by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
For Whom The Taco Bell Tolls
Holy mole! When we wake up and the most intriguing headline we see is “Man Dies During Taco Eating Contest,” we feel that, in these times, we should be grateful. Dana Hutchings, 41, was partaking in a taco eating contest during a minor league baseball game in Fresno and apparently you best leave accelerated mastication to the pros.
Well, at least the autopsy of Jeffrey Epstein appears to be on the up and up. Coroners found multiple broken bones in Epstein’s neck, including in the hyoid bone. According to The Washington Post, citing experts, “Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation.”
Oh. Put that piece of information side by side with the shrieks emanating from Epstein’s cell, the news that TWO guards fell asleep while on duty and, I’m sorry, is there not any video even from the hallway outside Epstein’s room? None? Where is it?
This, above, represents why Wall Street was in such a panic yesterday. It’s a Yield Curve Inversion and it apparently is a reliable omen that a recession is on the way?
You don’t even know what a yield curve inversion is, do you? No, but Wall Street does and they’re the ones panicking! Or maybe it’s just because the Mets now have Joe Panik. I dunno.
Here’s what we know: an inverted yield curve means that the long-term rates on bonds have now become lower than the short-term rates. You’d get a higher rate of return holding a bond that matures in a shorter rate of time. According to the first thing we Googled (so it must be correct), “An inverted yield curve, or a situation in which long-term rates are lower than short-term rates, may suggest that markets expect a recession and thus lower interest rates in the future.”
The bad news is that the Dow dropped 801 points yesterday, its worst day of 2019. The good news is that this should not impact your Fantasy Football Draft and, really, what else matters?
How’s It Gonna Be?
Third Eye Blind toured this summer with Jimmy Eat World, which means there were at least five to eight turn-of-the-millennium era songs you’d really love to hear at the show. At least we would. Apparently, the bands themselves did not love one another. The following tweet is from JEW drummer Zach Lind, tweeted out just after the tour finished, regarding TEB lead singer Stephan Jenkins:
There were probably worse transgressions Lind witnessed, but what he did choose to tweet about was TEB’s insistence that they, and only they, be excused from having to wear backstage laminates for security purposes (Guys, you’re not Freddie Mercury).
Keyboard Cubicle Cowardice
I’m old enough to remember when Will Leitch wrote a piece for his main employer, New York Magazine, titled “The Era Of The Old Athlete Is Over.”
This appeared on April 3, close enough to the date to be considered an April Fool’s joke, but he actually meant it. If you’re scoring at home, this story was released two months after 41 year-old Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to yet another Super Bowl victory and less than two weeks before Tiger Woods, 43, won the Masters. Soon after Rafael Nadal, 33, won the French Open and Serena Williams, 37, advanced to the Wimbledon final. Justin Verlander, 36, is arguably the most dominant pitcher in baseball this season.
But, yes, Will, your point is well-taken. What was it based on again?
So when it comes to Leitch, I’m pretty much in the H.G. “Buzz” Bissinger camp, who once told him to his face on TV, “I gotta be honest with you, I think you’re full of shit.”
The beauty of that moment is that Bissinger had the balls to tell Leitch what he thought of him face to face. Leitch, as he does with yesterday’s hit piece on Dabo Swinney, has fashioned a career of hiding behind his laptop and ripping people, occasionally, without even speaking to them. On the few times he has been called out by his subjects, he usually acts somewhat contrite (See: Roger Ebert hit piece) or attempts to equivocate, post facto.
There’s certainly a point to be made that the beatification of Dabo by College GameDay, in particular, and many college football writers is way overdone. He’s made plenty of gaffes (“Osama bin Dabo”) and some of his opinions (being paid $9 million per year but then being outraged at the idea of college players being paid) display a total lack of self-awareness, not to mention of irony. Leitch uses Dabo’s latest affaire du controverse, a stupid dispute over whether a player who quit the team after four games deserves a national championship ring, as his launchpad to character-assassinate Swinney.
Here’s the thing: Leitch has discovered that he can write columns like this for a magazine based in New York City whose editors don’t consider sports a main course. My guess is that most of them are more familiar with the latest Bluestone Coffee (rip-off) to open up in Park Slope or Carroll Gardens than they are with who’s leading the National League East (Atlanta). And they’ve invested in Leitch as their sports guru because he’s made himself into a brand and apparently they feel as if he’s an expert.
But this, this Dabo piece, is what he is truly expert at: cherry-picking the facts or anecdotes that suit his polemic so that he can produce a piece that gets plenty of attention and/or clicks even when the totality of the argument, i.e., the truth, is usually something very different. If this were his first time doing it, I’d give him a pass. But it’s really the pattern of his entire career.
Even Leitch has acknowledged he does this. And while you may think, well, that shows some character that he was willing to make this confession, what comes across to me is 1) that he ever did something so low and 2) it feels as if he’s appealing for our, the readers’, sympathy as to why he behaved like such a jackass.
But NY Mag (and SI.com) will continue to provide him a platform.
Pardon my retweeting myself–it’s online onanism–but this had to be inserted somewhere today: