By John Walters

Starting Five

“Believe in something, even if you have to give up a game in the U.S. Open final”

Serena, Not Serene

It’s Rule No. 647 in the Playbook of Life: Never tell a woman she is prohibited from wearing a catsuit at the French Open, and especially don’t do so 10 months before the tournament even commences.

This is what happens. Said female simmers and then, KABOOM!, she loses her sh*t in the second set of the U.S. Open final. Okay, yeah, perhaps chair umpire Carlos Ramos overreacted but, as Patrick McEnroe stated on GMA Sunday morning (and we agree with him), Serena needed to know when to dial it back. She didn’t.

We love Serena, but we also have watched her long enough to know that her emotions, good and bad, are on a hair-trigger setting. And if you don’t think the folks who know here best and love her, many of whom were seated inside Arthur Ashe Stadium Saturday afternoon, have not seen that tyrannical display numerous times, well, you’re wrong.

Townshend was not fined for this, but did declare that he won’t get fooled again by Osaka’s ground strokes.

The coach violated a rule. Sure, Ramos could’ve let it go. But he wasn’t obligated to. No one (except Naomi Osaka and her pristine play) forced Serena to go Pete Townshend on her tennis racket. And as for the verbal abuse afterward, this isn’t MLB where no one in the stands hears what you’re saying. The entire stadium, the entire viewing world does.

“You owe me an apology! You owe me an apology! I have never cheated in my life!”

Does a male player get away with that? Definitely in the 1980s. And maybe today. I dunno. But as The New York TimesJuliet Macur wrote in a wisdom-soaked essay, “You also have to wonder if Williams would have gone after Ramos so relentlessly — and with such conviction to stand up for women’s rights — if she were winning.” Besides, Ramos wasn’t accusing her of cheating. He was simply enforcing a rule, one that her coach had broken. What Serena had done prior to that day, or the fact that she has a daughter, those are irrelevant facts.

J-Mac remains the undisputed king of tennis tantrums

Lots of SJWs were invoking the names John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors, and they’re correct. But those outbursts took place 30 or more years ago. And there’s a reason McEnroe’s nom de guerre was Superbrat. If you’re going to use John McEnroe as your counter to what took place Saturday night, all we can say is, “SURELY, YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!”

(And don’t come back at me with Leslie Nielsen. I will turn this blog right around and we won’t be going out for Carvel)

One final thought, as it applies to both major players in this saga: When a woman says, “Men are jerks,” every woman in the room agrees with her. It’s a blanket statement, a gross generalization, but they all agree. When a man says, “Women are crazy,” the same thing happens on the other side. We got a dose of both on Saturday.

2. From Hell To Purgatory

Browns fans, you’ll have to learn to walk before you can run. Cleveland played inspired football in its season-opener against Pittsburgh, a.k.a. “For Whom The Bell Does Not Toil,” but only came away with a 21-21 tie. Then again the Browns were down 21-7 in the second half. They’ll win a game this season, even though we cannot say that for sure because they do NOT meet the Buffalo Bills.

3. Sunday Night Follies

Take a Nia

Football Night In America: Game On!

Miss America Pageant: Clothes On!

As Aaron Rodgers was pulling his Lazarus act in Green Bay, fully clothed competitors were flashing their talent and brilliance at the Miss America Pageant, where bathing suits are no longer required (But what if wearing a bathing suit happens to be your talent?). Miss New York, Nia Amani Franklin, was crowned the winner, but it was Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma, who stole the show with an “Oooh, snap!” burn about her home state’s supply of fresh water versus how much of it is potable for residents.

Not the shotgun Rodgers had in mind when the game kicked off…

Meanwhile, Rodgers returned from a busted left knee with his Pack down 20-0 at halftime to lead them to a 24-23 victory. Danica Patrick was impressed. Cris Collinsworth said the defeat would set the Chicago Bears back 100 years, which makes no sense. Chicago almost was able to come back after Clay Matthews committed a fourth-down roughing the passer penalty, which prompted Twitter smarty pants Tom Fornelli to tweet that Matthews had “lost his head and shoulders.”


Oh, and the Red Sox beat the Houston Astros in a Fenway Park walk-off and that should be the World Series, really, these two teams.

4. A Farewell To Misery

Hooray for Kansas and Kentucky, two notoriously downtrodden football programs (albeit highly successful hoops programs), for putting to rest two dubious streaks. The Jayhawks ended the nation’s longest FBS road losing streak (46 games) with a 31-7 victory at Central Michigan, while in Gainesville the Wildcats ended a streak of 31 consecutive losses to the same team, the Florida Gators, with a 27-16 victory. The only thing missing this weekend was Samford being unable to finish the historic and ignominious dumping of Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium. It almost happened.

We’ll get to the Domin-8 tomorrow, but two notes: Tua can also be an acronym of sorts for The University of Alabama and why doesn’t some enterprising student in Tuscaloosa print 1,000 t-shirts that read #MeTua? Sell them for $20 a pop.

5. CBS: Now With Less Moonves!

Congratulations, Les: You’re now just five sexual harassment accusers short of becoming president of the United States. Les Moonves, longtime president of CBS, resigned last night after Ronan Farrow‘s latest precision strike in The New Yorker unearthed a half dozen new accusers.

That’s face of CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose, and network el hefe Moonves in the same year. Can’t anyone on West 57th and 10th keep it in their pants? Oh, and our old friend Josh Elliott, a good egg, is probably sitting at home and thinking, And I’m the one who lost his job?!?

Pete Campbell’s behavior toward distaff co-workers? Not great, Bob.

Waiting for Farrow’s next hit, on the mid-level execs at Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Pryce: Pete Campbell, Ken Cosgrove and Harry Crane (the three C’s). You know, it’s funny, but Don Draper had a plethora of flaws, but he drew the line at office harassment (remember when Peggy came on to him in the series pilot?). And you might accuse Roger Sterling of bad behavior, but his relationship with Joan appeared consensual and as for the marriage, that secretary seemed to know how to play ball. Your thoughts?


British Invasion

A couple years ago we spotted this bird on CNBC and thought, Oh, yeah, women are going to despise her (those pants) but men are going to watch her. Beginning this morning on CNN International (which is probably somewhere in our cable package, but we’ll search for it later), Julia Chatterley will host her own show, First Move. Think Early Erin Brunette With a British Accent.

Music 101

Puff The Magic Dragon

As a child in the late Sixties/early Seventies, I had the same look on my face as these munchkins when hearing this song. Even before you realize what the song is about (and we’re not talking about ganja here), you instinctively feel the sense of both wonder and melancholy.

Interesting back story: a 19 year-old Cornell University student, Leonard Lipton, wrote the poem. His roommate was friends with another Big Red undergrad, Peter Yarrow, who would later form the group Peter, Paul & Mary. It was on Yarrow’s typewriter that Lipton wrote the poem that would become the song’s lyrics. He forgot about it. Three years later, Yarrow’s group recorded the song, which was a major hit. Yarrow tracked Lipton down to give him half the songwriting credit and both men have forever shared in the royalties.

Remote Patrol

Better Call Saul

9 p.m. AMC

I’m Nacho stepping stone! It’s beginning to heat up in the Duke City, and Nacho has become the most intriguing character in the series. Not unlike Walter White, he’s a man torn between two loyalties, being pulled apart at the seams. Gus Fring owns him—don’t ever toss your pills off a bridge, kids—but the Salamancas, particularly the laconic, scary twins, still think he’s part of their gang.

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Inevitable : anyone who insists on wearing LONGSLEEVED tennis outfits for 2 straight weeks of 90-99 degree temps with more than 50% HUMIDTY was bound to MELT DOWN sooner or later! What, you croak out “it was only ONE long-sleeve”? That made it worse! She was totally UNBALANCED! 😉

    Meanwhile, I kept thinking about Wally all weekend. Question – did you two ever talk politics? What did he think of Trump? Based on your depiction, I’m thinking he didn’t have much time for politicians but still would have thought Trump an abomination (if he thought of him at all). Which is interesting as Wally Mulligan sounds like the actual ANTI-TRUMP if ever there is one – whip-smart, well-read, personable, witty, doesn’t give a rat’s ass about money & whose one overriding concern is the health & welfare of those he comes into contact. If I am correct & he didn’t give two hoots about politics, it’s actually a shame as HE is exactly the type of person our country so desperately needs in positions of power & leadership. I’m still sad for you for your loss, jdubs but also happy for you that you met & had him in your life. You might not waste your money playing the lottery but YOU are a lucky man.

    • Wally was the absolute best, Susie B., and I too have thought about him all weekend. He could talk politics if you wanted, but I outlined who he was so you can pretty much figure out where he stood. The best thing he did for me was to remind me that you should never apologize for being smart and learn as much as possible, but also always be searching for the next reason to laugh. He spotted all the ironies and he absolutely sparkled when he spoke. I imagine half the waitresses in Santa Fe had crushes on him.

      The first book Wally turned me on to was “The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice Cream God,” which remains my favorite book (I have an autographed first edition). Another one is “Once Upon A Distant War,” which is phenomenal.

      I always appreciated how lucky I was to know Wally. I wish more people had the chance to know him. He brightened everyone’s life.


  2. I also just NOW realized today’s date (it’s Monday, give me a break) :
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, jdubs! 🙂

    And y’know, Wally was “lucky” too. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *