by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
There’s only one team of the eight remaining in the NBA playoffs that has yet to lose at home this postseason: the Houston Rockets. Last night the Missiles couldn’t miss, as James Harden put on a vintage performance that included 38 points and six threes.
Houston has won 12 in a row at the Toyota Center and 17 of 18 overall and I don’t know why they don’t have that otherwise ubiquitous brunette Toyota pitch woman doing in-game interviews.
Of course, they’re still going to need to defeat Golden State at Oracle at least once if they hope to advance. Clip ‘n save: If Houston forces a Game 7 this weekend, it could be the Dubs’ FINAL game at Oracle as they’ll move across the Bay to the Chase Center come autumn.
In Good Kompany
What were you thinking, Leicester City?!? Vincent Kompany may be an aging (33) Belgian legend, but he’s still a legend. The Manchester City captain was left unguarded from about 27 yards out with the match still scoreless yesterday in the 70th minute. He then delivered a strike that, as announcer Ian Darke aptly put it, was “postage stamp.”
Man City wins 1-0 and takes the Premier League over Liverpool, 95 points to 94, with one match remaining for each side. The Reds, despite losing only one match all season, must win and hope Man City loses or draws this Sunday in order to avoid finishing in second place.
Hero Takes A Fall
As he does in this photo, Riley Howell stood out in real life. And in the final moments of his life. After his funeral on Sunday, his father, a nurse, revealed how the UNC-Charlotte student had been shot three times while tackling the gunman who had invaded their classroom last week. Mr. Howell spoke of how he had personally viewed the body and, being somewhat of an expert on such matters, noted that two bullets must have hit Howell in the torso and body first, and that the final one had struck him in the jaw at such close range that it left a muzzle burn.
The shooter, who did not attempt another shot after being body-slammed by Howell, would complain to police that he thought he had internal injuries. Read The New York Times story on Howell. It almost feels as if he was chosen to be at that spot at that moment: to save lives.
Fifth Avenue Camp
The Met Gala, Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s annual shakedown of the fashion industry in order to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, was held on a cool, Parisian sky-like night in Manhattan last evening. The theme was “Notes from Camp.” And there’s Janelle Monae once and for all answering the question, “What exactly do you wear on a snipe hunt?”
The first rule of attending the Met Gala: You ABSOLUTELY must evacuate all bowels and kidneys before donning your evening attire. Because you won’t be doing so for the next six or so hours.
This happened to us recently: riding our bike in one of Manhattan’s fabulous designated bike lanes. Suddenly a millennial on a skateboard, a white dude probably in his early 20s, slowly drifts right into our lane, approaching head on. You know the reason this is happening: his face is glued to his smart phone.
So we slow down and say nothing until he is right upon our front tire. He stops abruptly, looks up at us, and you know what he says? Pointing at our bicycle, he says, “Those things do turn, you know.”
BAAA HAAA HAAA HAAA HAAAA!
We actually want to thank him. Why? First, because he inspired in us a new acronym to describe him and his ilk: GEM, which we imagine you’ll guess on your own (we’ll reveal in a moment or two below). Second, because he taught us how to deal with all such future encounters: we will simply continue at our current speed and as we get breathtakingly close to an oblivious-to-his-surroundings smartphone addict, simply unleash the most blood-curdling death scream possible. We’re actually looking forward to it.
GEM: Godawful Entitled Millennial.
Eighty-Six Happiness Update
Yesterday, for the first time in my illustrious serving career, I worked at two restaurants in the same day. Did a lunch shift at a place where I’m the newbie, then a dinner shift at my old stomping grounds where I was actually training two waiters simultaneously. I go through pens a lot faster as a waiter than I ever did as a writer.
Song On The Radio
You gotta love the cojones on a guy who writes a song with this title thinking, knowing, that it will end up on the radio. Al Stewart received steady airplay, especially on the Adult Contemporary stations, for a string of hits in the late Seventies. This one hit No. 29 on the charts.
Stewart, a Scotsman (his name actually translates into the Scots dialect as “Easy Listening”), played the first-ever Glastonbury Festival in 1970 and actually knew Yoko Ono before John Lennon did. Of course we got that off Wikipedia. Leave us alone.
Champions League Semis: Barcelona at Liverpool
3 p.m. TNT
Could Barca, which won 3-0 just six days ago at Camp Nou, possibly be denied a spot in the final later this month? Well, yes. It was only a year ago in the semifinals when Barcelona beat Roma 3-0 in the first leg on the road only to, somehow and quite shockingly, lose 4-1 at home to Roma in the second leg. Roma advanced on Away Goals (since both squads had the same amount of aggregate goals, 4-4, the first tiebreaker).
Sure, it’s highly unlikely that Liverpool, which would need to win 3-0 to force extra time or 4-0 (or 5-1) to win outright, will survive this day. But that’s why it’s worth tuning in, no?
That and the fact that Lionel Messi remains a god walking among mortals.