Starting Five

1. You R.A. mazing! Some time within the next two to four years, someone will release a film based on the life of R.A. Dickey. The 37 year-old knuckleballer for the New York Mess won his 20th game yesterday, and it was only fitting that his lone USDA Prime-quality teammate, David Wright, stroked the decisive three-run blast in the Mess’ 6-5 win. Dickey’s memoir, Wherever I Wind Up, which he began while sleeping on an air mattress four years ago in Seattle, is a terrific tale of redemption,  perseverance, self-effacement and faith. That he had it published before he became the Mess’ first 20-game winner in more than 20 years is pure serendipity. Only three years ago Dickey was 34 and still riding minor-league buses. Today, he is a 20-game winner, leads the National League in ERA (E.R.A. Dickey?) and only Tony LaRussa and others whose hearts are three sizes too small would begrudge him their Cy Young vote (yes, we know LaRussa does not vote.) Here’s a piece we wrote on Dickey earlier this summer.

2. Timberrrrrrr! If a Tree falls on a Thursday night in Seattle, do any AP voters hear it? No. 8 Stanford squandered a 10-point lead that it held until the end of the third quarter lost at U-Dub last night, 17-13. In the final eight minutes the Cardinal allowed the Huskies to convert a 4th-and-inches in Husky territory, failed to wrap up on a quick out pass that resulted in the game-winning TD, dropped a difficult but doable out route that would’ve given them first and goal, completely boofed their own 4th-down attempt, and then JUMPED OFFSIDE on a critical 3rd and -and-3, thus sending the game into Schiano ModeForget the A.P. poll; Stanford may actually be in danger of falling out of the U.S. News & World Report Top 10 as well.


Look, Madge, a double entendre! MH salutes RA on his 20th win and a sublime cover photo.

3. Baltimore, the setting for The Replacements (unless you’re an alternative rock fan in his/her 40s; then the setting was Minneapolis), is the scene where the replacement referees are replaced by the NFL referees. The fans at Baltimore’s Corporate Name Here Stadium gave them a standing ovation before the Ravens defeated the Browns, 23-16. How long will this honeymoon last?

4. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the man behind “The Innocence of Muslims” is arrested. And yet Jerry Bruckheimer walks free.

5. Doug Fister of Detroit Tigers strikes out nine straight batters (on a date, 9/27, we should mention, that is perfectly aligned with the math of baseball) and none of them were Oakland A’s. That’s an American League record.


The Wall Street Journal ranks the Top 50 start-ups. Nos. 28 and 48 piqued our interest.

Plane carrying trekkers to the Mount Everest region crashes in Nepal, killing all 19 aboard. The pilot radioed to the tower that the plane struck a vulture. A vulture! We mean, c’mon. Awful news, of course, but now Jon Krakauer can pitch a two-fer to his editors.

You saw the end of the Browns-Ravens game, right? Similar situation to the Packers-Seahawks, except that Brandon Weeden’s pass fell incomplete. However, a referee flagged Baltimore linebacker Freddie Paul Kruger for a personal foul on Brown lineman Joe Thomas, whose wife is hot  (well that was a totally unnecessary aside), after Weeden released the pass. So the Browns were given a second chance. That pass, too, fell incomplete. However, what if it had not? And what if a replacement referee had made that call? Are you telling us we wouldn’t be subjected to a ceaseless barrage of Trent Dilfer/Steve Young bloviating on and on about how you CANNOT make that call at that point of the game? Your thoughts, please…

In bizarre manslaughter sonslaughter news…

France has approved a 75% tax for its super-wealthy… whom we presume will all simply change their primary residences to Monte Carlo.

Two very, very, very different messages in terms of the presidential election, this one and this one. Notice on the latter that it is not accompanied by an, “I am Barack Obama, and I approved this &$%* message.”

Looper opens today… but we already saw it in 2044.

This catch. THIS CATCH! Travis Snider of the Pirates makes an astounding grab to rob the Mess of a home run. If his new nickname is not already Sniderman, we don’t know nothin’ from nothin’.

Sniderman, Sniderman, does whatever a Snider can.


So now Neil Young is a music technology entrepeneur? Young appeared on Letterman after Jimmy Fallon, who does a fair Neil Young impersonation.

The NBA is finally, FINALLY, instituting a rule to penalize flopping. We’re calling it the Ginobiliiiiii Rule.

Don’t look now, but it may be too soon to bury Blackberry.(We still own and love ours)

China has expelled Bo Xilai from the Communist Party. Bo will now pledge the University of Tennessee’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. #ButtChugging

So, if you’re keeping score, that’s two football games in prime time this week at Seattle Corporate Name Here Stadium that basically ended on an interception, although the teams intercepting the pass went 1-1.

Reports from trusted sources (our big brother) that Red Hot Chili Peppers tour is a tour de force in kickassery and must be seen.


Day of Yore, September 27

Willie Mays was among the guests on the first ever episode of what would become the Tonight Show on September 27, 1954. It was called “Tonight With Steve Allen” in the first version of what has become the longest running entertainment program in the U.S.

It was today in 1920 that the Philadelphia American ran a story quoting a Philly gambler named Bill Maharg who said that he and former big-league pitcher Billy Burns had offered eight Chicago White Sox $100,000 to throw the 1919 World Series. That night in Chicago, 33-year old “Shoeless” Joe Jackson stroked a game winning double for the White Sox. It would be his last hit in the majors as he was banned from baseball by commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. Jackson finished with a .356 lifetime average.

Today in 1930 Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur to complete the Grand Slam of golf, which at the time, consisted of winning the U.S. and British Opens as well as the British Amateur.

A different sounding cat debuted today in 1994, when the Dave Matthews Band dropped their first album, “Under the Table and Dreaming”. Fueled by hits like, “What Would You Say,” “Ants Marching,” and “Satellite,” the album would propel the band to global fame.

Birthday wishes go out to Marvin Aday (Meatloaf), Marc Maron, Lil Wayne and Avril Lavigne. And this woman turns 40:

— Bill Hubbell


IT’S ALL HAPPENING! 9/27 (The 3 Squared, 3 Cubed Edition!)

Starting Five

1. The Labor Issues of Hochuli have been completed. Hochuli perfectly embodied the Greek idea of “pathos, the experience of virtuous struggle and suffering that would lead to fame… and a $24,000 per annum increase in compensation (from $149,000 to $173,000).”

About how large would you say the Girdle of Hippolyta was, Ed?

2. The Oakland K’s established a new single-season record for whiffing when Chris Carter struck out in Texas in the 2nd inning. Oakland now has gone “One, two, three strikes you’re out”  1,334 times this season. Then again, Oakland beat Texas last night –while striking out a dozen times — and looks secure for a wildcard spot. We must’ve missed that chapter of “Moneyball.” We hereby doth propose the team relocate to Fargo (or Bismarck, or Sioux City… do you know where we are going here yet? Sure you do…) and rechristen itself the Dakota Fannings.

3. Andy Williams succumbs to cancer at the age of 84. If you’re going to make a tune your signature song, you will never do better than Moon River  (We’ll save the Fletch jokes for another day… listen to the lyrics; it’s been called the perfect song). And your mom or grandmom had a crush on him, even if they’ll never admit it.

4. If you failed Western Civ, don’t feel bad. The Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, appeared on Late Show last night and was unable to correctly tell host David Letterman what “Magna Carta” translated to in English (so the PM failed Latin, too). Cameron also missed the composer of “Rule, Brittania.” This should become a new game show. (answers: “Great Charter” and Thomas Arne).

5. We know who we want to do our taxes for us next year. An Australian auditor discovered an extra $334 billion the nation did not know that it possessed. That’s an extra $14,000 or so for each Australian, which means you should be buying stock in whoever bottles XXX or Foster’s beer.


Are you suffering from “Sudden Wealth Syndrome?” Jason Jones explores this potentially crippling condition on “The Daily Show”. “From the Trust Belt of Connecticut…” Highly recommended.

Bryce Harper now has more Major League home runs than he does birthdays, as the 19 year-old hits his 20th homer at Philadelphia. The only other big leaguer to hit 20 home runs before his 20th birthday? Former Red Sox prodigy Tony Conigliaro.

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o becomes the first Irish football player to make the cover of Sports Illustrated (even if it is a regional cover) since August of 2006. Cover hed: “The Full Manti.” We would have preferred “Hawaiian, 5, Oh!” or  In Excelsis Te’o.

“The Full Manti?” What, did someone not think of “Praying Manti?”

If you did see Letterman’s interview with David Cameron, then you know that in Great Britain politicians are not allowed to advertise on television (that drew a large round of applause inside the Ed Sullivan Theater). “I’ve never said, ‘I’m David Cameron and I approved this message,” the PM said. Also, he noted that his TOTAL campaign fund was around $150,000.

Cameron, by the way, was a winning personality (we doubt Ahmadinejad would have been quite so charming). It’s funny to think that now both the Beatles and the Prime Minister of Great Britain have appeared in that theater, but only the latter had to pass a history quiz.

For what it’s worth, the guest who followed the leader of the British Empire was actor Johnny Lee Miller, whom you may know better as the character Sick Boy from “Trainspotting.” The booking staff over there on Broadway and West 53rd St., they’re what the Brits would refer to as “cheeky buggers.”

No. 8 Stanford visits Washington tonight (ESPN, 8 p.m.) . No matter who wins, they ARE going to school tomorrow.

R.A. Dickey goes for his 20th win this afternoon at Citi Field versus the Pittsburgh Pirates, who just qualified to have the month of October off for the 20th consecutive year — or longer than Bryce Harper, who will play in the postseason, has been breathing.

The top-grossing film in the U.S. right now… any idea? It’s “End of Watch,” a film about two young L.A. cops who stumble upon a Mexican drug cartel. It’s written by David Ayer, who also penned the irresistably watchable “Training Day.”

Sometimes we watch the GOP nominee (skip to :30) and we think of this guy

Day of Yore, September 26

“I’m going to leave y’all with one thought, I’m a big believer in fate. I have a good feeling about this.”

So said Ben Crenshaw on the night of September 25, 1999, following play at the Ryder Cup in Brookline, Massachusetts. Most just rolled their eyes at Crenshaw as the U.S.’s hopes were all but dashed after falling behind 10-6 with just Sunday’s singles matches to go. Brookline is 300 miles from Lake Placid, but another miracle was capped when Justin Leonard poured in a 45-foot putt to beat Jose Maria Olazabel and clinch the Cup for the Americans. Actually it didn’t clinch the Cup, Olazabel still had a chance to halve the hole (sort of like we still had to beat Finland to win the gold in Lake Placid.)

Leonard played the hero at Brookline, but today’s hero role goes to Stanislav Petrov, who all but saved the world today in 1983. Petrov was the duty officer on command at a Soviet Nuclear base in Oko, where a computer glich twice reported that the United States had launched missiles at the Soviet Union. Petrov deemed it to be a false alarm, and probably kept the Soviets from launching a retaliatory nuclear attack on the U.S. But Katy Perry’s life story had to be made into a movie first.

Mickey Mantle was flawless on eight chances at shortstop today in 1954. With the Bronx Bombers eight games out, Manager Casey Stengel decided to have a little fun with his lineup. Yogi Berra was also without error on his two grounders at third base.

Machine Gun Kelly was apprehended by the FBI today in 1933, and reportedly yelled “don’t shoot G-Men, don’t shoot G-Men,” a phrase that would stick with the FBI since then. Now this guy looked like a prohibition era gangster:

In other gangster news, “West Side Story” opened on Broadway today in 1957. The play took Romeo and Juliet and set it in NYC’s gangs.

Speaking of gangster, Johnny Appleseed was born today in 1774. No? Okay, speaking of gangster, Olivia Newton-John turns 64 today. Still no? Okay, maybe Olivia didn’t really get physical, but this chick who turns 56 today certainly did.

 definitely more gangster than 

Speaking of Olivia Newton-John, wait, were we? Crocodile Dundee opened today in 1986. I’m thinking Linda Hamilton could have kicked his ass.

Lord knows what the Croc man would have thought of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” which opened today in 1975.

Following the two classic, but slower albums, REM wanted to get back to rocking on their next album. They certainly did on “Monster,” released today in 1994. Peter Buck’s opening licks on the opening song showed that REM was back to rocking.

One of the all-time greats passed away today in 2008.


— Bill Hubbell



Posted in: 365 |


Starting Five

1. Fail Mary or Golden Taint? And this all may have been avoided if Green Bay Packer defensive back M.D. Jennings (who is not a real doctor) had simply batted down the pass instead of attempting to make an interception. Sure, easy for us to say now.

Wondering whether any Seattle-ite has witnessed in person both perfect games as well as the Fail Mary this year.

2. Perhaps the NFL will at least realize that a replay official may be permitted, in extreme circumstances such as a play that occurs in the final two minutes of the game, to employ common sense to overturn a call. For example, penalizing noted  maple bar aficionado Golden Tate for his blatant offensive pass interference. We could call this new by-law “The Golden Rule.”

3. Our favorite non-knuckleball pitcher, Kris Medlen, did not get the win last night but his team, the Atlanta Braves did, on Freddie Freeman’s jog-off homer (we mean, they don’t actually walk, do they?) The Braves clinch a wildcard playoff position while winning for the 22nd consecutive time when Medlen starts.

4. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to address the United Nations general assembly today in New York City (technically, the U.N. is not located in New York City — see, we listened during the tour — even though it is), a metropolis with a fair number of Jewish citizens, on the holiest date on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur. To give you an idea of how offensive this is to many people, this is like having Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speak in New York City on Yom Kippur. See: yesterday’s New York Post cover.

5. It looks as if Washington, D.C., will now become the nation’s leading producer of pork by default. Aporkalypse >>> Bacongeddon.

The Bench

We may have had a shrine like this once (and if we did, it was garnished with glitter and fresh rose petals).

NICO CALABRIA! One-legged Massachusetts teen scores goal in a high school soccer game. Pretty tremendous. And, yes, our money is on Nico in an ass-kicking contest.

Peter King gets to the heart of the issue separating the NFL and its officials on Ironically, the league would argue, it is holding out on making a deal because it is insisting on being able to upgrade refereeing in season if the quality of officiating is subpar. If you do not understand why that is ironic, ask your high school English teacher.

Classic Snickers ad takes place, sort of, in real life at the University of Minnesota-Crookston. Not going anywhere for awhile?

“Great googly moogly!”

Conan O’Brien: “Who the hell is Elisabeth Hasselbeck? She didn’t even win ‘Survivor’! She came in, like, fifth!” (We would add that she is married to, like, the third-best football playing Hasselbeck in the Hasselbeck clan.)

The CEO of Radio Shack, James Gooch, steps down. Wouldn’t it have been great if in his farewell address Gooch said, “Nobody buys $%&* radios any more! That’s a problem!”

Breaking: Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o makes the cover of Sports Illustrated, the first Irish player to make the cover of SI since August of 2006. Irish Irrelevancy Update for Rick Reilly: Te’o on cover of SI, Golden Tate currently appearing on continuous loop on ESPN.

Former Los Angeles Dodger closer Eric Gagne says that he and 80% of his teammates used PEDs, steroids. The rest, we presume, were known as “utility infielders.”

Notre Dame dumps Michigan, but will still play the Wolverines next season and in 2014. It’s a little like when Brad and Jennifer flew to Anguilla to hang out together before going their separate ways.

Today’s thought: There’s no pot in pot roast.

Hey! Who’s the hottest mom in college football? Busted Coverage claims that it is Cynthia Zordich, mother of Buffalo football player Alex Zordich. We were sort of hoping it would be the mom of a BYU or Washington State Cougar.


While we are on the topic, tangentially, Jennifer Montana is still a college football mom and this week her son, Nate, was named the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) Player of the Week. Nate Montana completed 37 passes for 413 yards to ten different receivers in West Virginia Wesleyan’s win.

So, if you’ve been keeping score this morning, Conan O’Brien likes Erin Brunette, dislikes Elisabeth Hasselbeck.

She probably registers high on the Andy Richter Scale, too

“Hey, John and Billy, we love the new site, but how come you guys never have any video of rampaging squirrels in Germany?” Good question. Done.

Both Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera lead in two of baseball’s three Triple Crown categories and both find themselves within striking distance in the third category as of today. The Brewers’ Braun leads the Senior Circuit in home runs (40) and RBI (108; tied, actually) and is fifth in batting at .317. Miggy leads the American League in batting average (.326), and RBI (133) and trails Josh Hamilton by one in home runs (42). The last time both the NL and the AL had Triple Crown winners in the same season? The year was 1933, with Chuck Klein of the Phillies and Jimmie Foxx of the Athletics, both of which were Philadelphia-based franchises.

Rocky Top, Messy Bottoms. The University of Tennessee suspends Pi Kappa Alpha after a few pledges are rushed to the hospital after receiving alcohol enemas. “When I said, ‘Straight up’, that’s not what I meant.”



Day of Yore, September 25

“ER” went live tonight in 1997. NBC’s huge hit took advantage of its popularity and started its fourth season with a live episode. The cast and crew performed the show twice, one for the eastern, central and mountain time zones and then another one for the west coast. The first bit of medical jargon mumbo jumbo uttered on the show was delivered by non-other than my brother, J.P. Hubbell, playing EMT Lars Audia. Not given a face by, we’ll give him one here:

The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism was founded 100 years ago today. The school was started by Joseph Pulitzer and it administers the Pulitzer Prizes each year. (Does that make the six Pulitzer winner’s who graduated from Columbia’s awards suspect? We should get another alum, Geraldo Rivera on that).

Two acts about as far apart musically as possible made news on September 25, 1970. ABC debuted “The Partridge Family” and Janis Joplin recorded this song.

It was on this day in 1974 that Dr. Frank Jobe took a tendon from Tommy John’s right forearm and inserted it into his left elbow. John would go on to get over half of his 288 career wins after an elbow surgery that would have ended his career before the development of ligament reconstructive surgery.

Barbara Walters turns 83 years old today, Heather Locklear 51, Bill Simmons 43 and in sickeningly cute couple news, both Michael Douglas (68) and his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones (43) celebrate today.

We’ll save the birthday picture for this woman, who was born today in 1947. She was 31 when this photo ran in Sports Illustrated. I was 13 and, um… captivated:

— Bill Hubbell




Posted in: 365 |


Starting Five

1. That dude in the cheesehead who taunts Aaron Rodgers at the end of the “Discount Double-check” ads? Turns out he’s a replacement ref.

“Hey, Rodguhs! The replay official is not going to overturn it!”

2. Jon Gruden claims that Green Bay is 6,000 miles from Seattle (it’s about 1,934). Although if by “Green Bay” Gruden meant Hong Kong, then yeah, that sounds about right.

3. In the aftermath ESPN’s Linda Cohn refers to the NFL as the “best-run business in America”, then takes out her Blackberry to place a call for a new CD player on which to play her new CDs. (Apple, Linda?) Cohn also said that this play may turn out to be “the tip of the iceberg” in the replacement refs/NFL/union refs saga. Live TV ain’t easy.

That’s Shane Falco on your right, Clifford Franklin on your left.

4. The replay official, Howard Slavin, is a Los Angeles-based litigator (specializing in “Toxic Torts!”) who has been an NFL official since 1987. However, the manner in which the rules are written prohibited Slavin from overturning the call or even from flagging Golden Tate for P.I. Not that it was a big play or anything, just the single play that determined the outcome of the game. So, perhaps there’s a little room for common sense in the by-laws. What say you, counselor Slavin?

5. As our own Billy Hubbell noted, this game took place in Seattle on the 21st anniversary of a seminal moment in the city’s history, the release of Seattle-based trio Nirvana’s all-time classic album Nevermind. A denial. A denial. A denial. A denial. A denial.

The Reserves

Fail Mary, Full of Gripes…

“You get so frustrated with incompetence that it leads to anger,” says ESPN’s Trent Dilfer in the immediate aftermath, as Cleveland Brown fans nod in agreement. Peter King tweets, “One of the great disgraces in NFL history“, which we presume is still somewhere below the Personal Seat License concept and the 1978 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Green Bay Packer guard T.J. Lang was more succinct, tweeting simply, “Got (hosed) by the refs. Embarrassing. Thanks nfl.” You know what else is embarrassing, T.J.? Allowing your quarterback, the reigning NFL MVP, to be sacked eight times on national television.

The flag is with thee…

“It’s like putting a mustache on the Mona Lisa,” says Rick Reilly on the ESPN postgame set in reference to the replacement refs, a line that draws admiring nods from Dilfer, Steve Young and host Stuart Scott, who didn’t recognize it from this 2002 Reilly essay in or this 2009 column in ESPN the Magazine. You know, we get so frustrated with incompetence sometimes…

Blessed Art Modell amongst owners…

Seahawk coach Pete Carroll has now been on the winning end of both the Bush Push and the Fail Mary. Give Pete his due: When he writes a book entitled “Win Forever”, he ain’t kidding around.


And blessed is the foot of Justin Tucker…

If only the Fail Mary were a lone miscarriage of justice for the NFL in prime time this weekend. Did Baltimore Raven kicker Justin Tucker’s last-second field goal clear the uprights on Sunday night? Have you seen it from this angle yet?

Holy Moly, Mother of Sod…

This was ESPN analyst John Clayton moments after the final verdict was announced. It’s difficult to blame him. It was a wacky play. Maybe there’s a larger issue here, though, besides the outcome of the contest — it’s the third week of the freakin’ season, after all. Did the refs get it wrong? It sure seems that way. Is that lamentable? Yes. On the other hand, we can look back and find multiple instances of either incompetence (Jim Joyce and the perfect game), malfeasance (the snow plow game in New England?) or outright corruption (Remember Tim Donaghy?) when fans and media reacted with far less bitterness, sanctimony and hostility. Maybe it’s just that it’s an election year. Maybe it’s the insufferable sanctimony and self-importance of “The National Football League” and those who discuss it on ESPN (Merrill Hoge, anyone?). Maybe it’s ESPN needing to fill a news cycle and our crippling addiction to Twitter. Maybe America is losing its sense of humor. Maybe you had money on the Packers.

We know this: Steve Sabol and NFL Films would have captured the moment with pitch-perfect tone.

And there were some funny tweets. Eric Hansen of the South Bend Tribune, who covered Tate in college, noted that it’s “Free Maple Bars for everyone at Top Pot Donuts” while Ralph D. Russo of the AP wrote, “Steve Young’s sanctimonious soliloquy about the greatness of all that is NFL kingdom is the reason why this mess is so damn enjoyable to me.”

Pray for us sinners, as these refs are out of their depth. Amen.

Forget the question of who caught the ball. Golden Tate’s offensive pass interference was ridiculously flagrant — it was so offensive that it was a fragrant foul — and that went completely uncalled. Kudos to ESPN’s Lisa Salters for asking Tate about the shove, to which he replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Look at it this way: At least Golden Tate, Warrior didn’t teabag the Packers’ marching band after he scored.

Golden Tate, Warrior: The legend continues



Day of Yore, September 24

“60 Minutes” debuted on September 24, 1968. In it’s opening, Harry Reasoner said that the show would be a “kind of magazine for television.” The first episode included segments that took a look at the headquarter suites of presidential candidates Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey at their conventions from that summer, a political commentary from Art Buchwald and an interview with then Attorney General Ramsey Clark on police brutality. The show enters its 44th season this fall.

It was 122 years ago today that the LDS Church officially renounced polygamy. Mormons had made a public practice of plural wives for forty years before distancing itself from the practice.

In a bit of cosmic synchronicity, on the morning of September 24, 1977, “Come Sail Away” was released as the first song off of the Styx album, “The Grand Illusion”. As if on cue that night, CBS debuted its new hour-long rom-com “The Love Boat”. 

“The Love Boat” had a decade long run on CBS, but it never once had a scene nearly as good as this one from “Freaks and Geeks” where Lindsay watches her little brother Sam at his first high school dance. She’s bored and disillusioned with the high school experience, but seeing her little bro enter the gym where everything is new and magic makes her realize she might be taking it all a little too seriously. It’s still one of the best scenes Judd Apatow has ever done. Come sail away indeed.

Some would argue that I’ve buried the pop culture lede for this day in history: It was today in 2005 that Ashton Kutcher married Demi Moore. Ok, just kidding, but today in 1991, this dropped:


Arguably no band had changed the game to the degree that Nirvana did since the Beatles performed on Ed Sullivan. The face of the Seattle grunge scene (sorry Kurt, but you were the face of something), Nirvana hit at a time when Michael Jackson and Prince were past their peaks, pop-metal had gotten ridiculous seemingly overnight and Garth Brooks was the world’s most popular musician. Nirvana were the paddles and shock to the system that rock n’ roll needed.

Happy birthday to F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was born this day in 1896. “The Great Gatsby” has been done in some form or another dozens of time on film, but never by Baz Luhrmann and never starring Leo DiCaprio, like 2013’s movie will.

— Bill Hubbell

Posted in: 365 |


Starting Five

1. “I”ll tell you what, the uprights extend through the heavens…” Al Michaels citing a little-known phrase (check 2nd video) in the NFL rule book. Baltimore 31, New England 30. Listen, Bill: As long as you coach the Pats and as long as the rest of us can remember the term “tuck rule”, you’re not going to get any sympathy from anyone who does not pronounce it “chowdah.”

2. “Jon, you gave a tremendous performance this year, and I for one am shocked that you did not win tonight… Too soon?” Emmy host Jimmy Kimmel pokes fun at Mad Men’s Jon Hamm, the George Clooney of television. (Mad Men had an unprecedented 17 nominations, yet picked up no statuettes.)

3. Mark Dantonio goes all Soup Nazi during his post game press conference after the Spartans’ desultory 23-7 victory over Eastern Michigan in East Lansing. NEXT QUESTION.

4. Notre Dame finally defeats Michigan exorcises the demon of Denard Robinson with a 13-6 win. Tommy Rees picks up his second save of the season and is now in contention for the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year in the FBS.

Rollie. Rees. Rolaids Relief.











After all, both have won at Yankee Stadium.




5. Wanting it in the American League East: In just the past ten days the New York Yankees have gone on a seven-game win streak, the Baltimore Orioles a six-game win streak and the Tampa Fay Wrays a five-game win streak.


“I can’t believe Bill Belichick just did that.” Cris Collinsworth on Belichick grabbing a replacement referee. Although, to be fair, that phrase has been uttered by opposing NFL coaches and cuckolded husbands for years.

So the Emmys were boring? Maybe HBO should air them. As Jimmy Kimmel mostly pointed out, the show’s name itself can be distilled into “My” and “Me.”

Drama Series: Breaking Bad Mad Men Homeland.

Comedy Series: Modern Family

“The 22 years I’ve been living, this is the most disappointed I’ve been in myself.” Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson after throwing four interceptions and fumbling in the red zone — on his birthday — in the Wolverines’ loss at Notre Dame.

Why, yes, the WNBA regular season did come to a close and it was the Washington Mystakes (5-29), losers of their final 13 games, that will have the best chance of landing Brittney Griner next spring.

Variety, Music or Comedy: The Daily Show

“Where are you going, sweetheart?” “I’m headed to the maul.” David Villalobos, 25, leaps from Bronx Zoo monorail into tiger pen because “I wanted to be one with the tiger.” Villalobos survived, and the only reason we can ascertain for this miracle is that he must have been wearing his cinammon cologne (“Tigers hate cinammon; they love pepper”).

Cats off-Broadway

Actress, Drama Series: Angela Chase Claire Danes

For what it’s worth, an anagram of Romney is R-Money.

Avalanche in Nepal. At least eight climbers, and perhaps three more, scaling the planet’s eighth-tallest peak, Manaslu, perish in an avalanche. Somewhere Jon Krakauer’s ears just perked up.

The world’s eighth-tallest peak claims at least eight climbers

Supporting Actor, Drama Series: This dude who once finished second on The Price is Right “Showcase Showdown.”

Seth Meyers (and how has he not won an Emmy?) to President Obama: Zip it!

After nearly a six-year drought Notre Dame is finally able to get all Neil Everett about its AP ranking.

Meyers deserves an Emmy. As Mark Dantonio says, “Players make plays.”

IAH is a Hader lover

Supporting Actress, Drama Series: Minerva McGonagall Maggie Smith

Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Carol Vessey Julie Bowen

Old Dominion quarterback Taylor Heineke completes 55 of 79 passes for an NCAA Division I record 730 yards in a 64-61 defeat of New Hampshire. Heineke’s 79 attempts without a pick is an all-divisions NCAA record and has Denard Robinson going “Day-umm.”  The previous week Heineke had thrown seven TD passes. Does the name Gordie Lockbaum mean anything to you?

Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Eric Stonestreet (“Keep it gay, keep it gay, keep it gay!”)

Actress, Comedy Series: Elaine Benes Julia Louis-Dreyfuss

Actor, Comedy Series: Ducky Jon Cryer

While researching Gordie Lockbaum, we came across this November 10, 1986 cover of Sports Illustrated. Glad they solved that problem.

Notre Dame bits of tid: The Irish have yet to trail this season and have outscored opponents 58-13 in the first half. Meanwhile, tight end Tyler Eifert, practically the consensus preseason choice as first-team All-American and Mackey Award winner, has one catch in the past two games (psst: It’s not his fault).

Oklahoma loses at home to Kansas State. It’s the first loss at home against a ranked opponent in the Bob Stoops era after 14 consecutive wins. The Sooners’ most popular player is their second-string quarterback (Bell Dozer!). That’s a problem.

On his 63rd birthday Bruce Springsteen took the stage at Met Life Stadium (in New Jersey!) at 10:30 p.m. and played until 2 a.m. Or, what Guns ‘n Roses used to call “office hours.”

So it was 114 degrees on the red carpet at the Emmys. Expect a spate of climate change made-for-TV movies next year.

 Heidi Klum. Va. Va. Voom.




One-third of the top 18 teams will be playing simultaneously concurrently in an overlapping time-space continuum tonight…

Missouri (2-1) at No. 7 South Carolina (3-0)

3:30 p.m. CBS

The SEC is flush with freshmen Gurley men. Georgia’s Todd Gurley is a phenom rusher, while South Carolina free safety Todd Gurley will start today in place of D.J. Swearinger, who was suspended for last week’s helmet-to-helmet hit.

South Dakota (1-1) at Northwestern (3-0)

3:30 p.m. Big Ten Network

We include this to remind you that 1) the Wildcats could move to 4-0 for the third time in the past five years and 2) this is not the  Dakota school with the (former) player who had the 65 year-old boyfriend. That was the North Dakota State College of Science.

Florida Atlantic (1-2) at No. 1 Alabama (3-0)

5 p.m. ESPN3

Against that defense, the Owl offense will be Florida, pacific. (taps mic…taps it again… is reminded of scene in “Defending Your Life” in which Albert Brooks asks heckler, “How did you die?” and gets the reply, “Onstage. Just like you.”)

Wyoming (0-3) at Idaho (0-3)

5 p.m. ESPN3

We don’t know anyone who is attempting this (or why they would), but it’s possible to watch the Cowboys and Vandals play in Moscow and also catch at least some of the Colorado-Washington State game, seven miles due west in Pullman, that kicks off one hour earlier. Two games, four teams, 10 losses (and two wins).

California (1-2) at USC (3-0)

6 p.m. Pac-12 Network

Cal’s Brendan Bigelow — 160 yards on four carries at Ohio State last week — is no longer a secret. Will the effect of two road games in eight days, three time zones apart, wear down the Golden Bears? And how will the Trojans respond after last week’s loss in Palo Alto?

No. 2 LSU (3-0) at Auburn (1-2)

7 p.m. ESPN

Kirk Herbstreit to Auburn fans on “College Gameday”: “You people are absurd. This guy won a national championship for you and now he’s a clown?!?” Give ’em hell, Herbie!

No. 18 Michigan (2-1) at No. 11 Notre Dame (3-0)

7:30 p.m. NBC

“Stand in the place where you live…” Ushers at Notre Dame Stadium will be wearing these tonight. So they can’t stand for sitting in South Bend tonight? Parents who attend the game, please hire a babystander.

No. 15 Kansas State (3-0) at No. 6 Oklahoma (3-0)

7:50 p.m. FOX
The Sooners modeled their use of Blake Bell after the manner in which K-State employs Collin Klein. That makes the Belldozer a Collin Klein model. No pick! NO PICK!

“I’ve never met a man who knew so much about nothing…”

No. 10 Clemson (3-0) at No. 4 Florida State (3-0)

ABC 8 p.m.

Sammy Watkins is a Florida native who grew up a Seminole fan, but the Tallahasseans only half-heartedly pursued him in recruiting. They’ll be pursuing him whole-heartedly tonight after he had 175 all-purpose yards against them as a true frosh last September.


No. 22 Arizona (3-0) at No. 3 Oregon (3-0)

10:30 p.m. ESPN

Oregon minus-21.5

“I enjoy simple pleasures like butter in my *** and lollipops in my mouth. That’s me. One other thing I want to do in this life is make a dollar and a cent in this business. I’m not trying to hurt you. Take the Ducks minus the points.

Floyd prefers videotape and the Ducks minus the points

De’Anthony Thomas is averaging — are you seated? (Notre Dame fans, don’t answer) — 17.5 yards per carry in this young season. Chip Kelly has only handed him the ball 13 times in three games thus far.