1. Mushin’ Impossible
The 2014 edition of the Iditarod, i.e. Iditarod XLII, got underway this weekend and already 12 of the 69 sled dog teams that began the race have scratched (and not just behind the ears). That includes our sentimental favorite, Ellen Halvorsen. Why have so many quit so early? A dearth of snow. Leading sled dog teams over frozen tundra means that every rock, nook and yes, even the occasional cranny, will send reverberations through the joints of the musher. Sleds, to our knowledge, still do not come equipped with shock absorbers.
“This is probably going to go down as one of the most hard-on-people runs of all times,” said veteran musher Tim Osmar.
I still don’t understand, other than the cost of doing so, why no one televises this race.
2. Fish Bowl
Have you watched “Shark Tank” on ABC or CNBC? Terrific concept, and even better execution. Fledgling entrepeneurs and/or inventors present their product to five billionaires (or at the very least, magnates), who then decide whether or not they believe the product has growth potential and negotiate both amongst themselves and the entrepreneur in terms of backing for the company. It should be required viewing for every business school or Econ class.
What distinguishes the show are our five panelists: Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner (QVC), Daymond John (FUBU) and Robert Herjavec. They’re brutally honest both with each other and the aspiring entrepeneurs, and they’re merciless when it comes to negotiating. But they always maintain a sense of humor as some dude who developed a magnet on which to affix your reading glasses to your shirt stands there hoping they’ll help make him a millionaire.
Also, and this is not to be forgotten, they never fail to appreciate how big a moment this is for the person standing before them. There’s empathy here. It doesn’t cloud their fiscal decisions, but it’s what separates “Shark Tank” from “The Apprentice.” They genuinely get —and in some cases, remember–what it feels like to be on the cusp of striking it big on your own.
3. Outer Spacey
A bizarre coincidence -and proof that I overindulge my brain with television —here’s Kevin Spacey on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Sunday night doing pitch-perfect impersonations of Jack Lemmon (who must be his father, I’m convinced of it) and Johnny Carson. Then last night that’s Lemmon appearing on Carson from the TCM show “Carson”, a retrospective that should have made “Remote Patrol.”
4. Rare Jordan
Only one player in the NBA is in the top five in three different major categories, and it ain’t LeBron or either Kevin.
Before we go there, know that several players are in the top five in TWO major categories: John Wall, Andre Drummond, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, LeBron James and Kevin Love.
Only DeAndre Jordan of the L.A. Clippers, however, makes three lists. Jordan, 25, leads the league in rebounding (14.0), field-goal percentage (.661; not coincidentally, he also leads the Ass. in dunks), and is 4th in blocked shots. Jordan’s swat of Goran Dragic’s lay-up in the final minute of last night’s Clips-Suns contest was the coup de grace of the game. The 6-11 dude out of Texas A&M is more than just a “Top 10 Plays” staple.
5. Future Islands on Manhattan Island
The benchmark, IMO, for a musical performance that thrills David Letterman happened a few years ago with The Heavy and “How Do You Like Me Now?” There have been a few others I can think of, such as Beyoncé with “Halo” and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros with “Home.”
On Monday evening, Baltimore-based Future Islands performed their new single “Seasons (Waiting on You)”. Lead singer Samuel T. Herring, who looks like Russell Crowe’s little brother, gave a passionate performance replete with, at moments, a monster voice.
Dave afterward: “Oh, c’mon!…I’ll take all of that you got! Future Islands, that was wonderful!”
Also, if you missed it, here’s Dave’s tribute to Adele Dazeem.
Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner
1937: Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B;1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS
1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B, Lefty Grove, P 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF
Warren Spahn, P; 1942, 1946-1965, Boston and Milwaukee Braves
Thirteen 20-win seasons. 14 seasons as an All-Star, more than any pitcher in the history of the game. Also, 363 victories, sixth-best all-time, more than any lefty in baseball history and more than any pitcher in the history of the game born after 1900. A true legend, Spahn also served in World War II and saw action at the Battle of the Bulge. Went 23-7 twice, at the age 32 and also at the age of 42.
Lawrence Peter “Yogi” Berra, C; 1946-1965, New York Yankees
A three-time American League MVP, a 15-time All-Star and a winner of 10 World Series (a record), Berra is amongst the greatest catchers of all time, if not the best. Led the Yankees in RBI seven consecutive seasons, and this on a team that had Joe DiMaggio and/or Mickey Mantle. The only player we know of to have a Hanna-Barbera character named after him.
*In 1965 both Spahn, 44, and Berra, 40, both in their final Major League seasons, played for the New York Mets. “I don’t know if we’re the oldest battery,” Berra said at the time, “but I do know we are the ugliest.”
BBC America 9 p.m.
Oh, you cheeky Brits! Airing this 1982 Ridley Scott classic during the opening week of the Oscar Pistorius trial. Brilliant.