by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Rags To Riches*

*Though he did score a game-high 27 points, the judges will not accept “Night Of The Hunter”

When, in the course of human events, a No. 1 seed loses to a No. 16 seed, the coach of the former, Tony Bennett, seems destined to become a figure of ignominy. Instead, one year and two-plus weeks later, Bennett and two of the same starters—Kyle Guy and Tyler Jerome—lead that program to a national championship.

Yes, Virginia, you redeemed yourself. Pay attention, Michigan: THIS is what a redemption tour looks like.

We’ll get to the awful calls in a moment, but give the Wahoos credit for not just being resilient, but for having poise. They never cut down the nets with Mamadi Diakite’s tip back to Kehei Clark, who then passed a half-court length ball back to Diakite, who caught and shot in one motion, to take Purdue to overtime in the Elite Eight. They don’t pull up a Warner (the official ladder of March Madness, you know) unless Kyle Guy buries three straight free throws with less than two ticks left against Auburn in the Final Four. And they needed overtime last night.

Sorry, Dawg. You were wrong.

By the way, all five of Virginia’s starters are juniors or below and De’Andre Hunter is the only serious threat to turn pro (I’m not sure if that’s his ideal option), which is why they’ve already been tabbed as a favorite to repeat.

Ref Job

Now that we’ve credited the Cavs for a job well done, let’s examine two absolutely horrid officiating mistakes near the end of the game. This one happened near the end of regulation, I believe, and you can understand why Texas Tech’s Davide Moretti thought the refs were full of baloney…and not just because he’s from Bologna, Italy.

This call below feels worse, actually, since it had that “Tuck Rule” aspect of no one’s ever called this play this way before and no one will after this moment, either. This was criminal, and again it involved Moretti.

There’s about one minute left in OT, the Red Raiders trail by two, and Moretti has the ball on an outlet. No, he’s not about to score here, but the game is in transition as Hunter reaches in and slaps the ball out of his hands and out of bounds. The refs ruminate for three to four minutes, Jim an Bill and Grant wax poetic about whatever narrative they’ve predetermined, and somehow, even though the ball clearly never touched another part of Moretti’s body, the ball is given to Virginia.

Somewhere, Jon Gruden was like, Yup. Been there. By the way, Greg Gumbel was on-site for both of these moments.

Not only was this utter injustice, but the matter-of-fact manner in which the CBS crew handled it was wrong bordering on conspiratorial. This play happens in nearly every hoops game and the ball always goes back to the offense. No one ever checks if the leather rubbed off a player’s pinkie after the defender provided the impetus.

Outstanding game. Virginia, a worthy champ. But I stopped caring after this play.

One Zion Moment

Viewers were made to wait 21 minutes after the final buzzer of Virginia’s win for CBS’ presentation of “One Shining Moment”, which is asking much from your East Coast audience since it was near midnight when the game ended.

Then, the montage begins and your first look at Duke’s Zion Williamson is :25 in (“and there you are…”). Depending on whether you also add Zion appearing in UCF’s and Va. Tech’s blown bunnies, he appears seven or nine times in the montage. Not bad for a squad that did not advance to the Final Four.

Gonzaga, which was the No. 1 team for much of the season (and beat Duke) got a quick locker-room celebration moment (Mark Few handstand) and that’s all. No Rui Hachiamura. No Brandon Clarke.

Nine (or seven) Zion moments, including him speaking on camera (the only player who gets audio). Hey, we love Zion, too. This was just laying it on a little thick.

But it did get us to thinking: Has ESPN already designated a Windhorst-ian jock sniffer who will trail Zion throughout his NBA career? They’ve got to have a guy—or gal—in place. Who was it that ESPN had Pedro Gomez gumshoe for a year or two? Barry Bonds, right? They’ll have an Eye On Zion dude. Count on it.

The Muller Report

TCM’s Eddie Muller has been called “The Czar Of Noir” and is a self-proclaimed “Noirchaeologist.” He’s America’s leading authority on film noir, that delightfully dark genre where sex, greed and murder usually all intersect.

Muller hosts TCM’s weekly “Noir Alley“, which inexplicably used to run on Sunday mornings but now, wisely, has been moved to Saturday at midnight (9 p.m. for you West Coasters). Besides showing a film noir classic,Muller appears before and after the screening, providing articulate insight, information and opinion without ever coming off as pedantic or condescending.

Here he is introducing Double Indemnity, the definitive film noir classic. Muller is the son and namesake of a well-known San Francisco boxing writer (back when people read about boxing) and is himself an author of pulp fiction. First and foremost, as you can see here, he’s a scribe.

You can easily imagine sitting next to him at a bar as he downs a bourbon/rocks and shares these gems with you. TCM has not one but two masterful hosts right now: Muller and Ben Mankiewicz. If not the best-kept secret on television, I don’t know what is.

Futility Infielder

Baltimore’s Chris Davis goes 0-5, despite the O’s scoring 12 runs in a win. He’s now 0-49 dating back to last September, and has taken the Major League record for continued futility. Now this is someone for whom I have empathy.


Love In An Elevator

Heard from a few friends on the Elevator Etiquette kerfuffle yesterday—no one will actually comment. Now, of course, these are my friends and most are over the age of 40, but the consensus was, toward the young lady who made the kindly request: Get over yourself.

The tweeps attacked: SHE MADE A SUGGESTION AND YOU CAN’T BE DECENT ENOUGH TO ABIDE BY IT!?!?! I’m sorry. I didn’t realize it was her world and I was only living in it. Most of us, just about every last one of us, step into an elevator and you know what? Her inner sense of well-being is not the very top thing on our minds.

We’re decent citizens. We will be polite. We will NEVER talk on our cellphone in a plane or elevator. We will never stand up and try to exit the plane before our row. We’re not savages. But now you want me to do the equivalent of wearing an “I AM NOT A SEXUAL PREDATOR” t-shirt, an empty gesture signifying nothing, to indulge your sense of safety? Sorry, no.

Go ahead and call me a jerk. Or take the stairs. You have nothing to fear from me. Or 99.9999% of my fraternity (your number). I’m nice. I’m not a door mat. Deal with it.

Hart Attack

We haven’t watched pro wrestling since the Seventies, but on Sunday night Bret Hart was being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and a bum rushed him in the ring as he was giving his induction speech. We’d hoped Hart would pile-drive him into the canvas, but alas, security whisked the interloper away before he could even tag his partner outside the ropes.

Music 101

7 Chinese Brothers

On April 9, 1984 —35 years ago today— REM released its classic, “Reckoning.” My friends and I were high school seniors and too busy listening to Def Leppard, Prince, Night Ranger to notice. It was at least two years and a few liberal arts courses before I began to appreciate the genius of the foursome from Athens.

REM is a lot like Springsteen: It’s best songs are inversely proportional to how well they fared on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

Champions League

Tottenham vs. Manchester City

3 p.m. TNT

In the past 4-plus seasons, Tottenham’s Harry Kane has scored 122 goals, more than any other player in the BPL in that span

Eight squads remain in the UEFA Champions League tournament, and four are from the Premier League. This is the only bloke-on-bloke matchup.

9 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. 1st, PLEASE give my thoughts, well-wishes & prayers to mamadubs (AKA ‘Phyllis’) for the speediest of recoveries! So, so sorry to read of her current difficulties. I didn’t even know you were still in AZ until last week & had thought you just wanted to extend your time in the sun. One question – who’s making the lasagna? 🙂

    2nd, I’ve thought about your elevator, er, dust-up & I actually see both of your points of view. I suppose it is selfish to expect everyone else to think & do what’s right for YOUR peace of mind, but as a woman who has occasionally stayed in hotels by myself, I have to admit the elevator is often an arena for anxiety. Except for the glass-enclosed lobby type, most are walled-off spaces, some with lighting straight out of a film noir & it can be extremely vexing! When I get on the lift at the same time as an unknown man, I try to get my fingers on the floor keypad 1st & then ask for his floor. This little action makes me feel more in control, even if it’s just in my head. If the elevator opens & a man is in there already, I sometimes wait for the next one (elevator not man 😉 ) , depending on his appearance. Yes, in a few SECONDS, you have to decide if the guy looks like the next Boston Strangler or good guy jdubs. Sure, it’s form of “profiling’ but has nothing to do with race. Your SAFETY & possibly your LIFE is on the line. And all it takes is ONE occurrence with some creepy &/or threatening ass & it changes your sense of self forevermore. I once knew of a woman who put her finger on her trusty purse-hidden “mace” (illegal I think) EVERY time she stepped into a public elevator. What’s that saying – “once bit, twice shy”? Yep.

    Anyhoo, what do your female friends think of your move to the back of the elevator? I have to say that that can be viewed as creepy. I know, you’re SHOCKED but hear me out – this gives a would-be attacker more space to pounce, with more ferocity. My personal preference is for the guy to stand to the side of me (so I can still see out of the corner of my eye), not too close but definitely not in back of me.

    I DO understand & sympathize with you but face it, we do NOT live in a world where MEN who are attacked are said to be “asking for it” because of his attire, whatever it was (ooh, those jeans were SOOOO tight….). And 2nd, a woman alone is attacked by a man FAR more often than the reverse. It is, unfortunately, still a “man’s world” & woman just try to SURVIVE it.

    • Susie B.

      I wish “Dressed To Kill” had. never been released (and he was in drag so let’s face it, there’s no escape)

  2. John,

    I’m with Susie on this and I know your stance but you really haven’t given any thought to possibly pushing the button first in the future? Now I don’t mean running on the elevator and being over the top but just giving it a second thought?

    I was with you on Sunday and I read some of the thread and Susie’s response and it has me rethinking what to do on an elevator.

    I fully understand you’re “My intentions have never been nor ever will be bad” and granted I’m one of the few fellows alum who still enjoys reading you, you seem to be in the minority. At a recent conference, I got off the floor with a fellow female attendee that I had talked to earlier…our rooms were down the hall from each other…when I got to my room, the key didn’t work and I thought “oh shit, she’s going to think I followed her”

    Again, I get your stance, but there’s a guy in the White House who wasn’t affected when he said “He’d grab women by the …” and Matt Lauer never has to work again.

    The climate is different.

    • Gene,

      So I am reminded of my most memorable hotel elevator interaction with a lady… I’m 28 an staying Las Vegas for work. Because I’m such a fun and rockin’ guy, I go out for a run. I get back and it’s late November so I’m probably in leggings (“think of my son!”) and a few layers up top. I hold the door open for a young woman who’s walking toward the elevator. She gets in. I notice she is quite attractive and dressed as if she’s headed back from a nightclub or something but she looks a little, well, worn out. She doesn’t appear stand-offish so finally I say, “Rough night?”

      She smiles, ruefully, and says, “It’s about to be.”

      Not that that answers your question, but when else was I going to have an opportunity to use that anecdote?

      I’m just going to enter elevators now announcing “I AM NOT A RAPIST.” That should soothe everyone’s fears.

      • If some unknown guy got on an elevator with me (& it was just the 2 of us) & announced this, I’d either reply (or at least THINK), “BUT YOU ARE AN ASS”. Geeze, jdubs!

        What does your mom think? Of course, she’s from the era where “well-bred women” (what, are we HORSES?! Ever hear of a man referred to as “well-bred”?!) did not stay in hotels on their own so she might not have had the experience.

        When I read your ‘elevator post’ the other day, I thought “sure, sure, ahum, sure, I see his points”, but can you not see the FEAR that was behind the female tweeter’s original tweet? Maybe it did come across as demanding & self-absorbed, but think about your mom, sister, Katie, Moose & all the other women you’ve cared about in your life & how they might feel on an elevator with some unknown male?

        I’ve often thought you get into ‘twitter battles’ for fun. Just to be ornery. And/or just to ‘out’ the IQ levels of your frequent foes, the MAGA types. 😉 But on this one you remind me of the guy who has told raunchy/disgusting jokes at work for decades (which made at least some of his fellow coworkers uncomfortable or angry but too scared to say anything since he was a “manager” or VP) & now is furious he is no longer “allowed” to do so – “It’s just a JOKE! Don’t you have a sense of humor?!” he wails…

        • Susie B.

          I don’t get into Twitter battles for fun or just to be ornery.

          But I’ll address your points:

          — My line about what I’d announce was obviously sarcasm. I was answering a preposterous request with an equally preposterous response.

          –The women who are closest to me in my life (some mentioned here) have a sense of humor and don’t obsess all day about their safe spaces. One of them, I won’t name, called that very day with a funny elevator account from that morning. This is not in any way to minimize sexual assault or the potential of something going wrong in a confined space. But, as I suggested in my essay, if this is your deal, Mina, and you know that you have nothing to fear from 99 out of 100 of us, why not solve the problem by being the one who does something? Why not just WAIT until he pushes his floor? Is this so difficult?

          –The example you use, and this is what scares me, is an example of how few people I argue with on Twitter have any sense of logic. You are using something someone DOES as your analogy. Mina’s argument is simply my BEING is the problem. It’s not my BEHAVIOR. It’s my identity as a male. Sorry, I’m not going to apologize for having testicles. I notice that no one challenges me on the “Why don’t you walk on the other side of the street?” analogy. You know why? Because it’s dead-on accurate and no one wants to admit that telling me I’m an existential threat simply by being a male is pretty much the same as telling (ethnic group here) they’re an existential threat by the way they look. And that they need to alter their behavior to suit my needs.

          –Finally, and you did not mention this, Twitter is always going to side with the famous, cute, female over the anonymous, seemingly cranky white guy. This is the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” postulate, and it happens on almost every episode. I know that. It’s incredible to me how much validation people give this one person over her request as if she were Oprah speaking for the entire gender.

          –I’d rather live in a society where people actually treat one another with decency as opposed to one where we all make empty gestures that satisfy politically correct mores that really have nothing to do with decency. And I’m sure the first time I politely ask a woman on a plane or in an elevator to not talk on the cellphone, I’ll be clobbered on Twitter for that.

          If I’m ever on an elevator with Mina Kimes, I’m pushing every damn button and smiling. Maybe I’ll even ask to take a selfie. Then I’ll get off first.

        • Also, I want to run this tweet by you first, Susie B., before I post it. Feedback appreciated:

          “I realize this runs counter to norms of fame-seeking and gratification, and 99.9999% of people don’t have bad intentions, but if you are given he chance to make a living by appearing on an inane afternoon talk show that only serves to accelerate America’s rapid descent into a dystopian idiocracy, could you please consider doing something more beneficial with your time? Thank you.”

          • It’s Fri 4/12 at 11:30-12:15 & I just now saw your replies above. (I somehow didn’t realize you had replied yesterday when I scrolled down).

            1st, if you DON’T get into some of your twitter battles for “fun” , then what the hell are you DOING?! WHY are you spending your time antagonizing those you KNOW will foam at the mouth & possibly try to destroy you (there are WACKOS out there, jdubs!)

            Sure, sure, you’re fighting for whatever, the principle or because you can’t stand “it” anymore, but my god, if you don’t enjoy it, you must be a masochist. Wait, that would mean you DO enjoy it. 😉

            And hey, *I’D* like to” live in society where people actually treat one another with decency ” too. Let’s see, when I was about 12, I was on an crowded elevator WITH MY AUNT right next to me & a guy in a suit was right behind me. I felt something pushing into my back – GUESS WHAT IT WAS? Guess, guess, guess. Hint – IT WASN’T “DECENT”. Then there’s the men who say sexual shit to you. You’re minding your own freakin business, waiting for your floor & some guy – old/young/fat/thin/ugly/handsome/well-dressed/scruffy offer their “d**k for free” or some such CRAP. You’re horrified, wonder in pure panic what happens next, should you just ignore or would that make him attack you? And did you “BRING IT ON” by NOT saying something or because you said hello when you got on the elevator? Or was it the clothes you wore? I guess t-shirts & jeans or a SUIT with your blouse buttoned up to your neck are a real turn-on for some men..

            And oh yeah, “WAIT FOR HIM TO PRESS THE BUTTON? Hot damn, WHY didn’t WE think of THAT? I got a story for that one too. I was in a hotel someplace south of Dallas for a week-long training for work about 29 years ago. One night I get on the elevator same time as some guy (not from my training, a total stranger). He actually was there 1st & got on & I came rushing up & got on. I waited for him to push the button, he did not. I then ASKED him what floor & he did not reply. I waited a bit longer & the ass starts… GUESS.

            Again, *I’D” like to live in that “decent” world too. Can you give me directions?

            Finally, I’d enjoy that tweet but to whom are you trying to impart your wisdom? The folks who appear on or watch those shows? The latter won’t have a clue what “dystopian idiocracy” could mean. In fact, I’m pretty sure “99.9999%” will be stumped over “inane”. 🙂

  3. Wait, Susie B. Are you trying to tell me you’ve been in the work force for at least 29 years? So then, add about 20 years for schooling and what not, carry the 2, wait…HOW OLD ARE YOU?!?

    Anyway, all of those tales are awful, but asking the good folks to identify themselves as non-predators is just stupid. Sorry. Predators will learn that trick in about 5 seconds and then use that to manipulate the next victim. This is tantamount to telling teachers that they need to be better aware when a gunman enters the school grounds. No, sorry.

    There are jerks and perverts and evil folks in the world. Telling decent people they need to announce themselves as such isn’t solving the problem. You do realize that more hostility has been directed at me for declaring that I’m not interesting in phony gestures than at any actually sexual offenders, don’t you?

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