by John Walters

Starting Five

Ahem (We Called It)

Houston Astros World Series champion 2nd basemen Jose Altuve (5’6″) and Houston Texans philanthropic defensive end J.J. Watt (6’5″) and named Sports Illustrated’s “Sportspeople of the Year,” which we called here back in September. It’s the right choice.

2. Hittsburgh


On Monday Night Football, Pittsburgh Steeler wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster lays out Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was carted off the field with a head injury. Smith-Schuster cited “karma” as the reason for his hit, and Burfict has been the league’s reigning headhunter for a few years now. Still, these two play twice a year so somewhere down the line there’s a crossing pattern that is going to leave the rookie form USC woozy if not worse off due to this shot.

Jon Gruden: “I don’t know what you have to do to get ejected from a football game….that’s bad football, bad for the game.

3. Putting The “Bite” In Bitcoin

He may be the most interesting man in the world…

Cybersecurity pioneer John McAfee, who last July boldly proclaimed that the price of a single Bitcoin would be $500,000 by 2020 or else “I’ll eat my dick,” has recently gone “two solariums” on that brazen declaration. He’s taking up a notch.

Last week McAfee proclaimed that the price of a single bitcoin, which as we type this is $11,875 (nearly 12 times its price on New Year’s Day), would reach $1 million by 2020 or else he’d still eat his zucchini emoji.


If you did not have a good reason before yesterday to stick around until 2020, well now you do!

4. Ball’s Out!

LiAngelo never played a game for the Bruins. Will LaMelo?

Pulling the “You Can’t Fire Me, I Quit!” card, LaVar Ball has pulled second son LiAngelo Ball out of UCLA (he was one of three Bruin players suspended indefinitely) and promised to train him his own damn self. “I’m going to make him way better for the draft than UCLA ever could have,” says LaVar.

Of course you will.

5. “Jane, You Ignorant Slut!” at TBL

To Jason’s credit, he always engages me when we disagree. I respect that.

Okay, so we were on a big ol’ plane yesterday and missed most of the news, but this caught our eye before we boarded. First, our frenemy Jason McIntyre, grand poobah and founder of The Big Lead, wrote a panting piece on Sunday night about Ohio State’s omission from the college football playoff (imagine, a 2-loss team with a 31-point defeat to an unranked foe failing to make the final four), that was titled, “Alabama In The Playoff Over Ohio State: The Day College Football Died.

I was one of a few who accused Jason of simply trolling for clicks. The following morning Kyle Koster, a lucid writer at TBL, wrote a counterpoint piece titled “College Football Teams Are The Masters Of Their Fate, The Captains Of Their Souls” because your typical TBL reader has at least seen Invictus, if not read the poem. Kyle’s point is that there were no martyrs on Sunday, that if you 1) play someone with a pulse in the non-conference, 2) win your conference championship game and 3) lose no more than once, you’re in.

Of course, neither Alabama nor Ohio State met this criteria this season, which was Kyle’s larger point. Failure to do all three leaves you vulnerable. And it’s cool for writers at the ssme site to disagree, particularly on this issue. What I found fascinating was this line Kyle wrote: “Quibble with the selection committee’s choice if you wish. Feign outrage for clicks.”

Now who was he speaking to there?

Music 101

Rocky Mountain High

An ethereal voice and a gift as a songwriter (he also wrote “Leavin’ On a Jet Plane”) that’s right up there with Carole King and Joni Mitchell. John Denver wrote the theme song for the state of Colorado with this 1972 gem that shot up to No. 9. Notice here that Johnny Carson needs a little work on his “displaying the album cover” game.

A Word, Please

Fractious (adj)

Irritable and quarrelsome (i.e., me 73% of the time on Twitter)


6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. You should just get someone to write a Starting Five in the afternoon that has counterpoints to everything you’ve written. You can dub it the “Replacements”.

      • If Susie B. wrote for MH, it’d be this on a daily basis:

        1) In-depth report on the Cavaliers

        2) Trump

        3) Cool down from Trump, leading into stock updates

        4) An unexpected cycling update with a treatise on doping

        5) A rotating Get Off my Lawn piece

        At a minimum, this would be 10,000 words on a quiet day…

  2. I told my clients in Houston that Altuve is my spirit animal. Love his exuberance and pure unbridled joy for the game. He’s not Sweet Pea status yet, but SI made an inspired choice!

  3. per Ju-Ju and the hit on Vontez Burfict. It wasn’t Ju-Ju who said karma, in fact he apologized after and said he didn’t know it was Burfict when he hit him. It was Antonio Brown who made the karma point. As you may remember, Burfict took out Brown in the playoffs two years ago, giving Brown a concussion and resulting in Brown missing the next playoff game against Denver, a Steelers loss.

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