by John Walters

Starting Five

And look at that follow-thru with the wrist. That belongs in the Louvre!

Man On Fire*

*The judges will also accept “American Sniper”

An NBA Finals-record NINE three-pointers in one game. And FIVE in the fourth quarter alone after civilian-clothes Cav Kendrick Perkins (Didn’t he retire, like, two years ago?) dared to talk trash to him at the end of the third quarter.

Stephen Curry (33 points) was magical in Golden State’s 122-103 win against Cleveland, who for three quarters actually played about as well as they are able. Our favorite Curry play of the final period, though, was that slip pass he delivered to a teammate (Durant? Looney?) off the high screen and roll.

Golden State dissects you. Cleveland, or more to the point, LeBron, attempts to bull-rush you. Granted, Susie B., Steph has better teammates. But we’ll take finesse, precision and brilliance over the fullback dive eight days a week and twice on Sunday, which was yesterday.

2. Shot To The Leg/And You’re To Blame

The backward somersault was impressive. The errant shot in a crowded bar, not so much. This FBI agent may soon only be a Female Body Inspector after his gun went off at a distillery in Denver. Although if I’m the manager of Mile High Spirits Tasting Room, we’re now naming a shot after this bozo, whose name has yet to be released.

The victim was shot in the leg but should recover. Just wondering if he’ll sue the bar, the federal government, the FBI agent, or all of the above.

The agent’s name still has not been released. Which seems wrong.

3. Yosemite Claims Two More

Over the weekend two climbers attempting to scale the 3,000-foot vertical that is El Capitan perished when apparently a rope line snapped. Best friends Jeff Wells, 46, and Tim Klein, 42, were experienced climbers who had scaled El Cap several times before (they’d even done so twice in the same weekend before). They were tethered to the same rope and when whatever went wrong did, they fell together    1,000 or so feet to their deaths. Rule No. 1

4. RFK

Fifty years ago today, Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot while exiting the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles through the kitchen. He had just spoken in the ballroom after winning the California Democratic primary.

If Kennedy is not murdered, perhaps the 42 year-old senator goes on to win the presidency and we avoid the ugliness and cynicism that Richard Nixon and Watergate brought on. Who knows? But it’s curious, no, how the princes of peace—Gandhi, MLK, the Kennedy brothers—are so often assassinated while the hawks are not. There’s a lot more money in conflict and war than there is in peace.

Meanwhile, it was Frank Mankiewicz, RFK’s press secretary, who announced his death. Fifty years later Frank’s son, Ben, is the host of Turner Classic Movies. Ben’s granddad, Frank’s pop, Herman Mankiewicz, co-wrote Citizen Kane.

5. Is Donald Trump Charlie Weis?

It sorta hit me this morning: the bombast, the arrogance, the “Make America/Notre Dame Great Again” motif. Is President Donald Trump the political version of Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis?

Neither man had really properly paid his dues in order to take the office they did, but both were so sure of themselves and that they alone could fix the problem. Trump persuaded enough Americans to vote for him, while Weis, a Notre Dame alum, persuaded the school’s board of trustees, its then athletic director, Kevin White, and its president, John Jenkins.

Both men had the tacit support and endorsement of Bill Belichick. You can go further than this (the ardor for cheeseburgers being just one example), but we’ll stop here for now. We’ll also say that we actually like Charlie Weis, for reasons we’ll go into some other time.

Music 101

Set Me Free

Feel-good late Seventies music from Todd Rundgren and Utopia. The song peaked at No. 32 on Casey Kasem’s list.

Remote Patrol

Gone With The Wind

TCM 9:45 p.m.


Confession time: We’ve never watched this the entire way through. Nor Citizen Kane. Nor The Sandlot. Have at us. Or maybe, frankly, you don’t give a damn.

9 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. funny your similarities of Weis and Trump especially given your different personal feelings about the two. I always liked to connect Weis and Chris Christie, but it may just be a NJ thing, big personalities, tell it like it is, good early results than taken down by their hubris. That also give you a connection of Weis—–Christie——-Trump.

    • Charlie actually has empathy for others. Perhaps his daughter helped him to polish that stone. He’s also able to laugh at himself, something Trump is not.

      • completely agree.. that is why i think there is more to Christie/Weis. Christie may be a blowhard but he does good work at times. There are more differences than similarities for Trump/Christie in many ways.

  2. “Better teammates”? LOL! Yeah, well, I guess Thomas Jefferson & Benjamin Franklin were “better statesmen” than The Sociopath. My god, except for LBJ & Kev, is there one, ONE guy on the Cavs that is reliable for making a freakin basket right now?!

    I’m very depressed today as the Cavs did NOT respond as I’d hoped to the gut-punch theft of Game 1. And even though LeBron denies it, he doesn’t look like he has much BELIEF in any of his teammates right now. And WHY WOULD HE?! Meanwhile, his EYE! Owwwwwww! All weekend on TV leading up to the game, all I heard from the NBA talkers was yak, yak, yak about Klay’s “ankle”. ANKLE, SCHMANKLE! LeBron James’ EYE IS ALL RED! Poor Sweet Pea. 🙁

    And hey, it’s ABOUT TIME Steph Curry actually played like the league’s MVP in the NBA Finals! He’s had 4 straight tries for crap sake. And puhleeeze, don’t say he was “injured” before. HAH! In 2016, he PLAYED in every Finals game & was so “injured” he played in a golf tournament the very next week. I actually like Steph, but enough with the excuses for his ho-hum play in 3 straight Finals.

    And what is so freakin “brilliant” about heaving up a 3-pt shot that you’ve practiced & practiced & practiced your ENTIRE LIFE? Sure, when it’s YOUR guy whose shot swishes thru the net, it’s awesome, but “brilliant”? I’d rather watch a guy sacrifice his entire body time & again, knowing the opponents are just waiting to POUND on him & where only occasionally he is granted the FTs he is due! They FOUL him almost every damn time! I’ll take that COURAGE over your sterile “brilliance”, um, “8 days a week & twice on Sundays”. 😉

    Meanwhile, I want the NBA to “open an investigation” – Jordan Clarkson must be a “double agent”! Sheeesh.

    • Susie B.

      Most of the time LeBron initiates the contact (i.e., charges) but only after palming the ball and sometimes after taking 3 steps. And even when he does get to the free throw line, he commits uncalled lane violations more than half the time. I’ve got nothing against him personally, admire his talent, strength, etc. (everything but his beard and hair replacement), but he gets away with so much on every drive to the hoop.

      As for your, “Is there one teammate….?”
      Yes: Kyle Korver. Not gonna turn the series around, but I’d be giving him all of J.R. Smith’s minutes. But LeBron/Ty won’t do that.

      • What do you mean LeBron won’t give KK the minutes? I’m actually perplexed why Korver hasn’t been getting more minutes but he’s not exactly been over-productive when he has been in there. Plus, his defense (& I truly hate to say this as I like KK immensely) is not what you’d call “lock-down”; in fact, he makes Kev look like Kawhi! 🙂

        Speaking of Kev, I kept hearing the post-game yakkers trash Kev’s defense & I’ve seen the game twice now & he wasn’t that bad! WHO can defend Curry when he’s on fire like that?! He had a steal & some blocks & I thought he did pretty well against the faster, smaller Curry. I don’t quite understand how he ended up guarding him so much, but I guess the “switching” did that.

        I watched the game again last night & George Hill actually contributed some nice shots. Kev really caught fire in the 2nd half & er, LBJ actually played worse than I realized (STILL the best on the team but not up to his regular Herculean standards). But, heck, how would YOU play with a blood red eye?! It might not be blurry anymore but I bet it’s affecting either his depth perception or peripheral vision as he missed some shots that he ALWAYS makes.

        IF almost everyone else in the NBA wasn’t also palming the ball & traveling, MAYBE I’d listen to your lonesome wail. 😉 And any player who goes repeatedly into the paint without force is a beat-down & possibly injured/outta-the-game player. And I don’t quite understand what’s wrong with leaning a bit at the FT line, I’ve been watching Sweet Pea for 7 years & it’s only been within last few months that I keep hearing about this. As long as you don’t step OVER the line before it hits the hoop, why does it matter? Seriously, I’m asking. I didn’t even know that was a “rule”.

        About JR – I really feel bad for him. People get him all wrong, he’s actually very sensitive! He has not played well this entire year except in snatches & he acknowledges it. That must make one feel awful for letting the team down, plus you must feel immense pressure trying to fix things ASAP. He did have some good games in the playoffs & I was hoping he’d do the same thing in the Finals. He was one of the FEW Cavs (besides LBJ) last year that played well in more than 1 of the Finals games. Now, because of what happened in Game 1, I don’t know if he’ll be able to get past it mentally. He did actually get the rebound instead of KD & if not, the Supervillains could have zoomed back down the court & won it right then, so JR should be commended for that. I’m truly hoping he has a Curry-like game back in Cleveland, especially in Game 3. For himself & the team.

        And BTW, I’ve written this several times over the past 4 years – I think Curry is the BEST shooter I’ve ever seen. And it is thrilling when he’s drilling those 3s (not so much when it’s against YOUR team though). However, for a player of his ability & achievement, to be such a so-so factor in 3 straight Finals is a SHOCKING FAILURE for a 2-time MVP. He can say he only cares about the title but if he doesn’t get the Finals MVP this year he will FOREVER be known as the 2-time MVP who couldn’t step up at the BIG moment. It would hang around his neck like that stupid accusation of LeBron that he wasn’t “clutch”. The 1st 2 years I watched LBJ & the Heat, that is ALL I heard on TV! Even AFTER he won the 1st championship & the Finals MVP! The point is – once garbage accusations are thrown on you, the STINK lingers a looong time.

  3. One more thing – did you see those tweets Cavs owner Gilbert sent out right before Game 1? He’s telling the fans why the team is in the Finals for a 4th straight time & gives as one of the reasons the trade that sent Kyrie to Boston (& we basically got NUTHIN back!). What?! This was, of course, a reply to LeBron’s statement in a TV interview with Rachel Nichols 1-2 days before that he was NOT HAPPY with/did NOT WANT that trade to happen at all. Gilbert was not only patting HIMSELF on the back for the WORST trade since Manhattan for trinkets, he’s basically acknowledging LBJ is outta there by tying to pull a Trump by rewriting history & blustering that it’s true, “it’s twue, it’s twue!”.

    The ONLY way LeBron stays with the Cavs now is if they pull the big-ass rabbit out of the hat & somehow win this championship! And even then, I don’t know if he stays!

  4. Love the Weis/Trump analogy. Couple more: Weis loses to USC, wins 10-year contract extension; Trump loses popular vote, wins electoral college. Both have anachronistic haircuts (crew cut/combover)…the list goes on!

  5. John,
    I think, as you acknowledge, while there some real similarities I don’t think the analogy holds.

    I remember that ultimately he couldn’t coach. He was full of it.

    I remember Pass Right
    “We don’t have a choice.. Run the play”. “He kept his word to a ten year old kid he didn’t even know in an impossible situation”.

    Whether what Coach Weis has/had was empathy or even just a shred of decency or honor, he showed it there. Which is one more time then our dear leader has ever showed.

    I will leave the final word on Charlie to our friends at Blue Gray Sky. No one will ever be so kind to DT. Whatever good happens with him is dumb luck.

    “It’s interesting to look back to that Winter of 2004. Eight years of mediocrity were capped by the controversial firing of Willingham, and many people — including some of our own alums in the national media — were proclaiming that Notre Dame was beyond salvaging; that the Irish would never again compete for a national champsionship; that, indeed, “the mystique [was] dead.” Then, the rejection by Urban Meyer, a bitter pill that seemed to confirm our worst fears about the future of the program. Notre Dame was done.

    Then Charlie walked in the door. He came in with bluster and bravado, saying, in effect [screw] that, we’re not dead yet, Notre Dame can still compete. And I’m going to lead the charge. From today’s vantage point looking back, Charlie’s words might seem empty, nothing but a lot of talk and a badge. And he certainly didn’t fulfill his early promises. But at the time, the attitude was critical. Charlie was a shot in the arm that was sorely needed. After being rebuffed and rejected and discounted by everyone, here was somebody — one of our own, too — who was willing to take that dead-end Notre Dame job, not make excuses, and try to turn this thing around. That five years later he’s fallen short and been replaced doesn’t mean we should turn those early statements against him. We were reeling, and his attitude and willingness to lead was exactly what we needed at the time.

    If anything, Charlie proved that Notre Dame can still compete. He put the lie to the lazy, armchair conclusions about academic standards being too stringent, or that top-flight recruits wouldn’t give South Bend a second look, or that Notre Dame could no longer go up against Southern Cal and Michigan and Florida and steal players out from under them. All of those built-in excuses that were proffered by Bob Davie, calcified via Willingham and lazily adopted by the blinkered national media (and much of their mouth-breathing readership) have been systematically disproven over the last five years. Can Notre Dame recruit? Notre Dame can recruit. Can it win? Notre Dame can win. No excuses, indeed. We can compete. We can win. Charlie might not have accomplished it, but he proved it possible. The failures of Charlie Weis are not endemic to Notre Dame. Today, when looking back on the Weis era, we hold him to his own standard, and can say that he did not get the job done; but proudly so, for without him, there might be no more standard.”

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