by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
Our favorite sandwich, the Tuna Tagovailoa
“We Followed The President’s Orders”
On his third try with an impeachment inquiry, Gordon Sondland comes off as mostly relaxed and fingers Donald Trump, Rudy Giulani and Mike Pompeo. He also notes that he and the president communicate with “a lot of four-letter words.”
This was the most damning testimony yet, since the White House had no idea that Sondland would be a hostile witness to them when the sun rose.
Quid Pro Quoteworthy
On the day that the White House learned that someone had blown the whistle on its Ukraine ploy, Donald Trump got on the horn with Gordon Sondland, was “very angry,” and spoke the words into the phone (for his exculpatory record) that he wrote down yesterday. This was for a quick briefing with the press.
Here’s the thing: someone who has never committed armed robbery never makes it a point to say, “I want no armed robbery.” You wouldn’t think to deny something that A) you’ve never done and B) no one has ever accused you of doing, particularly to the person who is not even the one doing the accusing.
It’s All About Auburn
There’s a very good chance that whatever happens with the College Football Playoff will have a lot to do with how your favorite team fared against Auburn. The Tigers will have played an incredibly difficult schedule this season, having faced playoff hopefuls Oregon (win), LSU (loss), Georgia (loss) and Alabama (Nov. 30).
Personally, we think Auburn will be favored at home and will beat Alabama next week. If they don’t the Tide will have one loss, all season, to LSU.
LSU and Georgia will almost certainly meet in the SEC CG, and if Bama does beat Auburn and Georgia loses to LSU, then Bama will have one loss and the Dawgs, too. And while it seems silly to punish Georgia for playing an extra game against the nation’s best team, we’ve seen this film before. Besides, would the committee really want to set a second LSU-Georgia matchup for later in the month? But then again, would it want to set up a second LSU-Alabama matchup?
Of course, if Georgia beats LSU, then Georgia and LSU are in, presumably at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively (behind Ohio State and Clemson).
Now, if LSU beats Georgia and Alabama beats Auburn, then you’ve potentially got a 1-loss Bama versus a 1-loss Oregon but against the common opponent, Bama has the W.
This is why, if you are a fan of not seeing two SEC teams in the playoff, you’ll want to root for Utah. Whose loss would be against a worse team (USC) than Bama’s or Oregon’s, but don’t ask us to explain that logic.
What about Oklahoma? Their best showing would be having beaten the same Baylor team, who’s really beaten no one great, twice. As much as we’d love to see Jalen Hurts and the Sooners in the playoff, it seems unlikely.
Silencing Stephen A.
Another week, another smart and virtuous black man shutting Stephen A. Smith up on live TV. Kudos to Howard Bryant for telling it like it is.
Sending out a fond farewell to Barney McCallum, one of the three co-founders of the sport of Pickleball, who died yesterday at the age of 93.
From his bio in the Pickleball Hall of Fame:
One of the 3 original founders of the game of pickleball and a partner in Pickleball, Inc. the 1st company to provide pickleball equipment which was incorporated in 1968. Barney was the driving force of the business. He figured out where to buy wood for paddles and how to cut them. He helped create the rules of the game and was the proponent in developing the NVZ line rules and the double bounce. He created the $29.50 retail kit that started the explosive growth of the game. Barney said “the greatest thing about pickleball is the balance between offense and defense”.
Five Films: 1960
- Psycho Alfred Hitchcock was considered washed up when he scored with his most impactful thriller, thanks in no small part to Tony Perkins’ memorable performance. Something to remember before you next see this: there’s a whole lot of movie before the shower scene. Janet Leigh was a bad girl, carrying on an affair and then embezzling thousands of dollars (that sunk to the bottom of that pond with her) from the very bank where she worked. Was Hitchcock being something of a prude and moralist? Her sin did her in? 2. The Apartment Jack Lemmon, an engaging Shirley MacLaine and a callous Fred MacMurray in a Best Picture winner that was the first real accurate portrayal of the Mad Men era. Funny and bittersweet and it all takes place in New York, New York 3. Spartacus The Norma Rae of the sandals epic era. “I am Spartacus!” 4. The Magnificent Seven A Western reimagining of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai. Seven gunfighters are hired to protect a besieged Mexican village and five of them are Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Lee Marvin and Steve McQueen. Blessed with musical score to top all others for Westerns. 5. Cimarron Glenn Ford stars as an idealistic rancher during the Oklahoma land rush. Very reminiscent of other sweeping and across-the-decades American coming-of-age as a country films such as Gone With The Wind and Giant.