Posted in August 2012

“It’s All Happening!” Friday, 8/31

Starting Five

1. Kent State’s Andre Joseph got the college football season off to an…. interesting start Thursday night. Kent State punted the ball away to Towson, whose return man mistakenly touched the ball as it bounded by him. Joseph was heads up in realizing that it was a live ball, but was just a little turned around when he grabbed it up and began running the wrong way with it. Fifty-eight yards later, two Towson players shove Joseph out of bounds. Brain-lock gripped quite a few players on the field as the video shows several Towson players on the chase and some Golden Flashes blocking for Joseph. It was all for naught, as a muffed punt can be recovered, just not moved forward or backward. It’s a good thing NFL replacement refs weren’t involved or it might have been ruled a rouge. 

2. With apologies to nominee elect Mitt Romney, and Florida senator Marco Rubio, the talking point from the final night of the Republican Convention looked like a late-in-the-show SNL skit. Clint Eastwood carried on a conversation with an empty chair, with the pretense that it was Obama in the chair. After a few moments where the watching world tried to figure out what exactly was going on, the reactions were rather predictable. Democrats made fun of it and Republicans made fun of it a little less. Invisible Obama had its own twitter feed moments later.

3. Floyd Mayweather has reportedly bet $3 million dollars on Michigan, who’s getting 14 points in their game against Alabama on Saturday night. Mayweather spent the last two months in jail, so he must have liked what he read about the Wolverines in Street and Smith. Unfortunately for Floyd, he laid his bet down before Michigan suspended starting running back Fitzgerald Toussaint for Saturday’s game. Toussaint was suspended after pleading guilty to a drunk driving charge on Tuesday.

4. Too bad for the Republicans that NFL cut down day comes one day after they wrapped things up in Tampa, because roughly 320 more people are going to be out of jobs by this evening. There are bound to be some surprises, there always are, but the biggest news of the day so far is that John Skelton has been named the week one starter for Arizona. It turns out the Cardinals $63 million bet on Kevin Kolb was even stupider than Mayweather’s bet. (Win or lose, betting $3 million on a college football game is stupid. Especially on a neutral field in week one. You should cap it at $2 million.)

5. It was this day in 1997 that Princess Diana was killed in a car crash in Paris. Her death came roughly a year after getting divorced from Prince Charles and conspiracy theories have followed the story ever since. And as if on cue, the young offspring of a dead mother was found stripping in Las Vegas 15 years later.

- Bill Hubbell

IT’S ALL HAPPENING, Week 1 fooBAW EDITION

Starting Five

1. Alabama vs Michigan (Saturday, ABC, 7 p.m.) The last time the Wolverines played an SEC opponent, they lost by 38. And, in case you forgot, that team was Mississippi State, less than two years ago. We love Shoelace, but Bama’s O-line versus Michigan’s D-line spells migraines for Jim Delany.

2. Boise State at MICHIGAN STATE (Friday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) Since becoming head coach in 2006, Chris Petersen has only lost one game that was played 1) off the Smurf Turf and 2) before Thanksgiving weekend. That was a 10-7 loss at U-Dub on Sept. 8, 2007. The Spartans have not lost in East Lansing since 2009, to a team coached by Joe Paterno. We like Sparty here.

3. Clemson vs Auburn (Saturday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) In an opening weekend in which we have Tech vs Tech (Georgia-Virginia) and Cougars vs Cougars (Wazzu at BYU), this Tigers vs Tigers contest may be the best of the mirror games. Sammy Watkins, arguably the most exciting player in CFB, will be missed, but these are still two big-boy programs.

4. Notre Dame vs Navy (Saturday, CBS, 9 a.m.) The Irish, who have lost three of their past five to the Midshipmen, win if they keep it at two or fewer turnovers. Navy flew from Baltimore to Dublin. That’s cheating, no?

5. Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech (Monday, ESPN, 7 p.m.) Remember that Yellow Jacket offense that led the nation in rushing offense and passing efficiency and was averaging 51 points per game through five wins last season? Well, they return seven starters including leading rushers Orwin Smith and David Sims. Tech has quarterback Tajh Boyd, who at 6-6 has that Cam Newton thing going on.

The Red Grange Award


On October 18, 1924, Harold Edward Grange (you can call him “Red”) of Illinois returned the opening kickoff on the opening play in the history of Memorial Stadium 95 yards for a touchdown against Michigan. Later in that first quarter Grange scored on runs of 67, 56 and 44 yards. That’s four touchdowns covering 262 yards in one quarter against a Wolverine defense that had allowed a total of four touchdowns the previous two seasons.

History, though, remembers 10/18/24 as the day that beckoned Grantland Rice’s famous lede (“Outlined against a blue, gray October sky…”) after Granny watched Notre Dame score a desultory 13-7 win over Army. And you wonder why so many people hate Notre Dame.

Red Buttons never got a dinner and Red Grange never got an award, and this has always left us flummoxed. It wasn’t as if he lacked a cool sobriquet (“The Galloping Ghost”) or charisma: he made the cover of Time. Grange signed with the Chicago Bears the day after playing his last college game. He was decades ahead of his era.

And his name reminds us of a Peter Gabriel song. What’s not to love?

There’s a Fred Biletnikoff Award, a John Mackey Award, a Davey O’Brien Award (but not a Danny O’Brien Award, at least not yet), a Ray Guy Award, a Ted Hendricks Award (the 1970s’s Oakland Raiders lead the world in players who have had college football trophies named in their honor) and many others.

And yet there is no major award for, with all due respect to Jim Thorpe and George Gipp, the most spectacular player from the Golden Age of college football. If ever there were a player who personified what the Heisman Trophy purportedly stands for — as opposed to what ESPN’s Lee Corso believes it stands for (starting QB on the top-ranked team), then that player is Red Grange.

Grange scored six touchdowns that afternoon in the Illini’s upset of the Wolverines, amassing 402 total yards and ending UM’s 20-game unbeaten streak. Certainly if Rece Davis had been invented then, he would’ve been awarded a helmet sticker.

We want even more. The signature achievement John Heisman, the namesake of college football’s, if not sport’s, most well-known individual award, was to coach Georgia Tech to a 222-0 victory (we were tempted to employ the term “drubbing” here, but we don’t know what a “drub” is) over Cumberland College. Most people don’t even know where Heisman played college football (Brown –what is it with Brown and ignominious football coaches? — and Penn).

We completely endorse the definition for the Heisman Trophy (“…the most outstanding player”). We just believe that it is named after the wrong person, and so it is with that in mind that we here at Medium Happy are creating our own Red Grange Award that, too, will be bestowed upon the nation’s most outstanding player.

And if you are wondering about our clout, did you know who votes on the Mackey Award? The Nassau County Sports Commission. Can you name anyone on the Nassau County Sports Commission? Exactly.

Bill Hubbell, myself, and a coterie of willing volunteers whose names you will recognize (as soon as we blackmail persuade them to participate) will vote on the award and we will rely on one criterion: “…the most outstanding player.”

So to begin, let us name our preseason Red Grange Award favorites…

(Waiting)

(Still waiting)

(Hellooooo?)

You get the point? We are naming no one. It’s August 30 and as of this moment nobody has played a single down yet. Hence, nobody is a favorite. Last year doesn’t matter. No one is going to “jump ahead” of anyone on our Red Grange Watch list after Week 1 simply because everyone, even Ego Ferguson of LSU, is currently in a dead heat. That’ll change.

Stay tuned for weekly updates on the Red Grange Award.

Week 1 Quick Hitters

–It may not be a fair metric since it is also a function of the opposition, but look out for the schools that win by 40-plus points on opening weekend. Those are the schools who are already running downhill with a load of momentum. We like West Virginia (versus Marshall), Arkansas (versus Jacksonville State), Florida (Murray State), Wisconsin (Northern Iowa) and USC (Hawaii) as the most likely to hit that mark.

–Anyone know who the FBS’ active career rushing leader is? His team hosts San Diego State on Saturday night (answer at bottom) He has never played a down for the school for whom he will start this weekend.

–Cal returns to Strawberry Canyon and Memorial Stadium after a one-year hiatus for a $321 million renovation to host Nevada.

– For the record, and before the rest of the country discovers his unique odyssey, we at The Daily (bow your heads) were on the Jesse Williams story last December. Brent and Kirk will surely be talking him up on Saturday night.

–Former Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist opens another season against a school whose name begins with South (South Dakota State). Odds are that Crist, now at Kansas, will start the second half this time.

Answer: Chris Polk, Washington, 4,049 yards  Montel Harris, Boston College  Temple Owls

 

AN INCONVENIENT RUTH ON…STICKINESS

 

Please welcome our friend, An Inconvenient Ruth (AIR): wife, mother, pickle ball aficionado, and — we kid you not — publicist for both Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. She refers to herself professionally, and unprofessionally, as The Santa Wrangler. AIR is also a word maven and has volunteered her services to the MH editorial staff. We love volunteers, and we also love that, with her on staff, we are no longer Ruth-less.

 

When I was recently called up to become the first female contributor on Medium Happy, I was Average Glad ™. Although I knew I’d be joining a rock star cast of writers including John Walters, Bill Hubbell and the ubiquitous Oz, there were a few contractual issues standing in my way. First, the thought of attending mandatory Medium Happy staff meetings in burlesque halls was off-putting.

Then I realized that suggesting an alternate outpost could backfire, landing me in settings like The Tilted Kilt or Twin Peaks Brewery.

Proposed site of Medium Happy staff meetings

 

And while I try to stay abreast of sports, pop culture and the stock market, those aren’t exactly the topics flowing through my veins in my day job as a publicist for a wide swath of fictitious characters. (Yes, Virginia, my clients are merely figments of the imagination.)

Last, there was the small matter of the sliding pay scale. On the plus side, the editors made it clear it wasn’t about the word count. It was about what I chose to do with them. Once I realized I could contribute something of intrinsic value (without actually receiving intrinsic value in return), I knew I’d found my happy medium!

Ergo, I will attempt to define something I’m passionate about: words plucked from my daily Sub-Urban Dictionary. The kind of words that can win fiends and influence papal. This week, I’m coming straight out of the gate with a word of great complexity.

Shall we?

Sticky*

Exhibit A: Sticky Buns

 

 

‘Stickiness’ has become the Kate Upton of digital-speak gurus everywhere.  In recent weeks, I’ve participated in digital and mobile strategy sessions from Indianapolis to Boston in which the terms ‘sticky’ and ‘stickiness’ were liberally bandied about.  And while most everyone in the room nodded their heads in agreement (and others nodded off)  the neophytes among us were silently thinking the same thing:  “Is he talking about the ‘m’ that’s stuck on my keyboard?”

 Sticky Fingers brings to mind the 1971 Rolling Stones album that spawned classic tunes such as “Brown Sugar” and “Wild Horses”. Forty-one years later, in the truest sense of the word, that album is still sticky. Yet, while a rolling stone gathers no moss (very unsticky), the Rolling Stones might just be the stickiest rock band of all time.

Brown Sugar is, after all, sticky

 

Ironically, Lionel Ritchie’s “Stuck On You” never made it to No. 1 and thus, considering his track record… of records… that became No. 1 hits, is relatively unsticky.

When Robert Mitchum met his wife Dorothy, he recalled “I took one look at her and said, ‘This is it. I’ll be back for you. Stick with me kid and you’ll be farting through silk.’” While this quote may not actually help build my case, it’s worth noting that he got the babe. (And she stuck for 57 years.)

If you Google ‘sticky’, you won’t find a one-size-fits-all explanation that’s better than this one, penned by E.B. White:

Natural History

 

  The spider, dropping down from twig,

Unfolds a plan of her devising,

 A thin premeditated rig

 To use in rising.

 

 And all that journey down through space,

 In cool descent and loyal hearted,

 She spins a ladder to the place

 From where she started.

 

Thus I, gone forth as spiders do

 In spider’s web a truth discerning,

 Attach one silken thread to you

 For my returning.

 

If you fast-forward to 2012, stickiness might be less about arachnids and more about the interwebs: weaving threads that indelibly connect you to your audience through a variety of platforms and tactics so rich in content, features and organization, the user will feel compelled to stick around for quite a long time and come back often.

Since Malcolm Gladwell coined ‘The Stickiness Factor’ in “The Tipping Point” a dozen years ago, the glue has taken hold. He defined it as a unique quality that allows a phenomenon to ‘stick’ in the minds of the public and influence their behavior.  And since it’s never enough, we are constantly inventing new ways to become even stickier, from geo-fencing to sticky threads, hyperlinks and devices designed to capture the name of your dog’s favorite musician.

I have a song in mind that even Lucy the Labrador retriever will like:

 Let’s Stick Together. 

–An Inconvenient Ruth (AIR)

Day of Yore

Billy Johnson (the baseball player, not the skier) was born on this day in 1918. Johnson debuted at third base for the New York Yankees in 1943 and had a stellar rookie season, finishing fourth in A.L. MVP voting. (There was no rookie of the year award yet.) Johnson had a nice career, making the All-Star team in 1947.

Unless your name is Keith Olbermann, you’ve probably never heard of him. The problem for Johnson is that he was born on the same day as Ted Williams.

Teddy Ballgame (I always preferred The Splendid Splinter), made 19 All-Star games and is in the argument for greatest hitter of all time.

August 30 tends to have a few, “yeah, buts” in its history.

Omaha native Andy Roddick turns 30 today and is on the last few laps of a tennis career that will finish far short of the expectations American tennis had for him when he started out. It certainly didn’t help Roddick that he happened to play in the same era as Roger Federer. Alas, Roddick isn’t even Omaha’s most celebrated birthday today, as Warren Buffett turns 82. I don’t mean to slight Roddick’s tennis achievements, he won a grand slam title and over 31 tournaments in his career. He’s earned over $31 million in his career. Buffett earns that when he takes out the trash (or whenever whoever takes out his trash, does so). Now, Roddick is married to Brooklyn Decker. Should we call it a draw?

Sixteen-year old Usher released his eponymous first album on this day in 1994 to mixed reviews. What did not get mixed reviews was “Definitely, Maybe” the debut album from Oasis that was released on the same day. The buildup for Oasis’ first record was off the charts, and it debuted at #1 on the British charts and it had the best first week of sales of any album in British history. Propelled by the singles, “Live Forever”, “Supersonic”, “Shakermaker”, and “Cigarettes and Alcohol”, “Definitely, Maybe” received five stars from Rolling Stone and All Music and has made numerous “best ever” album lists. “Slide Away” was slated to be the fifth single released, but it was nixed by Noel Gallagher, who, in the first of probably ten million reasons the Gallagher brothers pissed off labels, managers, agents, etc, pronounced, “You can’t have five fuckin’ singles off a debut album!”

The Rolling Stones released their last five star album on this day in 1981, “Tattoo You”. “Start Me Up” was the first song and lead single and was the Stones last top five single. “Waiting on a Friend” and “Hang Fire” were also hits off the album and belong on anybody’s top 50 Stones songs. (Ok, we can argue about “Hang Fire”, but not the other two.)

Continuing on our, “yeah, but” theme, Tug McGraw was born this day in 1944. Tug was one of the emotional leaders of the 1980 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies and had a fine career as one of the best closers of his era. Yeah, but… Tug had a one night stand with Betty D’Agostinio in 1966 and no further relationship with her. However, a young man was born who grew up to be country music superstar Tim McGraw. Tug never met his son until he was 17-years old, but the two became close after that. Tim’s smash hit, “Live Like You Were Dying” was in honor of his father after Tug was diagnosed with brain cancer.

In a move that raised the collective eyebrow of planet Earth, Bruce Springsteen married model Julianne Phillips in 1985. Yeah, but… Phillips filed for divorce on this day in 1988 after repeated tabloid rumors that Bruce was fooling around with bandmate Patty Scialfa. (Although listening to the 1987 “Tunnel of Love” album for the 100th time was probably her first clue.) When you’re in love with a Jersey girl….

-Bill Hubbell

 

 

 

“IT’S ALL HAPPENING!” THURSDAY, 8/30

Starting Five


1. Notre Dame Mean Machine, anyone? (Start printing those “Convicts vs Convicts” T-shirts for October 6)

2. We have 90210 reasons why this story will intrigue you. (Twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh are not pleased. Not. Pleased.)

3. Paterno is No. 1. Penn State? Don’t hold your breath.

4. Flori-duh: Body parts found in a storage unit in Pensacola (but we thought Dexter lived in Miami?)

5. Condoleza Condoleeza Condoleezza Rice is invited to join Augusta National and speaks at the GOP Convention, both in the Deep South. How’s your month going?

The Bench

Yankees lose game, and series, to last-place Toronto at home. The Pinstripes are now 18-21 since July 18. Joel Sherman of the New York Post tells them to get their act together.

The problem with Allen Pinkett’s suggestion is that only white-collar criminals would pass the admissions office’s stringent standards. Do the Irish really need an embezzler at defensive end?

Notre Dame unveils Incarceration Series unis (all irony in this photo is FULLY intended)

Welcome back, foo-BAW! South Carolina visits Vanderbilt tonight in an SEC clash. College football preseason mag Lindy’s writes (pg. 36) “It’s insanity to bet against the SEC winning its seventh consecutive national title.” We’ll take insane plus the points.

Quotable:  “My playlist, it starts with AC/DC and it ends with Zeppelin.” –Paul Ryan, Republican Vice President nominee, at GOP convention

Not to be an insufferable New Yorker (which means I am about to be an insufferable New Yorker), but the ESPN U.S. Open promo, with the times (1 p.m. and 7 p.m.) done as subway lines, is a nice touch. However, just for accuracy’s sake, the colors should be red for 1 and purple for 7. Both are currently in yellow.

The immensely talented Seth MacFarlane will host the Saturday Night Live season premiere with musical guest Frank Ocean. The next two hosts: Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Daniel Craig (apparently SNL will wait until Tim Tebow throws his first touchdown pass before extending an invite). Here’s the thing about MacFarlane: You look at Matt Groening, and he’s a genius and all, but you sate yourself by saying, “Well, he looks like Matt Groening.” MacFarlane is a comic genius, good-looking, an A-plus talk-show guest, and the dude has a classic set of pipes. (We may have some issues, here, we fully cop to that).

Your SNL season premiere host

“My brakes failed,” says the 100 year-old driver whose car struck 11 school children in Los Angeles. Preston Carter was driving a powder-blue Cadillac. Niiiiice.

Friend of MH (and she does not even know it yet) Ann Mecca’s reaction to the real-life Dylan-Kelly romance: “David Silver is going to sit down at his synthesizer and totally write a love ballad for them.” You know he will.

FooBAW: Georgia is not the best team in the SEC, but the Dawgs are the only upper-tier SEC squad that avoids Alabama, Arkansas (No, that is not an Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros reference, but as long as we went there….) and LSU. That is why the Dawgs have the best chance of going undefeated.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros: Why do they remind us of a Sept. 15 SEC showdown?

 

There was a wind-related casualty in Tampa this week at the GOP convention, but it had nothing to do with Isaac. Instead, Yahoo! News bureau chief David Chalian was terminated after he quipped that the Romneys were “happy to have a party with black people drowning.” A live microphone caught Chalian’s remark on-air.

If you have not already left for tonight’s South Carolina-Vanderbilt and New Orleans Saints-Tennessee Titans games, which will take place concurrently just 3 1/2 miles apart, you’re probably screwed. Television: a fine alternative.

Just another place where Notre Dame finds itself outside the Top 25. Thanks to both SI.com and Chris Huston, alias “The Heisman Pundit“, for this.

Another word on this from someone who both attended Notre Dame and covered the Irish between 2006-2010: No players were more articulate and well-behaved (and well-dressed) after a loss than the Fighting Irish in the past half-decade. And, alas, they had a surfeit of opportunities to showcase these traits. And, granted, the difference between their behavior immediately following a loss to Syracuse…. or Pitt… or Navy… or U Conn (all at home) and after the cooling-off period, when they meet the media, may be immense. Still, as well as they represented the school, there was something so, well, polite about them. The one player who never fit that mold? Tom Zbikowski. And he was a well-off kid from the Chicago suburbs who only wished he’d been born and raised on the South Side.

 

 

Day of Yore

Happy Ingrid Bergman day. The fourth greatest actress of the last century came into this world on this day in 1915 and passed away from breast cancer on her 67th birthday. The Swedish actress skyrocketed to fame in the states in 1942, co-starring with Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca.

Bergman went on to win three Academy Awards (although not for Casablanca).

The Beatles performed live for the last time for a paying audience on August 29, 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. More music was to come, but the live shows were over. George Harrison was heard to mumble, “well, I guess that’s it, I’m not a Beatle anymore” after walking off the stage. Might we hear the same type of sentiment later this week if the 49′ers say goodbye to Randy Moss?

The Kinks released “Lola” in 1970, but it only gets first runner up for tunes released on August 29. Prince released “Let’s Go Crazy” backed by a b-side of “Erotic City” in 1984. That’s how good Prince was on his prime– Erotic City was a b-side.

To those of you wondering what the hell a b-side is, some guy named Michael Jackson was born today in 1958. Michael turned 26 the day “Let’s Go Crazy” came out. He might have taken that song to heart.

19-year old Moses Malone became the first high-shooler to jump straight to the pros when he signed with the ABA’s Utah Stars in 1974.

It was eight years ago that Brazilian marathoner Vanderlei de Lima was shoved off the road by a fame seeking Irish nut job while leading the Olympic race by 30 seconds with just four miles to go. de Lima got back into the race, but was soon passed and ended up coming in third place. de Lima has pretty much as good an argument as anyone ever about getting screwed in sports. The 1972 U.S. basketball team thinks they got shafted? (They did, but still.)

de Lima was hosed, but at least he wasn’t gored to death like Manolete. Thought of as the greatest bullfighter in history, Manolete was gored in his upper thigh and bled to death at the age of 30.

Finally, it was August 29, 2005 when Hurricane Katrina decimated the gulf coast, killing nearly 2,000 people and causing over $80 billion in damages. We wish everyone down there a safe couple of days ahead and we mourn for those lost.

- Bill Hubbell

“IT’S ALL HAPPENING!” WEDNESDAY, 8/29

Starting Five


1. Kris Medlen of the Atlanta Braves, who was moved to the starting rotation on July 31, extends his scoreless innings streak to 28 1/3 innings in 2-0 win at San Diego.

2. The Redskins release tight end and loveable lug Chris Cooley, and LaVar Arrington appears on TV in fuschia shorts? (See video at bottom of post)

3. Best wishes for a full recovery to GMA’s Robin Roberts, who will miss six months or so while being treated for MDS.

4. Red states, red dress (Ann Romney) and red meat (Chris Christie): the GOP convention is off and running.

5. Hurricane Isaac hits Gulf coast; Hurricanes, Miami, travel up East coast with an expected landfall in Chestnut Hill.

The Bench

Our only question is, Is Florcnce Detlor’s status “Single” or “In a relationship?”

Aces were riled in the MLB last night: The Marlins shut down Stephen Strasburg after five innings, nine hits and seven runs. Chris Sale of the White Sox only lasted four innings in a 6-0 White Sox defeat.  Justin Verlander of Detroit allowed 8 earned runs in 5 1/3 and got no decision, while Jeff Weaver of the Angels also left with his side trailing — but was bailed out in the bottom of the 9th by Mike Trout.

Anndemonium in Tampa

 

Twelve days after her husband, Cactus Moser,  is involved in a gruesome motorcycle accident that results in the amputation of his left leg, Wynonna Judd announces her tour will resume tomorrow. Moser is also the drummer in her band.

What’s the deal with six-foot-eight, 340-pound University of Miami offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson? Three years ago he was arguably the most coveted prep player in the nation. This week he will not accompany the Hurricanes to their opener at Boston College. “Seantrel, right now, has to get his house in order before he can help us,” said Miami coach Al Golden. “He’s got a lot of things going on.”

Australian women’s hoopster Liz Cambage, who had a dunk in the Olympic Games, surprises confounds shocks Tulsa, her WNBA franchise, by informing them that she has decided to remain Down Under for the remainder of the season. Of course, the joke’s on the rest of the league since it behooves (yes, it is in their “hooves”) Tulsa, who were tied with Phoenix for the league’s worst record (4-19), to finish in last place. So what do the Shock do last night? Win their first road game of the season — after 10 losses — to move to 5-19. Nothing’s Shock-ing.

(We apologize for spending four lines on the WNBA to those of our readers who are still with us. To show our contrition, here’s a shamelessly unrelated photo of Candice Swanepoel)

This is not Liz Cambage

 

On his television show earlier this morning, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, the host had friend and comedian Jeffery Ross stage an outdoor comedy roast of the sun because, “it’s been roasting us.” Ross had the single funniest line in Comedy Central Roast history once, an allusion to Bea Arthur, that we’ll just ask you to discover on your own (this is not a family site, per se, but our mom occasionally reads it).

You know, it wouldn’t be particularly sensitive, but it might be funny if someone obtained a Loch Ness Monster suit and stood on a road side in Montana today. You see, because Nessie is a water-bound creature and…

Speaking of Montana (Hey, nice Segway, kid… no, I mean, segue), former Irish quarterback Joe Montana was asked about starter Everett Golson and replied, “He’s probably the least talented thrower they have. (thanks to Ken Fowler for the heads up).

More on Atlanta Brave pitcher Kris Medlen, who was promoted to the starting rotation on July 31: the 26 year-old Artesia, Calif., native, who missed all of last season while rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, is 5-0 with two shutouts since then. More incredible, the Braves have now won Medlen’s last 17 starts dating back to 2010.

Kris Medlen is baseball’s King of the Hill in August

CNN (and they’re not alone) is once again doing the “Reporter standing in the midst of a hurricane” remotes. In fact, CNN.com even has a story with the headline “Isaac rain drenches CNN reporters.” As long as we’re going to grandstand this way (and if I were a reporter, I would do this), why not stand out there clad in a tuxedo?

Why do we get the feeling that Darren Heitner, age 27, had a lot to do with the composition of this Wikipedia page? Heitner is rumored to be a replacement for Darren Rovell at CNBC. Why do we get the feeling that Heitner started this rumor?

OMG! California approves a bill that would increase fines for texting while driving. The fines and hikes are less severe than you might think: from $20 to $30 for a first-time offense and from $50 to $60 for a second offense. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-San Bernadino) dissented, asking if the state would next set fines for driving while holding a cheeseburger. Clearly, this is a pol who has the In-N-Out Burger lobby in his corner.

This is probably as close to Erin Andrews (stickiness hits!) as I’ll ever get. Or should get. Thanks to Kyle Porter. We will add that I am probably the only person on that list who received a $33 tip on a $71 check last night. So I have that going for me, which is nice…

 

 

 

 

Day of Yore

On this day in 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his, “I Have a Dream” speech. The 17-minute speech was given on the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and was the defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. A 1999 group of scholars of public address called it the greatest American speech of the 20th century. (Coach Taylor‘s speech before the state championship had to be in the top five, right?)

The distant runner up for political oratory for August 28th happened in 1957, when Senator Strom Thurmond took to the Senate floor to filibuster to keep the group from voting on the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Thurmond babbled on and on for 24 hours and 18 minutes straight, the longest filibuster ever given by a single senator. There were probably several dreams had in that time.

MLK

It was on this day in 1898 when Caleb Bradham made what we’d have to say was a smart business decision in changing the name of his invented beverage from, “Brad’s Drink” to Pepsi-Cola. Well, it was certainly smarter than “New Coke”. Bradham had invented the beverage earlier in the decade at his drug store in New Bern, North Carolina. He wanted a fountain drink that not only tasted delicious, but would help with digestion and boost energy. Pepsi-Cola was shortened to Pepsi in 1961 and it’s been giving people an energy boost for going on 120 years. Be a smart ass and order a “Brad’s Drink” the next time you’re out.

Things have tended to fall apart on August 28– the Chicago Riots broke out at the Democratic Convention in 1968, the collapse of the old Soviet Union became official in 1991 when Mikhail Gorbachev resigned his position as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, and five years after that the divorce of Prince Charles and Princess Diana became official.

Arnold Palmer was 24 years old when he won the U.S. Amateur in 1954, and 40 years later to the day, Tiger Woods won the Amateur for the first of three consecutive years at age 18. In 1972 Mark Spitz won his first two of seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics. This day in 1977 was the last official game played by Pele, who helped lead the New York Cosmos to the NASL Championship in a thrilling 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders. It could be argued that this game was the peak of soccer in the United States as the NASL took more of a hold on the U.S. sporting public than it ever had before or sense. The Cosmos were a loaded team of European All-Stars, but Seattle was lead by the sterling play of goal keeper Tony Chumsky, who stopped both Pele and Franz Beckenbauer on free kicks. Giorgio Chinaglia’s header goal with 13 minutes remaining was the difference for the Cosmos.

We’ll give first runner up for athletic achievement on this day to Sebastian Coe, who set the world record for the mile in 1981 with a time of 3:47:33. What’s remarkable about that is that Coe’s mark was the third time the record in the mile had been broken in 10 days. Coe had set a new mark 10 days previous, but his time had been bested by countryman Steve Ovett just days later. That must not have sit well with Coe, who went back out and got his record back.

Sebastian Coe

All those feats pale in comparison to what 12 year-old Lloyd McClendon did in 1971. Yes, this is the McClendon who went on to a big league career and later managed the Pittsburgh Pirates. McClendon hit a 3-run HR in his first at bat in the Little League World Series championship game against Chinese Taipei, prompting the Chinese manager to order McClendon walked for the rest of the game. Now get this: for the three games McClendon played at the Little League World Series, he was walked five times and pitched to five times. When he was pitched to, he was five for five with five home runs, all on the first pitch.

He must have been drinking a lot of Pepsi-Cola.

Birthday wishes to Lou Piniella and David Soul who were both born this day in 1943. I think Piniella would hang out with Hutch, but not the guy who sang, “Don’t Give Up On Us”. Having said that, Soul did turn down a professional baseball contract when he was 19. Also, Shania Twain turns 47 today. Which is as good a reason as any for a picture of Shania Twain.

- Bill Hubbell

“IT’S ALL HAPPENING!” TUESDAY, 8/28

STARTING FIVE


1. Advocates of heavy-handedness praise Penn State’s latest gesture as, “So good (SO GOOD!)”

2. ESPN believes that if they don’t show you what other networks are airing this weekend’s Notre Dame and USC games, then maybe you will never find them (find 9 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday), simply capitulate and watch, say, North Texas at LSU on ESPNU.

3. Break up the Padres! San Diego (60-70) has won eight straight, all against clubs who had winning records at the time. The Friars have yielded two or fewer runs in five of those contests.

4. Taylor Swift may soon be consulting her rhyming dictionary to see what rhymes with Kennedy. (Amenity?)

5. Donations to Lance Armstrong’s “LIVESTRONG” cancer fund increased 25-fold in one day after the cyclist was sanctioned by the USADA. You’re thinking what we’re thinking, right? Neil Diamond needs a charity foundation.

 

Reserves

When it began…

Joey Chestnut is quite the wing man

I cant’ begin to knowing…

Michigan tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint, who was suspended indefinitely after a DUI on July 21st, is listed No. 1 on the Wolverine depth chart for Saturday’s game versus defending national champion Alabama. “What I meant by suspension was, in mid-air, by a giant weight-bearing hoist. It can be highly uncomfortable. You ever been paragliding? Then you know what I’m talking about.”

***We interrupt this post to note that “I can’t begin to knowing” is one helluva stretch in terms of poetic license, but Neil Diamond also wrote, ” ‘I am,’ I said/To no one there/And no one heard at all/Not even the chair”, so who are we to judge?***

But then I know it’s growing strong…

You mean Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did not already have a statue outside Staples Center??? Do you know some other dude who is the NBA’s all-time scoring leader? Kareem mastered the sky hook and is the reason college basketball outlawed the dunk (yes it did once upon a time).

Back when we knew him simply as “Lew”

Was in the spring…

By the way, five of the NBA’s top six scorers of all-time have played for the Los Angeles Lakers. One more reason to worship Michael Jordan.

And spring became a summer…

Four of Felix Hernandez’s 13 wins have come in 1-0 victories, including last night in Minnesota. The Seattle Mariner ace has five shutouts this season, including a perfect game, and leads all of baseball in ERA with a 2.43. Is King Felix headed for his second Cy Young Award in the past three seasons?

Who’d believe you’d come along…

Diamond to Penn State: “Play it now! Play it now! Play it now, my baby!”

Hands…

Courtesy of The Big Lead, a man in Montana dressed as Bigfoot was struck by two separate motorists, both of them teenage females, and killed. Randy Lee Tenley, 44, of Kalispell, gave his life for a prank (and for that we salute you, Randy). The first vehicle struck Tenley, and the second one ran over his prone figure, so it may be safe to say that he was “sas-quashed.”

One need not be a beef jerky fan to mess with Sasquatch

Touching hands…

So the final episode of Season 1 of The Newsroom, which includes an anti-Tea Party rhetorical blast, airs one day before the GOP Convention was slated to begin in Tampa. Coincidence?

Reaching out….

NBC will air “America’s Got Talent” for two hours tonight and the GOP Convention for one. CBS will air two hours of NCIS and one hour of the convention. Fox will air one hour of MasterChef and its local affiliates may devote an hour to the convention at 10 p.m. ABC will air “The Middle” (not a Jon Huntsman feature) and “Last Man Standing” (not a Romney biopic) and one hour of the convention. Mike Judge, your Idiocracy has already arrived.

Touching You…

Florida coach Will Muschamp announces sophomore quarterbacks Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel will each play one quarter of the first half in Saturday’s opener versus Bowling Green, inadvertently reminding all why he was once one of the top defensive coordinators in college football.

San-Dus-Kee…

 (Sing it with us, people!)

Sweet Caroline! (Ba-Ba-Ba!)

Good times never felt so good (So good. So good! SO GOOD!)

I’ve been inclined

To believe they never would

But now I….

 

 

Day of Yore

When recalling August 27ths gone by, it would be silly to start anywhere but 1883, when the volcanic islands of Krakotoa exploded. The eruption is considered to be the loudest sound in modern history, with reports of it being heard as many as 3,000 miles away. (I’m calling BS, but I heard once you can’t argue with history.)  The explosion of the island killed over 36,000 people and was the equivalent of 200 megatons of TNT, or 13,000 times the nuclear yield put off by the bombing of Hiroshima. The eruption sent debris 50 miles into the air.

Thought to be not quite as seminal as Krakotoa, and of course not nearly as important because nobody died and Krakotoa’s lead singer was a heroin addict, Pearl Jam released their debut album “10″ on this day in 1991. The name of the album was taken from the number worn by former NBAer Mookie Blaylock, which was the name of the band when they started to record the album. After taking nearly a year to sell any copies at all, “10″ has now sold over 13 million and led Pearl Jam to being the most popular U.S. band of the 1990s. Once, Even Flow, Alive, Why Go, Black and Jeremy…. there’s not a lot of debut albums that had a first half hour any better than that.

On this day in 1953, the world was introduced to a young actress by the name of Audrey Hepburn, with the release of “Roman Holiday”. The role of the royal princess who sets out to see Rome on her own was originally written for Elizabeth Taylor, but given to the unknown Hepburn after she screen tested out of the park. Hepburn was to receive lower billing than co-star Gregory Peck, but Peck demanded she be given equal billing after working with her. Hepburn won the Academy Award for best actress.

What was to be an event on the scale of Krakotoa took place in Beverly Hills on this day in 1965. The Beatles met Elvis Presley for the first time at his mansion. The meeting was less than cataclysmic as the boys were stoned and Elvis was strumming a bass guitar in the dark. Both sides seemed to be a bit intimidated by the other and nothing much happened. Elvis intimidated? John Lennon intimidated?

Part of the charm and poetry of baseball lies in its numbers and statistical anomalies. You can go huge, like Rickey Henderson did on this day in 1982, stealing his 119th base of the season, breaking Lou Brock’s record, or you can go weird. 35 years ago today, Bump Wills and Toby Harrah hit inside the park home runs for the Texas Rangers on back to back pitches, the only time that’s happened in MLB’s 143 years.

A Vice Presidential day it is, as birthday’s are celebrated by three US Veeps, Hannibal Hamlin, Charles G. Dawes and Lyndon Johnson. They served under Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge and John F. Kennedy. You think Sarah Palin wasn’t vetted properly? Lincoln never met his running mate Hamlin until after the election. Hamlin comes in as runner up for coolest name for August 27th birthdays, losing out to Daryl Dragon, who turns 70 today. No, he wasn’t the star of a precursor to Magic Mike, he just goes by another moniker. He’s the one wearing the hat, not the mom jeans.

And, YO, we’d be remiss if we didn’t throw a shout out to Aaron Paul, who turns 33 today.

33 is the same age we lost two geniuses in 1980 and then 1981. Douglas Kenney created the National Lampoon just after graduating from Harvard and co-wrote both Animal House and Caddyshack. That was it for his movie career, I’d call that batting a thousand. Kenney fell off a cliff in Hawaii, while trying to get his mind straight after Caddyshack was killed by critics. The Lampoon paid tribute with a cartoon of the edge of a cliff and the inscription, “Doug Kenney Slipped Here.” A car crash took Soviet hockey star Valeri Kharlamov in 1981. Kharlamov was one of the fastest skaters ever and the best player on the ice when Russia took on Canada in the famed 1972 Summit Series. Canada was stunned by the Soviets at the start of the series, which changed when Broad Street Bully Bobby Clarke took things into his own hands, breaking Kharlamov’s ankle.

And lastly, speaking of genius, Stevie Ray Vaughn died at just 35 years old, in a helicopter crash in 1990.

- Bill Hubbell