IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Farewell, Omar

If you’ve never watched The Wire (HBO), that’s something in your life you need to change immediately. If you have, then you know what an unforgettable character Omar is. Last Sunday Michael K. Williams, the man who played Omar (as well as other memorable characters on Boardwalk Empire and The Night Of), was found dead in his Williamsburg, Brooklyn, apartment. Apparently of a heroin overdose.

It was Omar who famously said, “You come at the king, you better not miss.” Omar was an inspired character, a fearless, trenchcoat-wearing, bad mamajamma who stole from drug dealers. You don’t do that. He was like a phantom; they feared him because he seemed to just disappear into the shadows. The character was also gay, which just added to the uniqueness of Omar.

Williams was also phenomenal in The Night Of. He sorta reminds me of the black Phillip Seymour Hoffman. A gifted actor who owned every scene in which he appeared and then died, alone, of a drug overdose, in New York City. Williams was 54.

Teenage Dream

Raducanu has come from nowhere, or London, to charm the tennis world

The “women’s” singles final at the U.S. Open will feature two fetching, charming teenagers from friendly nations: Laylah Fernandez of Canada, who turned 19 earlier this week, and Emma Raducanu of Great Britain, who is 19.

Fernandez is ranked 73rd in the world; Raducanu, 150th. Needless to say, it’s the first Grand Slam final for either young lady. It’s also the first U.S. Open final between two teenagers since Serena Williams defeated Martina Hingis in 1999.

Munnlaney?

On one side of the coin, you’ve gotta give John Mulaney credit for appearing on his close friend Seth Meyers’ show and being so forthcoming. This was cracklin’ good television.

On the other, the veneer of our Catholic school nerdy boy man is now off. Some of Mulaney’s best bits (“You buy the cow”) now come off as, if not phony, then at least not standing the test of time. Nobody’s perfect, of course, but comedians are supposed to use their lives as material for their sets. In so many ways, Mulaney was hiding his. All those hours he spent serving as the responsible big brother to Pete Davidson to keep him off the wayward path? Who was shepherding whom?

And I know I sound a little like a jilted lover—or Mulaney’s ex-wife, who has kept her dignity throughout this awful stretch—but it sure sounded weird to hear Meyers congratulate his good friend for becoming a dad to-be. In the past year Mulaney has left his wife, gone into rehab twice, gone totally Hollywood by hooking up with a B-list celeb (Olivia Munn) who’s dated a Hall of Fame quarterback (Aaron Rodgers), and now impregnated her.

You have to wonder if Mulaney got the Rodgers Rate there…

Life is messy. And you hope better days are ahead for this man whose ceiling is higher than anyone of his generation. But remember that character he played in the classic SNL game show skit, “What’s That Name?” He doesn’t come off too much better in person right now.

Just The Vax, Ma’am

President Biden steals a page from Texas Gov. Abbott’s playbook. You wanna hand out a $10,000 punishment for aiding and abetting an abortion? Here’s a $12,000 punishment for working for a company of more than 1,000 employees and not getting vaccinated. I pity the unvaccinated Uber driver in Plano who drives an expectant mother to the clinic. That’s a $22,000 bill right there.

Biden noted in his speech that “even Fox News” has a vaccination policy for its employees. I wonder if that snippet made it onto Fox News… or OAN… or NewsMax.

Go, go, Joseph/You know what they say…

The Bucs Start Here

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, last seen winning the Super Bowl in their own stadium, kicked off the NFL season last night by hosting America’s Team. And Tom Brady’s charmed life just continues as they eked out a 31-29 win with the help of an uncalled offensive pass interference that would have negated the final, field-goal winning drive.

Odd. Tom Brady being helped out by the zebras in a game-winning drive. Has that ever happened?

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Remember The Amnio!*

*The judges will also accept “The Elephant In The Womb” and “Fetal Positions”

The abortion issue is a simple question of the lesser of two evils. Is it right to abort a pregnancy and put a fetus to death unnaturally? No. Is it good to saddle a woman with a pregnancy and a total overhaul of her life because of an unwanted pregnancy, particularly if the sex was non-consensual? Given that choice, you decide what the lesser of two evils is.

Of course, the Texas legislature and the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, decided that the latter is the lesser of the two evils. But let’s be frank here: Keeping women in the kitchen and at home raising babies and out of positions of economic power much less government is the real goal here. Particularly poor and middle-class ones.

That SCOTUS allowed a law to stand that encourages other Texans to snitch on anyone remotely associated with an abortion and make money off it ($10,000!) is straight-up Dark Ages behavior. Even if someone is innocent, they’re going to have to pay a lawyer to defend them and they won’t be able to recover that court cost.

Will abortions in Texas (and other red states soon to feel emboldened on this reversal of Roe V. Wade) cease? No, they’ll just happen clandestinely and in unsafe fashion. Anyone ever see In The Heat Of The Night? Yup, that.

The staff here at MH encourages all women of child-bearing age to flee Texas forthwith. And what, then, will the men of Texas do for, um, satisfaction? Well, they can do what many of us have been telling Texas to do for years now: Go f*ck themselves.*

*And before one of my most loyal readers lectures me on Christianity and how wrong it is to take a life, I’ll remind him that pro-lifers seem to care a lot more about the lives of unborn babies than they do of children and adults. When they begin to show me that they give the slightest sh*t about those who are already born and poor and hungry and homeless, I’ll begin to feel their sincerity about cute unborn babies.

Stupid Human Tricks

This?

Or this?

The MH staff thinks trickster No. 1 is much further down the Darwinian ladder….

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Are You Sycamore High School Football?

You have to love that this still can happen in 2021, in a world of online research and Google-mapping, etc. Last Sunday ESPN aired a high school football game between IMG Academy of Bradenton, Fla., and Bishop Sycamore of….where, exactly?

Forget for a moment that Bishop Sycamore had actually played a game on Friday night before being waxed 58-0 on national TV. Or that the players that the school’s coaching staff promised had D-1 offers don’t. The biggest deal is that the school does not actually exist as a school. It’s an “on-line charter school” and really, particularly in the Covid age, who knows how much any of these football players attend class? In high school, not college.

IMG is barely better. It’s a super-sports academy (I’ve spent time there) where the classes are an afterthought. IMG produces great college talent in football, basketball and tennis. It’s a sports academy. Period. Where students do the minimum amount of academic work to get by (of course, you can say that about plenty of high school students). But at least IMG is an actual place.

Newton’s Fourth Law Of Thermodynamics

A veteran quarterback at rest during August training camp will soon be displaced by a talented rookie.

The Patriots cut former NFL MVP Cam Newton and name rookie Mac Jones as the starting quarterback. Jones becomes the third Alabama starting quarterback from the past five years who will be a Week One starter in the NFL in 2021.

If you’re wondering, the last Alabama quarterback to start a game who is not currently an NFL starter is Blake Barnett.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Ida Evacuated Sooner

Well, blow me down. Hurricane Ida, a category-4 hurricane with winds approaching 155 m.p.h. strikes landfall almost squarely in New Orleans.

Hope everyone’s safe, but nature really does put on the best show.

Frost Bites

Nebraska at Illinois felt a little wrong more than one full week before Labor Day and in 96-degree heat… particularly if you’re a Cornhusker fan. Down 9-2 early, the Illini and backup quarterback Art Sitkowski reeled off four consecutive touchdowns and held on to win 30-22.

How poorly is Scott Frost doing in his return to his home state and alma mater after leading UCF to a 13-0 season? I didn’t quite believe this when I read on the Twitters, so I checked it out and it’s true: Frost would need to go 37-1 over his next 38 games simply to match the record Jim Harbaugh has had at Michigan, a record that by most accounts has been very disappointing for that former college QB who returned to coach his alma mater in the same conference.

Dunno if Frost can right the harvester in Lincoln, a school that has been synonymous with college football success for an entire century. But the Huskers have a pretty big game versus Oklahoma on Sept. 18. And that one’s in Norman. Good luck. Norman, or Waterloo (No, not the Iowa one)?

Oh, Mr. Graaaaant

Actor Ed Asner passed away Sunday at the age of 91. He had many roles in life, but none so career-defining as the gruff but lovable Lou Grant, head man of the WJM news team on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. There may have been a sitcom or two as good as MTM, but there’s never been a better ensemble cast on a sitcom. And Asner was the captain of that ship.

The line I remember, and it may have been from the premiere episode. Lou says to Mary, “You’ve got spunk… I hate spunk.”

That’s So Raven

The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Washington Football Team 37-3 in both teams’ final preseason game of the weekend. Here’s what’s nutty: it was Baltimore’s 20th consecutive victory… in preseason football games. That’s a streak that extends back five years. Has any NFL club ever been so dominant in so meaningless a facet of the sport?

And what, if anything, can we extrapolate from this? I don’t know. The NFL record for consecutive regular season wins is 23, held by the 2008-2009 Indianapolis Colts… who used to be the Baltimore Colts, I think.

During this same period, in case you were wondering, the Ravens are 52-28 with no Super Bowl appearances, all under John Harbaugh. A very good record. Just something less than 20-0.

The China Syndrome

China has issued an edict BANNING the playing of video games between Monday and Thursday and allowing just one hour per day on Friday through Sunday. Sometimes, repressive authoritarian regimes have their upside.

Now, sure, you may cry, “But my free-dumb!” and you’re correct, but China, the world’s second-largest economy and first-largest country by population, has smartly deduced that having so many of its children spend so much of their times with their faces in screens is not beneficial long-term (we’ll see on that… stay tuned). Of course, the irony in all of this is that China leads the world in companies that manufacture the games and the hardware that makes these games possible.

So, yes, let’s profit off it. But let’s not do it. Sure, I’ll own a whorehouse, but none of my daughters are going into that business….

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

From Beirut To Kabul

From History.com

October 23, 1983

A suicide bomber drives a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel. That same morning, 58 French soldiers were killed in their barracks two miles away in a separate suicide terrorist attack. The U.S. Marines were part of a multinational force sent to Lebanon in August 1982 to oversee the Palestinian withdrawal from Lebanon. From its inception, the mission was plagued with problems–and a mounting body count.

I remember that day well. I believe it was a Sunday morning when the news broke, my senior year of high school. I remember it being tragic, the worst loss of U.S. military life in one day since at least Vietnam. And I remember no one calling for President Reagan to resign, but then, he had been so damn good in Knute Rockne: All American and Kings Row (films in which, respectively, he had lost his life and legs).

It wasn’t really Reagan’s fault, after all. The mission was next-to-impossible, and whenever you have an opponent willing to commit suicide as part of their attack, it presents problems (ask any Naval commander in the Pacific from World War II).

Yesterday a dozen or so U.S. military personnel were killed in Kabul (a dozen, not 243) while executing a near-impossible task: evacuating Americans and Afghans from Kabul via the airport. For those citizens to not flock to the airport means they risk being kidnapped or killed by the Taliban or ISIS in their homes or wherever they are hiding. Their best escape route is via the airport, of course, where more than 80,000 have been evacuated the past week or so, but that means bunching up in crowds outside the airport gates, which, of course, makes them an inviting and vulnerable target.

And yet here are plenty of disingenuous Republican “leaders” calling for President Biden to resign. It was not President Biden who released 5,000 Taliban prisoners nor was it Biden who brokered a deal with the Taliban last year (it was President Trump and Mike Pompeo). These Republicans know that, but they also know that so many of their cult are sheep who don’t care to possess the ability for critical thought.

Beirut was a terrible day. But we were one country then. Kabul was, from a body-count perspective, far less significant. But we have awful people on one side of the aisle in 2021. And useful idiots supporting them.

Ten Turns 30

Happy 30th birthday to one of the very best debut albums in the history of rock and roll.

I remember the moment. Labor Day, 1991. Walking into an appliance store on 72nd just west of Broadway, in search of a stereo. You know, it’s the early ’90s so I need a CD player that also plays cassettes. So sad that I abandoned my turntable (what were we thinking?).

Then I hear it. This BELLOWING guitar that sounds like a battle cry. The opening chords of “Alive.” It was a beautiful late summer afternoon in Manhattan, the kind where the humidity has departed and you can feel the early strains of autumn. The golden late afternoon sun outside. And inside, this sound I’d never before experienced.

Make no mistake, Pearl Jam came out of the gates early that fall, before Nirvana. The other Seattle-based grunge band would soon take the lead. By Christmas holidays they’d be sharing a stage together, both serving as warm-up acts for RHCP.

Our favorite songs from Ten, in order: 1) Alive 2) Release 3) Jeremy 4) Oceans 5) Black 6) Once 7) Evenflow

Won’t See You In September

Not appearing at the U.S. Open that begins next week: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams, Venus Williams. That foursome represents 17 U.S. Open singles titles since 1999. Or nearly half.

The door is wide open for Novak Djokovic to become the first man with 21 career singles titles (and he should celebrate at the iconic 21 in midtown Manhattan). And as far as we know, Naomi Osaka is coming to Flushing Meadows. Naomi versus the New York media. Should be a fun show.

Death Valley Daze

Two male hikers have died in separate incidents at Death Valley National Park this week. Why? Because it’s really, really, really hot there and they were really, really, really unprepared. The men were 52 and 60 years old (man, is that old!) and to be honest, it wasn’t even that hot in Death Valley. Only about 109 degrees.

You have to love a national park that lives up to its name. And the hype.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Make America Crate Again

Not sure how the “Milk Crate Challenge” became a thing, other than it originated on Tik Tok, but it’s certainly the most viral phenom of the past week. Our favorite person above is the dude wearing a mask. Being careful about Covid but not about his neck.

Our new priority order for emergency room cases goes like this: 1) vaccinated, 2) unvaccinated, 3) milk crate challenge losers.

And then there’s this…

‘cuz We’re Stupid And Contagious

Thirty years after appearing on the cover of Nirvana’s Nevermind, Spencer Elden has filed a lawsuit against the surviving members of the band alleging child pornography. I mean, he’s holding the pretty damning evidence. One baby to another said I’m not happy to have met you…

Then again, the band’s directions to the model were come as you are….

Elden is seeking less than $3 million and if you read this it seems pretty apparent that Geffen records and/or Kurt Cobain’s estate should simply pay up and settle…

Is this the start of a wave of album cover-related lawsuits? This would seem to be a perfect class-action lawsuit aimed square at a band even more iconic than the godfathers of grunge…

Weir Have All The Hitters Gone?

Yesterday in the Little League World Series Gavin Weir threw another no-hitter. The 12 years-old from Sioux Falls struck out 14 batters as South Dakota defeated Oregon 1-0. Weir is one of the most phenomenal kids we’ve seen in LLWS in a long, long time.

Here’s Weir’s line through the tournament thus far: two no-hitters. 43 2/3 innings pitched and he’s only allowed one hit and no runs while striking out 114 batters. He’s gotten 131 hitters out, and 114 of them have whiffed.

And here’s the craziest thing: Sioux Falls and Weir shouldn’t even be in Williamsport. They finished second in their region, but because of Covid, as you may have noticed, there are no international teams in the LLWS this August. So second-place teams from each region also advanced. Which is why Weir and Sioux Falls are here.

Unless there is a rainout, Weir will not be permitted to pitch again. Because he’s maxed out his pitch count for the week. That’s a LLWS rule… which might deny fans of an epic LLWS finale.

cuz We’re Stupid And Contagious (Part Deux)

“Send me some studies.” The f**k is wrong with people?

Up All Night

San Diego is not the furthest west baseball city in America— Seattle is. In fact, it may blow your mind to learn that America’s Finest City is further east than Spokane… it is. But it sure felt like it was halfway to Hawaii last night as a baseball game between the Padres and the L.A. Dodgers went early into the morning on the East coast.

The Dodgers outlasted the Padres 5-3 in 16 innings in something less than a classic and more than a marathon. What began as a pitchers’ duel between Cy Young favorite Walker Buehler an Blake Snell remained a 1-1 game to the top of the 15th… more than six innings after both had exited.

In fact, the Padres went more than nine innings before Fernando Tatis, Jr.s’ two-run homer in the 15th tied it up at 3-3. It was Tatis’ first hit in two games, or 8 at-bats.

The box score was not pretty: the clubs went a combined 7-51 with runners in scoring position, for about a .113 batting average in that spot. A.J. Pollock put L.A. up for good with a two-run homer in the top of the 16th. I went to bed after the 11th when the Padres loaded the bases with two outs but had to pinch-hit using a starting pitcher who was 3-for-40 as a hitter (why not just keep your ace closer in with those odds?).

The game took 5 hours, 49 minutes to play, which means it ended at 3:49 a.m. Eastern time. It’s the longest extra-inning game since MLB tweaked extras by starting the inning with a baserunner on 2nd (I think I buried the lede).

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Jesus of Nazare

Watching 100 Foot Wave on HBO Max. Terrific. Concisely, it’s the story of big wave surfer Garrett McNamara’s quest to ride the world’s tallest wave before age boxes him out. To outrace the world’s largest wall of water before he’s over the hill.

Is McNamara a bit obsessed? He’s named his first son Barrel.

Two things: 1) Most of this 5-part series is based around the coastal Portuguese town of Nazare, which had not been traditionally thought of as a surfing mecca, and 2) the supporting characters in this tale are all thoughtful, articulate and sincere. They’re not wacko streaming-doc characters. McNamara’s wife, Nicole, his brother-in-law, J.C., his tow-riders from England and Ireland, Andrew Cotton and Al Lennie, the Nazare locals who help fund the project, these are all good people and great teammates. And the latter two just happen to have the courage to ride 50-foot plus waves.

And make no mistake: it’s thrilling to watch these surfers “dance with God,” as one Brazilian big-wave rider puts it, but these waves will wreck people. A broken back, a wrecked shoulder, a near-death experience. McNamara’s wife, Nicole, is a decent surfer who eats it on a small Nazare wave and gets rag-dolled into shore. After that, she’s done. And that’s probably the puniest wave in the whole series.

If you loved Free Solo as we did, you’ll truly enjoy this.

The Skinns Game

This is David Skinns, a golfer from England who just experienced his Tin Cup moment (except he got the win, not Rene Russo… settling for second, I guess). Skinns is 39, a journeyman 16-year pro on lesser tours. During the pandemic he worked as a delivery driver and a bartender to support his family. As recently as six weeks ago he was 82nd on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the next tour below the PGA Tour. The top 25 golfers on the Korn Ferry Tour are elevated to the big league tour, the PGA, the following year.

In four of Skinns’ five final events, he finished no lower than 8th. This weekend at the Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha he one-putted the last four holes to win… and finally move himself into the top 25. And a much bigger series of pay days next year. The man who was a driver used his driver to take a big leap forward.

Built To Last

Remember the U.S. sprinter who was kept off the Olympic team after testing positive for Cheech-and-Chong’ing it? Last Saturday in Eugene Sha’Carri Richardson had her chance for redemption, as she lined up in the blocks against the three Jamaicans who stood on the podium in Tokyo. And a few other sprinters.

Richardson came in last place. By a lot. She finished 9th, but only because there were only eight other sprinters.

To Richardson’s credit, she did the post-race interview at the Prefontaine Classic, congratulated the winners, and the 21 year-old told everyone, in colorful language, that she’s far from done.

A Shohei from Sioux Falls

Meet Gavin Weir, the breakout star of the Little League World Series from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Yesterday Weir jacked a three-run bomb to lift his squad, representing the Midwest, past Oregon, 3-0. He provided the game’s only RBI.

But Weir’s also unhittable. In fact, pitching may be his true forte. From Yardbarker: “. Over his last 37.2 innings, he’s allowed just one hit, no earned runs, and struck out 100 batters. Yes, he has struck out 100 of a possible 113 batters (88 percent). That’s just crazy.”

Happy 10th, Tim

Today is the 10th anniversary of Tim Cook being CEO of Apple. The company’s stock has risen 1,000% since he’s been in charge. We were fools to ever sell it. #NeverSellApple

The Freeze Has Supernatural Powers

In Atlanta, the Yankees and Braves met, an encounter 120 years in the making. Sure, they’ve played plenty in the past 12 decades, but it was the first time since 1901 that two teams sporting nine-game win streaks were meeting. The Yankees won, 5-1, meaning their last loss is still the Field of Dreams game.

Anyway, that little historic moment was overshadowed by a stunning finish in the nightly Freeze race at the ballpark. Watch.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

A Bronx Tale

After new Yankee shortstop Andrew Velazquez made a sweet throw from deep in the hole (below) to throw out a Red Sox baserunner in the top of the ninth and crush a rally, he made his way back to his parents’ home in the Bronx. The sublime 6-3 put-out put the final touch on a Yankee sweep of the Red Sox. It also heralded the arrival of Velazquez, who grew up less than 30 minutes from Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. His dad is a retired NYPD detective.

In the last four games, all Yankee wins, Velazquez is 5-for-10 with three RBI. And the 27 year-old plays shortstop like a Hoover. Will he stick around once Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres get healthy? Highly unlikely. But for now it must be fun coming home after games and telling his parents how his day went.

Mary Jane’s Next Dance

This weekend’s Prefontaine Classic is gonna be lit with fast women. The event to watch is the women’s 100-meter dash, where the tokin’ (but not token) American will be Sha’Carri Richardson. She’ll be running against the trio of Jamaicans who swept gold, silver and bronze less than a month ago at the Olympics. Richardson had been favored to win a medal, perhaps even gold, before a drug test revealed she’d taken some of the funky herb. That’s a no-no with the IOC.

War Shooter

Robert Capa took one of the most riveting war photographs ever published. In the late 1930s Capa was covering the Spanish Civil War when he shot “The Falling Soldier,” which purportedly was taken at the moment of impact when a loyalist soldier took a mortal bullet to the chest as he was charging toward the enemy (there have been murmurs since that the photo was staged).

Capa’s own life may be worthy of a series of moving pictures. Born in 1913 in Hungary as Endro Erno Friedmann, he moved to Berlin to attend college. But if you look at how old he’d have been in college, his last name, and where he was attending school, well, Friedmann was smart enough to leave Berlin while he still could. He moved to Paris where he and a female friend jointly assumed the name, as a professional photography duo, of Robert Capa.

Considering his taste for adventure/war and his talent, it should come as no surprise that Capa soon became fast friends with Ernest Hemingway. And John Huston. And John Steinbeck.

During D-Day, Capa was the only civilian photographer to join the Allies as they stormed the beach at Normandy. His 11 photographs appeared in Life magazine less than two weeks later.

In 1954 Capa was in Vietnam, or Indochina as it was then known. A little dust-up was brewing between the colonial French and the natives, the Vietnamese. He had been in Japan and Life had asked him to take the assignment. He’d long ago claimed he was done shooting wars, but took the gig. One May day he left his jeep and decided to go up the road and photograph the advance. He stepped on a land mine. Capa, or Friedmann, was 40 years old.

MAC/CAM

Do you use a Mac or a PC? Or in New England’s case involving quarterbacks, a Mac Jones or a Cam Newton? For now the gifted veteran who once led the Charlotte Raes to a Super Bowl defeat looks like the starter in Foxboro. But the rookie from Alabama whose first name is the incumbent’s spelled backward has also been impressive. In a meaningless preseason game last night, New England beat Philly 35-0. Both QBs looked sharp. Stay tuned.

A Case of Murder

(That is Jones, 38, standing on the far left during the tribute to Pata)

Fifteen years ago University of Miami defensive lineman Bryan Pata came home from practice after dropping off a few teammates, and was killed outside his home. The murder went unsolved all this time… until yesterday. Miami police arrested Rashaun Jones, a former Hurricane teammate of Pata’s.

Apparently the two had got into an altercation over a potential theft (by Jones) and there were also girlfriend issues involved (Pata was apparently dating an ex of Jones). You have to admit, this is a very University of Miami thing to happen.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

The Shohei Kid

The line last night for Los Angeles Angel pitcher Shohei Ohtani: 8 innings, 8 strikeouts, 1 earned run, and the Win. He also hit his 40th home run of the season while improving his record to 8-1 and lowering his ERA to 2.79.

As ESPN’s Jeff Passan has pointed out, this is historic stuff. Ohtani leads the bigs in home runs and his ERA would be in the Top 10 if he had enough starts.

All that and he got Jack Morris suspended without even trying…

And That’s Why They Call It…

A husband, wife, their one year-old daughter and even the family dog were found dead after going for a hike near their home just outside Yosemite National Park this weekend. No signs of trauma on any of the bodies.

So what happened? The couple had lived in the San Francisco area, where he’s a software engineer, but had relocated to just beyond Yosemite for a simpler, cleaner life. Now they’re all gone. Was it noxious fumes from a deserted mine? Tainted water? The Taliban? Who knows.

By the way, I’m really looking forward to a week or two from now when the NFL season starts and America can go back to not giving a sh*t as to what happens in Afghanistan…

Where You Really Do Earn An Mrs. Degree

In Reykjavik, Iceland, you will find the School of Housewives, which really does teach Nordic lasses how to excel in the art of husbandry-pleasing. And now, of course, someone has made a documentary about it…

College Football’s Big Weekend

As it stands now, and we have no reason to believe the preseason rankings will change, college football’s opening weekend will feature five games between a pair of Top 25 schools. That’s 10 schools. That’s 40% of the Top 25, for those of you who like the maths. The contests:

No. 23 Louisiana (Lafayette) at No. 21 Texas

No. 19 Penn State at No. 12 Wisconsin

No. 17 Indiana at No. 18 Iowa

No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami

No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson

Sexy games not on the list: No. 16 LSU at UCLA and No. 9 Notre Dame at Florida State.*

*And no, we presently have no idea whether The Athletic will ask us to bring back The Bubble Screen.

Predictions? Why not. Let’s go with Louisiana breaking in a new QB, Penn State and the power of James Franklin, Indiana and Tom Allen’s Ted Lasso coaching talents, Bama to crush the Canes, and Clemson in a battle of red-ass coaches.

We’re Back? Are You Sure?

There’s a big concert on The Great Lawn in Central Park this weekend to celebrate New York being “back.” Performers include Carlos Santana, Paul Simon, Earth, Wind and Fire, Patti Smith, Bruce Springsteen, Wyclef Jean, The Killers and Journey. Did they say back or back to the Eighties?

We’re not overly militant here about reminding people about the pandemic and the Delta variant. At this point in the game, our attitude is pretty much live and let live. If you’re vaccinated, you may get sick but not too sick. If you’re not, well, someone probably advised you to quit smoking a long time ago, too. At this stage of the game, it’s on you.

Have a good time, everyone.