1. Baby, It’s Warm Outside So, 2012 officially becomes the hottest year on record, with an average temperature of 55.3 degrees, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Obviously, this is a shameless ploy for attention by the NOAA (Have you ever heard of ‘em?). On the other hand, we are looking into real estate prices in Manitoba.
2. The Loss Angeles Lakers lose their fourth straight– and will do so yet again tonight at San Antonio (the Texas two-schlep) and yet again on Friday night versus Oklahoma City — to fall to 15-19. But for a moment, let’s accentuate the positive. Steve Nash, the most-boyish looking star in Los Angeles since Richie Brockelman, Private Eye (now THAT’S a theme song) passes (yes, we meant to use that verb) the 10,000-assist mark for his career. Nash becomes the fifth player to do so, trailing only John Stockton, Jason Kidd (Nash was his back-up at the start of his career in Phoenix), Magic Johnson and Mark Jackson. Nash has a chance to pass both Johnson and Jackson this season, but the incomparable Stockton (15,806) will remain well out of reach. Here’s our story on The Tao of Steve from 2010.
Ok, that moment is over. Another Laker reached a milestone last night, Kobe Bryant passed John Havlicek for most missed FG in NBA history with 15,296 (includes post season).
3. World Wide Webb: A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend, whom he met last month, is now overshadowing Alabama’s 42-14 BCS NCG beat down of Notre Dame. Katherine Webb’s Twitter following has mushroomed from a few hundred last weekend to more than 200,000 (who knew there were THAT many sports bloggers?). Webb herself, who appears on the Today Show this morning (before, it should be noted, any member of the Crimson Tide, a program that has only, ya know, won three of the past four national championships), is only following 150 people. But Darnell Dockett, who pulled a “Call Me Maybe” on Webb while her boyfriend was leading the Tide to the championship on Monday evening, is not one of them.
(UPDATE: Webb appeared on Today during the 8-8:30 a.m. block and told Matt Lauer, “I think (the media) has been a little unfair to (Brent Musburger)…I don’t think I needed an apology.”
4. You just knew that after a three-week hiatus, The Daily Show would come out firing this week. On Monday night Jon Stewart tackled the fiscal cliff/debt crisis, deftly comparing it to the U.S. government tying the economy to the railroad tracks, then simply untying it and moving it a half-mile down those same rails (ye ole’ damsel in distrestle concept). Last night, however, TDS was on fire discussing, well, the line of fire. There was humor infused, yes, but we’d been waiting nearly a month to hear . how Stewart would handle the Newtown Massacre (this video actually opens the show’s second segment, after an initial segment on guns that essentially set up this clip). This may have been his finest (half) hour.
“What’s really going on here?” Stewart asked, then showed radio shock jock Alex Jones’ rant at CNN’s Piers Morgan, in which he basically warned that if we lose our guns a latter-day Hitler will arise in the U.S.A. and inflict a 21st-century Holocaust. “Now I see what’s happening. So this is what it is. Their paranoid fear of a possible dystopic future prevents us from addressing our actual dystopic present.”
Stewart noted that 30,000 Americans were killed due to guns last year (not just 26 adorable Americans in Connecticut).
Honestly, and I know that I’m going off on a rant here, but nobody but nobody is doing what Jon Stewart is doing night in and night out (when he’s not on three-week hiatus). In the 1980s David Letterman came along and completely changed comedy on television (Jimmy Kimmel, in the current Rolling Stone, said exactly that: “His show was just so weird and different. I’d never seen anything like it. I didn’t know anyone who had a sense of humor like that”) and influenced a generation. Those arch promos for Michelle Beadle’s new show, The Crossover, are nothing more than aping Letterman’s style. That may be why, at least at this minute, I’m not in love with it. The Crossover is just a cover band.
Stewart, however, is the first comic ON TELEVISION NIGHTLY since Letterman who is doing something fresh and original. And while it’s about 51% comedy and, as was the case last night, 22% proselytizing and (let’s see here, 51 + 22….searching for pencil…100 minus 73….) 27% education, it’s sui generis. Colbert is funny, but he’s a spinoff. Jon Stewart may have inherited this show from Craig Kilborn, but he and his talented writing staff created the brand.
Ironically, Time magazine is out today with a New Jersey native (Gov. Chris Christie) on its cover and the headline “The Boss”. Ironic because, in many ways, Stewart, a fellow Garden Stater, is just as Boss. Also ironic because the Garden State legend whose nickname is The Boss, Bruce Springsteen, appeared on the cover of Time, oh, 38 years ago and there was no header that read “The Boss.”
5. Collateral Damage Washington Redskin quarterback Robert Griffin III undergoes surgery this morning to reconstruct his right knee, including a repair of his torn lateral collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments. Dr. James Andrews, America’s only orthopedic surgeon, is performing the surgery. We love RG3, and we hate that he has become the Derrick Rose (whom we also love) of the NFL. We’re no doctors, but we will remind you that RG3 sustained a torn ACL in the same knee during his sophomore season (2009) at Baylor. Early conjecture has him out for six to eight months.
Early NFL Mock Draft? Sure, why not? The top overall pick is a native of Berlin, Germany, with an umlat in his given name: Bjoern Werner. The first quarterbacks, at Nos. 37 and 38, are Geno Smith and Matt Barkley. I’d take Alabama’s RB, Eddie Lacy, who is at No. 45, before either of them.
For the second consecutive evening, Notre Dame lost a No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup. This time it was hockey, as top-ranked University of Minnesota halted the Irish’s six-game win streak, 4-1.
ESPN chooses not to renew Rob Parker’s contract. Momma always said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
If your morning’s crossword clue is “three letters, fired NFL coach Ryan“, be careful.
On the first night of college basketball season, top-ranked Duke holds ACC foe Clemson to just 10 points in the first half. It’s the Blue Devils’ stingiest half on defense since 1979, or before Coach K’s arrival. And, more to the point, before the advent of the shot clock in college hoops.