by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

(which Frank has since deleted)

Starting Five

This is what winning a national championship on a buzzer-beater looks like

1. Easter Parade All-American

Rising from the dead? Strong maneuver.

Hitting not one but two last-second game winners on Final Four weekend? Close second.

On Good Friday and Easter Sunday, Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale rains knockout shots against UConn and Mississippi State, two teams who were a combined 72-1 when they met the Irish (the first was from the right side, just inside the arc; the latter also from the right, just outside). Muffet McGraw wins her second national championship 17 years to the day after winning her first (both on Easter) and, her 800th career game.

Down 15 early in the 3rd quarter, the Catholics resurrected themselves from the dead, tying it up to open the fourth quarter (they trailed by eight with six minutes to play on Friday evening). Then the Irish came back from five down in the final 1:54. Greatest Women’s Final Four? All three games were tied with :01 in regulation.

2. Get Out! *

*The judges will also accept “Meet The Leakers”

Meet the 2018 White House spring interns. Our bet is the dude on the lower left was lured here by Allison Williams.

3. When The Process Collides

The hottest team in the NBA? The Philadelphia 76ers, winners of 10 straight. TTP are just half a game behind Cleveland for the third spot in the East, which is the difference between meeting Indiana and Washington in the first round, which is kind of big.

Last week Sixer rookie Markelle Fultz (1st pick overall, 2017), in just his second game back after missing 68, collided with Joel Embiid (3rd pick overall, 2014) on an offensive play, breaking the latter’s orbital bone (it was actually Embiid’s fault; he bobbled a pass, then bent over to retrieve it). The Sixers could be without Embiid for the first round.

Meanwhile, our Suns have lost 15 in a row and are a game away from clinching the NBA’s worst record with three remaining. Los Suns, or Loss Suns?

4.They Might Not Be Giants

“Where have you gone, Joe Panik?” does not quite have the same ring to it. Or ring tone.

After two games the San Francisco Giants who, as you may recall, are almost destined to win World Series in even-numbered years this decade, were 2-0. That on the strength of a pair of 1-0 victories at Dodger Stadium courtesy of the same player: Joe Panik.

That had never happened before in Major League Baseball history (Rule No. 7)

Two games later SF is 2-2 and those Panik blasts are still the only runs they’ve scored through four games. Offseason pickup Evan Longoria, who’s due $94 million over the next six seasons, is 0 for 15.

The lesson for the Giants, who have won three World Series this decade? Panik, but don’t panic.

5. Invasion Of The First Amendment Snatchers

Kudos to Deadspin for noting that all Sinclair-owned local news affiliates are behaving like bots. Conservative-leaning Sinclair is the largest owner of local networks in the nation, with 173 of them, and is looking to purchase more. And well that’s all fine and dandy, mandating that stations operate like the Ministry of Information from Orwell’s 1984 is rather scary.

This story got out because reporters at the stations anonymously leaked it, first to CNN. Here’s a memo from March from one station’s news director: “Let me be absolutely clear here… These MUST Run. If they do not, my job is on the line. I don’t say that to scare you by any means but I do say this so you understand how serious SBG is about this project.”


Did They Thelma & Louise It?

The California Highway Patrol, using data from their vehicle’s software, believe that that SUV owned by the Hart (heartless?) moms came to a full stop at the cliff side pull out, then accelerated off the road into the cliff. It’s fine if these two women wanted to Sarandon/Davis it into the Pacific, but why couldn’t they have also paid homage to Harold and Maude, letting their three (or all six) adopted kids out first. Three children’s bodies were found, but three are missing (which leaves a slim hope that they may be alive somewhere).

That Name, Though*

Young Mr. Brown is adorbs, no?

*The judges will also accept, “Come On And Take A Free Ride”

A Texas teenager who is African-American was accepted at 20 universities, including all eight Ivy League schools (a perfect octet! Does this make him an Ideal Gas?), Georgetown, Northwestern and Stanford.

Oh, and he’s going to get a full-ride based on merit and academics. In case you were wondering, young Michael Brown had a 1540 SAT (out of 1600), a 34 ACT (out of 36) and a 4.68 GPA.

Music 101

Everything I Own

David Gates wrote and recorded this 1972 Top 5 hit for his band, Bread, in honor of his later father. There is no record that Bread ever played a double bill with Milk & Honey. According to Wiki, Gates, 77, has been married to his Tulsa high school sweetheart since 1958 (that’s 60 years!) and they have four children: three lawyers and a surgeon.

Remote Patrol


6 p.m. AMC


9 p.m. TBS

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

9:45 p.m. TCM

The shark movie you know. The NCAA championship game, well, can Moritz Wagner and the Pips keep up with Villanova? No(va). As for the third option, we love this movie, and each time we watch it, it begins to make a little more sense. Quite confusing on first watch, though (a fine complement to Munich, by the way. Gary Oldham is fantastic as the recently retired spy who helps piece together the puzzle from afar. But it’s such a fantasy: the idea of Russians infiltrating a Western democracy.





Not even the most famous J.C. to be put to death in this 100-year span…

1. Et Tu, Roger?

Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it only took one day for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell one day to end the Pax Romana. Super Bowl 50 Shades of Grey? Commemorative shirts from the game will come in sizes Small, 1,000, 50 and 40.

2. The Last Don

What is it with all the octogenarian Dons lately? Sterling, Rickles and now Zimmer (Trump turns 68 next week…as much as we’d all enjoy him speeding on ahead to 80)? Don Zimmer, who spent 63 years married to the same woman and 66 years married to baseball, passed away at the age of 83 yesterday. Here’s my piece on him in Newsweek.

3. Let Them Eat Clay

A native of Russia, or Sochi says.

Earlier today Maria Sharapova, for my money the most gawgeous female athlete in the world operating at an elite level, advanced to the finals of the French Open. Personally, and your opinion is always welcome here, I see a lot of Sansa Stark in Ms. Sharapova. She used to be this beautiful but fragile creature, but with age –she’s 27, whereas Venus Williams is about to turn 34 and Serena Williams is 32 –has come wisdom, a slightly less naive outlook, and a more battle-hardened player.

The six-foot-two Sharapova, who will face Simona Halep of Romania in Saturday’s final, has won every Grand Slam exactly once, and her last title was the French in 2012. As he Williams sisters edge toward retirement, Sharapova has a window in the next three years to double her career Grand Slam titles output. She’ll never be in the Serena/Martina/Steffi court (much less the Margaret Court court), but with eight career Grand Slams she’d burst into the Top 10 all-time.

4. Alex Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Flanagan & Kelly. And you wonder why they’re called the Fighting Irish?

Ten or so years ago, when I first noticed Alex Flanagan sideline reporting for ESPN, I had trouble following what she said. Why? Because she was simply too stunning, possessed of the type of severe, timeless beauty on par with a Hitchcock blonde. She shouldn’t have been asking Barry Alvarez questions; she should have been asking Jimmy Stewart questions.

But as she came to work for NBC, and as I came to know her, I found a warm, intelligent, down-to-earth professional. I’ll never forget doing a post-game webcast with Paula Faris on the sidelines of Notre Dame Stadium, probably in 2007 or 2008. Paula’s infant daughter, Caroline, started getting fussy and wanted her mother but we were on the air/web. So, Alex, a mom herself who was standing nearby, took the baby from Paula’s husband and held her in her arms. Soothed her. It was a scene from a movie.

I covered the 2007 season and four years of Tommy Rees, and now that the corner is turned, they boot me? Nice.

NBC has taken Alex off its Notre Dame  broadcasts, as first reported by Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead, and off its Sunday Night Football pre-game show as well. But, as she says, she’ll still be a part “of the NBC family.” I wish her more great moments on and off television. She’s terrific at her job and a wonderful person.

5. On the Flip Side

Flip Saunders…

In some respects, Flip Saunders is a terrific NBA head coach. The former college teammate of Kevin McHale and former No. 1 overall pick Mychal Thompson (Klay’s pops) led two different NBA teams to 58-or-better wins seasons (Minnesota, 58-24 in 2004; and Detroit 64-18 in 2006 and 59-23 in 2008) and how many NBA coaches, past or present, can say that (I’ve got Rick Adelman, Phil Jackson, Pat Riley and Don Nelson)?

On the other hand, he most recently had two disastrous seasons in Washington and started the third 2-15 before being canned. Now he GM of the Timberwolves in the same city where he played both his high school and (my bad: Saunders played high school ball near Cleveland, where as a 5’11” guard he averaged 32 points per game, which blows my mind) college ball, Saunders yesterday decided that Flip Saunders beat out all other suitors for the team’s vacant head coaching job.

Not Flip Saunders

What next? Does GM Flip trade Kevin Love (over the objections of Coach Flip)? Saunders, unlike other dual GM/Coach combos Pat Riley, Doc Rivers and Stan Van Gundy, has never taken a team to the NBA Finals. Does he merit this dual role? And who will be there to tell him if he does not?

Remote Patrol

Blazing Saddles

Sundance 9 p.m.

“One false move and…”

To paraphrase Taggart (Slim Pickens), “What in the wide world of sports do you think you’re doing, not listing Game 1 of the Heat-Spurs NBA Finals?” Okay, you’re correct. That will air on ABC at 8 p.m. Having said that, if you’ve never seen this 1974 Mel Brooks classic, it has to be one of the five funniest films of all time. DVR’ing it would be a heady (“That’s Hedley!”) move.


Our man Oz will make a weekly stock pick for us from one of his western U.S. lairs. In his initial entry, about 10 days ago, Oz espoused the lustrous investing possibilities of gold. This time he invokes the value of desert gold, i.e., water.

While on assignment in central California I took this picture. What does it tell you? Crops need water.

And what is the stock opportunity there? Well, I have bought “water” stocks before, but the problem with them is that they are tied to an increase in spending around construction and that means a growing economy. This is not necessarily the case. The other easy answer is agricultural stocks. The main players are the usual names: Monsanto (MON), Syngenta (SYT) and Dupont (DD).

While these stocks have performed well recently, based on “drought” news, I really like the Powershares DB Agriculture Fund (DBA). The chart looks great and I see it topping its 52-week high– potentially a 20% gain in 2012. Plus, I can’t help but mention the overall trend of the market and in the short term is up.

Get in now, is what I say. Plenty of choices out there and more ideas to come…



Last Week: Nova Gold (NG ) Was: $4.72. Is: $4.51. (oops)