s “crew”

1. Daily Harrumph! — The Fall Guy

So….14 months ago Cris Carter, standing next to Warren Sapp (who would one month later be arrested for an incident of domestic violence but NOT be fired from the NFL Network until this past winter after soliciting prostitutes) advised rookies at an NFL Rookie Symposium to “find a fall guy” to take the rap in order to avoid trouble.

And so one of the rookies there, Chris Borland, would later tell two reporters, “I was wondering, Should I just get up and walk out?” A year later Borland, a starting DE for the San Francisco 49ers, retired (Borland didn’t explicitly rat out Carter; he just mentioned the incident without going Testikov on him).

The truly disturbing thing: NFL.com had that video up for a year and nobody noticed (maybe it the league were more popular). And where were the plethora of NFL “Insiders” on this. Yes, SI‘s Robert Klemko was there but he had agreed beforehand to some things being off the record in exchange for access. I can understand his predicament. However, as soon as the NFL posted that video on its state-run website, it was fair game for Klemko and everyone.

Carter apologized last night because he doesn’t want to lose his job at ESPN, but now he belongs in the same corner as Ray Lewis, the one where fraudulent men deign to address issues about character with a straight face. ESPN should fire Carter and hire Borland: he’s the only dude involved here with any integrity.

2. Da Bears!

The stock markets in China sneezed again yesterday, and again the U.S.A. caught a cold. America: We’re China’s Canada!

The DOW Jones became America’s wildest roller coaster yesterday, dropping nearly 1,100 points at the open (Is that bad? It’s not good), then rebounding so as to be down only 200 points before finishing down 588 points, its worst day in four years.

The latest chart of this week’s market…

Now, here’s the thing: this isn’t necessarily bad. It’s not as if the bomb detonated here. The bomb detonated across the Paciific and a breeze wafted it over to us. It’s not like 2007 when Lloyd Blankfein was saying, “Fire? What fire?” as he held a blowtorch in the other hand.

This happened in Beijing, China’s capitol, on Monday. It’s nice when the metaphors write themselves.

The other reason it’s okay (Stocks 101, from someone truly not qualified to teach it). It’s only a BAD day if 1) you are oversaturated in the market and 2) you actually SOLD your stocks.

Solutions: 1) Learn to read the market. Stop trying to sell at the top. As Jim Cramer wisely states, “Nobody ever went broke taking a profit.” This way, when days like yesterday occur, you have cash on hand that will allow you to see yesterday as a Crazy Eddie-type sale (“His prices are insane!”). 2) Follow the advice of Bette Davis in All About Eve: “Fasten your seat belts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.” The ride may be turbulent, but that doesn’t mean you jump out of the plane (sell). Fasten your seat belts, kids, and I guess, sure, take the advice of Wilson Phillips as well.

3. Split-Second Timing

Wilson’s vehicle, far right, heading toward wall. The debris has already struck him in the head.

Last night Indy Car driver Justin Wilson died from head injuries he suffered at Pocono Raceway on Sunday. Wilson simply had the worst of luck. The lead driver in the race, Sage Karam, spun out on Lap 179 of the 200-lap ABC Supply 500. Karam did not encounter any other cars, he simply spun out coming out of a turn.

Karam hit the wall, debris flew, and the nose of his car went airborne, striking Wilson, 37, in the head. No way to avoid such an accident when you’re traveling at 180 m.p.h. It was simply Wilson’s time, if you believe in such things. Wilson most likely lost consciousness, and his car then speared the side wall nose first. He never regained consciousness and died  one day later.

If you watch the video, you’ll note how the announcers’ tones change when, upon seeing the replay for the first time, they realize that the piece of debris struck Wilson. At that point, they know the reality. p.s. The announcers here, especially the Brit, were extremely astute here. They didn’t jump to conclusions, they waited to see the video but then once they did, they didn’t sugarcoat it.

4. U Oughta Know…That We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

I want to be there when Taylor invites Adam Ant onstage to perform “Goody Two Shoes.”

Night 3 at the Staples Center, and Taylor Swift invites ’90s siren Alanis Morissette onstage to perform a duet of “You Oughta Know.” That T-Swizzle is so smart. First, she keeps the tour interesting for herself by brining on special guests all the time. Second, she pays respect to artists who preceded her, knowledgeable that her fame is at its zenith and that it is all fleeting. I’m sure someone like Alanis appreciates playing to a crowd of 18,000 again. It’s difficult to resent a fellow artist for their wild popularity when they’re inviting you to wallow in it with them.

Third, pay close attention to what Taylor does here. She realizes she’s singing the verse with the F-word in it, and she has a wholesome image, and she knows that hundreds if not thousands of fans are videotaping her on their smartphones, so she doesn’t want that to go viral. Thus, in the middle of the verse (3:00) she hands it back to Alanis. Am I overanalyzing this moment? You tell me.

5. The Screen Door Slams…

It’s the 40th anniversary of the release of Born To Run. It’s the first album I bought in high school and still the best I’ve ever owned. And I can still, with only a few lapses, recite the entire volume by memory. Soon after the album’s release, both Time and Newsweek placed Bruce Springsteen on its cover, which was the 1975 equivalent of The Boss doing a Reddit AMA and being part of a Buzzfeed listicle on the same day.

….tonight in Jungleland.

Day of Yore

Hack Miller: Not even the most famous “Hack” to play in the Friendly Confines

93 years ago today, the highest-scoring Major League Baseball game ever played. The Cubs led 25 to 6 over the Phillies at one point before giving up 14 runs in the Phils’ final two at-bats. Chicago held on to win, 26-23. Hack Miller went 4 for 5 with two home runs and six RBI for the Cubs.

Music 101 

Thunder Road

I mean, how can I not?

and then 38 years later…

Remote Patrol

Popeye Doyle: Road rage, circa 1971

Listen. Tonight, ESPN2 is airing the World Armwrestling League in prime time. So, you know, go home, Norby, you’re drunk. Go visit Netflix and watch The French Connection: you’ll learn that Gene Hackman was nearly as bad a cop as he was a high school basketball coach.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 50th to Marlee Matlin…one of two Oscar-winning actresses to appear on Seinfeld, but the only not to appear as herself.

Starting Five

Up to 20 dead, but not the pilot, a British Airways captain.

1. Plane Stupid

“Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a — BOOM!”

What a lovely day to die such a senseless death.

Up to 20 people may have died in the Shoreham Sussex Air Show disaster on Saturday when pilot Andy Hill failed to negotiate his Hawker Hunter T7 aircraft out of a loop de loop.

Seen one way, it’s terribly bad luck: the plane landed/crashed, of all places, on a busy highway (the A27). One of the victims was out riding his bike and just happened to be on that stretch of the motorway. On the other, there’s an air show taking place adjacent to a busy highway that hasn’t been shut down for the show.

Hill survived the crash but is in a medically induced coma.

By the way, does CNN have any good reason for blacking out the moment of impact? Are they worried about our delicate sensitivities? Do they block out video of police shooting unarmed black men? Not that I recall. That’s crap news reporting.

2. We Could Be Heroes

Do NOT *$%# with Spencer Stone!

Three young Americans — Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone, student Anthony Sadler and National Guardsman Alex Skarlatosfoil a gunman’s attempt to inflict carnage on an Amsterdam-to-Paris train last Friday. The three friends disarmed the Moroccan native, who was armed with an AK-47 rifle and who then pulled out a box cutter and severed Stone’s thumb (it has since been reattached) but is now claiming he was just attempting to rob the passengers.

Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

Also, a Brit helped the three Americans, but I believe he was mostly saying, “Jolly good show, Yanks!” and stuff like that.

3. Roll Trump

Red, white and blue….but predominantly white!`

This is the first truly classic photo of the 206 campaign.

The Donald Trump rally in Mobile, Ala., on Friday night draws 30,000-plus (many of whom believed they were going to see Hoover play John Curtis High, but…whatevs) at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. I love Donald’s moxie, but as for his message?

Can’t help but feel that “make America great again” is code for “make America white again.” Which isn’t EVER going to happen, if you understand the nature of dilution.

On the backs of their shirts it read, “Obama You Are Fired.” Well, actually, ladies….

4. Gatlin Gunned Down*

Bolt (yellow) sprinted through the tape, while Gatlin began reaching for it at least five meters out.

A fantastic finish at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing in the Men’s 100M final at the Track & Field World Championships. Two-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt (Jamaica), 29, outlasted American Justin Gatlin, 33, at the tape to win by 1/100th of a second. Bolt ran a 9.79 to Gatlin’s 9.80. It was the first race Gatlin failed to win since the summer of 2013, though these two have have been ducking one another all summer.

Watch the video. Gatlin clearly wants the race to be over about 5 to 10 meters earlier. He knows he cannot hold off Bolt.

Gatlin: faster turnover.

Bolt: longer stride.

I think Gatlin wins this race if he doesn’t start reaching for the tape. To be continued next summer in Rio…

*Special props to yours truly for getting “Matlin” and “Gatlin” in the same post….

5. The A-Rod Issue

What does a man have to do –besides HGH — to have his number retired?

The New York Yankees retired the numbers of two players who may not make it to Cooperstown this weekend: catcher Jorge Posada (20) and pitcher Andy Pettitte (46). Next weekend they’ll retire Avogadro’s Number if they think it will result in a sellout.

Derek Jeter’s number (2) is next, which means that every integer from 1-11 for the Yankees, plus various others (15, 20, 23, 46, 51, etc.) will also be off-limits. Here’s my question, other than the obvious of when will the Yankees be going to triple digits: Will they retired A-Rod’s number?

He’s not a TRUE YANKEE, the naysayers will, um, naysay, but A-Rod is now in his 10th season in New York. That’s half his career. And this is a guy who is the all-time leader in grand slams and is currently No. 4 in home runs. He’s the only Yankee to win the AL MVP award –which he has done twice — since  Don Mattingly did so in 1985 (number is also retired) and the first to win more than once since Mickey Mantle. 

Brian Cashman & Co. will have a thorny issue to deal with the day that No. 13 retires.

Music 101 

Lucky Man

That is known as a Moog synthesizer solo and at the time it made this song even more dreamy and surreal. Listen to the lyrics. Emerson, Lake & Palmer were one of the primordial prog rock bands and also spent a lot of time disabusing folks of the notion that they were ELO. Folks who don’t spell very well. The song, written by Greg Lake when he was 12, reached No. 48 in the U.S.

Remote Patrol

FOR TUESDAY

World Track & Field Championships

Universal Sports 7 a.m.

Sandi Morris: appearing somewhere in Beijing this week, if you can find Universal Sports

Hey, I don’t know how to find it, either. But it’s a good event and technically it is on somewhere. God forbid that NBC, the network of the Olympics, actually place the most sumptuous Rio appetizer on its sister sports network because that is obviously NOT why this network (NBC Sports Network) exists. Maybe they should fire Alex Flanagan and Mike Mayock again. Well done, Peacock.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Robert Plant turns 67 today and he’s not even ready to put a down payment on a stairway to heaven. Happy Birthday! And we salute your 45-year commitment to long locks. You look like an elder statesman from House Greyjoy.

 

Starting Five

You have to admire the effort here.

1. Border Line Call

Is the Constitution…unconstitutional? Is Donald Trump….correct?

I’m not enough of a scholar to answer the first question accurately, but it may surprise you to hear that I agree with The Donald on his basic point: If you come to this country illegally and have a child here, I don’t believe that progeny is any more of a legal citizen than you are.

Now, as to what to do about it, I’m not sure (My top idea is to put a large velvet rope around the border and to initiate a password). And as to calling some illegal aliens “good ones” and “bad ones,” that’s not my cup of tea. And finally, to argue that America is going to hell in a basket of hands while also arguing that we need to keep out all these (brown-skinned) foreigners who’ll risk anything to be here is, well, can’t you see, a little bit disingenuous.

Buuuut….I do agree with the Donald that you shouldn’t be able to come here illegally, give birth, and call that offspring a U.S. citizen. If you steal a car and then get in a car accident, I’m not sure you should be able to sue the other person involved in the collision, either (Is that a poor analogy?).

Anyway, please clip and save for when all the tweeps criticize me for being a liberal.

2. “Oooooooooooooooooklahoma! (Drill)”

Putting the OU in OUCH

If you’ve played almost any level of organized football (and not received a participation trophy), you are familiar with the Oklahoma Drill. It’s where cockfighing and Thunderdome meet the gridiron.

I always felt there was a little coaching bloodlust and sadism to the drill, but I also recognized that there was no quicker way for a football coach to separate his necessarily violent players from his, well, wusses. Anyway, my old pal from SI, now at ESPN, David Fleming, wrote a wonderful piece about both the history and the importance of the Oklahoma Drill (which, yes, was developed in Norman). Highly recommended for any football fan.

3. Antarctica: The Next Saudi Arabia

Ice shelf? No, water reserve!

Oil and water may not mix, but if you’ve been watching the financial markets lately, they pretty much cost the same now. Actually, water is cheaper.

Look. This is the price of a gallon of Poland Spring water (I understand that tap water is free): $3.16 (it’s very Biblical). And this is the national average price this week of a gallon of gas: $2.72. 

What does this mean? It means that the first country to plant a flag in Antarctica may become the overlords of the 21st century. Yes, there is a U.N. treaty forbidding any one country from claiming ownership, but when has that ever stopped anyone (pilgrims, hint hint)?

4. Sick

Jared Fogle, who earned millions as the Subway pitchman, once was famous for losing weight. Now he’s famous for losing his dignity. The details are in this story but Fogle, 37, who was married bought child pornography and traveled to NYC to have sex with underage teenage girls multiple times.

He’s going away for at least five years.

Yesterday afternoon Subway put out tweets informing consumers that “Jared Fogle’s actions are inexcusable and do not represent our brand’s values. We had already ended our relationship with Jared.” 

I mean, I understand WHY they posted that tweet, but did anyone really wonder whether or not Subway endorsed this behavior the way Fogle endorsed their sandwiches?

By the way, I’m on Team Jimmy Johns.

5. Are We STILL Talking About______?

There’s a huge, huge realm of middle ground between the Cobra Kai and participation trophies. No one ever made an inspirational film a about a kid who sits on the couch picking boogers and watching Phineas and Ferb (although maybe someone should?)

Yes.

Sorry.

So this story appears in Deadspin yesterday, and so I feel compelled to make a few more points.

1) PLEASE: LOVE your children. Love them! That’s awesome. And let them be kids. That, too, is awesome. I know my parents let me be one. But you know what is 100 times better than a _______n _______y? You watching their games in person. Or, even better, you playing games with them.

I used to play my dad one-on-one in basketball every day of the summer. Every freaking day. At the time he was 50 and I was 20 (I am not making this up; he even let me win a few). Also, it was Tempe, Arizona. Outside. We still played.

2) Do not equate James Harrison taking a playoff paycheck when his Steelers lost to a PT. Why not? Because that loser’s share is his payment for the game. NFL players receive 16 paychecks per year, one per regular season game. They get no extra “salary” for playoff games other than those winners’ or losers’ shares. False dichotomy.

3) If you want to give your kid a PT, fine. Great. Go ahead. At the same time, myself and my friends have just as much a right to say we think there’s a better way. To each his or her own.

4) If you don’t want to rush your kids out of childhood, maybe delay their entry into organized sports. Yes, there is a TON wrong with organized sports for kids, starting with the fact that parents and adults are transferring their own egos onto how well a team performs. Got it. But maybe if your kid would rather pick dandelions than play right field, then he shouldn’t be in right field in the first place.

5) I honestly believe, and someone tweeted this to me last night, that you’d do your child a bigger service giving him or her piano or guitar lessons than hitting grounders to him. In terms of setting him or her up for adulthood. If it’s either/or, give me music.

6) I really should have a kid.

7) And lastly….the title of that Deadspin piece is “(Bleep) Winning.” Which, I hate to sound like Donald Trump, is exactly what losers say. Your 6 year-old does not need to be a “winner.” But does he or she need to be fooled into believing they’re a winner when they’re not?

Deadspin was built upon the page views of readers (and writers) whose envy of big-time athletes was extremely thinly-veiled. They’ve always been the cowards who snickered in the lunch room at the popular kids but never had the nerve to say it face-to-face.

For me, the single-most important moment in the history of that site was when Buzz Bissinger looked Will Leitch in the eye and said, “I gotta be honest, I think you’re full of shit.” And I like a lot of Will’s writing, but Buzz nailed it: Deadspin’s aim back then was not to bring fans closer to athletes, it was to humiliate athletes so that they could feel better about themselves.

Deadspin often does some tremendous stuff. Yesterday’s piece on Notre Dame and its campus cops was spot-on.

Music 101

Your Lyin’ Eyes

I had to watch that Eagles documentary last night. Again. Why? (note: Glenn Frey can be seen wearing two different Notre Dame shirts in the doc, even though he is a Motor City native). Beautiful harmonies (“Take It Easy”, “Peaceful, Easy Feelin'” and this sone) and great writing (listen to the lyrics here) are the reasons this band became a mega-phenomenon. They kinda come across as, except for Joe Walsh, guys you’d not necessarily ant to share a private jet with all the time, though. But they did know how to write hits.

This 1975 tune hit No. 2 on the Hot 100 Billboard chart and No. 8 on the Country chart –that’s so Eagles — and won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Group.

Remote Patrol

Documentary Now!

IFC 10 p.m.

Tonight they’ll spoof Grey Gardens, but in a future episode they’ll actually have fun with the aforementioned Eagles doc. Now that will be fun.

Bill Hader and Fred Armisen spoof classic docs, co-written and produced by Seth Meyers. With tongue-in-cheek intros from Helen Mirren ( <–Uber Cougar). What’s not to like?

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Reeva Steenkamp would have turned 32 today. The man who killed her will be released from prison later this week after having served a full TEN months in prison.

Starting Five

A-Rod’s 25th career grand slam now puts him two ahead of former Yankee Lou Gehrig as the all-time leader in that category.

1. This Is 40

The season of redemption continues. Alex Rodriguez, 40, has almost literally let his bat do all the talking this summer, as he and the Pinstripers are both surprising everyone. A-Rod’s seventh inning grand slam (“An A-Bomb for A-Rod”) rescued the Yanks from a 4-1 hole against Minnesota (Carlos Beltran hit a 3-run shot the night before as the Yanks trailed by the same score, in the same inning) and led them to their 5th win in six games.

New York, at 66-52, remains in first place. A-Rod, who hasn’t instigated a single back-page tabloid scandal all season, now has 25 home runs and 67 RBI, which is already ahead of any of the last four years (he did not play last year, of course).

It’s astounding how little news A-Rod seems to commit now that Derek Jeter has left.

2. Take Me To Church!

A fews days late, but if you still have not seen John Oliver‘s fabulous takedown of televangelism on Last Week Tonight, exposing how these charlatans prey on the devout faith of folks who mistake them as conduits for God’s work, you need to watch. 

At the end of the 20-minute piece, Oliver founds his own church (above), legally. Which is scary.

Almost every week Oliver and his staff put together a humorous version of a 60 Minutes expose that is powerful and simply astonishing. In a sense, they’re putting investigative journalists to shame. What I loved about this piece is that Oliver and his staff had been patiently working on it for seven months in order to illustrated just how crooked these men and women are. Fabulous stuff.*

*Also, thanks to HBO for allowing these bits to appear on YouTube. 

3. Don’t Look Back in Angkor*

The Temples of Angkor are nice and all, but I’ll still take the view driving into campus on Notre Dame Avenue myself.

*We’ll also accept “Oh, The Places You Should Go” and ” Coming in at No. 11: My Mancave.”

So, Lonely Planet recently released a book titled “Ultimate Travel: The 500 Best Places on the Planet” and among the sites not making the list: Gray’s Papaya on 72nd & Amsterdam (are they nutso?) and the Men in Blazers Panic Room.

You can see more on LP’s site.

Lonely Planet‘s top ten: Angkor Temples (need it), Great Barrier Reef (got it), Machu Picchu (need it), Great Wall of China (got it…not to be confused with the Grant Wahl of China, which was an idea I had for the Beijing Olympics in which SI‘s Grant Wahl would provide updates on the soccer…that idea was shot down), Taj Mahal (need it), Grand Canyon (got it), Colosseum (got it), Taj Gibson (just seeing if you were still paying attention), Iguazu Falls (need it), Alhambra (unless they’re talking about the high school in Phoenix, need it) and Aya Sofya (need it).

I’ll take this view, thank you, on a mid-October day.

Up next: Lonely Planet’s guide to “Best Places to Take A Photo to Put on Your Match Profile”: 1) Pyramids 2) Machu Picchu 3) Anywhere you happen to be kissing a dolphin.

Isle of Skye. Prit-tee, prit-tee good.

My personal, no kidding, place you should see: Isle of Skye, Scotland.

4. Yvonne Craig’s List

Wait, are you telling me Commissioner Gordon’s daughter was also the woman in the purple skin-tight outfit? Whhaaaat?

Farewell to Yvonne Craig, who memorably played Batgirl in the third and final season of the wonderfully droll and subversive Batman TV show of the mid-Sixties. As a kid, I didn’t quite realize I was watching a comedy until a few years later.

Craig passed away from lung cancer in Pacific Palisades, Calif. (hint: that’s pretty swank), earlier this week. She was 78. Pretty amusing anecdote herein as to how she was “discovered.” A formally trained ballet dancer, Craig would also land a role as “Onion Slave Girl” in an episode of Star Trek, another iconic show of that era.

Oh, wait, what?  “Orion Slave Girl.” Never mind.

Craig, who later got into real estate brokerage, also appeared in a pair of films with Elvis Presley.

Sadly, what The King is really thinking about at this moment is how badly he is jonesing for a peanut butter and banana sandwich….which is actually quite good for you.

5. Heavy Mettle (Cont.)

The armed combat participation trophy

A few more thoughts on participation trophies before we go….

— The people on Twitter who chide you for spending too much time debating any issue (this, Cecil the Lion, etc.) because we should be discussing items of more gravitas and who then return to discussing their Fantasy draft or whether Oklahoma is a sleeper pick to win the Big 12 this season? Shaddup.

–If I have to pick between living in a country of people who don’t cotton to participation trophies and those who do, I am most definitely picking the former.

–A friend on Twitter made the argument yesterday that a trophy for a child at that age is positive reinforcement for sticking it out. Is there negative reinforcement for not sticking it out? Why are we rewarding people for not quitting? Isn’t that the baseline? It’s a little like Chris Rock’s great rant about African-Americans wanting credit for “what you’re s’posed to do!”

— In the end, isn’t a trophy supposed to represent an individual standing out from his peers? Isn’t it just that simple? If everyone gets a trophy, then no one does. And how does that translate to you loving your child any less than someone who does believe that his kid deserves a trophy for not being special?

Anyway, enough on that. Susie B., I’ll wait for your measured and succinct response.

Music 101 

Ticket To Ride

Missed the anniversary, but 50 years ago last Saturday the Beatles played Shea Stadium (Don Draper took Sally; she was ecstatic). This was the 5th song of their brief, 11-song, 30-minute set. Because of the outrageous crowd noise and primitive speaker system, John, Paul, George and Ringo could not even hear themselves playing and had no idea whether or not they were in harmony or in time with one another. All those gigs in Hamburg must’ve helped here.

No way to just pick one emblematic Beatles song. We’ll have more later. But this has always been one of my favorites, a wistful tune that you can actually play on your six-string without too much effort. The below video was from April, ’65, at Wembley.

How big were the Beatles in 1965? This was the third of SIX No. 1 Billboard hits they had just in that year alone.

Remote Patrol

The Searchers

TCM 10 p.m.

Some people consider this John Wayne’s best western. Others consider it the best western. Still others prefer Marriott to Best Western. Who’s to say? It’s John Ford directing the Duke in Monument Valley, and the kidnapped girl is Natalie Wood. It’s a movie that pulls no punches about the harsh American west, and includes the most iconic closing image in western-dom.

So, yes, if you were paying attention, we referenced Bruce Wayne and John Wayne today. 

 

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

The Sundance Kid turns 79 today. In the early ’70’s he was Brad Pitt AND Leo rolled into one: The Sting, The Great Gatsby, Three Days of the Condor, All The President’s Men, The Way We Were, Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. Robert Redford was THE movie star, and yet he never won an acting Oscar (Best Director, Ordinary People,…although he did an even better job directing A River Runs Through It)

Starting Five

Bobby’s unheatlhy obsession with winning a trophy led to an eating disorder in which he found it impossible to properly place food into his mouth.

1. Nontroversy Alert: Participation Trophies

The first year I played organized sports, in 4th grade, our basketball team went 0-10. I started at point guard.. I didn’t earn a trophy and I didn’t want one.

Two years later, playing the same position, I started for a team that went 26-1. And even after all that we only earned a trophy because we won our final game of the season.

What does that have to do with anything? Nothing, perhaps.

I wasn’t playing organized sports at the age of five or six, but had I been, I’d probably have wanted a trophy. But I’m quite sure I wouldn’t have really known what it meant. At that age I also wanted hot fudge sundaes for dinner (okay, still do) and a pet stegosaurus.

Here’s what James Vance, a legend in the D.C. area in broadcasting, had to say about this whole kerfuffle. I largely agree with him (although I think the entire issue perhaps takes a back seat to, you know, just about everything). And The Brady Bunch actually tackled this entire quandary 44 years ago.

2. Cub Scouting

The Friendly Confines have come a long way since last winter…

For those of us not paying attention (raises hand), the Chicago Cubs have the 4th-best record in baseball…and yet are still mired –oh, they are soooo mired —in 3rd place in the National League Central. Chicago, after a 10-game win streak was halted Sunday by The Elongated Man (Chris Sale), finds itself at 67-49. Only the Cardinals (76-42), Pirates (69-47) and, outside their division, Royals (71-46), have better records.

This could only mean one thing: I’m truly struggling to find items this morning.

What all four of those teams have in common? Excellent pitching. They’re all in the top seven, and two of the other teams ahead of them have the best starting staffs in the game: Dodgers and Mets.

Rizzo is “only” earning $5 million this year and next, but will an average of $11 million per in the five years after that.

The studs are pitcher Jake Arrieta, who leads the club in Wins (14), ERA (2.39), Strikeouts (163) and WHIP (0.99), and 1st baseman Anthony Rizzo, who leads the North Siders in Batting Average (.296), Home Runs (23), RBI (68) and OBP (.407).

A Cubs-Pirates wildcard game? Cool. But hopefully it’ll be in Wrigley…

3. Too Much Talent

When you can cry onscreen for a major motion picture at age six….

That was C.J. Sanders at age six, playing a young Ray Charles in the music biopic Ray (you may recall that Jamie Foxx won a Best Actor Oscar for playing the older version of the blind musician in the 2004 film).

And this is C.J. Sanders now, a diminutive (5-8) but explosive freshman wide receiver at Notre Dame. Sanders has been turning heads (and ankles) at camp with his speed and moves and could be the team’s top punt returner. His dad, Chris Sanders, played three seasons at Ohio State before heading into the NFL for seven years while his stepdad, Corey Harris, was a star at Vanderbilt who played 12 NFL seasons.

Sanders’ mom played hoops at Michigan. Expect the Showtime crew to find this kid and quick.

4. Ahead of the Pack

Course officials noted that the zebras may have been bandits

What does Africa have an abundance of? Two things: the world’s greatest distance runners and the planet’s most incredible wild life (no thanks to you, Walter Palmer, you incredible douchebag). Anyway…

….this is the best idea you’ll hear about all day. The Maasai Mara Marathon in Kenya is a distance race that is committed to raising money for schools and for conservation in the region. This year’s race was held this past weekend (it’s somewhat of a misnomer as the longest distance is actually a half marathon) and as you can see, the wildlife gets involved (though, you know, where grazing animals are running, there is often a big cat in pursuit…your Pumas cannot outrun a puma). But DO sign me up for next year. This sounds incredible.

5. Trump’s Immigration Problem: Sexy Beast

Possibly because the first time I saw it was on the evening of September 10, 2001, I am sometimes guilty of forgetting just how (bleeping) incredible the movie Sexy Beast is. Ben Kingsley as the Jack Russell Terrier in human form named Don Logan should have won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor on his work here alone, but when you contrast it with the character he played in Gandhi, they should have created an entirely new category for him: Best Portrayal of a Character Who is the Polar Opposite of a Character You’ve Already Portrayed.

I mean, just watch these scenes

And why does this pertain to Donald Trump’s “just build a wall” solution to illegal immigration (and, to be fair, he’s not alone…even NFL coaches agree with him). Because it doesn’t address the cause, it only addresses the outcome. As long as the root cause of illegal immigration exists, Mexicans (and Guatemalans, and Panamanians, etc.) will still find a way to arrive illegally in the U.S., no matter how big you build that damn wall. Why?  Well, let Don Logan (with an assist from Ian McShane) tell you

Which is to say, after you’ve spent a week in Mexico — and not Cabo — and then spent a week here, you’ll understand that people will find a way to get here, wall or no wall, because there is “a (bleeping) will” and as long as there’s that, there’s “always a (bleeping) way.”

Music 101

Fix You

I thought Coldplay would be even bigger after their first two albums, but perhaps they’ve sort of peaked. As memorable as songs such as “Yellow” and “The Scientist” are, I think this 2005 tune, their “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” may wind up being their signature tune. It only reached No. 18 on the U.S. charts, but that didn’t keep Aaron Sorkin from recognizing its potential. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m95qHOmoUXs

Remote Patrol

Navy SEALs: Their Untold Story

PBS 8 p.m.

Did you know that the SEALs started in World War II and played an active role in D-Day? Me neither. Worth watching.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 57th to Belinda Carlisle! Nobody went from quasi-punk rock girl to Wilson Phillips-y pop confection quicker than you.

Over the weekend MH celebrated its 3rd birthday. It was not a Yuuuuge deal, as our friend Donald T. would say. Not quite an extravaganza….more like a vaganza. 

Starting Five

1. Day In and Day Out

After shooting a 20-under par 268 in the PGA Championship at a course named Whistling Straits (such a perfect hoity toity golf name that you’d swear David Feherty made it up) in a state named Wisconsin, Jason Day of Australia was bequeathed the trophy above and the child below.

Only eight months until golf’s next major…

2. Straight Outta Compton

NWA’s starting five

No, this is not a trailer for Fear the Walking Dead. It’s for Straight Outta Compton, only the 2nd biopic this summer to employ Paul Giamatti as an overbearing, ultimately evil manager of an L.A.-based music act.

The story of N.W.A. (“Nuclear Weapon Arsenal?”) hit the theaters this weekend and came in No. 1 at the box office, illustrating Hollywood’s dire under-representation of black superhero movies. The film made $56 million in its opening weekend..meaning we’re either going to see a Straight Outta Compton 2: South Central Boogaloo, or a film about Tupac titled All Eyez on Me. 

3. Sky Diver Down

Tragedy at the Chicago Air & Water Show yesterday, as Army Sgt. 1st Class Corey Hood collided with another sky diver during a 13-man routine and then struck a building. Hood, 32, died in the accident. The other man, a Navy diver, suffered a broken leg.

4. Fill ‘er Up

Apparently, there’s nothing to see in Kansas.

The good folks at Outside magazine found the 64 Best Towns in the U.S.A. and then created this interactive map to invite you to explore them. I can vouch for Red Bank, N.J. (place of birth; no plaque yet…bummed) and Santa Fe, N.M. (lived there a year). A few towns that did not make it and should’ve: Bend, Ore. and Eugene, Ore.; Boulder, Colo. and Ouray, Colo. Minneapolis. Saratoga, N.Y. and Ithaca, N.Y. Feel free to suggest your own.

5. Tillery Time?

Tillery, back at Evangel Christian High in Shreveport

Notre Dame starting senior defensive tackle Jarron Jones was lost for the season over the weekend after tearing his MCL in practice. That’s a big blow for the Fighting Iriah and, of course, Jones. The “Next Man In” may be true frosh Jerry Tillery, a 6’6″, 315-pound prodigy from Shreveport, La., who also had a 3.8 GPA in high school. Tillery committed to Notre Dame long ago but still took official visits to LSU, Texas A&M and…Dartmouth (someone should’ve chronicled that visit with video).

Tillery has the face of a teddy bear, but all accounts from the Irish coaching staff are that he’s a total stud.

Town did not like the City of Angels

 

Ricky Town Outta Tinseltown: In other football news, former 5-star QB Ricky Town of Ventura, Calif., who famously decommitted from Alabama in order to attend USC, has decided to transfer just two weeks into training camp (For the record, Ricky did not make Outside‘s “64 Best Towns” list, which seems rather cruel). Town graduated early and early-enrolled at USC, but must never have felt comfortable in that pocket. Town, too, is now Straight Outta Compton.

Wondering where he will land. Town must now sit out for a year before he can play anywhere.

Music 101

Rikki Don’t Lose That Number

(unless it’s Steve Sarkisian’s number)

There are few songs that capture the mood of summer in the Seventies better than this Steely Dan classic. It peaked at No. 4 in the summer of ’74, the band’s top charting hit of its career. As the decades roll past, Steely Dan only grows in stature.

Of course, if the song were written today, it might be titled, “Rikki, Just Save That Number On Your Smartphone.”

Remote Patrol

AFC Bournemouth at Liverpool

NBC Sports Net 2:55 p.m.

The visitors are one of the best stories in all of sports. After decades and decades as a lower division club, one that almost went bankrupt twice, Bournemouth has finally graduated to the English Premier League. Their “stadium” seats just 11,000, or about half what the next smallest stadium in the EPL sits. This, as far as I know, is the Cherries’ first moment in the American television spotlight. As one tweep noted, “It’s like Bangor, Maine, getting an NFL team.”

 

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 49th to Halle Berry. Like Charlize Theron, she won on Oscar after appearing in a film with the word “Monster” in the title, but kinda more because she’s hot and Hollywood appreciated that whole “But I’m a thespian” ‘tude.

Starting Five

Odds that at least one of these humans are named Duncan, Taylor, Chelsea or “Bakes” are high.

1. Straight Outta Hampton

It’s referred to as “Tinder for elites,” a dating app for the young, beautiful and successful. It’s called The League and it was started in January by a Stanford alum (of course) named Amanda Bradford. Two Saturdays ago it held an invite-only party in Montauk that Mischa Barton (“The O.C.”) attended.

The League launched in New York City back in May and had 30,000 applicants, but only accepted 7,000. It’s the dating site equivalent of trying to get into Stanford or Harvard for people who got into Stanford or Harvard.

2. Green Monsters

The Irish Should invite former tailback Mark Green along as their sideline captain

Yesterday Notre Dame unveiled its Shamrock Series unis for the November 21 game in Fenway Park versus Boston College. The Eagles, by the way, get access to only 5,000 of the 40,000 or so tix since it is technically a Notre Dame “home” game (about 5 miles from B.C.’s campus).

If you’re going to play in the shadow of the Green Monster (albeit at night), you have to become green monsters, I guess. Both teams will share a sideline. Also, Brian Kelly produced the squad’s first made-for-Showtime moment of the season yesterday.

3. Up in The Air

I’ve never flown Singapore Airlines, so I will say that the best carrier I’ve ever flown is Emirates (Cape Town to Dubai; ooooh, look at me!). Today they announced the world’s longest non-stop flight, from Dubai to Panama City. The flight time is supposed to be 17 hours and 35 minutes. Are that many people traveling to Panama City?

Personally, I don’t see why a little layover in the Canary Islands would hurt, but I’m not flying this bird.

4. Troll Ide

Some outstanding football trolling came to light yesterday, both at the FBS and NFL level. Above is an inset of the Baylor team photo, snapped earlier this week. Note the linemen situated next to one another wearing numbers 61 and 58. The Bears came from 21 points down in the final 11 minutes last October to defeat TCU, 61-58. It was the Horned Frogs’ only loss of the season and kept them from a berth in the first College Football Playoff.

Then, last night in Detroit, for the Jets-Lions preseason game, Ford Field’s musical director played “Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weekend as the p.a. announcer announced that Geno Smith was inactive.

5. Is Dane Great?

Yes, an item on an exemplary white QB whom nobody on the next level believes in on Tim Tebow’s birthday. Ain’t life grand?

Dane Warp stands 6-4, 190 pounds.

He is a high school quarterback who has thrown 78 touchdown passes, for 8,407 yards, while completing 65% of his passes.

He is on pace to break his state’s prep career marks in TD passes, yardage and, in basketball, points.

He has a 4.0 GPA.

The problem is that Dane Warp plays for Havre (Mont.) High School, which is at least 500 miles from anywhere. He has yet to field a single Division I scholarship offer. Diamond in the rough or the world’s largest fish in its smallest pond? Or are those the same things?

Music 101 

Wedding Bell Blues

Yet another classic song written by Laura Nyro, one of the most gifted songwriters ever (she was rightfully inducted into the R&R HoF a few years back). The tune, put out by The Fifth Dimension, hit No. 1 for three weeks in November of 1969. Coincidentally, lead singer Marilyn McCoo was engaged to backup singer Billy Davis, Jr., hence the fun had here in the stage performance (note to Bill: you were seriously over-chicked)

. A standard in the Walters wood-paneled Chevy station wagon in the early ’70s.

Remote Patrol

Marx Brothers Marathon

TCM 8 p.m. 

Three of their very best, beginning at 8 p.m. with Monkey Business, followed by Horse Feathers (which skewers college football in a way that is about 80 years ahead of its time), followed by Duck Soup. “If I had a horse, I’d horsewhip you.”

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 89th to El Hefe who, like other great men (e.g. Fred Flintstone) knows you only need one outfit. We’re throwing him a Communist party!

Starting Five

This Great White, recently filmed, has an agent and is accepting offers to appear in either Jaws 7 or Sharknado 4– or both.

1. Big Fish, Big Pond

Video of this great white shark, thought to be between 20 to 25 feet long, taken off the coast of Mexico, surfaced this week (as did, thankfully, the divers, who I imagine needed a fresh change of drawers).

2. What If I Told You…

The roof was closed for yesterday’s game….

….that all 15 home teams had never won on the same date in baseball (since MLB went to 30 teams in 1998)? That happened on Tuesday. Coming up on “15 for 15.” Also, what if I told you that of the 290 previous no-hitters, not one had ever been pitched on August 12? That happened yesterday afternoon for the first time as the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma, 34, pitched one against the Orioles at Safeco Field. Rule No. 6 (You can always see something that’s never before happened at any baseball game).

That’s the 4th no-hitter at Safeco Field since it opened in 1999, the most at any one ballpark since that year. If you’re into no-hit trivia, this link has some tasty items, such as the smallest crowd ever to witness a no-hitter (1,247 at Fenway in 1965).

3. Yes, and Howe!

Howe, 68, joined Yes in 1968

What do you get when a guitar god looks like a cross between Gandalf and Skeletor? Steve Howe, lead guitarist of Yes. Although other classic rock axe men touring this summer get more attention (Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, The Edge, Eddie Van Halen), Howe is a virtuoso and he still brings it.

Howe was also the lead guitarist for the early Eighties supergroup Asia.

Yes (“Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Leave It,” etc.) is touring all month through mid-September with a younger lead singer (Jon Davison, 44) who looks as if he was plucked directly from the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and who sounds exactly like former Yes front man Jon Anderson. Go see them. Will you be glad that you did?

Yes!

4. The World’s First Unlikeable Australian

Even John McEnroe, a.k.a. “Superbrat,” never stooped so low. Yesterday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, a match between French Open champ Stan Wawrinka and Aussie Nick Kyrgios crossed the line when Kyrgios, during the match, told Wawrinka that a third tennis player, Thanasi Kokkanakis, had slept with Wawrinka’s girlfriend, Donna Vekic.

(Yet another life moment already covered in Seinfeld: it’s part Milos and part George at the end of the “Jerk Store” skirmish).

I know what you’re thinking: What does Donna Vekic look like?

I know what else you’re thinking: What’s the next meeting between Thanasi Kokkanakis and Nick Krygios going to be like (never mind Wawrinka)? And isn’t just saying the words Thanasi Kokkanakis kinda dirty?

Wawrinka retired (quit) trailing 4-0 in the third set, even though there was no love lost. Kyrgios should be receiving a $10,000 fine at least, while Vekic should be receiving an irate phone call.

5. The ABC’s of Journalism (“Always Be Curious”)

I love what Indianapolis Star columnist and amateur MMA scuffler Gregg Doyel did here. It’s not that the column is so engaging, though it is. It’s that this column never happens unless Gregg wanders up to a policeman on an artificial leg and asks what the story is there.

As adults, we often let stymie our natural curiosity in deference to being polite. You’re taught not to be rude. That’s no way to be a good journalist. Good for Gregg for being nosy. We all got a terrific column out of it.

Music 101

When Doves Cry

Summer of ’84. Springsteen was finally a national phenomenon due to Born in the USA and Van Halen (1984) and Def Leppard (Pyromania) were also monsters, but nothing was blowing people’s hair back quite like the opening riff of this tune by Prince. It stayed at No. 1 all of July and half of August.

The entire album was a revelation. And even the movie was good. It was the summer of Prince and if, like me, you had the good fortune to be woken up by an alarm that played these opening chords, there was no way you were hitting “Snooze.”

Remote Patrol

Bye Bye Birdie

TCM 8 p.m

Ann-Margret in all her glory. A scene-stealer so seductive that Mad Men would use it as a story arc in an episode later. Is the musical any good? Who knows? Who cares? Just watch the scene with the hottest babe of the early Sixties.