by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Stormy Weather

In the same New York City court room this morning, at a hearing presided over by the Honorable Kimba Wood (for whom the NBA’s Adam Silver once clerked), both Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels will appear. Cohen was ordered to appearย appear as his lawyers try to hold off prosecutors from reviewing documents and other materials seized last week in raids on his home, office and hotel room.

Coincidentally, it is the stormiest morning of the year in New York City. A hard rain is not only gonna fall, it is falling. Same deal in Boston, where marathoners are about to take off:


Monday morning, Boston.

2. To The Victor Go The Spoils

Not for nothing, but these are the best NBA uniforms we’ve seen in awhile

The Indiana Pacers strutted into Quicken Loans Arena, took a 20-point first quarter lead, and gave LeBron James and the Cavs their first first-round defeat in 21 games. LeBron has never lost a first-round series: 12 of them. The Pacers were simply the (far) superior team, as the NBA’s Most Improved Player, Victor Oladipo, finished with 32 points. It’s just one game, but the Pacers will win this series. The Cavs, as we wrote last summer, should never have traded Kyrie Irving.

Other first-game first-round highlights: James Harden scores 44 as the Rockets rout Minnesota….Anthony Davis scores 35 and 14 as the Pelicans win in Portland…Kris Middleton hits a 35-footer to force overtime for the Bucks in Boston, but the Celtics win in the extra period…Paul George got sick of hearing how the Pacers fleeced the Thunder in last summer’s trade and scored 36 for his Thunder buddies in a win…

3. Philadelphia Freedom

Not the greatest weekend for racial relations in the U.S. In Philly, at least half a dozen cops were called in to arrest and handcuff two black men who were seated there but had not purchased anything (they were waiting for a friend to arrive). Welcome, by the way, to every Starbucks in Manhattan.

As a nearly daily Starbucks customer, I sympathize with the company on these (coffee) grounds: people should not be allowed to loiter there or simply to use their bathrooms without paying for anything and if you don’t agree, then you’ve never had to enter a bathroom that a homeless man just used as his Air BnB. I mean, c’mon: buy a $3 cup of coffee and linger as long as you like. Go to town in the W.C. If you don’t do that, they should be fine to kick you out. The problem is when you call in half a precinct to do so and they cuff you. I guess, given the climate, these two men may feel fortunate they weren’t shot.

Worse, much worse, was the incident in Detroit in which a 14 year-old black boy, Brennan Walker, missed a bus, went to a nearby home to ask directions to his high school, and was shot at by the homeowner, retired firefighter Jeffrey Ziegler, 53.

A few weird facts of this case: Walker woke up late and missed the bus to school. His mom works and his dad is DEPLOYED IN SYRIA WITH THE U.S. ARMY. When Brennan knocked on the door, Ziegler’s wife answered and yelled (this is on tape), “Whey did these people choose my house?” Ziegler than came downstairs with a shotgun and fired at Walker as he ran away; only the fact that he forgot to turn off the safety kept Walker from becoming a hashtag.

Walker, left; Ziegler, right.

It’s completely disturbing, and most disturbing, that the initial thought of this homeowner is to shoot at a human being as if he’s a raccoon getting into the garbage before he knows a single fact. Less disturbing, and yet I feel I should mention it, is that Brennan was asking for directions because his mother had taken away his smart phone and he had no idea how to get to school without it. It’s April! Are we so reliant on technology that after eight months of attending school we don’t know how to get their on our own unless we stare at a screen.

I know, small potatoes by comparison. But I think I’ll be the only one who mentions this.

4. Nack For Writing

We lost an SI legend this weekend: William “Bill” Nack. Not only was Nack, who passed at the age of 77, one of the five best writers ever to have a byline at SI, but he was a wonderful and unique character, a charmer and a man without airs. There are so many Nack stories, but some of my better memories happened once one of my best friends ever at SI, Mark Beech, and Bill became close friends.

Despite a 30-year difference in ages, Bill and Mark bonded because Mark was his reporter on the horse racing beat and genuinely loved the sport and Mark was a West Point alum while Bill had served in Vietnam. They had markedly different personalities, and Bill was a rock star at the mag while Mark was just starting out, but that never kept Bill from sleeping on Mark’s couch in his one-bedroom apartment in Hell’s Kitchen when he came to town.

Before long it was like an episode of The Odd Coupleย but it was hilarious to watch Mark go from the awe of thinking Bill Nack was his friend to the “aw” of Nack is crashing at my apartment again. But that was Bill; it never seemed odd to him and we all just loved having him around when we’d head over to The Emerald Inn, where he would invariably, at some point in the evening, recite the final page of The Great Gatsby.

Bill was a true romantic, a lover and a fighter, and no one at SI ever spilled more blood, sweat and tears for his prose. He will be greatly missed, but all of us, every single one, are so glad that we knew him.

Read these two stories to get a feel for who Bill was, how he wrote: Pure Heart, ย 

on the death of Secretariat and one man’s coming to grips with getting old; and A Name On The Wall, on Bob Kalsu, the only U.S. pro athlete to die in Vietnam.

5. Hell’s Angels

Last Saturday night we were flipping through TCM (because no one rocks the way we do) and a 930 film titled Hell’s Angels was on. We’d never seen it, but wanted to learn more. The film was directed by Howard Hughes (yes, the future eccentric billionaire) and while part of this World War I epic is about two English brothers being in love with the same woman (Jean Harlow, in her film debut; she’s just 18), what completely stands out….

…is an aerial battle between British planes and a German zeppelin that was decades ahead of its time. Really. It’s Michael Bay-worthy. James Whale, who would go on to direct Frankenstein, directed the non-action sequences but Hughes, using the skies above Van Nuys, Calif., directed the epic dogfight using 137 different aviators. Four men died making this film and Hughes, who directed the action sequences by flying overhead and providing direction by radio, nearly did when his own plane crashed.

It’s a sappy love story. But it’s a far-ahead-of-its-time action film, the type from which current films such as Dunkirk owe a great debt. I’ve provided as much as the action sequence as YouTube would allow above. Enjoy.

Music 101

Walking On A Thin Line

In his remarks before this performance, Huey Lewis (and the News) remind their fans that this 1984 song is about the Americans who crossed the Pacific in service to their nation in the Sixties and early Seventies. The fifth and final single from the monster 1983 album, Sports, it hit No. 18 on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

Heat at Sixers, Game 2

8 p.m. TNT

Spurs at Warriors, Game 2

10:30 p.m. TNT

This Aussie rules

The pleasant surprise over the weekend is how quickly the next generation (Ben Simmons, Anthony Davis, Giannis, Victor Oladipo) put their imprimaturs on the playoffs. But the Dubs are still the Dubs, even without Stephen Curry.

9 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. “The Cavs….should have never traded Kyrie Irving”. You write that like it was THEIR idea! Plus, where is the Flat-Earther egoist” right now? INJURED & OUT THRU THE PLAYOFFs so Karma ain’t a bitch, she’s a friend of mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I was not able to watch the Cavs’ 1st 2018 Playoff game yesterday & I was pretty upset about it beforehand. THEN I saw the score. I would have been MORE UPSET if I’d actually watched so I guess my guardian angel was looking out for me.

    I’m not getting hysterical YET but it’s bubbling. On the other hand, the Cavs swept thru the Playoffs last year (except for 1 game against the Celtics when Sweet Pea was sick!) & that didn’t exactly help them in the Finals now, did it?

    One thing for sure, if the Cavs lose against the Pacers, it really will be a done deal that LBJ is gone from Cleveland. If he ends up ANYWHERE in the freakin state of California, my fandom will be put on the backburner, possibly for good. I said it at the time of that g’damn “letter” that he was boxing himself into the Cavs for the rest of his career, but no one but me seems to give a damn if he now leaves.

    Plus, if he doesn’t shave that heinous beard soon, *I* may not make it thru the 1st round!

    Boston Marathon thoughts – since I’m at work I wasn’t able to watch but I did keep up to date with the action via twitter. Based on the frigid & rainy weather, I guess we shouldn’t be so shocked the Africans did not once again dominate but wow, did you SEE the Top 10? The American men placed 3,4,5,6,8,10 & the AMERICAN WOMEN not only won for the 1st time in 33 years and was runner-up BUT also placed 4,5,6,7,8! The highest female Kenyan or Ethiopian was 9th! Guess we “found” their Kryptonite. Well, that & the increased dope-testing in those countries I’m guessing.

    Tpday’s song dedication to the female Kenyan & Ethopian runners. Guess Who? (That’s a hint!) –
    “American woman, get away from me
    American woman, mama, let me be
    Don’t come a-knockin’ around my door
    Coloured lights can hypnotize
    Sparkle someone else’s eyes
    Now woman, I said get away
    American woman, listen what I say, hey”


  2. I have a question for you, jdubs. Let’s say your chosen profession would cease to exist (as in forever). Would YOU (at your current age not some time in the past) go back to school for another degree in a “current” profession or possibly grad/law/medical school? I read an article the other week about this woman “in her 70s” who had just been laid off (!) & would LIKE to retire but she couldn’t financially because she still had a mortgage plus $50K in credit card debt & another $50k in student loan debt as she went back to school in her 50s for her MBA. 1st of all, she should have to give back that MBA! Seriously, this is a problem for many middle-age folks whose careers or jobs have been upended by technological changes & have to “start again” at such a late age. For anyone in their 50s to be taking on tens (possibly hundreds) of thousands of student loan debt, unless they are ‘guaranteed’ a high income new career is taking a HUGE risk. And unless your family is going to be hiring you, I’d say there is no such thing as a “guaranteed” future career let alone a highly paid one. What are your thoughts?

    Also, let us know when you’re thinking about getting back into the stock market (if you haven’t already). Will you wait till after the midterm elections & the aftermath or hold out for after the IMPEACHMENT? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • To answer the 2nd question first, Susie B., I did get back into the market last week and am already up (after earnings today) more than 10% on my NFLX. You don’t mind if I don’t keep MH readers up on all my stock market moves, I hope.

      As for your other question, this is both my first and last rodeo. If I go back to school, it’s gonna be because I want the degree. I’ve spent nine years now surfing unemployment and instability and I know I’m always employable as long as I’m healthy. They love me at the cookoutateria. And I love them.

      I’m going to live before I die, is what I always say. I have no debt, no mortgage, and kitty food is still affordable. And if it’s ever so bad that I’m broke, I’ll buy a one-way ticket to Nepal or Bali and go out in a fun way. Capisce?

      • Oh, and Susie B., I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but my “chosen profession” is on life support…

        • That’s why I thought you were the perfect person for an opinion. Not only are you close to the demo in question & while journalism hasn’t been completely been replaced by technology, it has massively affected its workers’ job opportunities & pay. Over the past decade I’ve read scores of articles & repeatedly heard TV blowhards argue that ‘replaced’ folks “just need to go back to school & get educated in a new viable career”. My position has been & even more so now that depending on one’s age, that could be a HUGE mistake. Look at that 70-something woman in my example above! All that student loan debt which for some reason in THIS country is one of the very few forms of debt even bankruptcy will not discharge. It will hound you all the way to the grave (& after if your estate is worth anything). And not everyone is as fit as yourself & could do manual labor into their 80s. Plus, MANY (if not most) companies don’t really want the elderly as the front-facing ‘reps’ of their, er, “brand”. (BTW, I HATE that freakin word!)

          Have you heard of America’s new ‘migrant” workforce? Apparently, thousands of folks age mid-50s up to early 80s(!) are living full-time in RVs & NOT living it up but moving around the country on the constant search for minimum-wage work (they are unskilled in the so called ‘gig economy’ so that is their skill level). If you thought the aged were a menace on the roads before, just wait till there are MILLIONS of 70-something Baby Boomers driving 32-47 foot RVs! Plus, if the aged take all those jobs, think of the impact on the 16-20 year olds who have traditionally gotten their foot in the working world by doing these types of jobs.

          Also, there’s no guarantee that if one did go back to school & got the new degree in a “viable career sector”, it ALSO wouldn’t be replaced by technological change in a mere decade (or less)! However, thanks to all that student loan debt, you’re not just back where you started, but FAR worse off.

          If I was going to give a speech at a high school or college graduation, I’d tell the spanking new grads that THEY are ON THEIR OWN in this life & whether they keep a job or get laid off, it was a “business decision” that does not think about you AT ALL, let alone your feelings or how you will ‘survive’. I’d also tell them to forget saving 10% or 15%, no, they need to start saving & investing AT LEAST 25% & far more would be even better from their very 1st paycheck, so that when their employment world does get turned upside down, they can laugh & say ‘piss off” (or, as the song says : “take this job & shove it”).

      • You don’t have to tell us ALL your investing ‘moves’, but since you just told us you had shocking sold EVERYTHING, I was hoping you’d let us know if/when you got back in & the reasoning for such. (Congrats on buying back into NFLX before the jump.) I realize we have never been the same type of investor (I’m buy & hoooooooolllllldddd & you are, er, Fast Money) but to sell everything is to me a pretty big deal & must have been rooted in a belief that the market (& our country) is headed for a ‘Perfect Storm’. So, is that storm gone already or are you planning on being “Bodie” & surfing the BIG ONE? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • And just for the record, while you don’t have a mortgage, you do pay rent (unless you’re a, er, “kept man” or “living in a van down by the river”. ๐Ÿ™‚ ). And I’m gonna bet that what you pay for rent in NYC is more than double (triple probably) my monthly mortgage payment (which includes property taxes & home insurance). And my mortgage should be paid off in exactly 2 years. ๐Ÿ™‚

        When you say “go out in a fun way” do you just mean living in a cheap foreign country OR climbing up to Everest Base Camp or planting yourself on the beach & waiting for the next earthquake or tsunami , respectively?

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