Note One (Do): The 11/30 edition has been renamed the 11/35 edition to provide for expanded local news telecasts.
Note Two (Re): Phyllis, a.k.a. Mom, is visiting. We’ll have an abbreviated MH because today, Mom’s All Happening.
Starting Five Starting Two
1. Four of the San Antonio Spurs’ best players, three of whom are future Hall of Famers (Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Ginobiliiiiiiiiiiii!) did not play in last night’s nationally televised game versus the Miami Heat. In fact, they were not even in Miami. Coach Gregg Popovich had already sent them home from Orlando earlier that day as a ditch day. Many elements to this tale, but perhaps our favorite is that trio plus Danny Green reportedly flew home on Southwest Airlines. Southwest does not have Business or First Class seating. Did those four have to line up in A, B or C sections like the rest of us do? By the way, if you wore your Nando de Colo jersey (15 points in 34 minutes for San Antonio in the 105-100 loss) last night to American Airlines Arena, good for you.
2. Jon Gruden tells the University of Tennessee thanks but no thanks. He reminds us of the neighbor we once had who went on J-Date and would meet men on a park bench outside the apartment to vet them first before deciding whether or not she’d agree to having a drink with them (we believe she is now the proud owner of six cats). Spencer Hall had a nice take on the hubbub.
3. Unranked Notre Dame beats No. 8 Kentucky in South Bend, 64-50 (i.e., The First Noel beat Nerlens Noel). The Irish hoops team is upset that students rushed the floor (“We were favored, after all.”). Our friend Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune, who spends an awful lot of time around Notre Dame sports programs, don’t you think, tweets out that someone made a “RICK REILLY PICKED KENTUCKY” sign (I’ll never confess). Speaking of which, Deadspin had Brian do a live chat about Notre Dame football a couple of days ago and he was his typically witty, sardonic and even self-deprecating self. If I had known this was going on, I would have asked, “Tell us about the great press box pizza heist of 2008!”
4. Louisville beats Rutgers in football, which should allow the Cardinals to advance to the Orange Bowl to meet the champion of the ACC, the conference they will be joining shortly. If Rick Reilly wants to discuss “college football” and “irrelevant” in the same column, he should write one about the Orange Bowl. It used to be like hanging out with your wild high school friends on Christmas Day after having dinner with your family (the Rose Bowl), but now it’s more like going to see that matinee with all the other sad sacks.
5. New Orleans Satints vs. Atlanta Falcons, a.k.a “The Egged Bowl.” Falcons exorcise demon of the Saints (?) while picking off Drew Brees five times while also ending his NFL-record streak of 54 consecutive games while throwing a touchdonw pass. Actually, Brees did throw a TD pass to Darren Sproles, but it was nullified by an offensive pass interference call on a tight end Jimmy Graham, who was not even involved in the play (Thanks, Jimmy) . Brees has now been intercepted seven times in the past five days. Brett Favre salutes him.
The forecast is for heavy rain in Palo Alto tonight for the Pac-12 Championship game between UCLA and Stanford. Well, the song is not titled “It Never Rains in Northern California.” (and, yes, the dude singing this song is the father of a member of The Strokes).
Direct from our sidekick, Bill Hubbell: Former Domers Luke Harangody and Troy Murphy were waived yesterday, while former U Conn stud Jeremy Lamb was assigned to an NBA D-League squad. Harangody is the second all-time leading scorer in Irish history.
ESPN aired a fantastic moment from last night’s Spurs-Heat game in which Charles Barkley is interviewing Coach Pop between quarters. Sir Charles asks Pop two questions, and the four-time NBA champ is sunny and open answering them. When Barkley attempts to ask a third, Pop interrupts him and reminds him that he is only permitted two questions. That’s all the insight you need to what happened last night. There is no rule against Popovich sending his players home for extra rest, and so he did what he was permitted to do. Pop isn’t about selling the NBA; he’s about winning.
And ask yourself, by the way, how many times the Spurs have made the cover of Sports Illustrated during his tenure there. As compared to, say, the Lakers or the Heat.
Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid says of Republican House Majority leader John Boehner, “I don’t understand his brain.” So you may want to get your fiscal cliff parachute ready.
The back page of the New York Post is a paparrazzi photo of a supposedly pudgy Derek Jeter. The New York Yankees have never played an MLB game in December.
New York’s Finest’s finest: Officer Lawrence De Primo, 25, buys boots for a homeless man and a passerby snaps a photo. Internet virality ensues. As the lede in this story says, “Character is what you do when no one is watching.”