by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

This simply cannot be improved upon

Starting Five

Morgan, Flair Child*

*The judges will also accept “Bad Thai”

The Sports Illustrated cover curse does not, apparently, extend to swimsuit models as Alex Morgan ties (Thais?) a World Cup record, women’s or men’s, with five goals in Team U.S.A.’s 13-0 defenestration of Thailand.

I mean, she’s no Ronaldo, but not bad…

No team, men or women, had ever scored 13 goals in one match and none had ever scored 10 in one half, as the U.S. ladies did in the second half. No, they have nothing for which and nobody to whom they need to apologize. It was soccer at the very highest level for their gender. If you can’t handle that, go watch old episodes of The Honeymooners.

Hard Knocks

Speaking of the magic number 13 and records, two nights ago at Citizens’ Bank Park the Diamondbacks and Phillies combined for a Major League-record 13 home runs in one game. The first three D-Back hitters all slugged long ballsβ€”and the Phils never even blinked about keeping their starter, Jerad Eickhoff, in.

The Minnesota Twins, who probably have no one in their lineup that will ever end up in Cooperstown, are ahead of the Yankees’ record pace from last season for the most home runs hit in one season (267). Last night the Atlanta Braves hit four solo home runs in the second inning off the Pirates’ Chris Archer, who also stayed in the game.

At least Archer looked good giving up all those blasts

Okay, yes, the balls are somewhat juiced. But the batters are stronger, the pitchers throw harder, and the geeks have figured out that it’s smarter to play all-or-nothing ball (long ball or whiff) than it is to “make contact,” which is what your Little League coach emphasized. But he’s coaching Little League and not looking at a max deal in the nine-figure range, yo.

Jon Stews

Some people talk the talk, but former Daily Show host Jon Stewart has spent years advocating on behalf of police, firemen and other first-responders who answered the call on 9/11 and have been forgotten, in terms of health-care issues directly brought on by their work on that day and the months after. Yesterday he was back on Capitol Hill and he took it to Congress the way he once took it to Tucker Carlson and Paul Beglia on Crossfire (there’s a reason that show no longer exists).

When you have truth and righteousness on your side, when you have clarity of purpose and are inherently articulate, you don’t lose arguments to fools and puppets. Jon Stewart exemplifies this over and over again.

Someone tweeted it and I had to wonder: What if Jon Stewart announced tomorrow that he was running for president? How high up in Democratic polling would he rise? I mean, the guy who IS president probably wouldn’t have the job if he hadn’t had his own puffed-up reality show, so why not Stewart, who actually knows how to speak and immerses himself in understanding issues about which he cares?

If you want the details about which House Judiciary subcommittee members were no-shows, read this. Just know that “meeting with their constituents” is usually just meeting with big donors and/or lobbyists. Folks like you and I don’t get face time with Congress members.

He Said, Xi Said

Obviously, this makes it legit

Nobody ignites a forest fire, then threatens to withhold the water, then shows up with the water just as your home is about to be engulfed in flames, then tries to take a victory lap for saving your home (and you owe it all to him) quite like Donald Trump. Remember two weeks ago when he threatened the 5% tariff against Mexico unless they tightened up on illegal immigration and said he’d raise it 5% each month, and recall how we said this was all a gigantic bluff?

What happened? At the 11th hour Trump announced he and Mexico had made an agreement, the details of which were not revealed, but Trump did hold up a white envelope before the media today (which probably was his third and final notice from Hustler that his subscription was in danger of being canceled) and claimed the details of said agreement were therein.

We don’t doubt that Trump’s threat may have gotten the Mexicans to awake from their siestas (racially insensitive of us?) and at least pledge to take a harder stance on the issue. We also don’t doubt that this was largely kabuki with two goals in mind: 1) appease his Mexicans-hating base and 2) get people to stop talking about Mueller.

Next up is China (“Gyna”) and President Xi. Trump has threatened tariffs against the Chinese, too, but they don’t scare so easy. The next showdown is June 28-29 at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. Trump has pledged more tariffs on Gyna if Xi does not meet with him face to face. More kabuki. If Xi meets him, even if nothing is resolved, Trump will take a victory lap for making Xi his dog. But if Xi does not meet with him, Trump will just move the line in the sand further back. Or he’ll find a way to blame big tech for all of it.

Did You See Nuguse?*

*The judges acknowledge that it’s actually pronounced “Na-goose”

Last weekend in Austin Notre Dame sophomore Yared Nuguse ran an unforgettable final 100 meter in the men’s 1500 meter final to capture the school’s first national championship in that prestigious event (the so-called “metric mile”) since 1926 (Charles Judge). You can skip up to the 1:50-mark of the video.

The most satisfying part of this race is that Nuguse finished in a virtual tie with the Michigan State runner (he won by 3/1000s of a second) but Notre Dame gets to claim the national championship. Some things never change.

Eighty-Six Happiness

Took this order yesterday: “I’ll have the Greek salad. No feta. No olives. Add chicken. Add avocado. Chopped…and I’ll have the dressing on the side. And a Diet Coke. No ice.”

Meg Ryan ruined restaurants for the rest of us.

Music 101


In the summer of 1969, Jefferson Airplane was one of the headline acts at Woodstock. A decade later, they’d amped up the turbo power to become Jefferson Starship and were playing more radio-friendly California-style hits. This tune was all over FM airwaves in the summer and fall of 1978. It rose to No. 12 on the Billboard charts.

Remote Patrol

Women’s World Cup Doubleheader

Germany vs Spain

Noon Fox

France vs Norway

3 p.m. Fox

Germany’s Julia Simic

In the most recent FIFA rankings, these four European sides are ranked 2nd, 13th, 4th and 12th respectively. Plus, that Fox set in front of the Eiffel Tower is hella cool and Rob Stone’s probably going to say something to upset Female Twitter, so stay tuned.

7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Well! The USWNT are apparently students at the Kobra Kai School of Soccer – “NO MERCY!” πŸ™‚ Nah, I won’t criticize them for DOING THEIR JOB & I certainly don’t think they were obnoxious in their goal celebrations (quite the opposite, they seemed super-fast compared to the men’s teams in WC) but gee, I did feel sorry for poor Thailand! I didn’t get to watch the game live but went to the Yahoo Sport’s game site & it showed the field & soccer balls that moved around the field with helpful overhead boxed comments such as “Julie Ertz pass”, Tobin Heath pass”, “Alex Morgan GOAL!” And after every goal, balloons & confetti appeared on the screen. (This is the 1st game I’ve seen on YHOO, so don’t know if that happens after every team scores or just the USA but it was cool). Anyhoo, after the 9th (!) goal, I started inadvertently groaning “oh no!” when we scored yet again. Partly because I felt bad for the poor Thai players & partly because I KNEW our team would be criticized for “running up the score”. Argh! Is it OUR fault that the Thai team against the USA women is like sending in a mediocre boys high school bball team against a top NBA team?

    I did watch the game last night on the Prime Time repeat & wow, we looked good! HOWEVER, I do worry that this ‘game’ didn’t exactly help prepare us for the tougher teams we will face. And the Thai team looked even worse than the score! It reminded me of that DREADFUL NCG between Bama & LSU where LSU barely got across the 50 yard line!

    My soccer watching is far below that of basketball, football, etc but have you ever seen an elite-level game like that? I hadn’t. And I’m still not sure what I think/feel although I’m happy we won of course & am proud of the team. When the game started, I just wanted us to win & score more goals than France (the then-leader “in the clubhouse”). Done & done. πŸ™‚

  2. So far, my only complaint with the Fox WC coverage is that the night-time “studio” show is based NOT in France but LA! Sure, it’s a lot cheaper but come on! One of my fave things in the past World Cups has been the night-time wrap up shows where the commentators left the desk set & moved to big comfy chairs. The repartee was consequently looser, funnier & FUN. Knowing this year’s group is 5000(?) MILES AWAY from the action? Not so much fun! STUPID decision by Fox.

    And what was with Kate Abdo’s ‘ONE side of shirt hanging out in front’ look last night? If that is ‘in-style”, we are DOOMED as a civilization! πŸ˜‰

  3. NEWSFLASH! I just saw that 4-time TDF winner Chris Froome crashed during training for today’s Time Trial in this week’s Dauphine race (1 of 2 one week tune-up races for the TDF). He’s broken his leg & suffered other as-of-now-unspecified injuries. He is OUT of this year’s Tour. Oh man, I have always believed that team is “dirty” in that they’ve been using illegal methods to attain & sustain their success (along with spending 2-10 times the money of other teams), but Froome has always conducted himself with class. (Can one “cheat” & be classy?) This is just horrible. πŸ™

    I’ve rooted against him many times & now I’ll root FOR his total recovery. Get well soon, Froomey!

    • UPDATE – he also broke an elbow & some ribs. Apparently he was descending at 65kph & “lost the wheel”. That descending speed for Froome & other pro cyclists is not unusual so I don’t know yet what caused the crash. Could have been a rut/tar mark in the road or a brief moment of inattention. That’s all it takes & even the great can go down.

      I’m still quite shocked. Froome is 34, which means he only had 1-3 years max, to win the TDF again. Young whippersnappers were already biting at his heels & he’s just lost one of those years.

      Of course, this does open up the Tour quite a bit, so anyone who thought they had even just a podium shot before are probably going “IT’S ON NOW, BABY!”

      For the interested : this year’s Tour de France starts Saturday, July 6th.

      • 2ND UPDATE – Froome also fractured his right hip & had some unspecified “internal injuries”. He underwent an 8-hr surgery yesterday & is currently in Intensive Care.

        More info on the crash – It seems while Froome was descending, he lifted a hand to, er, blow his nose & at that exact moment a “severe gust of wind” blew his front wheel “out from under him” & he struck a “low wall”. (It had been every windy yesterday in that area). While we normal folk shouldn’t dare to bomb down a descent at 65kph with one hand, pro cyclists do it all the time, so the convergence of that speed, the one hand AND the severe wind gust all led to poor Froomey’s, er, “downfall”. (Sorry, sorry, sometimes I just can’t stop myself even when chatting about a serious event.)

        The great news is that there was NO head injury. Almost a miracle when you consider the speed & that he hit a wall.

        However, even if he is able to fully recover, I’ve read that it’s extremely difficult for cyclists to “fully” attain their previous level if they’ve endured a fractured femur. Along with Froome’s advanced age, his Tour winning days look to be over. Of course, miracles do happen & this guy has extreme focus & willpower so if anyone can come back from such a crash & win the Tour at an “advanced age”, it would be him.

        Some may say this is karma for a team that not only has “cheated” (AND gotten away with it!) throughout their entire existence (aided enormously by the MASSIVE amount of sponsor money) but also won the biggest event in the sport, repeatedly. I don’t know. I believe in karma & I believe this team has used illegal methods from the beginning. However, I also believe Froome is an extremely talented cyclist, one of the best Grand Tour riders in history (even if he DID look like a gangly “Praying Mantis on a bike” while going up mountains) & while all fell apart for him in last year’s Tour, he handled himself with grace & class. I was stunned actually & from that moment on, I stopped rooting against him. The sport will be less without him.

          • No, he was doing the same activity the same way he has done it THOUSANDS of times. The convergence of the things I mentioned above led to the FREAK accident. THIS sad crash is a much better example of “bad luck” than Durant’s ripped Achilles.

            Should he have anticipated that “severe” wind gust on a windy day & just let his nose drip? Maybe. But he probably didn’t even think about taking the one hand to wipe, it was just reflex.

            One could argue that Froome’s millisecond “choice” to wipe his nose was the same as Durant’s “choice” to play on an 1-month-inured-calf, but that “one” would be WRONG.

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