by John Walters

A note (we almost forgot): Yesterday, on an unseasonably sublime February afternoon here in Gotham City, we happened across Jerry Seinfeld sucking a lollipop, strolling along with a man we think was George Wallace. Seinfeld’s home is located near MH worldwide headquarters, but we had never encountered him in the wild. As is our habit with such celebs/heroes, we thanked him by NOT approaching him/snapping a photo. But it was a pretty cool moment.

Tweet du Jour


Starting Five

A Good Guy With A Gun Store*

*The judges are still mulling, ‘Show Us! You’re Dick’s!”

Taking the law into its own hands so to speak, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced this morning that it is IMMEDIATELY ending all sales of assault rifles. The national retailer also announced that it would no longer sell any gun to anyone under 21 and that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines.

“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” said Edward Stack, the CEO whose father founded the store in Pennsylvania in 1948. “We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘enough is enough.’ It got to us.”


“The whole hunting business is an important part of our business, and we know there is going to be backlash on this,” said Stack. “But we’re willing to accept that. If the kids in Parkland are being brave enough to stand up and do this, we can be brave enough to stand up with them.”


We can’t help but wonder if Mr. Stack saw On The Waterfront last night and got a major case of conscience. Either way, a good guy with a gun store is about to make a huge difference. And the tide of the battle is beginning to turn.

2. They Went From Jared

Pretty much everything about Jared Kushner is creepy, from his father, Charles, who set up his uncle with a hooker and recorded it to end his marriage as revenge for Jared’s aunt (the man’s wife and Charles’ sister) squealing on him, to the fact that his family’s largest real estate holding is 666 Fifth Avenue. Apparently, General Kelly agrees as yesterday the White House Chief of Staff ended the whole “interim security clearance” conundrum by denying Jared security clearance.


Ivanka, you could have done so much better. Your spouse is a louse.

3. Ryan, Lyin’ and Dyin’

Yesterday Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said he was, quote, “very, very, very troubled” by the events at Parkland. You know, that more than twice as many people were murdered in about five minutes as the Manson family butchered in two nights. But when Ryan, who has received more money from the NRA than any other current member of the House of Representatives, was asked about possible legislation to ban the sale of assault weapons or to raise the minimum age to 21, he went down the laundry list: mental health, the failure of law enforcement to respond yada yada yada…everything BUT making it more difficult to obtain a gun.


Here’s the thing: In 2001 a few thousand American were killed on one September morning and we don’t recall many politicians making a big deal about the fact that FBI field agents had warned their bosses about suspicious characters taking flying lessons without bothering to learn how to land; we don’t recall too many of them taking on TSA for not doing a better job.

What we do recall is the swift passage of the Patriot Act (Oct. 26), a piece of legislation that threw “unlawful search and seizure” (Fourth Amendment) and “habeas corpus” (Sixth Amendment) out the window in return for Americans feeling better about catching Muslims. Exponentially, by a multiple of 15 or so, more Americans are killed each year by guns and yet men like Ryan will not make a single move toward any type of reasonable weapons legislation, decrying all as an attack on the Second Amendment.

Funny how that works.

4. LeBron Keeps It Real


For someone who never attended college, LeBron James has a pretty decent understanding of how big-time college hoops works. Here’s the problem for us, fans of college hoops:

1) We don’t have any problem with college basketball players getting a bigger share of the pie, particularly when the NCAA is so unabashedly mercenary that they hold the Final Four in massive football stadiums that detract from the quality of the game itself (among other things).

2) We DO think that having an annual rotation of the central cast of characters (i.e., the players) has only hurt the game as we fans feel like orphans who are being shuttled from home to home. There’s a reason Love, American Style never became a big success as a show. College hoops is more like Love Boat, with coaches and commentators being the ship’s crew (and yes, this means that Bill Raftery is Captain Stubing). Either way, love him AND hate him, having someone like Grayson Allen around helps fans care about the game. From a marketing standpoint, fans need more guys like him.

By our Love Boat analogy, Marvin Bagley is the Charo of college hoops. Or maybe the Bert Convy.

3) Neither we nor any of the PAY THEM proponents have any real idea how paying players will affect the future of college hoops (or football). Nothing occurs in a vacuum. Ostensibly, paying players will help them, which is great, but on the other side it won’t curb the underground market and it will lead to a plethora of labor issues because now players will be employees (“Trae Young To Miss March Madness Due To Tax Evasion”). That may not be a suitable reason to refrain from paying them; I’m simply pointing out the Law of Unintended Consequences.

The root of the issue is simple: Too many college athletes are (and long have been, for a century now) athletes first and college students second (and often third or 44th). The crisis will never be averted until you create a league for players who are in college simply as hoops vocational training (pay them) and another for those who are primarily students. And schools can make the choice of which road they prefer to go down. That’s the simple answer.

But, as Jalen Rose suggested yesterday, nothing will probably change until players boycott the NCAA tournament. It could happen. It may happen. It should happen.

5. Mercedes Rule?

“Diesel” does sound very German, no?

In Stuttgart, Germany, one of the country’s most pollution-choked cities, a court has ruled that city officials may be allowed to ban diesel-powered cars downtown in order to improve air quality. Stuttgart is the Detroit of Germany, Deutschland’s car capital. Also, the local soccer team plays in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but soon you may not be able to drive a Mercedes to go see them play.

Music 101 

Whole Lotta Rosie

Vintage AC/DC from 1977. Bon Scott on lead vocals, Angus Young on lead guitar. The Australian response to Queen’s “Fat-Bottomed Girls.”

Remote Patrol

The Bridge On The River Kwai

8 p.m. TCM

Are you enjoying TCM’s “31 Days of Oscar” as much as we are? I know people say jazz, but I’d argue that the greatest art form that America has given the world is motion pictures. And this 1957 Best Picture winner from David Lean is one of the all-timer greats. Starring Sir Alec Guinness (“What have I done?”) and William Holden, the film won seven Oscars and was filmed in Sri Lanka. There’s something to be said for going on location.

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I am sure that the gun folks are already planning a boycott of Dick’s. A couple of points for those people: 1) as noted above, Dick’s hasn’t sold assault-style rifles in its main stores for several years, so your boycott maybe a day late and a bullet short; 2) I wonder if your boycott will extend to the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition — Wal-Mart — which stopped selling military-style rifles in 2015.

    It’s morbidly interesting to watch how the gun control debate affects the stock prices of publicly traded gunmakers. Business tends to boom when there is a perceived threat of newly tightened regulations; conversely, when Trump was elected, share prices of gun makers tumbled as fears of new restrictions eased. FWIW, stock prices have taken a recent hit for gun maker Sturm Ruger (almost 10% in the last week) and American Outdoor Brands (about 12%).

  2. I believe America’s greatest art ‘forms’ are motion pictures….and LeBron James! Look, beauty is in the eye of the beholder & I “know” art when I see it. 🙂

    However, I disagree with his choice of words about the NCAA. It’s not that the organization itself is corrupt so much as men’s college basketball & football are corrupted at what used to be known as “Division 1” schools. The NCAA is antiquated & impotent. But the CORRUPTION is mostly amongst the schools, coaches, assistants, players (& their families), boosters, agents, & now we see the tie between SHOE COMPANIES & kickbacks & payoffs. I find it humorous that Sweet Pea trashes the NCAA but says nothing about the AAU “system” which is a LARGE CONTRIBUTOR to the ROT in college basketball.

    I would think your roommate is partial to ‘The Pink Panther’ & ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’? 🙂

    • Susie B.,

      You can’t say something isn’t corrupt and then mention everything within it as corrupt.

      This can all be solved fairly easily: Boycott the NCAA Tournament. It isn’t a novel concept (case in point above). Until that happens, no party can complain. Yes, the NCAA is bogus, but it is only bogus because people oblige to follow the rules that were established. If you continue doing the same thing every year, can it really be THAT bad?

      If I’m a major shoe company, I’m taking a portion of my budget and allocating it to a season-long circuit. Each player can make a solid salary. Have financial management “classes” and set up designated areas of study that suits the player’s wants. The BEST players will enter the draft after high school, but the rest can go to to this league. This really can just be the G-League, honestly.

      If you don’t want to go that route, that’s cool. Go to college, experience whatever you experience there and then give the NBA a shot after graduation.

      It just takes someone with money to make it happen.

      • But who determines who the best are? Agents and handlers are known for telling a kid he’s better than he is.

        The NBA Draft has largely become a potential evaluation draft than the best player. I’m not saying I watched a ton of Pac-12 games last season but if the guy considered the best college prospect can’t get his team to the NCAA tournament how is he drafted #1?

        I get it, why should the NBA limit a kid from making a living but for every Kobe, Lebron and Garnett there’s a kid who has been told he’s unstoppable and then can’t handle the NBA.

        As Susie mentioned, the AAU culture had led kids to believe they don’t need coaches and basketball is easy

  3. The roomie was not happy with the paucity of cats in the former film. As for NCAA, Susie B, it IS the member schools. You cannot separate one from the other.

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