Starting Five

The probable NFL MVP’s calf under 303 pounds of pressure

1. Can You Sue Suh?

Suh-spension (n.): “In which a player is punitively held out of a game until the NFL and/or FOX decrees that it would be in the best interests of television ratings to have him reinstated.”

Robert Smith, on ESPN last night, referred to the Detroit Lion defensive lineman as “a classless player.”

Like many, I’m not sure how you overturn the one-game suspension for Ndamukong Suh stomping on Aaron Rodgers’ calf but retain the $70,000 fine. Arbiter Ted Cottrell claimed it was impossible to tell if Suh committed the act with intent. Idiot. All that means is that Suh has gotten better at being a smooth criminal.

Such claimed that he had “cold feet” when he stepped on Rodgers’ leg. You know what? He’s Lion.

Maybe if Roger Goodell and the NFL got a look at another tape of the incident from a different angle…

Lions at Cowboys, Sunday at 4:40 p.m., on FOX….

2. Chubb Thumping

How about Nick Chubb? In a season that began with certain web sites whom we will not name touting Georgia tailback Todd Gurley as its Grange Award favorite (Hey! Who did win that award, after all?), the true freshman rushed for more yards in a single season than anyone in Bulldog history not named Herschel Walker. Not bad for a backup.

Last night the 5-10 shrub from Cedartown, Ga., romped for 266 yards (only Walker, once, rushed for more yards for the Dawgs in a single game) versus the nation’s No. 3 rushing defense, Louisville, in a Belk Bowl win. Chubb finishes the season with 1,550 rushing yards. Not only did Chubb not begin the season atop Georgia’s depth chart, but classmate Sony Michel was the more highly-touted (as opposed to lowly touted) freshman tailback when they both arrived in Athens.

Hat’s off, Leonard (and to the photographer, Brett Duke, who shot this photo)

The real question: Is Chubb the best true freshman tailback in the SEC? If you watched what Leonard Fournette of LSU did –89-yard rushing TD, 100-yard kickoff return–versus Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl yesterday, you’d probably think Fournette is higher on scouts’ draft boards.

3. Plane Crashes; CNN Rejoices

I was seated in an airport bar yesterday when a fellow patron noted to our bartender that having the television tuned to CNN, and its non-stop coverage of the Asian Airlines crash was probably not the greatest marriage of atmosphere.

Then I checked Twitter, where Bill Maher quipped, “CNN with this lost plane is just ‘Nightcrawler’ on a network level.”

Sure, it’s awful that 162 or so people perished. But how many of them were known to anyone watching in America? And there are approximately 100,000 flights worldwide each day. So, yes, this is a tragedy. But if the idea is that this is news that you should find relevant to your own welfare, well, CNN would do better focusing on carbonated beverages or pretzel burgers.

I know. What a crank I have become…

4. Birthday Boys

Yesterday was LeBron James’ 30th and Tiger Woods’ 39th birthday (or, if they lived in Westeros, it was their “name day”). Anyway, it got me to thinking, if their careers ended today, whose was more illustrious?*

LeBron: two NBA championships, four league MVPs, most points (and uncalled traveling violations) of anyone under the age of 30 in NBA history.

Tiger: 14 majors plus Elin Nordegren AND Lindsey Vonn.

You decide.

*Sometimes I’m inspired to write entire entries solely to piss off Susie B.

5. Quips and Clips

Conan discovers Tinder…

It’s the last day and the last item of 2014 and…you just want to be finished already (Phyllis is making lasagna in the kitchen! Are you kidding me!?!). So Mediaite has been kind enough to compile this clip-fest of the year’s best late-night comedy/talk show clips. Missing: Colbert’s finale.

P.S. Jimmy Fallon is a very talented dude…when he’s not talking. His compliments are meaningless because that’s the only tune he ever plays with guests. I know people adore him; I find him virtually unwatchable.

Remote Patrol

Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. Arizona

ESPN 4 p.m.

In-state team versus the post-millennial Fiesta Bowl darlings. Enjoy…



Starting Five

“Tan pants. Why do I buy tan pants?”

1. Top Jimmy!

Alabama’s record in the seven seasons before Nick Saban arrived: 46-40

After: three national championships

USC’s record in the seven seasons before Pete Carroll arrived: 46-37-1

After: Two national championships, played for a third.

Notre Dame’s record in the seven seasons before Lou Holtz arrived: 46-32-2

After: One national championship, earned at least one more.

Michigan’s record in the past seven seasons: 46-42

I hear that Michigan is going to “honor” its new coach/alumnus, Jim Harbaugh, with a “Khaki Out” when he makes an appearance at tonight’s home basketball game. Love the effort, but isn’t it a little difficult to see what trousers people are wearing?

Someone said it to me on Twitter last night: Who knows how long Harbaugh will stay, but his demeanor is truly better suited for college athletes? He has the job he was born to do; let’s see if he remains at his Brigadoon.

2. American Sniper

Last March Korver’s streak of 127 games with at least one three-pointer ended.

Listen, I know and you know that the Toronto Dinosaurs and the Atlanta Descendants-of-Dinosaurs have the two best records in the East and zzzzzzzz….

But let’s give a little dap to Atlanta’s Kyle Korver. The 11-year veteran, 33, not only has the third-most made threes in the NBA (86), but he is currently draining them at a .515 clip, which is crazy. Korea actually has a higher 3-point % than he does an overall FG % (.492).

The six-foot-seven Creighton alum, who has NEVER made an All-Star team, already holds the NBA record for highest 3-point % in a season (.536), but that was in 2009-10 when he only made a total of 59 for the Utah Jazz.

Doug McDermott, you are staring at your future.

3. Richard Quest Love

I know very little about CNN’s dashing reporter, 52, other than that he’s their designated “Hey, A Plane Went Down Somewhere Near Malaysia, What Does That Mean?” expert, he has my favorite voice, and (perhaps this is the reason) he has quite large incisors.

However, I have since done a little research (read: Wikipedia) and have learned that Quest was born in Liverpool but raised mostly in Australia; has a law degree; is gay and Jewish; spent a year studying at Vanderbilt, though I have no idea why; turned down an opportunity to be a host at Al Jazeera, saying that his being “gay and Jewish” may not be suitable; and, most intriguingly, was arrested at 3:40 a.m. inside Central Park six years ago in possession of crystal meth.

Here he is last month interviewing another one of my favorite humans, Elon Musk, in which Musk admits that he is currently reading a biography on Howard Hughes and is reading it on his iPhone.

4. Tribes

I’m with the NYT: This was a bad look for the NYPD. Free speech is welcome. Hijacking an officer’s funeral, particularly when a mayor’s worst error was one stupid comment, is petty.

I keep hammering home the concept of TRIBES when it comes to Ferguson, Eric Garner, S-E-C! speed, just about anything. People are so focused on making sure THEIR tribe is in the right that we never move any closer to wisdom. Or justice. I think NYPD commissioner William Bratton said it well at Officer Leo Ramos’ funeral on Saturday:

“The police, the people who are angry at the police, the people who support us but want us to be better, even a madman who assassinated two men because all he could see was two uniforms, even though they were so much more. We don’t see each other. If we can learn to see each other, to see that our cops are people like Officer Ramos and Officer Liu, to see that our communities are filled with people just like them, too. If we can learn to see each other, then when we see each other, we’ll heal. We’ll heal as a department. We’ll heal as a city. We’ll heal as a country.”

The New York Times penned this editorial today. Many will disagree with it. You may, too. I’m on board with it. And not because I don’t respect the police. I do. But it’s as if the police are so entrenched that they refuse to see why anyone might have protested in the first place. Again, thanks a lot, Staten Island D.A. You’re the real villain, here.

5. Sideline (P)ass

Hey, Michael Richardson, what the hell? Not once but twice the Texas A&M student assistant (whose name is nowhere to be found on the official team roster, so why did he occupy such a prominent place on the sideline?) strike West Virginia players as they ended up out of bounds on the Aggie sideline during the Liberty Bowl.

A&M (Assault & Malfeasance) coach Kevin Sumlin did the right thing by telling Richardson to remain in the locker room at halftime once he was informed of Richardson’s  actions (i.e., once he was informed that ESPN’s cameras had caught Richardson doing what he did). We’ll definitely have to save this incident for the Bowlnanza Round-up.

Meanwhile, the Aggies won and Sumlin actually said of their fourth straight bowl win (a first in school history), “This is something no one can take away from us,” but in a sense Richardson has. Because his actions overshadowed the outcome outside Aggieland.


My Newsweek “The Year in Sports Media” piece. Read and comment, please!


Gibney says she is “really sorry for (being caught while) having sex with a teenager”

Is it just me or do stories involving older women having sex with teenagers (i.e., “minors”) only get media play when the female is a cougar with sharp fangs? Amazing how much play Iris Gibney, 42, garnered for having sex with a 17 year-old high school student. The papers in the U.K. are all in on this tale, too.

Yes, she’s a married mother of three and you can release your inner harrumph! if you like, but if she’s a 260-pounder whose varicose-veined legs that look like a Rand McNally map of Tennessee turned sideways, I doubt we’re hearing as much about it.

Gibney works at the Victoria’s Secret in King of Prussia, Pa., a boutique that may be doing a lot more business this week.


Logan’s and LeBron’s Run

That’s not a ’70s graphic at all, no sir

King James turns 30 today. I wonder what Susie B. got him. The King has a troubled team and an even more troubling hairline. I hope he takes the advice of Taylor Swift: “Shave It Off!”

Remote Patrol

Walking Dead marathon

AMC 9 a.m. —> ?

Zombies are slow-moving, slow-witted creatures that want to suck the life from you. They sound a lot like Twitter trolls. Speaking of having the life sucked out of you, Notre Dame meets LSU in the Music City Bowl (ESPN, 3 p.m.). In their last three road games, after they faced the No. 1 team in the nation, the Irish have allowed 143 points, or an average of 47.66 per game. I wonder if any Irish defensive backs have seen this clip in the past two weeks.



Harbaugh was a three-year starter for the Wolverines in the mid-Eighties and led UM to the Rose Bowl once

1. Jim Class

“Oh, no,  William and Mary won’t do…/And I’m never goin’ back to my old school…”

Unless you are.

Jim Harbaugh returns to Ann Arbor, to the job he was destined to have. Urban Meyer’s not alone anymore.

Harbaugh led Michigan to victory this day in 1986, Lou Holtz’s first game as Irish coach

By the way, as @koufish notes on Twitter, Harbaugh leaves the 49ers with 49 wins as their coach.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan announces a new apparel partnership with Dockers. Jerry does not get it.

2. How ’bout Them Cowboys!

Dez Bryant (16 TD catches) ad DeMarco Murray (1,843 yards) each set Cowboy single-season records

The Cowboys (12-4) beat Washington 44-17, abrogating the perennial Dallas December Decline with a 4-0 month. The Cowboys will have home-field when they host the Detroit Lions next weekend, but do they want it? They finished 8-0 on the road this season.

3. Purgatory

Schumacher turns 46 on Saturday

Today is the one-year anniversary of the skiing accident that placed Michael Schumacher into a coma from which he has yet to emerge. Schumacher, the most successful driver in Formula One history –he has far more first-place (91) AND second-place finishers than anyone else–was wearing a helmet while skiing in the French Alps last December 29, but hit a rock outcropping and was sent flying into a boulder, which he struck head-first.

He remains sheltered at the family estate on Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Today his manager, Sabine Kehm, released a statement that read: “We need a long time. It’s going to be a long time and a hard fight. He is making progress appropriate to the severity of his situation.”

4. Listopia (Cont.)

St. Vincent was a movie, album and artist in 2014. Here’s the last, who released the album and whose real name is Annie Clark

I’ll admit, I no longer know anything about pop music (you never DID! You like Journey). Anyway, here’s Esquire’s Top 10 Albums (albums? where can I purchase one?) of 2014. And here’s a cut from St. Vincent’s eponymous album (can it be eponymous if it is not your actual name?), but here’s her performance of “Lithium” at the R&R HoF ceremony, which is pretty damn awesome.

5. Is This Any Way To Promote a Movie?

Married and bored, or single and out roughly $15 million

According to the New York Post, comedian Chris Rock has filed for divorce from his wife of 19 years, Malaak Compton-Rock. Years ago I attended a Rock show –it was crackling good humor– and he did an entire riff on “Married and Bored, Single and Lonely.”

Excerpt: “Yeah, I’m married, and bored out of my (bleeping’) mind! All good relationships are bad ones. The only exciting relationships are BAD ones.”

“Married and bored, or single and lonely. Ain’t no happiness nowhere!”

Welcome to my loneliness, Chris. We can hang out together.

Remote Patrol

Breaking Bad marathon

AMC 9:00 am —>

They’re even watching…

All day of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. But if you need football, the Texas A&M-West Virginia game is intriguing in the Texas Bowl. WVU acquitted themselves well all season versus an insanely tough schedule (Alabama, Oklahoma, Baylor, TCU) but will be without QB Clint Trickett, who retired due to multiple concussions.



1. 10 Years After the Deluge

Today is the 10th anniversary of the Boxing Day Tsunami that reportedly claimed approximately 230,000 human lives across Indonesia, Thailand and 12 other countries. The earthquake that caused it, with an epicenter beneath the Indian Ocean, registered a 9.1, the third-largest ever recorded on a seismograph.

Here’s footage of the most devastating natural disaster ever recorded on tape. Here’s a little more. Incredible stuff.

2. Speaking of Tsunamis…

Technically, WKU won. But they should give this victory to CMU on principle.

…Western Kentucky led Central Michigan 49-14 after three quarters of the inaugural Bahamas Bowl, which took place in one of those stadiums that you typically see in Third World nations where a ruthless dictator wrests control from the democratic government and then marches all of his political foes into it and executes them. But I digress…

Anyway, it was a 35-point lead after three when my friend Dan Wolken at the USA Today tweeted, “Despite having watched the WKU defense’s work a few times this season, I think they can hold this lead.”

He was correct–but barely. I came aboard when it was 49-28 and WKU completed a screen near midfield in which Willie McNeal ran 56 yards after the catch down to the 9-yard line (the game is OVER if he scores) but McNeal fumbled. And WKU Keystone Cop’d the tackle –the first of many such KC moves I’d witness in the last 6:30 of the game.

(When McNeal fumbled, from that moment on, I was riveted. You just had that feeling…)

Even after CMU scored –you knew they would– it was still 49-35 with 3:06 left. Literally, all WKU has to do is the victory formation on consecutive drives –force CMU to call all three timeouts on first drive, then end game on latter, assuming they recover insides kick–but NOOO! Jeff Brohm is too crafty for that.

Fast forward to WKU, now up 49-42, punting with 0:10 to play. Ball nearly gets downed at the 1, but there’s a touchback. And an offsides. There’s now 0:1 to play and CMU is 75 yards away from a tying TD. And then THIS HAPPENS.

And then CMU blows it all with a lame fade route for the 2-point conversion. That, as my friend Moose said, was hubris. Get it into overtime, Chippewas. You have all the Mo’.

Still, a 5-touchdown fourth quarter—and you still lose.

Anyway, the spread was 3. This was the best backdoor cover/worst bad beat I’ve ever seen.

3. Hee Hawes

Kobe sat, too, yesterday but his sartorial inspiration was nowhere near that of Hawes’.

That’s seven-foot-one Spencer Hawes of the L.A. Clippers taking “will not dress for the game” to a new level yesterday. The NBA Store should be selling this (bonus points if they put “SPENCER” on the back).

Other thoughts from yesterday’s five-game set:

–The Knicks are now 5-26 and Walt Frazier is running out of synonyms for “ghastly.” I’m appealing to you, Guardians of Peace. Put the Knicks out of our misery.

–Everyone making a big deal about the Quincy Acy-John Wall kerfuffle seems to be missing the origin. I was watching and it appeared to me what when Wall took an outlet pass he backed right over Jose Calderon of the Knicks, knocking him ass-over-teakettle  But Calderon is not an All-Star (and Wall is), so no call (there was a lot of that going on yesterday in the five games). And watching, I felt as if some Knick was going to make Wall pay for that. And about a second later came Acy’s hard foul. Which may not excuse what Acy did to instigate this, but you can at least appreciate the why of it.

–I don’t know what Kevin Love’s role on the Cavaliers is. I don’t think he does, either.

Right now, when he is not allowed to get away with traveling (I know, like they’ll ever call it), LeBron James is not even one of the top three (top five?) players in the league. Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook are all having better seasons to this point. So is Derrick Rose, when healthy (Merry Christmas Susie!)

–I really like Bulls’ 6-10 rookie Nikola Mitotic. who scored 13 points in 15 minutes. The better bearded big man in the East thus far (as opposed to Love). Chicago is the best team in the East and, as Sir Chuck said, maybe the best team in the NBA. And they’re doing this without the Heinrich Maneuver or Dougie McBuckets right now (yes, the latter is not yet a key contributor).

–When seven Spurs score in double figures, that should be Pop’s dream. But they still lost to an OKC team missing the reigning league MVP. Russell Westbrook is an alpha male.

Stephen Curry put on an absolute show in the first four minutes, then sorta disappeared (foul trouble was partly to blame). Steve Kerr got his fifth technical of the season as a rookie NBA coach. That equals the number of technicals he received in 15 seasons as a player.

–A really nice piece by TNT on Craig Sager and his leukemia odyssey…

4. American Sniper

“I know what you’re thinking, punk. ‘Did he have 47 rounds in that magazine or 48 when he started shooting?’ Well, I can’t remember, either. Do you feel lucky, punk?

Boffo reviews for the new Bradley Cooper film, based on the life of former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who had 160 confirmed kills in Iraq, making him the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history (as far as anyone knows).  If you don’t know how Kyle’s story ends, I won’t spoil it here.

Meanwhile, Medium Happy’s crack(-loving) staff must now recalibrate its all-time rankings of films with “American” as the first word in the title (American Gigolo, American Pie, American Beauty, American Movie, American Psycho, American Anthem) as well as its all-time rankings of film with “American” in the first word of the title that star Bradley Cooper (American Hustle).

Directed by Clint Eastwood, who seems to get more prolific with age. It’s as if the 84 year-old is racing against time to put out as many movies as he can as an act of contrition for Million Dollar Baby before he dies.

Meanwhile, before the film was made, Kyle’s dad went all Dirty Harry on Eastwood…

I should say something about The Interview, but why? Didn’t we all know it was going to be another lazy Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy that probably seemed funnier when Rogen and his writing partner were stoned and writing it?

5. Christmas Lists…

So many year-end lists, and only one week left. Here’s Mediaite’s (I’m beginning to spell it correctly on the first try) “24 Most Cringeworthy TV News Moments of 2014” (not all were from FOX News and CNN).

Remote Patrol

Premier League Boxing Day Derby 

NBC Sports New 7:40 a.m.

Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, owner of one of the BPL’s better names.

It’s England’s response to America’s NBA Christmas cornucopia, as a flurry of football kicks off with league-leading Chelsea hosting surprising West Ham, currently in 4th place. At 10 a.m. it’s Newcastle at second-place Manchester United. Good footy. If you’re up and if you’re off today…



Macur writes: “Anyone who has supported the program the past couple of years should feel dirty by now.”

1. Force Macur

The New York Times publishes a scathing story/commentary by Juliet Macur on Florida State chasing glory down a rabbit hole. Did someone tell Macur that the Seminoles just gave head coach Jimbo Fisher an eight-year extension?

Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated plays “One of These Things Is Not Like The Other” with its four regional College Football Playoff covers….

2. America: A Spike Lee Joint

“Time out! TIME OUT! Y’all take a chill! You need to cool that s*%& out! And that’s the double truth, Ruth!”

First, there was Ferguson. Then Eric Garner. Then two police in Brooklyn are shot execution-style. Then protesters close down 5th Avenue on a pretty vital shopping day. Now a man allegedly points a gun at a cop in Berkeley (the town adjacent to Ferguson) and is fatally shot by the officer. Thank God we have Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton to make sense of it all for us.

3. Kobe Misses (A Game, Not A Shot)

Kobe Nicholson’ed last night’s 115-105 victory.

Laker legend Kobe Bryant has missed more shots (380) than anyone in the NBA this season, but last night he missed his first game. Coach Byron Scott sat him to give the 19-year vet some rest.

Of course the LOLakers went out and easily dispatched of the league’s best team, the Golden State Warriors Come Out and Play-Ay! L.A. led by 22 after three quarters and had seven players in double figures, with 28 assists.

It’s Bill Simmons’ Ewing Theory come to life (again). The Ewing Theory, by the way, does not translate to other sports. But in a game where teamwork and passing is emphasized on offense, it manifests itself often.

By the way, even former Laker Vlade Divac outscored Kobe last night, sinking a half-court shot for charity to earn someone $90,000. Of course, Kobe earned nearly three times more than that last night ($286,585) while sitting.

4. Art Imitates Life Down Under

At some point someone will just smile and hand someone else a vegemite sandwich.

Australia, the country that recently brought us eight children murdered in one home (and the mother of seven of them, via five different fathers, is the prime suspect), also is providing the best horror film of the year. Or so we’ve heard. It’s called The Babadook and it revolves around a mom, her seven year-old son, a scary children’s book, and the husband/father who was killed while driving the mother to the hospital to deliver said son. Guilt, resentment, frustration, madness. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 98%.* Only Boyhood received a higher rating.

It might’ve received a 99% if they’d given Yvonne Strahovski a minor role.

5. Noel, No Odell

Yeah. So?

As Deadspin aptly put it, “86 players not named Odell Beckham, Jr., made the Pro Bowl.” The rosters for the annual game that no one wants to play in were released yesterday and the New York Giant rookie, who made the Catch of the Year and, oh, by the  way, had 79 catches, 11 TDs and more than 1,100 yards. Surely, he’ll make the Rookie/Sophomores Game.

You know who may have a more legitimate gripe? Golden Tate, Warrior, who finished fourth in the NFL in catches with 96. Haters will counter that this is a perk of lining up opposite Megatron. They’re right, but you still gotta catch the ball.

Remote Patrol

A Christmas Story

TBS 8 p.m.

I never knew this. The film’s director, Bob Clark, also made Porky’s and Porky’s 2: The Next Day. I think we could all see the potential there, no? Underrated aspect of this brilliant, charming 1983 film: Darren McGavin’s performance. The same decade gave us this and The Princess Bride. What have you done for kids lately (that isn’t animated), Hollywood?



Don’t think of it as the start of winter; think of it as, starting yesterday, every day will be longer than the previous one for the next six months! Yay!

Starting Five

1. Miami Beach Brawl

A 55-48 double overtime win for Memphis. A 55-yar Tiger field goal to send the contest into a second overtime. And yet what most people will recall from the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl is a lusty postgame melee.

What incited it? Easy. The game was played at Marlins Park, which sits atop the same site where the legendary Orange Bowl once stood. It’s all about The U.

The ugliest moment was when BYU defensive back Kai Nacua took a shot at the head of a Memphis player from behind while that player was being restrained by one of his own coaches. The most craven Mormon ambush since the Meadows Massacre, it had to be.

2. Meet The Cocker

Cocker, at Woodstock

The legendary Joe Cocker, owner of the blackest vocal chords of any white singer we can think of, died of lung cancer yesterday at age 70. The Sheffield, England, native’s reworking of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” at Woodstock became an iconic moment of the end of the Sixties and then was used as the theme song for The Wonder Years.

Other great tunes: “You Can Leave Your Hat On,” “Feelin’ Alright,”
You Are So Beautiful,” “Up Where We Belong” (from An Officer and a Gentleman) and a favorite of mine from the late Eighties, “When the Night Comes.”

Besides that unique voice, Cocker gyrated as if he were having a nightmare during performances. John Belushi had fun with this once.

3. 39-0Uch

So, Oklahoma sees your 24-0 run versus UCLA, Kentucky, and raises it to a 39-0 run versus Weber State last night. The Sooners led 10-2 when Weber State’s Joel Bolomboy’s  dunk came at 12:55 of the first half. No. 19 OU then went on its Division I NCAA-record run, 39 consecutive points, to make it 49-4 with 2:26 left in the half. That’s 39 points in under 10 minutes.

By my unofficial count, six different Sooners scored during the run. Oklahoma won 85-51, so yeah, if you erase that 39-point explosion, the Wildcats outscored them.

The previous record, 37 straight points, was held by Utah State, at Idaho, in 2006. Weber State called three timeouts during the avalanche of points, to no avail.

4. The Server is Down

With the internet down, North Koreans were unable to view pics of Aussie actress Yvonne Strahovski for nearly half the day. That is inhumane!

North Korea loses internet service for nine hours, which was terrible for business over at “”

“If it is an attack, it’s highly unlikely it’s the United States,” said Matthew Prince, president of Cloudfare, an internet security company. “More likely it’s a 15 year-old in a Guy Fawkes mask.”

Honestly, I think it’s Sheldon. Bazinga.

5. He Sees You When You’re Sleeping (Because He Comes on Air at 11:30 p.m.)

The only late-night host working this week is Jimmy Fallon. Last night The Tonight Show host invited One Direction to join him and The Roots for their latest installment of the Classroom Instruments series on a rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

You wonder if Fallon attempted to get The Boss to join him on this tune, first.


Great moment on CNBC this morning, as unctuous co-host Joe Kernan attempts to school oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens on his own business. Finally, Pickens replies with “Well, that’s all good bullshit.”

Pickens was good-humored (but feisty) throughout. The co-hosts of “Squawk Box” (okay, not Sorkin) kept interrupting him. They’re lucky that billionaires (Pickens, Buffet) are so good-natured. Then again, if you’re a billionaire, shouldn’t you be?

Also, Becky let out a scoop: CNBC’s “Squawk Box” will soon be coming to you from a Manhattan-based studio (it’s currently right over the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey, right along the Palisades Parkway). UWS-based Sorkin wins again!


I’ll be home for Christ– Maybe you won’t. A major storm is brewing for the eastern half of  the country on Christmas eve…


Techapella, y’all…. (It’s exactly what you think)


Esquire has the “Ten Most Overlooked Things” of 2014.


“The 50 Best Performances of 2014” from

Remote Patrol

Boca Raton Bowl

ESPN 6 p.m.

Okay, I wouldn’t exactly leave the Christmas Party early in order to catch Marshall (12-1) face Northern Illinois (11-2), but then I’d probably forget when the Christmas party was being held (this actually happened this year). Anyway, maybe you’re better off just listening to Mitch Miller’s Christmas album…




Lynch’s runs are tantamount to assault

1. Recovering the Seattleites

You only needed to watch the fourth quarter of last night’s 35-6 win in Glendale to think that Pete Carroll’s Army will be returning there in 41 days. Marshawn Lynch’s epic Son-of-Beastquake 79-yard run, the second-best “I’m also here to kick your ass” run of his career; Richard Sherman’s interception, in which he effortlessly ran it back 30 yards or so without a single Cardinal laying a hand on him before stepping out of bounds; Russell Wilson’s bootleg TD run, in which he faked not one but two Cardinals out of their jocks and never had a hand laid on him.

The Cardinals entered 11-3, needing this win to guarantee a first-week bye and home filed. They’re now 11-4, will get nothing and like it. One of the NFL’s BEST defenses yielded 596 yards, their worst showing in 54 years.

Seattle, meanwhile, has allowed 33 points in its last five games. After a bumpy 6-4 start, these birds are once again of a feather.

2. Straight Outta…Would You Believe, Brooklyn?

Took a bike ride last night to Brooklyn’s finest residential neighborhood, Dyker Heights, which is near the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Over a 5-by-2 block patch of homes, the residents really get into the Christmas spirit, Thomas Edison-style. I’m told that the owner of the house above is Lucy of Lucy’s Sausage (kind of a big deal at NYC’s Italian festivals). Fuggedaboutit!

Now all we need is a little snow…

3. Kringle, Guilty?

The zeitgeisty NPR podcast “Serial” wrapped last week and Saturday Night Live paid it proper tribute with this parody. Strong work, Cecily.

4. 24-0

Get outta Towns! No Kentucky starter played more than 23 minutes and only one scored in double figures. Cal didn’t need them.

That was the score at the United Center in Chicago after 7:18 had elapsed in Saturday’s game between No. 1 Kentucky and UCLA. At halftime the Wildcats, who are looking very 1990-91 UNLV at the moment, led 41-7.

On Sunday No. 6 Virginia almost equaled that output, taking a 39-8 lead into the break versus Harvard. In no particular order, the teams to keep an eye on are Kentucky, Duke, Wisconsin, Arizona, Virginia and Louisville.

5. Films of the Year

So the people who pay me to write, Newsweek, have released a list of our favorite movies of 2014 (I get to write about Nightcrawler). Feel free to tell us what we’ve missed.


Dior versus Armani.

Charlize versus Cate.

If you have yet to see the Armani ads (a perfume called “Si”) with the incandescent Aussie, I’m sure you will. True story (not a Barney Stinson-styled “true story,” an actual true story): I’m boarding a plane from Phoenix to JFK about 8 years ago and I espy –yes, it used to be a verb–an angelic creature in the waiting area, but she’s not really close enough to get a good glimpse. Then I board the plane and there in first class is Cate Blanchett. Holy smoke, Barney! I’m really not sure she’s human.

Remote Patrol

His Girl Friday

TCM 8 p.m.

I know what you’re thinking: JW, shouldn’t you just rename this section “What’s on TCM tonight?” Maybe you’re right. In a sentence or less, this 1940 Howard Hawkes film stars Cary Grant as a newspaper editor whose star reporter, and ex-wife, played by Rosalind Russell, is about to tie the knot again and retire. Well, I think we all know where this is headed. It’s listed as a “screwball comedy,” but seeing how an attractive dame chooses a newspaper guy over an insurance exec, let’s call it science fiction.



1. “We are the Nation/We are the Children…”

Nation, our fearless leader, @StephenatHome, signed off last night (but he did gain immortality, and not just from the Museum of Television and Radio). Besides the grand finale sing-along for “We’ll Meet Again,” our favorite moment was when he noted that he’d started a “revolution” and that a revolution is actually one full turn of a 360-degree circle, which is to note that we are right back where we began in 2005.

Pull-quote? “My first impression of immortality? Kinda lonely, a little snacky. Overall, I can see why God went this way.”

My not-quite-but-nearly-complete guest list of those celebrities who participated in the sing-along:

Jon Stewart, Randy Newman (playing piano), Alan Alda, Bob Costas, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston, Keith Olbermann (in a pink dinner jacket), Matt Taibbi, Yo Yo Ma, Katie Couric, Michael Stipe, Gloria Steinem, Andrew Sullivan, Willie Nelson, Tom Brokaw, Smaug, Dean Kamen, Neil Degrasse Tyson, David Gregory, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Mike Huckabee, Thomas Friedman, Paul Krugman, Pussy Riot, Stone Phillips, Ric Ocasek, Big Bird, Elijah Wood, Jeff Tweedy, Patrick Stewart, JJ Abrams, Cyndi Lauper, Vince Gilligan, a space station astrounaut, Ken Burns, Tim Meadows, Bryan Cranston, Arianna Huffington, Paulina Porizkova, George Lucas, James Franco, Eliot Spitzer, Alexei Lalas, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Cookie Monster, Cory Booker, NYC Mayor Bill Deblasio, Mandy Patinkin,  aaaaaaand Stephen’s longtime nemesis, Barry Manilow.

2. Rondo is Gondo!

The Boston Celtics trade Rajon Rondo to the Dallas Mavericks.

3. TESLA roars

Wall Street analysts call it “the stock of 2015.”

4. Michelle Caruso Cabrera in Cuba

If you have to be a journalist covering the events in Cuba, aren’t you happy that it’s in December and not July?

5. “Serial” Killer

Didn’t listen to the final episode of Serial or any of the other episodes because I don’t yet listen to podcasts (Hey! Get off my lawn!), but I hope to someday. I think Spencer Hall summed it up best when he tweeted, “(Host) Sarah Koenig admitting she was The Zodiac Killer was undoubtedly my favorite part of Serial’s finale.”

*This (2-5) is what happens when you accidentally press “Move to Trash” instead of “Publish.” Thanks so much, Tim Cook (because why would I blame it on my own stupidity?)

Remote Patrol

Seahawks at Cardinals

Sunday 8:30 p.m. NBC

Will either of these two NFC West powers return to this stadium in early February for the Super Bowl? Depends if either can win in Green Bay, most likely.



I’m not even making this up: a theater in Dallas will show “Team America: World Police” gratis on Xmas Day in lieu of “The Interview”

1. The Interviewention

So, here are my points to ponder:

–The U.S. government isn’t forbidding anyone from seeing this film. A bunch of theater owners who are in business to make money are. Maybe they thought December 25, Christmas, might not be a good date to have their theater chain associated with a terrorist attack. Maybe they didn’t want to hire security detail because, even though the likelihood of an attack is low, what happens if you DON’T hire security and something happens? But if you do, your profit margin lowers.

–Our version of free speech is producing a film such as The Interview. Someone else’s version is hacking into your computers and revealing private information. Potato, Po-tah-toe.

–Let’s admit that this is more than a little bit about the cult of personality. Seth Rogen has stoner-cool cred and Kim Jong-Un is a ruthless dictator. But people are behaving as if this is a free speech issue. Really? Would the reaction be the same if Mel Gibson were producing a film about bombing the Holy Land? I think not.

2. Havana Good Time, Wish You Were Here!

It’s been a good week for both the Cubs and Cuba

The Twitter account of @PourMeCoffee said it best, “We cannot normalize relations with oppressive regimes” –sent from my iPhone.

Interesting that Sports Illustrated put the Cubs on its cover this week as Cuba makes big news.

3. My Kinda (Navrati) Lova

Czech mate (I know, TOO easy)

That’s 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova, 58, and her new spouse, former Miss U.S.S.R. Julia Lemigova (There’s a lot of “ova” in this relationship, in more ways than one…yes, I love plural Latin puns), 42. It’s the first marriage for one of tennis’ all-time greats, which means that there is hope for the rest of us (and if it happens to be a former Miss Russia 16 years my junior, so be it).

4. Today In B1G Coaching

From Faux Pelini to Foe Pelini

“Bo Peeps!” would normally be all you’d need to sate your desire for nutty news.

Today, in addition, we have “Harbought”: Will Michigan alumnus Jim Harbaugh accept his school’s offer of a reported six years and $48 million to turn its program around?

5. That’s How I Got to Memphis

Zach Randolph had 21 points and 21 rebounds in last night’s win, but refuses to go on the Marc Gasol Diet

Beware the Grizzlies, who took down 21-2 Golden State on Tuesday and then beat, in three overtimes, defending NBA champs San Antonio in S.A. the following night. Memphis and Golden State are following the same model: find a solid core (here, Z-Bo, Mike Conley and Skinny Gasol) and give them a couple of seasons to blend.
Recall, last spring, Memphis maybe ousts OKC if Russell Westbrook does not make that steal late in Game 5 (?). The Grizz (21-4) are for real.

Remote Patrol

The Colbert Report

Comedy Central 11:30 p.m.

Nation! Our star-spangled host signs off after nine years tonight–and then he’ll take the next nine months off. Nice work if you can get it.



Jilly B. Returns!



Gaol should’ve entered The Biggest Loser, Pro Athletes Edition. The seven-footer has lost at least 50 pounds and –shocker!–is playing the best ball of his career.

1. Memphis Bellwether

The two teams with the NBA’s best records met last night as Golden State (21-2) visited Memphis (19-4). Not sure the last time two teams with a combined 40 wins and only six losses played. Anyone? Oh, thanks, Elias. They say that it was the fifth time two teams with a combined .870 win percentage had met this late in the season.

The Grizz won, 105-98, thanks in part to Stephen Curry shooting 1 for 10 from beyond the arc. Also, the Grizz went on a 20-0 run to begin the second quarter, all while Steph was seated on the bench.

Skinny Marc Gasol scored a game-high 24 points, but Zach Randolph remains a freak of nature. Thus endeth GSW’s win streak at 16 games.

Oh, and yes, this is a walk year for Gasol. That’s one way to be motivated to stop snarfing pretzel burgers.

2. Orange County Prodigy

Among Orange County teens, Landon is without peer

Your humble scribe got dragged to a sushi happy hour joint on a Monday night in Orange County. Did not expect much from the raw fish, much less the live entertainment. And then this 18 year-old takes the stage with his guitar and blows us away. He’s got the looks, he’s got a powerful voice, and he wields the axe like John Mayer. His name is Landon Longard and he’s one of six kids (three boys, three girls, perhaps a maid named Alice).

Remember his name.

3. “The Interview/This Is The End”Double Feature

Wait until we learn that Jonah Hill 1) was behind the entire prank and/or 2) is Marc Gasol’s weight-loss coach.

It’s getting more interesting as America braces itself for the premiere of The Interview on Friday. Guardians of Peace, the group that has claimed responsibility for the hacking (two thoughts: 1) Same initials as GOP and 2) Isn’t it refreshing to hear of a terrorist organization hacking without lopping off heads?) has pledged a “9/11-style attack” at theaters that air the Seth Rogen-James Franco vehicle.

It’s so bizarre. Usually the movie bombs. Not vice versa.

4. Havana Good Time

Happy New Year!

So apparently the USA only holds a grudge for 55 years, as President Obama is considering lifting our embargo on Cuba, which is only the largest and nearest to the U.S. Caribbean island. Like…duh!

This should happen just in time for New Year’s Eve, so we may all celebrate Michael Corleone-style: “I know it was you, Fredo! You broke my heart. You broke my heart.”

Related: Hollywood has yet to lift its embargo of Cuba Gooding, Jr.

5. Assuming We Finished 21st Last Year

So, the Washington Post published a list of the 20 Most Popular Web Sites each year since 1996. Fascinating. Penthouse, kudos, you were once in the Top 20. And I cannot believe AOL remains in the Top 25 –AOL users, you DO realize you do not need to pay for email, etc., don’t you?


Of course, if you have a surfboard, you can do this…


Rule No. 2: “Diving into a wave is safer than running away from it. Dive into waves.” *

That may or may not be metaphorical.

Remote Patrol

 White Christmas

AMC 8 p.m.

Seriously, everyone here is straight

Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye save an inn in New England by singing and dancing with George Clooney’s aunt. Seriously. Also, this is the last known inn in New England not owned by either a gay couple or Bob Newhart.