IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Friday, Janury 31

January, you’ve overstayed your welcome. You…get…OUTTA…HERE!



Hardaway, Jr., drained six treys last night. Just like his old man used to do…

1. Beware of…The Knicks?

Granted, they’ve played Los Angeles, Boston and the Cleveland Cadavaliers at MSG this week, but the Knicks, it appears, have finally paid their tabs at The Dutch and Lavo and appear interested in hoops again. In their last two games they’ve led by 26 and 24 at halftime and have now won four in a row.

Oh, and Tim Hardaway, Jr., is on the cusp of being the most popular Knick since Jeremy Lin. The rookie swingman-now-sixth man drained a career-high 29 last night, and brings a friskiness and athleticism to NYK that’s long been dormant. Yes, Ama’re has been on the bench for all of this.

Of course he has.

By the way, I tuned in for the final 10 seconds of the first quarter last night. Metta World Peace missed both his free throws, then fouled Jarrett Jack in the back court even though the Knicks did not have a foul to give. Some things never change.

The Knicks (19-27 and now just a half-game out of the final playoff spot) host Miami tomorrow night with a slew of NFL VIPs in attendance. This should be good.

2. Tina and Jerry’s Blind Date

They should have invited Tracy Jordan and Kramer to join them.

The latest edition of “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee” features my neighborhood’s two most successful sitcom creators/stars: Jerry Seinfeld and Tina Fey. It’s not awesome, but as a resident of the Upper West Side (UWS), I howled at Tina’s assertion that “If you walk along the Upper West Side, you will never see a truly good-looking person.”

Alas, she’s right. There may be three. I could name them for you.

Also, this plays mostly like an awkward blind date. Jerry is doing most of the heavy lifting, and they even repair to a second spot as Jerry attempts to salvage the rendezvous after Tina confides that she loves food as a reward (Cronut time).

You may be tempted to close the link after five minutes. Don’t. If anything, stick around or fast forward to The Very End. That’s when Tina shares the one anecdote that saves the entire episode. I’m still laughing about it.

3. Sara Bareilles, Shannon Osboune and Jonah Hill’s Brother…

Sometimes, “Say what you wanna say” is not the best tack to take.

If you search my list of “Unfettered Adoration”, Sara Bareilles is pretty high up on it. She’s genuine and an old soul, and her performances at the 2012 R&R Hall of Fame inductions and at last Sunday’s Grammys  speak to this. Watch her giddy clap at the end –she’s genuinely thrilled to be crossing “Perform with Carole King” off the bucket list. If you’re a song writer, how could you not be?

So yesterday must have been tough for her: she had to fire her manager.

On Saturday night at a pre-Grammys dinner that manager, Jordan Feldstein, who happens to be Jonah Hill’s brother, got into it with Kelly Osbourne after he made a remark about her brother, Jack. And then Mama Bear arrived.

Sharon Osbourne stalked over, then overturned Feldstein’s plate of food into his lap. As he walked away, she tried to douse him with water while yelling, “You don’t mess with the Osbournes!”


Crazy train, indeed!

Bareilles terminated Feldstein’s service after the “Wolf of Wall Street”-type moment, then returned to writing fabulous songs that Katy Perry will later poach.

4. Livin’ on a Thayer

As Evans reveals in his piece, the NFL and New York City have retained the services of a certain retired Philly cop for the week.

After a hiatus of 128 days, Thayer Evans of Sports Illustrated sends out a tweet: “Drones, snipers and facial recognition. Pick up SI for inside on Super Bowl’s top secret security plan…” Thayer has a by-lined piece in the mag on security at the Super Bowl. Of course Evans’ tweet was met with not a few snide comments on Twitter, and you can find those if you search. This is his first piece for SI since the five-part “Dirty Game” series.

5. “You Don’t Mow Another Guy’s Lawn!”

“Now, if you wanna shovel my driveway…go right ahead!”

All hail to The Big Lead for noticing that the latest episode of “True Detective” is not the first time Woody Harrelson got into some other dude’s grill about lawn grooming. Holy smoke! (And I’m talking to series creator Nic Pizzolatto later today –Humblebrag!–so I’ll be sure to ask him).

Marty: “You mow my yard?”

“Rust: Yeah. I saw it needed mowing. Returned the favor. Borrowed.”

Maggie: “We got etouffee. I’m trying to get Rust to stay for dinner.”

Marty: “Oh. Yeah? Stay for dinner, Russ.”

Rust: “No. I think I gotta git.”

He’s not some kind of a psycho.


This CANNOT be a coincidence, and so you just have to wonder how Marty Hart held it together while shooting this scene with Rust Cohle. Oh, and if you’ve never seen “Kingpin”, it’s goofy, goofy fun. First time I ever laughed out loud watching a movie on a plane.


Competitors at YAU have been diagnosed with a die-polar disorder.

The antidote to Super Bowl XLVIII? The Yukon Arctic Ultra, a series of races that can run anywhere from a marathon to 400 miles in distance. For the 100-, 300- and 400-mile events, racers have a choice of cross-country skiing, mountain biking or running -in sub-zero temperatures. You must take a basic survival course before entering.


The Phoenix Suns walk onto Indiana’s home court to meet an opponent foaming for revenge, still smarting over the 24-point defeat the Suns administered last week. Besides, the Pacers had not lost at home since December 16 (their lone home loss) and Phoenix was playing its fourth game in five nights, all on the road.

Yes, Phoenix won. Yes, Indiana never led after the first few minutes. The Suns went 4-0 on the road trip and have now won two games this season against both the Pacers (35-10) and Blazers (33-13). No Sun made the All-Star team (nor should one have, probably) but they’re 28-18 in the West. Jeff Hornacek, NBA Coach of the Year.


Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson in town, snapping selfies together at a Fox party, while Michelle Beadle tweets, “Gone fishin’. Be back soon.” Coincidence?


Notre Dames’ “Campus Crossroads Project” at the football stadium will have a “Dept. of Sacred Music.” How will this jibe with “Crazy Train” and “Seven Nation Army?”


Love the story of Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman, who went all “Into the Wild” during the “blizzard” in Atlanta in order to maintain his recruiting schedule.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P

1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P

1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul

1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF

1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P

1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS


Phil Rizzuto would have called Bell “a good-looking young ball player.”

James Thomas “Cool Papa” Bell, CF; 1922-1942, Negro Leagues

One of the swiftest, most graceful players to ever grace a diamond, Bell had a career average of .317. “Let me tell you about Cool Papa Bell,” pitcher Satchel Paige once said. “One time, he hit a line drive past my ear. I turned around and saw the ball hit his rear end as he slid into second.”

Jimmie Foxx, 1B; 1925-1945, A’s, Red Sox, Cubs, Phillies

After Babe Ruth, Foxx was the greatest power hitter in baseball history before integration. He clouted 30 or more home runs in 12 consecutive seasons and also had 13 consecutive 100-RBI seasons. Foxx hit for average, too, finishing with a lifetime average of .325. “The Beast” put up career numbers of 534 home runs (17th all-time) and 1,922 RBI (ninth).

Remote Patrol

Boiler Room

IFC 8 p.m.

Mad money.

Fourteen years ago they made a more compelling version of the film “The Wolf of Wall Street” that we all should have taken as a dire warning. Starring Giovanni Ribisi (who somehow appeared in “Saving Private Ryan” and “Friends”; don’t ask), Ben Affleck and Vin Diesel.








IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, January 30


This is how it could feel at about the time Bruno Mars takes the stage.

 1. Super Bowl Low Winter Sunday

Honestly, I’m all for the unique spectacle –as long as it remains unique –of a chilly, perhaps even sub-freezing, Super Bowl. Besides, the weather peeps are now forecasting temperatures in the high 30s for game day. The chill isn’t my problem, particularly because I’ll be watching the game on television.

Here’s my question, though: If you were attending the Super Bowl in person, don’t you think you’d probably need to leave even earlier than you might regularly do for a game because of security, etc? And because most of the attendees are not locals, and because Met-Life Stadium is not within walking distance of anything unless you happen to be a toll-booth collector, doesn’t that mean that most people will be using public transportation?

And so my question is, What do you do at Giants Stadium once you arrive (oh, and did you know that they’ve banned charcoal grills, propane tanks and open flames in the parking lot of any kind, so even if you do have a car, you’ll need an electric grill to properly tailgate)? For three hours or so? You cannot sit in your car and wait it out. And there’s no real indoor areas, unless you have luxury box seats, once inside the stadium.

Roger Goodell and the gang are awfully lucky. The last two days in New York City, the mercury has not climbed above 21 degrees. If the Super Bowl had been held either day, you’d have been exposing almost all of the fans attending the game to those temperatures for at least seven hours. Perhaps more.

And I haven’t really seen this story in the media–could it be because much of the media will be seated inside a heated press box and so it hasn’t occurred to them? I don’t know.

You can talk about how the game will affect players’ performances, but I doubt it will. Especially since both teams hail from cold-weather towns and it’s going to be above freezing. I’m thinking more of the fans –and I haven’t even mentioned that alcohol intake will only accelerate the lowering of body temperature. And so I’m with Don Shula, whose Miami Dolphins played in the heretofore coldest –39 degrees –Super Bowl on record: Why?

2. Trio Grande

Tyler Ennis is Canadian and plays a sport in upstate New York, but he is not to be confused with the Buffalo Sabres’….

Not that it matters, but there are still three unbeaten in college hoops: Wichita State (22-0), Syracuse (21-0) and Arizona (20-0), the latter two of whom won last night on the road. As ESPN noted, the last year three teams started out at least 20-0 was 1976, which is also the last year a men’s basketball team –Indiana–finished an entire season, NCAA tournament included, undefeated.

Today’s question: Where are the potholes?

Shockers: Easiest schedule of the three, since all games are versus MVC foes. Look out for games at Indiana State (16-5) on February 5 and at Northern Iowa (terrific arena) on Saturday night, February 8.

…Tyler Ennis, who is Canadian and who plays a sport in upstate New York.

Orange: Toughest remaining schedule, as the ‘Cuse faces No. 17 Duke home-and-home (beginning this Saturday at the Carrier Dome), is at No. 18 Pittsburgh on February 12, and will have a sneaky tough game in Charlottesville versus the Cavs on March 1.

Arizona: The Cats shouldn’t lose, but if they do it could come as soon as Saturday at Cal (14-7) or at rival Arizona State on Valentine’s Day, which also happens to be the state’s birthday. Did they plan that?

3. Rick Reilly Smackdown

And so people remembered that “Crowd Goes Wild” is still on the air.

Oh, Riles. Did you really refer to Regis as “the little guy in the make-up” at Super Bowl Media Day? That did not go down well with Reege’s on-air cohort, Kate Nolan, who administered an on-air objurgation on her octogenarian colleague’s behalf. Oh, yes, there was much objurgating going on. And somewhere, Riles was smiling, because they were talking about him.

4. Crucifictorious!

Notre Dame’s Crossroads project. Fans may take some time to get attached to it.

You know that neighbor who has decided to add on to his den because it’s going to make the room so much more spacious (plush theater seats for EVERYONE!), but you’re afraid to tell him that he may be ruining the aesthetics of his home’s exterior? Uh, hello, Fr. Jenkins…

Notre Dame unveiled its $400 million stadium expansion project yesterday, the Campus Crossroads Project, that will be 33 months in the making (33 is a popular number around Jesus fans) and will, according to the school, create 750,000 square feet of new space. Which isn’t actually true. It’ll just take 750,000 square feet of what was refreshing, soothing open air and transform it into classrooms, an indoor basketball practice facility, 3,000-4,000 new seats for well-heeled alums, and a 500-person ballroom…which is bizarre, since DANCING IS A SIN!

Muffet reminds Mike Brey that SHE is the one who’s been to three consecutive Final Fours, calls dibs on practice times at new hoops facility.

Anyway, our good friend Ken Fowler (class of ’08, I believe, and also an alum of Duke Law School) saw entirely through the ruse. Fr. Jenkins wanted a bunch of new toys, but it’s hard to get boosters on board for some of them. So, you know how pols attach pork to a bill while getting the bill passed? Well, Fr. Jenkins literally attached these projects to the stadium. Boosters will spend for a stadium renovation, particularly for more luxury seating so that they don’t have to share a press box with sports writers –and their acerbic in-game tweets concerning said millionaires’ lack of observation of the cardinal rule of the press box– so then you just attach a slew of pet projects to that renovation plan. And you don’t just attach them in principle; you attach them structurally.

As Ken wrote, “Can’t get anyone to fund the music building? Connect it to the stadium. Basketball facility? Football stadium! Student center? ND Stadium!!!”

I hope I’m still around when Ken becomes athletic director at Notre Dame some day…

5. We’d Like To Make A Withdrawal

In news unrelated to this item, Christie Brinkley is still in her 50s…for three more days.

So, the federal government –technically, that’s “us” in lower-case letters — has asked a judge to up the penalty on Bank of America for lighting a house fire on the American economy from $863 million to $2.1 billion. Which, granted is almost a tripling of the penalty.

So what? Wouldn’t it be better to send some of BoA’s top executives to, as that character in “Office Space” so warmly phrased it, a “pound ’em in the ass” prison? I mean, sure, still collect the $2.1 billion. But that executive who conjured the Countrywide scheme, well, he’s already living large and will continue to do so. What does he care?

Rule No. 2: The only REAL commodity is time.


Really enjoyed Jeff Pearlman’s Quaz with Chuck Culpepper. I met Chuck during on an otherwise dreary November Saturday in Starkville, Miss., in 1993. The Mississippi State game (I cannot even recall whom they played) was boring, so Chuck and I spent the entire game talking. As most people do, I found Chuck insightful, wise, kind and witty. He’s everyone’s friend on the beat because he’s such a giving person. And I’d echo his words to Jeff, that at the top of his list for career priorities is “Adventure.” That’s always been near the top of the list for me, too. (Right below “complimentary tote bag”)


Gandhi: The ONE lawyer everyone seemed to like. Him and Lester Munson.

Though Day of Yore is in hibernation, this is historically a bad day for pacifist revolt. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated 66 years ago today, while 13 protesters in Northern Ireland were gunned down by British troops on this day in 1972, a moment better known as “Bloody Sunday.” Some readers will consider the greater tragedy being the boost it gave to U2’s career.

 The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P

1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P

1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul

1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF

1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P


Harry Heilmann, RF/1B; 1914-1932, Detroit, Cincinnati

“Slug” had a career batting average of .342, 12th all-time, and was the last American Leaguer before Ted Williams to have a .400 season (.403 in 1923). A four-time A.L. batting champion, he should also be remembered as the first ball player to hit a home run in EVERY Major League ballpark in use during his career.

In the offseason, Ward conducted trains…without changing uniforms.

Monte Ward, P/SS; 1878-1894, Providence Grays, New York Giants, two others

Granted, Ward played in baseball’s primeval era, but he owns the fourth-best WHIP of all time (1.04) despite having pitched more career innings (2,469) than two of the men above him on that list, Addie Joss and Mariano Rivera. In 1879 Ward, who also amassed 2,107 career hits, had a record of 47-19.

Remote Patrol

Groundhog Day

Esquire TV 8 p.m.

Bill Murray’s attempt to provide more than just laughs here shouldn’t get lost in translation.

Sure, it’s airing a couple of days early. And you are probably like me: Do I even get Esquire TV? Still, I contend that besides being very funny, this is one of the deepest movies ever filmed. The conceit being: If you had to relive the same day over and over, wouldn’t you eventually endeavor to live it as well as you possibly could? So then why not treat every day that way? Genius. And Ned Reyerson, you goof, always stepping in that slush puddle (UPDATE: My bad, Needlenose; it’s Phil Connors who steps into the puddle).

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Wednesday, January 29


Afterward, FLOTUS did not dunk on Sgt. First Class Cory Remsburg.

1. State of the Union…

“It should be the power of our votes, not the size of our bank accounts,” says President Obama, “that drives our democracy.” I’ve always wanted to see a presidential fund-raiser held at Dollar General. Sgt. Remsburg, above, was nearly killed while on his TENTH deployment to Iraq.

2. ….Start of the Union?

Welcome to The Jungle, NCAA. Sinclair’s novel on poor working conditions was set in Chicago.

The NCAA seethes at “The Kain Mutiny”, as recently departed Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter gathers signatures from his teammates to petition the National Labor Relations Board to provide them union status. The NCAA responds swiftly to this “Wildcat Strike” by announcing that the gesture “undermines the purpose of college: an education.”

Though I think it could be said that Colter’s and his teammates’ maneuver is ample proof that they have received an education. Thorny issue here, and like the Richard Sherman kerfffufle, it’ll serve mostly as a locus for others to project their own feelings on the role of big-time college football at a university and whether athletes should be compensated.

Look, NCAA, if as you say, “Student-athletes are not employees”, then can’t I say “academic institutions are not pro sports minor leagues?” Except that they have become so. Which is why you have this mess–that and the BILLION dollar TV rights deals that you sign with networks.

3. From Lorde to Servant of the Lord…in same month

Rolling Stone gets its first celibate cover model since Morrissey.

So, yes, Rolling Stone has featured both Pope Francis and the surviving Boston Marathon bomber on its cover in the past nine months. And, yes, the man who serves the Lord shows up just one issue after Kiwi teen sensation Lorde. Rumor is that Bill Miller spent two weeks on tour with The Holy Father and that at one point he stood on someone’s roof –or possibly it was a terrace in St. Peter’s Square–and yelled, “I am not a worshipper of golden gods!”

My sweet Lorde

4. Darth Hader

The Dying Ton Ton

In case you missed these, SNL alum Bill Hader does some seriously good impersonations of non-human “Star Wars” characters (though would I then call them “imcreatureations?”). Which doesn’t really translate into a future role for him, but does make Hader a more attractive party guest.

5. Don’t Go Away Dead (Just Go Away)

Motley Crue is the reason VH1’s “Behind The Music” was born.

Eighties hair-band icons Motley Crue, who in the Eighties did for rock-and-roll what the Detroit Pistons did for basketball, announces that it will kick off a 72-city North American tour on July 2 in Grand Rapids, Mich. and then, following an international tour and a return to Home, Sweet Home, Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, Nikki Six and Vince Neil will go their separate ways forever. The quartet signed a “death pact” which states that if any of them attempt to reunite a bastardized version of the group, they may be sued, although it would be cooler if the penalty was not a lawsuit but actual death…by Poison!


Bluejay Way: McDermott buries the dagger. Just look at that form, kids.


With teammate Ethan Wragge rendered ineffective due to a knee issue, Creighton’s Doug McDermott scores a season-high 39 points in a 63-60 win over St. John’s. The Bluejays blewjayed an 18-point second-half lead, but St. John’s inexplicably left McDermott open, albeit from 25-feet away, to drain the game-winner with two seconds remaining. Creighton moves to 21-2 as McDermott ascends to 18th on the NCAA’s all-time leading scorer list.


Grimm Reaper

Semper Fly!

A U.S. Congressman from Staten Island, Michael Grimm, who is a former Marine, threatens to throw NY1 reporter Michael Scotto off the balcony of the U.S. Capitol rotunda for asking him a question about alleged campaign finance malfeasance. Then Grimm issued a Code Red.


So, Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch garners nearly as much attention for not talking as teammate Richard Sherman does for talking. I’m beginning to find myself rooting for the Broncos… by the way, the NFL charged fans $28.50 to attend the NFL Media Day session at the Prudential Center in Newark, sit in the stands, and watch the players being interviewed. That’s obscene. I don’t blame dads for taking their children to be able to see their heroes in person, but why must the NFL be so mercenary about it. Roger Goodell and the boys pocketed $199,500 from the event.


Kustok will have a difficult few months ahead.

Intriguing story that’s on the back-boiler for the moment: the murder trial of Allan Kustok, which has undergone numerous delays, appears finally set to get underway in mid-February. Kustok is the Chicago-area man accused of murdering his wife. His son is former Northwestern QB Zak Kustok and his daughter is YES Network reporter Sarah Kustok (a former Wildcat women’s basketball player), who does a fine job here in New York City.



A mix of ice and snow –though not that much snow– has created terrific opportunities for the creators of “The Walking Dead” to shoot panoramic shots without having to stage them.

A winter snow-and-ice storm in the Deep South renders a deep freeze on motorists. Officials urge drivers to remain calm and listen to Finebaum. I’m still waiting for someone to break into Jordan-Hare and shovel off a trail that re-creates Chris Davis’ runback.

*Stole term off Twitter. Kudos to he who coined it (I forgot).

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P

1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P

1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul

1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF


Carl Hubbell, P; 1928-1943, Giants

“King Carl” was twice voted the National League MVP and once won 24 consecutive games over the course of the 1936-37 seasons. Best known for striking out, in succession, Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in the 1934 All-Star Game and did so in his home park, the Polo Grounds.

Joss was still living when this photo was taken, though you’d be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

Addie Joss, P; 1902-1909, Cleveland Bronchos

Joss died of meningitis at age 31, which is why he only played nine seasons, which is why he was not actually inducted into the Hall until 1978 (Baseball waived its minimum 10-season rule). But he was one of the most dominant hurlers in baseball history, finishing FIRST all-time in career WHIP (.968) and SECOND in career ERA (1.89). The lanky six-foot-three Joss also threw 45 career shutouts, or five per season, as well as the fourth perfect game in Major League history.

Remote Patrol

Thunder at Heat

ESPN 7 p.m.

LeBron James, at teammate Shane Battier’s “Battioke” challenge.

The teams with the league’s second- and third-best records, featuring last year’s MVP (LeBron) and who will likely be this year’s MVP (Kevin Durant) meet in a reprise of the 2012 NBA Finals. Miami has zombie-crawled through the year’s first month with an 8-5 record –they’ve been a little distracted—  though the Heat did handle San Antonio on Sunday. OKC has won eight in a row. Something to watch for: the Thunder are second in the NBA in rebounding, the Heat are last.


IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Tuesday, January 28


Yes, but can he bench-press 225 pounds?


1. The Magnificent Kevins

Durant. Durant.

Kevin Durant goes for a pedestrian 41, including the game-winning 18-footer as time expires, as the Thunder defeat the ATL, 111-109. That’s 11 straight games above 30 points and a 36.9 ppg average in 2014 so far. a month in which OKC has gone 11-4 and now sits atop the Western Conference with a 36-10 record.

Strangely, only the Boston Celtics, a team that OKC has played twice this month and which has one of the worst records in the league, has escaped KD’s wrath: He went for 21 against them onJanuary 5th in OKC, his low output of the month, and he did not suit up against them last Friday in Boston.

Brad Stevens, what is your secret?

Love is the only All-Star whose last name also appears on the front of his jersey.

By the way, Kevin Love, who like Durant was born in the month of September, is six-foot-ten, left school after one year, and is named Kevin, scored 31 last night in a win at Chicago.

Durant will be the MVP while Love, who is fourth in the NBA in scoring and second in rebounding, will sate his ego by knowing he is the league’s second-best Kevin.

2. From Olbermann to Today

Despite having foisted Rob Parker upon us, Horowitz is still considered a brilliant mind by John Skipper et al.

Jamie Horowitz is a smart guy.

I seem to recall him interning at Sports Illustrated for us when he was still a student at Amherst. He may have even turned down a job offer from SI to take an entry level gig at NBC Sports. I think so.

So yesterday Deadspin broke news that Horowitz, credited with creating shows such as “SportsNation” and “First Take” (I said he was a smart guy; I never said your TV is a better place for him having been here), may be headed to NBC to oversee the Today Show.

Good timing award: the news broke on Keith Olbermann’s 55th birthday (“So I’m no longer part of the target demographic?”). Horowitz is the executive producer of “Olbermann.”

A few curious notes: Horowitz is credited with hiring Michelle Beadle and turning her into a star. Those two should really meet for drinks at the steakateria (a regular Beadle haunt) to discuss the Peacock. He’s leaving ESPN for there just as she returns to NBC after a brief but turbulent ride.

Second: if Horowitz departs, his No. 2, Kevin Wildes, will take over. And Horowitz will have to agree not to poach. Which is funny, since Wildes’ brother-in-law is Willie Geist, who may one day just succeed Matt Lauer as Today’s host.

Wildes interviewed your author for a position on “Olbermann” last summer. He described this site as a “living resume.” Horowitz even entreated audition copy. I never heard back from either of them, though.

So it goes…

3. What Have You Done For Me Lately Tomorrow?

Did you really want to see a photo of an iPad Air here instead?

Is Apple now forbidden fruit? As a stock (AAPL), that is?

Yesterday Apple reported earnings after the market closed. The company beat expectations on earnings and reported that it had sold 50 million iPhones in the fourth quarter. And somehow it dove more than 8% in price after hours (from $550 to $508).

Think about that. Apple basically just had Robinson Cano’s 2013 season and the market just offered it an 8% cut in salary because it doesn’t think he can repeat it. Extrapolate 50 million iPhones over a year and then ask yourself, What other company could sell 200 million units of a product that retails for more than $400? Who? Anyone?

It’s a little more complicated than that, of course: margin, expectations going forward, emerging markets, etc. Still, as I tweeted last night, AAPL is Kate Beckinsale seated alone at a bar, watching as guy after guy walks past her for hours in an attempt to get Cathy Griffin’s number because they think that she’ll one day have more potential. It’s whack.

This dude takes an existential view of it all in a story entitled “Apple Proves That Our Society Stinks.” Personally, the entire dive in stock price may just be due to that giant window shattering in its trademark store across from The Plaza last week, no?

And, full disclosure: I own AAPL and cannot wait to purchase more.

4. Meet Mrs. Mosby

Her subscription to Architectural Digest made her a perfect match for Ted.

For its 200th episode, “How I Melt Your Mother” gave viewers an unadulterated 30 minutes of life in the world of the future Mrs. Mosby. Am I the only one surprised at how closely she resembles Lily? Almost a mash-up of Lily and Robin, even. Weird.

So it’s Cristin Milioti (I think a few of us were hoping for Alexandra Daddario), who is better-known around these parts as having been the female lead in the Broadway version of “Once.” If you’re keeping track, then, she’s played characters who are formally known as “Mother” and “Girl” in the credits.

Although, as Jason Segel revealed, Mother could just as easily have been Hillary Clinton.

5. Crocs

So, some Aussie boys went swimming in croc-infested waters at the Kakadu National Park in Australia (I’ve been there; it’s primeval) and one of them didn’t return. Which is terrible, of course, for the boy and his family. It’s also what the croc would refer to as dinner.

The aftermath: officials at Kakadu are shooting every large croc and examining its stomach contents –cuz that’s going to help –while some idiot posted a headline that read “Killer Croc Snatches 12 Year-Old.”

Don’t you love how people attribute anthropomorphic ideals to wild creatures? As if the croc is just the latest fugitive from the law? It’s a wild animal, people. It eats to survive. And if you go swimming in its pantry, well, I’m sorry, but that’s Darwinism.

The Hall

Today you must be this short — 68 inches or less– to be inducted.

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P

1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P

1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul, LF


Pud Galvin

James Francis “Pud” Galvin, P; 1875-1892, Six teams

The sport’s first 300-game winner, the five-foot-eight Galvin is No. five all-time in victories with 365. Granted, it was a different era (“Pitch count?!?”) but Galvin pitched 646 complete games –only Cy Young had more– and had ten 20-win seasons. Also was the first Major Leaguer to throw a no-hitter on the road.

John McGraw, INF; 1891-1906, Orioles, Cardinals, Giants

More renowned as a manager, and deservedly so since no National League manager has more career wins than his 2,583, “Little Napoleon” (kind of a redundant sobriquet) had a career on-base percentage of .456. Only two men had a higher OBP: Ted Williams and Babe Ruth. Not too shabby. Had a .334 lifetime average.

Remote Patrol

St. John’s at No. 20 Creighton

Fox Sports 1

Ethan Wragge: “Don’t think, just shoot.” These, kids, are words to live by.

Michigan State at Iowa may be the closer matchup, but you owe to yourself to watch Creighton’s Doug McDermott and Ethan Wragge as much as possible. The Bluejays not only lead the nation in most three-pointers made, they also lead it in highest three-point FG percentage. That’s impressive. Omaha!

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Monday, January 27


Your move, Adele.

1. Music, Man

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something Blue Ivy’s parents. Robin Thicke and Chicago.  Macklemore and Madonna. Carole King and Sara Bareilles. Daft Punk and Stevie Wonder. Blake Shelton with Willie Nelson (who was old when I was a kid). Notice a theme from last night’s Grammy’s?

Also, you had Sir Paul McCartney reuniting with Richard Starkey…Pink du Soleil…the fetching Kacey Musgraves, Jamie Foxx beign his “I’m Jamie Foxx so I’m going to hit on the hottest woman in the room even if she IS Jay-Z’s wife” moment… and Queen Latifah is a wedding minister.

“Make lots of noise/Kiss lots of boys/Or kiss lots of girls/If that’s something you’re into…”

All in all, a fantastic show. I don’t know how you improve on this outside of not subjecting viewers to Cindy Lauper’s accent.

2. Sochi Went There

“In your face, dog lawyer.”

Kate McKinnon is in her second full season at Saturday Night Live, which with this year’s cast makes her a veteran. McKinnon, with those crazy eyes, turned 30 last month. She’s the best female performer on the show, but it wasn’t until Saturday night that she had a truly memorable character: Olya Povlatsky.

Sure, it’s distaff version of Borat, but it was still solid. Lots of gems here — “I mean, how did the Olympics pick Russia? What was the other options: Haiti or middle of ocean?”

Always underrated in these bits: Seth Meyers’ talent as a straight man. But NBC would do well to sit Olya down with Bob Costas for a fireside chat or two during the Sochi Games.

Also solid: host Jonah Hill’s monologue that was crashed by Leo DiCaprio.

3. The Gospel According to Rust Cohle

Am I the only one who thought our initial peek at Ledoux was straight out of that Sasquatch footage?

So it looks as if we’ve got our prime suspect in “True Detective”, one Reginald Ledoux, a man who favors stalking around in his backyard, swinging a machete while wearing nothing but his tighty whiteys and a gas mask…although if that’s a crime, lock me up, sheriff.

Three episodes in –the show is on hiatus next week to avoid SB XLVII — and nothing is better than one of Rust Cohle’s occasional sermons to his partner, Marty, on the human condition. Last night’s, on the typical demographic at a tent revival: “I think it’s safe to say that nobody here’s gonna be splitting the atom, Marty.”

Hart: “Can you see Texas from atop your high horse?”

Marty is learning to counterpunch, I see, at least rhetorically.

All I know is we’re going to have more scenes with Charlie (“Like she could duck hunt with a rake”), so I can’t wait.

Oh, and by the way, Rust: Marty wants to mow his own lawn.

4. What the Cyclones Blew In

Both Fox and Carroll have roots in Ames.

Both Super Bowl coaches, Denver’s Fox and Seattle’s Carroll, once worked at Iowa State. By the way, once coach is a silver fox and the other is a silver Fox, no?

Meanwhile, I can step out the front door of my apartment, be at the Hudson River in less than a minute (walking), and then walk about a mile and a half south along said estuary this week and be here. Which is why I’ll be headed in the opposite direction.

5. Mavericks

So, yeah, what’s the big deal?

Two dozen of the world’s premier surfers are invited to head to one of the world’s most famous breaks –Mavericks, about two miles off-shore from Half Moon Bay, near Santa Cruz– and given about 48 hours’ advance notice. The competition took place last Friday in 55-degree water –the short notice is on account of organizers waiting for optimal conditions, and the contest was not even staged in 2011 or ’12. The winner, a 40 year-old South African named Grant “Twiggy” Baker, only took home $12,000. But it’s all about the bragging rights.


If you enjoy watching precociously talented kids sing on YouTube, check this out. This young lady has spent A LOT of time alone in her room listening to music. But she’s gifted. And here’s a more well-known duet performing that tune.


So they’re playing hockey outdoors in Los Angeles this week and football outdoors in New Jersey? Sure.


The Tribe Has Spoken


So I caught “Lone Survivor” the other night and it was, as expected, gripping. A few things that take place in the film that did not take place in Marcus Luttrell’s memoir:

1) The scene in which the Taliban villain comes within a moment of decapitating Luttrell. Never happened, at least according to Luttrell’s own published account.

2) The final battle in the village. Again, never happened.

3) The entire cast dancing at the train station in a musical number as the closing credits roll–oh wait, wrong film.

4) The rattlesnake moment. Never mentioned in the book, but hey, director Peter Berg was probably weaned on the same Disney movies I was. Any Disney film that took place in the wilderness in those days always had at least one rattlesnake scene.

5) The Afghan boy handing Luttrell a knife. That entire combat moment never took place.

6) Luttrell flat-lining as he is returned to base. Although Luttrell suffered numerous injuries and also lost lots of weight –the Afghanis hid him for about a week — he was never close to dying as he returned to base.

Still, the movie is otherwise very faithful to what was an incredibly compelling and harrowing episode in the history of the U.S. Navy SEALs. The combat footage, the locations, if you’ve read the book, it’s pretty much how you imagine it. I wondered why they felt the need to ever stray from the truth, with the lone exception being that I realized they’d need to condense Luttrell’s time in the village.

Also, I spotted Luttrell in cameos in at least three different scenes. That was a little…strange. One scene? Sure. More than that, if you know who he is, it’s a little awkward.

I’m fascinated by the story and in awe of the men who perished. Truly the best of the best. But I’ve noticed that in just about every interview Luttrell does, he has absolutely no patience for anyone in the media who dares to ask an honest, legitimate question. Here he is with Jake Tapper of CNN, who seems to be trying his best to show respect for the men while asking legitimate questions about the mission.

For instance, you can ask how come they didn’t take the goatherds hostage, hike them out with them until they were able to establish radio contact, wait for the Chinook, and then set them free. I’m sure there’s a good explanation for that, but Luttrell’s attitude has been simply to pounce.

It becomes clear that Luttrell will always be dealing with this incident in his head. And who wouldn’t be?


Dan Jenkins himself couldn’t give a Southern QB a better appellation.

So here’s my question: If a “:SportsCenter” anchor reported on the quarterback decommitting from Alabama in order to attend USC, could he pay homage to both Chris Berman AND Steve Levy simultaneously by referring to him as Ricky “Get Outta” Town? Don’t cry for Saban. Yesterday Alabama picked up Florida State second-string quarterback Jacob Coker, who will graduate in May and thus is eligible to play immediately for the Crimson Tide. Oh, and Coker attended the same high school as A.J. McCarron.


Kobe Bryant on Carmelo Anthony’s 61-point game at MSG on Friday night, which broke the venue record Kobe had set a couple years ago: “If I were a competitor, I’d note that Melo’s had a lot more chances to break that record here than I have…but I’m not a competitor, so I won’t mention it.” Never change, Mamba.

The Hall

Today we induct a pair of sweet-swinging left-fielders.

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P

1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P

The Falls Classic: Few Major Leaguers have had a more spectacular demise than Delahanty.


Ed Delahanty, LF; 1888-1903, Four Teams, including Senators

Even if Delahanty did not hit over .400 in three different seasons and put up the fifth-best batting average in Major League annals (.346), he might merit induction simply for the way he perished. On July 2, 1903, as the Senators were on a travel day through upstate New York, Delahanty, 35, became drunk and belligerent. He began chasing teammate Highball Wilson (love that name) throughout the car with a straight razor. Delahanty was booted from the train, and later that night –the details are sketchy — he plunged into the Niagara River and went over Niagara Falls.

Francis Joseph “Lefty” O’Doul, LF; 1919-1934, Six Teams, Including Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies

In 1929 O’Doul batted .398 with 254 base hits for the Phillies, and no National Leaguer has topped either of those numbers since. His .349 career batting average is fourth on the all-time list, behind only Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Remote Patrol

No. 18 Duke at No. 20 Pittsburgh

ESPN 7 p.m.

Yet another Plumlee at Duke. This one goes by Marshall.

There are two Dukes, because few teams resemble themselves away from their home court less than the Blue Devils do. The Coach K’s have only played three games on other team’s courts and are thus far 1-2. Also, at 9 p.m. No. 11 Oklahoma State visits No. 25 Oklahoma on the 10th anniversary of the plane crash that claimed 10 members of its team and staff.







Franz Klammer

Thirty-eight years ago today Franz Klammer charged down the mountain at Innsbruck in what was, for this observer, the greatest sports moment of my lifetime. Definitely of my childhood.

It may be difficult for anyone under the age of 35 to appreciate, and I am not making a qualitative judgment, but there was a time when sports were not televised wall-to-wall. When you couldn’t wake up on a Saturday morning, any Saturday from Labor Day to April Fool’s Day, and spend an entire day, noon to midnight, ingesting college sports.

Yes, it was an era in which skiers who did not look like Lindsay Vonn could actually garner the cover of Sports Illustrated.

There was no NBA League Pass. No MLB Network. No DirecTV, with “football on your phone.” And, of course, no ESPN.

And, so, in those Dark Ages before cable television, sporting events were exactly that: events. Sure, you could see your local pro teams on television — my Knicks were on WOR-TV, Channel 9, while Phil Rizzuto, Bill White and Frank Messer brought me the Yankees on WPIX-TV, Channel 11. But, as for nationally televised events, they were mostly one day per week.

Was it better then? In some ways, yes. I like Beck Bennett, but “more is better” is not necessarily true. Limits, at least when it comes to appetites, are usually a good thing. Ask Jordan Belfort.

Anyway, it was in those days, in my childhood, the Seventies, that the Olympics were at their zenith. Televised sports had advanced by leaps and bounds in a decade but the age of round-the-clock coverage, of ESPN and CNN, was not yet upon us.

All of which is a preamble for me to say this: for all of the sports I’ve witnessed, in person and on TV, and for as much as I love college athletics, if you ask me to name the two best goosebumps moments of sports I’ve seen, it’s a quick answer: the USA beating the USSR in hockey in 1980 (the “Miracle on Ice”), which everyone is familiar with; and Franz Klammer’s gold-medal downhill run in Innsbruck, Austria, 1976, a moment that rarely gets mentioned. Maybe because no one ever made a movie about it.

The Olympics, in the 1970s, were exotic and exhilarating. Here were ABC’s cameras taking you to points on the globe that you’d only otherwise see in a James Bond film; televising sports in prime-time, night after night, which was just bizarre. When there were only four or five channels to choose from, and no internet and not even video games, the entire nation was a captive audience. What were we supposed to do, flip over to Grizzly Adams?

Dan Haggerty. It was lost on no one that he was quite ursine himself.

It was a weeknight, I remember. Thirty-eight years ago today. I was nine years old, and my parents allowed us to stay up late. Franz Klammer was Austria’s national hero, the host country’s best bet to win a gold medal. Bernhard Russi of Switzerland, the reigning Olympic gold medalist, had laid down a near-perfect run at Patscherkofel.

Klammer was the final skier of 15 to enter the chute. It was simple enough for this fifth-grader to understand: Klammer had to race down the mountain faster than Russi’s posted 1:46:06  in order to win the gold medal. His entire country was counting on his 22 year-old legs, and it seemed as if they were all lining the run.

Why did an American like me care what happened in Austria? It was the Olympics. And back then, in a sports television universe that was not as fractured as it is today, nothing came close to approaching the Games in magnitude. Not even the Super Bowl, though it was closing the gap.

Klammer, present-day.

What happened? Watch Klammer’s run. Listen to Bob Beattie’s call. He’s not skiing. He’s flying. On the precipice of disaster at every turn. It’s not that he simply needs to ski out of his mind. It’s that he knows this is the biggest possible moment his life will ever attain. He’s 22 years old, skiing for the gold medal in his homeland, a country where skiing is king. Nothing will ever be as momentous.

And the pressure is on. As Beattie says at one point: “He’s going for it.” What else could he do?

The most exciting 1:45:73 I’ve ever seen in sports.


IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Friday, January 24


Sherman’s rant occurred on the same day his Beats by Dr. Dre ad dropped.

1. The Beats Goes On

Serendipitous? Certainly. Richard Sherman could not have known that Colin Kaepernick would challenge him for the potential game-winning TD pass in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday, thus giving him the opportunity to make a fantastic deflection and become THE Postgame Interview Get.

Still, the fact that this ad was released on the same day provides a window into why Sherman may have reacted so…what’s the word we’ve decided to go with?…. viscerally.

And that’s a good word, by the way. Because your visceral reaction to Sherman’s rant, whatever it happened to be, was the right one. Lots of media are telling you how you should think about it in the aftermath, just as they’re telling you how to think about the Dr. V story in Grantland. Think whatever you want. Your first thought was probably your best.

2. Hello, Neumann

Neumann in ’71; and today, with his daughter Esmeralda.


As profiled in this edition of Newsweek, Johnny Neumann, the last man to average 40 points per game over a season in Division I, is 63 years old –and has a full course load of classes at Ole Miss, where he is presently a sophomore.

3. Who’s Colin Jost?

Jost shoot me.

As first announced by departing “Weekend Update” co-anchor Seth Meyers, the new man on the desk will be Colin Jost. Who? He’s actually the head writer at SNL. A former president of the Harvard Lampoon, Jost joined the writing staff at 30 Rock in 2005 as a 22 year-old, just out of college. He does stand-up, too. He also looks like every preppy villain in every preppy movie ever made. I’m thinking particularly of the older brother in the torture porn flick, Funny Games.

Not Colin Jost. But it could be.

By the way, February 8 will be a Saturday and it will also be Cecily Strong’s 30th birthday. Kate McKinnon turned 30 earlier this month. Lorne Michaels likes himself some “metabolism.”

4. Wall-Star Game?

West                                                                                    East

Kevin Love                                                                Carmelo Anthony

Kevin Durant                                                           LeBron James

Blake Griffin                                                            Paul George

Kobe Bryant                                                            Kyrie Irving

Stephen Curry                                                         Dwyane Wade

Kudos to the fans for voting in Curry and George, both deserving. Quibbles with Kobe and D-Wade based on games missed thus far, but Keith Olbermann told us on his show last night that anyone with a keyboard or a radio show is not allowed to whine about it. This from a man who has his own nightly one-hour show/bully pulpit. Ooooooookay, Keith.

I’d sub in James Harden for Kobe (or CP3, but he’s out with an injury) and LaMarcus Aldridge (who put up a career-high 44 last night, perhaps in a fit of anger) for Blake Griffin on the West. For the East, John Wall is averaging 20 points and eight assists per game.

5. Rafa is Auss-ome

He’s just…so…good.

Maybe you stayed up with Jade McCarthy and Kevin Ngandi to catch the 3:30 a.m. live Aussie Open semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. I did not. Rafa won in straight sets. If he wins the final, the tennis grand slams career wins total will be Federer 17 and Nadal and Sampras, who attended the match, tied with 14. And by the end of 2015, Nadal should be atop that list.


Well, he is.

The legendary Bill Walton works as the analyst for last night’s Colorado-Arizona contest and, as usual, does not fail to disappoint. He espouses the aesthetics of team play instead of, as he said it, “take the ball out front, dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble dribble, then shoot.”

When the game veered toward blowout land, Walton discussed the Biosphere (you, Bill, I actually have been inside. Funny story: the one ecosystem they were unable to reproduce: a desert. Now that is irony.) and a weekend concert in Tucson featuring Leon Russell at the Rialto.

Red, the next time you’re in Tucson, you should definitely dine at Alex Flanagan’s parents’ steakhouse.

Walton is, for me, an absolute joy to listen to. He actually treats words like currency and complete thoughts as valuable commodities. Right now, his partner, Dave Pasch, is way too stiff and Bristol-roboto. If ESPN would simply pair Walton and Brent Musburger for one broadcast, it would be gold.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B

1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P


Lou Gehrig, 1B; 1923-1939, Yankees

The greatest first baseman of all time, Gehrig helped the Yankees to six World Series titles, held the career grand slams (23) and consecutive games played (2,130) records until the mid-1990s, and is No. 5 all-time in career RBI. Belongs on any top five players of all-time list.

Nichols was always prepared to be traded at a moment’s notice.

Kid Nichols, P; 1890-1906, Beaneaters, Cardinals, Phillies

Charles Augustus Nichols had a lifetime record of 361-208 and an ERA of 2.96. Seventh all-time in victories. Nichols is the youngest player ever to reach the 300-win milestone, having done so at age 30.

The Bank

Balance: $791

Last Night: Bye

Record: 6-8

Tonight: Let’s put $50 on the Swaggy P’s getting 1.5 points at Orlando. First game between Lakers and Magic that has not involved Dwight Howard in eons.

Remote Patrol


The Grammys

CBS 8 p.m.

The pee wee Kiwi hit it big in 2013 with her ode to an American League team that never makes the playoffs.

My sweet Lorde. She’ll be performing, as will the two surviving Beatles, and there’s even a duet with Carole King and Sara Bareilles (I may be the only straight male who is excited about this). The awards themselves? Who cares? As the siblings Doobies once advised, “Oh oh oh, listen to the music…”



IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, January 23


Tanaka Blast

1. Baseball’s InvAsian

Masahiro Tanaka will cost the New York Yankees $175 million, or more than C.C. Sabathia. Is he worth it? Well, he has won his last 26 decisions and his ERA has been 1.27 two of the past three seasons (it was 1.83 in the third). Is he worth it? Fellow Japanese pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma (3rd in ERA in the AL) and Yu Darvish (4th) have been for Seattle and Texas. So has reliever Koji Uehara ( a 0.57 WHIP, which is ree-dick) for Boston.

Doubters (ahem, Keith Olbermann) will point to Hideki Irabu or Kei Igawa. Fair. But what about Chien Mien-Wang and Hiroki Kuroda, the latter of whom has been the Yanks’ best starter the past two years?

2. Where’s Joel?

Embiid, a native of Cameroon, began playing basketball at age 16. Now the seven-footer is seen as the next Olajuwon.

The Wooden Award Midseason 25 list was released yesterday and whose name was not among the 25? That of Joel Embiid, freshman center for the Kansas Jayhawks, who is currently the No. 1 overall pick in ESPN’s latest NBA mock draft. Remember, it was not even three months ago when a certain publication put another Jayhawk frosh on its cover with the line “From Wilt…to Manning…to Wiggins.”

3. Ward of CBS

Ward reporting from the remains of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity of the campus of ASU.

The latest face in morning news could be around for awhile. Meet Clarissa Ward, who joined firmly in third (fourth?) place CBS This Morning recently to share the circular desk with Charlie Rose and Gayle King. Rose , King, Ward. You must have four letters to sit there, I guess.

Anyway, Ward is of English and American heritage and attended (nose lofted upward) Yale University. She’s done the whole Baghdad/Syria/Tahrir Square thing, too. She’s like a taller, blonder, younger, estrogen-ier Richard Engel.

4. OK in OKC

The world’s best basketball player.

In consecutive nights the Oklahoma City Thunder take down the top two teams in the Western Conference (other than themselves), Portland and San Antonio. Kevin Durant scores 46 and 36 in the games and in the past 11 games he is averaging 38.1 points. A superstar in his prime. How lethal will OKC be when Russell Westbrook returns?

Old-timers such as myself prefer Durant’s game to LeBron’s because he does not play football/basketball. When LeBron cannot hit his shot, he just palms the ball before his first step, then drives to the hoop like Jim Brown, in search of contact and well aware that no ref will whistle him for a charge. Durant plays the game the way those of us who were raised on Dr. J and Havlicek and Pistol Pete and Rick Barry played it. They were artists, not bulls.

Maybe it’s a generational thing.

5. NFLX >>> NFL

Spacey and Wright.

Stock in Netflix leaped nearly 18%  ($58.27) after hours yesterday based on the company’s quarterly earnings report. A year ago yesterday you could have had a share for $96. Today it’s nearly four times that, at $389. The lesson, as always: Never bet against Robin Wright.


The term “thug” originated in India, from the Hindi or Marathi “thag”, which was loosely translated as “ruffian.” To my knowledge a native-born Indian has never played a down in the NFL. Just something to consider.


Astronomical Pun Goes Here

Gerald Green had a team-high 23. The Suns have played the majority of the season minus Eric Bledsoe and Emeka Okafor, two of their premier players.

The Phoenix Suns hand the NBA’s top team, record-wise, the Indiana Pacers, their worst loss of the season: 124-100. It’s also the most points that anyone has scored on the Pacers. Jeff Hornacek’s team has already won as many games a the team’s midway point of the season (24-17) as most people thought they’d win all year. The Suns are now officially on everyone’s radar.

Six Suns scored in double figures, which is just the way Hornacek likes it.


Happy 40th!

Keep on rockin’, Kelly Kapowski

I’m On Fire

They’re not booing, they’re yelling, “Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiire!” Bruce Springsteen’s son, Sam, 20, joins the Colt’s Neck, N.J., Fire Dept. As a former Monmouth County resident myself, I can tell you that Colt’s Neck is fairly swank. Lots of horse farms. The kind of place where Pie O My would live. And what happened to that filly?

By the way, Springsteen has recorded “Streets of Fire” and “I’m on Fire”, but he also wrote the Pointer Sisters hit “Fire.”

Cold, Hard Facts

A fantastic piece in Outside magazine about what it is like to freeze to death. Because it’s January and it’s not Inside magazine. Recommended reading for the Broncos and Seahawks.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B


Ed Walsh, P; 1904-1917, White Sox, Braves

In six of his 14 seasons Walsh posted a sub- 2.0 ERA and retired with a 1.82 mark, which no one has ever improved upon. Won 40 games in 1908. In an all-Chicago 1906 World Series, he led the Sox to an upset of the Cubs, winning two starts while allowing just one run in 15 innings.

Walsh, like Frisch, attended Fordham. His thick brown locks also place him in the Hall of Mane.

Old Hoss Radbourn, P; 1880-1891, Five Teams

Charles Gardner Radbourn won a Major League-record 59 games in 1884 and did not even make the cover of Sports Illustrated. Retired with 309 wins, 24th-most in MLB history.

The Bank

Balance: $791

Last Night: Took Oklahoma minus-14; they won by eight.

Record: 6-8

Tonight: Sitting this one out.

Remote Patrol

Australian Open

ESPN 3:30 a.m.

Brady-Manning and Federer-Nadal in the same week? Yes.

Get up early, or stay up late, to see the two best men’s tennis players of the past decade (ever?), Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, meet in the semis. Knowing these two, it’ll go five sets, so you can probably sleep in until at least 5:30 a.m. Currently Federer has 17 career grand slam wins, Pete Sampras 14, and Nadal 13.


IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Wednesday, January 22


The Oracle of Omaha better be ready to pay up.

1. March Millions

This could work.

Item 1: Yesterday Quicken Loans, owned by billionaire Bil Gilbert, and Berkshire Hathaway, owned by billionaire Warren Buffett, announced that together they will pay $1 billion (that’s the first number you learned followed by three commas and nine zeros) to anyone who correctly picks ALL 67 games of this year’s NCAA mens’ basketball tournament.

Item 2: The most popular cause among journalists and college athletes in revenue-producing sports is income disparity, the concept that the “student-athletes” should be paid for their services.

My Idea: There exists a group of people who are in a prime position to influence the outcomes of these games. A group of young men. Actually, 68 small groups of young men. What if these young men were to, I don’t know, create a Facebook group to which only they had access? What if they were to just toss around the idea that the higher-seeded team in every game would win, with one or two or six exceptions since someone out there is bound to hand in a bracket that is chalk?

If Coach K. can get paid, why not the players? And it’s not even a salary; it’s a contest.

What if all of these young men were to agree that within every one of their 68 smaller groups, the 10 most influential members would receive equal shares? Those outside the top ten in any of the 68 smaller groups would receive some smaller share. Now, all we need to happen is to have someone turn in a bracket, keep all of the members apprised of what that bracket looks like, and then let the madness begin!

If you multiply 68, the number of teams in tournament, by 10, you get 680. Now divide $1,000,000,000 by 680 and you get a quotient of….



I got your Cost of Attendance right here, pal. Not bad for less than three week’s work.

Lorenzo Charles, N.C. State

Let’s say that the median salary in the U.S.A. is $50,000. And let’s explain to our young men that for most of them, that check represents at least 29 years of work. Even if we are optimistic, for most of them, at least 15 years of post-collegiate labor. Or they can just follow this plan.

2. FLOTUS Dunk

The Bucks want to offer Mrs. Obama a 10-day contract.

By now this has made the rounds. I just would like to add that if you’ve been watching the Miami Heat play this month, this GIF symbolizes their commitment to defense.

3. Master Thespian

“How indeed, detectives?”

I know you think I feature Matthew McConaughey far too often on this site, that perhaps I’ve gone McConau-Gay. But we’re watching an athlete in his prime who is simply killing it. It’s like Bob Gibson in 1968 or Mel Gibson in the Nineties, before he opened his mouth about Jewish people.

And while we are only three weeks into the new year, this is the best scene on any show I’ve watched so far. It’s the final scene from the premiere of “True Detective”, as Rust Cohle lets the two detectives know that as deviant and spaced as he may seem, he’s known why they called him in to talk since the very moment he entered the room. Also, the backing guitar, the timing of it and the tone, fits perfectly.

4. uNDer armour

Mike Brey will start this guy on Saturday.

“We Must Protect This House…of Worship?”

Notre Dame and Under Armour, the world’s top supplier of unbearably tight-fitting clothing that no one over the age of 30 should wear, sign the most lucrative shoe and apparel deal in college sports history, reportedly for $90 million over 10 years. Stock in Under Armour (UA) rose 3.40% yesterday on the news. Au was the symbol for gold. Now in South Bend, they’ve reversed the letters.

5. Damon in Davos

From Oceans 11 to potable water.

In the film “Syriana”, which was actually on television last night, Matt Damon plays a Switzerland-based oil commodities analyst. This week Damon is in Davos, Switzerland, to address the World Economic Forum about, well, water (but not necessarily well water).

“Having traveled in the Third World quite a bit, I started to get a real appreciation for the magnitude of the water crisis, and it just shocked me,” Damon said. “Every 20 seconds a kid dies because they lack access to clean water and sanitation.”

His message to the world’s most influential people? It IS your fault.

My favorite Damon scene from “Syriana”, a bleak but powerful film. Maybe a little too bleak.


Why does watching other people be happy make us so happy?

You’ve probably seen this footage of the Auburn band as Chris Davis scores the winning touchdown in the Iron Bowl, but just in case. Those sousaphone players deserve a Heisman, hoisting their horns upon their shoulders in preparation to play before Davis even crosses pay dirt. That’s awesome.


Deadspin’s Greg Howard (or is this just an alias under which Jason Whitlock writes?) informs us that White America cannot handle an athlete who is 1) Black 2) Successful and 3) Arrogant. To which I say, “Bullshit.”

Muhammad Ali.

The problem with Richard Sherman’s rant, Mr. Howard, is not that it was arrogant. It’s that it was hostile and absolutely without charm. Ali met all three of your parameters. So did Rod Tidwell. And white and black audiences sopped it up with bread. Charm and a sense of humor, traits that those men and many other successful, arrogant black males possessed, will take you a long way.

I’m not even linking to the piece. It was self-righteous, race-baiting garbage.


Hawaii 5-0 Foot Waves

Fifty-foot waves are headed for the Oahu’s North Shore today and, ironically, an esteemed surfing competition will be canceled. Not due to the height of the waves, but rather the wind conditions.

Moriarity was just 16 when he made the cover of Surfer for this spectacular wipeout.

Which reminds me: I caught “Chasing Mavericks”, a 2012 film on the brief but spectacular existence of Jay Moriarity, last night on Showtime. Highly recommend. Or, at least the final 20 minutes. The visuals from Mavericks, the famous surfing spot just south of San Francisco, are wild.

Here’s footage from Moriarity’s infamous wipeout, in 1994, at the age of 16. After this, he retrieved his board and went back to the lineup. That’s plain balls.


Michelle Beadle is returning to ESPN, a story broken by Richard Deitsch at We’ll see if the magic is still there.


Everything that’s wrong with education in the United States in one depressing essay by Thomas Friedman. My sister-in-law has taught at the same elementary school for more than two decades and I pretty much hear the same stories from her. (This is not one of those Rick Reilly moments in which my in-law will then run to another publication and claim that I misquoted her.)


Games of Thrones

If you’re doing No. 2, you may be two by two.


A photo taken by a British newsman of a toilet at a venue in Sochi. This is NOT the type of Olympic movement we are going for.


Instagram is not a toy, kids.

A fraternity at Arizona State University, Tau Kappa Epsilon, a frat that had already been suspended, decides to stage an MLK-themed party. And so Arizona’s reputation as a (as THE)  racist state only is further enhanced.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B

1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B

Frisch also stole 419 career bases.


Mickey Cochrane, C; 1925-1937, Athletics, Tigers

The 1928 American League MVP, Cochrane has the highest career batting average for a catcher (.320), at least until Joe Mauer retires. Had his career ended after a near-fatal beaning.

Frankie Frisch, 2B; 1919-1937, Giants, Cardinals

The “Fordham Flash” was a switch-hitter whose .316 lifetime average remains the standard for those who bat from both sides of the plate.

The Bank

Balance: $835

Last Night: Bye

Record: 6-7

Tonight: Let’s take Oklahoma minus-14 versus TCU. That’s a huge spread, of course, but the Horned Frogs have lost by 32 and 26 in their only two road games since Dec. 5. For $40.

Remote Patrol

Thunder at Spurs

ESPN 8 p.m.

He’ll be the MVP and he’ll clean out your gutter.

At least one of these two teams will play in the Western Conference finals. Kevin Durant had 46 last night in a win against Portland and 54 on Friday in a defeat of Golden State. He’s gone for at least 30, roughly his average, in each of his past eight games.


IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Tuesday, January 21


Black Sea, black widows, black cloud.

1. Is Sochi Safe?

The Winter Olympics are about two weeks away, and as happens with every Olympics since Munich, the inevitable security concerns stories begin to appear. This time, though, the stories have weight behind them. To begin with, reacquaint yourself with Sochi’s location. It’s a weekend getaway from a number of countries that are hostile to the West.

Sochi borders the Black Sea, in Russia, of course.

The venues themselves will likely be safe, as will the athletes. It’s the cafes and the plazas, where thousands of tourists will congregate, that will give officials migraines. And let’s hope that’s all.

2. Ouch, Babe

She’s thinking, Fifty-Cent in the pits at Daytona was more lucid.

My former colleague Jeff Pearlman stays up past his bedtime, opens up the lap top, and unleashes a screed on the spokeswoman for TruBiotics. Meeee-ow! I’m not the biggest EA Sports fan, but what did she do wrong here? She actually asked the question everyone was thinking; and then a FOX producer ordered her to abandon ship. Contrast that with Ed Werder’s fawning interview of the same human, just moments later, for ESPN. If EA had smiled and fawned this way, she would have been roundly pilloried. And squarely pilloried.


You can’t spell “Party” without “P-A-T.”

Once upon a time my good friend Steve Hymon was a reporter (read: fact-checker) at Sports Illustrated. Reporters were not expressly forbidden to submit “Point After” essays, but we knew our chances of ever having one published were miniscule. “Hymo”, as he’s known, penetrated that barrier with an essay entitled “Rename This Column” in which he advocated that the NFL adopt college football’s option for a two-point conversion after a TD.

At the time, the NFL only allowed the kick PAT.

Some time after Hymo’s column, the NFL did adopt his idea –I’m sure they never credited him, though.

So now Roger Goodell is considering ending PATs? Why? Is he doing this just for kicks? I’m hoping to read a hed that says something like, “NFL Will Eliminate PAT, Replace With Four More Regular Season Games.”

The PAT is the fine after-dinner mint that we all crave. A coda for a symphonic drive. A chance to beat the traffic to the fridge for our next “Old Star or Old Milwaukee…nothin’ snooty.”

And, of course, I have to ask: Would such a maneuver coerce my former employer into actually taking Hymo’s advice (“Rename this column”) itself?

4. A Film About a Film Critic?

Aisle be seeing you…

Steve James, the Chicago-based filmmaker who gave us “Hoop Dreams”, a universally acclaimed documentary, is screening a film about the late Chicago Sun Times and nationally known film critic, Roger Ebert, at Sundance Film Festival. It’s called “Life Itself”, based on Ebert’s entertaining autobiography. And here’s one review of a film about a film reviewer. And here’s another.

5. Dr. V Was No Dickie V.

Answer: No. Years of lying and depression may have.

The “Harrumph Harrumph Harrumph!” story of the week goes to, where a young writer’s profile on a sham putter salesperson went horribly awry. Grantland Editor-in-Chief Bill Simmons apologized. A guest with expertise on trans-gender issues explained what went wrong.

The writer, Caleb Hannan, did some wonderful digging here to expose the subject, Essay Anne Vanderbilt. The subject would take her life before the piece ever ran. Hannan’s piece was first widely praised. Then there was backlash. Now there is penitence.

Sorry, I don’t get it. While Hannan overreached by informing one of Vanderbilt’s investors about her sexual reassignment, he was reporting a piece on a person in which the crux of the story became the fact that the person was misrepresenting his or herself. And in that case, her transgender issue is germane to the story.

I’m sorry that Vanderbilt felt so lost that she committed suicide. But I do wonder why the only ones never blamed for a suicide are those that actually commit suicide.


Joan Niesen, one of the new SI hires, has gone from Georgetown to Mizzou J. School to Fox Sports North to the Denver Post to SI in rapid succession.

Sports Illustrated announces THREE COUNT ‘EM THREE writing hires in one swell foop, and that doesn’t include our man Hamilton, who was also recently brought aboard. Curiously, still no word on the whereabouts of Thayer Evans.

If there’s one word in the first graf of that release that should catch your eye, well, have you ever heard of the Citric Acid Cycle? What does it all mean? I cannot be sure, but SI will be having a screening of “Logan’s Run” for any editorial staffer interested later this week.


Totalitarian State of Denial

The North Korea Rodman, Steve Francis and their baller buddies didn’t see.

North Korea, where they smuggle in not guns but computers and video cameras. This is an excellent 50 or so minutes from PBS’ “Frontline.”


Hoopage: Swaggy P. scores 31 in a Laker loss, giving him 60 points since returning from suspension…Ohio State loses its fourth straight (but Aaron Craft remains pure and sublime)…Kansas beats its fourth straight ranked team: the six other teams who have beaten four ranked squads is as many games have won the national title…Miami finishes its road trip against mostly crap Eastern Conference teams 2-4…Notre Dame women’s hoops remains undefeated with a win at Tennesssee; probably won’t meet UConn until Final Four.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner

1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P.

1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B

1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF

1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B

1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B


Rogers Hornsby, 2B; 1915-1937, Six teams, mostly Cardinals and Browns

The Rajah’s .358 career batting average is second only to Ty Cobb, and no one since has bettered the .424 batting average he posted in 1924. Only player to ever hit above .400 and at least 40 home runs in the same season (1922, when he hit .401 with 42 homers).

Pie Traynor, 3B; 1920-1935, 1937, Pittsburgh Pirates

Often considered the greatest 3rd baseman pre-Brooks Robinson, Harold Joseph Traynor had a career .320 batting average and a .946 fielding percentage. Only struck out 278 times in 17 seasons.

The Bank

Balance: $835

Last Night: Took the Lakers plus 9.5, they lost by 2. So we win.

Record: 6-7

Tonight: Coming later

Remote Patrol

Indiana at No. 3 Michigan State

ESPN 7 p.m.

Dakich. He’s terrific. Some of you think he’s the worst. Which only corroborates my opinion.

You’ve got a potential Final Four squad in the Spartans plus Dan Dakich is your analyst. What else do you want? Can IU’s Yogi Ferrell duplicate the performance he had against the then No. team in the country, Wiscy, last week?