by John Walters
74 years ago today: the proudest American day of the 20th century.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) June 5, 2018
It’s only strange that you don’t know the lyrics to “God Bless America,” a song that only has 28 different words, if you’re the President of the United States and you specifically commissioned an event to celebrate how much more of a patriot you are than the Philadelphia Eagles. Also, the New York Yankees, who are geographically the closest team to Trump Tower, have been playing this song during the seventh inning stretch every game the past 16-plus years. Every. Game.
2. Kate Spade Commits Suicide
A New York-based top-shelf name in fashion for more than two decades, Kate Spade apparently hung herself in her Park Avenue apartment yesterday. Spade, the sister-in-law of comic David Spade, was 55.
Along with Donna Karan and Marc Jacobs and Tory Burch, Spade, who made her fortune in women’s purses, was a contemporary New York fashion icon. Not bad for a graduate of Arizona State who in college had worked at a biker bar. She leaves behind a 13 year-old daughter, to whom she wrote a note before hanging herself in her bedroom.
3. Spew Many
Guatemala’s aptly named Fuego volcano has claimed the lives of at least 75 people with as many as 200 missing since it began erupting on Sunday. Fuego sent ash and smoke as much as six miles skyward and then, well, it all fell back down to earth.
The ash and lava swept down the mountain at speeds that would overtake the fastest human runner and no warnings had been given prior. Entire villages were swept under what is known as the “pyroclastic flow,” a mixture of hot gas and volcanic matter.
4. Noe Surrender
University of Toledo senior Janelle Noe will be competing at the NCAA Track and Field Championships this weekend and it’s not trite to say that it is a minor miracle that she will even be on the starting line.
On January 15, 2016, Noe attended an off-campus house party where a male teammate, Christopher Housel, walked around with air freshener, a bottle of Everclear and a match and, well, things turned out badly (that rare tale of a dude acting like a jerk and scarring a woman for life). Housel was sentenced to four months in jail and community service in a burn unit. Noe was burned over 50% of her body.
Last weekend Noe, who cannot be exposed very long to the sun, qualified in Tampa to partake in the 1,500 meter event this weekend in Eugene with a 4:16. She won’t be expected to win, but if Eugene brings its not-unusual overcast skies to the day and Noe runs a time she is happy with, no one will feel more triumphant. Nor should they.
5. Kyler Can Do It All
A few notes on Kyler Murray, the 5’10” Texas A&M transfer who will succeed Baker Mayfield at OU this fall and who was the ninth overall player chosen in the MLB draft by the Oakland A’s earlier this week:
–His pop was a quarterback at Texas A&M from 1983-86, but somehow he decided to make an exodus from College Station and head to Norman (Kevin Sumlin is like a human breeding ground for QB transfers).
–In high school in Allen, Texas, Murray led his team to a perfect 42-0 record over three seasons and a trio of state championships. He threw for more than 10,000 yards and rushed for more than 4,000.
–He is the first high school athlete to be chosen to play in both the Under Armour High School All-American football and baseball games.
–This will actually be Murray’s third season in Norman. He was a backup for the Aggies as a frosh in 2015, then he sat out during his transfer year in 2016, then backed up Baker last season.
–An outfielder, this spring he hit .296 with 13 doubles but struck out twice as many times (56) and he walked (28), which is troubling.
–He’s playing football this fall, which will give him a chance to go up against coaches Lane Kiffin (Florida Atlantic) and Chip Kelly (UCLA) in his first two starts.
How did we miss this? And look who’s seated in the front row. Why didn’t this happen between Rory and Logan????
The Rainbow Connection
We’ve run this song in this space before, but never the duet between Kermit the Frog and Debbie Harry (who never gets enough credit for the clarity and power of her vocals) on The Muppet Show. People ask why we don’t get shows or songs like this any more, and I don’t have the answer, but it’s a valid question and maybe as a culture, we’ve passed our creative peak.
Dubs at Cavs, Game 3
9 p.m. ABC
I’m not ready to count LeBron & Co. out yet, and neither should you be. The Dubs do NOT want this to turn into a Best of 3 series. This is like one of those classic sports movies where the hero must hit a nadir before he mounts his unlikely comeback. Stay tuned.