1. For All The Tostitos
John Junker gets time.
Junker, the erstwhile Grand Poobah of the Fiesta Bowl, was sentenced yesterday to serve eight months in a minimum-security federal prison in Safford, Arizona.
By this time yesterday Doug MacEachern of the Arizona Republic had penned an editorial saying that he hoped Junker would not be sentenced to do any time.
“What he did may have been bad, but he’s not George Soros,” wrote MacEachern. “He’s not David Koch. And he has been punished already. A lot.”
Even if we restrict ourselves solely to the crimes Junker was found guilty of –illegal campaign-finance conspiracy–, you have to understand what was transpiring here. Employees were basically being bullied to contribute to politicians. These employees understood that there are plenty of people who would love to work in sports, would love their jobs. Yes, the employees were reimbursed, but Junker was abusing his power both to corrupt his employees and, of course, to bribe politicians. It’s the most nefarious type of crime, from a man who had everything.
I hope Junker realizes that, in the long run, serving time will actually help him. If he is as truly contrite as he has attempted to portray himself, he will accept this punishment.
2. The Sharper Image
If you are keeping score –and I admit the scorecard is beginning to look cluttered — former NFL safety (Ha!) Darren Sharper has now been charged with date-raping nine women in five states:
Is it just me or has this story been relatively buried in the past month? This is an alleged serial rapist who was working at the NFL Network not long ago.
3. Lunardi Eclipse
Do you know Joe Lunardi? Where he comes from, how he became ESPN’s Mel Kiper of the NCAA tournament?
Neither did I.
Turns out Lunardi is a St. Joseph’s University alumnus (“The Hawk will never die”) who works (worked?) as the school’s assistant VP of Marketing Communications (Joe, you MUST know my old friend and roommate Marty Farrell, no?) and does color commentary on the Hawks broadcasts. In 2008 and last year he correctly predicted every tournament team, while nailing 63 of 65 in 2009 and 64 of 65 in 2010.
4. Chu Get What You Play For
When National Public Radio (NPR) devotes time to a Jeopardy! contestant, you know that he has crossed some pop culture boundaries. Arthur Chu, who won nearly $300,000 in eleven straight episodes, finally was deposed earlier this week (the show was taped last November, so Chu was hardly surprised). A polarizing figure who finished No. 3 all-time in winnings ($297,000) on the Trebek-athon, Chu figured out a better mousetrap for how to be successful at the long-running game show: he skipped around categories.
Honestly, I’m barely smart enough to keep up with “Wheel of Fortune” (I’d like to buy a diphthong?), but whatever Chu did worked. Can’t fault him for that.
5. Moose Hunter Bagged
So, the moose hunter who happened upon Chris McCandless’ lifeless body all those years ago, Gordon Samel, was shot dead by police in Wasilla, Alaska, yesterday following a high-speed chase. Samel, 52, supposedly suffered from bipolar disorder and was backing his car toward police after they finally had cornered him. It was Samel’s discovery of McCandless that lit the spark for Jonathan Krakauer’s cult-classic book, “Into The Wild.”
Heroes of the Cookoutateria
So, the Cookoutateria –not t
o be confused with the Steakateria — is one of the two restaurants that was kind enough to employ me during one of my frequent involuntary sabbaticals from journalism. Just from last summer’s staff we had a second-year medical student at NYU and my friend Chris, who “moonlights” as the managing director of an NYC hedge fund. Here’s Chris’ contribution to the blog (“I’m smaht, Sonny! I’m smaht!”)
Our good friend and occasional IAH! writer Gene, a.k.a. @okerland, noted that schools with at ” -ut” in their title lost yesterday by 12 (UTEP), 32 (Utah), 34 (Utah State) and 61 (Rutgers).
The actual UT, Texas, won by 17.
We’ll come back next week with “The Hall” and “Remote Patrol.” Been sort of a busy week here. Thanks.