IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

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by John Walters

Tweet Me Right


Welcome to our “The Amazing Adventures of Kavanaugh and Clay” edition….

Starting Five

Getting The Picture

We don’t know why Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, right, chose not to shake the hand of Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, when he offered it at yesterday’s confirmation hearing. We don’t know why Guttenberg was there and more to the point, why he’d want to shake Kavanaugh’s hand.

What we do know is that the photo, snapped by the AP’s Andrew Harnik, is powerful.

Why?

Look at the photo again. Let’s assume that Guttenberg represents one half of America and Kavanaugh the other (I”ll leave what those halves, or haves and have-nots are, up to you). Guttenberg is reaching out to connect. Trying to make a connection. Kavanaugh is staring at him suspiciously: Why should we want to know one another? Be in each other’s worlds? He’s buttoning his jacket. He appears almost annoyed that Guttenberg would detour him.


And then he turns his back on Guttenberg. And walks away.

The symbolism is palpable.

2. Bird Of Paradise

Sue and Stewie

Seattle Storm? More like Pacific Sue-nami.

The Storm trailed the Mercury 73-69 midway through the fourth quarter of last night’s decisive Game 5. Then Sue Bird, the league’s oldest player, buried a three-pointer with 5:48 remaining.


Then there was a feisty jump ball involving Sue, a minor fracas, and one of Bird’s best buds, Diana Taurasi, lobbying a referee to T up her pal, who was sore about being taking an inadvertent arm to her busted beak.

From there Bird would hit three more threes, plus a long two, to lead the Storm to a 94-84 clinching win. And now it’s on to Washington.


Taurasi, who had never lost a winner-take-all game in her glorious WNBA career, saw her streak ended.

3. Clay’s Fudging The Numbers (Again)


We began tracking Clay Travis‘ college football picks on his site last autumn and we noticed something: his pre-Saturday picks did not seem to be lining up with his post-Saturday won-loss record that he was reporting. But we were somewhat lethargic in tracking this, so we let it go.

This season, though, we’ve decide to track Clay’s picks versus the ex post facto (that’s a legal term; did you know that Clay has a law degree?) reportage of the records. And he didn’t disappoint. Beforehand he bragged he’d go 14-0 and he actually did quite well: He went 10-4. But afteward he “reported” that he’d gone 10-2. That’s an actual .714 win percentage versus what Clay is claiming as a .833 win percentage.

Don’t believe me?

Here are Clay’s picks:

Central Florida -23.5 vs. Connecticut 

(WIN: UCF won 56-17. He’s 1-0)

FAU +21 and the over 72

(LOSS and WIN: OU won 63-14. He is 2-1)

Tennessee +10 vs. West Virginia

(LOSS: Vols got their clocks cleaned, 40-14. He is 2-2)

Auburn -2 and the under, 48.5

(WIN and WIN: Tigers won 21-16. Clay is 4-2)

Ole Miss vs. Texas Tech, the over 68, now 67

(WIN: Ole Miss 47, TT 27; Clay is 5-2)

Notre Dame – 1  and the under 46.5

(WIN and WIN: Irish, 24-17. He’s 7-2)

Alabama -24.5 vs. Louisville, and the over 62.5

(WIN and WIN: Tide, 51-14. He’s 9-2)

Vandy -3 vs. MTSU

(WIN He’s 10-2 as Vandy won, 35-7)

Miami -2.5 vs. LSU, the under 48.5, now Miami -3.5 and 47

(LOSS and LOSS. Tigers won 33-17. He finishes 10-4).

Let’s be clear: 10-4 as a gambler is outstanding (Clay reports that last season he won 49% of his games. You’ve got to win about 53%, roughly, to break even). But if you look here, on Sunday Clay reported that he’d gone 10-2. Not only did he get his record wrong, but also the number of games he picked.


It’s not that I don’t like Clay, but I don’t like Clay. We’ll keep watching this for you as the season progresses.

4. Fear (And Loathing)

The dude who actually met and won the trust of Deep Throat some 45 years ago, Bob Woodward, is back to tackle the Trump presidency. Think about that: in terms of time frame, that’s like Frances Ford Coppola coming back to make a film as good as The Godfather this year.

The tome, Fear: Trump In The White House, has everything: Chief of Staff John Kelly once again referring to his boss as “an idiot” and to the West Wing as “Crazytown.” Or Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, advising him, ” “Don’t testify It’s either that or an orange jump suit.” Or Trump referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as “mentally retarded.”


And much, much more. Of course, Donny has already tweeted his review. Our advice on that tweet, and on the man who wrote this book, is nearly the same: Consider the source(s).


Of course, Generals Kelly and Mattis, who were probably two of the book’s chief sources, have since come out and discredited the book. The theory here, as a smart friend of mine espouses (and supports), is that Kelly and Mattis are sacrificing their reputations for the good of the country, the idea being that someone has to be inside the White House to prevent it from being nothing but looney tunes and thus to prevent World War III.


I disagree. And so, apparently, does Charlie Pierce. He states the reasoning more succinctly than I, but it’s analogous to the poor way in which our government “fixed” the sub-prime mortgage crisis by creating TARP. When an institution (then, America or our government, now, the generals) abandons its ideals in order to fix a problem short-term, much greater long-term problems will be created.


Take the pain. But don’t sacrifice your integrity. Because you never know what the consequences of a once-proud institution (or general) abandoning them will be. In the former case, I’d argue that the consequence was Trump himself.

5. Dearest Mother

If you follow @CaptainAndrewLuck , you appreciate that this is one of the few Twitter accounts that demonstrates that the social media site can be used as a tool for good. Here is the story of how that account came about.

We’ve met Andrew Luck. He loves to read and he’s a student of history. We have to imagine he loves this meme.

Reserves

So MUCH is happening this week that we need to dip into the Reserves. It IS September, after all, the greatest month of the year.

Luke Longball

Remember when the Yankees traded Tyler Austin to make room for Greg Bird? Those were innocent days. Bird has struggled since returning from his latest injury in late May (.197 BA) and the Bombers finally inserted mammoth pickup Luke Voit (whom they got in the trade with the Cardinals for J.A. Happy), who physically resembles and is playing like 1998 Shane Spencer.

Last night Voit hit the go-ahead home run in the Yanks’ 5-1 comeback win at Oakland, his third home run in three games and his seventh since August 24th, which is less than two weeks ago. “Where would the Yankees be without Luke Voit right now?” asked YES announcer Michael Kay, alluding to the absences of slugger Aaron Judge and shortstop Didi Gregorius, whose silent bats have been mitigated by Voit’s power.

Imagine this lineup when healthy: Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Aaron Hicks, Miguel Andujar, Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez and Voit. That puts Neil Walker, arguably the Yankees’ most reliable situational hitter, on the bench, as well as Bird and former NL MVP Andrew McCutchen.

Whither Bird? I doubt the Yanks are ready to give up on that sweet swing especially with their right-field porch, but he definitely seems to be battling mental demons. If they do trade him, he’ll prosper elsewhere.

U.S. and Thiem

Four hours and 49 minutes. Five sets. Rafael Nadal held off Austrian Dominic Thiem in a fifth-set tiebreaker, but most of the crowd was rooting for the kid. We were all Team Thiem. As John McEnroe said around 2 a.m. when the match ended, “We all love Nadal, but…”

Fifth-Round Pick Makes Seahawks


If you watched UCF’s Shaquem Griffin last year, or knew his story, you knew just how foolish it would be to bet against the linebacker with one hand. Pete Carroll and the Seahawks took him in the fifth round. He made the roster. He may start Sunday. This will become a Disney film.

Weekend In South Bend

More of this, please….

Because you asked, Susie B….No, we did not attend College GameDay. I’ve done that a few times, we were spending the weekend at a Lake Michigan beach house about an hour away, and we’re sort of over crowds. We are older men, after all.

I’ll dispense with every minute detail, other than to say that I encourage anyone to visit Nore Dame’s new hockey rink. It’s state-of-the-art. My personal highlight came at a rooftop tailgater at the Jordan Hall of Science. There I was, listening to my friend, Smo, earnestly tell the woman in development for Notre Dame’s Science Dept., Alison (it was six of us guys talking to Alison, so just a typical Notre Dame social ratio, 30 years later) that what they really need is “a super-monkey collider, because how else will we be able to determine the effects of what happens when monkeys collide at supersonic speeds.” The best part is that he makes this argument passionately and earnestly and that she could not tell if he was kidding. Although the fact that he’d scrawled an “ND” logo onto a small square of white paper an then paper-clipped it to the front of his green shirt as his “Irish Wear Green” fashion statement should have provided a clue.

Also, because of our ages there was some talk about kidney stones (I’ve been spared). One of our gang had a harrowing story involving a stone “slightly larger than a Tic-Tac” and a string that needed to be pulled out from…

Music 101

My Generation

When you assess this classic manifesto of defiance from The Who (Rolling Stone named it the 11th best song of “all time”), you have to remember that the year was 1965. The Beatles were still cute and Bob Dylan was still pretty much a folkie. Jimi Hendrix hadn’t been invented yet, nor had The Doors, and the Rolling Stones themselves were still playing blues covers (“Not Fade Away”) or lugubrious elegies (“Heart of Stone”). And here comes this pretty boy snot from London, Roger Daltrey, singing, “Hope I die before I get old.”

And when Roger suggests to the older crowd, “Why don’t y’all f-f-f-fade away?” we know what he’s really saying.

This was, in our minds, the original GOML anthem.

Remote Patrol

Comedians In Cars: Kate McKinnon

Netflix

I’ve grown a little weary of Jerry Seinfeld’s series, and if you watch certain episodes (John Mulaney, Dave Chappelle), it sounds as if he has, too. So it’s wonderful to find him pair up with someone who shares his sensibilities, or as he puts it, “Just two silly people with nothing to do but drive around New York City.”

Jerry is finally inspired here, going on a riff about broccoli rabe: “I don’t know who this Rob guy was who thought he could improve on broccoli and then put his name on it.”

I don’t know how well Jerry knew Kate before this episode, or if they’d ever met, but you can tell that he is adoring her. And when she grabs his arm as they are walking outside on a sidewalk near the end? It’s love at first goof.

Stick around until after the credits when they come to a consensus as to why they hate Los Angeles.

6 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. I don’t know what Kelly, Mattis, et al are doing or why. But if they believe that Trump’s decisions are significantly harmful to the country (and potentially deadly to US troops, as in the case of the South Korea issue), their duty as persons of immense power and access compels them to do more than talk Trump out of things and take papers off his desk. They have to call these matters to the attention of those with the power to do something (Republican leadership). If that doesn’t work, they have to tell the American people. The latter step would certainly get them fired, but then the next man (or woman) up just has to do the same thing, just as Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus did two generations ago.

    • There is NO BOTTOM for the Republicans in Congress or that currently work for that administration &/or in the White House UNTIL the Democrats don’t just take back the House in November, but win BIG. Then & ONLY then will the suddenly sinking RATS put personal & party power aside & do what’s right for the COUNTRY. However, much like jdubs is with Travis’ betting results (real & “fake news”), I will NEVER FORGET THE SONS OF BITCHES that let our country be destroyed, day by day under a Sociopath. And neither will HISTORY.

      Thirty years from now, after most but not all the books have been written about this “dark time” in our nation’s history, there will be college courses that ask WHY? HOW? And to Compare & Contrast with the rise of fascism & Nazism in 1930s Europe.

  2. Tomorrow, September 6, is my friend Drew’s birthday. Could you do a shout-out to him tomorrow? We went to high school together in Elkhart, he is a huge ND fan, and he got me to start reading MH about a year ago. I live in Indy now but we chat everyday on Google Hangouts about the MH for that day. Thanks for all the work you do!

  3. Hi John,

    I love your college football work. I have been a longtime reader and follower given our mutual ND roots. Wish you and Keith still did the podcast together, but I will be following whatever you put out here on MH throughout football season as well. I love your Irish insights and your analysis of all things ND. Definitely think you are spot on about this being a golden era of ND coaches. I too was at a lake house in Michigan prior to attending the ND/Michigan game last weekend, and wish I had stayed there a lot longer rather than sweat through my shirt in the Library lot for seven hours. Regardless, very happy for BK and the win. I am cautiously optimistic for the year.
    We’ll see.

    Keep up the good work, and maybe drop the name of the cookouteteria so that some of your fans can come say hey if we’re ever in the NYC area. (I have googled it to see if that’s really the name and the first results are your tweets, so it doesn’t seem like it. Maybe I missed it)

    PS-Your stock picks are very impressive, going all the way back to Chesapeake Energy. If I had any guts at all, I might buy in one of these times.
    PPS-Go easy on Clay; that 10-2 column published before the Miami/LSU double-loss took him to 10-4. As you said, 10-4 is nothing to sneeze at, so there’s no reason to lie about it. He may be a blow-hard, but I don’t think Clay was lying on that one. We both know you’re an excellent reporter, so you probably already knew this. No reason to do anything but call balls and strikes on his picks. He’s going to have bad weeks where you can hammer him. That’s how the whole gambling thing works.

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