Starting Five

1. Here’s our favorite quote thus far concerning Jill Kelley: “There is no affair,” the senior official said. “She is a bored, rich socialite involved with every single senior commander at CENTCOM, because she worked as an honorary ambassador.” Also, if you think Kelley’s canary-yellow dress and her left arm pushing that brunette wave off her forehead was not her “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up” moment, then we need to talk about women.

“On the next episode of, The Real Housewives of The Defense Department…”

UPDATE: Jill Kelley invokes her “inviolable” right as an “honorary consul general” to keep trespassers off her lawn. This lady puts the t-i-t in entitlement.

2. “Authorities are looking into some 20,000 to 30,000 pages of documents” between U.S. Marine General John Allen and Jill Kelley. Thoughts: 1. Our minds flash back to that night last April in which we spent an hour or two poring over the text message records between Bobby Petrino and Jessica Dorrell and having our gast flabbered by a.) the sheer volume and b) the thought of a man who has such a seemingly important job devoting this much time to an extramarital affair. 2) As Jon Stewart (fast becoming the patron saint of IAH, we know) said last night, “That would be fine if this were an affair between Stephen King and George R.R. Martin… I mean, those guys are prolific…” 3) If the past five days don’t illuminate how hilariously neanderthal the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy regarding homosexuals serving in the military is, nothing will.


3. Let’s start casting the made-for-HBO film “Embedded”, which we are preemptively giving four stars, right now, shall we? Major General David Petraeus (Mark Harmon… Have you seen NCIS’ Nielsen ratings? ‘nuf said); Paula Broadwell (Angelina Jolie Emily Blunt (thanks to @MinnieSconnie)); General John Allen  (Chris Cooper), Jill Kelley (Marisa Tomei). Other working titles for the film include: SEMPER FlIrt, Womb of the Unknown Soldier, and, (from The Daily Show), Band of Boners.

4. People Magazine names its “Sexiest Man Alive” and, shockingly, it is NOT this man. Instead, it is the star of “21 Jump Street” and “Magic Mike”, Channing Tatum. Good-looking fellow, to be sure, but allow us to remind you that it is 2012 already and Ryan Gosling, Leo DiCaprio and Austin Murphy have still yet to win this award. A nation bows its head in shame.

Our planned wardrobe for next appearance on The Tony Barnhart show

5. No. 9 Duke beats No. 3 Kentucky, 75-68 but all you should care about is that glorious fade that Wildcat freshman seven-footer Nerlens Noel is sporting. When the given name Nerlens isn’t the most fascinating aspect of your identity, that’s something. Noel had 16 points and eight rebounds versus Duke and Miles Plumlee, a future NBA first-team All-Posterized  player.

The Fresh Prince of Lexington


Johnny Manziel leads Texas A&M to a glorious and magical upset of the nation’s top-ranked team — and defending national champion — Alabama, has a fun and fitting nickname (“Johnny Football” ) and has created the biggest splash in college football all season. So naturally Sports Illustrated puts Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein on the cover. Let us explain what most likely happened here. The story was hatched easily more than a week ago. At SI’s Thursday morning meeting — Thursday is SI’s Monday — everyone agreed that Klein still would get the cover. After all, the NBA preview has already come out and who’s going to buy a magazine with Matt Ryan on the cover?

Then Saturday happens. And SI has one of its top college football scribes, Andy Staples, in Tuscaloosa. But what about all that time (and money) the editors from capital “M” Manhattan have invested in the school from small “m” manhattan? So Klein, the presumptive favorite for the Heisman, earns the cover.

Nothing against Klein, who is a phenomenal quarterback, leader and person, but he is not the quarterback whose name was on everyone’s lips after Saturday. Johnny Football was.

Somewhere Mark Mulvoy is teeing up on a par-five dogleg right, wondering what has become of his magazine

Also, as this blind taste test should illustrate, Klein may not even deserve — at this moment, with two telling games remaining to be played — to finish second among quarterbacks in Heisman balloting:

Quarterback A:  No. 1 in the nation in passing efficiency; team’s record is 10-0; 28 TDs, five interceptions; 71.71% completion percentage.

Quarterback B: No. 2 in the nation in total offense; team’s record is 8-2, but both losses to schools currently in top ten; 1,000-plus yards rushing (averaging 101.4 yards per game); 18 TD passes, six interceptions; 15 touchdowns rushing.

Quarterback C: No. 8 in passing efficiency; No. 35 in total offense; team’s record is 10-0; 12 touchdown passes, three interceptions; 748 yards rushing, 19 rushing TDs.

Who are they? A is Oregon freshman Marcus Mariota, B is Johnny Football, and C is Klein.


Also, yes, we too found the mention of “Chick-Fil-A” rather curious on the cover. After all, are any of those three undefeated teams and four one-loss schools even within a mile of being mentioned for the Chick-Fil-A Bowl? Is this product placement? Did the fast-food giant pay for this? If so, does SI have an obligation to reveal that? If not, why is Chick-Fil-A on the cover?

The Bride Wore White (and oversized gloves), The Groom Wore Orange: Two-time Olympic soccer gold medalist goalie Hope Solo, 31, and former NFL tight end Jerramy Stevens, 33, both of whom have strong ties to Seattle, got into a little domestic squabble on Monday morning (i.e., late Sunday night). The police were called in to settle the dispute and arrested Stevens (we would have loved if they’d thrown a yellow flag before cuffing him).

“Here comes the bride…” (sing it with me, people!)

This would not be such a big deal except that it occurred on the eve of their wedding day. Apparently the argument centered over whether the couple would reside in Florida or Washington (Duh! No state income tax in Florida, you list it as your primary residence no matter what). This is a matter that the couple should have resolved during their six months of pre-Cana classes, but then they’ve only been dating for two months. Oh, wait, we think that’s Russell Brand and Katy Perry calling on our other line.


We just thought you should know that more than 15,000 fans jammed Rockefeller Center yesterday for the performance by One Direction on the Today Show (in case any 7th-grade boys reading this are wondering where that cute girl who sits behind them in Earth Science missed school). Somewhere Mary Wittenberg is SMH’ing and asking, “And you thought WE were diverting resources???”

One Direction had fans in all directions (oh, I get it! Clever….)

The NBA’s most drama-devoid elite team (San Antonio) defeats its polar opposite, the Lakers, 84-82, in Los Angeles. Thus endeth the Bernie Bickerstaff coaching era at Staples Center.

Speaking of fast-ending eras, the Miami Marlins plan to trade shortstop Jose Reyes to Toronto. Ha ha ha….


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