IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Sweet Home

The president intends to travel to Tuscaloosa to watch No. 1 LSU play at No. 2 Alabama on Saturday afternoon and if you are wondering why, remember where this photo was taken in 2015. Donald Trump was booed at the World Series in Washington, D.C., and he was booed at a UFC in Madison Square Garden last Saturday, but he likely won’t achieve the sports boo trifecta when he visits Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Now here’s something to chew on, when considering Tuberville’s tweet. The former Auburn coach would likely concede that “the liberals up north” are more educated while emphasizing that the SEC has much better football. And he’d be right.

But the SEC only has the best college football programs in America because it takes advantage of being in the backyard of the richest crop of football talent in America: namely young, rural, under-educated African-Americans. Now what would happen on Saturday if every African-American player on both Alabama and LSU opted to sit out of the game in protest of Donald Trump’s presence? Suddenly you’d have something looking very much like Northwestern at Rutgers.

And what would that do to MAGA-merica’s inflated image of itself, built on college football prowess and yet actually on the sweat and labor, mostly, of young men whom it would want nothing to do with in any setting outside of Saturday afternoon or evening? The aura, in other words, in which MAGA-football enjoys enveloping itself is really a false narrative.

It won’t happen, but what if it did?

Cat-Life Stadium

A rogue kitty scampered across the field at Met-Life Stadium during the Cowboys-Giants game last night, marking the first intriguing moment in Monday Night Football since the introduction of the Boogermobile. You have to wonder how many fantasy teams the cat finds itself on this morning. Also, can it play quarterback for the Jets?

I Like To Rock

This is the one-ton “Wizard Rock,” which sits in Arizona’s Prescott National Forest off State Route 89. Last week it mysteriously vanished (or someone with a crane and a big ass truck took it) and then yesterday it magically reappeared. And that’s today’s lost-and-found mineral news.

He Who Rips Others Also Rips…

The biggest controversy is sports radio yesterday: Did WFAN’s Mike Francesa fart on-air? The alleged gas passing takes place at about :18 here. You be the judge.

The fun part is that The Daily News quickly turned around a story on the incident and then, once apprised of it, Francesa devoted about five minutes in denial of such. This is PEAK sports radio, folks.

Is this our second “To Air Is Human” item in as many days?

Sun-sational Start

First, the Phoenix Suns whiffed by passing on Luka Doncic in favor of Deandre Ayton last year (Ayton’s good; Doncic will be a Hall of Famer). Then they fired their coach. Then they traded down and passed on the likes of Coby White in favor of his teammate Cameron Johnson (again, a good player but a lesser talent). Then Ayton was suspended for 25 games for use of a diuretic.

All bad, right? Wrong. First-year coach Monte Williams has a team of one legit All-Star, Devin Booker, and a cast of cast-offs at 5-2 after they defeated the previously unbeaten Philadelphia 76ers (minus Joel Embiid) last night. The Suns also have already beaten the Los Angeles Clippers, too.

Williams has the Suns believing

Booker had 40 last night and his supporting cast includes Kelly Oubre, Ricky Rubio, Frank Kaminsky, Aron Baynes and Dario Saric. And yet Williams has this group playing together. I don’t understand it, either. But the Suns just went three games over .500 for the first time since in more than four seasons.

Next up? The Eastern Conference-leading (now that Suns knocked off Philly) Miami Heat on Thursday.

By the way, Booker has already gone over 6,000 points in his career and he’s still only 23 years old.

Five Films: 1948

Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda
  1. Key Largo: Bogey, Bacall and a very dapper and evil Edward G., as opposed to Eugene, Robinson. 2. Johnny Belinda: A deaf girl, a rape, and a Nova Scotian fishing village. The exterior landscape shots underscore the ravaged wilderness that is inherent in the tale. Unforgettable 3. The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre: More Bogey and of course, “Badges? We don’t need no stinking’ badges!” 4. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House: Myrna Loy finally got sick of playing William Powell’s wife and trades him in for Cary Grant. Upgrade (but not by much). 5. Rope: There are three, by our count, Hitchcock films that take place almost entirely inside one apartment. This was the first. The others? Dial M For Murder and Rear Window.

Music 101

Late For The Sky

The title track from Jackson Browne‘s 1974 album that has been hailed “a masterpiece” by many (though casual fans will recognize no songs on the album). And this give us an excuse to add Bruce Springsteen inducting Browne into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (“Meanwhile, Jackson is drawing more women than an Indigo Girls show”). As good as Bruce is at everything else he does, he’s the best Hall of Fame induction speaker.

Remote Patrol

College Football Selection Show

9 p.m. ESPN

Clemson may be 4th in tonight’s rankings, but the Dynamite Dabos are the prohibitive favorite among these four to be in the playoff

Preceded by Kansas versus Duke in a sterile NBA arena setting (7 p.m., MSG), this will be kinda fun and yet we all know the big match-ups remain on the horizon. LSU, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson will be in the top four in some order, then Penn State will be fifth. The Tigers and Tide will meet this week and then the Nittany Lions will visit Columbus on Nov. 23 (Penn State also visits 8-0 Minnesota this weekend; who knows, maybe the Fighting Flecks will surprise us).

When the dust from those two (3) games settles, you’ll likely have the winners of those two games, plus Clemson and the loser of the Tiger-Tide matchup in the Top 4. But Bama must still travel to Auburn and Ohio State to Ann Arbor and if you don’t think an upset will happen in either game, you must be new to the sport.

Then there’s conference championship game weekend. The season’s just getting started, really.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Tyreek Hill is basically at a dead stop at the 40 and his teammate 10 yards ahead when he begins chasing him. And now you see why so many teams are able to overlook his off-field “issues.”

Starting Five

Passing The Torch

Two potentially landmark games this past weekend—time will tell—in the NBA and NFL that saw a next-generation star challenge the greatest player of his generation. In the NBA, Luke Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks took LeBron James and the Lakers to overtime before succumbing. In the NFL, Lamar Jackson and the Ravens completely outplayed Tom Brady and the Patriots and handed them their first “L” in nine games. Only the 49ers remain unbeaten.

(Dude on the left was taken with the first pick in the first round and dude on the right was taken with the last pick of the first round. Scouting!)

The lines from the hoops game were both triple-double. Luka went 31, 13 and 15 while LeBron went 39, 12 and 16. Sounds as if both were amped for this one.

Has Michigan Found Its Mojo?

We still hate the white road trousers, though

As we printed in “The Bubble Screen”, and I quote: “It was a weekend for fans of Justin Timberlake as the top three ranked teams went “bye bye bye” and “College GameDay” made its first pilgrimage to J.T.’s hometown of Memphis. Florida got jobbed on a crucial video review miss while Georgia fans said, “Cry me a river.” And is Jim Harbaugh bringing sexyback to Michigan football in time for November showdowns in Ann Arbor versus Michigan State and Ohio State?

So let’s talk Michigan. At halftime in Happy Valley two weeks ago the Wolverines trailed 21-7 and it looked as if their whole season, if not Jim Harbaugh’s tenure, was headed sideways. Since then MGoBlue has outscored opponents 97-28 and while they lost that Penn State game, found themselves. They’ve crushed Notre Dame and Maryland on consecutive Saturdays.

What’s coming up? Home games in Ann Arbor versus Michigan State and the team we feel is the best in the land, Ohio State. Harbaugh is 0-4 against Ohio State and the Wolverines are 1-14 versus Ohio State since 2003. Is The Game suddenly looking like it might be a close one (last year the Buckeyes walloped the Wolverines in Columbus, 62-39)

You Deserve A Break Today

McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook is stepping down after admitting a “consensual” relationship with a fellow McDonald’s employee. There is now a sign outside Easterbrook’s home that reads “Over 1 Served.”

To Air Is Human

This is the smog situation in New Delhi, India, right now. When we spent a month in Beijing in 2008, we often saw days like this (and it depressed the hell out of us, I gotta say). India and China are the two most populated nations in the world. Any questions?

Conan The Destroyer

We’ll say it: It’s refreshing to see someone named Conan be funny again.

Five Films: 1947

  1. The Bishop’s Wife: Set in London, Cary Grant is an angel who’s come down from heaven to inspire a minister (David Niven) and help his lovely but neglected wife (Loretta Young). A Christmas classic. 2. Out Of The Past Fantastic film noir starring Robert Mitchum (as a good guy with a shady past!), Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas 3. Black Narcissus We’ve never seen but it stars Deborah Kerr as a nun (most of her characters possessed this quality) and takes place in the Himalayas 4. Miracle On 34th Street Another Christmas classic. 5. Gentleman’s Agreement The year’s Best Picture winner starring Gregory Peck and dealing with anti-Semitism on a social class level. Was this the original “woke” film?

Music 101

Rhinestone Cowboy

There’s been a load of compromisin’/On the road to my horizon/But I’m gonna be where the lights are shining on me...

Is there an artist in the music business who cannot relate to that lyric? Glen Campbell had a monster hit with this song in 1975, and deservedly so. It hit No. 1 on both the pop and country charts. The tune was written a year earlier by Larry Weiss, who did not have much success with it. Campbell heard it while on tour in Australia and decided to learn it. Weiss, by the way, would later perform the theme song for “Who’s The Boss?”

Meanwhile, if you go see Bruce Springsteen’s new film, Western Stars, he covers it at the end of the film. Beyond symbolic. We changed our mind and decided to put it below. You can feel the years of experience in every word the Boss spits out.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Here it comes

November Wane

Baseball’s over. October’s over. Bike-riding (a daily staple of both our lives and commute) weather is nearly over. Halloween’s over. And now they want us to turn our clocks back this weekend??? It’s simply cruel and inhuman.

What’s App?

On Halloween night the team with “BU” on its helmets remained undefeated

A pair of undefeated and ranked college football teams from the Group of 5, Appalachian State and Baylor, had a prime-time showcase last night. Both faltered. App State flat-out lost, at home, to Georgia Southern, 24-21. The Mountaineers trailed 24- 7 heading into the fourth quarter before making it close.

In Waco Baylor held on to beat undefeated West Virginia, 17-14, in a nip-and-tuck battle. The Bears move to 8-0 but still have Oklahoma and Texas, albeit both at home, in front of them. What’s it all mean? The New Year’s Six bowl slot is opening up for SMU (if the Ponies win at Memphis in prime time tomorrow night) or for the G5 team we feel is most worthy, providing they win out, Cincinnati.

“Florida Man”

Like you, I suppose, I’ve got no problem with a an early onstage dementia septuagenarian New Yorker taking up residency in Florida and golfing his remaining days away. It’s just weird when they’re also the president.

Mr. Trump officially changed his state of residency from New York to Florida, which is kind of odd since most Americans know that his permanent address is in Washington, D.C. Don’t you have to officially spend six months of the year in the Sunshine State to receive the tax break from the IRS? Is he going to go for that? Someone help us.

To officially be a “Florida Man,” however, Mr. Trump must be involved in incidents that involve: 1. an alligator or reptile of some sort 2. partial or full nudity 3. meth and 4. a strip club or Hooters. We’ll hang up and wait.

And Now A Halloween Word From Katie McCollow

Five Films: 1946

Now we’re talking. The war is over, both in Europe and the Pacific, and another monster year emerges.

  1. The Best Years Of Our Lives: I love this film, which won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Fredric March) and Best Supporting Actor (Harold Russell), more each passing year. Think that Dana Andrews deserved Best Actor every bit as much as March and Teresa Wright a Supporting Actress nod. And more Hoagy Carmichael, too. 2. It’s A Wonderful Life: Perfect schmaltz from Frank Capra, starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. 3. Gilda Glenn Ford and the real-life Jessica Rabbit, Rita Hayworth, in a toxic co-dependent relationship in South America. Put the blame on Mame, indeed. 4. Notorious: Another Hitchcock film starring a trio of all-timers: Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant and Claude Rains. A spy film with a love triangle woven within. 5. My Darling Clementine: A western directed by John Ford, which is like a country song sung by Johnny Cash. Starring Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp and generally regarded as one of the best, if not THE best, westerns that does not include John Wayne.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Chapter 34,692 of “Why I Love Animals So Much.” This is dedicated to our friend AIR who lost a special canine friend yesterday.

Starting Five

Nationals’ League!

Finally, a D.C. phenomenon they’ll write books about that has no concern with the presidency. The Washington Nationals faced five elimination games this postseason, and trailed in all five of them, including the wildcard game that heralded this October playoff season and last night’s Game 7 of the World Series (in both they trailed after the sixth inning) and won all five.

They became the first team to win all four World Series games on the road. They won despite losing their best offensive player, Bryce Harper, to free agency last winter. In Games 6 and 7 they faced former Cy Young Award winners, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, and they still won.

Now, about Game 7: Yes, Zack Greinke was working on a two-hitter in the 7th when A.J. Hinch gave him the hook. He’d just given up a one-out home run to Anthony Rendon and a walk to Juan Soto. And so in hindsight, sure, leave Greinke in to face Howie Kendrick. Instead, Hinch lifts Greinke in favor of Will Harris who on his second pitch gives up the go-ahead home run (which struck the right-field foul pole) to Kendrick. 3-2, Nats, who’d go on to win 6-2.

Howie’s go-ahead homer spelled doom in Houston

Blame Hinch if you like, but the Astros’ bats simply stopped producing, AT HOME, when it mattered: Houston did not score a run after the first inning in Game 6 and not a run after the fifth inning in Game 7. In three of its four home losses the Astros scored 3 or fewer runs and only one after the fifth inning, that one a meaningless ninth inning run in Game 2 when they already trailed 12-2.

It was symbolic that the top of the order came to bat last night in the bottom of the ninth—George Springer, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley—and they all went down meekly via an infield fly and two strikeouts (swinging), respectively.

This entire run began four weeks ago and one day ago when Juan Soto’s eighth inning single somehow found its way past the glove of Milwaukee Brewer right fielder Trent Grisham when Washington trailed 3-2. Instead of a game-tying single it was a go-ahead single plus an error. And the magic had begun.

Washington becomes the first franchise to win four road World Series games. It becomes the first since 1914 (the Boston Braves) to be 12 games under .500 during the season and come back and win the World Series. And it’s a great career landmark for Max Scherzer, who typified this team’s Natitude when he broke his nose during batting practice in June and came back the following day to pitch seven shutout innings. Last night, with a cortisone shot in his back, Mad Max allowed two early runs and then settled down to give the Nats five strong innings.

He typified this team’s resilience and (don’t say it, JW!) grit all season. Congrats, Nats!

Stick To Hostile Takeovers

A peek at why blogging promotes such a healthy lifestyle (I believe that is Petchesky, with beard, in the back)

The memo, distributed to Deadspin staffers on Monday by new corporate vampire bosses G/O Media put it plainly: ““Where such subjects touch on sports, they are fair game for Deadspin. Where they do not, they are not.”

Of course, as the site’s guild pointed out accurately in its rebuttal a day or two later, “Stick to sports” is really a dog-whistle for “Do not speak truth to power.” And while the site that Will Leitch founded in 2005 has/had its flaws, it definitely yearned to speak truth to power.

On Tuesday G/O Media fired top editor Barry Petchesky, a workhorse and a writers’ type of editor. They thought they’d cut off the head. But, in a surprising and heroic move, particularly for 2019, the rest of the staff undertook an “I am Spartacus!” moment and resigned en masse yesterday. This morning the site’s top writer for years, Drew Magary, followed suit.

Will there even be a Deadspin going forward? Will G/O Media advertise for “expert writers” and will those writers take the jobs? Is Deadspin, well, dead?

While we salute Deadspin‘s staff for its heroism, we cannot help but wonder why the staff at SI did not do this earlier this month (or was it last month? Who can recall?). When Maven literally fired HALF of SI’s staff in one afternoon, why didn’t the other half walk out the door in unity? I understand, men and women have bills to pay, private-school tuitions and mortgages, etc.

But, among us journalists, the gesture of the Deadspin staff will not be forgotten. Maybe in a Lt. Col. Vindman world, they were reminded and inspired to do the right thing. Look at me, not sticking to sports.

Finally, from The American President:

“Do you fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting.”

“Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats, A.J.?”

Twitter Blasts Facebook

Yesterday Facebook reported its quarterly earnings after the bell. That same afternoon, but earlier, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his ginormous social media site will no longer accept political ads.

A timely strike, aimed perhaps on making america great again (small letters) but also at Mark Zuckerberg’s blatant disingenousness. Last week Zuckerberg appeared before Congress and behaved as if his site’s running of political ads, though not vetted for truth or accuracy, was a free speech issue as opposed to a collect ad revenue issue.

This morning, Aaron (not Andrew Ross) Sorkin had a few words to say about that in The New York Times. You must read this, as Sorkin sets up a fool-proof argument so as to hoist Z on his own petard in the closing sentence.

Load Management

Week 2 of the NBA season:

–The MVP of the NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard, sits on the first night of a back-to-back (and what would be a 3 games in four nights stretch) in Utah. Reason? Load management.

–The Rockets beat the Wizards, 159-158, as James Harden goes off for 59 points.

–Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid, a pair of seven-footers playing for undefeated teams, go full wrasslin’ in Philly. Both players are too smart to throw a punch.

–The Suns take a 29-point first half lead on Golden State in San Francisco and hold on to win, 121-110. Stephen Curry breaks his left hand. The Dubs are 1-3 and allowing 126.3 points per game.

Five Films: 1945

By this point in her career Bergman had already played a love interest opposite Bogey, Charles Boyer, Gary Cooper and here Gregory Peck
  1. The Lost Weekend Best Picture Oscar winner stars Ray Miland as an alcoholic writer in New York City. I consider this an aspirational film. 2. Brief Encounter Director David Lean would go on to make beautiful films (e.g., Lawrence of Arabia) but here he makes a film about two married people who meet at a railroad station and fall in love. Strangers On A Train Platform, but no one gets murdered 3. Anchors Aweigh (Are you happy Susie B.?) Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (skinny) on shore leave together in Hollywood, singin’ and dancin’, which is not to be confused with On The Town, where the two were on shore leave in New York (New York!), singin’ and dancin’. This is the one where Gene dances with an animated Tom ‘n Jerry, in case you had thought Paula Abdul came up with the idea first 4. Leave Her To Heaven Gene Tierney, never lovelier, never crueler. If you’re looking for a “comes in threes” film package, this, A Place In The Sun (1951) and The Godfather II all offer cautionary tales about going boating on a lake with just one other person. 5. Spellbound Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. Try to keep me away.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Anthony Rendon Saves Baseball

The score was 3-2 in favor of the visitors with no outs in the top of the 7th inning of Game 6. The Nats had a man on first when Trea Turner hit a dribbler to the left of the pitcher’s mound. And you know what happened next.

So what should have been 2nd and 3rd with no outs for the Nats moves to man on first with one out. If the next batter, Adam Eaton, hits into a double play and the half inning ends 3-2, we’ve got an entirely different ballgame.

Instead, Eaton made an out but then Houston area native Anthony Rendon jacked a two-run homer to make it 5-2. Rendon added a two-run double in the ninth for the final score of 7-2 to give us fans a Game 7.

Thankfully for baseball. True, Nats ace Stephen Strasburg was pitching one of the best games of his life, but a one-run game with nine more outs for the Astros? Anything can happen. And if it had, had the Astros won, all that the 2019 World Series would be remembered for is the umps getting it right by getting it wrong (we’ll explain below).

So, yeah, Anthony Rendon kind of saved baseball with his four late-game RBI last night. We don’t know who will win MVP of this series, but on Park Avenue (and at Fox), they probably would vote for him.

Rule 5.09

As we said, baseball caught a lucky break. The umpire interpreted the rule correctly, which only exposed the fact that the rule (Rule 5.09) has an inherent flaw. Baseball is fortunate that it did not decide the outcome of the World Series.

Why is the rule flawed. Because in essence it says that as the batter runs to first base he must be, for the final 15 yards (or 45 feet) between the foul line and the 45-foot line, which runs parallel to the foul line but is three feet to the right of it. The problem is that the base is fully to the left of the foul line. So you’re asking a runner sprinting to first to take an odd step to hit the bag cleanly, and almost no one ever does run to the right of the foul line.

The only reason Trea Turner “interfered” with the play, which is also obvious, is because Houston pitcher Brad Peacock made a poor throw to first base, forcing the fielder Yuri Gurriel to stop into the lane where Turner was running.

So what’s the solution? Well, first, baseball needs to change its rule because on almost every infield ground ball a right-handed batter takes the same route to first that Turner did. And it’s never called. And it shouldn’t be the batter’s obligation to not interfere with a throw to first simply because he is taking the most direct possible route to first.

So, one of two things can be done. Put an extra base to the right of the foul line the way they do in Little League or softball. That would be the runner’s base while the other would be the fielder’s base. But that sort of ruins the aesthetic of the diamond, and we like that.

Here’s the better idea. Make the running lane that is the width of the base and extends from both ends of the base toward home plate the designated safe area for a runner to be able to matriculate himself down to first base. So he may be to the left of the foul line but he needs to stay within the parameters of the width of the base. Makes sense, no.

Any fielder making a play, say on a bunt or a dribbler down the third base line, has to put his throw to the left of the runner’s left shoulder. And if the fielder fails, that’s the fielder’s fault, not the runner’s.

Another problem solved by MH. You’re welcome.

Four Aces

We believe Joe Buck said tonight will be the first Game 7 in which both starting pitchers, Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke, are former Cy Young Award winners. We’re not sure if we heard that correctly, but we’ll take a more cautionary stand and say it’s the first Game 7 featuring former Cy Young Award winners who both have a “Z” in their names.

It’s also the first Game 7 of a series, in any sport, in which the previous six games were all won by the visiting team. We happen to like the Nats tonight, by the way, because there is simply no one on the mound we’d rather have in 2019 than Max Scherzer, the heterochromatic hero.

Meanwhile, let’s talk Stephen Strasburg versus Justin Verlander. By winning last night’s game Strasburg, whom to this point in his career has not been Hall of Fame-worthy, moves to 5-0 this postseason. This October, certainly, he has lived up to all the hype with which his baseball debut was festooned back in 2010. Strasburg also has the second-lowest ERA in postseason history, minimum eight starts, with 1.56. Only Christy Mathewson, one of five charter members of the Hall of Fame, has a lower one with 0.97.

Meanwhile Justin Verlander moves to 0-6 in World Series decisions, which sets a new standard for pitching futility in the Fall Classic. Wild. Based on totality of careers almost every baseball cognoscenti would say Verlander is far more of a shoo-in for Cooperstown that Strasburg. And yet, those postseason numbers.

Call Of Duty

It’s going to be the hottest new musical for 2020, Vindman. Here’s a tease:

Alexander Vindman/My name is Alexander Vindman/Caught some shrapnel in my neck, man/Near Kuwait, near Kuwait

Like Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Vindman was not born in what is now the United States (he was born in Ukraine) and like Hamilton, he serves in the military. Vindman is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, a combat veteran in the Iraq War who received a Purple Heart, and someone whom Mike Pompeo promoted to Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council.

And now Fox Right hosts and loyalists, as well as the president, are attempting a smear campaign on him for testifying in front of the impeachment inquiry. This is all they have left: character assassination.

I imagine some Fox’ies will only hear the profanity and clutch their pearls.

Meanwhile, we heartily urge you to read this essay by Thomas L. Friedman in The New York Times.

Film Five: 1944

  1. Double Indemnity Fred MacMurray (Is this really the same guy who’d later play the kindly dad in My Three Sons), Barbara Stanwyck and the all-time great character actor Eugene Robinson in the definitive film noir caper 2. Laura For us, Gene Tierney belongs in the top tier of most beautiful film actresses, and then we have Dana Andrews and the wonderful snooty Clifton Webb, here aged 54, a full 19 years removed from his last role in a feature film (a silent movie). Another classic film noir 3. The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek/Hail The Conquering Hero We’re cheating some by putting these two Preston Sturges comedies as one. 4. To Have And Have Not Sure, it’s “Casablanca In The Caribbean” with a young Lauren Bacall in the Bergman role, but it’s got the “You know how to whistle don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow” line.
  1. It also has Hoagy Carmichael as the pianist. He’ll get a bigger spotlight in an even better film two years from now. And if that’s not enough, it has Walter Brennan, who won three Oscars without ever carrying a film himself 5. Gaslight Who knew that the term would outlive the greatness of the film? This is where it originated. Starring Charles Boyer as the husband who tells his wife, Ingrid Bergman, that she may be crazy for believing the things that she’s seeing and sensing.

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 7

8 p.m. Fox

These don’t come around every year. What a great time to be a baseball-loving-kid. Game 7 tonight, Halloween tomorrow night.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

The Seven Ups

There are two NFL teams who are 7-0 and there are two NFL teams, the same two, who have allowed fewer than 100 points this season: the New England Patriots (61 allowed) and the San Francisco 49ers (77). Our guess is the Pats have received at least 90% of the shared media attention between the two franchises, who have never met in a Super Bowl, which is wild since the Patriots are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl wins (6) and the Niners are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for second-most (5).

The beauty of this, should the two meet in February, is that you may recall the Pats trading away Jimmy Garoppolo to the Niners two years ago because Tom Brady didn’t want Top Jimmy breathing down his neck. Also, the Niners were San Mateo Tom’s team growing up. The network will love this.

The Kid Stayed In The Picture

Evans with The Duke


Farewell to Hollywood bad boy and movie producer genius Robert Evans, who was discovered poolside in Beverly Hills, married seven times, became the top executive at Paramount Pictures while still in his thirties, and was the guiding force behind films classics such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story and Chinatown. Wives included Ali McGraw, Phyllis George (at the peak of her NFL Today fame) and Catherine Oxenberg.

“The End” came for Evans yesterday, at the age of 89. Now we’re going to have to go ahead his tell-all memoir, The Kid Stays In The Picture.

abLAze

If you’re familiar with Los Angeles, then you know that’s the 405 looking north toward the hills that are home to some of the most expensive property in California. You’ve got Bel Air to your right and Brentwood to your left. Wind and drought and heat don’t care how much money you have.

It’s a catastrophic situation all over the state, where it just doesn’t rain enough, where there’s plenty of brush and winds and where, I’m sorry, there’s just too damn many humans to keep it all sustainable. California: it was a swell idea.

Okay, not to be so morose, but what exactly is the fix to this problem? Make more water? Next. Change the topography? Next. Hope that climate change reverses? Double Next. The easiest variable to change is population. But that’s also easier said than done. Then again, when even LeBron James is forced to evacuate his home, then Cleveland begins to look a little more promising.*

*Our editors strongly suspect this will be the Susie B. “I Have A Problem With You, JDub” topic of the day.

Whoops! I Married A Lesbian

For no other reason than that we stumbled upon this skit and had never before seen it, and yes, that’s Louis C.K. as the husband. If you ask us, and you didn’t but when has that ever stopped us, Kenan Thompson totally steals this sketch. He’s so good at not being the focus of a sketch and yet making you love him.

Five Films: 1943

I love a Deborah Kerr in uniform

This was a poor year for films, which we’re going to assume had a little something to do with what was happening across the globe. Jimmy Stewart, we know, was flying missions across the English Channel and Henry Fonda was on a small ship in the Pacific. Both came nearer to death than most people realize.

So we’ll plow ahead with our list but I doubt there’s a single classic in the quintet: 1. For Whom The Bell Tolls Gary Cooper and a blonde Ingrid Bergman (in color!) fighting the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War, but filmed in Napa Valley 2. The Ox-Bow Incident You’ve got Henry Fonda (filmed before he shipped out), Dana Andrews and Harry Morgan (a.k.a. Col. Potter from M*A*S*H) and a real lynch mob 3. Shadow Of A Doubt Alfred Hitchcock called this his favorite film 4. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Never seen it but it gets high ratings by many and has a young Deborah Kerr, and we’re all for that 5. Lassie Come Home Why not? A collie and a prepubescent Elizabeth Taylor.

Music 101

Eyes Without A Face

The second single from Billy Idol’s massive 1983 Rebel Yell album, this ballad hit No. 4 on the charts in early 1984. If you’re wondering, the female background singer is Perri Lister. For decades I thought she was singing, “Pleasures of these eyes” but man, was I wrong. She was singing, “Les yeux sans visage” or “eyes without a face” in French. Why? Because that was the title of a landmark French horror film that was the inspiration for this song.

Here’s a link to a famous scene from it…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5rnhZLiqrI

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 6

8 p.m. Fox

Will Game 6 be Justin Time?

If this is the final game of the season, at least it’s an outstanding pitching matchup: Stephen Strasburg versus Justin Verlander. The only thing missing from the latter’s Hall of Fame resume is a World Series victory. We don’t mean a ring, we mean a single W. Verlander, a former Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner as well as an eight-time All-Star, is 0-5 in his World Series starts.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Alex Bregman had been having a hard-luck World Series until he connected on this grand slam in Game 4

Houston’s Woke-Up Call

The Astros lost the first two games of the World Series last week, at home, starting the top two Cy Young contenders in the American League. Then they fired their assistant GM, flew to the nation’s capitol, and took three straight from the Nationals.

In fact, Houston never trailed all weekend while limiting the Nats to one run in each game at their own park. Snoozers of games were these, but now the Astros return home needing one game to win their second Fall Classic in two years. Maybe a closed-door locker room celebration will be a good idea?

Fail Classic

(Who ever knew back in the day that Kentucky sharp-shooter Rex Chapman would have an even more deadly social media game?)

President Trump decided to attend Game 5 (where’s Barron?) of the World Series. He was met with a loud chorus of boos, a “Lock him up!” chant and and a giant sign out in right field that read “IMPEACH TRUMP” (those are the best seats Dems can get, apparently).

Understood that the Nationals Park is a mere block or two from the White House, but if POTUS wanted to hear cheers at a sporting event he’d have a better chance attending a game at the Texas team’s ball park.

The Good and Baghdadi

Baghdadi: a terrorist who badly needed a colorist

So the good news is that self-proclaimed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known in caliphate circles as “Who’s Your Baghdadi!” (sources), was killed by a joint U.S./allies special ops mission over the weekend.

The strange news, of course, is how our president handled it.

–First, on Saturday evening the President tweeted out “Something big has happened” before Baghdadi’s body had been identified.

–Second, the photo of Trump and the Joint Chiefs of Staff watching the raid was apparently posed and taken 12 hours after the actual raid (at the time, President Trump was apparently golfing.

–Third, President Trump seemed to take a vindictive “Make them fly!” GOT character’s delight in seeing the ISIS leader’s demise. He said that Baghdadi had died as a “coward” and “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.” The man who never served a day in the actual military seemed preoccupied with calling his adversary a coward.

–Fourth, because it always comes back to Obama with this president and his followers, Trump proclaimed that “this is the biggest one perhaps that we’ve ever captured. This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center.”

Riigggght.

Taking A Chance


We admittedly didn’t know much about Chance the Rapper when he first appeared on SNL for the pre-Christmas episode in 2017 (we think; maybe it was last year), but we absolutely loved his two musical performances and we haven’t said that often in the past decade (Gotye’s performance also stands out).

Chance hosted SNL over the weekend and he was terrific. He’s got all that Justin Timberlake energy and like JT, he could easily be a cast member if he ever wished to take the enormous pay cut. And like JT, he’s impossible not to like (even your mom will like him). We only watched a small part of the show, but the opening monologue was clever and timeless. Judge for yourself.

You Debt Your Life

I will never forget walking down Broadway a couple summers ago and listening to this college-aged Trumper boy argue with his liberal dad about conservatives and fiscal responsibility (it was a scene out of Family Ties three decades later). Then pop dropped the hammer on his son, informing him that the only president who’d managed to eliminate the federal budget deficit in the past 40 years was a Democrat, Bill Clinton. And the kid flat-out did not believe his dad. It sucks when facts destroy your paradigm, right?

Why is this timely information? Burying the lede here, but the U.S. Treasury on Friday said that the federal deficit for fiscal 2019 was $984 billion, a 26% increase from 2018. I guess we should be thankful that they’re still releasing honest information (or at least I assume).

Also, the gap between revenues and spending was the widest in seven years. Most of the reason for the ballooning of the budget was military spending, medicare and interest payments. Those goddamned teachers and their demands.

It’s funny how conservatives are not conservative about spending once they’re in office.

Film Five: 1942

  1. Casablanca Humor, romance, suspense, wit, unfinished champagne cocktails and Nazis. There’s a reason people consider this the standard by which all films should be measured: it is. 2. Mrs. Miniver The Brits put out a war film of their own that involved no battle scenes and it, too, is a classic. Greer Garson was the Myrna Loy of the UK and that’s Teresa Wright as the bird-next-door, who would also have a major supporting role in The Best Years Of Our Lives. 3. Now, Voyager So many classic films used an ocean cruise as a part of the plot (this, An Affair To Remember, Sabrina, Holiday, The Lady Eve) and yet none of them sunk. Bette Davis and Paul Friedrich from Casablanca and perhaps the most famous cigarette-lighting scene in history. 4. Woman Of The Year The essential Hepburn and Tracy film 5. Holiday Inn A crooner (Bing Crosby) inherits a small estate in Connecticut, so he has a most pragmatic idea of turning it into an inn that only opens for the holidays and puts on lavish song-and-dance numbers. Sounds like you’re just printing money, no? With Fred Astaire in an unforgettable dance scene in which he plays it drunk, an original performance of the song “White Christmas,” and Bing doing a song in blackface to get your woke kids upset.

Remote Patrol

The Kominsky Method

Netflix

America’s favorite geriatic platonic male couple returns for Season 2. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are joined this season by Jane Seymour (as Arkin’s rekindled-after-half-a-century love interest) and a very out-of-shape looking Paul Reiser (as Douglas’ daughter’s December-to-her-May love interest). We’re halfway through and while it’s not quite as good as Season 1, it’s still a treat to watch these two old pros and Oscar winners bat the ball back and forth.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

No shake for Moscow Mitch. Meanwhile, Trey Gowdy and the fine art of a political party impaling itself:

Starting Five

Blown Save*

*The judges will also accept “Fall From Grace Classic”

A brief timeline of how the Houston Astros completely mishandled the Brandon Taubman, up to and including after they terminated him yesterday afternoon:

–After the Astros dispatch of the Yankees thanks to Jose Altuve’s walk-off bomb, assistant general manager (not assistant to the general manager) Brandon Taubman turns to three female reporters in the Astro clubhouse and yells, ” “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna!”

(Roberto Osuna is the Astros closer who was suspended 75 games a year ago for domestic violence. Only an hour or so before Taubman had allowed a 9th-inning home run to D.J. LeMahieu and technically been given a blown save).

–SI reporter Stephanie Apstein writes about the incident two days later, and only after the Astros refused to give her access to Taubman for him to expand on what he meant. The story dropped on the eve of Game 1 of the World Series.

–Tuesday morning, the Astros release a statement, the gist of which is contained in this tweet, verbatim:

–In other words, the Astros’ OFFICIAL response to Apstein’s story was to call it Fake News, a tactic that may play well locally in Texas but won’t work in a “national” league.

–Next, at least three other reporters, all eyewitnesses, confirm Apstein’s account. Further, they point out that no one had asked Taubman a question, that he had just lashed out on his own.

–Just before Game 1, Astro manager A.J. Hinch calls the issue “very disappointing.” Taubman issues an apology of the “I’m sorry if you were offended” route, which as we all know is the world’s lamest apology.

“I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed. In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue.

–The Astros lose both Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, at home.

–The Astros fire Taubman. General manager Jeff Luhnow admits that the organization was wrong to put out the release that it did, but refuses to specify who was behind it. He does say that only Taubman and one other Astro employee were interviewed before the release was put out. In other words, the Astros had at first thought this would be just small potatoes and figured it would be easier to snuff out Apstein’s credibility than to tackle the issue head on.

–At a presser on Thursday evening, Luhnow is asked if he or the Astros have personally apologized to Apstein. He says no, that it’s been a hectic and chaotic time and he has not had a chance. Perhaps Luhnow does not realize that Apstein is seated in the room at the time.

What is it with the city of Houston this fall? First, the college football team tells two of its top players to take the rest of the season off. Then the Daryl Morey tweet goes sideways. Then this. I don’t want to repeat the obvious and fitting mantra here, but you know, “Houston,….”

And Then There’s Rob Drake

Brandon Taubman is out (and he’s going to have to wait about 50 weeks to atone…bad timing) but umpire Rob Drake is still employed even after a tweet from Tuesday night, since deleted (as too his entire account has been), in which he promised to buy an AR-15 “because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020.”

Drake also issued a bullshit apology by putting the conditional on it: “I want to personally apologize to everyone that my words made feel less safe.” Which is really saying, Hey, MAGA, I know I don’t have to apologize to you because you get it. I’m just apologizing to these cucks because if I don’t I may lose my job. Bear with me.

Then Drake adds, “I never intended to diminish the threat of violence from assault weapons, or violence of any kind.” Oh, we know, Rob. You actually were promoting it as a threat.

Freedom of speech, sure. No one is imprisoning him. But he also just threatened an armed rebellion due to a legal process. I wonder what MLB will do about this. Answer: probably nothing.

Cliptober

It’s not even Halloween and the Los Angeles Clippers are already NBA champions. Okay, not really, after beating the Lakers by 10 on Tuesday the Clips rolled up to San Francisco and put up 141 on the Warriors on the night the Chase Center was christened.

The Warriors, under Steve Kerr, had never surrendered that many points in a game before.

Keep in mind: the Clips haven’t even had Paul George in either of these two games.

Note well: this is the season Patrick Beverley will become a national cult figure beyond just the know of NBA insiders.

Also note: It’s going to be a long season for the Warriors and I hope Klay Thompson just sits the whole thing out.

Funny moment: Before the first bucket was even scored (history will record that L.A. led 14-0 before Golden State scored a point in its new home), play had to be stopped when a fan seated courtside spilled his beer on the floor. TNT announcer Kevin Harlan noted that that was a very expensive beer he’d just spilled, but then realized and said that if he could afford to sit there he could probably afford to absorb that loss without any care.

Klay Thompson speaks to the crowd before opening tip. Huge miss by TNT not to cover it live.

There’s a part of me that’s glad to see basketball back in The City itself, and there’s another part that’s sad that the Warriors leveraged their success of the past half decade via the Splash Brothers into a venue that their real East Bay fans will never be able to afford and that will just become a vanity play for Silicon Valley’s plethora of billionaires and millionaires. The irony being, of course, that the product will never achieve the greatness or glory of the past five seasons. It’s over, kids. Sorry.

And Now A Word From Katie McCollow…

And if you’re one of those ‘gram types, you can follow her on the ‘gram at @katie.mccollow. All she wants are life’s simple pleasures: fame, wealth and an US Weekly cover.

At The Movies: 1941

  1. Citizen Kane Even if, like us, you feel that one viewing is enough, you have to appreciate that Orson Welles did this all (write/direct/star) as a 25 year-old, that he took on one of the most powerful men in media (William Randolph Hearst, on whose life it is loosely based) and that he did things that had never even been thought of before in film. On a shoestring budget. The Quentin Tarantino of his time 2. Sullivan’s Travels From Preston Sturges. Joel McRea (who joked that he got the roles that Gary Cooper wasn’t available for) as a big-shot producer who goes undercover as a hobo to better understand the plight of the poor so he can make a film that better depicts them only to realize that what they really want is what he already does so well: comedies. With Veronica Lake as The Girl. McRea later turned down a chance to make another film with Lake, saying, “One Veronica Lake film is enough for a lifetime” 3. The Maltese Falcon Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in a classic film noir set in one of the three best cities for the genre, San Francisco 4. The Lady Eve Another Preston Sturges comedy classic, starring two all-time Hollywood heavyweights, Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda 5. The Wolfman Is that a full moon I see? A must-see of the horror genre.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Don’t know if it’s real. Don’t care.

Starting Five

Kicking Their Astros

The natty nat Nats won their 8th consecutive postseason game, blasting open a tight World Series Game 2—it was 2-all in the top of the 7th at Minute Maid Park—with a 6-run frame that was jump-started by a solo home run by 36 year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki. He’s part of the team’s Los Viejos (“the old men”).

Justin Verlander, who allowed that homer, is now the first pitcher in Major League history to be 0-5 as a World Series starter. Also the Astros, the first MLB team since 1955 not to issue even one intentional walk in an entire season, did issue one in the top of the 7th—to Juan Soto—and it backired (although 3rd baseman Alex Bregman’s inability to handle an infield hit to his left did more damage).

You hate to see it

The Nats also won eight in a row to close out the regular season. Meanwhile, Astros’ aces Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander have lost in consecutive starts for the first time all year. The last team to lose its first two home games in the World Series and recover to win? The 1996 New York Yankees.

Unwelcome Matt*

*The judges will also accept “Storming The Gaetz”

In the GOP’s latest edition of “You Can’t Do It But I Can,” Congressman Matt Gaetz (Reprehensible—Florida) led two dozen junior colleagues on a bum rush of the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) where the House impeachment inquiry was taking place.

Gaetz & Friends’ ostensible stated goal was “transparency,” but the real goal was intimidation and distraction. The very reason that the hearings are held in private—even though half the committee are Republicans, a fact that Gaetz and his cronies pretend to be unaware of—is to prevent witnesses from corroborating stories based on previous testimony they’ve heard and to allow the investigating members to do their jobs without outside interference. It’s the same reason the public isn’t allowed into a grand jury hearing.

Of course, all of these rules were fine when Bill Clinton was being impeached. But suddenly Gaetz and Co. behave as if they’re here protecting the American way. The question here is simple: Why are so many Republicans so hell-bent on people not knowing the truth?

Kyrie Eleison

Brooklyn is gonna love Kyrie Irving. And he’s gonna love the borough right back. In his Nets debut last night, Kyrie Irving puts up 50 points, although the Nets fall by one in overtime to Minnesota. Irving was 7 of 14 from beyond the arc and 17 of 33 from the field overall. Wethinks Kevin Durant’s Achilles’ healing process just sped up two weeks off last night’s game alone.

The Doctor was way ahead of his time

Kyrie’s still not the greatest Net named Irving (or at least pronounced that way), but it was a good start. Also, not only did he score 50 but he now looks 50.

While we are talking NBA, we love Michael Jordan and always will, but he’s flat-out SO wrong about what he said about Stephen Curry (not a Hall of Famer yet). Forget the five straight NBA Finals visits (and three championships) and the two MVPs for a moment. Curry’s three-point shooting single-handedly (with some guidance help from his left hand) transformed the way the NBA game is played.

Before Curry no player had ever hit more than 243 threes in a season. While leading the league in three-pointers for five straight campaigns, Curry took the single-season mark not only just above 300 but above 400 (402 in 2015-2016). He did for the three what Babe Ruth did for home runs and look how baseball has changed since Ruth. And within two years, three tops, he’ll surpass Ray Allen as the NBA’s all-time leader in threes and become the first player to reach the 3,000 career threes mark.

Love Jordan. That statement is asinine. Let’s move on.

Tesla Soars, While Twitter Tumbles

In millennial stock news, shares of Tesla (TSLA) soared nearly 20% ( $254 to $299) after an earnings beat after the bell yesterday, which will make your battery-powered drive to your favorite avocado toast outlet so much more cheerful this morning.

Shares of Twitter (TWTR) did just the opposite, after a pre-opening bell earnings report. It’s down almost 20% ($39 to $32).

In other millennial stock news, Bitcoin is taking a pounding of late and Chipotle is down about 8% from last month’s all-time high.

At The Movies: 1940

Is this the funniest final shot in cinema history?

A continuing series in which we list our highly subjective choices of the five best/favorite/most watchable films from every year in cinema, beginning in 1939:

  1. The Philadelphia Story : Three all-timers (Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart at the top of their craft) and Stewart wins Best Actor as a make-up call for the previous year’s snub, in the process snubbing his life-long friend Henry Fonda, who deserved it for No. 3 on this list) 2. His Girl Friday : Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, back when newspapering was cool and stylish. One of the best snappy banter films ever made 3. The Grapes Of Wrath There’s no place like home, but this time you have to remain in Oz and it ain’t pretty 4. The Great Dictator After 13 years, Charlie Chaplin finally does a talkie and lampoons Adolf Hitler (in 1940!) while so doing 5. Rebecca Alfred Hitchcock’s first American production yields him a Best Picture Oscar even though this is not one of his five most well-renowned films.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Taylor-Made For Impeachment

I’m just a Bill,

Yes, I’m only a Bill,

Testifying up on Capitol Hill,

But I’m a 50-year public servant

And I kept meticulous notes

And when the Senate reads my statement

Then we’ll get the impeachment votes

And they’ll put it in a public box,

Yes, I hope and pray that they will,

But today I am still just a Bill…

Forget the nine-plus hours of answering questions from the impeachment inquiry. Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor, a Vietnam veteran (apparently it was not inconvenient for him to serve) who has a half-century in public service, laid down a 15-page opening statement that nails Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and Bill Sondland dead to rights.

It’s all over but the shouting now. Seriously.

Nats Ding Cole*

*Don’t credit us for that headline; credit The Houston Chronicle, which is running it this morning.

The Nationals, who’ve now won like, what, seven consecutive games or something, were unintimidated by Astro starter Gerrit Cole, who had won 16 consecutive starts and had last lost a game on May 22nd.

Speaking of May 22nd, on that day the Nats were 19-30 and would lose again the following day before mounting the long uphill charge that would lead them to a 5-4 Game 1 win in Houston.

Notes: 1. Ryan Zimmerman connected on a two-out solo home runs for the Nats in the second. It was the first home run in World Series history by a Nationals player and it was hit by the first player the Nats selected in the draft, 15 years ago (give the dude who made that call a raise). Also, it was the first home run in World Series history struck by a player whose surname begins with a Z. 2) Juan Soto, who turns 21 on Friday, had a home run, double and single after striking out in his first at-bat. “I’m not gonna lie, my legs were shaking my first time up,” Soto told Ken Rosenthal afterward 3) Late in the game Fox’s Joe Buck noted that the Astros pitching staff is comprised entirely of righties and then informed the audience that the last time a World Series staff had not a single southpaw was 1903. What Buck did not add, yet should have, is that 1903 was also the very first World Series.

The 1903 World Series, by the way, featured pitcher Cy Young of the victorious Boston Americans and outfielder Honus Wagner for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Americans won 5 games to 3. Also of note is that Pittsburgh’s Exposition Park used a rope to hold back outfield spectators and it was ruled that if a ball rolled under the rope and into the crowd it would be a ground-rule triple. There were 17 ground-rule triples hit in the four games at Exposition Park.

Miami Heat

Four flight attendants for American Airlines were arrested at Miami International Airport yesterday primarily because one of them is a terrible crook. When a customs agent asked Carlos Aberto Munoz-Moyano how much cash he had on him, he initially replied, “$100,” then got nervous and told the truth: $9,000.

Customs agents quickly rounded up other flight attendants on the same flight from Chile and found more than $22,000 of spending money on them. If you’ve spent any time around flight attendants, you know this isn’t casual walking-around-money for them. So they’re most likely drug mules, no? Carrying not the supply but the payment?

The next time you fly American international, ask your flight attendant if he or she has change for $10,000.

The Battle Of L.A. Begins

kWh put up a game-high 30 in a game that had a classic ’70s NBA feel and look

On the NBA’s opening night, the Clippers outlasted the Lakers 112-102. Never mind that two of the top five players on the squads—the Clippers’ Paul George and the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma—were injured and unavailable. And even with that LeBron James, age 36, may have been the third-best player on the court after teammate Anthony Davis and Clipper Kawhi Leonard.

Also, new Laker acquisition Danny Green had 28 points. Keep an eye on the seasoned pro who, as you may recall, was Kawhi’s teammate in Toronto last season.

Horror In The U.K.

A trailer was found in Grays, England (about 25 or so miles east of London along the Thames) with 39 dead bodies in it. The truck is from Bulgaria and it entered the U.K. through Wales on October 19th. The driver is a 25 year-old from Northern Ireland. Seems what we have here is human smuggling gone awry.

Between this, Bill Taylor and the American Airlines item, it’s incredible what takes place every day that most people will never find out about. Only occasionally when something goes wrong or someone says something they’re not supposed to does the skulduggery get exposed. Conclusion: I’m living an extremely boring life.