by John Walters
“I miss the rains down in Africa” *
*Wait, it’s “BLESS the rains?” Never knew that. Oh, well…
You know who else misses those rains? Africans. The Dark Continent is now the Dry Continent, as a massive drought has imperiled one of its urban jewels, Cape Town, South Africa. Because the main reservoir that nourishes it may soon be bone-dry, officials have announced a Day Zero for water availability (originally it was supposed to be in mid-April, but it has been pushed back one month to May).
A reminder to those who saw The Big Short: Dr. Michael Burry, the iconoclast who was the first to begin shorting the housing market at least four years before the sub-prime mortgage crisis detonated in 2008, made hundreds of millions of dollars. At the end of the film, just before the credits roll, the film announces that Burry’s latest interest is….WATER.
2. To Cav Or Cav Not
More than 1,000 flights were canceled in the Midwest yesterday, but seemingly none in Cleveland. The Cavs jettisoned Isaiah Thomas (Do you want Frye with that?), Jae Crowder, Derrick Rose, Iman Shumpert and Dwyane Wade while welcoming aboard George Hill, Rodney Hood, Larry Nance, Jr., and Jordan Clarkson.
In short, the Cavs expelled four of their eight leading scorers for more youth and potential. Remember how the veteran locker room was going to be more cohesive? Not so much. It’s up to LeBron and Love to shepherd a Cavs team that since mid-December has an 8-14 record (31-22 overall).
Meanwhile Rose, a former league MVP, joins his 4th team in three seasons (Utah) who plan to waive him. Minnesota appears interested.
Stay tuned for Susie B’s’ expert analysis of Cleveland’s Swap Meet Wednesday in the comments….
3. Top Jimmy Struts!
With a five-year, $137.5 million contract, the San Francisco 49ers make former Tom Brady backup Jimmy Garoppolo the highest-paid player in NFL history. I think it’s that extra .5 million dollars that really arouses my curiosity. Don’t you prefer round numbers?
The four-year veteran has started seven games in his career, but his teams (Pats, Niners) are 7-0 in those games. For what it’s worth, Garoppolo did have the top-selling NFL jersey this Christmas. We Eye-talians are marketable!
4. Future CEO
Outside a San Diego marijuana dispensary, an industrious Girl Scout sells 300 boxes of cookies. And somebody has a problem with that? Why? Notice the Tagalong glasses. This young lady, and/or her parents, are geniuses.
5. One And Done in Pyeongchang
Was watching the figure skating last night and wondered, How come we never hear about Irish Winter Olympians (turns out there are five of them in South Korea)? That led to a search for national representation from unlikely precincts. So here are the countries that are sending one (1) athlete to compete in Pyeongchang:
The referee gave him a technical foul for this—Whaaaaa?
JACOBI BOYKINS WITH NO REGARD FOR HUMAN LIFE TURNING DEFENSE INTO OFFENSE AND A….
— beIN COLLEGE SPORTS (@beINCOLLEGE) February 9, 2018
Coming to a theater near you?
Theme from Shaft
“Who’s the black private dick/That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?/SHAFT!/Damn right”
(lyrics begin at 2:42)
Can you dig it? This song and film not only influenced how New York City-based films were shot and scored for the Seventies, it also influenced NBA theme music the rest of the decade. Isaac Hayes wrote and recorded this 1971 tune, which went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and won the Oscar for Best Original Song (Hayes became the first black man to win the Oscar in this category). And you just have to love how subversive all of it is, right down to the film title, which went right over your Aunt Polly’s head.
Olympics Opening Ceremony
8 p.m. NBC
Who’s in the mood for a NON-MILITARY parade!