by John Walters

Starting Five

Burn Notice*

*The judges will also accept “Pregame Fryover”

Westeros was ushered into the age of air war last night, as Daenerys Tarygaryen, Mother of Dragons, Stormborn yada yada yada unleashed her Dothraki and piloted one of her three children in a raid against the Lannister army. It was glorious, as was the entire episode.

–Sibling reunions: Arya, Sansa and Bran Stark; Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy.

–Bran subtly letting Littlefinger know that he’d just lied to him about the provenance of the dagger by, after Lord Baelish referenced “chaos,” repeating arguably Baelish’s most infamous line: “Chaos is a ladder.” Brilliant.

Air superiority is the key to victory in battle. Also, why isn’t Daenerys breeding her dragons?

–The Arya-Brienne duel was outstanding, though I’m not sure Arya would even be the 700th best swordsman on the men’s tour.

–Mostly, though, it was that Dothraki & Dragon vs. Lannister battle at the end. And no, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jaime Lannister and Bronn. Something tells me that injured Drogon will pluck them from the depths. Remember, all of this is beyond the books now.

Sepinwall’s review is here.

2. Bolt’s Blot

In the final individual race of his magnificent career, Jamaican Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest man EVER, finishes third. Bolt retires having won an unprecedented three consecutive Olympic golds in the 100 and 200 and with the four fastest times in history in the 100, including the WR 9.58 he ran in Berlin in 2009.


On Saturday night in London Bolt, an 11-time world champion in sprints, was topped by two former Tennessee Vols, Justin Gatlin, who ran a 9.92, and Christian Coleman (9.94), as he took bronze in 9.95. Gatlin, 35, has twice before been suspended for doping offenses and there are no small amount of folks in track and field wondering why he was even allowed to be in the race.

As an Elvis Costello fan, I wonder where he wrote the word “understanding?”

Oh, there was also a streaker before the race. And Bolt partied until 5 a.m. at SoHo Box afterward.

3. Good News, Bad News

The good news at (one of my) former employer(s) is that the wondrously talented Alex Nazaryan penned a fantastic cover story on the president and that said cover is garnering a plethora of attention. On President’s Trump’ slothful style:

So he sits and stews, like Al Bundy, the shoe-selling protagonist of Married … With Children, the sitcom of roiling white discontent that predicted Trump better than any political scientist or pundit. Unsatisfying job, ungrateful children, all around him a nation in decline. Bundy dreams of the days when he was a high school football star; Trump, of his election-night romp through the Upper Midwest.

The bad news is that the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Matt McAllester, has been named in a sexual and age discrimination lawsuit from his days at Time magazine (the good news there is that if someone at Newsweek is able to land an exclusive with McAllester about this suit, it could really drive traffic for the site and help them reach their quotas).

4. Death In A National Park

As I was driving back from Yosemite on Friday with my friend/guide Geoff, somewhat grateful to be safe and yet at the same time loathing myself for being a wuss, I found this story on Twitter: a 38 year-old mom, an ER doctor from Texas, died in the Grand Canyon earlier last week when she took a wrong turn, got lost, and perished of exposure.

The woman, Sarah Beadle, had been hiking with her daughter and another child when they ran low on water. She placed them in a shady spot and went out to search for water for them. She never returned. The children were found by another hiker and are safe.

I was lucky enough to head out with an experienced hiker, someone who brought plenty of water for us, head lamps, hiking sticks, etc. National parks are no joke. That’s what you should love about them. It’s also what you must remember about them. It’s a tragic story, of course, but also a teachable moment. This was an ER doctor, who understood better than most what the perils were. If it could happen to her….

5. “Hey Siri, How Did Your Hitting Streak End?”

Over the weekend Jose Siri, an outfielder with the Class A Dayton Dragons, had his Midwest League-record 39-game hit streak snapped. It was HOW it ended that created a benches-clearing moment. After going 0-fer-3, Siri came to bat in the bottom of the 8th. The first pitch by Great Lakes pitcher Ryan Moseley sailed BEHIND Siri. Then, with a 3-2 count, the pitch sailed way outside.

You don’t often see benches-clearing walks, but you don’t often see 39-game hit streaks, either.

Music 101

Cosmic Hero

My friend Geoff has the most encyclopedic musical knowledge of anyone I know (with the possible exception of MH contributor Billy H.) and last week he introduced me to the American indie rock band Car Seat Headrest. This song travels through a few different tempos and moods, but it’s ambitious and phenomenal.

A Word, Please

masquerade (noun)

a false show or pretense*

*This is a fantastic writer’s word, not only because it lends itself to describing many sins, but also because it looks good on the page and sounds cool as you say it.

3 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I was THRILLED that Bolt LOST! Whoo-hoo! And FINALLY the fawning butt-kissers at NBC had to shut the heck up! Atto Bolton has specifically made me ill the past 2 Olympics & 5 World Championships, with his ceaseless fawning of Bolt. Talk about a MASQUERADE – that is Bolt & the Jamaican sprinters over the past 10-15 years. The BIGGEST SPORTING FRAUD of the past decade is either the Russian state-mandated Olympic scheme or the protection of Bolt, by his country, the IAAF & the IOC.

    And the British people in the stands made me SICK. What a bunch of hypocrits! On Friday night they wouldn’t shut up screaming for Farah. What, so HE is the ONLY guy involved in the “Nike Project” out in Oregon that did NOT dope? Sure about that? (I like Farah & was thrilled with his 10000 win but come on, he is under suspicion just like anyone else that trains under Salazar). And look at Brit Bradley Wiggins , 2012 Tour de France “winner” – for the past 10 months, there’s been NON-STOP accusations & cover-ups, lies, government “investigations” into Wiggins & Team Sky – several mysterious TUES for Wiggins in 2011 & 2012, a “jiffy bag” hand-delivered to team Sky for Wiggins during the 2012 Tour carrying who-knows-what, etc.

    I like Justin Gatlin & was thrilled for him. If you read about his “doping offenses”, it’s not all so cut & dry. There are far more egregious & unrepentant dopers than Gatlin in track & every other sport these days, so to single him out for such classless disrespect was nauseating to hear. I’m ashamed of EVERY person in that stadium for such a disgusting display. (BTW, why aren’t they booing all the ‘Russians-by-name-only-but-not-on-their-uniforms’ competitors?)

    Still, I’ve been LOVING all the coverage of the Track & Field Championships, whether on NBC, NBCSN & the Olympic Channel. So far, I’ve seen the usual NBC coverage, the “B-team” NBC coverage (unseen but heard folks that comment on the morning sessions) AND what I call the “Brit version”- same events but commented on by Brits, seen on a repeat broadcast. It’s fascinating to see & HEAR the differences. I especially thought the coverage of the Women’s Marathon yesterday was illuminating – the NBC version barely mentioned American Amy Cragg until the last 100 meters while the “Brit version” mentioned her throughout.

    That anyone was truly shocked over Bolt’s loss meant they were either NBC shills or just blind. He looked more out of shape than I’d ever seen him. He’s barely raced the past 5-6 years EXCEPT in World Championships & Olympics & he’d made clear MANY times over these years how he was “tired” of the training. Plus, all anyone had to do was watch his 1st heat & semi-final.

    Now, Jamaican Elaine Thompson’s 100 meter loss WAS shocking. And I was almost as thrilled as I believe she is clean LESS than I believe Bolt. Tori Bowie looked fantastic & I was ecstatic for her getting the Gold. Here’s hoping she didn’t hurt herself too much when she fell after the line.

  2. Susie B., all accusations aside, can you really blame fans for homerism and hypocrisy (*cough* sweet pea *cough*)? : )

    • I’m all for fandom but singling out ONE track athlete for this CLASSLESS (ironic in GBR, no?) treatment is reprehensible. Especially if one bothers to read about Gatlin’s so-called doping offenses. However, the fans in the stands last Saturday night are not alone, this disgusting booing has been targeted at Gatlin for the past couple years or so. Meanwhile, the nonstop fawning, bowing & scraping for Bolt has made me SICK the past 9 years. Jamaica has one of the WORST records on dope testing (i.e. lack of) the past 2 decades. That a country smaller than Delaware can DOMINATE the sprints, both male & female for many of those years is highly suspect. Plus, a woman who had been put in charge of the program was horrified with what she found & tried to change it & she was FIRED (& threatened, I think she even had to leave the country).

      I understand that some people actually like Bolt’s incessant, immature & revolting mugging for the cameras. I’ve DETESTED it since the 100 meter Semi-finals in the Beijing Olympics. It was absolutely APPALLING & if ANY American athlete had done the same, the world-wide media would have had a, ahem, ‘field day’ with all the “Ugly American!” articles. I had actually liked Bolt before that Olympics. He was a great 200 runner & seemed charismatic but humble. That ALL changed SUDDENLY in 2008 when he not only began running the 100 but GREATLY lowered his personal bests in both. Hmmmmmmmm.

      But Jacob, you do have me thinking. Would *I* boo the Supervillain Warriors if I ever attended a game in person to express my immense displeasure with their very existence? No, probably because I don’t have the energy or vocal strength. 🙂 Now, would I have booed them at the June Finals &/or when they (gag) “won” the championship? I probably would have booed them during introductions but NOT at the championship ceremony. As much as I DETEST that that team was allowed to ADD the 2nd best player in the NBA, I think it would have been rude & utterly disrespectful not just of them but their opponents to exhibit such behavior. UNLESS the winning team had HURT my guys in repeated blatant fouls &/or the officiating was on the fraud level of boxing, then – let the booing begin!

      Speaking of booing, I should probably do some vocal exercises to strengthen my cords. As long as soon-to-be Supervillain Kyrie plays in the NBA, I will BOO HIS ASS WHEREVER HE GOES! Will that make me as classless as the fans in the stands last Saturday? I think the situations are vastly different. (Kinda like Sweet Pea joining the pathetic 2010 Heat & CREATING a Big 3 is NOT the same as MVP Durant JOINING the current 2-time MVP on a team that had been in the Finals the previous 2 seasons is NOT THE SAME!) 😉

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