Starting Five

1. Millions in the northeast still without power due to Sandy. In New York City 111 homes in the Breezy Point section of Queens are laid to waste due to a hurricane-related inferno.  Whatever we can do for these homeowners, it would be much appreciated.

2. The new-look Lakers lose to the Dallas Maveicks in both teams’ season debut, 99-91. Before the game Mav owner Mark Cuban, asked about the team that already had one of basketball’s three top players — and fiercest competitor– in Kobe Bryant, and then added Dwight Howard and Steve Nash, quipped, “I hope they suck.” They did last night, as Howard missed 11 of 14 free throw and Nash missed 6 of 9 shots. LA, which has 33 All-Star selections  in its lineup, was out of sync the entire second half. It’s only one game, but LOL now only has 81 remaining to win the 73 Ron Artest forsoothed.

3.  Another shark attack off the coast of California, though this one occurs in Humboldt County, hundreds of miles north of last week’s. The surfer suffered a 14-inch wound but survived.

4. Gary Myers of the New York Daily News opines on why Rex Ryan never played The TebowLin last Sunday’s blowout loss to the Dolphins: “Ryan was scared of Tebow doing well, even in a meaningless situation. Can youimagine if Ryan pulled Sanchez in the fourth quarter against Miami and Tebow led the Jets on two touchdown drives?” (a chorus of ESPN talking heads cry, “No, we cannot.”)

5. Greg Merson, 24, outlasts Jesse Sylvia to win the World Series of Poker and $8.53 million.  Merson ended the 12-hour fisession ion by putting Sylvia all-in with nothing better than a king-high. Sylvia had a queen-jack suited,nut the community cards yielded no face cards. As far as we are concerned, the WSOP doesn’t happen until we hear Norman Chad’s commentary on it.




IT’S ALL HURRICANING! The Walters-logged edition

Devastation, deforestation,  saturation, and evacuation: that is Sandy, and no, Mike Tyson is not writing this entry. Let’s hunker down and recap the “super storm.”

Breakout Stars (on a night of “Not Any Stars”): Ali Velshi, Governor Chris “I could care less” Christie, the dangling boom, Mayor Bloomberg’s sign-language interpreter, the Chelsea dollhouse, the Lower East Side transformer.

Random Observations

Sea-N-N: The seminal cable news network appeared to adopt a water’s edge doctrine for all its on-air personalities, including Anderson Cooper and Erin Brunette. Then there was Ali Velshi, a business reporter who found himself full-moonlighting as a human flood gauge in Atlantic City. Velshi spent most of the evening on a main drag immersed in anywhere from two to three feet of water, providing saturation coverage in every sense to CNN’s reporting. Our only question: Where was Lou Waters?

Fool in the Rain? Velshi was both ubiquitous and amphibious

The Dangling Boom… Poised 90 stories above a luxury apartment being constructed at the corner of 6th Avenue and 57th Street, a crane went from being fully erect to suddenly, well, flaccid on Monday afternoon. The first furious winds of Sandy had sent it into this position, creating the largest and most conspicuous metaphor New Yorkers had seen in quite some time. The building, One57, will house millionaires and billionaires — the top two properties have sold for $90 million (so, you know, Occupy’ers, if you’re looking for a new intersection on which to set up camp).

The Dangling Boom not only poses great danger — it weighs a few tons and is poised 1,000 feet above one of the busiest intersections in Manhattan — but also provides a living symbol of the price of conspicuous consumption. “It’s the Crane of Damocles,” one of our more clever (okay, our most clever) friends texted. “It’s hanging over the head of everyone who aspires to be nothing more than rich.” That, and anyone who was hoping to pop in for happy hour at Rue 57.

Hurricane, hurtin’ crane

Irony Alert/False Alarm  Only a few hours later someone tweeted that CNN was reporting that the floor of the  New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water, prompting some wiseguy (looks around innocently) to tweet, “Great. Wall Street needs yet another bailout.”

Alas, the news was false.

Lydia Callis, the sign-language lady at Mayor Bloomberg’s press conferences. We both sing and sign her praises. Watch here.

So at around 10 p.m. Monday night, on the local NBC affiliate, an ad ran for the Bahamian resort Atlantis, conjuring images of an undersea city. Just what New Yorkers needed to be thinking about at the time.

Both David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon did their late-night talk shows in front of empty houses on Monday night. Here’s a clip from Letterman’s “monologue” and from Fallon’s open. As you can see, it was a refreshingly different way to open both shows. Here’s hoping it persuades both men to step out of the routine a little more often. Letterman used to be renowned for stepping out of, and then stomping, the box. Here’s Dave’s “Frankenstorm Top Ten” list (“Trumpical Storm?”).

Chris Christie. How cool is New Jersey’s governor? He’s like Tony Soprano without all the contract killings and Russian hookers (as far as we know). Christie called out the Atlantic City mayor who failed to heed his warning to have everyone evacuate, praised the Democratic president for all of his assistance (“I spoke to him personally three times yesterday and he gave me his phone number at the White House”) exactly one week before the election, and when asked if GOP candidate Mitt Romney might be touring the areas of devastation in New Jersey, bluntly replied, “I could care less” before taking a huge bite out of a meatball sub. Or we may have imagined that last part, but we still love the governor of our home state. He fits it like a jughandle.

Get Christie love…

That same clever friend of ours noted that every time he saw the graphic “Sandy Ravages” on CNN he thought of “Randy Savage.” So, it was a Macho Storm, too.

The Chelsea dollhouse, or as any NYC real-estate broker would describe it, “Plenty of available light.”

A religious zealot could make the argument that God was punishing the Jersey shore for Snooki and J-Wow, and who could blame them?

Thing we won’t forget: the young man taking shelter in the ATM vestibule at about 5 p.m. Monday afternoon, asking us when the subways would be up and running again. “Days,” we replied. “Where do you live?”  His answer: “The Bronx.” The look on his face…

Our one hope was that the storm would abate for five seconds, and that a disembodied voice would boom down from the heavens proclaiming, “YOU MUST START THE TEBOW!” Then the storm would resume. That would’ve been the ultimate OMG moment, emphasis on “G”.

“God saw how great wickedness had become, and that Tebow was only seeing playing time as a punt protector, and decided to wipe mankind from the face of the earth.”

Herman Cain. Hurricane. We’re still trying to divine any meaning from that correlation.

Hurricane Sandy Playlist

1. Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head….B.J. Thomas

2. Atlantic City…………………………..Bruce Springsteen

3. Higher Ground……………………….Stevie Wonder

4. Anything by the ’80s Scottish pop band Wet Wet Wet (we’ll vote for their remake of “Love Is All Around”)

5. Stormy Weather……………………..Ethel Waters

6.  Rock You Like a Hurricane……….Scorpions (we are no fans of the tune, but it’s sort of obligatory)

7. Umbrella…………………………………Rhianna

8. Fool in the Rain…………………….Led Zeppelin

9. Blowin’ in the Wind…………………Bob Dylan (chosen ahead of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” and “Hurricane”)

10. Ridin’ the Storm Out………………..REO Speedwagon

11. Rain King……………………………..Counting Crows

12. Five Feet High and Risin’…………Johnny Cash

13. Who’ll Stop the Rain? …………….Creedence Clearwater Revival

14. Sandy”…………………………………..Springsteen



Starting Five

1. HBO: Boardwalk Empire. Cable News Channels: Boardwalk Waterloo. The Jersey shore is about to be battered by Sandy. Sandy Hook is about to be battered by Sandy. How dire is it? All of the Starbucks in Manhattan are closed! (we know). Emergency planning includes posting Tim Tebow atop Empire State Building and asking him to, shirtless, raise arms to the heavens. “Fine, go ahead,” says Rex Ryan, “but Mark Sanchez is still our starting quarterback.”

Sandy versus sandbags: the battle begins

2. The San Francisco Giants sweep the Detroit Tigers to win the World Series. Yes, Marco Scutaro had the game-winning single and Ryan Theriot (a.k.a., “The Riot”) scored the game-winning run, marking the first time an NHL defenseman had done so. Most surprisingly, the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years and the likely American League MVP, Miguel Cabrera, struck out looking to end the game, the series and the 2012 season.

3. Cowboys fall behind 23-0, roar back to take lead, then lose in excruciating fashion at home to the New York Giants. Dez Bryant made a sick game-winning TD catch, but it was ruled that the tip of his finger touched beyond the end zone before any other part of his body landed. Clearly, as one ESPN anchor opined, Dallas needs to draft wide receivers with shorter fingers.


It is, after all, a game of millimeters

4. Weather Channel’s coverage of the 1991 Perfect Storm, featuring the impeccable tonsorial stylings of Stu Ostro.

5. The BCS standings have a top five of Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame, Oregon and LSU. Two of those five teams play USC, and another two play one another (this Saturday). Kansas State was doubly hurt by Notre Dame’s win at Oklahoma (the Sooners’ rating plummets, while the Irish remain undefeated), while a USC victory versus Oregon this weekend would assist the Irish in a similarly compounded fashion.


Darren Rovell tweets, “Is it bad that I’m most concerned about my mancave flooding?” and yet another wave of Americans wonder what TV executives he has pictures of and with whom. RovellsMancave already has a hashtag.

And at the other end of the spectrum, this photo of soldiers from the 3rd Infantry Regiment guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Don Draper and Zou Bisou in Hawaii. Filming has begun on Season 6 of Mad Men.

Your high school English teacher is secretly thrilled that an HMS Bounty sunk earlier today due to Sandy. No word yet on the status of William Bligh or Fletcher Christian.

Hey, who’s that deliriously happy nut job singing along to Journey at the World Series? Oh, it’s the former only lead singer of Journey. Steve Perry is quite the recluse, so this is like seeing a Sasquatch along side the highway (a real Sasquatch, not some dude in a Sasquatch outfit). Here’s another angle. It’s good to see Perry this happy. The only people who sing Journey tunes who appear happier than Perry are these guys.

Steve Perry: ZZ Top and ABBA are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but Journey is not.

Today’s thought: The Prius is the veggie burger of automobiles.

Fascinating profile of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a cover story from The Atlantic. Call him the “soda jerk” if you want, but we think he’s way ahead of the game on this one. There was a time in NYC when it was considered boorish to prohibit smokers from lighting up in restaurants and bars.

On our timeline this morning we had a few southerners griping that Hurricane Sandy is overhyped. That SEC mentality extends far beyond the gridiron, apparently.

Sandy: “Because the power that you’re supplying/It’s electrifying!” (in a power-outagey sort of way)

Sports teams as potentially deadly forces of nature, a list (Whose idea was this anyway?):

Miami Hurricanes (NCAA)

Tulsa Golden Hurricanes (NCAA)

Pepperdine Waves (NCAA)

Alabama Crimson Tide (NCAA… oh, they’re a force of nature, alright)

Carolina Hurricanes (NHL)

Colorado Avalanche (NHL)

Tampa Bay Lightning (NHL)

Chicago Fire (MLS)

San Jose Earthquakes (MLS)

Oklahoma City Thunder (NBA)

Tulane Green Wave (NCAA… thanks to @StumpTheRob)

Seattle Storm (WNBA… thanks to @JimMcDonald)





IT’S ALL HAPPENING: The Weakened Edition, 10/27-28

Starting Five

1. A Mighty Wind… We’ve got your Cloud Atlas right here, chief. Hurricane Sandy bears down on New Jersey and New York City, where the subways and buses will stop running Sunday night at 7 p.m. New Jersey spawned rocker Bruce Springsteen, who wrote a song called “Sandy”, which now may transform the Jersey shore into a city of ruins. Our only advice: Do not board a fishing boat with George Clooney and Marky Mark no matter what type of haul they promise you (but if you do, damnit, HEAD FOR THE FLEMISH CAP!)

“Sandy! You’re a deadly force of nature.” “What’s it to you, stud?”

2. A Mighty wiND: No. 5 Notre Dame barrels into Norman, Oklahoma, a 10.5-point underdog and physically dominates the No. 8 Sooners, 30-13. The game was closer than the final score — it was tied 13-13 midway through the 4th quarter — but the Irish prevailed thanks to a 50-yard pass from Everett Golson to Chris Brown, a true freshman making his first career reception, and the standard superb play of senior linebacker Heisman candidate Manti Te’o, who now has five interceptions after having zero in his first three seasons.

Preying Manti

3. A hurricane slams the East Coast, while the Thunder shake up the NBA’s Western Conference. Oklahoma City sends Sixth Man of the Beard James Harden and three minor players to Houston in exchange for Kevin Martin, rookie Jeremy Lamb and two future first-round draft picks. OKC lost a lot of people’s favorite player, but did more than OK in the process. ESPN writers react. 

4. The SEC East is not for the squeamish. South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore, No. 1 on Mel Kiper’s big board of RBs, suffers as horrific a knee injury as you’ll ever see in the Gamecocks’ win versus Tennessee. Best wishes to Lattimore on his recovery. It’s far too soon to know what his NFL future holds. Only an hour or so later in another hard-hitting game involving a pair of SEC East squads — The World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party — Florida wideout Solomon Patton suffers a broken arm on a hard but clean tackle by Georgia safety Shawn Williams. Florida is one of three previous unbeatens — Oregon State and Rutgers — to lose yesterday.

The SEC East had casualties on Saturday

5. The Detroit Tigers, who held the Yankees scoreless in 36 of 39 innings while sweeping them 4-0 in the ALCS, have now been held scoreless themselves in 25 of 27 innings in the World Series. The San Francisco Giants hold a 3-0 lead heading into tonight’s possible series-ending contest at Comerica Park. The Yankees scored a total of six runs in their four-game bust. The Tigers have have accumulated three in three games versus the Giants.


Fifty, Free: Pepperdine swimmer Phyllis Reffo, who at 50 years young is the oldest full-time college student we know of, not to mention the oldest ever to compete as a Division I athlete, swam three events at this weekend’s Malibu Invitational: 50 free, 50 fly and 200 breast. Reffo is a single mother of two teenage daughters who is majoring in biological sciences. Aptly, her Twitter bio reads “Two arms, two legs, two kids, too busy.” We profiled her for The Daily a year ago.

Reffo did not place in the 3 events she swam, but she is making waves as an NCAA swimmer at the age of 50

USC loses  39-36 at Arizona despite Marqise Lee’s sublime output of 16 receptions for 345 yards. Lee, who may very well fit the definition of “nation’s most outstanding player”, had TD grabs of 44 and 49 yards plus a 57-yard catch. Matt Barkley’s Hail Mary pass as time expired ricocheted off Lee’s facemask and dribbled off his left hand. We doubt Lee will win the Heisman — he at least deserves an invite –but Lane Kiffin deserves an Anti-Coach of the Year award. How can USC, which leads the nation in penalties, be so average this season after being so spectacular at the end of last season? A BCS bowl may only come now if USC beats Oregon twice in the next six weeks. Good luck.

Colt McCoy’s little brother and Jordan Shipley’s li’l bro, Case and Jaxon, hooked up on a fourth-down conversion late in Texas’ game at Kansas to save Mack Brown’s job the Longhorns from an embarrassing defeat in Lawrence. The Jayhawks had lost 16 straight conference games and were one play away from ending that streak when McCoy, who replaced starter David Ash late in the second half, found Shipley for 18 yards on a fourth-and-long. Texas scored the game-winning TD with 0:12 left.

Stating his case: Is McCoy the Longhorn starter now?

We liked the headline “What’s next for Hurricane Sandy?” It’s a solid question. After this week, what will she DO to remain popular? We predict a prescription drug overdose, a stint on DWTS or a role in “Cloud Atlas 2: You Can’t Be Cirrus!”

Ohio State moves to 8-0 as the Buckeyes run away from Penn State in the Ineligi-Bowl. Urban Meyer is the Hurricane Sandy of Rust Belt football.

Georgia’s promotional ad, which airs during its games (almost all schools have 30-second spots during their games), is scored by a tune from Athens rockers REM.  Pretty neat, though B-52’s are wondering how come they didn’t use “Rock Lobster.”


Day of Yore, October 26

At 3 pm. local time today in 1881, nine men starting shooting guns at each other from a distance of about six feet in Tombstone, Arizona. History knows it as the “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.” The shootout has become legend through book and film and made iconic figures of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. In the end, three bad guys were killed and Earp was the only one who escaped injury free. Earp’s team went on to win the Gold Medal in hockey at the 1980 Olympics.


Well, he said he’d be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who just announced he’d star in a re-boot of the Conan the Barbarian franchise, hit the big screen today in 1984 in “The Terminator.” The box office smash helped launch the career of director James Cameron, who also wrote the movie. Arnold, of course, went on to star in a sit-com where he was the Governor of California who was constantly flirting with his wacky maid.

Oscar nominations went to both the actors playing father and son in, “The Great Santini,” which opened today in 1979. Robert Duvall starred as the title character, the alpha male who’s a frustrated marine who takes it out at home on his teenage son, played by Danny Noonan, who’s trying to win a caddie scholarship from the local country club. Bob Knight sees absolutely nothing wrong with that scene. (By the way, Michael O’Keefe, who has an even better basketball scene than this in, “The Hot Chick,” had a good swing in “Caddyshack,” and a decent handle here, kudos to him.)

The movie was based on the book of the same name, written by Pat Conroy, who turns 66 today. It was Conroy’s third book and was published when he was 31 years old.

The Pony Express ceased operations today in 1861, two days after the transcontinental telegraph reached Salt Lake City. The trail ran for 1,900 miles and worked about as fast as dial-up internet. It returned briefly in Dallas in the early 1980’s.

“Eric, do you really think I look like Stefen Djordjevic?”

The sometimes controversial, sometimes funny, always popular comic strip, “Doonesbury,” made its debut today in 1970.

Today in 1978, Nick Gilder’s, Hot Child in the City,” made history by finally hitting #1 after hitting the charts 20 weeks earlier. The very same night in Boston, an English trio made their first ever appearance in the States at a bar called the Rat Club.

Today in 1980 Alberto Salazar won his first of three straight New York City Marathons. It was Salazar’s debut in the marathon and his 2:09:41 was the second fastest time ever by an American. Apparently Tom Selleck finished second.

NBC rolled out its newest drama today in 1982. St. Elsewhere” starred a bevy of fine actors including Mark Harmon, William Daniels, Ed Begley Jr., David Morse, Howie Mandel and this guy:

In World Series history, today in 1985 Don Denkinger blew it, today in 1991, Kirby Puckett did not.

Happy birthday to the elegant angel, Jaclyn Smith, who turns 67 and to Natalie Merchant, who’s 49.


Top Five Songs involving Natalie Merchant:

1. These Are Days

2. Gun Shy

3. Noah’s Dove

4. Like the Weather

5. Because the Night

Ok, I included a cover there (5), I just had to, it was one of the best songs ever done on MTV Unplugged. She’s done a ton of great covers and this one knocks it out of the park.

— Bill Hubbell





Posted in: 365 |


Starting Five

1. Doug Fister is tougher than we are. The Tiger pitcher was struck near the crown of his cranium by a line drive off the bat of Gregor Blanco (yes, apparently there is a Gregor Blanco in the World Series). The ball then looped up into the air and landed in center field. It all happened so fast that most of us didn’t know if the ball had ricocheted off Fister’s glove, but replays showed it had not. Fister remained in the game, but the Tigers lost to fall behind 2-0 in the World Series. It may be worth mentioning that Fister stands six-foot-eight. Most pitchers would have been able to have ducked beneath that liner.

Fister, a giant, is struck by a Giant

2. Dave owns Donald. Two nights ago, after Donald Trump’s “offer” to donate $5 million to President Obama’s favorite charity, David Letterman referred to Mr. Apprentice as a “racist” on his show. Yesterday, Dave phoned to apologize and ask Trump to appear. Trump, to his credit, assented to the request and explained to Dave that all he was doing was seeking “transparency.” And this is where Letterman sprung his trap. Allowing Trump to promote his line of ties (“the number-one selling tie in the world, available at Macy’s”) after allowing Trump to expound upon how we need more jobs in the U.S., Dave innocently asked Trump where the ties were manufactured (“Where are the ties made?”) Trump initially claimed not to know, until Letterman informed him that they are made in China. Game, set, match, Letterman.

 3. Hey, kids, Sammy Watkins is back! Yayyyy. The Clemson force of nature finally resembled his freshman self with eight catches for 202 yards and one sweet TD in a 42-13 clampdown at Wake Forest (shoulda had two TDs, but one bomb pass was poorly underthrown). We feel for No. 45 of the Demon Deacons, Riley Haynes, on this play (0:11). 

4. Another type of Apple falls victim to gravity, or is it short-sellers, as the world’s wealthiest company sees its stock plunge below $600. Less than two weeks ago it was worth more than $700 (in related news, we don’t plan on quitting our job any time soon). 

 5. Tyrann Mathieu, another first-team All-American from a year ago (as Watkins was) is one of four former LSU players arrested on drug charges. Matt Crossman of The Sporting News has some insightful tweetson the topic.



The Big Lead is always your one-stop news source for Heidi Watney, or is it Weidi Hotney, resume updates.

Kobe Bryant does NOT make the cover of SI’s NBA preview issue (ESPN mag’s cover boy? Melo).

The most intrepid NBA reporter of them all, Adrian Wojnarowski, takes down commissioner David Stern.

What happens if you morph New York’s Finest with Fine Young Cannibals? This.

We like Oklahoma at home over the Irish in a game that will be closer than the geniuses in Vegas have it (11.5 points, and we don’t mean “geniuses” sarcastically). One odd thing, though, if the Irish prevail: Notre Dame, a school that does not play in a conference, has eight common opponents between this year’s squad and the one that last won a national title 24 years ago: Navy, Purdue, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Stanford, Pittsburgh and USC.

Tomorrow’s sleeper thriller? Texas Tech at Kansas State.

Great catch here by Deadspin. As a writer/media pundit, never take a position simply for the sake of argument or good theater. In related news, we love that Mike Golic’s younger son, Jake, a reserve tight end on the Notre Dame football team, tweeted this earlier today.

Okay, we out.


Editor’s Note: Apologies for the late post. Your craven correspondent had to work a late shift — and it was bug night! — followed by an early shift, followed by a much overdue period of dormancy, a.k.a., Medium Nappy. But we are back. Thank you for your patience.

Starting Five

1. Pablo Honey: Pablo Sandoval, the San Francisco Giants’ DFG (Designated Fat Guy) hits three home runs, two off Justin Verlander, as SFG wins Game One of the World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Worth noting:

A. Sandoval joins Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson and Albert Pujols as the only players to hit three homers in one World Series game and, statistically speaking, now has a 66.6% chance of having a candy bar named in his honor.

B. Sandoval was benched during the 2010 World Series while the Giants’ winning pitcher, Barry Zito, was left off the roster for that Fall Classic, which the Giants won.

C. A record nine Venezuelan players are on the two teams’ WS rosters. We hereby name the area surrounding AT&T Park Hugo Chavez Ravine.

D. Sandoval got to third base on Verlander in the All-Star Game and last night rounded the bases on him twice. He’s the Kate Upton of hitters.

E. We, too, were going to go with “PANDA-MONIUM” but that became too overused. So we decided to throw a bone to our Thom Yorke and Radiohead fans. Which reminds us of this video (we are TOTALLY that guy, by the way)

F. Sports Illustrated ESPN writer Pablo Torre (which would also be a good name for an album) made his tie-less debut on “Around the Horn” this afternoon. All in all, a good 24 hours for Pablos. (p.s. Nobody moves to ESPN the Magazine to further his or her literary career; they move because they love the idea of being more famous. Godspeed, Pablo, but there’s more to life than being recognized at a Buffalo Wild Wings).

Pablo’s Parobolas…

2. Taylor Swift. She’s been on Good Morning, America and Letterman this week during her Swiftkrieg through Gotham City. We know it can be a little much — someone tweeted that they’d love to date her for a month and then write a song entitled “Maybe You’re the Problem” but then there are moments such as this one with a clearly enchanted Dave, or this one with Dave (“Hang on to your wigs and keys”) (check out the Aqua Net on the lead guitarist, by the way), or this one from earlier this year with Ellen, and well, we know we shouldn’t be sucked in, but we are. This remains our favorite T-Swizzle moment. 

3. And of course, in the time it took us to write that last item, Taylor Swift dumped Conor Kennedy. Ouch.

“It got colder/That’s where it ends/But I told him/We’d still be friends…”

4. David Stern announces that he will step down as NBA commissioner in 2014, on the 30th anniversary of the day in which he took power. First, Fidel Castro. Then Gaddafi. Tony LaRussa. Joe Paterno. Ali Abdullah Saleh. Now Stern. Who’s left? Is it this guy?

5. Even after making the cover of SI in ignominious fashion, the Honey Badger still didn’t give a ____. The cover jinx lives.

The next nationally circulated picture of Tyrann Mathieu you will see will be a mugshot.



If you ever want to create a “B-List of American cities”, just find where NBA teams play their preseason games. Last night the Oklahoma City Thunder played in Wichita. When Thunder center Serge Ibaka discovered that the flight home would only take 20 minutes, he suggested, “Why don’t we just walk home?” (Royce White would be down with that).

Lane Kiffin has now coached a game in New Jersey this season and had his players switch to new jerseys in a game this season. Either way, the USC coach has a penchant for being, you know, kind of a d-bag.

Lolo Jones makes the Olympic boblsed team. Cue jealous anonymous bobsled teammates.

Hey, why not?

It’s funny, isn’t it, how often Swedish princesses and wealthy financiers can find each other to be soul mates?

Our man Brian Hamilton, who does an exemplary job of covering the Fighting Irish for the Chicago Tribune, has had a few stories on in the past week or two. That’s all we’ll say about that.

For the record, here’s the first story we found on about the Tyrann Mathieu arrest. Notice how the local affiliate that broke the story is credited in the first paragraph. And here’s the first piece on the subject. No mention of WAFB. And suddenly we are the Poynter Institute.

Okay, that’s it for today…it’ll be tomorrow before we know it.


Day of Yore, October 25

With apologies to Knute Rockne and Herb Brooks, the following remains the greatest pre-game speech ever:

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition.
And gentlemen in England now abed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s Day.”

Of course, it wasn’t ever actually given, it’s taken from Shakespeare’s play, “Henry V,” and it’s Henry giving a speech to the troops as they get ready to take on the French in “The Battle of Agincourt,” on October 25, 1415. (It probably didn’t hurt Kenneth Branagh’s chances that he had a young Batman on his side.)


Michael Myers hit the big screen today in 1978 in a movie that scared the crap out of the nation. “Halloween” was about a 6-year old who stabbed his sister to death on Halloween night in 1963 and then escapes the psych ward 15 years later and returns to his home town to stalk the local teenagers. Nobody ever looked at goalie masks the same way again.

The Mary Tyler Moore show hit its creative peak today in 1975 with the episode, “Chuckles Bites the Dust”. Ted Baxter was forced to turn down the job of grand marshal for a circus parade and is replaced by Chuckles the Clown. Chuckles is then killed at the parade by an elephant. The news-staff at WJM-TV can’t stop making jokes about the death, much to Mary’s horror. At the funeral, things are reversed and it’s Mary who can’t stop laughing.

Ok, it wasn’t quite Agincourt, but the U.S. Marines hit the shores of Grenada today in 1983, beginning Operation Urgent Fury.


Today in 1960, 17-year old Keith Richards ran into former schoolmate Mick Jagger at a train station in London. Richards noticed some R&B albums tucked under Jagger’s arm and the two started chatting about music. They soon started a group called Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys. Four years to the day and they made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show as The Rolling Stones. The Stones caused such a ruckus that Sullivan swore they would never be on again. They were on five more times.

Today in 1968 the Jimi Hendrix Experience released “Electric Ladyland.” The album was well received, but since Hendrix died at 27, the album has taken on mythical status since.

Today in 1990, “Cheers” aired its 200th episode, in it Norm tried to save the Hungry Heifer from going out of business.


In a very strange, sad story, today in 1999 Payne Stewart and five others were killed when the private plane they were on slowly lost cabin pressure. All aboard died of hypoxia and the plane continued to fly on autopilot. It finally ran out of gas and crashed in a field near Aberdeen, South Dakota. Stewart had bested Phil Mickelson to win his second U.S. Open just a few months earlier.

— Bill Hubbell



Day of Yore, October 24

You don’t know who Robert LeRoy Parker and Harry Longabaugh are because history remember them as, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which hit theaters today in 1969. The movie won four Oscars and was nominated for Best Picture. Starring legends Paul Newman and Robert Redford, the tale of two outlaws on the run was the blueprint for action/comedies for years to come.

Card Player: “I didn’t know you were the Sundance Kid when I said you were cheating. If I draw on you, you’ll kill me.”

Sundance Kid: “There’s that possibility.”

“The Manchurian Candidate” came out today in 1962. Widely regarded as one of Frank Sinatra’s best performances, the political thriller came out during the Cuban Missile Crisis and was deemed a classic by critics.

“Kojak” began its five-year run on CBS today in 1973. Telly Savalas starred as the title character, a streetwise NYC police detective. A 1999 TV Guide ranking had Kojak as the 19th best television character of all time.

In other bald people news, “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” hit record store shelves today in 1995. The Smashing Pumpkins third effort debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and received seven Grammy nominations. The double disc had five great songs: “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “1979,” “Tonight, Tonight,” “Zero,” and “Thirty Three.” It was weird, dumb, magical, silly and fantastic, like having a fever dream or being on acid without, you know, actually having to drop acid.

While maybe not quite as out there as Billy Corgan, Pink has carried the Rock ‘n Roll torch beyond the 90’s. She released her fifth album, “Funhouse” today in 2008. In the midst of a divorce that didn’t take, Pink delivered the hits again: “So What,” “Sober,” “Please, Don’t Leave Me,” “Funhouse,” and “I Don’t Believe You.” 

Wilt Chamberlain made his NBA debut tonight in 1959. The Big Dipper had 43 points and 28 rebounds, leading the Philadelphia Warriors over the New York Knicks 118-109 at Madison Square Garden. I wonder what happened at the hotel after the game? Before the game? Halftime?

— Bill Hubbell



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Starting Five

1. Fall Classic: Two franchises that have been around since before manned flight (Detroit Tigers, 1901; New York/San Francisco Giants, 1883) meet in the World Series for the first time, beginning tonight. What this means for the casual sports fans is that blogs will be uploading oodles of Kate Upton pics.

Why show Kate Upton here when we can give you Marco Scutaro?

2. Highway 130, a toll road stretching between Austin and San Antonio, opens today. So? It will have the nation’s fastest speed limit, 85 m.p.h. The bad news? The toll is $6.17 and it is only a 40-mile stretch. Still, Sammy Hagar, your prayers have been answered.

3. Surfer Francisco Javier Solorio, Jr., 39, suffers a fatal shark bite near Santa Barbara. As surfers say, the landlord collected his rent. It was the 13th fatal shark attack off the California coast since 1950, an average of one nearly every five years.

4. On a day when there was no NFL, MLB, NBA (only preseason) or NHL, and the best that CFB could offer was a Sun Beast Belt game between Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette, the Champions League came throughCeltic and FC Barcelona played a thriller in which heavily favored Barca (you know, Messi and all that) needed to come from behind. Jordi Alba scored the game-winner for the Spaniards in stoppage time.

Alba-tross? No

55. Afghanistan opens its first national park! Pack up the camper, we’re there.

Band-e Amir


Hedge fund manager John Paulson pledges $100 million to Central Park, saying, “It’s simply impossible to imagine what New York would be without Central Park.” Mr. Paulson, you are instantly inducted into our Hall of Ultra-Cool Hedge Fund Managers (which, admittedly, has lots of vacancy).

A few items here: Central Park was built in 1857 and it costs $37.5 million to maintain annually, so Paulson basically just took care of the budget for the next three years. I’m shaking your hand if I wait on you soon, Mr. P.

MH sets new record for most park photos in one post

Facebook (FB) reverses its Faceplant slide on the stock market, jumping 21% since yesterday’s earnings report. Or was it because F/X aired The Social Network on a continuous loop Sunday night (“Dating you is exhausting. It’s like dating a Stairmaster.”)

A seven year-old girl has written an opera. When we were seven we could recite the alphabet backwards and we were pret-tee satisified with ourselves. We may have been able, at best, to spell “opera”.

The New York Islanders are moving to Brooklyn which, technically, is still part of Long Island. Anyway, our suggested name change is Deckers.

Insert your high-sticking joke here…

Ten World Series items Joe BuckCarver will relate to the fans at home:

1. Justin Verlandest is dating Kate Upton.

2. Tim Lincecum looks like the kid from “Dazed and Confused.”

3. Marco Scutaro is with his eighth MLB team, making him a top candidate for this year’s Edgar Renteria Award.

4. McCovey Cove is shark-free… we think.

5. Brian Wilson is not THAT Brian Wilson.

6. Brandon Belt is the first MLB player named after an article of uniform clothing since Charlie Spikes.

7. Miguel Cabrera = The Clean Cabrera.

8. Prince Fielder is a vegeterian… seriously.

9. The Giants have already staved off elimination six times this postseason. “Stave” is a highly underused verb outside of sports.

10. Jim Leyland is a chain smoker. Bruce Bochy looks like Jeff Daniels in almost every scene from Crazy Heart.

Bruce (Ho)Bochy

Eva Longoria and Mark Sanchez split. Basketball player, football player… what’s next? Please, Eva, satisfy a writer’s craven craving for more word play and date baseball player Evan Longoria.

Alabama’s Aussie nose tackle Jesse Williams, who may be the strongest man in next April’s NFL draft, cuts his mohawk. Didn’t he learn the lesson of Zach Mettenberger, the LSU QB who shaved his mustache just before the Tigers lost at Florida?

Oh, Donald. This is your bombshell?

Donald Trump and his biggest fan

College Football News picks Notre Dame, a 10.5-point underdog in Norman this Saturday, to beat Oklahoma. They must be using that old Notre Dame head coach-in-his-third-season formula (Rockne, Leahy, Parseghian and Holtz all went undefeated in their third year in South Bend).

The Columbus, Ohio, radio host who called for Desmond Howard to “get fired or die” has himself been fired. Good job, good effort, Scott Torgeson. You couldn’t have done it without yourself (psst, 97.1: If you are looking for a radio host with a decent knowledge of college football who is not a COMPLETE and utter jackass, we know some people…)

Syria calls a cease-fire in its war against its own people on account of a holiday. So the key to Middle East peace is more holidays?

We cannot mention Crazy Heart without providing a video for this excellent song (here’s a cover of Falling and Flying).