Happy 47th to Michael Vartan, the guy who played the dreamy dude in a TV show that also had Bradley Cooper
1. Monmouth That Roared
Right along the Jersey Shore, not far from my (and Bruce’s) hometown, is Monmouth University. The men’s basketball team is now 3-1, with wins this month against UCLA and Notre Dame. Man, if only it were 1974 that would be awesome. Still pretty awesome, though, for the West Long Branch school.
The Hawks won at UCLA earlier this month. Last night they created their now Thanksgiving Day Massacree by taking down the No. 17 Irish, 70-68. The coach is King Rice, former UNC point guard in the ’80s.
2. Everybody’s Hurt….Sometimes
This is what a Tony Romo statue should actually look like
Wherefore art thou, Romo?
Back on the injured list.
Is it not easy being Green…Bay?
No, it isn’t. Not if you’re Aaron Rodgers and you hurt your left wrist being sacked.
Every quarterback in the NFL seems to get hurt except Tom Brady, and when you do hurt him, the Shield creates a new rule to make sure you never hit anyone that way again.
3. Mahomes on the Range
The son of a former MLB player, Mahomes has been a stud in his first full season as a starter
After Texas Tech defeated Texas last night, 48-45, I tweeted, “Texas Tech finishes 7-5. Imagine what their record would be if Kliff Kingsbury had offered Baker Mayfield a scholarship.”
The correct answer, as many Guns Up! aficionados replied, is, “Probably 7-5.”
As dumb as it may have seemed to not offer the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Mayfield, a scholly, after he walked on and wowed in 2013, and as good as Mayfield is now — a legit Heisman candidate– the Red Raiders have a pretty decent QB of their own. Pat Mahomes, a sophomore, is 3rd in the nation in passing yardage per game (357 ypg) while TT is No. 2 nationally in Scoring Offense at 46.6 points per game.
Mayfield has led the Sooners to a 10-1 record while also being a whole lot of fun to watch
The problem, of course, is that the Lubbock lugs play no D: they’re 122nd in the nation in Scoring Defense, allowing 42 ppg. How does that happen?
I’m not sure if TT would be better off with Mayfield than with Mahomes. They’d be far better off with even a decent defense. So, yes, I messed that one up.
4. Bye, Guy
Farewell to one of the legendary college hoops coaches, Guy Lewis. In 30 seasons of coaching at his alma mater, Houston, Lewis compiled a 592-279 record. But that is why he may never be forgotten. No, he was a coach in two of the most memorable games in hoops history: He was on the court on January 20, 1968 in the Houston Astrodome for the “Game of the Century” with UCLA, the first college hoops game broadcast nationwide in prime time. Houston and Elvin Hayes prevailed over UCLA and Lew Alcindor.
Fifteen years later, he was on the losing end of the greatest upset in NCAA championship game history, as N.C. State upset his Phi Slama Jama squad of Akeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler and Michael Young (and don’t forget Reid Gettys).
Lewis also loved towels, though not quite as much as Jerry Tarkanian. He was 93.
5. Stormtroopers: B4 Star Wars
Notice the helmets. They have that same shell design as Lord Vader’s
Before there was the Death Star, there was Nazi Germany. Before there was Darth Vader (“Dark Father”), there was Adolf Hitler. And before there were the Stormtroopers, there were…Stormtroopers.
In German, the term is “Stermabteilung” (I would’ve flunked German), but the translation is “stormtroopers.” This group of soldiers were the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, using any and all tactics to enforce and intimidate. It’s probably not a coincidence that George Lucas gave Lord Vader’s henchmen this name, though it’s a reference that may be lost on a lot of people these days.
This tune, by folk progenitor Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, tells the story of the author’s first visit to New Orleans. Elliott was a Jewish kid from Brooklyn — born in 1931, and still alive today– who ran away to join the rodeo and eventually became a cohort of Woody Guthrie’s. He is credited with having a tremendous influence on a young guitarist from Minnesota named Bob Dylan, whom he refers to as his “adopted son.”
Iowa at Nebraska
ABC 3:30 p.m.
Baylor at TCU was supposed to be the “Game of the Year,” but as each game will feature third-string QBs and neither team will make the playoff, I’m going with Lincoln and the B1G. The Hawkeyes are undefeated, but Nebraska has already taken down the B1G East champs this season. Why not the B1G West champs as well?
Happy 30th to Katie Cassidy, daughter of David Cassidy, erstwhile teen pop star a.k.a. David Partridge.
1. McDonald & Burger King
You can watch the video for yourself. The killing of Laquan McDonald — he was shot 16 times while brandishing a 3” knife — in Chicago took place in October, 2014. The officer who shot him, Jason Van Dyke, is 37, and has now been charged with first-degree murder.
The reason you’re hearing about it now is that a judge ordered the dash-cam video to be released.
Also involved in the case: police later went to a Burger King located less than 100 yards away from the scene and according to a BK district manager, deleted 86 minutes of video. McDonald, 17, was found to have PCP in his system and had slashed a police car’s tire with the knife. McDonald was shot numerous times while he was already lying on the ground.
2. Sweet! 16!
Steph: “Gimme a beat!”
The Dubs embarrass the LOLakers, 111-77, to advance to 16-0. The Lakers are almost as bad as the Warriors are flawless (my story in Newsweek), and on the TNT postgame show Kenny the Jet hummed the tune of Sweet Georgia Brown as Ernie narrated the high- and lowlights.
GSW had 32 assists (and just 8 turnovers) while LOL had just 31 baskets –and shot 3 for 20 from beyond the arc. Kobe Bryant shot 1 for 14, tying his worst shooting % as a pro (minimum 5 shots) at 7.14%
Luke at what has become of you
Worth noting: Golden State is blessed with talent, the right attitude, a selfless and ego-free leader in Stephen Curry and, during its 16-0 run, a serendipitous schedule. The Dubs have yet to face Cleveland, San Antonio, Miami, Dallas and OKC, the teams with the next five best records in the NBA.
3. Top 5: Win and You’re In
Fantastic cover. Now just eliminate all the words except “Sports Illustrated” and “Iowa Raucous” and we’re good.
The Selection Committee’s Top 10: 1. Clemson 2. Alabama 3. Oklahoma 4. Iowa 5. Michigan State 6. Notre Dame 7. Baylor 8. Ohio State 9. Stanford 10. Michigan
— If you are in the Top 5, it’s simple: Win out and you’re in the playoff.
–If you are Notre Dame, beat Stanford and hope Oklahoma State, at home, causes Bedlam.
–If you are Baylor, hope Oklahoma and Notre Dame lose and that Stanford does not destroy Notre Dame.
–If you are Ohio State, tell Skip Bayless to kiss your ass and get ready for the Citrus Bowl.
–This could shake out to a Notre Dame-Michigan Fiesta Bowl, which would be awesome ( I attended the last UM-ND game that involved Jim Harbaugh and my cross-the-hall neighbor in Dillon, John Carney).
–Irish fans will bleat, but in the last six quarters their team outscored Wake Forest and Boston College by a combined score of 26-23. Not impressive. You can’t just “Go! route to Fuller” your way to a national championship — though you can get further than most people might expect. Notre Dame didn’t exactly lose to Boston College, but had they played better –maybe convert 2 of those 3 inside-the-10 opportunities into TDs while holding BC to 10 or fewer points –they might still be No. 4. So, as my friend Tim R. noted to me, the BC game had same effect as in 1993 or 2002. This game was definitely more similar to the 2002 game: incongruous turnovers, screw-ups, etc.
–There’s no guarantee that Iowa will win at Nebraska, as far as the least solid bets among the Top 4. If Iowa loses on Friday, then Jim Delany will send out the memo to Iowa City that they MUST NOT win the B1G Championship Game.
–The Committee detests Baylor’s, OSU’s and TCU’s OOC scheduling. And this is how they’ve sent that message. Don’t be surprised if, should all the other pieces fall into place (OU and ND loss), the Committee leap frogs Stanford above Baylor. The Bears just announced their 2016 OOC sked: SMU, Rice and Northwestern State (that’s one word too many for respectability).
Dalvin Cook, who may just be the nation’s best running back, was not among the 3 Doak Walker Award finalists.
–I like Clemson but the Tigers’ two best wins are at home. They could be No. 1 but not favored in the semi-final, should they defeat UNC.
— There are 14 losses among the top 13 teams, losses that altered the course of seasons, and at least seven of them, by my count, happened in excruciating (but thrilling) fashion: The punt at Michigan (UM), the out-of-bounds catch in Lincoln (MSU), the Punt 6 at Georgia Tech (FSU), the failed 2-pointer at Clemson (ND), the failed fourth down at Stanford (Stanford), the game-winning FG in Columbus (Ohio State), and the end zone pick(s) in Charlotte (UNC).
–If Navy wins out they will have taken down a trio of late-season one- or two-loss teams (Memphis, Houston, Temple), be 12-1, AAC champs and have only a loss at Notre Dame. In my mind they’d deserve a New Year’s Day Six bowl, and no one would want to play them.
–If you ask me to list the top four teams, I’m saying Alabama, Michigan State, Oklahoma and then Clemson.
*The judges will also accept “Let’s Make Adele” or “Dude, You’re Getting Adele.”
The classroom instrument performances are my favorite thing that Jimmy Fallon and his crew does (granted, it’s really the only thing I like). Adele sat in with Jimmy and The Roots to perform Hello and to demonstrate, once again, that wherever she opens her mouth, she has a once-in-a-generation set of pipes.
5. The War
So in case we don’t see you again until Friday, here’s a pitch for one way to spend your Thanksgiving weekend/holiday season in terms of NetFlix: watch Ken Burns‘ 7-part series from 2007, The War. It’s all about World War 2 and it’ll make you marvel about the sacrifices that millions of Americans –and so many others — made in order to combat true evil.
The opening: “The greatest cataclysm in history grew out of ancient and ordinary human emotions: anger and arrogance and bigotry. Victimhood, and the lust for power. And it ended because other human qualities –courage and perseverance and selflessness; faith, leadership and the hunger for freedom, combined with unimaginable brutality to change the course of human events.”
I cannot think of a simply more worthwhile way to spend whatever leisure time you have than to watch this series. It’s more than a history lesson: it’s a primer for the current events of both the world and this country, and it’s a reminder of the best (and worst) in all of us.
I’ve already gotten too preachy on this (“On this!?!” On everything, but go on…), but I’ll just add that I absolutely love this song from it, written by George Scheer and sung by Norah Jones, “American Anthem.” And I’ll jot down the lyrics that really hit home below.
For those who think
They have nothing to share
Who fear in their hearts
There is no hero there
Know each quiet act
Of dignity is
That which fortifies
The soul of a nation
That never dies
Arlo Guthrie’s 1967 classic is a Thanksgiving tradition in many a home, including mine. Of course, it’s just me and a cat and the cat doesn’t really care one way or the other. Anyway, the Vietnam-era musical monologue is 18-plus minutes, so put your feet up. Related: Guthrie is performing the song this week in western Massachusetts, which is where the story is based.
Panthers at Cowboys
CBS 4:30 p.m.
The only credit I can find on this photo is Associated Press. But it’s real and it’s spectacular.
Cam’s Crew is 10-0. Dallas is 3-0 with Tony Romo and 0-7 without him. Sort of a must-win game for the Stars Helmets, as bad as the NFC East is. Suggested complementary reading: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain, which chronicles a Turkey Day Cowboy game from the eyes of an Iraq War soldier home on leave. Jussssssst a tad cynical, but very good.
*The judges will also accept, “Cold, Turkey” and “Land Baste Weaponry”
Dig: During Thanksgiving week all of your turkey news should be a lower-cased “t.” Instead, Turkey shoots down a Russian fighter jet because it claims that it warned the pilot 10 times that he was flying over Turkish air space and that he ignored the warnings (or perhaps he didn’t speak Turkish?). That’s called “Putin your planes where they don’t belong.”
Rule No. 83: “Never play chicken in Turkey.”
Related: Russia now claims it was flying not in Turkey but in Turducken. Sounds acceptable. And like a former Soviet republic, no?
2. Ches King
Ches: Threepeat after me!
For the third consecutive year, Oregon’s Edward Cheserek wins the NCAA Men’s Outdoor Cross Country championship (if there’s an Indoor Cross Country championship, it should take place entirely in Tom Brady’s California mansion). Cheserek crossed the tape for the 10K in 28:45, nearly 26 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. That is kind of sick.
Two men had previously won three individual NCAA XC individual titles, but they did so over a 4-year span: Henry Rono of Washington State (1976, ’77 and ’79) and the immortal Steve Prefontaine (who obviously was not) of Oregon (1970, ’71 and ’73).
Cheserek and Rono were Kenyan-born. Pre was from Coos Bay, Oregon.
Rice, who barely stood 5’5″, was known as “Little Dynamo.” He later gave birth to a son named Tony who led Notre Dame to a national title in football (wait; I’m going to fact-check that one)
Incidentally, Molly Seidel of Notre Dame won the women’s race. No other Notre Dame female had even won an individual title, but Greg Rice of Notre Dame won a pair of titles in 1937 and ’39. Rice never competed in the Olympics due to World War II, but he was a five-time champion in the 5,000 meters in the USATF championships and once won 65 races in a row over a three-year span. Not bad.
3. The Shot Seen ’round the World
Today marks the 52nd anniversary of the killing of Lee Harvey Oswald. The man who took this photograph, Bob Jackson, would win the Pulitzer Prize for this. Before snapping this photo, Jackson felt like a failure because two days earlier he was six cars behind JFK when the first shot rang out. The problem? Jackson was between rolls of film in his camera.
According to this story, Jackson actually looked up to the Texas Book Depository after hearing the second and third shots and saw a rifle being pulled inside, but had no way to take a photo of it. If he had, think of all the gained man-hours from the dearth of conspiracy theories.
The man in the cowboy hat, Jim Leavelle, was a homicide detective who was in the 13th year of a 25-year career with the Dallas P.D. He is still alive at the age of 95 years (so is Jackson, by the way; he’s 82).
4. The Daily Harrumph! Mom’s Basement Tapes
Spencer Hall: The early years
In this corner: The 20th century, hard-copy, hard deadlines, writing to a specific word count, a travel budget, “Your credentials will be at will call,” and hand-to-hand combat journalism.
And in that corner: Millennials, the internet, “I filed this story 20 minutes ago, why isn’t it on the home page yet?”, writing “for exposure” (read: no pay), hot takes, “Why do you need to travel? The game’s on TV,” a lack of accountability with the people you write about, and a very poor career choice (if you ever hope to own a home car or start a family — unless your wife has a good job).
Who’s right in the entire Wilbon vs. The New Mean Bloggers debate? Both of them, of course. Wilson (and Tony) have a point that young writers think they should be able to fly before they learn how to walk, and those two started by working beats. On the other hand, the jobs, they are sparse, and the internet does not care about quality or proof-reading or even objectivity, it only cares about page views. I mean, “Is Joe Flacco a elite quarterback?”
5. T-Swizzle Stick
At the risk of the PC Police coming down on me and hard for body shaming, isn’t our favorite pop starlet looking a little thin? (If I were crass, I’d write, “There’s a ‘Blank Space’ and it’s inside your stomach.” Fortunately, I’m not crass.).
I’m worried about Taylor. Please give yourself some time off and get healthier. Lecture over.
Whenever God Shines His Light
I’ve already posted a Van Morrison tune here before, but some artists bear repeating. This is yet another Van the man song that would be just as welcome in a house of worship. Nothing like an Irishman with a strong sense of spirituality. This 1989 tune never made it to the Billboard charts; it’s just too damn good for such a secular rating.
LoLakers at Warriors
TNT 10:30 p.m.
Kobe, Curry. Curry, Kobe. Do you realize that four of the major characters in this game –those two, plus Klay Thompson and Luke Walton — are all 2nd-generation NBAers? Some day everyone in the NBA will be the progeny of an NBA player. It’ll be an entirely different sub-species.
Granted, I always hoped that the Carolina Panthers would rechristen themselves the Charlotte Raes (“Mr. Drummond!”), but here they are even more perfect than the New England Patriots (10-0 to 9-0, at least for a few more hours) on the week of Thanksgiving. Cam Newton has entered his prime, Jonathan Stewart is a beast at running back (not having to do a nightly TV show as well has allowed him to focus), and let’s face it, almost the entire rest of the NFC has taken the season off.
The Panthers are at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, which is going to be fun. The Cowboys have won 1 in a row after losing seven straight, and yet still are just two games out of first place in the NFC East. Tony Romo will be behind center for the non-Texan Texans.
Sime (left) had never lost to Bobby Morrow (right) before an injury cost him a shot at the ’56 Olympics. Morrow went on to win the 100, 200, and 4×100 relay and be named SI’s “Sportsman of the Year”
That’s Christian McCaffrey’s grandfather (and Ed McCaffrey’s father-in-law0, Dave Sime, on the left. In 1960 he won the silver medal in the men’s 100 meters at the Rome Olympics and should have taken gold running the anchor leg in the men’s 4 x 100, but two of his teammates had a handoff outside the zone.
Even though ESPN did not mention CM in its Top 5 last Thursday night, he should be headed to NYC as a Heisman finalist.
At Duke Sime played baseball and football as well and in 2001 he was named Duke’s Outstanding Athlete of the 20th Century (take that, Christian Laettner). Sime then went on to become a leading ophthalmologist who was the Miami Dolphin team doctor. His grandson had 389 all-purpose yards versus Cal on Saturday night.
3. Reports of Glenn’s Death Are Greatly Exasperated
Talk about a dumpster fire…
So Glenn, whom we last saw three episodes prior, apparently survived being flat on the ground, surrounded by zombies, and lying prone beneath a friend whose own innards were being devoured by the walkers on The Walking Dead. Ooooooooooooookay, sure.
Show runner Scott Gimple and his creative team went too far with this one, and now they have a show that is itself a zombie: meandering around aimlessly, with no soul. I did not see Talking Dead, but I do wonder how host Chris Hardwick (Happy 44th Birthday, by the way!) handled this abomination.
4. Her Heart Will Go On
At the American Music Awards, Taylor Swift grabs more hardware (“Blank Space” over “Uptown Funk” for Single of the Year is the greatest of travesties), but Celine Dion garners all of the attention by paying tribute to the victims of the Paris attacks with a song by Edith Piaf, Hymme a L’Amour.
5. Air Guitar Hero
Sure, maybe the 4th spot in the College Football Playoff still goes through the state of Oklahoma –we’ll see — but how about Michigan State? Playing without its starting quarterback on the road, Sparty upset the defending national champions when kicker Michael Geiger nailed the game-winning field goal from 41 yards out last time expired.
Loved the old school Big Ten final score: 17-14. Loved that Urban Meyer chose not to look as Geiger, a Toledo native, attempted the GWFG, but instead turned his back and looked toward the stands. Loved that Geiger sprinted downfield, windmilling it the entire way. Eddie Van Halen would be proud.
And yes, I think Michigan State is more deserving of being in the Top 4 currently than Iowa, what with wins at Columbus and Ann Arbor while having beaten Oregon at home. Their lone defeat came on a verrrrrry sketchy call in Lincoln. Not that it really matters, as The Fighting Dantonios will meet Iowa in two weeks and we can settle it there (unless the Hawkeyes boink at Nebraska themselves this weekend).
My Top 4 as of TODAY: 1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Michigan State 4. Oklahoma. Irish jussssst out of that 4th spot. Have looked moribund past two weeks.
I’d Really Love To See You Tonight
This 1976 tune by England Dan & John Ford Coley reached No. 2 on the Billboard chart and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Dan Fogelberg still cannot believe that he did not write or perform this (but he didn’t). The duo performed the tune on James at 16 (great show, by the way), and they shoe-horned it in by saying that England Dan was the uncle of one of the two characters. What Evs.
Bills at Patriots
ESPN 8 p.m.
Sammy Watkins has lived up to the hype
New England attempts to improve to 10-0 versus Rex Ryan and the Bills, who are better this season but still just thrilled to be a part of Monday Night Football.
Golden State, like Curry (40 points last night), is in top form
1. The Fun Bunch
Trailing by 23 points in the 2nd quarter, the Golden State Warriors go on a game-ending 22-5 run at Staples Center to dismiss the Clippers. They’re now 13-0 with a home game versus Chicago (winners of 4 in a row), a trip to Denver, and then a home game versus the LOLakers in the way of becoming the first team to start 16-0.
Golden State are the most universally loved winners since that dude who kept calling his wife “principessa”
And we’re all in love with them. They’re in that Roberto Benigni stage with us, just before and after his Oscar win. And see, Roberto did it well. He never attempted to improve upon that. Life is Beautiful Due? I don’t think so.
Interim GSW coach Luke Walton, who has NEVER been a head coach anywhere, is now 13-0 in relief of Steve Kerr. That’s going to look good on his resume.
2. ISIS Gets Served
This is Andrew Neil of the BBC, eloquently opening his show with a Tale of the Tape, France versus ISIS.
When it comes to Islamic jihadist terrorists barking “Allah Akbar,” I always revert to Uncle Ruslan’s line about his two nephews in Boston when asked what motivated them to bomb the finish area of the Boston Marathon: “They’re losers.”
Mais non! Brigitte Bardot fails to make the cut for Neil’s rant
An entire culture who realizes that civilization has passed them by has two choices: 1) roll up the sleeves of your thawb and catch up, or 2) throw rocks at the winners (while availing yourselves of all the modern luxuries they’ve created and you did not).
We need to talk about security in terms of protecting ourselves from ISIS. But we also need to talk about insecurity, which is the genesis of their hatred. They’re losers.
3. Heismanology Between the Lines
Navy’s Keenan Reynolds has scored an NCAA career-record 81 rushing TDs. Why not invite him to the Heisman presentation as a finalist?
Last night I got home and parked myself on the couch, anxious and excited for the kickoff of East Carolina (the 51st state) at Central Florida (the state of disarray, at 0-10), but first Adnan, Joey and Danny needed to chat about Heisman favorites. Their top 5, if I recall correctly: Baker Mayfield, DeShaun Watson, Ezekiel Elliott, Derrick Henry and in last place was, I believe, you know, the guy who was indisputably the greatest college football player in the nation just a month ago, Leonard Fournette.
I think they had Mayfield No. 1. I like Baker Mayfield. I LOVE his story (and you should, to0). But this is why, at times, I don’t like certain aspects of ESPN: because they trick you into thinking they’re practicing honest, unbiased sports journalism, and then you are compelled to remember that at the end of the day they are a television station that needs to hit its numbers.
Baker Mayfield was splashed all over the screen. That may be because TCU is at Oklahoma in prime time on ABC on Saturday (and because FOX has the more intriguing Big 12 matchup, Baylor at Oklahoma State). And then three of those four other guys play for teams that ESPN believes — hopes? I don’t know — will make the College Football Playoff, which it also will televise.
Cook wears defenders as capes
Dalvin Cook, running back, Florida State. Arguably the best offensive player in the country.
Christian McCaffrey, running back/KR/PR, Stanford: The Vanilla Reggie Bush.
Carl Nassib, defensive end, Penn State. Leads the nation in Sacks and Tackles for Loss.
Cook was an afterthought and the other two were not even mentioned. ESPN does so many things so well; and then it attempts to frame a conversation so that it dovetails with its broadcast goals and it all feels a little sleazy.
4. Non-Philadelphia 7’6″ers
Ndiaye, left, and Fall, right, are both 7’6″
This photo should go directly to the Naismith Hall of Fame because except for a tip-off between Yao Ming and Shawn Bradley (updated: Manute Bol and Gheorge Muresan), this would be the tallest tip off in history. Mamadou Ndiaye, left, of UC Irvine jumped center against Tacko Fall of Central Florida two nights ago.
Both men are 7’6″. By the way, they whiffed on the tip, which is why maybe THIS photo is the one you send to Springfield.
The Anteaters won, 61-60, to improve to 3-0. The line on both gentlemen:
Philadelphia should have to draft at least one, if not both, of them.
That’s Katie George, senior volleyball player at Louisville…
And that’s Katie George, model and reigning Miss Kentucky….
And that, too, is Katie George, a reporter at WLKY (yes, it’s all the same person).
And this, above, is Phyllis George, who is a former Miss Texas, a former Miss America and is THE GODMOTHER of all women in on-air sports. In the Seventies she brought all the steam to the CBS pre-game shows and she and Brent used to flirt shamelessly on TV as Irv Cross just looked on and flashed the pre-Tom Jackson “What am I doing here with these people?” face.
Oh, and Phyllis George went on to marry the governor of Kentucky….but they are no relation.
The AMA’s are on Sunday. I think this tune, which has been viewed more than one BILLION times on YouTube, should win for Best Song.
American Music Awards
ABC 8 p.m.
Tune in to see Taylor Swift and also to see how old and out of touch you are…..
Model Lindsay Ellingson turns 31, reminding us of a famous line from Potsie upon seeing nude Pygmies in a National Geographic: “I’d love to see HER in a cashmere sweater!”
1. Andre the Giant Rebounder
Perhaps we need to stop saying, “Don’t forget about Andre Drummond.” The Pistons’ fourth-year low-post player is averaging 19.1 points and 18.9 rebounds per game. And though we are only a dozen or so games in, we’ll note that the last player to average more boards than that over the course of a season was Wilt Chamberlain in 1971-72. The last one to average even 16 per game over an entire season was a former Piston, Dennis Rodman of the Bulls, in 1996-97.
Drummond was selected 9th overall by Detroit in 212.
2. Like What Through a Who?
You have to love that November SEC bye week FCS opponent week. It sure does loosen up the coaches. Here’s Nick Saban cautioning the local media not to take Charleston Southern, which is 9-1 after all, lightly.
It gets really salty at about the 1:00 mark (reminder: it was an innocent enough question), but just so you have the quote, Coach Saban says, “I don’t think you remember Georgia Southern…and they run through our ass like shit through a tin horn, man.”
My favorite reaction to this came from longtime Tide chronicler Cecil Hurt, who opined, “That’s it. Georgia Southern should just put that quote on the cover of its 2016 media guide.” Spencer Hall noted, correctly, that Coach has such a natural comfort with casual profanity.
3. The Fighting Sous Chefs?
Wonderful article in the New York Times about how intercollegiate athletics is now a thing at the Culinary Institute of America. This is a sportswriter’s (and editor’s) dream. The campus is located just 90 minutes or so up the Hudson River line (yes, that’s an actual thing, Billy Joel fans), the athletes will be extremely approachable and friendly, and you get to toss in a bouillabaisse of bad puns and cooking metaphors (while making sure you spell bouillabaisse properly).
By the way, the mascot name is the Steels, which are tools for sharpening knives. Keep this story idea on a low flame. Add salt.
4. The Warren Report
Warren Beatty, the Sixties’ answer to Jake Gyllenhaal, right down to the actress sister
For decades no one knew exactly whom Carly Simon was singing when she crooned, “You’re so vain/You probably think this song is about you.” I’ll admit, I occasionally put down my trusty brush long enough to wonder if it were about me, but then I remembered I was six years old when she released it in 1972.
For years people thought it might have been about her ex, James Taylor. Turns out, and Carly just confirmed it, that it was about arguably the vainest man in Hollywood…. Ta-Da!….Warren Beatty.
The two had a fling. So, you can rest easy tonight, Burt Reynolds.
By the way….great song, no?
5. “I’ll Take ‘Petulant Podcast Pundits’ for $400, Alex”
Klosterman has now interviewed Taylor Swift and Tom Brady in the past three months.
“This best-selling sports-and-pop-culture author recently interviewed Tom Brady for GQ magazine and peppered him with a dozen consecutive questions about DeflateGate, all of which Super Pat politely declined to answer.”
Who is, Chuck Klosterman?
I’ll take ‘Petulant Podcast Pundits’ for $600.
“This one-man sports empire got a chance to sit down with the President of the United States of America for one hour, also for GQ, but then got a little pissy when his former employer wrote an item about the interview, provided a link and mentioned GQ, but not him. He tweeted, ‘Stay classy, ESPN.'”
Who is, Bill Simmons?
I bought The Go! Team disc “Thunder Lightning Strike” after reading a glowing review in Rolling Stone. This 2004 tune illustrates the power of sampling (uses “Soul Time” by Shirley Ellis). My favorite part of the tune comes at about 1:22 and continues for the next 20 seconds or so.
Warriors at Clippers
TNT 10:30 p.m.
We’re all in love with Stephen Curry. And we should be. GSW is 12-0, leads the NBA in scoring at 33.7 points per game, and does mash-ups of songs from Frozen with his adorable wife. Even his “This is SportsCenter” ad with dad and brother is cool.
Happy 47th to Hansel…or John Beckwith….or Owen Wilson
This is reality now in Paris
1. City of F(r)ight
So here’s your toxic mixture: 1) An enemy whose combatants clearly don’t care whether they live or die, 2) a society that espouses freedom and thus allows its citizens to move about freely, to gather in large groups to attend concerts, sporting events, etc. and 3) a free and uncensored media that will not only provide your acts of terror all the attention you want, but will thrive on the ratings they provide.
Former CBS correspondent John Miller, who once interviewed Osama Bin Laden face to face (pre-9/11) and who now works in counterterrorism for the NYPD, said this to Charlie Rose last night: “The terrorists after 9/11 tried to out-do one another. They tried to do something more spectacular. With Charlie Hebdo and now Paris, they’ve finally figured it out: bullets and simple bombs can wreak havoc and paralyze a city with fear. They finally got it: Keep it simple, stupid.”
Last night Paris police and security forces took down 7 terrorists just a mile from Stade de France, killing two.
Meanwhile, the United States remains the softest of targets with lax gun laws and a frothing-at-the-mic cable news media. And I understand that taking in refugees is the Christian thing to do, but then Jesus probably didn’t ever lay out $598 billion in a year for military defense spending, either. Jesus probably didn’t order an atomic bomb to be dropped over Nagasaki.
Yesterday a favorite sports journalist of mine chided the governor Massachusetts on Twitter for not wanting to accept Syrian refugees. “Is someone going to tell the governor of Massachusetts the story of Massachusetts?” he tweeted. And I thought: Maybe he already knows it: within two generations all of the Native Americans who welcomed the Pilgrims were either murdered or moved off their lands.
And while that wouldn’t happen here with Syrian refugees, governors are correct to at least question why taking in refugees is the solution, as opposed to repatriating them in their own home land.
ADDENDUM (Two post-shower thoughts): 1) The son of a Syrian immigrant created what is now the largest-cap company in the world, Apple. So, yeah, it’s never THAT simple of an equation. 2) In times of national defense strife, America must always remember that its two greatest allies are the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
2. Latvian Legend
It’s early in his career, but so starved are New Yorkers for hoops hope that we’ve already embraced Kristaps Porzingis as the next…well….Jeremy Lin. The 20 year-old Latvian had 29 points and 11 boards last night as the Bockers of Knick improved to 6-6 with a defeat of Lin’s Hornets.
Remember last June when Carmelo Anthony reportedly told a teammate on the night the Knicks selected Porzingis fourth overall, “We have to wait three years for this guy?” Turns out it was more like three weeks.
3. “Labissiere!” “Labissiere!”*
Passing would be advised here
*The judges will also accept “The Skal’s The Limit”
Did you not enjoy listening to Dan Schulman say the Kentucky freshman freak’s name over and over again last night? I felt as if I were at a Truffaut film festival (related: I’ve never attended a Truffaut film festival).
Labissiere only scored 7 points in 13 minutes of action before fouling out, but with that wingspan and those springs, look out world. The Haitian Sensation is going to be an SEC nightmare. No. 2 Kentucky beat Duke, 74-63.
4. No Change At The Top
Desmond King and the Hawkeyes have yet to pierce the top 4, but all they gotta do is win out and they’re in
Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Notre Dame remained the top four teams in the Selection Committee’s opinion. The next three, in order: Iowa, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Here at MH we want to to provide you with the upsets most likely to happen between now and December 6, in the order of likelihood. Here goes: 1) Florida loses to Florida State, 2) Notre Dame loses at Stanford 3) Oklahoma State loses to Oklahoma 4) Ohio State loses at Michigan 5) Iowa loses at Nebraska 6) Clemson loses to North Carolina in the ACC title game 7) Oklahoma State loses to Baylor 8) Ohio State loses to Michigan State 9) Alabama loses at Auburn 10) Ohio State loses to Iowa in B1G championship game.
5. Simmons Meets POTUS (Again)
Simmons and Obama had actually met before, here when TSG was at ESPN
Last month Bill Simmons sat down with Barack Obama and asked surprisingly few sports questions during a one-hour interview for GQ. Near the end of their chat, though, the guy who attended undergrad in Boston attempted to cajole the world leader who attended law school in Boston to take a shot at a man who earns more (and may wield more influence) than the two of them combined: Roger Goodell.
“You’re not going to drag me into your fights, man,” said the Prez. “Come on—I’ve got enough fights of my own. [laughs] This is between you and Roger.”
“Everybody get together/Try to beat the Minnesota Vikings right now…”
In 1967 The Youngbloods wrote one of the most enduring and emblematic songs of the Sixties peace movement. Then they went on to star at defensive end and outside linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams. It was a truly amazing time in America. This song peaked at only No. 62 in ’67 — I know, crazy– but made the Top 5 after re-release two years later. Maybe people began taking its simple message more seriously then.
Western Michigan at Northern Illinois
ESPN2 8 p.m.
Rod Carey: Only his record is as sexy as Fleck’s
In which media darling P.J. Fleck (WMU) gets his ass handed to him by relatively underrated Rod Carey (NIU), who is 30-8 in his third season with the Huskies. It’s MACtion, and NIU holds the inside slot for the MAC Championship game because they beat Holy Toledo –who won the Maumee Dearest Classic last night against Bowling Green last night — a week ago.
Happy 71st Birthday to a woman who sparkled in the Seventies, Lauren Hutton!
ISIS shows its support for Movember
1. Sorry, Tom Petty: Apparently, You DO Have To Live Like a Refugee
Hey, kids, lets play “Yes, But Maybe…” about ISIS, a.k.a. “Daesh,” (<– The Arabic acronym, which they loathe….hey, that’s a slur!), shall we?
First….Yes, the United States of America has that statue (a gift from France!) in New York Harbor that reads “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free…” And, yes, it is unconstitutional for all of those states to refuse entry to the Syrian refugees….
But maybe creating Syrian refugees and then disseminating them into Western culture is exactly Daesh’s strategy. And not just because it’s trying to smuggle its own operatives into your hometown, but maybe more so because it’s hoping Syrians will grow up there, feel disenfranchised, and then join their crusade from the comforts of your home town. Using the internet, it’s pretty easy to turn disenfranchised, angry young people to your nihilistic cause, no? So maybe the Syrian refugee crisis is not just an unfortunate offshoot of the war, but it’s also part of the enemy’s strategy, taking advantage of the kindness and generosity of this country.
Second, YES, it sounds good to be a Lindsay Graham or a FOX News war hawk and stump for “boots on the ground” in Syria or blowing Raqqa back to the Middle Ages –although most ISIS-friendly haunts are already there….
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, ISIS’ class president and sergeant at arms
But maybe what those people fail to see is that we are NOT battling a finite number of people in a finite space. Maybe our presence, or our indiscriminate bombings of places without ever being seen by the locals as more than bombs from the sky, induces more angry, hopeless young men to join ISIS. And not just in Syria, but anywhere. Because they feel the anger and hatred of white westerners and that testosterone kicks in and they join the one crusade that claims to speak for them.
There’s a sort of World War Zcalculus going on, then. By failing to cure the disease — which is hopelessness of an entire generation, mostly — we’re helping to create more zombies.
Syria: When your entire country is a sandlot…
Finally, and this is just an observation, have you ever wondered if there’s a correlation between the hostility and intractable mindsets these Arabs have and their climate and ecosystem? In short, do you think they’d all behave this way if they were just surrounded by a few more….trees? I know it sounds dumb, but I’ve been to Yuma, Arizona. It’s got that same hopeless topography. I think I might go a little nutso, too, if that was all I ever saw.
Also, at some point during this weekend (and during attacks past), did it not occur to you –admit it, it did — how much more carnage you would have been able to cause? How bumbling and incompetent ISIS is? I mean, they sent 3 dudes with explosives to Stade France, to a packed stadium, and killed a grand total of one person. They’re evil and they’re bullies, but they’re far less competent than your average El Chapo. Just noting it….
Not for nothing, and all of this is tragic, but measure the outcry of 129 people, mostly French, in Paris last Friday as opposed to the 229 dead from the plane that exploded over the Sinai peninsula. I’m not accusing anyone of latent racism. I think the video, photos and images from Paris are more vivid and hence have a more visceral effect, no?
I don’t see any easy answers here. I do think the one advantage ISIS has over us, or at least some of our loudest barkers, is that they know and understand their enemy. And it informs their strategy. I still don’t think that we’re very good at that. Finally, when the press/GOP hammers POTUS for failing on ISIS, that sounds fairly naive to me: it’s not the government’s job to apprise you of all the plots they foil, of all the preemptive measures that have worked. Doing that would only compromise further missions AND scare people here at home. I kinda felt as if Obama was itching to tell his detractors yesterday, “Scoreboard! Scoreboard!” which is not to say that U.S. policy is flawless, but which is to remind you that we’ve had no real ISIS attacks on our own soil.
There are no easy answers to this one. I welcome your observations…
Carnage at the Bata clan
A few decent stories/reports about Daesh and/or the Paris Attacks, and you should totally follow @parisvictims on Twitter:
Charlie Sheen goes on Today to promote his new disease, the HIV virus. His doctor , Robert Huizenga, tells Matt Lauer that he has “an undetectable level of the virus” in his blood. The doc also tells Lauer that Sheen “does not have AIDS.”
Also, the doctor says there is “an incredibly low” chance that Charlie will infect you via “protected sex” but that your brain is still at risk if you watch more than one episode of “Two and a Half Men.” Sheen says he’s no longer doing drugs, but that he’s still drinking.
Matt tells Charlie, “You should stop drinking.”
Sheen reveals that he has known for four years that he is HIV positive. So, yes, here come the lawsuits. Or, more accurately, as Sheen tells Lauer, “all the shakedowns.” Sheen says that he is paid out “upwards of ten million dollars.”
What I did not hear asked: Whether Charlie’s “tiger blood” rampage of a few years back and his wild rage against Chuck Lorre, his exodus from the show, had anything to do with him receiving this diagnosis.
4. The Texas Campsite Massacre*
*It’s just all happy news this morning, no?
Six people, one of them a 6 year-old, are murdered last weekend at a campsite on their own land in Texas. A neighbor, William Hudson, 33, who owned a much larger parcel of land adjacent to the property, is the prime suspect. Perhaps he was suffering from a severe and deranged case of “Get Offa My Lawn.”
The murderous shots rang out between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. One person at the camp site escaped and hid, a relative, who was able to explain what happened.
5. Grange Award Update
At 6-3, 240 pounds, Henry is an express train of pain
As with the Heisman Trophy, our Grange Award field remains wide open. We still like Leonard Fournette of LSU, but the sophomore may be better suited to win a Poor Timing Award: just 31 yards rushing in a loss at Bama and another sub-par game last week against Arkansas (is LF hurt?).
Others to consider: Christian McCaffrey (still leads the nation in all-purpose yards, by a large margin) of Stanford, quarterback Matt Johnson of Bowling Green (leads nation in TD passes with 36 and has only tossed 4 picks, and is second in passing yardage per game), and beast-like running backs Dalvin Cook of Florida State (2nd in rushing) and Derrick Henry of Alabama, who is fourth.
Also, Baker Mayfield, the Manziel-ian QB out of of Oklahoma. Or how about Penn State defensive end Carl Nassib, a former walk-on who leads the nation in Sacks and Tackles for Loss? We’ll also keep Navy QB Keenan Reynolds in the hunt (most career rushing TDs) and our favorite punter from Wake Forest, Alexander Kinal, who set the NCAA record for most career punts, which brought a tear to the eye, versus Notre Dame last weekend.
For the serious candidates, this is your mandate: 1) perform well and 2) don’t be involved with another loss. Do that and your chances for either award remain viable.
This Pittsburgh band, The Clarks, never made it B-I-G, but our friend Billy “Day of Yore” Hubbell introduced me to it back in 2004 and I’ve always like it. I’m not even sure that it even made the charts, but it’s just a good mid-tempo, meat-and-potatoes rock song.
Duke vs Kentucky
ESPN 7:30 p.m.
It only took seven months, but they finally got the 2015 NCAA championship game right…right? Remember when Kentucky came within 2 games of becoming the first team to go undefeated since the 1976 Indiana Hoosiers? Remember when Grayson Allen became the sleeper star of Duke’s Final Four? Allen is back, while Kentucky’s next Philaelphia 76er future No. 1 overall draft pick low-post stud is a young man from Haiti named Skal Labissiere.
Happy 22nd to SNL’s “resident young person,” Pete Davidson.
On one side, you have a culture that builds stuff like the Arc de Triomphe. On the other, you have people who try to tear it down. Now, we’ve all attended kindergarten and we know who the latter types are: insecure little shits who resent the achievers for being superior to them.
The law of entropy says that it is easier to tear something down than it is to erect it — true — but that’s why ISIS is on that side. Because they simply lack the humanity and intelligence to achieve greatness. They’d rather slaughter a goat, a feat of human engineering that was mastered long before Socrates or even Solomon was born.
More decent people will die. There may even be an attack like this on U.S. soil. But ISIS will never win. Nihilism is a really tough sell on a broad stage.
The attacks left 129 dead and almost as many critically injured
Here’s John Oliver on Friday’s attacks in Paris, offering “a premium moment of cable profanity”…
2. Giant Killers (In The Regular Season)
We’ve seen this face before
Crank up the Alcoa Fantastic Finishes news reel, as New England defeats the Giants, 27-26. On a last-minute drive that included a dropped interception and a fourth-and-10 conversion (not to mention a previous Giants drive that ended in a go-ahead field goal after Odell Beckham was unable to hold onto a TD pass), the Pats won when Stephen Gostkowski nailed a 54-yard field goal with :06 left. That was his 30th consecutive successful field goal attempt, which is pretty much about the rate that Bill Belichick deems “acceptable.”
So, the Giants lose a heartbreaker to the Pats in the regular season. That’s happened twice before and both times, when the two teams met again in the Super Bowl, Eli Manning and the Giants celebrated.
3. The Carotid Kid*
The kick de grace
Rule No. 94 (lifted from The Princess Bride): “Never fight a land war in Asia.” Vietnam. Buster Douglas. And now, Holly Holm. Okay, and sure, it was Australia, but it’s the far side of the Pacific, so we’re hoping Ronda Rousey would have learned from history. Holm, of Sandia Heights, New Mexico, takes out the most unstoppable force in sport with a left-foot roundhouse to the neck.
* I had help with that one
4. Night of SNL
Two stand-out sketches on SNL on Saturday, and I’ll leave it for you to decide how much either of them had to do with Missouri or Yale:
The first was “Black Jeopardy,” and by the way, Kenan Thompson was a stud in both of them.
Alison: “I just feel like whatever I do, I can’t win.”
Thompson: “That’s the blackest thing you’ve said all night.”
Whoops, she did it again. Amelia Boone of Chicago northern California wins her third World’s Toughest Mudder –women’s division — and places 10th overall in Las Vegas. The leggy lawyer ( <– trying out my New York Post writing app) completed 75 miles in 24 hours. The next closest female, Sara Knight, completed 70 miles in that time span.
Heads Carolina, Tails California
Where to reside, oh, where to reside? Jo Dee Messina asked this musical question back in 1996 (answer: Nashville).
The Comeback Kid
I haven’t seen it yet, but it’s 61 minutes of John Mulaney stand-up, and I’m sure that only 61 of those 61 minutes will be funnier than his failed eponymous sitcom that ran on FOX. We have no abash when it comes to rooting for Mulaney. I’m sure this is great (it made its debut last Friday).
“And those children that you spit on/As they try to change their world…”
If you follow me on Twitter (or if you don’t, and have a life), you know I’ve been utterly preoccupied with the events in Columbia this week. And it’s left me bewildered. I just watched a doc on Kent State a week ago. I rooted for the family in Sounder (chill out, it’s a joke…but I did). I like to think I’m not an old guy who just hates change.
That’s not for me to judge.
I’ve been bewildered at how much people think all existing rules or truths should be sacrificed as long as people don’t feel threatened or offended. I’ve been bewildered that the most trenchant voice arguing on my side of things is Jason Whitlock. I’ve been bewildered that the same black people, some of them very public, who’ve been ripping me have not a word to say about what Whitlock is writing, at least not publicly.
It feels as if this week we exchanged equality for mequality: the only thing that’s fair is that I get my way.
It feels as if there must be more to this. Money, perhaps. Did Mizzou suddenly become MORE racist once students’ health care and abortion-clinics privileges got cut? I wonder.
I’m quite comfortable with how I treat everyone, regardless of race, creed, bra size, etc. What this week seemed to say to me, with a loud voice, is that if you are white, here are the ground rules: You either agree completely with what any black person says pertaining to racism, or you are racist. There is no middle ground. Just as Ellen DeGeneres said in February of 2014: “Either ’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Oscar, or you’re all racist.”
I’ve had plenty of discussions with black people on Twitter this week. One of my favorites just ended. After he’d failed on every logical argument and was forced to acknowledge that Chancellor Loftin’s appeasement of Jonathan Butler actually came before the Homecoming parade, he left me with this:
“FACT:You’re butt hurt cause the minority rose up and accomplished something huge.
get a hankie and cry it out. Inaction will not be tolerated any further. Anyone can be taken down. New times my friend.”
I’ve also been called a “wing nut asshole” and an “arrogant prick” by the same people who are fighting for the right not to be offended by defamatory speech. Lots of great irony this week.
I don’t know where this ends. I do know that it doesn’t end in my life time. It may never end in the history of this country.
It’s like, Yes, slavery was awful. Also, yes, most of the white people you direct your anger to come from families who immigrated to the USA after slavery ended. But I guess we still get that white privilege card.
Slavery on this continent is the product of the white man. So, too, is the democracy and republic that is the USA. Which is why, as horrible as slavery was, and nobody disputes that, there aren’t many people eager to leaver this place. Besides, we have the most evolved spectator sports.
I don’t know what else to say. There have been so many injustices that black people have had to deal with and still do. There are also some stories that are a little more nuanced than that (hello, Michael Brown).
I hope Missouri becomes a more enlightened campus. I also wonder what the body count will be on the South Side of Chicago this weekend. It’s a crazy world.
For Your Eyes Only
Schmaltzy early ’80s tune, sure, but Sheena Easton was as lovely as any Bond girl. And, like Sean Connery (who is not 007 in this film) she is a great Scot. The song reached Top 5 in the U.S. Note: Blondie wrote a song of the same name hoping it would be selected as the theme, but no dice.
SATURDAY No. 12 Oklahoma at No. 6 Baylor
ABC 8 p.m.
Corey Coleman leads the nation in TD receptions (20) and receiving yardage per game
The CFB rankings explode wide open if the unbeaten Bears fail to hold serve tonight in Waco. And they have Oklahoma State in Stillwater next week. That’s a tough two-fer before meeting TCU. The Sooners are the first team with a winning record Baylor has met all season. Meanwhile, use “Last Channel” to hit FOX and Oregon at No. 7 Stanford. The Ducks have won three straight.