Not Happening Today…

We’re on a few days’ sabbatical. For life and death matters, please contact Katie McCollow. Thanks!


by John Walters

Hoping that Heather Locklear is vixen to have a very happy 54th birthday!

Starting Five

1. Eggs Communication

Davey: Did you hear the Pope arrived in New York City?

Goliath: Did I? We had brunch together this morning. He ordered the Eggs Predecessor.

Davey: When ordering eggs Benedict, I hear there’s no place like Rome for the hollandaise.

Goliath: True, but if Europe for a good breakfast, I think Francis more popular than Italy.

Aaaaaaand, scene. Thanks to @el_wuffel and @IrishElvis for the assists.

2. Big (Bad?) John

Krahn stands 7-feet tall and weighs 440 pounds

This is John Krahn. He’s a senior at King High School in Riverside,, Calif., and plays offensive line. He only plays one position, which almost seems unfair. I’m told he needs to lose weight to draw college interest. I think if I were a college coach, I’d be interested.

3. Bye Bye Boehner

Boehner: Orange is the new I Quit

Speaker of the House,

Orange is his face,

Says he met the pope,

And now he’ll leave this place

John Boehner chooses this incredibly slow news day to announce that he is resigning from the United States Senate. Kudos to former SI On Campus colleague Matt Waxman for noting that two J.B.-initial Orangemen announced their resignations in 2015: Boehner and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.

4. Documentary Wow

Largely because I didn’t have a working television for the past 5 months, I missed all of Documentary Now!, the parody doc series that ran for six episodes, was produced by Seth Meyers, and starred his buddies Fred Armisen and Bill Hader. But if there was one installment I wanted to see, it was “Gentle and Soft: The Story of the Blue Jean Committee,” which was a faux version of The History of the Eagles, which I did just re-watch again recently.

Anyway, this reviewer praises not just the comedy of that episode, but also the humanity and the acting. I hope to see it some day soon. “Catalina breeze…”

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday’s Answer: Q1, the tallest building in Australia (78 stories, slightly more than 1,000 feet tall), in Surfer’s Paradise.

Music 101

Lido Shuffle

The one and only Boz Scaggs, with a perfect summer song that hit No. 11 in 1977. The co-writer of this tune, David Paich, went on to found Toto.



by John Walters

Happy Birthday to Phil Hartman, who would’ve turned 67 today. “I got guys the size of you in my stool.”

Starting Five

1. Mecca-lomania*

The judges will also accept “Black Mass,” “Hajj Quest” and “Allah These Pilgrims Are Being Crushed”

Currently the number of dead is 717, all of them pilgrims making the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. As usual, Al-Jazeera has the most detailed story on the tragedy, detailing how pilgrims flock to Mina, on the outskirts of Mecca, to carry out a symbolic “stoning of the devil” by tossing rocks at three stone walls.

The stampede did not take place during the stoning, but rather before as one pilgrim camp  walked through another pilgrim camp. Watch the video at the bottom of the story.

2. Integrity is His Trump Card*

*Upon Further Review, the judges will accept “Atta Boye” as well as “Bridge (Over Troubled Walters)”

This is Boye Brogeland, 42, the man who is single-handedly (with 13 cards in it, I’d assume) trying to save contract bridge at its highest levels. Thanks to the Norwegians’ efforts, the top two ranked bridge players in the world, as well as another team that happens to be the European champions, have been exposed as cheaters.

Here’s my story in Newsweek about the entire affair, which features skulduggery, threats of physical violence and lawsuits, big money, and crooked people.

An aside that I was tempted to tweet, but I’ll save it for you readers. So this morning one of my sources emails me to tell me that a highly decorated writer had sent an email to her and others extolling the piece. Here is the email:

I know almost nothing about bridge except what Anderson has explained to me, but I found this article easy to understand—well-organized and very absorbing. I started reading it in the car as I pulled into a grocery store lot and got so involved in it that I sat there until I finished it. It is intrinsically a great story, involving large amounts of money as a motive for the cheaters, a host of brainy people trying to get away with it, law suits, threats of violence, even a few heroes, especially the Snowden-type character from Norway who was determined  to out the cheats. And Jeff calling a guy a prick. And a great ending: sue me. iv
Now, the beauty of this is that the email was written by one William Nack. A man who, like me, was employed by Sports Illustrated. In fact, I thought that we knew each other fairly well. I always considered Bill Nack to be the most gifted writer at SI while I was there, so it’s heartwarming to read this note, and yet what does it say about print that either Nack didn’t notice the byline or recognize the name? Funny.
By the way, Bill and I were two of the four writers who were laid off (or, as Seth Davis would say, “Fired”) by SI in 2001. Anyway, thanks, Bill. Without even realizing it, you made my day. I believe I’ve finally broken my maiden.

3. The Thompson Twins

Okay, they’re not twins. They’re sisters. Anne and Mary Thompson are both alumnae of Notre Dame and both are in the employ of NBC Universal (if that’s still a thing). You regularly see Anne’s reports on NBC Nightly News and Mary, the younger of the two, reports from the NYSE and other locales for CNBC.

This week, and I’m not sure if it is for the first time, the sisters have the same beat: covering the papal visit. They’re both filing reports on the pilgrimage of the Ultimate Pilgrim. Their parents must be proud, I’d think. A shout-out to Mary, who like your humble author (HA!) rowed for Notre Dame Crew.

4. My Two Dads Remake?

When I first saw this GIF of Jeremy Lin and Stephen Curry teaching Stephen’s daughter, Riley, to do the Nae Nae, I thought, This would make the perfect 21st century My Two Dads remake: you’ve got at least three ethnicities, three or four SI covers (thanks to the efforts of Pablo Torre), an MVP and an NBA championship. Who wouldn’t watch this show!?!?

5. Where in the World?

Answer to Tuesday’s photo: Astana, Kazakhstan

Here’s another shot of today’s question:

Music 101

Two Tickets to Paradise

Billy Joel may be the most famous “rocker” from Long Island, but maybe Eddie Money (born: Mahoney) may be its best guitarist/pop star. This was not the first hit from his eponymous 1977 debut album — that was “Baby Hold On”  — but time has been kinder to it.

Eddie’s grandfather, dad and brother were all members of the NYPD. He was in training to become a cop, too, before he opted for a music career.

Remote Patrol

Valley of the Dolls

TCM 11:45 p.m.

“Three young women pursue acting and end up being destroyed by the very lifestyle they desired,” says my TV video guide. Quite prescient, that, considering that one of the stars of the film was the ill-fated Sharon Tate.


by John Walters

Happy 66th to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen! Let the broken hearts stand as the price you gotta pay…

Starting Five

Immigrant Song

1. POTUS, Pope, US

“DraftKings or FanDuel?”

   “I’ve been wondering the same thing myself.”

2. Hat Trick, With Two to Spare

Lewandowski (right) accepts congratulations from bear (left)

Footballer Robert Lewandowski, who is Polish (duh, JW), scores five goals in just nine minutes for Bayern Munich in a Bundesliga match against Wolfsburg (“More like Lambsburg, amirate?”). Of course, Bayern only won 5-1, so if you are an SEC fan who happens to support Wolfsburg you are probably taking this opportunity to note that without Lewandowski’s five goals in nine minutes, Wolfburg wins. Go, Wolfsburg!

Watch the video. It goest from impressive (“Because that is what Robert Lewandowski does for a living!”) to simply dumbfounding. It’s quite remarkable.

3. Yogi: It’s Over

What a glorious mug

A fond farewell to Yogi Berra, Yankee, Hall of Famer, maxim manufacturer, inspiration for a cartoon character, catcher of the only perfect game in World Series history, purveyor of wisdom, husband, father, grandfather, World War II/D-Day veteran, 18-time All-Star, 13-time World Series champion, three-time MVP, Italian-American (whoop whoop!), and incredibly humble spirit. There was never anyone like him.

4. Pizza Rat:The Easiest Halloween Costume Yet

One rather large step for a rat, one leap for vermin-kind!

Sure, I was thinking of going as black-and-yellow dress that changes to blue-and-white, or perhaps hose myself down, wear boxers, have some seaweed hanging from me and be Rob Konrad, or there was always Caitlyn Jenner or a Patriot equipment manager, but what costume allows you to be constantly chomping on a slice of pizza? That sealed it for me: Pizza Rat, I am totally going as you.

5. At the Tops of their Fields

There is no one else currently in late-night who could have conducted such a smart and entertaining interview with the GOP frontrunner as Stephen Colbert did with Donald Trump. When SC reviews the tape, he will note that he interrupted DT far too often –that’s just nerves, methinks — but all in all it was hilarious and the Donald seemed to enjoy himself. He was far nicer than you see him during the debates.

And as Colbert said during the opening monologue, “Someday I may be able to tell my grandkids, ‘I interviewed the last president of the United States.'”

Now where do we find these fire-proof crocodiles?

Music 101 


Before there was Ashley Madison, there was the Pina Colada Song. Kids, in the Seventies musicians often actually penned ballads, songs that were stories. And some of them were like good short stories, with a plot twist. That was Rupert Holmes’s “Escape,” which hit No. 1 in late 1979 and was actually the last No. 1 Billboard hit of the decade.

Remote Patrol

Mr. Robot


Holm: The coolest waiter-thespian since Jon Hamm (yes, initial are the same)


Okay, the first season just ended a few weeks ago but I’m just catching up on Netflix. Rami Malek, whom you may remember from The Pacific or Night at the Museum, is terrific as your lead, Elliott, a hacker who works as a tech at a security firm. Christian Slater is his anarchy-leaning mentor, and my friend and former colleague waiting tables at Del Frisco’s, the fantastic Jeremy Holm, plays the bodyguard of the evil Tyrell.


by John Walters

Happy Birthday, Jill, Sabrina and Jill! Born 39 years ago today….

and also…

Happy Birthday to Mitch and the gang, born 26 years ago today. So many people who were saved in 3 feet of water owe your their lives.

Starting Five*

*Apologies for the twilight edition. The staff has been busy doing that job that pays the bills.

Francis XI: “Will I be able to check into my hotel before the series premiere of ‘Quantico’?”

1. XI’s The One

Yes he’s comin’

To your sacris-tay,

If you wanna papal blessin’ for your ying yang,

Or you want some absolution for your ting tang….

Pope Francis XI lands outside of Washington, D.C. as Twitter girds itself for Latino immigrant quips.

2. Cruz Control

Last night on Colbert (Don’t make me call it The Late Show; at least not yet), GOP candidate Senator Ted Cruz. I thought he acquitted himself well, even if I disagree with some of his points, until he decided to refer to Supreme Court justices as “five lawyers in Washington.” By that standard, he’s just an Ivy League twit.

Colbert’s intro was a jab: “My next guest is a first-term Senator and has an immigrant father (he could’ve added “and a Harvard law degree”). No, it’s not a rerun of 2008.”

Here’s the thing about Ted Cruz for me. He’s smart, but he’s not very warm. No chuckles. No charm. Does that matter? Personally, I think it does in that job. But your mileage may vary.

Tonight on Colbert: the big fish, El Trumper-ino. Set your Twitter to “Hot Fire.”

3. Yes, He’s An Absolute Jerk…But Is He a Good Capitalist?

Martin Shkreli: If you loved him in Harold & Maude….

By now, I imagine, you know who Martin Shkreli is: 32, hedge-funder, makes a boatload of cash, buys a small pharma company (Turing) that happens to make a drug, Daraprim, that AIDS patients need.

Shkreli then raises the price of one tablet of the drug from $13.50 to $750, a 5,500% increase, presumably between bites of lobster mac and cheese at Del Frisco’s. Tells The New York Times, “It really doesn’t make any sense to get any criticism for this.”

Please, America, if you happen not to live in New York or San Francisco: humans of this level of douchebaggery really do exist. I’ve met them. I’ve served them.

Two thoughts: Let’s say you or I were to overpower Mr. Shkreli (I think you could) and hold his head underwater. Every 20 seconds you’d pull him up and tell him that a gasp of air would cost him $100 and ask how he would like to pay. Now, from a consequences standpoint, is there any real difference between that and what he is doing?

On the other hand, when you mix for-profit businesses with life-saving measures, who is the one to decide what is fair? What if water were not a utility? You’re going to have to pay for it if you want to survive, no? Now, imagine when some company spends millions or billions on a drug that will save people’s lives. Without their investment, the drug does not exist. So who are any of us to tell them what their price point must be?

That’s all I have to say about that…

4. Selfie-Assisted Suicide

So that dude who died taking a selfie at the Taj Mahal? That makes 12 selfie-related deaths this year worldwide (reported), as opposed to 8 shark-related deaths. Does that mean the selfie-stick should be hunted out of existence?

5. Where In The World?

Hint: This is not Dubai or anywhere in the UAE.

Yesterday: Trondheim, Norway.

Music 101

Up, Up and Away

You (or maybe I) forget how many classic Sixties pop songs for which The Fifth Dimension are responsible. That’s lead singer Marilyn McCoo. There’s no song that was better built for Muzak, but this is one of those tunes that I loved hearing when I was in the back seat of the wood-paneled station wagon circa 1971.

The song won THREE individual Grammys in 1968, including Song of the Year, and is the apotheosis of what was known as “Sunshine Pop.”

Remote Patrol

The Muppets

ABC 8 p.m.

It’s time to put on makeup. It’s time to light the lights…

Is there anyone who didn’t love the original Muppet Show? Funny, very funny, with some heart thrown in. I was always a Fozzie guy myself. Hoping this new show isn’t all about Miss Piggy.


by John Walters

Happy 65th, ya’ big lug! And you won an Emmy last night! Nice.

Starting Five

Forgive the succinctness, but it has to be Medium Happy Express today. We’ll be back at our regular long-windedness tomorrow.

Chad Kelly leads the Rebels to a 43-37 win in Tuscaloosa

1. Three Mississippi*

*The judges will also accept “Rebel Rebel” but you’re going to have to supply the song link yourself.

The first stunner of the season occurs in Tuscaloosa, at Mississippi ends No. 2 Alabama’s 17-game home win streak and soundly defeats the Crimson Tide –they led by 19 in the 4th before Bama made it interesting — 43-37. Ole Miss deservedly moves up 12 spots to No. 3, though if you have them No. 1 or No. 2 this week there’s no argument here.

Being blindsided by an Ole Miss lineman? That’s ironic. Keep that spinal column on a swivel, Cooper Bateman.


2. Sign Language

Nobody appeared upset when they spotted this sign in the background; only when ESPN chose to feature it during its gallery of signage

So the above sign apparently upset a few people because you know, it’s the internet and being offended is an inalienable right as established by the founders of the Constitution, but defense would like to submit the photo below into evidence….

This pic also appeared on GameDay, a vestige from last October’s Rebel win in Oxford

3. Hamm, Not on Wry

Hamm is more like Draper than we all thought

Finally. After being nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series seven years in a row, Jon Hamm, 44, finally crawls onto the stage and receives a gold statuette on his 8th try (you’re only one behind me now, Hamm!). Since Mad Men ended, Hamm, who lost his mother at the age of 10, has been to rehab and has broken up with his girlfriend of 18 years, Jennifer Westfeldt. Remind you of anybody?

The speech, linked above, was short, sincere and humble.

Good stuff from host Andy Samberg (Did he ever mention Brooklyn 9-9 in that song? I don’t think so. My favorite moment: “Did you watch Castle?”). And a little tribute to the closing scene of Mad Men.

4. The Holy Spirit, Amendola

Amendola had just one catch yesterday (teammate Julian Edelman had 11), for 29 yards, but folks will remember it.

The photo above doesn’t do justice to Danny Amendola’s 4th-quarter, 29-yard reception in New England’s 40-32 victory at Buffalo. The 5’11” slot receiver out of Texas Tech (a.k.a., Wes Welker 2.0) seemed to launch himself into the heavens, clutch the overthrown pass by Tom Brady, and then allow the throw’s momentum to take him on a wild, safety-abandoning ride as he fell to the earth with blatant disregard for his skeletal structure. You have to see the video(s).

Mr. Brady, by the way, was 38 of 59 for 466 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs. The dude who was supposed to take a seat for the first four games of the NFL season leads the league in passing yardage (754) and TDs (7, all without an INT).

5. Where In The World…?

No, the correct answer is not “Every city along the Eastern seaboard in the year 2050,” though that’s a good guess. Answer tomorrow.

Hint: The building materials correspond to a Beatles song title.


by John Walters

Aisha Tyler, who played a paleontologist on Friends (check that box, producers), turns 45. Happy Birthday!

Starting Five

Bolin completed 19 of 34, threw two INTs, and was sacked a couple of times.

1. Bolin: Green

Meet Louisville, the best 0-3 team in the nation.

The Cardinals lost at home to Clemson last night, 20-17, using their third starting quarterback in three games, sophomore Kyle Bolin from Lexington, Ky. On a final drive that was a gift from the referees — missed that face mask against DeShaun Watson — Bolin threw one terrific pass over the middle to his freshman tight end, Micky Crum, who was smart enough to get out of bounds with no timeouts left.

But then Bolin gakked: wasn’t ready for a snap one play and tossed it out of bounds; got sacked; and finally, heaved a Hail Mary pass when a 15-yard pass would’ve put the ‘ville in position to tie.

Good news, Louisville fans: It’s Rick Pitino’s birthday today.

2. Peyton’s Pace

Charles: Not in charge

Knile Davis scored on an 8-yard run with 2:27 left, giving the Chiefs a 24-17 lead against the Broncos. At home. And Kansas City still lost.

Peyton Manning, whom the Twittersphere had retiring in the first half, completed a 19-yard pass to Emanuel Sanders with :36 to tie it, then Jamaal Charles (“the LeBron of football”) fumbled at his own 21. The ball bounced into the arms of Bronco DB Bradley Roby, who returned it for the game-winning TD. A “Yip-6.”

Denver has now won 13 consecutive divisional road games, which is A) remarkable and B) a testament to playing in the same division as the Oakland Raiders.

So, sure, Peyton Manning is a shadow of his former self. But the Broncos are 2-0.

3. Elliott Mess

Ezekiel should’ve just posted a pic of his abs on Instagram

You have to admire the chutzpah, if not the grammar, of Ohio State stud running back Ezekiel Elliott, who asked out Taylor Swift via Twitter yesterday: “I see your in town tonight want to grab something to eat after their concert ?”

Your? Their?

Hey, if T-Swizzle pulls him up on stage to help sing “Shake It Off,” it was all worth it, right?

Elliott’s coach, Urban Meyer (UM, for short, even though he coaches at OSU), was probably too busy reading Jeremy Fowler’s piece of scathing to notice. I imagine this was Urban’s feeling about all of that….

4. “Who Does No. 2 Work For?”

How much did Valcke allegedly scalp his tickets for? One million dollars?

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke, Sepp Blatter’s right-hand man, has been relieved of his duties after it was reported that he scalped up to 11,000 tickets for the 2014 World Cup at up to four times their face value.

Valcke is known amongst other FIFA members as “StubHub.” (I don’t know if that’s true at all, but it seemed like something worth typing).

So we a Dirty No. 1 and a Dirty No. 2 at FIFA. Anyone want to go for a hat trick?

5. The Hello, Delhi*

Raise your hand if you want to travel to India!

*I so wanted to go with Stupid Hunan Tricks but “Hunan” is not really related to India so, you know…

Everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, David Letterman, is heading to India to act as a correspondent for the climate-change series, Years of Living Dangerously. Dave will interview Indian prime minister Narendra Modi and hopefully ask, “What’s up with all the feces in your water?”

Dave has never traveled to India. This is all very Alan Alda of him.

It will be his first Late Show TV gig. Dave is 68. His mom is 94.

Music 101

Ventura Highway

Whenever I listen to this early ’70s tune by America, I wonder just how envious of it The Eagles were. Glenn Frey is kicking himself for not having written this song (or at least that Donald Felder didn’t write that opening hook). There actually is no Ventura Highway, by the way. Dewey Bunnell, who wrote and sang the song, fashioned it after Highway 1, which runs through the town of Ventura. True fact: America played this tune, which hit No. 1 in 1972, at the gubernatorial inauguration of Jesse Ventura in Minnesota.

Remote Patrol

67th Primetime Emmys

SUNDAY Fox 8 p.m.

Donald: Driver

Rosh Hoshanah was last week. Yom Kippur begins on Tuesday. In between, though, there will be a much celebrated Hamm (a stretch, I know) as Jon Hamm finally, FINALLY, at last, receives his long overdue Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Emmy. This is the eighth consecutive year he has been nominated. I really hope as the former Don Draper approaches the stage that Duck Phillips tries to heckle him.



by John Walters

Listen to me: Coach Taylor turns 49 today. Happy Birthday, Kyle Chandler!

Starting Five

Muslim teen creates homemade device that ticks. Is not named Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Adults in positions of authority get confused.

1. Alarmist Clock

That’s Ahmed Mohamed, and he’s in handcuffs on Monday because the principal at his school was worried that the homemade clock that he brought into school to show his teacher was actually a bomb.

He’s Muslim. It’s Texas. He doesn’t play football. So let’s all jump to conclusions.

You have to love that extra dig by POTUS on the morning of the second GOP debate: “It’s what makes America great.”

Flava Flav is da bomb! But no one ever accused him of toting one.

From @DangerGuerrero: “BREAKING: The British appear to have developed some giant bomb, possibly attached to a rocket.”

2. Mass Debaters

Not even The Dude can abide five-plus hours of a GOP debate (thanks to Carl Quintanilla for suggesting this)

It’s good television, the GOP debates. At least for the first three hours. There’s Lindsay Graham going off and declaring, “We’re going to kill every one of these bastards we can find!” and Rick Santorum comparing Kim Davis to a teenage victim at Columbine, which prompted George Pataki to say, “My response is kind of, ‘Wow’,” before commencing to give Santorum a lesson on the rule of law.

Let’s put Bo on some currency. She’s already a 10.

I didn’t even make it to the varsity debate, although apparently the most important question was a hypothetical one as to which woman belongs on the $10 bill. Please, these are men with Super-PACs behind them. Let’s make it the $1,000 bill.

CNN, which aired the debate(s), produced a “The Debate in 3 Minutes” video. That’s the way you do it.

3. America’s Got (British) Talent

At the end of the day, ventriloquists spend long hours talking to themselves as different people.

John Oliver and James Korden were not enough. Now a Brit has won America’s Got Talent. He’s a ventriloquist and his name is Paul Zerdin and if you watch his act, he’s very talented. Still, America needs to secure its talent borders.

(On the other hand, maybe we should look to the UK for our next president. After all, Charles has been waiting patiently for quite some time.)

4. The Funny and Bizarre Rise of PFT Commenter

PFT Commenter has his own Wikipedia page, more than 62,000 Twitter followers, and apparently a very liberal travel budget

He doesn’t have a name, or at least it is not widely known. He prefers sleeveless shirts and he doesn’t say much. But somehow in the past six weeks PFT Commenter has become a quasi-household name. He held up the “Is Joe Flacco a elite quarterback?” sign at GOP Debate 1 in Cleveland. Then he actually appeared on Pro Football Talk with host Mike Florio. And met Skip and Screamin’ A.

Holy Zeitgeist, Batman!

Last night he appeared at GOP Debate 2 in Seamy Valley wearing a sleeveless Deez Nuts T-shirt. His presence is now required at every presidential debate going forward, I should think.

5. The Bats Go Home After October 2

Harper, who is just 22 but has 40 home runs and an MLB-best .467 OBP, can’t believe he won’t even get this close to a playoff game.

The top eight hitters in MLB, based on batting average, are: Bryce Harper, Washington (.338), Miguel Cabrera, Detroit (.335), Dee Gordon, Miami (.332), Buster Posey, San Fran (.328), Xander Bogaerts, Boston, and Yunel Escobar, Wash., (.321), and Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona, and Michael Brantley, Cleveland (.315).

What do they all have in common? None of them are headed to the postseason.

Eight of the top 10 hitters in the National League in OBP are not headed to the postseason. Six of the top 10 hitters in the AL in OBP are not, either.

The top four home run hitters — Nelson Cruz, Chris Davis, Bryce Harper and Nolan Arenado — are not, either.

Yes, I get it: pitching matters. But I’m not sure how often such a plethora of the game’s most potent offensive weapons are all shut out of October play. There are FOURTEEN non-pitching MVPS currently represented on MLB rosters and of them, the only ones who will likely play in a wildcard or ALDS game are Andrew Mccutchen (2014) and twilight-ers Alex Rodriguez (multiple years),  Jimmy Rollins and Josh Hamilton.

Great names you won’t see: Bryce Harper and Mike Trout, arguably the game’s top two players. Nelson Cruz. Paul Goldschmidt. Chris Davis.

It’s not that it’s good or bad. It just…is.

Music 101

Bennie and the Jets

There are Elton John songs that seem to have gained greater renown over the passage of decades (“Candle in the Wind” and “Tiny Dancer” come to mind), but having lived in the moment of Elton’s mid-Seventies hey day, I don’t know that there’s a more Elton John-ny tune than this one., which peaked at No. 1 in 1974. Some just AS Elton Johnny, but this one captures his vibe and you’ll find yourself mouthing the words even if you don’t want to do so.


Remote Patrol

Broncos at Chiefs

CBS 8 p.m.

Eric Berry returns

I’ll be watching to see if Louisville falls to 0-3 (at home versus Clemson, ESPN, 7:30 p.m.), but I imagine you’ll want to see Peyton Manning and his puny passer rating (59.9) take on Alex Smith and the Chiefs.



by John Walters

She likes to kick, stretch, aaaaand kick! She’s Molly Shannon, and she’s fifty. Today.

Starting Five


Steve Patterson is all hat and no cattle, as they say in the Lone Star State, and he was giving the University of Texas a bum steer in Austin. So he’s out after just 22 months as athletic director. The new AD must 1) love Texas 2) be able to schmooze and 3) understand how to be a CEO.

MH suggests….

J.R. Ewing would leave Southfork for this gig

Speaking of burnt orange…

2. NPH: No Problem Hosting

Reese does not want to end up in pieces

Save for the time Doogie Howser had to do a gynecological exam on his girlfriend — what sadistic writer thought up that story line? — Neil Patrick Harris excels at everything he tries. So was anyone even remotely surprised that Best Time Ever, his live variety show, was actually entertaining? Among other things, he challenged Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon to zip line from a 15-story high crane. Here, watch.

3. All’s Whale That Ends Whale

This happened on Saturday morning in Moss Landing Harbor, Calif., near Monterey. A humpback whale weighing anywhere between 25 and 40 tons breached right in front of a two-person kayak and landed on the front of it.

“It came above us and blocked out the sun, and I think both of us thought that was the end,” Tom Mustill, one of the kayakers, told Outside.

But it wasn’t. Mustill and his friend, Charlotte Kinloch, were both pulled underwater but because they were wearing life jackets, bobbed back up to the surface minus any scathing.

“When it came out of the water, it was like a building grew out of the deep,” Kinloch said. “The forces involved were incredible. We were just being dragged under by the whale.

“The next thing I knew, I was underwater and thinking, ‘How am I not dead?’” Mustill said.

Nature: Still the coolest thing around.

4. Who Is Nolan Arenado?

Arenado watches his game-winning solo homer leave Dodger Stadium

I didn’t know either, but apparently Arenado, a 24 year-old third baseman for the Colorado Rockies, is tied for the National League lead in home runs (39) and is atop the Senior Circuit in RBI with 111. A third-year player, he has already won two Gold Gloves and once had a 28-game hitting streak.

Last night Arenado hit a game-winning homer in the 16th inning of Colorado’s 5-4 win at Los Angeles — he is from the Newport Beach area.

I should really pay more attention to baseball.

5. Better Than Beckham?

That’s Kris Silbaugh, a wide receiver at Cambridge Springs (Pa.) High School, which is located due north of Pittsburgh near Lake Erie. Silbaugh, who was born without a left hand and who possesses 4.4. speed in the 40, has 38 career catches. His school’s record is 57. He is already the school’s all-time leader in receiving yardage (915).

Music 101 

Hold On, I’m Comin’

That’s one badass horn intro and two badass vocalists: Sam and Dave. Live, 1967. Yeah, way too dangerous for the Andy Williams Show. For the record, that’s Samuel Moore (still living) and Dave Prater, the most successful soul duo in history and the pride of Stax Records in Memphis. This song reached No. 1 on the Black Singles chart and No. 21 on the Billboard pop chart.

Remote Patrol

GOP Debate

CNN 8 p.m.

From the (Saint) Ronald Reagan Presidential Library (“Books are for losers”) in Simi Valley, Calif. Is Marco Rubio already toast after provoking #FSUTwitter? Who will be the first candidate to utter the words “Kim Davis?”

Matt Taibbi has some GOP Debate Drinking Game Rules you may want to peruse (unless you’re trying to remain sober).



by John Walters

Happy Birthday, Mary Strong. From Fox Sports anchor to yoga entrepreneur.

Starting Five

The Niners won, sure, but more importantly, how did your DraftKings team do?

1. Hyde and Go Seek Yardage

A second-year product out of THE Ohio State University, Carlos Hyde more than trebles his previous career-high (55 yards) by gaining 168 as the Tomsula 49ers silence Adrian Peterson (31 yards on 10 carries) and the Vikings on MNF. Meanwhile, Trent Dilfer reminds people that “you cannot lose games in the NFL and still win.”

Is it Saturday yet (we’ll even watch the Thursday and Friday night CFB games, promise)?

2. Raining Arizona

Eight dead, five missing. All were traveling in just two cars.

A sudden outburst of rain and hail struck the Arizona-Utah border yesterday afternoon. It was over within an hour, but the combination of massive rains and hard, sun-scorched earth (less absorption) created mass flash flooding. Eight people died and five are missing when two vehicles were swept away. All the victims were mothers and young children and as you may have guessed from their clothing or the location, they are the plural mothers (and offspring) from the Warren Jeffs polygamist sect. If you want to learn more, read Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven.

The rain also did a number on boats and boaters at Lake Powell, which also straddles both states farther east.

3. KiKO AlonSO, From the ConGO

Good humor men…

The only human I know of older than the age of baby whose laugh belongs on a non-stop soundtrack is ESPN (and former SI) baseball reporter Tim Kurkjian. Wonderful man, terrific basketball player, and universally loved guy. Lucky for us Scott Van Pelt is able to make him giggle with almost no effort. This needs to become a recurring bit on the SVPSC.

4. Mommy Dearest

Who is the monster? Is it the woman in the plastic surgery post-op mask or is it the twins, Lukas and Elias? Is she even their mother? I’m not sure if scary is the correct word, but the Austrian thriller Goodnight Mommy will creep you out. I’ll not say any more other than after you see it, go back and watch that trailer again. If there’s an Oscar for trailers, this one earns it.

5. Abs-olutlely Fabulous

@TrackJenny will be one of America’s favorites in Rio next summer

That’s Jenny Simpson, the 2011 world champion in the 1500, who won the Fifth Avenue Mile last Sunday. One of the cooler races out there, it begins outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art and ends somewhere in the low Sixties (20 numerical blocks to a mile in Manhattan). Although I do hope they figure out a Spartan Race through the Metropolitan museum itself. You can even add the Guggenheim’s upward spiral to the adventure (it’s across the street and a few blocks up).

Anyway, Simpson won the women’s event and Nick Willis won the men’s. Author Malcolm Gladwell, 53, finished in 5:03 (he actually ran it in 4:54 last year).

Music 101

What I Got

How many tunes are better at owning your groove for a few minutes? How do you not sing along? “Love is/what I got….” This is sublime, from Sublime. The song was released in 1996 and peaked at No. 1 on the Modern Rock chart, and yes it was released AFTER the death of its singer, Bradley Nowell, due to a heroin overdose. Note the melodic similarities to “Lady Madonna.”

Remote Patrol

Best Time Ever

NBC 9 p.m.

It better be, Neil, it better be. And if it isn’t, I’ll just go back and re-watch this.