by John Walters
To Be Oxycontinued
In Oklahoma, Judge Thad Balkman ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572 million toward ending the opioid epidemic. Balkman’s ruling is the first time a jurist has found a pharmaceutical company responsible for the spike in addiction and overdoses caused by its drugs.
There are more than a thousand such lawsuits being filed around the U.S. right now and every last plaintiff is going to cite this suit. The last time we were in Oklahoma? To report a piece on Austin Box, the starting linebacker at Oklahoma who died of an opioid overdose.
Good Luck, And Good Night
A full 48 hours after the Andrew Luck retirement, pundits such as Dan Dakich doubled down on their “rub some dirt on it and get back in the game” troglodyte takes while Dan LeBatard of ESPN exuded, in our opinion, true wisdom.
Here’s what we know, from having played organized tackle football many years but at a much lower level. If your heart isn’t in it, you definitely don’t belong on that field. You can go through the motions somewhat in other sports, but in football or boxing (or MMA), you just can’t. The sport is too violent.
As to Susie B.’s question as to why Indianapolis put such a poor line in front of him, the Colts had addressed that in 2018 by selecting the best offensive lineman of the past decade, Quenton Nelson, with the No. 6 pick in the draft. But this was after the lacerated kidney and the sprained shoulder and the messed up ankle.
An unexpected benefit of the Luck retirement: Fox talent feuding with Fox talent (Aikman-Gottlieb) and ESPN talent feuding with ESPN talent (Dan Dakich vs. Golic & Wingo). No one has revealed himself to be more of the horse’s ass we always knew him to be than Dakich, who himself quit a job at West Virginia in 2002 after less than two weeks.
Before there was Sully Sullenberger, there was Al Haynes. In July of 1989 Haynes was the pilot about United Airline flight 232, a Denver-to-Chicago DC-10 with nearly 300 passengers. Suddenly he heard a loud bang: the back engine had blown, which severed the hydraulics, crippling the plane. There was no way to steer it or manage the speed.
The plane had to make continuous right circles as it descended toward a crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa. The crash landing was astonishing in that where you sat in the fuselage determined whether you survived or perished. 185 people, including Haynes and his crew, survived. But 111 passengers also died.
Still, what Haynes was able to do, steer the plane by manipulating the two remaining engines, was borderline miraculous. Yesterday, after giving himself (and nearly 200 others) 30 extra years on the planet, he died in a Seattle hospital. Haynes was 87.
The G7 pledges $20 million toward fighting fires in the Amazon rainforest ($20 million???? That was the pocket change around the table) and Brazilian president Bolsonaro turns it down and tells them to mind their own business. Sound like anyone you know?
We gotta believe, behind the scenes, that if Brazil felt any pressure from the United States to stop this environmental catastrophe from continuing, they’d be on it. But Bolsonaro does not.
We are simple folk: beyond the obvious catastrophic damage to the planet in terms of oxygen debt, we’ve never understood how anyone can destroy something that is beautiful and causes no harm (the Atticus Finch Postulate). Be it murdering lions and elephants in Africa or setting fire to the planet’s greatest symbol of life and biodiversity. For us, there’s simply nothing more evil than that. Anyway….they are called rainforests and we do hope Mother Nature takes a hand in combating that. Meanwhile, is it against the law to hope that a leader who is not the president of the United States takes a bullet to the face?
Here Come The Cards (And A’s)
Baseball…it’s a loooooooooong season. It’s a little bit like the Indy 500 or the Western States 100. Folks rarely lead wire-to-wire and what you were on June 1st doesn’t mean you have to be there on October 1st. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland A’s.
The Cards were 26-28 on May 29th and a week later they were 5 1/2 back in the N.L. Central. The A’s were six games under .500 on May 14 and 12 1/2 back in the A.L. West in mid-June.
Now the Cards, who always seem to garner an October invitation no matter how they play the first half of the season, have won 14 of 17 and are now 71-58, 2 1/2 up in their division. They were literally 58-55 after being swept by the Dodgers in L.A. just three weeks ago.
The A’s, once 35-35, are 40-20 since after beating up the Royals 19-4 last night. They swept the Yankees last week; the only other team to do so this season was the Houston Astros, in early April. Clip that one: the Yankees are 0-6 at Houston and Oakland this season. The A’s are currently a 1/2 game in for the second wild-card berth. Both of these clubs will be dangerous come October.
Off to another double-shift day. That apocalypse bunker isn’t going to buy itself.