by John Walters

Starting Five

1, YesSergio!

In his 74th major, on the 73rd hole, 37 year-old Sergio Garcia holes it in to defeat Justin Rose and win the 81st Masters. And yes, it would have been fellow Spaniard Masters champion Seve Ballesteros’ 60th birthday yesterday.

I don’t really feel comfortable saying when I’ve been in this same position…

Everyone like Sergio. Everyone always wanted him to clear this hurdle. Happy to see him do it.

2. Russell Athletic

He's also the NBA's leading scorer by nearly two points per game....

He’s also the NBA’s leading scorer by nearly two points per game….

On Friday evening I was one of the dozen or so reporters who waited for Russell Westbrook in the visitors’ locker room in Phoenix as he did an impromptu 50-minute postgame shooting session in the auxiliary gym. Russ had started out 0-11 from the field and finished 6 for 25. He committed eight turnovers, had layups swatted all the way to Gila Bend, and generally was abused.


It was also the first time in eight games he’d failed to record a triple double and though with his 21-point, 12-rebound, 8-assist night he secured a triple-double average for the season, the first person to do that since Oscar Robertson in 1962, he was obviously frustrated. Which is why on a Friday night in Phoenix, with the team not flying out that evening (NBA players LOVE Phoenix nearly as much as South Beach or LA), he stayed after for nearly an hour to shoot hoops.

So Sunday in Denver? Westbrook went for 50 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists, including a 40-footer at the buzzer with OKC trailing by two that not only won the game but knocked the Nuggets out of the playoffs. And that’s his record-setting 42nd triple double of the season.

(This is who you are if you’re even questioning what Russ has done this season)

He’s the MVP. It’s not even close.* I should explicate: I know they say Most Valuable Player but I’ve always interpreted it, not just for the NBA but every time this award is given in any forum, as the most OUTSTANDING. And yes, those two words have different meanings. And yes, you can say, “Well, if that’s what it means, why don’t they say it?” I dunno. I have just always considered it a misnomer. Someone misnamed the award a long time ago and no one ever got around to correcting it. And by the way, I think Russ is both the MVP and MOP this season, so the point is moot.

*If you’re going to give Moonlight Best Picture AND James Harden MVP in the same six-week span, I’m going full Ted Kaczynski on y’all.

3. Lost/Nixon

Nixon has had some troubles with the crack pipe and cocaine in the past.

Nixon has had some troubles with the crack pipe and cocaine in the past.

Former Atlanta Braves outfielder Otis Nixon, 58, is missing. Nixon, who played 17 seasons and stole 620 career bases (16th all-time) left his Woodstock, Ga., home on Saturday morning to play golf and never arrived for his tee time. And he hasn’t been seen since (resist joke comparing him to other golfers in Georgia this past weekend who disappeared on Saturday morning, e.g Phil Mickelson… I don’t even know if Phil had a bad 3rd round; the important thing is that I’m not making that joke, see….)

4. Another Day of Trump (Day 81)


As someone tweeted over the weekend, this administration is going to be the death of satire (and perhaps the deaths of us all). I’m constantly confounded by how The Worst Wing just actively wants to destroy things that decent Americans hold dear for no other reasons, it appears, than money, power and because they can. Bill Maher called them out on it above on Friday night while SNL did the same one night later. Every word he says here is true. Republicans and Trump fans: WHY ARE YOU BEING DICKS?

I have to agree with the finger chili metaphor. Over the weekend we learned that in the first 10 weeks (!!!!!) of his presidency Trump has spent $23 million on weekend travel. Whereas Barack Obama spent $97 million on such travel over eight years. Again, imagine if Obama had spent what Trump has in 10 weeks after his predecessor had spent what Obama did in his eight years.

This is maybe what I hate most about Trump supporters. Their willingness to engage facts when it works to their advantage and to ignore them when it doesn’t. You know what their answer is to the above information? “Are you saying you’d rather have Hillary in the White House???”

We’re saying we’d rather have anyone else who ran in 2016 in the White House. Even Ted Cruz. Is that clear enough?

5. Louie, Louie, Louie, Loui-eeeee

Gotta love that Louis C.K. can take arguably the oldest joke there is and use it to kick off a smoking hot monologue. Fresh material, especially the part about him being a comic for 32 years and all but the last four have sucked.

Also, Che and Jost were again rock solid on “Weekend Update.” Loved Che’s video sight gag on explaining Syria/ISIS/Assad/Russia/Putin/Trump by using a Three Stooges clip.  Jost’s reference to Jared Kushner’s “yacht rock” outfit in Iraq and “you’re going to see generals, not Vampire Weekend” was spot-on.


GREAT job, mom and dad. Now how you gonna pay for it?

GREAT job, mom and dad. Now how you gonna pay for it?

If They Wrote “All Lives Matter” 100x On Their Application Essays, Shoot Me, Please

Did you hear about the four brothers who all got accepted into both Harvard and Yale? I mean, they are brothers, but they’re also siblings. Quadruplets. Aaron, Nick, Nigel and Zachary Wade, of Hamilton, Ohio, are going to be able to bankrupt their parents soon.

Both schools, with room, board, tuition and fees, are in the $65,000 per year range, so we’re talking $1 million total for four years if their parents actually have to pay tuition themselves. Will they? And where will they matriculate? Will they split up? Two and two? One and three? Is someone headed to THE Ohio State? Stay tuned….

Music 101

God Save The Queen

What a difference a decade makes. In 1967 the biggest band in the UK was the Beatles, singing about yellow U-boats and goo goo joob. In 1977 it was the Sex Pistols, as lead singer Johnny Rotten ranted, “God save the queen/She ain’t no human being.” Even though the BBC refused to play the song, it still rose to No. 2 on the Billboard UK chart. Is this the seminal punk song? I’d say yes.

Remote Patrol

Better Call Saul

Season 3 Premiere

10 p.m. AMC

Season 2 Marathon

11:30 a.m. AMC

Like most people, I wondered before this series launched how Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould would turn Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) into a character who could carry a series,  much less into someone we’d care about. Turns out they far exceeded expectations. My guess is that spending a few years around Odenkirk, they began to appreciate how much more he had to offer than what the Breaking Bad character was allowed to reveal.


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