The best team in college football iiiiiiiiiis…meh?
No. 1 Florida State, the defending champion with the defending Heisman Trophy winner, was up 17-0 at one point versus Oklahoma State but was then outscored 31-21. The Seminoles were nearly punished by the gods for forsaking their resplendent garnet-and-gold unis, but held on to win 37-31.
No. 2 Alabama endured their first of what should be many “Spaulding, get your foot off the boat!” moments between Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin while holding on to defeat West Virginia, 33-23.
No. 5 Ohio State trailed at halftime versus Navy. No. 7 UCLA led Virginia, 21-10, at halftime, but had not scored an offensive touchdown. The Buckeyes and Bruins both won, but did not dazzle.
No. 6 Auburn was tied with Arkansas at the half.
No. 3 Oregon romped, but allowed 13 first-half point to South Dakota.
No. 11 Stanford looked great, leading 38-0 at the half–but versus UC-Davis.
Here at Medium Happy, where we bequeath the Red Grange Award and will also do a Weekly Top 10 rankings are based entirely on a team’s performance and not preseason polls or what we expect them to do. As opposed to Bleacher Report, which kept Clemson (45-21 losers in Athens) and South Carolina (52-28 losers at home) in its Top 25, while failing to include a Cowboy team that lost only by 6 to the No. 1 team.
Note: Early season rankings are very fluid, as they should be.
1) Oklahoma 2) Texas A&M 3) Stanford 4) Michigan State 5) Georgia 6) Oregon 7) Florida State 8) Arizona State 9) Auburn 10) Alabama
Yes, people like you and me (well, not me) may take nudie pics, too, but there’s no value in those to the general public. So, yes, maybe you should be smarter about that if you’re someone who may normally appear in US Weekly.
Justin Verlander’s physique. Now I know why his ERA is up near 5. Get thee to a Cross Fit, JV.
Yes, as Ricky said, it’s 100% the hacker’s fault. Doesn’t mean we cannot have a laugh.
Spare me the scolding, Chrissy Teigen. Your wealth derives entirely from people looking at photos of you semi-naked. As does your friend’s. So now you’re upset because it’s not you or she who controls how those pics are released? Stop. Yes, those are private pics and your pal Kate has a right to feel violated. Fine. But don’t tell us how to react to it.
Keanu Reeves turns 50 today. Whooooooa.
So, let me ask: Does this mean that if Reeves’ age goes below 50 from here on out, he will explode?
I’ve never attended the Burning Man Festival in the northern Nevada desert, but this year a record 66,000 people did. The reason? A sensational African-American female pitcher. Never mind.
Anyway, for the first time that we know of, not everyone made it back alive. Alicia Cipicchio, 29, an art gallery manager from Jackson, Wyoming, was struck and killed by a vehicle after midnight. The vehicle was a double-decker bus bedecked in white fur and dubbed Shagadelica. Yeah, baby.
5. Opposite Ends of the Spectrum
Houston Texan defensive end J.J. Watt, 25, formerly a two-star recruit by Rivals.com who initially attended Central Michigan, just became the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. Six years, $100 million, $51.8 of it guaranteed, and there’s a decent chance he won’t even be the best defensive end on his own team in three years.
Then there’s defensive end Michael Sam, 24, also a former two-star recruit who blossomed into the SEC Defensive Player of the Year at Missouri. Sam was cut over the weekend by the St. Louis Rams and has cleared waivers, which means that anyone can sign him to their practice squad.
What if a hurricane hit off the coast of California and neither hyper-possessed sharks nor Ian Ziering accompanied it? Welcome to this week on the coast of southern California, where tremendous swells have led to 10-15 foot sets.
It’s crazy to go in ocean like that, no? I mean, I love the beach as much as anyone, but look at that photo. Wow. If I’m the lifeguard, I’m like, “You know what, guys? I’ll be back at the guardhouse brewing a fresh pot of Peet’s. Why don’t you go handle the next rescue?”
2. Josh Shaw’s Day Off
So I wrote a story in Newsweek about the Josh Shaw mess yesterday (two, actually). Here’s what we know:
1) Josh Shaw lied–repeatedly. He has acknowledged as much.
2) USC asked him….over and over and over and over and over…and then, over…if his slightly incredible story was correct. They were staring in the face of their team leader and basically saying, “We don’t truly believe this, but you are Josh Shaw and we’re giving you the benefit of the doubt.” Plus, the people –not just family members–whom Josh pointed at as back-up on the story all corroborated his piece. And Shaw was insisting that it was true.
What if you are USC and after all that you don’t run the story? Do you really think the media is not going to find out a team captain has two high ankle sprains? And do you really think he’s not going to tell them the same story he peddled to USC? And if you are USC and don’t run the story, you are telling your team captain, “WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU,” which is a pretty awkward thing to say five days before the season opener. Aaaaaaand, if the media gets a whiff of that, that you didn’t run this heroic story because you questioned its veracity, oh, they’re going to destroy you for that.
As one friend of mine who appears on TV regularly told me yesterday, “Rinaldi was probably picking out pocket squares after he read that piece.”
3) We’d love to get Josh Shaw’s side of the story: he’s not talking. He’s lawyered up. Even though no criminal charges are pending against him. What’s that about?
4) In some ways, Shaw is guilty of the worst kind of pathological lie. In others, he’s painfully naive. To not understand that he’s not a nobody, that as a team captain at USC you just can’t expect to fabricate the type of story you did and not have the national media descend upon you to go all “Tell Lara Spencer exactly how it happened” and “Oh, can we get you in a two-shot with your nephew?” Really, now, Mo’ne Davis is SOOOO last week. In the immortal words of Geno Auriemma, “What a dope.”
5) No one –especially not me–is accusing Shaw of doing anything wrong. Except lying. But lying is a pretty big one. Especially a lie as big and bold and intricate as this one. For those who say, “All he did was lie, there was no harm done,” all I can ask is, “Are you already a congressman or a senator?” How sad and depraved.
6) Whatever Josh Shaw WAS up to on Saturday night, he considered it worth jeopardizing his standing at USC to lie about it and concoct this bizarre story. Why not just say he was goofing off with friends and tried to jump off a wall? He’s a college kid on a Saturday night. There’s lots of ways to claim you hurt your ankle without bringing a drowning seven year-old family member into the story.
7) He wanted it known he was in Palmdale, an hour north (and home of Lennay Kekua, incidentally) and not in L.A. Why? Finally, might it just be possible that he was getting a kick out of not only not getting in trouble for whatever went down at the Orsini Apartments, but for manipulating USC into making him a hero? Might there have been a little Ferris Bueller action going on, and might he not have been a little proud of himself for how shrewd he was? Maybe?
3. Hill Country
The answer to “How will Texas A&M replace Johnny Manziel?” is “44 for 60 with 511 yards and 3 TDs in his debut, which just happened to come on the road in the SEC in a Thursday night game on national television.”
Track stars don’t earn quite what NBA or MLB players do, so forgive Jenny Simpson her excitement at winning last night’s 1500 in Zurich and with it the Diamond League season championship and an extra $50,000. Watch Simpson hold off fellow American Shannon Rowbury over the final 50 meters and dive for pay dirt as if she were that other Simpson.
Simpson wins by .01 of a second.
By the way, the British announcer here, whose name I don’t know, is cracking good.
You know Rule 27: “You can always see something you’ve never seen before in baseball.” Last night San Francisco Giant pitcher Yusmeiro Petit retired the first eight Colorado Rockies batters he faced, bringing his total to a Major League-record of 46 in a row, before surrendering a hit.
Because it’s baseball, of course the batter who ended Petit’s streak was Rockies pitcher Jordan Lyles.
Petit’s streak stretched over eight games, most of them in relief. You may recall that last September, while on another streak, Petit retired 26 consecutive Arizona batters in one game before this happened.
Goodell Hunting: NFL commissioner walks the final step in the road to maturity: admitting he was wrong. It’s a start, Roger Goodell.
USC cornerback Josh Shaw will definitely not be showering with his teammates this week.
The Josh Shaw Playlist, available for perusal to the Stanford Band for the Trojans’ game in the Alto of Palo on September 6:
“Holding Out For A Hero”……Bonnie Tyler (thanks to Jamie Reidy)
“Rescue Me”………Aretha Franklin
“Free Fallin’” …..Tom Petty
“Hero Takes a Fall”….The Bangles
“Reason I’m Alive”….Drowning Pool
“Would I Lie to You?” Eurhythmics
“The Man Who Fell to Earth”….David Bowie
“Jumper”….Third Eye Blind
Shaw’s alibi –I was rescuing my seven year-old nephew from drowning– may seem far-fetched now, but his original story was worse: Raymond Burr and I got in a scuffle over a camera strobe.
Interesting coincidences with USC’s sexiest rival, Notre Dame:
1) The man who originated the Lennay Kekua catfishing scheme actually lives in Palmdale, where Shaw first said he was on Saturday night (it’s his hometown).
2) Cody Riggs, a grad student with a final year of eligibility remaining, just transferred to Notre Dame and from Florida and will start at cornerback Saturday. He and Shaw were teammates and position mates in Gainesville for two seasons.
By the way, an on-air reporter for ESPN described Shaw as “articulate” this week.
2. The Red Grange Award
As you know, tonight college football season actually begins (Did you notice that they rolled out a red carpet as a pre-show earlier this week?), which means this is our final chance to post a Red Grange Award prediction without compromise.
As you also may know, the Red Grange honors the most spectacularly awesome football player of that season. It’s named after a player who fits that description, as opposed to a coach who runs up 222-0 scores on people. Anyway, last year’s deserving winner was Myles Jack of UCLA.
Some of my favorites to consider this season: Marcus Mariota (Oregon), Jameis Winston (FSU), Jack, Everett Golson (Notre Dame), Nick Marshall (Auburn), Melvin Gordon (Wiscy) and Leonard Fournette (LSU). But my predicted winner is a guy I’ve been very high on for two seasons now, the Gurley Man, a.k.a. Todd Gurley of Georgia.
3. “The Sea Was Angry That Day…”
Rough surf on both coasts yesterday due to offshore hurricanes. For us mortals, it meant be careful with the boogie boards, while for Laird Hamilton it meant One More Chance to be Awesome. The surfing legend shot the pier at Malibu, which is highly dangerous (in fact, just a day earlier a surfer died here), but if you’ve read The Wave by Susan Casey, you realize Laird is half-god. Maybe more.
4. Team of Rivals (Not Really)
The last two women to hold the American steeplechase record happen to be close friends and former college teammates: Jenny Simpson, 28, had her five year-old American record eclipsed by Emma Coburn, 23, last month. Simpson is now one of the world’s premier 1500 runners –she was the world champion in 2011 and won a meet in Stockholm last week.
Both Coburn and Simpson, Colorado alums, run today in a meet in Zurich. Both the American records in the 3,000-meter steeple and the 1500 could fall. It’s the last time they’ll run in the same meet for awhile, as Coburn has to book home to Crested Butte, Colorado, for her older sister’s wedding on Saturday. Every second really does count.
5. The Ice Bucket Challenge Curse
It’s bad enough that Corey Griffin, a co-founder of the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS, died a week ago. Griffin, 27, drowned after jumping off a building into the surf on the island of Nantucket. At 2 a.m. Alcohol may have been involved?
Hello, good readers of Medium Happy! If you stopped by here earlier today, you saw something different than what is here now–before, it was all dull text and no pictures and now, it’s dull text with pictures added! How fun. Here’s the loophole: I was told Wednesdays, but I wasn’t told how many times on Wednesday. You see? I’m exploiting the lack of fine print, and it feels good.
I still haven’t figured out how to make the fonts bigger or bolder or anything, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. Even if it had been, it probably didn’t have a blog.
1. The Emmys*
Go the pull down window that reads “Paragraph,” Katie, hold down cursor, and then go down to ‘Heading 2″ and press… I’m giving away all me’ secrets!
Ahh, the Emmys…that time of year when a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love… That’s not right. Is it? No. I don’t know. All I know is, we’re still talking about the Emmys, two days late and a dollar short. Plus John pretty much covered everything already. Also I completely agree with everything Susie B. says in her comment on John’s post, except for the part about Matthew McConaughey looking unattractive. I love the new, scrawny Matthew. I don’t know why—I certainly don’t like the way zero body fat looks on Juliana Margulies, who is so, so pretty but she’s starting to actually look see-through.
I thought Seth Meyers was a good host. Gentle, non-offensive humor, very Ellen-esque, which works for me on a Monday night–which he poked fun of in his monologue—a Monday night in August? Yeah, it was weird. A weird bookend to a day that started with me sending my children off to school. Huh?? Summer vacay is supposed to last another week.
Don’t you hate when people say ‘vacay’?
Back when I was a kid, my family’s tradition was to have blueberry coffee cake (should that be capitalized?) on the first day of school, one of two days of the year my mom made it—the other was the day we had to get the sailboat out of the lake, usually mid-October when it was freezing, and the mast always found its way to the bottom of the lake and my dad would curse under his breath and one year my brother Joey whipped a spoon at my head from across the kitchen like he was competing in the million-dollar arm competition and it left a mark… and the only good thing about that day was the coffee cake, m’friends. Wheww.
One year, my brother Andy requested it for his birthday dessert instead of real cake (calm down, coffe-cake enthusiasts! I know it’s ‘real cake’—and you know exactly what I was talking about, so don’t act like you don’t) but Andy was always doing stuff like that. One year he asked for Nut Goodies, for crying out loud. That Andy.
Anyway, I have continued the first-day-of-school coffee cake tradition with my own children.
There is something very wrong with baking a blueberry coffee cake on a sweltering summer night. Why, why are my kids going back to school when its 90 degrees outside?
Someone is getting kicked out of office for this.
Ha! Just kidding. I mean they might be, but not on my account, because I don’t vote. The reason is simple: I know my vote doesn’t count. If it did, you can bet your sweet ass that Breaking Bad would not have won Best Drama again.
Boom! There it is; that’s the thing I’m going to say that will make you all turn against me.
We were never with you.
Breaking Badwas a fine show. A good show, even. But I was bored kind of a lot, like way more than would seem appropriate while watching a show widely touted as the greatest television drama of all time. If my Emmy vote counted, Gilmore Girlswould win every year until the end of time.
(That last paragraph times 100–JW)
Hmmm, what else? I can hardly remember all the way back to Monday. Oh, Matthew McConaughey again –I think it would’ve been fun if he’d won for True Detective, what with his Oscar win in January and all. According to red carpet host Billy Bush, that would’ve made him the first actor to win an Academy Award and an Emmy in the same year since George C. Scott in 1865. That’s not the correct year, but I forgot what year it actually was and I’m too lazy to Google it.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the most beautiful woman of the night, yes, even more beautiful that Julia Roberts was with her new blonde hair and legs-for-days dress.
But Julia #1 has what, almost ten years on Julia #2? Plus she’s just so damn funny, and I swear it looks like she doesn’t even have any botox. Speaking of botox, I was very relieved to see that Billy Crystal has calmed down and allowed his face to push the reset button. He looked good and his tribute to Robin Williams was seriously lovely.
Other than that, I was very pleased that Sherlock, the actual greatest thing to ever grace a television, won three awards. Disappointed that Martin Freeman and Benjawhoo Cumberbindle weren’t there to accept their awards, but the fact that they won almost felt like a personal victory, so much do me and mine love that show.
That was by far the shortest and dullest post-award-show wrap-up I have ever written, but what can I say? It was on a Monday, and it was six months ago.
I’m sorry, kids, I’m very tired and not yet used to getting five hours less sleep because I have to get up and get my kids to school in the morning, plus I’m a little out of sorts for two reasons:
A) My new phone ( Windows! Weird!) auto-corrects everything I text into Spanish, and
B) The painting I’m working on isn’t going well.
After working on it for many hours yesterday, what was supposed to be a portrait of a beautiful young woman instead looks like a portrait of a horrible scary witch.
2. Charlize Theron is the Wisest Woman I’ve Ever Known
She says that getting old is great because with age comes wisdom. Think about that, you guys. I think she might be on to something.
Plus the way she said it: “It’s ironic that we’ve built the beauty world around 20-year-olds, when they have no f—kin’ concept about wisdom, what life is about, having a few relationships below [their] belt and feeling hardships, to grow into [their] skin and feel confident within [themselves] and to feel the value of who [they] are, not because of a man or because of something like that.”
I read that and I was like “Did Oscar Wilde come back from the dead?”
Just kidding, I didn’t really think that. For starters, I doubt Oscar Wilde would’ve touched Sean Penn with seven-foot salad tongs. Sorry Charlize, I’m giving you a hard time. In another few years, you’ll understand why.
3. This is Where I Leave You
I’m very excited about this movie, opening September 19. First of all, I loved the book and have loved all of Jonathan Tropper’s books. He’s one of my favorite writers.
Secondly, it stars Jason Bateman, always a good sign, and the rest of the cast looks A+, too. Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Jane Fonda…I am now going to mention Jason Bateman and Jane Fonda in all of my posts for the next two months, otherwise I might not win the world series. And that is a perfect segue to…
4. Something About Sports
I have to play in a kickball game tonight. Jaysus. The last time I tried to play kickball, I nearly broke my foot.
Thank you for reading, my dearies! I am sorry there is no number five, but I have to get back into my studio and resume my battle with that scary witch painting. Siiigh. I hate it when the painting wins.
Outstanding Drama (Breaking Bad). Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (Bryan Cranston) Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama (Anna Gunn). Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama (Aaron Paul). Outstanding Writer in a Drama (Moira Walley-Beckett).
It looks like Walter White won, after all. And then when you add the smooch with Julia Louis-Dreyfus, a big fat middle finger to all those anti-dentites out there. Well played, Sneaky Pete.
Hey, you know me. I think True Detective is the bee’s knees.* And Game of Thrones and Mad Men, are to me, also both better than Breaking Bad. But none of those three shows had a show hosted by Chris Hardwick that immediately followed them, and none of them bowed out after last season. Next year it’ll be Don Draper’s turn, like it or not.
*I’m consciously endeavoring to employ more Katie McCollow-approved phrases in my repertoire.
2. The Leftovers…
…is what every actor or series nominated against either Breaking Bad or a previous winner were left to scrounge for last night. Has an awards show ever been so guilty of being a repeat before? You want to see the Guilty Remnant? It’s the people who vote for Jessica Lange and Kathy Bates and Modern Family without even having watched TV all year.
Although, to be fair, I do believe Kathy Bates won for “Best Proprietor of an Upstate New York B&B.”
I’ve said it before, but Brad Carter as Charlie Lange in just two scenes of “True Detective” deserved an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor. And Veep is the funniest show on television.
The second season of True Detective should revolve around two partners investigating why and how Modern Family always wins Best Comedy.
3. …and The Leftovers
It only took eight episodes, but The Leftovers finally provided us with a compelling hour of television, start to finish. Chronologically, Sunday night’s episode would come first in the series. I understand why they waited so long to hand it to us –we needed to build up an emotional investment into the characters–but the show’s creators nearly slow-played their hand to cancellation.
Officer Kevin Garvey had a wonderful life –and a nicer home– but felt trapped. Wife Laurie wears makeup and can even speak but knows something is up. Daughter Jill is a dream child, while older son Tom stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch shopping bag just long enough to come home. And Grandpa has short hair and isn’t crazy–though he looks better long-haired and crazy. Oh, and Nora Durst is a loving mother whose husband is a deadbeat.
The final three minutes of Sunday’s episode was magical. Great tension as we got to be voyeurs, to see that life was actually taking place, messy as it is, just as that moment on October 13, 2011, happened. Sure, there were hints: the crack in the wall a the Garvey’s home, the crack in the coffee mug, the blown manhole cover, the car-full of middle-aged future GRers stopping to ask Kevin if he was ready.
Knowing what we knew what was about to happen, and that the characters were oblivious to it, amped the tension. Great stuff.
Now where do you go?
An aside: Has there ever been an HBO show with a greater disproportional display of male to female toplessness?
4. A Hole in England*
This sinkhole, located in County Durham in the far northeast of England, has gone from nothing to massive in just a week. Apparently, it’s located above an old lead mine. I see a BBC show coming out of this: Littler Britain.
The English are renowned for their bottomless pith. But now a bottomless pit?
*As opposed to A-hole in England, in which case we’d have placed a photo of Chelsea captain John Terry.
Did the New York Timesoverstep its bounds by describing Michael Brown, who was laid to rest on Monday, as “no angel?” You can decide for yourself. On one hand, as many have pointed out, there “are no angels” among the living (seriously, you’ve never met Phyllis if you believe that).
On the other, as the news seems to have been tilted –before all the facts of the incident are fully known –that Brown was an innocent victim of an over-aggressive law enforcement officer –and there seems to be little outrage in the media, per se, over that characterization– I happen to think it’s a valid point.
It seems, if Brown were a living person, that this description would not be offensive but closer to accurate. Although I think the convenience store footage already told us that (it’s not the theft of the Swisher Sweets that is the troubling part, by the way; it’s the bullying and shoving of a clerk just trying to make a living). But, since Brown has been killed by a police officer’s bullets, many see the “no angel” line as the NYT trying to say that Brown might have deserved it.
Which, of course, is an opinion you’re welcome to have. But it’s not journalism’s job to spare anyone’s feelings. It’s journalism’s job to pile you with facts. And, in the context of the NYT story, I didn’t see where the “no angel” line was out of bounds. Your mileage may vary.
The VMA’s aired on MTV last night, even though they should probably stream live on YouTube these days. When is the last time you tuned in to MTV to see a music video? (Answer: When is the last time I tuned in to MTV, period?)?
You do have to hand it to the VMAs, though. Instead of the standard girl-on-girl kiss as a play at shock value, they went with an attempted murder on the eve of the telecast. Someone pumped six shots into Suge Knight in what apparently was an attempted hit on either Chris Brown or Justin Bieber. We always knew that Suge was the world’s biggest gangsta, but now he just went Vito Corleone on the world, surviving six bullet wounds. The last person you want to be right now is the guy who failed on this hit. Suge has a few friends in the joint.
That linked LA Times article, by the way, notes that club goers at 10AK, as gunshots rang out, were “sent screaming and shouting into the streets with their hands in the air.” No mention, though, of whether or not they seemed to care.
2. The Mountain Wins Again*
You may know him as The Mountain, or Gregor Clegane, or the Hound’s cruel older brother, but his parents know him as Hafthor Bjornsson. Last week the Icelandic (and Westeros) giant, 6-9 and 400 pounds, was crowned Europe’s Strongest Man. The Toronto Suncheekily noted that “no horses were hurt during this competition.”
*Should all five items employ lame ’90s references today? I’m still debating…
The above photo was taken by a GFoMH, David Duncan, who besides being an old college friend is also the owner of Silver Oak Cellars. Life is not always a cabernet, as the weekend’s earthquake in Napa Valley proved, but David and his wonderful physcian wife, Kari (yet another Class of ’88 Domer) will rebound. Please support their return–you didn’t really want that Chilean red, anyway.
4. Tax Day
No two words strike more fear into America than these: “Triathlon Vandals.” A national scourge. At the Steamboat (Colo.) Triathlon, staged earlier this month, hundreds of tacks were found strewn across Highway 131, causing 28 flat tires (fortunately, triathletes are renowned for their easy manner and que-sera attitude toward life, so nobody got their triathlon suit in a bunch). What’s next? Piranhas in the lake? Vinegar at the marathon water stations?
Our friend Richard Deitsch –really, he is our friend– posed this question on Twitter: “What is the ceiling for an African-American sports host?” to introduce a Q&A he did with ESPN’s Michael “Not A.” Smith and Jemele Hill. Another friend, who is an on-air media person and may not want his name used, responded thusly, “Oh, I don’t know, hosting The NFL Today (James Brown), or the NCAA Tournament studio show on CBS (Greg Gumbel) or NBA Countdown on ABC (Sage Steele), or Real Sports on HBO (Bryant Gumbel) or FOX NFL Sunday (Curt Menefee) or being the lead college football team for FOX (Gus Johnson and Charles Davis)…or co-hosting Live! with Kelly & Michael (Michael Strahan) or co-hosting Good Morning America on ABC (Robin Roberts and Strahan) or CBS This Morning (Gayle King) or…I’m sorry, what was the question again?”
NBC 8 p.m.
Time really is a flat circle. The Emmys, which usually take place on a Sunday evening in September, air on a Monday evening in August. Expect tributes to Don Pardo and Robin Williams, but not to the Yellow King or Todd’s uncle. If you miss the show, we’ll have a recap here tomorrow and you’ll probably get the real dirt from Ryantology.net.
(The judges will also accept, “We’re going down to Liverpool to do nothing…”)
Last season Liverpool had a wonderful problem on its hands: Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan striker-biter led the EPL in goals scored by a wide margin despite being sidelined for five matches due to a suspension (re: cannibalism).
Suarez scored 31 goals in 33 games and was the consensus Premier League Player of the Year as Liverpool finished second and qualified for Champions League play. Then he bit someone else, in a World Cup defeat, against Italy, in a match in which Mario Balotelli (like Suarez, one of the five best strikers in the world when he’s on) played.
Suarez was suspended from soccer for like, I dunno, you look it up, a long time. So Liverpool sold him to F.C. Barcelona, where he will now team up with Lionel Messi –so arguably the world’s two top footballers on the same side.
And so Liverpool, which is right near the summit when it comes to world’s wealthiest football teams, has gone and purchased Balotelli from A.C. Milan. Mario was the world’s most notorious footballer before Suarez acquired a taste for human flesh. This should be interesting.
FWIW, Balotelli spent a few seasons with Manchester City, which is only an hour east of Liverpool, so he’s familiar with the region.
2. One of These Will Finish Fourth
The Emmys will air on Monday night…your host is Seth Meyers and I’m truly hoping for cameos from Stefon and Olya Povlatsky. But here’s the thing, kids. How loaded is the Best Dramacategory?
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
I’ve never watched the final two, but look at those top four. None of them deserves to finish in second place, much less third or fourth (for this reason, I’m 98% certain that Downton Abbey will win).
What will happen? I believe True Detective should win, but I think voters will punish it for hubris. You would’ve won Best Mini-Series in a slam-dunk, but you had to be pushy. Tough luck, Rust Cohle. Besides, none of us have ever even auditioned for Nick What’s-His-Name. Game of Thrones is excellent, but voters will not want to admit to loving it (Lena Headey will probably get stiffed on Best Supporting Actress in a Drama as well, though she deserves it).
Which would bring it down to a pair of AMC dramas, Mad Men or Breaking Bad. Both outstanding. Mad Men is about as genius as it gets, but Breaking Bad has bowed out, and everyone loved it, too. BB will win this year and then MM, whose final season is coming up, will win next year, as a way for the voters to say thank you.
Worth noting: Walking Dead not nominated, nor did it deserve to be. Also, none of the six nominees come from network television.
3. Awkward Silence?
Not sure if you’ve heard, but America still has a few problems with racism. Fortunately, we’ve got the Little League World Series to take our minds off the troubles in Ferguson. Let’s see who’s playing tomorrow for the U.S. championship. Here we go…lemme see…oh, here….it’s Mountain Ridge Little League out of Las Vegas, reperesenting the West, versus Jackie Robinson West Little League out of Chicago, representing the Midwest….says here that Mountain Ridge’s team is entirely made up of white players, while Jackie Robinson’s is entirely made up of African-American players.
The kids from Mountain West are named as if their parents’ favorite show was Saved By the Bell (and maybe it was): Austin, Dallan, Brennan, Zach, etc. The closer for Jackie Robinson West is named Marquis.
Wondering if the gang at ESPN will make any mention of this…
4. This Interview
You decide for yourself. Contrary to the Daily News headline, this is not a “disastrous” interview at all; it’s illuminating for what it reveals without even attempting to: the simmering-below-the-surface temper, the heightened concern about being “disrespected.” True confession, and this will not surprise you: I own no Taleb Kweli albums.
And, so you have it, here’s Bill O’Reilly of FOX News having returned from vacation (Bridge Hampton? East Hampton? Wainscott?) and unleashing some furor on the coverage of this story. Regardless of your opinion of FOX News, he’s mostly on-target here.
5. Sam Smith=Tom Petty
Right down to the same number of letters in the first and last names…
Thank you, Katie, for yesterday’s edition of Medium Happy: Unplugged, although I still don’t understand why you chose so many Meat Puppets covers. Oh, well. Am I the only one who searched for the trailer of Peace, Love and Misunderstanding only to find a naked Alice Cooper strutting about?
1. Remember Her Mane
Found myself seated on a hill beyond the right-center field wall for last night’s game between Taney Little League of Philadelphia and Mountain Ridge of Las Vegas. Love Mo’Ne Davis, but last night she was going up against the Yankees (not New York, but from The Bad News Bears) and I do believe Vic Morrow was coaching them. Worth noting: it was possible to visit Komodo dragons at Reptiland, just 15 miles south of Williamsport, and then watch the Taney Dragons play at Lamade Stadium last night. So that’s cool.
2. Pardo the Interruption
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live –even though the season premiere is, what, like six weeks away–Grantlandseeded the entire cast, from 1975 to 2014, March Madness-style (slap in the face to Julia Louis-Dreyfus and her husband, Brad Hall, whose bubbles burst; that or they’re in the Dayton regional) I’m impressed by the care taken in the seeding. For example, as funny as he is, Chris Rock was not that good on SNL. The 12 seed fits him. And while it’s difficult to imagine Chris Farley as a 4 seed in his own bracket, the other three seeds –Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman and Mike Myers–were very, very strong on the show.
Your No. 1 seeds? Eddie Murphy, Carvey, Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig. The easiest regional is the most recent (“Digital Kids”), while the first two eras (Adam Sandler, for example, is a 5-seed) are loaded.
3. Something About Sports
I like this heading. Thanks, Katie. Maybe we’ll just keep this.
The shortest player in Major League Baseball is Jose Altuve of the Houston No-Longer-Lastros. Altuve stands five-feet-five. He also is currently leading the big leagues in both Batting Average (.336) and Hits (175). When is the last time baseball’s shortest player led in either category? I don’t know, but neither Freddie Patek (also 5’5″) nor Eddie Gaedel (3’7″) ever did.
4. Great Moments…
…in the Ice Bucket Challenge before it even existed.
Jennifer Beals in Flashdance:
Bill Parcells, courtesy of Harry Carson, at the Super Bowl:
Julie Andrews, prepping for a scene in The Sound of Music...
…and Varys Targaryen, with an assist from Khal Drogo (thanks to MIB for the reminder)
5. Shake vs. Snake
I’m not savvy enough about the music biz to understand why Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift would each release much-hyped music videos within days of one another during the dying days of summer. Only smart enough to know that they’re wholly unlike one another. If you haven’t seen them, here’s Minaj’s “Anaconda” (NSFP) and Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
People often ask me, “Katie, how come when you guest write at Medium Happy, you don’t follow the “Starting Five” format? And by people, I mean no one, and by often, I mean never. But the answer, my friends, is blowin’ in the wind. The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Truthfully, whenever I write here, I usually have to spend the next couple of days avoiding angry phone calls from John, wanting to know “how I knew the password” or some such nonsense.
Everyone knows the password, John. Everyone.
Carrying on…oh, and I should tell you–there are no pictures or large fonts or anything fun like that today, because I don’t know how to make those things happen. My apologies, for that and, well, all of it really.
1. Jane Fonda Looks Amazing
Which is literally the only good thing I can say about the movie Peace, Love and Misunderstanding, which I just watched on Netflix. I’ve been trying to live more frugally this week since school is starting soon and the children need pencils, so instead of blowing 1.29 at the Red Box, I’ve been sticking to the already-paid-for Netflix streaming offerings, which are not great (not counting the documentaries—they are all great).
Anyway, Jane plays this old hippie grandma who never shuts up about how great Woodstock was, Catherine Keener is her uptight daughter who wears utilitarian dresses and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, best known as the dead husband from Weeds, plays the love interest. Now, some of you may be crying foul, that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is actually best known as the dead boyfriend from Grey’s Anatomy or the dead guy from Supernatural, and you might be right. The point is, he had the good sense to die on all of those shows. No such luck here—instead of dying he sleeps with Catherine Keener, and then we find out he also slept with Jane Fonda, and then we puke out all our popcorn. And then everyone realizes that we’re all just human and love is all you need. I would argue a good script also comes in handy.
The night before last, I watched Safe Haven, starring Julianne Hough and Josh Duhamel. That was also terrible, but I have to admit I kind of liked it and if I come across it on cable this January, I’ll watch it again. She plays a girl on the run, he plays a widower, they meet and fall in love and there are cute kids and beach montages and rustic houses and adorable vintage bicycles and Julianne and Josh are both spectacularly attractive, and the scenery was nice. Heck, let’s call it like it is—three more viewings and it’ll probably be my favorite movie.
And finally, three nights ago I watched the Spectacular Now, starring Shailene Woodley and some kid who reminded me of a young, doughy Vince Vaughn. Or I guess I could just say a young Vince Vaughn. It was very after-school-specially-lots of teen alcoholism and growing and learning. Bleh.
2) I Don’t Care That Robin Williams Died
OMIGOD NOT REALLY! I’m not the devil. I just wanted to see if anyone was actually reading. Plus I wanted to take some of the heat off John for hating on the ice-bucket challenge. Now I see it was a terrible mistake. (You: I’ll tell you what was a terrible mistake! You writing for Medium Happy!) Please send all hate mail to John.
3) Something About Sports
By and large I believe this is considered a sports blog, so here goes: umm….OK, apparently someone called Bubba Watson is sorry for behaving badly at the PGA Golf tournament a few weeks ago. I guess he refused to participate in the long drive contest, swore a bunch and treated his caddy like the dirt on his cleat. Here’s what Bubba had to say by way of apology:
“If you look at the bigger picture, not competing in the Long Drive Contest was the first mistake. When you look at just me as an individual, that was the selfish part, because I didn’t agree with it but there’s a lot of things that I don’t agree with that I do.”
He goes on to say he’s not so bad, because after all he did give his umbrella to someone who needed it.
Can I stop pretending I follow sports now?
4) Governor Rick Perry Turns Himself In
Just kidding! Number four is really Jason Bateman. Last week I watched two back-to-back Bateman offerings and loved them both: The Longest Week and Bad Words.
The Longest Week was an unexpected delight- it felt like a mash-up of Woody Allen, Whit Stillman and Wes Anderson (something the director winks at in a moment toward the end) -smart, quirky and chock full of dry, hilarious dialogue and narration, not to mention it looked completely awesome. I swear I could watch it again with the sound off and enjoy it just as much.
Jason Bateman plays the heir to a hotel fortune who has never had a real job. He gets cut off when his parents get divorced and neither one wants to pay for his upkeep. He moves in with his best friend, played by Billy Crudup, who is aging very well and is extremely funny. Billy Crudup is in love with Olivia Wilde, and he stupidly introduces Jason Bateman to her. Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde fall in love, Billy Crudup gets mad, Olivia Wilde finds out Jason Bateman is actually a jobless, clueless nitwit and she dumps him. In the span of one week. That’s pretty much the whole story—but it’s told so well! And everyone and everything is so beautiful! Watch it.
In Bad Words, which Jason Bateman also directs, he plays a mean man who exploits a loophole so he can compete in the national spelling bee circuit. Everyone hates him, but not half as much as he hates them. The stuff that comes out of his mouth–well, let me just say you shouldn’t drink hot tea while you watch it. It’s funny, kids, really funny—and then it becomes touching, and then everything makes sense and we realize he’s not mean, he’s just on a mission and the mission makes sense.
5) This Ad I Just Found On Craigslist:
50 Shades of Fun
Interviewing today for an office assistant position. After staring at the stack of resumes, an interesting thought popped into my head. What if there was a woman out there who can do this job and a little more for her boss? If this is something you might be interested in please send your resume and a picture in your reply. Like I said, interviews are taking place today and if your open to the idea this will guarantee you an interview today! Hope to hear from you soon!
I appreciate someone who is human enough to admit he gets bored at work and lets his mind wander off. I myself often have odd thoughts when faced with mundane tasks, like sometimes when I’m supposed to be filing invoices, I wonder what it would be like to watch a man slowly die of arsenic poisoning or what a brick to the temple really sounds like. Ha ha! Perhaps great minds think alike? Please let me know what time we can set up that interview. I couldn’t attach a picture, because I am wanted in Montana.
Last night Captain Ron appeared on CNN at around 1 a.m . Eastern time and in the midst of answering questions posed him by Don Lemon and Jake Tapper, invited them to hang out with him tomorrow (this) evening. You’ve never seen two cable news guys so excited. I’d love to see Anderson Cooper big-time them on this and demand to be air-dropped into Ferguson for this ride-along.
Meanwhile, a white photographer was tear-gassed and he became CNN’s top story for 20 minutes. He told Lemon, who asked him if he’d ever witnessed anything like this, that, yeah, he had because he’s from Albuquerque…where police have killed 26 people the past four years. Including this guy. And this guy.Gus Fring is impressed.
And I loved when Lemon asked the freelance photographer if he was going to go to the hospital. The photog shot him a “Child, please” look as if to say, “Hospitals are for you corporate types with health care. I’ll just rub some dirt on it.”
Also last night: CNN went to its London studios for late-night coverage, where Rosemary Church wondered aloud why police in Ferguson would not “perhaps use, water cannons?” And watch the look that co-host Errol Barnett, a man whom I am convinced was constructed in a secret lab to be the Africanized version of Anderson Cooper, reacts.
I hope someone shows Rosemary this video before she returns to air.
We still don’t know exactly how it went down between Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. What I do feel pretty confident saying, though, is that the police seem to prefer bullying to building bonds through civil discourse. It’s as if they’ve all seen Super Troopersand modeled themselves after Farva.
Yes, I’m a proud Notre Dame alumnus. I’m proud that I attended a school that excels on the athletic field –it won the Capital One Cup for overall athletic excellence in Men’s Sports this past school year–and in the classroom, where it is currently ranked No. 17 in U.S. News & World Report.
But, having spent four years there as a student and many autumns there since, I also know this: the football players are no more representative of the overall academic prestige of the student body as my friends in Dillon Hall and I were representative of the football players’ gridiron prowess.
To say that a Notre Dame football player is a typical Notre Dame student in the classroom is to say that I belonged on the two-deep because I passed Emil Hofman’s General Chemistry class (although I did catch a pass Steve Beurlein threw me at the end of practice one day; my roommate was a student manager and got me in).
Yes, I know –not believe, know–that as an institution Notre Dame does the right thing. But I also know that it opens the door for the investigation (no one has been found guilty of any wrongdoing) when it admits young men, almost all of whom are of good character, into a school where the course load is often over their heads.
Still, this video by 120 Sports is frighteningly cynical. If I’m to extrapolate Ro Parrish’s thoughts here, then recruits may be scared off of attending Oklahoma simply because they now know they can’t put a bitch in her place when she gets out of line. Sure, it seemed that OU would be fine with that when it accepted Dorial Green-Beckham, but now that it suspended Joe Mixon for the season, well…
3. “Tell Him What He’s Won!”
The inimitable Don Pardo, the greatest unseen voice of my childhood next to Mel Blanc, passed away yesterday at the age of 96. It was Pardo who told contestants on games shows such as Jeopardy! and The Price is Right what they had won, and it was Pardo who did the roll call at the opening of Saturday Night Live from day one in 1975 all the way to last May (he missed one year of 39).
Pardo actually joined NBC in 1944–at at time when World War II was still undecided.
Besides the near four decades of introducing SNL each week, Pardo is also a legitimate part of U.S. history. It was he who provided the first NBC News bulletin after JFK’s assassination.
Don Pardo leaves us at the age of 96. But he will receive some lovely parting gifts.
4. Our Tillery?
The young man on the left, Jerry Tillery, is rather large. He stands six-foot-seven, 317 pounds and is beginning his senior year at highly renowned (at least for football) Evangel Christian in Ruston, La. This photo may provide better evidence of his size differential to other players his age.
What I love about Tillery is that he’s kind of a nerd. The Notre Dame verbal commit –and I know, that means zilch — has a 4.0 GPA. But, he was spotted last spring taking in the LSU Spring Game. A change of heart. “To be honest, I didn’t go down to Baton Rouge for the spring game,” Tillery told a newspaper. “I was there for the state literary test.”
5. Johnny, Are You Queer?
I’m with Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead on this: don’t get your panties in a bunch over JFF giving the MF to the Team Whose Name Cannot Be Mentioned. They laughed, after all.
And, as the Oscar Wilde of American sportswriting, Jason Gay, wondered, “Um isn’t making people pay for preseason tickets also kind of an obscene gesture?”
The problem for the Browns is this: How much do you want your QB, whose not the next Peyton Manning, being Topic No. 1 on First Ache and PTI and ATH and The View? How much noise is worth this? Isn’t that what eventually made Tim Tebow quartbacka non grata?
Let Johnny be Johnny? Okay. But it’s beginning to suffocate the league. I mean, wasn’t Michael Sam supposed to be the distraction?
Finally, I am overjoyed to announce that we’ve secured the services, one day per week for as long as she doesn’t grow bored of it, of the utterly fabulous Katie McCollow to steer the MH ship. Katie’s pretty much my favorite humorist. Please, everyone, shower her with welcomes tomorrow and tell her that her hair looks nice.