by John Walters

Starting Five

“Laura Rutledge, come on down! You’re the next contestant on ‘The Sideline is Right’ “

1. When the Britt Hits the Fan

As I tweeted earlier, it’s kind of ironic that Britt McHenry was interviewing hockey players,  many of who never attended college and are missing their front teeth, this week.

So I’m going to assume that McHenry won’t be putting this on her demo reel?

Some folks tweeted that she in no way deserves to be fired, that you can’t can someone just because they say awful things. Maybe not, but she’s not Ken from Accounting. McHenry is a television personality. Part of her job is having the audience like her. And now the audience has seen that behind that pretty face was an ugly person. At least in that moment.

A one-week suspension isn’t long enough. It would be better for her if they suspended her for a month. Hell, Ballghazi went away. Why not this?

2. A Reminder…

Granted, it’s a long season and if Anthony Davis misses this shot, who knows what unfolds afterward in a different fashion for both teams? Still, the Pelicans beat the Thunder out for the 8th spot in the West despite having the same record (45-37), meaning they won the tiebreaker. So what happens if Davis doesn’t hit this crazy buzzer-beater?

And, yes, the score was tied at the time. So they’d have gone to overtime. Davis on the night: 41 points, 10 boards.*

*Read comment below by our friend Okerland for a great Paul Harvey nugget on this….

3. Cub Scouts…

…love rookie Kris Bryant. In fact, all scouts do. Today the Cubbies called up the rookie phenom slugger from Las Vegas.

Last season in the minors, Bryant his .325 with 43 home runs. This spring in the Cactus League, the six-foot-five, 23 year-old batted .425 with nine home runs. The Cubbies kept him in minor league ball the minimum 12 days, which means they’ll get to have hime an extra season before he may file for free agency. Don’t think Scott Boras will forget that.

Still, the drought is at 107 years. Money aside (if that’s possible), what player wouldn’t want to be a part of the history of bringing the North Side a World Series title?

4. The Ultimate Walk-Off

Model Giselle Bundchen, the Olivia Munn of the AFC, makes her last strut up and down the catwalk yesterday at the Sao Paolo Fashion Show. Bundchen, 34, is a mother of two. Bundchen, who is Brazilian except that she’s really German, has been walking runways at fashion shows since age 14.

5. Shame On Us

This is the world’s last male northern white rhino, now under 24 hour guard. Notice the one soldier stroking it as if to caress. There are a few female white rhinos. Let’s pray for a comeback.

Asshole poachers kill the rhino for its horn so that asshole people can use it for supposed medicinal value. Guess where rhinos live? Africa. Guess where terrorist organizations thrive? Africa? Guess what terrorist organizations want/need/crave? Funding, by any means possible.

If I had the money, I’d build ranches for endangered animals. All things wise and wonderful/All creatures great and small/All things bright and beautiful/The Lord God made them all.*

*Even if you’re an atheist, you get the gist.

Music 101

Happy Together

Me and you/And you and me/No matter how they toss the dice/It had to be

The Turtles, a No. 1 Billboard hit, 1967. This song knocked the Beatles’ Penny Lane from No. 1, spent three weeks there, then got bumped by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Those were the days, kids.

Remote Patrol

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Spurs at Clippers, Game 1

10:30 p.m. TNT

Kawhi: I guess I’ll just have to DVR Veep

So Adam Silver puts the first game of the most intriguing first-round playoff series directly up against Mad Men and Veep/Last Week Tonight? This is NOT cool. Not cool. Gonna be quite a testy series.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Russell, Athletic


1. Requiem for a Heavyweight

On the final night of the season, Russell Westbrook scores 37 points (34 in the first half), grabs 8 rebounds and  dishes out 7 assists as the Thunder beat the T-Wolves by 25, But that and OKC’s 45-37 record isn’t enough at the Pelican West beat San Antonio to claim the 8th spot.

Westbrook finishes with a scoring title (28.1 ppt), something teammate Kevin Durant claimed a year ago, and 11 triple doubles, the most of anyone in 26 years, when Michael Jordan had 15 in 1989. It would’ve been 12 had he not sat out the entire 4th quarter once it was apparent OKC had no chance for the postseason.

If you’re looking for one play that symbolizes what Westbrook did this season for a team that lost two of its integral starters, this is it.

2. Guilty

Life without parole for Aaron Hernandez, who caught 175 passes in his first three NFL seasons with the Patriots and would’ve starred in February’s Super Bowl had he stuck around. Hernandez caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLVI, which makes him the first man to score a Super Bowl touchdown AND be convicted of first-degree murder.

And, remember, AH still has a double-murder trial ahead of him.

I’ve always thought that Hernandez believed (or discovered) that Lloyd was talking to people about that double homicide whom he shouldn’t have spoken to, and decided to silence him. Can’t prove; just my hunch.

What a waste. 

3. NetFlix Soars

Look at you, Princess Buttercup! (as a fellow 48 year-old, I can tell you kids that this shape is possible if you just live right)

With no small thanks to actors Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, Netflix (stock symbol NFLX, as if it’s an X-rated version of the NFL, which is already an X-rated version of itself) boomed after its earning report yesterday, scaling 12% higher, or $58, after hours.

If you had gotten into Netflix back in July, 2012 –when Dan Wolken and I spoke about doing so, but DIDN’T BECAUSE WE ARE IDIOTS!– you could’ve had it for $60 per share. That was right when Frank and Claire Underwood laid the cornerstone for House of Cards.

Now? Now NFLX is at $533 per share. Beware, though. The stock itself may be a house of cards, as Netflix has had three straight quarters of negative cash flow. That is, beware the bubble.

Stock I’ve done well with lately? GoGo Internet (GOGO), which is up 50% since January.

4. Coachella Fitzgerald

St. Vincent. Coming to a place where people recognize stardom near you

Here’s Rolling Stone’s 40 Best Things We Saw at Coachella” review…until the Washington Post releases a scathing report saying that 37 of them never happened.

Something about inviting hundreds of thousands of people to party in a desert in the middle of a state that has a SERIOUS water problem is amusing.

5. Peak Peak

“Picacho” means Peak in Spanish….

Above you, Picacho Peak, which anyone who has ever made the drive from Phoenix to Tucson, or vice versa, is quite familiar with. I wrote a little story about how yesterday was the 153rd anniversary of a Civil War battle that took place here. Truly. And it was the western-most battle of the Civil War.

My first ride along I-10 past Picacho was in August of 1978 as my dad and I were driving my cousin back to school at the U of A. Almost all of the trip was nothing but desert, but my dad said to me, “Some day everything between Phoenix and Tucson will be houses and people and it’ll be more like one huge metropolis.”

Sadly, that premonition looms closer to reality 37 years later.

Music 101

Hearts on Fire

“I been achin’ from desire/Her blood’s running like a raging river/And her heart’s on fire”

If you’ve seen the Eagles documentary, you certainly remember the anecdote in which Randy Meisner refuses to sing Take It To the Limit onstage and Glenn Frey rips him a new one for not giving the people what they paid for. Meisner had a voice as golden as California, but his personality just couldn’t compete with the egos of Messrs. Frey and Henley. Here’s his first solo effort, a simple upbeat rock tune from 1980 –yes, this shirt and hairstyle were in back then.

Remote Patrol


History 10 p.m.

We’ll sack Paris tonight, and then in a few hundred years our descendants will walk the runways there.

One of my closest friends forever and ever, Smoron, devours this show. And he’s a smart dude. So even though I have yet to watch it, I’m going to recommend it. It’s kind of like the Wildings coming south of the Wall, no? In tonight’s new episode, the Nordics launch an all-out assault on Paris. Viewer discretion: there may be some pillaging.



by John Walters

Starting Five

Yep, yep, yep

1.  The War on…War

So, yeah, it’s Tax Day. My accountant told me a story –I haven’t verified it–that there was once a scam in which IRS agents were changing the checks from “IRS” to “MRS” and cashing them, which is why they now ask you write them out to “U.S. Treasury.” I ain’t sure about that.

Anyway, here’s where our dollars go. Does every nation need to spend some money on defense? Sure. But at a certain point you realize three things: 1) They’re selling you fear, 2) The boys from South Park had it correct: “Team America: World Police” and 3) It’s a business.

2. It’s Not Dire, Wolves

One of these dudes better learn to love Minneapolis. Meanwhile, the T-Wolves will have consecutive No. 1 overall picks on their roster, something Cleveland could’ve had

Tonight is the final night of the NBA season. Minnesota has the league’s worst record at 16-65, while the Knocks are 17-64. But the T-Wolves host the Thunder, who desperately need to win, so they’ll probably retain the worst record and thus the highest probability of landing the first pick.

Two thoughts: 1) Would the Knicks still land that first pick and would folks wonder if that had been fixed and 2) Does it matter? Most people –but not me–believe that Karl-Anthony Towns and Jahlil Okafor, who are both post players, are the 1-2 picks. I’m not certain who has the higher ceiling, but here’s what I do know…

1. The T-Wolves don’t need any more wings. They need a post player or a game-changer at point guard. Trade the pick or add yet another raw piece to a raw but talented pick? 2) The Knicks will be tempted to pick KAT or Okafor, but you’re putting a 19-year old into the toughest media market in the nation (and the cops here wield a mean baton) while failing to address fact that it’s a league where your game changer is a guy who operates from the wing. I foresee a lot of dumb moves by the Knocks.

3. Coach of the Year

Looks like Darrin Stephens, coaches like Samantha Stephens

Golden State Warrior coach Steve Kerr will have led his team to either 65 or 66 wins in his debut season, which is prit-tee, prit-tee good. Atlanta Hawk coach Mike Budenholzer has shockingly led his team to the best record in the East, which may be even more impressive. Both men are proteges of Gregg Popovich, whose Spurs will finish with the league’s 3rd-best record, after those two, so maybe Pop should be the NBA’s Coach of the Year.

But my vote would go to Brad Stevens of the Boston Celtics. Remember when people wondered if he’d be able to handle the transition from Hickory High to the NBA’s most storied franchise? Well, with a roster held together with duct tape, the Celtics are about to make the playoffs.

Seriously, whom do they have? The Celts traded away their best player, Rajon Rondo. Their leading scorer is Isaiah Thomas –how can any Celtic fan over age 40 even root for a guy with that name?– and the rest of their lineup is peppered with B-list players at best (Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass). And yet Boston may finish 40-42 and face the Cavaliers, whom they beat by 39 points on Sunday.

Granted, Cleveland didn’t care, but how does that team lose by 39 to anyone? And how does Boston beat anyone by 39? Stephens led Butler to a pair of Final Fours. How much more unthinkable would it be to take down LeBron & Co. in the first round (the answer: somewhat more, but still…)?

4. Mighty Like a Rose

Kate appears to be in ship shape

That’s everyone’s favorite disaster-at-sea survivor, Rose Kate Winslet, on the cover of InStyle. Has the Brit actress ever looked better? I go all the way back with Kate to the Aussie film Heavenly Creatures, and well, yes. By the way, Kate’s third husband is named Ned Rocknroll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby.

5. Pitch Count

It’s April 15, which means that numerically, at least, we’re one month away from the May 15 premiere of Pitch Perfect 2, which is my most anticipated film of the summer season. Bumper, Fat Amy, Aubrey, Chloe and Beca can’t get here soon enough. Trailer, please!


Music 101

Both Sides, Now

So many things I would’ve done/But clouds got in my way…”

Even when I first heard the Judy Collins version of this song at the age of four in 1970, I knew it was the saddest, most poignant tune I might ever hear. Joni Mitchell wrote it in 1967 and performed it, too, but Collins –the Judy in CSN’s “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”–scored a bigger hit with it as a single in 1968. Rolling Stone ranked it 171st on its list of 500 Greatest Songs. I’d put it higher (and demote some of that Jimi Hendrix crap). :)

This is the tune that kicked in at the end of Mad Men’s sixth season, as Don Draper shepherded his kids to his boyhood home. And, as Joyce Carol Oates wrote earlier today, that was really the last scene in the series.

Remote Patrol

Champions League: Paris-St. Germain at FC Barcelona

FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m.

Merci, Messi

Did you see the bender Lionel Messi hit last weekend? Today his Barca squad hosts PSG, who took down Premier League leaders Chelsea in the Round of 16 and boast Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in the first leg of their quarterfinal home-and-home.




by John Walters


Starting Five

The Confederacy formally surrendered less than one week earlier

1. The Greatest

On this day, 150 years ago, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated (he was shot on the night of the 14th and formally pronounced dead on the 15th). The six-foot-four native of Kentucky is for my money –and that money would be $5 bills and pennies–the greatest Commander in Chief the country has ever had.

It’s not even simply about the ethics of ending slavery. It’s about seeing a practice that was short-term profitable (for Southern land owners and for all who purchased their products) but long-term toxic and taking whatever steps necessary to stop it. Who in politics has the balls to do that these days?

Notice: slavery ended, and people didn’t stop buying cotton, etc.

2. Aloha Means “This Better Be Good”

“Hey, you went to a Catholic high school (Xavier Prep) and I went to a Catholic college (Georgetown). Cool.”

Thanks to Cameron Crowe, we have Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. Okay, also Vanilla Sky and Elizabethtown, which I never saw. Have you seen We Bought a Zoo? It’s actually better than you’d think. I hadn’t realized he’d done it until after I watched it. It had enough Crowe-ish touches.

Anyway, his new film is Aloha and it has quite the cast: Bradley Cooper (so, “American Aloha?”), Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams (Wedding Crashers reunion!), Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Alec Baldwin, Danny McBride and Jay Baruchel. And, as my good friend Chris Corbellini notes, the prettiest cast member of all: Hawaii.

The plot revolves around pilots and redemption, so it’s a little bit Airplane!, a little bit Magnum, P.I. How can this possibly fail? Here’s hoping there’s a Larry Beil cameo.

p.s. The song in the trailer  is Rocks by Imagine Dragons.

3. Her Many

Rausging was born just five years after Hitler died. She’ll be great help on history papers.

This lady is causing quite a, um, furor. This is Annegret Raunigk, a 65 year-old Berlin elementary school teacher who is already a mother of 13. And now she just traveled to Ukraine for a procedure in which she was artificially inseminated. Raunigk is expecting quadruplets. Currently, her oldest child is 44 and her youngest is nein!

4. Capped in Phillips

I mean, when Christian Peter isn’t even the worst person on your team…

Former Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips, who at one time was the baddest and best running back in college football, is suspected of killing his cellmate, Damion Soward, in a California prison. When Phillips was a sophomore for the Huskers, he was charged with assault and vandalism in November dating back to an incident that happened the previous March. But the trial was delayed until after Nebraska faced Oklahoma and then played (and won) its first national championship under Tom Osborne and no, this story doesn’t sound familiar at all to me, either. Why? Does it to you?

5. The “O” Is Implied

Or as Andrew Dice Clay would pronounce it, “Marco Rubi…OH!”

Yesterday, Florida senator Marco Rubio (R), who sometimes finds the need to slake his thirst at inopportune moments, announced that he was running for president. So what better time to inform you that there is a male actor who does gay porn named Marco Rubi?

Music 101

Call Me

Call me/On the line/Call me, call me/Any, any time

Before there was Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe, there was Deborah Harry and Blondie leaving no ambiguity about what she expected at all. Released in 1980, this was Blondie’s breakout hit as it spent six weeks at No. 1 back when people cared about that. Looks like a supermodel; sings like a rock star. Why don’t they make Deborah Harry types any more?

By the way, Ms. Harry was somewhat passive aggressive when it came to Alexander Graham Bell’s invention. In one tune she is ordering someone to “Call Me” and yet in another she entreats, “Don’t Leave Me Hanging on the Telephone.” Women!


Remote Patrol

Real Madrid at Atletico Madrid

FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m.

This UEFA Champions League quarterfinal (first leg) is a rematch of last spring’s Champions League final. In that contest between the two Madrid-based clubs, Atletico led 1-0 after 90 minutes, but then Real scored an equalizer in the third minute of stoppage time. In extra time, Real won 4-1. Heartbreaker for the canines of under.


by John Walters


Starting Five

1. Spieth Easy*

*The judges are also happy to accept “A Performance That Spieths for Itself,” “Jordan Rules,” “Jordan, Heir,’ ‘Augusta and Everything After,” and “Tiger Popped A Bone…er?” Basically, they’d accept anything.

Like some Americans, we care about golf two weekends a year: in April and in July (the British, just because we like the word “gorse”.) But even a casual fan has to be in awe of Jordan Spieth, a native Texan who at age 21 shot an Augusta National record-tying 18-under over four rounds to claim the green jacket.

Spieth attended Jesuit High in Dallas, the same school that produced that Oklahoma frat dude who sings racially insensitive tunes. Meanwhile, Tiger Woods claims to have performed field surgery on his own wrist during Sunday’s final round. So there’s that.

And Phil Mickelson finishes 2nd for the 10th time in a major. Or, as Ricky Bobby might say, “Last.”

2. Bitch is Back…

As soon as this wake is over, I’ll go kidnap some Dalmatians….

First of all, thanks to frequent MH contributor Chris Corbellini and his lovely lady, Hillary, for allowing me to Constanza at their apartment to watch the season premieres of Game of Thrones and Veep (sorry, Silicon Valley, you’re okay but not in their class).

There was a moment when Prince Can’t-Get-a-Pizza-in-Indiana is offering platitudes of sorrow to Cersei over her father’s death (Old Blue Eyes) and the camera just focuses in on the Lady Lannister’s unabashed look of utter contempt. And I just blurted out, “I love her.” And then about 30 seconds later she walks past a wine tray and stops just long enough to grab a fresh glass. Classic Cersei.

My other two favorite moments: Varys’ pep talk to Tyrion, which might as well be the first ad of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Also, when Daenerys’ lover (I’ll catch up to the names in a week or two) urges her to reinstate the fighting pits, which sounded like a PSA for the National Football League. Loved that.

But, honestly, the entire series of Looking had less male nudity than Sunday night’s premiere.

Has even more power than Cersei (or so she thinks)

Also, per usual, Veep was fantastic. No show fills in more mean per minute. And nothing is out of bounds. “There’s a theory that Reagan paid Hinckley to do it because he wanted to spend two weeks in bed.”

3. …Speaking of Hillary

Yes, but will she be able to salvage her Families First program?

Remember when Tina Fey returned to SNL during the 2012 Democratic primary season to stump for Bill Clinton’s wife and ended with the tag line, “Bitch is the new black?”

Well, Hillary Clinton formally announced that she was running on Sunday. As a road racing enthusiast, I loved the dual coincidences that Mrs. Clinton announced this on the day of the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler, which begins and ends just south of the White House (in the shadow of the Washington Monument) and draws about 2,500 runners, and that she did so on the same day that Selina Meyer moved into the Oval Office on Veep.

4. From Down Under to Six Feet Under

These lads, now 60ish, now require prescription blue pills in order to shake you all night long

Playing its first live gig in six years, AC/DC invaded Coachella on Friday night and to at least one reviewer from the Los Angeles Times, seemed to redefine the term “anachromism.” Angus and Malcolm Young and the lads were  thisclose to a Spinal Tap tribute band. I’ll have more Coachella reviews as soon as the DJs reboot their computers.

5. Jimmy & Jerry

At some point here, they should have staged an Unbroken reenactment

Caught this episode of Seinfeld taking Jimmy Fallon out on his Boston Whaler for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. I love this series more and more with each passing episode. Are you like me? Do you notice that although Jerry is the host, he has the more compelling things to say in just about every episode? “This is angles,” says Fallon as they attempt to back the Range Rover hauling the vessel into a U-turn. “This is geometry.”

“Yes, it is angles and geometry,” Seinfeld agrees. “So is comedy. Comedy is all about geometry. Remember those geometry proofs you did in high school? That’s comedy. Begin with an absurd premise, then prove it step by step.”

And he’s still performing, even as recently as this weekend in Boston (no Whaler).

Irony Alert: The show is sponsored by Acura, but I’m fairly certain Jerry has never driven an Acura in the show.

Music 101

Grace Kelly

“I try to be like Grace Kelly/But all her looks were too sad/So I try a little Freddie/I’ve gone identity mad.”

Sorry, Adam Lambert, but no one does a better Freddie Mercury impersonation than Mika. Like the late Queen singer, whom Mika references in this 2007 tune, Mika is partly British and partly Persian (specifically, in his case, Lebanese) and plays piano. And he has the bicurious swagger down cold..


by John Walters


Starting Five

The Apple HourGlass come in five different colors, including gold

1. Watch What Happens!

Is that a Delicious Apple watch, or is it a MacIntosh Apple watch? Here’s one review.

Worth noting: That under-25 group of consumers who wants what’s cool? They don’t wear watches. So this may be a new gizmo for them. Apple should market it as being akin to a tattoo.

Don’t you like the heartbeat-centric ad, though? It’s a great march for a band to use while entering a stadium. Coming April 24th….

2. Ace Hole

The legendary Jack Nicklaus, age 75, shoots a hole-in-one, a.k.a., an ace, during Wednesday’s Par 3 contest at The Masters. For context, that’s the 81st ace in the history of the Par 3 contest at Augusta. It’s not unheard of; it’s more a matter of who did it and at what age.

Meanwhile, Jeff Van Gundy made sure that ESPN never asks him to work on first- or second-round coverage of The Masters.

3. Heads R Gonna Roll…ing Stone

I think I recommended this two days ago, so maybe it’s nice to believe that someone at The Daily Show is reading this blog: Jon Stewart came out last night and announced a “citizen’s firing” of the editors at Rolling Stone. To Jann Wenner’s statement that the report on the incompetence involved “is punishment enough,” Stewart offers, “You’re missing the ever-important sentencing phase.”

And I’d say that I 100% back him on this, except that he’s 100% backing me…

4. Or, It’s Just Bad…

The first thing the producers of Garbage Time oughta do is make the set and the star look exactly like this, from her webcast, as opposed to what they have going. She’s a no-frills lass, supposedly, so put her in her comfort zone.

Loved this review of Katie Nolan’s Garbage Time on Awful Announcing: “Katie Nolan’s Garbage Time Still Finding Its Footing.” Wondering, as one friend of mine asked, why they were not as patient with Joe Buck’s show when it made its debut. I’ve got no beef with Ms. Nolan. She’s doing her best, I assume. It’s just amusing to see how far male media dudes will stretch in order to not say anything negative about her. Her pulchritude occludes their objectivity, methinks.

5. The Envelope, Please

That one time where Jimmy Fallon laughed a little too loud at something a guest said….

It was a near-miracle, but an actual conversation broke out on Jimmy Fallon’s show the other night. The guest was Louis CK and the topic was starting out as a comic, the bad clubs and the travel and the horrible life choice. And then it meandered to a comedy club in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. To Fallon’s credit, he actually remembered and mentioned the names of the couple who run the joint, Bananas.

And then it got interesting, as Louis CK was mentioning how young comics are paid –basically, the owner decides how much cash to give you and hands you an envelope. And at that point Fallon, forgetting that he should be playing charades or competing in a lip-synch contest for a moment, seized on Louie’s remark and noted that he’d just done an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee and that when he was finished, host Jerry Seinfeld handed him an envelope with cash in it.

“What’s this for?” Fallon asked.

“That’s your payment,” Seinfeld said.

“I’m not doing this for money,” Fallon said.

“No, don’t you remember?” said Jerry. “This is how we got paid starting out.”

I love that touch by Jerry. I love even more that he doesn’t film it. It’s like a priest making the sign of the cross to a parishioner. You are one of the flock.

(I couldn’t find video of this segment anywhere. NBC: Nazi Broadcasting Company).

Music 101

You Gotta Be

I’ll never figure this out. This is Des’ree, who is as beautiful as any chanteuse you’ll ever see. The song is pure poetry, and it has legs to play on your AM or FM station for years. And yet, that was it for her. The British singer last released a song 12 years ago and reportedly now lives in Edmonton, Alberta, because why not?

Fun activity for you. This is from 1994. Look at Letterman here, and look at him now. Lots of physical changes in 21 years. Dave turns 68 this Sunday. Then realize he’s older than Coach K. Look at how little the Duke coach has physically changed in that same time span.

Remote Patrol


10:30 p.m. FX

We already showed Louie above, and I’m not sure if he’s over 50 (I guess I could look it up). Anyway, this is a photo of the smoldering model who opened this season of Mad Men last Sunday. Her name is Rainey Qualley, and she just happens to be Andie McDowell’s daughter. Mom, you’ve outbred yourself (as a former colleague of mine at SI used to say).

I don’t know why I never watch this show, as big a fan as I am. Maybe I just forget FX is a channel. They should definitely air a round of March Madness next year. Anyway, here’s the Season 5 premiere.


by John Walters

Starting Five

When the most is at stake, that’s when Geno is at his best

1. More of the Ladder

John Wooden: 10-0 in national championship games, all at UCLA.

Geno Auriemma: 10-0 in national championship games, all at UConn.

Going 10-0 in championship games, in any sport at any level, is the imprimatur of a closer. Geno Auriemma is a paragon of natural selection. When I spent my season with him and his staff and players in 2000-01, he used to say that he’d considered being a lawyer. He’d have been great at that, too.

What makes Geno who he is? He has a boundless reserve of confidence that is buffeted with a realistic vision of what is required to make his dreams come true. Some people are cocky but have no work ethic. Some people work really hard but deep down don’t really believe they are supposed to win. Geno has both.

Also, he’s very funny.

Did you hear him tell the story of meeting the Wizard of Westwood, spending 15 minutes with him, and then later learning that Wooden said he’d never met Geno but he seemed like a nice man? That’s the kind of story Geno loves: and he will repeat it to his players as a lesson. He loves even more that he took the brunt of it.

2. Jimmy’s Choice

Marco: The grift that keeps on….griving?

In the season finale of Better Call Saul, our hero comes to a fork in the road–either that or the one main interchange in all of New Mexico, where the I-40 meets the I-25. Anyway, Kim Wexler, a loyal friend and a fabulous babe who appreciates all that Jimmy has done not only for her, but to elevate himself, lands him an opportunity for a gig in Santa Fe with a partnership track.

Instead, Jimmy chooses the dark side. I saw what the producers did to make that seem like the more seductive option, but I never bought that any more than I bought that Kennedy half-dollar scam. Or the watch scam. Me, I’m taking the $1,000 in the wallet EVERY DAMN TIME. Bird in the hand and all that rot.

For the record, I’m also not buying that there’s a woman in Cicero dumb enough to mistake Bob Odenkirk for Kevin Costner.

Sure, Jimmy is so hurt by what Chuck did and maybe he is disillusioned. But I just don’t buy, after all he’s done to fly straight, that lame grifts that literally lead you down a dark alley and an unceremonious death, are more attractive than stature, a lucrative job, and a chance to finally win Kim’s heart. Besides, have you BEEN to Santa Fe???? I lived there for a year. Give me that lovely setting, Tomasita’s and El Farol, and I’m set.

The Plaza in Santa Fe. What were you thinking, Jimmy?

Also, I loved how Sepinwall notes here that all along Howard Hamlin was the good guy whom we thought was a jerk, and Chuck was the jerk who thinks he’s a good guy.

3. Night Hawks

Copeland was a victim of aggravated stabbery. He’ll always remember that one game in 2014-15 where both he and Paul George suited up for the Pacers

Chris Copeland of the Indiana Pacers got stabbed in the stomach outside the 1OAK nightclub in the Chelsea section of Manhattan last night. He’ll survive.

That’s not the story, to me. The story is how two Atlanta Hawks, Thabo Sefolosha and Pero Antic, were also on the scene and were arrested for obstruction of justice (hed: “Antic’s Antics Earn Him Arrest”). See, the Hawks had only beaten the Phoenix Suns hours earlier in Atlanta. And the Hawks play at Brooklyn tonight.

So in betwixt back-to-backs, two Hawks are out at 4 a.m. at a club. I got it: the Hawks have already clinched the No. 1 playoff berth in the East. And these guys don’t go lights out at 11 p.m. or should I stay up to watch The Daily Show, anyway. I get it.

However, the next time you hear a coach tell you he’s giving a player a night off, well, he’d have to do that less if so many of these guys weren’t out until dawn the day of the game. A good friend of mine who used to coach in the NBA once told me, “How much better a product this would be if a good number of these guys weren’t playing with a hangover. Or without a decent night’s sleep.”

It’s the difference between getting a rest and getting arrested.

4. Lamb Chops

I think that’s Lamb on the left, but I cannot be totally sure….

The season is just two games old for each team, so let’s accept that this is overly premature, but Arizona Diamondback rookie 3rd baseman Jake Lamb leads the majors with seven RBI. And he has that movie star glow. Plus, a cool name. Former U-Dub player who was raised in Seattle. Keep an eye on him.

5. LeBouef’s Rule

Joanna Krupa swears by the advice below (MH’s steadfast rule of not including men over 50 in our photos unless we absolutely must)

I met business author Michael LeBoeuf this morning and he imparted some wisdom that he shares with college students. I’m all about the life philosophies these days. Anyway, it goes a little like this:

A good life comes from making good choices.

Good choices comes from experience.

Experience comes from making bad choices.

So, whether they are your own or others’, learn from bad choices and have a good life.

Music 101

American Girl

How to kick-start one of the great and enduring American rock-and-roll careers of all time? Write an urgent, teen-angst tune that exceeds everyone’s expectations and put it on your debut album. Tom Petty wrote this soon after he moved to California, when he lived in Encino. As much as I love Bruce, I think Petty comes as close as anyone among American rock songwriters for matching him song-for-song. Is this his best? You decide.

Also, considering how many artists have “borrowed” from Petty’s riffs and melodies, two ironies here: 1) he himself is borrowing from The Byrds’ sound and 2) I don’t think Petty has ever threatened the doll company American Girl with legal action. Or has he?

Remote Patrol

Nothing on. Do you really want to watch the Celtics at the Pistons? No, you don’t.


Starting Five

Don wonders aloud if they have free wi-fi and blows away the staff…

1. Don Juan

The last season of Mad Men opens with Don sexing up a TWA stewardess, a waitress at a diner and an unnamed brunette. No wonder he requires so many naps.

Also, Joan and Peggy take a ride in the “Elevator of Truth,” as both women let their panty hose down and air it out. Peggy: You’re built like a bimbo, so of course you dress like one to get ahead. Joan: You’re not, so you don’t. Ouch, babes.

Don seems more lost than ever –no appearances by Betty or Sally in this episode–but at least he hasn’t followed the lead of Roger Sterling and Teddy Chaogh and grown a hideous mustache. Here’s hoping SCDP lands the Gillette account soon.

I think we’re in 1970, so Matt Weiner chose to bypass Woodstock (granted, you’d need a few extras) and the Manson family. Bummer.

Peggy’s Lee’s Is That All There Is is an inspired choice. The partners now all have money, but who’s really happy?

The actor playing Peggy’s date is the guy who had the frizzy hair and had the huge cruch on Angela Chase in My So-Called Life (Brian Krakow was the character).

The opening scene was perfection (and who was that minx in the mink?). If you notice, Mad Men does this occasionally: Don is in the scene with other men and one woman, but the camera does not reveal other men immediately (see: last season’s finale in the hotel room with Peggy, Pete and Harry as they are watching the moon landing). The point is simple: when Don Draper’s in the room with a female, no other male exists.

Sterling, silver

Roger Sterling (John Slattery) had few scenes but still had the line of the night. “I supposed I’ll have to drop one of you off….I’ll let you decide.”

Finally, you did get that the waitress assumed Don was cashing in on Roger’s $100 tip, right? As a recently retired server, I never surrendered my honor for less than $75.

Alan Sepinwall’s review.

2. “Fear that Nabob!”

All things considered, “Happy Birthday, Frank” would have been a better thing to say…

Following a thrilling and scintillating national semifinal between Kentucky and Wisconsin –that was at most a minor upset– the big story was not the game but the three-word imperative sentence uttered by Kentucky guard Andrew Harrison.

The Wildcat player thought that only a teammate or two would hear his utterance, as he shielded his mouth with a hand, but the mic picked up the words. There was no question to it, the only question was how much mileage Jason Whitlock will get out of America’s latest sports-racism firestorm.

My six cents: It’s not the words themselves, it’s the culture that produces all that hostility. The contrast between Harrison’s words and the loose and happy Wisconsin team, as plays out at press conferences, is jarring.

What I see all too often in African-American culture in sports is a feeling that getting respect trumps most everything. Certainly it trumps sportsmanship. And mostly, you get respect by winning. Please don’t try to tell me that Harrison was anything but pissed in that moment, and that perhaps he was even more pissed that a team of white guys stole his chance at respect, and that his only reaction was not to be gracious at all but rather to emote as if something rightfully his had been taken from him.

I get it: your perfect season blew up not 15 minutes earlier. You have a right to be upset. You don’t have a right to be angry at the team that was responsible for that moment.

3. Rolling Stone: How Does It Feel?

She said it was going to be a “think piece.”

If you have the time, read this detailed report of all the ways that Rolling Stone failed to adhere to Journalism 101 in its catastrophe of a report on the alleged rape at UVA.

Two things: 1) Aaron Sorkin spent the entire second season of The Newsroom giving media members a tutorial/cautionary tale on fact-checking (“red team, white team”) but it appears nobody watched or paid attention. And, for all the grief he took about Season 3’s episode that dealt with campus rape, he was spot-on, as this Rolling Stone debacle shows.

2) There’s actually a movie, Almost Famous, in which a key scene involves a Rolling Stone fact-checker taking a dump on a young writer’s story for his failure to be factually accurate. The irony is that William Miller did have his facts straight. What would Ben Fong Torres think?

4. Roam, If You Want To…

Lhasa, Tibet: Also known as Days 14 & q5

If you have $74,000 burning a hole in your pocket (as so many of this blog’s readers do) and 24 days to kill, why not embark on a magical mystery tour with National Geographic Expeditions that encompasses five continents and will cover the following: Macchu Piccu, Easter Island, the Great Barrier Reef, Angkor Wat (Tern down for Wat!), Tibet, the Taj Majal, the Serengeti, the Lost City of Petra (Jordan), and Marrakech. Begin and end in Washington, D.C.

5. Cristiano Has Risen

It’s very, very, very, very, very good to be Ronaldo…

On Easter Sunday in Madrid, the capital of a fairly Catholic nation (the Jesuits began here, after all), Cristiano Ronaldo scores FIVE goals as Real Madrid rout the last-place team in La Liga, Granada, 9-1. Ronaldo’s masterpiece included an eight-minute hat trick, three goals scored in the first half between the 30th and 38th minutes. Here’s video of all five goals.

It was Ronaldo’s first career five-goal game, and with it he wrested the goals scored lead away from FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (36 to 32). One of them is the world’s best player. You can argue all you want about which one is, but both of them are playing on another planet.

Of the 98 clubs in Europe’s five premier leagues (Spain, Germany, England, Italy, France), Ronaldo has scored more goals this season than 53 of

Music 101

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

This 1969 tune by The Band, written by Robbie Robertson and sung by drummer Levon Helm, is not just music history; it’s American history. It belongs in any anthology of Civil War literature or American poetry. Both this song, an elegy to the final days of the Confederacy, and The Weight appear on the album Music From the Big Pink. That’s a pretty decent one-two punch. The video below, from the 1976 film The Last Waltz, marks the final time that Helm would ever sing the song publicly. Helm, an Arkansas native who made his home in Woodstock, N.Y., died three years ago this month.

Remote Patrol

Duke vs. Wisconsin

9:18 p.m. CBS

Sam Dekker: the pride of Sheboygan

There are those who consider this a let-down game because Kentucky lost and won’t face Duke. I don’t know what those people are smoking. These were consistently the two best teams all season and this guy (thumbs pointing to nipples) regularly said that they and Kentucky were a cut above the rest. You’ve got the POY PTPers, Jahlil Okafor of Duke and Frank Kaminsky of Wisconsin, and then you have their teammates whom I think may actually be better-suited to the NBA: Sam Dekker and Justise Winslow.

There are no villains here; just two terrific teams coached by a pair of men in their late sixties–and yes, Coach K is older than Bo Ryan.

Better Call Saul

10 p.m. AMC

Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks) has been an exceedingly strong secondary character

Season finale of AMC’s Rookie of the Year program. Last week’s finish smelled like a season finale, as Jimmy learns –through his own intuition and sleuthing–that it was his big brother/hero, Chuck, who had betrayed him. Bob Odenkirk has carried this show with aplomb, which I did not expect.



Starting Five (Seven)

1. From Smart Minds…

…come smart products. Texas hires VCU’s Shaka Smart, 37, to become its basketball coach. Smart is aptly named: He graduated magna cum laude from Kenyon College in Ohio, where he is the school’s all-time assists leader. Smart also married an alumna of Harvard.

Meanwhile, Texas loves to associate itself with monosyllabic adjectives: Smart. Strong. Brown. And Young.

2. “Argo *%$# Yourself”

I see a laughing clown. What do you see?

In the most newsworthy collaboration involving the U.S.A. and Iran since Ben Affleck accepted his Best Picture Oscar (deserved), the two nations have come to terms on a nuclear energy “framework.” Meanwhile, no kidding, John Boehner is in Israel.

Can’t we all just not get along peacefully?

Next week: Iran and Israel meet in an attempt to broker a peace deal between the White House and Boehner.

3. SEALs of Approval

That’s Kokomo camp founder and retired SEAL Peter Divine

What’s more intense than CrossFit or a Fitness Boot Camp? How about Kokoro (which is also the title of a popular song by an Asian Beach Boys cover band; I know, I’m already sorry), a three-day BUDS-style crucible run by former Navy SEALs run out of Encinitas, Calif? Cost: $1,595. Here’s the story from Outside magazine.

p.s. It’s worth reading the first-person account just to see how the author, former 2:38 marathoner T.J. Murphy, age 50, fares.

p.p.s. “Kokoro” is a Japanese term that means “the merging of heart and mind into spirit.”

4. Flagrant 1 or Flagrant 2, Jay? 

This is not Chris Jans and that’s not a bar in Bowling Green, Ohio

First-year Bowling Green basketball coach Chris Jans is canned after cell phone video evidence of Jans patting a woman on her can in a Bowling Green bar emerges (don’t you just love living in an Orwellian dystopia?). I’m not excusing Jans’ sexist gesture completely (out of hand), but have you spent a winter in Bowling Green, Ohio (I spent one night there that felt like winter)? And this was the first full day of spring!

Oh, well. The Falcons won 21 games in Jans’ only season. I’m sure Jerry Jones would hire him if he could. Someone else certainly will. I think we all need a dose of “Simmer Down Now!”

5. Shepherd Quaked at the Sight

The words below here are just me being insensitive and having no appreciation for the loss of life. My bad.

Amusing isn’t the proper word, given the tragedy. Curious is the correct word, maybe, for this CNN interview with French shepherd (as opposed to German shepherd) Jean Varrieras, who witnessed the horrific crash of Germanwings 9525. I just thought it was odd for Varrieras, who looks to be in his 70s, to note that he’ll “never fly again.” I guess I was wondering how often septuagenarian Alpine shepherds fly. But I may be behind the times when it comes to jet-setting shepherd lifestyles.

6. While You Were Sleeping…

The lead changed hands four times in the final :26 in Oakland last night, but in the end it was Golden State 107, Phoenix 106. The Warriors won their 11th straight while the game Suns lost their 5th straight to drop to 38-38. Tough loss to swallow for the giant orange orbs of fire, who have now lost an NBA-high five games this season on a shot made in the final five seconds.

I have yet to spot it on social media, but when someone finds a Vine of the little girl in a Warriors jersey going bonkers (on what was not even the game-winning shot), they should send it our way.

Between this finish and Curry’s mangling of Chris Paul’s ankles earlier this week in L.A., it’s been a good week for the Warriors. Hell, it’s been a good year.

7. Ripa Job


Kelly “Lee” Ripa made what was likely her final appearance on Late Show last night, and she made the most of it. Ripa spent at least half the interview mimicking her 13 year-old daughter’s nasal Valley Girl intonations, clearly tickling Dave. Later, Dave squeezed in next to her in her seat and, yes, it began to get a little bit awkward.

Noticeable: Never once in the interview did the name Regis Philbin come up.

Music 101

Over The Hills and Far Away

The best Led Zeppelin tune and your favorite Led Zeppelin tune need not be one and the same. Certainly, Stairway To Heaven is the unassailable classic in terms of “Who is Led Zep?” but this song, off 1973’s Houses of the Holy, is my No. 1. I’ve posted the video below that has Jimmy Page’s lyrical intro riff from a ’73 show at Madison Square Garden, but also here’s the studio version that features a Robert Plant who is still able to shriek ethereally.

The best Led Zeppelin tune? Spin happens to agree with me (and does a better job of explaining why it belongs there), while Rolling Stone puts Whole Lotta Love atop the heap (and has this at No. 16).

Remote Patrol

Mad Men


10 p.m. AMC

Sure, we’re all a little chapped that they divided the final season in two to be played out over two vernal seasons. But if they hadn’t, we’d have that much less to look forward to at the moment. It’s the summer of ’69, non-Bryan Adams version, and Don Draper has his mojo back. It’s early August, so gird yourselves for a Woodstock and/or Manson Family-heavy episode.

Oh, wait. That’s Donald Driver….

Whether or not Mad Men is the best drama in the history of television, it’s definitely in the conversation. For me, it is. And I can’t think of another show that has kept its fastball humming as consistently throughout the life of the series. Here’s Grantland’s Andy Greenwald, the resident poet laureate of all reviews Mad Men.




Starting Five

This photo has no relation to California’s drought story below, but see, that’s the point (think about it).

1. H20-no!

California is so desperate for water that they’ve even asked me for most of my surname. The Golden State is turning brown, and I’m not just talking about their recidivist gubernatorial voting tendencies.

Anyway, what happens when the most populous state in the Union experiences its worst drought in 60 years and finds itself running low on the world’s most valuable resource? And how will this affect the production of Sharknado 3?

2. Wholly Cow!

No one ever claimed Philadelphia’s native cuisine was healthy. This is a city that either produces or celebrates cheese steaks, Tastykake, and scrapple, the last of which is a hardened form of the stuff that accumulates at the edge of your grill after frying stuff.

But the Philadelphia Phillies seem particularly determined to wreak havoc on their fans’ coronary arteries this summer. The Phils will sell both hard liquor and will introduce a nine-patty, 2200-calorie cheeseburger at Citizens Bank Park this season. It’s Always Artherosclerosis in Philadelphia…

3. Don’t Minchin It

So if you didn’t hit the link and watch Tim Minchin’s commencement speech yesterday, I’m posting it again here because it’s really, really good. And so of course I YouTubed a few Minchin comic bits and found him quite compelling. I really enjoyed this bit on Religion, which may offend some of you even though it contains (almost) no profanity.

The snippet that arrested my attention concerned evolution. The set-up is a mutated fish named Tony, the first fish that, due to a genetic mutation, grew feet. I’ll let Minchin take it from there (7:51 mark):

And imagine what Tony would think, standing there on his brand new feet, at the brink of the beginnings of mankind as we know it, if he could look forward just a few short hundreds of millions of years, to see one of his descendants, an Israeli Jew by the name of Jesus, having a nail hammered through his feet, the very feet that Tony provided him with, as a punishment for having a sort of schizophrenic discourse with a god who was created by man to explain the existence of feet in the absence of the knowledge of the existence of Tony.”

Happy Easter, everybody.

4. Yessirree, Bob


On Saturday night in Phoenix at a charity event, GoDaddy founder and CEO Bob Parsons bid $2 million for a dinner for four at the home of Reba McEntire (she was the event’s emcee, and it was her 60th birthday).

That’s a steep price to pay for a meal, but Parsons also knew he had some cash coming his way a few days later. On Tuesday night GoDaddy had its IPO (GDDY) and the price soared 31% in its first full day of trading, from $20 to $26.15.

A quick word on Parsons, 62, who currently personally owns 28% of the company: grew up in Baltimore’s inner city, nearly flunked out of high school, joined the Marines at age 17, served in Vietnam, was injured and received a Purple Heart.

5. Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Hockey Players


I love watching hockey–in person. And I always hear how much nicer they are than other professional team sports athletes, and I know women who are absolute, unabashed groupies, and the game looks like a lot of fun to play…if you can skate backwards.

But I never missed not playing. Why? Because I’m way too vain. :) Sure, football’s dangerous, but hockey has ice, skate blades, projectile-missile pucks, and that area between the bench and the pole holding up the fiberglass into which you can fly and destroy a kidney. Mostly, though, I like my face way too much to play hockey.

This is what happened to Detroit’s Drew Miller on Tuesday night when he took a skate to the face. “He’s tough, he’s a hockey player,” says ESPN’s Steve Levy. But Levy is a pretty boy. It’s easy to say that from the studio.

Music 101

How’s It Gonna Be

A logjam of homogenous-sounding and -looking rock bands emerged in the void left by Kurt Cobain’s murder suicide on April 5, 1994: Tonic, Fuel, Candlebox, Bush, Goo Goo Dolls, Sister Hazel, Vertical Horizon, Sugar Ray, Matchbox 20 (sticking finger down my throat at that final one), etc. Of all of them, the one band that created the most worthy tunes was San Francisco-based Third Eye Blind: Jumper, Can I Graduate, Never Let You Go and this one, from their eponymous 1997 debut album.

It’s too bad the band petered out. Not sure if it was the rock-star life or what. Also, here’s an acoustic version….Cultural note: NBC used this song to introduce Game 4 of the 1996 NBA Finals, the implication being that this could be MJ’s final game with the Chicago Bulls as they had a 3-0 series lead over the Sonics. The Bulls lost this game and the following one before wrapping up the series in Game 6. And, of course, MJ remained two more seasons for a pair of epic NBA Finals series against the Jazz.

One more note: Lead singer Stephan Jenkins graduated from Cal-Berkeley, whereas Counting Crows lead singer Adam Duritz dropped out of that august (and everything after) institution.