by John Walters

No, it’s not true that I deliberately refrained from posting on Wednesday just to spite Susie B.’s ardor for LeBrontosaurus. Then again, if we were searching for motive… In truth, I was traveling — and not to the one state I have yet to visit (Alaska).

Starting Five

1. Buffon!

A young Peter Gabriel? A slightly melancholy version of Top Gun’s  Pete Mitchell after winning a game of beach volleyball? No, that’s Juventus goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon celebrating after his side held Real Madrid to a draw yesterday in Madrid in the Champions League semis, which means the Serie A club will advance to the final in Berlin.

Most of us (myself included) were thinking we’d be seeing El Clasico (i.e., Spanish sides Barcelona versus Real Madrid) being played out in the Champions League final for the first time…and that would’ve been cool because the two greatest goal scorers in the tournament’s history, Lionel Messi (Barca) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), are tied at 77 goals apiece. Alas…

p.s. Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is tracing out a very Alex Rodriguez-like story arc to his career, and that’s not a compliment.

2. Washington Weak in Review

This photo is actually from Friday night’s overtime win, but, you know, same difference…

Alex Ovechkin guaranteed a Game 7 win after the Capitals blew a 3-1 series lead. But the New Yorkers won in overtime. It was their second overtime win on the brink of elimination in the series and their 14th consecutive playoff game that was decided by one goal. As they say in hockey, “On to Tampa…”

Meanwhile, the Wizards lost Game 5 in Atlanta, 82-81, on a buzzer-beater by Tito Al Horford.

3. The Blindsided

This is where a photo of John Skipper would go if he were below 50 or George Clooney….

Give ESPN skipper John Skipper this much credit: At ESPN’s upfronts he was upfront about the fact that he never contacted Bill Simmons before allowing word to get out that The Sports Guy would not be retained.

And then Skipper went all Corleone by saying, “It was business.” It may have been business, but Skipper made it quite personal by telling Richard Sandomir of The New York Times the news before Simmons ever found out –it was 7:21 a.m. on the West Coast. He is the Skipper, but Simmons is no longer his Li’l Buddy….

To quote a Bostonian whom Simmons has long revered ( <–!), Will Hunting, “How do you like them apples?”

4. Does “Letterman” Rhyme With Hannukkah?

For his final appearance on Late Show, Adam Sandler resurrected that sweet, sincere, witty part of himself that disappeared in the late Nineties, and penned a fine tribute to the host (“and nobody makes my mother wetter than…”). Well done.

5. Head Over Helio

Castroneves walked away from this accident, while at least three soccer players had to be carried off the pitch today for being pinched

Three-time Indianapolis 500 winner, and one-time Dancing With The Stars champion Helio Castroneves nearly made The Brickyard a graveyard on Wednesday afternoon. Helio was traveling 219 m.p.h. when his car hit the wall, hydroplaned and went airborne like a massive paper airplane. Watch the video and remember that he walked away from this.

Music 101 

Sex Machine, etc.

Last night on Letterman, Dave brought his sidekick of 33 years, Paul Shafer, over to talk tunes. When asked to give his greatest musician whom he had ever worked with, Shaffer mentioned the Godfather of Soul and this appearance from the show’s first year. And what ever became of Carmine Polazzo?

Remote Patrol

Late Show

CBS 11:35 p.m.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Matt Damon or Brad Pitt do a walk-on during Clooney’s appearance

Only one more week of this, so thank you for indulging me (not that you have a choice). Your guests are George Clooney and Tom Waits “for no one”.

Last night on the program, Julia Roberts put it succinctly and accurately: “I love you, and I thank you for all the joy and the laughs and the intelligence you have brought us for 33 years.”



by John Walters

Starting Five

You can spend those five weeks off looking at that fourth Super Bowl ring, Tom.

1. TOM: Time Off Man*

The penalty: a four-game suspension for Tom Brady, a $1 million fine for the Patriots (courtesy of Dr. Evil), and a first-round draft pick lost next season. Also, the team and all of its fans must look up the word “recalcitrant” in the dictionary.

Brady will return on October 18, when the New England Patriots visit…the Indianapolis Colts! Isn’t life grand?

*The judges will also accept “P.S.I. Love You”

2. Mike & Molly Meets Mike & Mike to Form Mike & Mike & Molly


Here’s salt in your wounds, Bill Simmons. ESPN, in promoting its bland, is moving Mike & Mike to Times Square and attaching a third host, Molly Qerim of the NFL Network. Asking a hot 20-something 30 year-old gal from Los Angeles to move to Manhattan and hang out with a couple of middle-aged guys sounds like a sitcom, I just can’t remember which.

Tons of laughs! Wait, I don’t get it….

Ah, but here’s the rub. Quorum grew up in New Haven, Conn., and graduated from Quinnipiac, which is right in Bristol’s back yard. She’s coming home.

Letterman departs, these two enter. This Week’s Sign that the Apocalypse….

Mike & Mike & Molly, or 3M, will begin airing form NYC on February 8. Unless a massive tsunami strikes Manhattan first.

3. 30 for Thirtysomething

Will ESPN — or perhaps Grantland? — ever make a short film about the seminal dramedy? One can…Hope.

I like ESPN, really. Some of my favorite people I deal with in the media, such as Josh “Demented and Sad, But Social” Krulewitz, Mac Nwulu, Mike Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumes, Dave Nagle, Chris LaPlaca, Mike Soltys, Kerri Potts, yada yada yada….work there.

BUT… I’m always on the lookout for when ESPN is being insidious. When they are less than forthcoming. For example, if you are going to call yourselves the WWL and then create a documentary series, 30 for 30, about the greatest stories in sports –and, granted, it’s usually outstanding — maybe it’s time to recognize that sports preexisted the advent of ESPN in 1979.

ESPN just announced its newest 30 for 30 projects, and once again all the topics — Tyson vs. Holyfield, the Buffalo Bills, Pete Carroll — post-date the formation of ESPN. Granted, there have been a couple of pre-1979 topics, but the figure is disproportionately low. (by the way, “The U” came in at No. 25 on this list; who was doing the ranking, the editors of Rolling Stone?)

There are some absolutely fascinating stories that pre-exist the disco era. Here’s hoping ESPN delves further into them.

4. Dave, Don and Howard

Be gentle with the Gentile. Don Rickles and Howard Stern took turns ripping Letterman and the state of Montana last night. It was the sincerest tribute they could pay him.

5. “Obama, Dakota. Dakota, Obama.”

POTUS completes the list, visiting South Dakota, the one state that he had not sojourned to during his presidency (I’ve got 49 down, but am hoping to make it to 50 before turning 50). Obama becomes the fourth president to visit all 50 states, and the first one to do so who was not born in any of them.

Music 101

Wild Horses

Faith has been broken/Tears must be cried/Let’s do some living/After we die

Denoting a best Rolling Stones song is as specious an idea as claiming that there is a world’s most beautiful woman. Rather, just revel in all the greatness. This western-tinged ballad is one of my all-time favorites, off the 1971 album Sticky Fingers, and yet another tune that is at least tangentially about Marianne Faithfull.

Remote Patrol

Barca at Bayern 

FOX Sports 1 2:45 p.m.

Neymar. The Boy from Brazil invades Munich.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, NBA playoffs. Bayern needs to outscore Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Neymar and the gang by at least 4 goals today in Munich if it hopes to advance to the Champions League final on June 6 in the Motherland. Good luck. Barcelona has outscored its last seven opponents, Bayern included, by a 25-0 score.


by John Walters

Starting Five

The Bill who hasn’t had a chance to speak in like, 10 minutes….

1. The B.S. (Coroner’s) Report

Cause of Death: Excessive hubris.

The reason that John Skipper, Bristol’s CEN (Chief Executive Norby), chose not only to not renew Bill Simmons’ contract but also to preemptively announce it four months early and during the NBA playoffs, is simple: The Sports Guy went Rondo on ESPN. He demonstrated — repeatedly — that he is not a team player.

If you read this transcript from last September’s B.S. Report podcast and think that ESPN suspended Simmons for three weeks because he called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” (or used the term “bleeping bullbleep” twice), well, that’s the minor part of  his transgression. The major part of Simmons’ transgression is to challenge his employer to censure him.

Challenge accepted.

So then, last Thursday, Simmons appears on the nationally syndicated (and cable-televised) radio show of a high-profile ex-ESPN’er and goes off the reservation again. That told the skippper, Skipper, that Simmons had learned nothing. And that he had zero interest in playing nice (also, I’d love to know if any shows at ESPN attempted to have Simmons on as a guest last Thursday; I wondered this on Thursday morning. It was an obvious call to me).

The mirthful and mischievous Bill that we miss…

The irony here is that in that Dan Patrick interview, Simmons chided Goodell for having the information for four months (not true; do you think that 243-page report was written in one day, Bill? There’s only one person I know who writes that prolifically, and he just got released by ESPN)  and taking no action. And yet that interview gave Skipper all the info he needed to make his decision and he proved not so diffident. He basically terminated Simmons the next morning, 7 a.m. local time, with a call not to Simmons but to his agent.

How’s that for “testicular fortitude?”

The truthers will try to claim that Goodell pulled the strings on this. I disagree. John Skipper runs a huge company with many arms and levers. Yes, part of that operation is a contract with the NFL that is in the billions and keeps hundreds, if not thousands, of Bristolites, employed. If Bill Simmons wants to launch a character attack against the figurehead of the NFL, go ahead — but he better be able to back it up with evidence. Common sense is not evidence.

The other irony here is, as often happens, Simmons’ greatest strengths were also his most obvious flaws. He has strong opinions and a trenchant voice. Also, he’s an unabashed homer for Boston teams. So last Thursday Simmons put on his Patriots homer hat and defended his team while bashing his least favorite person in sports — and again, he had zero evidence and relied instead on his own instincts as to how people behave.

You’re welcome to feel that way. But to express it as the highest-paid talent at a company that reveres itself as the “Worldwide Leader in Sports?” You need more than that weak sauce.

Simmons might not have been re-signed anyway. But that moment sealed it.

2. Betty Is Deady (or soon will be)

Betty Francis: Prognosis Negative

Oops! Spoiler alert.

Another classic episode of Mad Men, this being the penultimate one. As my friend and television enabler, Chris Corbellini, noted last night, “Don had to travel to middle America to find himself after all that time in New York City and L.A. He had to go to the farthest point from those two places.”

Correct. Only three characters followed in last night’s episode: Betty, Don and Pete. Betty gets a death sentence (lung cancer), Don undergoes the sacrament of penance, and Pete gets a resurrection.

It’s the small touches that have always made me fall in love over and over again with Matt Weiner’s show. Such as, “The boys who brought you in called you ‘Mrs. Robinson.'” “I think that was a joke.” Or, “Well, you are ‘The quick brown fox.'”

So much to love here: Betty obsessing about how she’ll look in the casket before she even informs her children that she is dying; Don eyeing the beauty in the lounge chair just as her kids and husband walk up, realizing those days are over; Don being asked to fix the Coke machine after being asked to fix the Coke account; Pete telling his brother, “It feels good and then it doesn’t.” Don, for the second full season in a row, coming clean about his past to a table-full of male peers who will later punish him.

The closing song, an elegy of hope, by the immortal Buddy Holly.

This was just high art, particularly Don’s story arc. Jon Hamm is such an outstanding actor, a fact that gets lost as you gaze into those dreamy eyes. But that final scene — “Don’t waste this” — as he hands the younger version of himself the keys to the Cadillac and then sits at the bus stop is pure art. Don is alone, as he has been shot numerous times in this series, but for the first time he is not lonely.

And don’t you love that Don is finally at peace with himself and with life, but that we know something that Don doesn’t know and that he can’t in this pre-cell phone age: that his ex-wife and the mother of his children is terminally ill (Happy Mother’s Day from all the Weiners!).

The A.V. Club recap. Alan Sepinwall sure picked an inopportune time to go on vacation.

3. LeBrontosaurus Rex*

It only took 26 years, but the Cavs at long last give the Bulls a taste of their own medicine (Ehlo)

With :01 remaining in Game 4 of Cavs-Bulls, LeBron James went Jimmy Chitwood on Dave Blatt’s Norman Dale idea and said, “I’m NOT inbounding the ball. Throw it in to me and let me win the game.” And that’s what happened.

We’re not in Maccabi Tel Aviv any more, Dave.

LeBron now has as many postseason buzzer-beaters (3) as Michael Jordan, although if he had four then Ray Allen wouldn’t be quite as much of a hero in Miami. Gee, that was an awfully Skip Bayless thing of me to write.

I’d type more, but I’m sure Susie B. will cover it in the Comments.

* Okay, it’s Tyrannosaurus Rex or Brontosaurus. So you are correct in saying, “JDubs, you don’t know Jurassic from a hole in the ground.”

4. Walk on the Wild Side

Don’t look down…

The next time you’re in Spain, in the southern Andalusian region near Malaga, why not defy death and hike the El Caminito Del ReyWatch this video and then make that explosion sign with your two hands near your ears.

By the way, there’s a scarier hike in China. We’ll get to that later…

5. Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Photo by Thomas Zimmerman, taken on Saturday night in western Kansas. Absolutely surreal. Have you ever been to western Kansas? I have. It’s the loneliest place in America. Thanks to @oconnorkyle for the heads up.

Music 101


The sailors say, “Brandy, you’re a fine girl/What a good wife you would be/But my life, my love and my lady, is the sea”

Once upon a time musicians played their own instruments and did not always write navel-gazing songs centering on their riches and their bitches. And their lead singers looked like Paul Stanley without make-up. This is Looking Glass, from New Brunswick, N.J. (not far from this scribe’s ancestral homeland), and the song hit No. 1 in 1972 and made it onto the K-Tel album I once owned. Worth noting: Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” was supposed to be titled “Brandy” but he changed its title following the success of this tune. Songs like this are why I miss (and cherish) the Seventies.

Remote Patrol

Late Show with David Letterman

CBS 11:35 p.m.

I know, I know, but tonight’s guests are Howard Stern and Don Rickles. That’s a lot of abuse.



by John Walters


After being figuratively burned at the stake by we media types yesterday, Brady whirlybirded into Salem

1. Salem Statement

If you had Tom Brady, Salem State and Jim Gray on your list of Moments of the Week back on Monday, please give us a call. The Patriot QB helicoptered into the Mass. campus for a pre-arranged appearance (props to Tom for not canceling) and then fielded questions from Gray, who just refuses to go away.

Meanwhile, The Onion has launched a Patriots-related investigation of their own….

New Jersey governor Chris Christie thinks it’s all overblown ( <—Irony Alert), but New Jersey native Jon Stewart is not so forgiving.

2. Letterman List

Dave really did enjoy that Future Islands performance last year

So the Rolling Stone put out a list of  “David Letterman’s Top 10 Musical Moments ” but, as with so many RS lists of late, it is sorely lacking (Jann….baby….I’m available as a consultant…call me). It’s a decent list (love the Oasis inclusion), but I’m adding a Nigel Tufnel-like 10 more here (ranked in order, beginning with the best):

The Heavy “How Do You Like Me Now?”

“Do it again! Do it again! Do it again!”

James Brown “Get On Up” & More 

The King of Soul, from the inaugural year. Watch when he jumps onto the piano, as Paul looks on.

Beyonce “Halo”

This is Beyonce in her prime, at her very best. She doesn’t need to be bootylicious to demonstrate how talented she is.

“Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Hipster nirvana

U2 “Magnificent”

“A shot of energy right to the spine.” This one is also solid.

The La’s “There She Goes”

Lou Reed & The Blind Boys of Alabama, “Jesus”

Lou Reed is so good in all of his Letterman appearances. Here’s another great one.

Eddie Vedder “Black”

Bonus points for the surprise appearance

Warren Zevon “Lawyers, Guns & Money”

Annie Lennox “No More I Love You’s”

Van Morrison “Whenever God Shines His Light”

From 1989, Van the Man’s first television appearance in 12 years.


3. Gone Golson

Where will Golson land? (hey, that’s restaurant-quality caption writing right there!)

The star-crossed career of Everett Golson at Notre Dame comes to an end, albeit with a degree. The gifted dual-threat QB from South Carolina took the Fighting Irish to the national championship game as a redshirt frosh (Tommy Rees provided an assist). He spent his redshirt sophomore year dodging George Whitfield’s brooms in southern California.

Then, last season, EG was on top of the world and a legitimate Heisman candidate after a 38-0 (or 31-0, whatevs) defeat of Michigan and a 4th-and-18 game-winning TD pass in the rain versus Stanford (nice catch, Ben Koyack). The wheels fell off last November, though, as he looked listless in losses at Arizona State and USC and tossed seven interceptions in four losses that month.

Oh, it was ugly.

Malik Congo takes over in South Bend. The only question is where Golson (and his starting center, Matt Hegarty, a fellow fifth-year who is also departing) is headed.

My friend Brian Hamilton thinks it was a mutually beneficial move. He’s probably right, although I wonder if they just needed couples counseling.

4. 661*

He even took a curtain call afterward (but probably did not field a congratulatory call after the game from Derek Jeter)


Alex Rodriguez belts his 661st career home run, moving past Willie Mays (one day after the Say Hey kid turned 84) and into 4th place on the career list. A-Rod has kept his head down and said all the right things in this, his first month back from a year’s suspension.

The Yankees haven’t feted him, Joe Girardi barely tolerates him (and plays him at DH), but the 39 year-old has kept his head down, done his job and has seven home runs and 18 RBI in the season’s first five weeks. Oh, and the surprising Yankees are in first place (18-11). Now that all the farewell tours and encomia have stopped, they’re just playing baseball. It’s refreshing. It’s just strange that A-Rod (and Mark Teixeira, who has 10 home runs already) are leading the charge. It’s almost as if these Yankees, to crib a line from Sinatra, are Rangers in the Night.

5. Well, He Did Pilot the Ship in Prometheus

Actor Idris Elba petitions for a role in Fast and Furious 8 by breaking a land speed record in a Bentley on a beach in Wales (which is different than beached whales). Elba averaged 180.4 miles per hour doing a “flying mile” and hit a top speed of 186.4 miles. Elba was uninjured but his agent suffered a heart attack (I presume).


Oh Yeah

If the question is, Who was Spandau Ballet before Spandau Ballet, the answer is Roxy Music. Okay, that’s not fair. Bryan Ferry and the gang were far superior, even if they never received their due in their primes. This song was released in 1980 at the advent of the New Wave era.



Game 3: Rockets at Clippers

ESPN 10:30 p.m.

Through nine postseason games, Blake Griffin is posting 25 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists. He can’t believe it, either.

The Clippers will be casting a Paul over James Harden’s hopes to return to the NBA Finals. Get it? Yes, I’m sorry….


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. The Brady Bunch: Tom, John and Jim

Here’s the story

Of a man named Brady

Who was “generally aware” that two Patriots flunkies,

One of whom referred to himself as “the deflator” in a text message last May,

Were deflating footballs on his behalf…

If you read the Wells Report, which is actually quite captivating, it’s difficult to come away with any thoughts other than that these three had a classic criminal relationship: Brady was the buffer, John Jastremski was the go-between, and Jim McNally was the dirty work guy.

Will this “stain” Brady’s legacy? Well, it just shows that he’s a liar. Given the press conference he was made to undergo back in January, he had little choice. If he cops to it then, what does Roger Goodell do 9 or 10 days prior to the Super Bowl? Is it possible that Goodell suspends him for XLIX? If so, if the possibility even exists, then if you’re Brady you lie and you let due process give you time to win a Super Bowl and then you’ll pay the piper later. Which is what he did and is what he will be doing.

Ethical? No. Shrewd? Yes. Move over, Whitey Bulger, there’s a new boss in town.

One interesting aside: If you read the report, it sounds as if Brady lied to Belichick to his face. In retrospect, he probably did BB a favor: this way BB did not need to lie for him publicly. Still, I wonder how BB takes that.

A second interesting aside: There’s an entire section in the Wells Report under the headline, “Vigorous Rubbing.” So read at your own risk…

A third interesting aside: A 30-minute presser four days after the AFC Championship Game. You have to wait until the 6-minute mark until a female reporter asks the Columbo question.

2. Tornighto

I don’t believe this if from yesterday, but tornados at night aren’t very visually compelling

A tornado touches down in Oklahoma after sundown, and in a fitting promo for the new Jurassic Park film, hits a tiger sanctuary. The wondrous beasts are then released into the night. Alas, all were captured without any bizarre “humans being devoured by rogue big cats in the Dust Bowl” stories. Listen, people in Oklahoma are going to die of oxycontin and meth overdoses, not to mention due to severe weather, anyway. Why not change it up a little?

3. Five Amigos

The Top Five Letterman guests, ranked:

1. Bill Murray

2. Tom Hanks

3. Martin Short

4. Jim Carrey

5. Steve Martin*

Last night Martin Short bid his final adieu, as we are now exactly one fortnight away from Dave’s retirement (writing this through tears). Of course, a song was involved.

*Billy Crystal just missed the top five.

4. Joc Of One Trade

His name is Joc Pederson, he’s a rookie centerfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and his last seven hits have all left the ballpark. Peterson, whose dad Stu Pederson played for the Dodgers in 1985, grew up in Palo Alto. He’s about as California as it gets, and he may become the most popular Jewish Dodger –are Dodger Dogs kosher? — since Sandy Koufax.

Pederson, 23, is hitting in the leadoff but already has 9 home runs.

5. Messi, Messier, Messiest

Just call him The Greatest

Barcelona defeats Bayern 3-0 as Lionel Messi scores two goals, one of them a filthy break-your-ankles move on Jerome Boateng. Barca wins first leg of Champions League semifinal. If Bayern wants to play in the final, which will be played in Berlin, they’ll have to win by at least three goals next week and hold Barca to zero, or win by more than 3 goals no matter what Barca scores.

Tall order, considering Barca has outscored last six opponents 23-0.

Music 101

Turn! Turn! Turn!

And a time/For every purpose/Under Heaven

The quintessential Sixties song, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve posted The Seekers’ version, but as you know this song is from (but not for) The Byrds. The song was actually written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950s, although he basically plagiarized the Book of Ecclesiastes. I keep waiting for God to take Seeger to court.

p.s. The Seekers were the first Australian pop act to hit big on our shores. They’re from Melbourne.


Remote Patrol

NHL Sweeps Week

NBC Sports  7 p.m.

The Lightning, who host the Canadiens, are up 3-0. The Black Hawks, who are also up 3-0, visit Minnesota. One Original Six member down, one Original Six member up.



by John Walters


Starting Five

1. Ernie’s a Good Dude

What stands out most about Ernie Johnson, who last night won a Sports Emmy as Outstanding Studio Host and then promptly bequeathed it to the daughters of Stuart Scott, is how reliably solid he is. A white man who never played the game and shares the TNT studios with three African-American former NBA All-Stars, two of them Hall of Famers, EJ never backs down from them but he also never tries to wrest the spotlight, either.

He’s a man who knows who he is, which is sadly an increasingly rare spectacle. Last night’s gesture was not surprising. And it was funny because while two men could not be more different in on-air temperament and style, that wasn’t the point. Johnson, himself a cancer survivor, by giving Stu’s daughters the trophy, was just reminding them that no one in the room was going to forget their dad.

He’s a special man.

2. Square Peg

Some of the very best scenes from Mad Men have involved the fabulous Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss, who grew up before our eyes on The West Wing) and either Roger Sterling or Don Draper. Sunday night was no different, as Peggy got hammered in the skeleton of an office in the old Time & Life Building (I think SI For Kids moved in after?) with Roger while roller skating.

This piece in Vanity Fair discusses the inspiration for that scene and the one pictured above. This remains my favorite Peggy Olson scene.

3. Rip Off

“Stop! You’re hurting me. You brute.”

Yes, the moment I heard that Manny Pacquiao had suffered a torn rotator cuff before Saturday night’s Fight of the Hour, I thought 1) Who was the dope who decided to admit that publicly? 2) class-action suit and 3) why wasn’t this on the MayPac At Last doc on HBO?

Well, No. 2 has come to pass. I don’t know much about how things transpire legally, but it does seem to me that the people who inveigled the public into paying $99 to watch were not quite forthright. What if Manny and Top Rank have to pay up? Then they’ll definitely fight Mayweather again.

4. Tim’s Time?

The Big Fundamental averaged 18 ppg. in the series. His lowest scoring game, the one that skewed the average down, was during SAS’ 27-point win in Game 3.

Bill Simmons (and Gregg Popovich) are correct: 39 year-old Tim Duncan really was the Spurs’ most consistent player in their seven-game series versus the Clips. And recall, it was Duncan who buried the two pressure free throws with :08 left after being whistled for the phantom foul a few seconds earlier.

Is it time for the league’s best-ever power forward to retire? I hope not. But next year’s Spurs need improved back court play? Who’d have thought, after the 2013 NBA Finals, that Tony Parker would be washed up before Duncan? Or will the Frenchman have his own career renaissance next season?

5. WDOG (The Smartest Pet Trick)

Really enjoyed this Vulture piece from New York magazine, which had a terrific idea about how to cover the end of the Letterman era: interview a smattering of Dave’s former writers and ask them about their best ideas that never made air (every writer can recall his or her best line that got cut or story that didn’t make the lineup, back when print allowed only a finite amount of stories to run…even fewer when Rick Reilly was feeling prolific).


Music 101

How Deep Is Your Love?

Remember that year that Brady Anderson hit 50 home runs, and then he just went back to being Brady Anderson? Meet the Bee Gees, who were an afterthought Australian trio of siblings who with one monster album owned all of pop culture for a year or so. The Saturday Night Fever soundtrack spent 24 weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard chart and there are at least five Bee Gees songs on it that anyone of a certain age can recall in an instant. Related: John Travolta was once thin and lithe.

Remote Patrol

Bayern Munich at Barcelona

FOX Sports 1 2:30 p.m.

Messi: Barca has outscored its past 5 opponents by a score of 20-0. Is that good? It’s not bad.

The first leg of this UEFA Champions League semifinal features the two squads that most observers, your humble scribe included, consider the world’s two best squads. Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez suit up for host Barca, while Bayern boasts World Cup champions Thomas Muller and Bastian SCHWEINSTEIGER!!!!! among others. Two best teams in the world, and one of them has arguably the best player since Pele.




by John Walters

Starting Five

1. American Booty

The Met Gala, a.k.a. “Anna Wintour Shakes Down the Fashion Industry for Charity,” was held last night at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I’m a fan because 1) it’s beautiful people getting swankdelicious 2) it’s at the Met and 3) it’s always in the beginning of May, which in many ways is the best time of year in New York City.

J-Lo and Kim Kardashian showed off their asse(t)s to the chagrin of all the skinny white girls.

I can confirm that at no time last night did Rosie Huntington-Whitely step into MacAleer’s to watch any of the games

2. The Clippers Grow Up

If you count his two stints with the Clippers as two, Barnes has played for nine different NBA teams in 11 seasons

In the span of one week, L.A.’s other NBA franchise has ripened to full maturity. After a tough home loss to the Spurs in Game 5, they win Game 6 in San Antonio, then wrest Game 7 from the Spurs by 2 points, and then without Chris Paul, their leader, come together as a unit and surprise the Rockets in Houston in Game 1 of their series. Matt BarnesJ.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford are producing like the seasoned pros that they are in supporting roles, while Blake Griffin is in his prime.

Watch out, Golden State. Your biggest competition is also your most hated rival.

Also: the Cavs lost. I’ll let Susie B. fill you in more about that…

3. Truth Is…

The CEO of a Silicon Valley-based company called Survey Monkey apparently died while working out on a treadmill in a posh Mexican resort last week. David Goldberg, 47, appears to have fallen while on a treadmill and somehow received blunt force trauma to his head. Goldberg’s wife, Sheryl Sandberg, is the COO of Facebook (I believe she was also on that flight that crash-landed in San Francisco two summers ago).

Bizarre. You’ll recall that on the show Silicon Valley, in order to account for the real-life death of cast member Chirstopher Evan Welch (cancer), they made up a story for this season’s premiere about the demise of his character, VC billionaire Peter Gregory. I’m not sure which tale is more preposterous.

The moral? Never go on vacation outside the United States.

4. Steph!

Pete Maravich’s ball skills, Larry Bird’s shooting touch, and Tim Duncan’s team-oriented attitude. That’s Stephen Curry.

You know that “This is SportsCenter” ad in which Golden State Warrior Stephen Curry thanks the cooks for making chicken curry? It’s not that far removed from reality. Curry, who was named the NBA MVP yesterday, was gracious, humble and sincere during his press conference. Great player, great role model.

Curry’s parents deserve some sort of award, but then they already have one.


5. Surely, You Can’t Be…

An oral history of Airplane! What is it? It’s a film with tons of B-list actors parodying themselves while also parodying the film Zero Hour, but that’s not important now. Looks like you picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.

Music 101

Old Man

I’ve been first and last/Look at how the time goes past/But I’m all alone at last/Rolling home to you

In 1970 Neil Young purchased a ranch in northern California for $350,000. He still lives there today. The Broken Arrow ranch had an old caretaker, Louis Avila, who asked Young how a hippie his age could already be so wealthy as to afford that ranch. Young said, “Just lucky, Louie,” then wrote this hit in Avila’s honor, put it on his classic 1972 album Harvest, and made even more money.

Remote Patrol

Wizards-Hawks; Grizzlies-Warriors

TNT 8 p.m.

Try the Beal! Bradley scored a game-high 28 points in the WW’s Game 1 win

The W’s have nothing but W’s. The Wizards and Warriors are a combined 10-0 in the postseason thus far. Who will lose first? You’d have to go with the team that does not have the newly crowned NBA MVP.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Despite injuring his hammy in the first half, Chris Paul scored a game-high 27 points that included 5 of 6 from beyond the arc, and the last baskets of both the third and fourth quarters (the latter being the game-winner with :01 left)

1. That Paul Can Ball!

How do you dethrone the defending NBA champions in the first round of the playoffs? For one, shoot 8 of 14 from beyond the arc in the second half. The Spurs and Clippers played a classic Game 7 in L.A., with both teams scoring 54 points in the second half. Chronologically, this was the undercard of Saturday’s sports bacchanalia to Mayweather-Pacquiao. But, truly, it was the main event. Clippers 111, Spurs 109.

2. May Weather > Mayweather

Chuck & Reggie: Halfway to punch-drunk. (I’d watch a reality series of these two hanging out)

A highly anticipated championship bout took place in Las Vegas on Saturday evening and the only people who were KO’d were Rachel Nichols and Michelle Beadle (except, of course, they were not the only media who had their credentials yanked….just the only ones you heard about on Twitter). Martin Rogers of USA Today also had his pass pulled.

It was a snoozefest. Honestly, I’ve seen more punches land in a Royals game.

3. The New York Matts!

Harvey and the first-place Mets have New Yorkers rushing to Flushing….

Tommy John Surgery survivor Matt Harvey improves to 5-0, baseball’s best record, with Friday’s 4-0 shutout of the Nats….The Lastros have won 10 straight and have the American League’s best record (18-7)….The Yankees sweep a series with the Red Sox for the first time since the notorious three-day, five-game sweep at Fenway Park in 2006. Pinstripe closer Adam Warren has yet to allow a run in 10 appearances, and he even got David Ortiz out to close Sunday night’s game with bases loaded and the Sawx trailing by three in the bottom of the ninth, which is the David Ortiz-iest moment that you can conjure.

In short: WHAT is happening?!?

If you’re looking for familiar: It’s an odd-numbered year and the St. Louis Cardinals have MLB’s best record. The Cards advanced to the World Series in 2011 (won) and 2013 (lost).

4. High Fidel-ity

I would not pitch him inside if I were you, comrade.

Cuba has a Catch-22 problem.

The island country is poor.

It has an invaluable natural resource: baseball talent.

It loses that talent through illegal means to the USA and because it has no business dealings with Uncle Sam, is unable to tax any of the 10s of millions of dollars it otherwise might be able to.

And, finally, it is philosophically opposed to doing business with us capitalist pigs.

My piece in Newsweek (hopefully, the link to this will work).

5. “I’ve Never Been Black”

Orange is the new Buck

Leave it to Baltimore Oriole manager Buck Showalter to be one of the few (the only?) white people to have something sensible and sage to say about the riots and upheaval in his team’s town last week. Showalter is asked the question from what I believe is an African-American member of the media (I’m judging that by the sound of his voice; does that make me racist?).

Music 101

Check It Out

Future generations/Ridin’ on the highways that we built/I hope they have a better understanding

Attending college in Indiana in the mid-Eighties, we got a steady diet of John Mellencamp on the radio. I’ve always considered this the quintessential Mellencamp/Back Home Again song, even though there are a lot of viable candidates: “Small Town,” “Minutes to Memories” and “Pink Houses.”

Remote Patrol

David Letterman: A Life on Television

CBS 9:30 p.m.

“This is only an exhibition, it’s not a competition. Please: no wagering.”

“From the home office in Wahoo, Nebraska….”

“They pelted us with rocks and garbage.”

“It’s more funs than humans should be allowed to have.”

“How about a lovely beverage?”

“Will it float?”

“Trump or monkey?”

My guess is that in one household in Fairfield County, Connecticut, the TV will not be tuned into this program tonight. Also, if you stay up later, Dave’s guests tonight are President Barack Obama and Will Ferrell. Not a bad green room….


by John Walters

Starting Five

Goodell: If you want me to pronounce your name correctly, be here in person when I call it.

1. Marcus Mariato?

You have very few responsibilities as commish, Roger Goodell. Number one, find a way to make potentially embarrassing scandals disappear by disappearing yourself after the Super Bowl. Number two, never mention the letters “C,” “T”, and “E” in that order. And number three, on the opening night of the NFL draft, be able to pronounce the names of at least the top five picks correctly.

Instead, we got “Marcus Mariato.” The Titans thought they were drafting a Hawaiian, but it turns out they were drafting a paisan.

p.s. My high school friends refer to me as “Walker” because Fr. Camille Prat called out my name as “Walker” on the first day of class and I didn’t correct him, so he called me “Walker” for the entire semester.

2. The Bucks Flop Here

And Dunleavy buried the three….

In three of the four quarters in Game 6 between the Bulls and Bucks, Chicago outscored Milwaukee by at least 14 points. The final: 120-66, a 54-point smashing that included the above play in which the Bucks’ Giannis Don’t-Ask-Me-To-Spell-His-Last-Name showed great closing speed in knocking Mike Dunleavy out of bounds. To be fair to Giannis, Dunleavy shoved him down at the other end of the court at the start of this play.

It wasn’t the worst playoff loss in NBA history — Minneapolis once beat St. Louis 133-75 — but that was in 1956 and the visiting team was the loser (no one one the Lakers had more than 19, by the way). As far as I know, that was the worst loss by the home team in NBA playoff history.

3. Another Draft (Item), Bartender!

Cleveland, Brown.

I think I saw an ESPN article touting the “Impact Players” who still remained after Round 1. Just for the record:

Tom Brady…..6th round

Richard Sherman….5th round

Antonio Brown….6th round (led NFL in receptions last year)

Julian Edelman….7th round (9 catches in Super Bowl XLIX, including game-winning TD)

Funny, Jameis. But will the No. 1 overall pick be this draft’s deadliest catch?

And already this photo has been deleted. So there’s your first “Famous Jameis” moment with the Bucs. No. 2: He referred to the city of “Tampa Bay.” We’re working on it.

4. Midnight Special

Seven of the past bouts in Las Vegas involving Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather have started after midnight EST (or EDT, I can never remember). Only one has started before 11:40 p.m. Game 7 of the Spurs-Clippers will tip off at 8 p.m. ET. And the Kentucky Derby post-time, where favorite American Pharaoh will start from the 17th position, from where no horse (or squirrel) has ever won, is 6:34 p.m.

Quickly: American Pharaoh: “Horse or Bradley Cooper film?”

Adjust your imbibing accordingly.

5. Whelp, Yelp!

If you’ve worked at a restaurant in the past five years (raises hand….raises both), then you probably loathe Yelp! When I served (my country) at the steakateria, our manager, Scott, would read Yelp! reviews at pre-shift nearly daily.

Anyway, yesterday was a good day for people who still believe we should make things as opposed to “services.” Both Yelp! (YELP) and LinkedIn (LNKD) got killed on earnings reports, each losing more than 20% of their stock value. Here, here! And….give ’em hell, Elon Musk! We need more people like you.

Just a note that in today’s TBL Round-Up, Mike Cardillo gives the Florida Sun-Sentinel props for using the term FloriDUH. Mr. Cardillo must not be a reader of MH (hurt feelings). We’ve been using that term for nearly three years.

Music 101

Black Star

Blame it on the black star/Blame it on the falling sky/Blame it on the satellite that beams me home

Before playlists, there were albums. Bands wrote 8 to 14 songs with the idea that you’d put the disc into the player and be done for the next 45 minutes to an hour. One of my favorite of the post-vinyl era is The Bends by Radiohead (I know: the cool kids will cite Kid A or OK Computer) (Really: click that last link). This song is not the most celebrated (Fake Plastic Trees, High ‘n Dry), but I absolutely love it.