by John Walters

Sit on it! The Fonz turns 70 today.

Starting Five

In or out? You tell me.

1. Quack-12 After Sark

The Pac-12 hottest new nightclub is “Tempe’s Tillman Tempest!” It has everything! A kickoff run back for a TD, Tess & Jess (but not David: a punishment for last week’s fine northern California whine?), the world’s shortest Hail Mary pass (to force overtime), three overtimes, the most points scored in one contest this season (61-55, or 116), a funny joke from Twitter about this being the longest uninterrupted stretch of time that Oregon has ever worn the same uniform, a team of “Tillman,” a guy named Stanford scoring two touchdowns for Oregon, Bercovici playing well but failing to come though on the Bercoveni, Bercovidi, Bercovici thing, a falling tight end trick play for a TD…

…an overturned INT by the Ducks (that did not seem to have INDISPUTABLE evidence) and the above game-winning TD by the Ducks that was NOT overturned (even though it sure looked to us that the the toe went into the white area) and reminded those of us who are old enough of that episode of the Brady Bunch where Greg took a photo of the receiver’s foot landing out of bounds (or was it inbounds) that I will contend to my death bed was the beginning of “under further review” (deep breath), and, oh, in the Valley of the Sun, a game-ending INT on a slant-in pass from 2 yards out, a salute to Valley native Darrell Bevell (who called a similar play in SB49), made by a dude named Arrion Springs, who sounds like a wonderful place for a four-day weekend.

2. Who Needs On-Deck Circles, Anyway?

The Mets (LGM!) are installing VIP seats for Game 3 on either side of home plate that seem obnoxious even for New York. It’s “Meet the Mets!”, not “Smell the Mets!” If you’re wondering how pricey these seats are, they’re not even up for sale. They’re going to members of MLB, the Mets and VIPs. I think we’re all hoping for a screaming liner that runs foul, no?

3. Post-erized

Doing the Surrender Cobra: Sad Abdul-Salaam, amirite, Emirate?

If he had attempted to do this, I doubt Sporting KC’s Saad Abdul-Salaam would have been able to perform this foot feat in fewer than 20 tries: Have your shot hit one post, then ricochet off the other, and never cross the line for a goal. That it happened during the penalty kicks phase of a knockout round game in the MLS playoffs at Portland only makes it more painful.

Kansas City fans will eventually get over this. Perhaps as soon as this evening.

4. “It is Balloon!”*

(The judges will also accept “I Heart Huckabee’s Rant”)

*Rule No. 643: Never miss an opportunity to drop in an F-Troop reference.

Before this kerfuffle, um, floats away, I think we need to address the runaway blimp. Better yet, we need to address how Mike Huckabee was so deftly able to turn it into a metaphor for government during Wednesday’s night’s debate only hours after this became a national story. My primary question: Why were John Oliver‘s writers moonlighting for the Huckabee campaign? I’m sorry, this rant was simply too good for it to have been conjured on the fly.

Here it is:

It’s a perfect example of government,” the former Arkansas governor said. “What we had was something that government made. Basically a bag of gas that cuts loose, destroys everything in its path, leaves thousands of people powerless. But they couldn’t get rid of it because we had too much money invested in it. So we had to keep it.”

Well done, Mike.

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday: Tindholmur, the Faroe Islands

Music 101

Black Gold

The early Nineties were the last throes of MTV’s musical relevance — not coincidentally, it was also when the first season of Real World aired — and Soul Asylum were one of the last bands to really break big on the network. While “Runaway Train” was the big single from 1992’s Grave Dancer’s Union album, this one always seemed to have more more meat on the bone. And if you like that one, this one is even more unappreciated.

Remote Patrol

No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 21 Temple

Saturday ABC 8 p.m.

Owl be seeing you, Jahad Thomas

First of all, I’m referring to the College GameDay location as “Independents Hall’ tomorrow. Second, Temple of Doomed. The Owls are 1-41 all-time versus ranked teams and they’re playing a Fighting Irish team that is not only coming off a bye week but also off a week of fall break (no classes last week). Third, in their two previous road games this season the Irish needed a last-minure go route to Will Fuller to beat Virginia and then lost by 2 at Clemson, so I think Brian Kelly has their attention. I don’t think this will be close, actually.


by John Walters

Happy Birthday to the “smart” Angel, Kate Jackson!

It was a night of Marco Rubio, Ricky Rubio, and Marco Belinelli. Let’s get started, shall we?

Starting Five

Looking forward to when the GOP varsity has fewer members than your standard special teams unit in football.

1. “Marco?”

Who won the third GOP debate? Ryan Tannehill, Gronk and perhaps the young senator from Florida even though it was shown that he never shows up for work and he’s really bad at personal finance.

“Florida Man” x 2

Who lost? CNBC and Jeb Bush. My favorite moment was when Rand Paul said, “Government’s too big now,” as he shared a stage with 10 other candidates, taking part in the 3rd GOP debate, with the general election still more than a full calendar year away.

I agreed with Ted Cruz when he took CNBC to task for asking such divisive questions (noted: first time I have ever agreed with Cruz), but going after the media is such low-hanging fruit. Still, the candidates sensed blood in the water and went after John Harwood, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla.

Dr. Ben Carson. The less you say, the smarter you sound.

When Quick asked Trump about his having called Rubio “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal senator,” he denied it. You can quibble with Quick for even having brought this topic up, but where she really erred was asking the vulnerable question to a master of put-downs, “Where did I read this?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “You people write this stuff.”

But here’s the thing. Trump actually did say this –or one of his speech writers did — on his own blog. A better prepared, or quicker, Quick, would have noted this.


2. “Johnny?”

What can I say? It was a terrific night for Caribbeans (we even feature one in the Music 101 section). Johnny Cueto pitches a complete game, 2-hit, perfect-except-for-Duda shutout of the Mets as K.C. takes a 2-0 Series lead with a 7-1 win. And to think that the LGM! were two outs away from being up 1-0 last night with Jacob de-autocorrects-to-Legroom-every-time-I-type-it coming up next.


3. “Ricky?”

Yes, Kobe Bryant returned (you were missed) and scored 24 points last night, but Ricky Rubio scored a game-high — and career-high — 28 points (and made 6 of 7 free throws, natch!) as the T-Wolves won, 112-111, at Staples. Rubio also had 14 assists. Has he finally turned the corner? And who’s tutoring him?

The Knicks won by 25…the Suns lost by 15 at home, as Markeiff Morris scored just 4 points on 1 of 6 shooting (Jon Leueur, who had a team-high 14, will soon be everyone in Phoenix’s favorite Sun)….C.J. McCollum had 22 first-quarter points and scored a game-high 37 as the Blazers ripped the Pelicans….Jahlil Okafor scored 26 in his debut for the Sixers…and beloved halftime act Red Panda made her return after missing last year with injuries in Memphis, which was almost as big as Kobe’s return.

Red Panda: no turnovers


4. Taylor Swift and Chuck Klosterman Do Lunch

This actually was taken in August. We can’t be on top of every story here at MH.

I’m less a fan of Taylor Swift’s music than I am or her mind. I love this quote she gives to Klosterman in his GQ cover story:

I used to watch Behind the Music every day,” she says. (Her favorite episode was the one about the Bangles.) “When other kids were watching normal shows, I’d watch Behind the MusicAnd I would see these bands that were doing so well, and I’d wonder what went wrong. I thought about this a lot. And what I established in my brain was that a lack of self-awareness was always the downfall. That was always the catalyst for the loss of relevance and the loss of ambition and the loss of great art. So self-awareness has been such a huge part of what I try to achieve on a daily basis. It’s less about reputation management and strategy and vanity than it is about trying to desperately preserve self-awareness, since that seems to be the first thing to go out the door when people find success.”


5. Where In The World?

Wednesday’s Answer: The Orpheum theater, Vancouver, B.C. 

Music 101


As debuts go, go ahead and try to top this 2007 tune by Rihanna. She’s that superstar who looks as if she were born to be one, and she has the voice to pull it off. The song was originally written for Britney Spears but her label rejected it. Then it hit No. 1 for seven consecutive weeks and became a big sella, sella, sella.

Remote Patrol

West Virginia at No. 5 TCU

ESPN FS1 7:30 p.m.

I love this photo, by the way….

Trevone Boykin’s Heisman push starts tonight. The Horned Frogs have played no one yet, but tonight they have a prime time national TV audience and in November they get three opponents currently ranked in the Top 14. Boykin is fun to watch– he’s No. 2 in Total Offense (425 ypg) and No. 5 in Passing Offense (362 ypg) — but his only shot at the Heisman is some magic and probably leading an undefeated team though the Big 12 schedule.


by John Walters

Pretty Woman turns 48. Happy Birthday!

Starting Five

With three hitless innings of relief, Chris Young becomes the tallest Princeton alum ever to win a World Series game (I did not fact-check that)

1. National Past-My-Bedtime

When Game 1 of the World Series began last night, not a single NBA team had completed a game in the 2015-16 season. By the time it ended, 14 innings or  5 hours and 9 minutes later, the Cavs were in last place and Steph Curry had already raced to the front of the MVP conversation with a 40-point performance.

Rudy Martzke-inspired “Dreaded Glitch:” Where were you when Joe Buck’s promo for The Grinder led to a blackout and then a Gehrig-for-Pipp exchange as Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz’s international feed stepped in?

2. And That’s Only Game 1

Colon, 42, could easily have gone 42 innings. No one disputes this.

Power Outage? Check.

Tom Verducci making 2 or more pop culture references, not all of them seamless? Check (The Beatles and Elvis).

Pitcher pitching without knowing his father died while most everyone on Twitter did? Check.

Asking Lo Cain, who had never successfully sacrifice bunted, to bunt in the 8th inning? Check.

Piers Morgan asking on Twitter why it’s called the World Series when only North American teams can win it? I don’t know, why don’t you ask your pal Donald why it’s called Miss Universe, check.

A game that accurately draws references to Babe Ruth (first pitcher to win a 14-inning World Series contest, in 1916) and Bill Buckner (last first baseman to make an error leading to a go-ahead run in the 8th inning or later)? Check.

An inside-the-park- home run? Check.

An outside-the-park home run? Check.

Joe Torre sighting? Check.

Bartolo Colon sighting and all the attendant jokes (“I can’t believe someone has let him play all these years with an allergic reaction”)? Check.

A tangential Jeff Bradley reference (brother of Scott, who was mentioned)? Check.

The Three Six Mafia, or their doppelgängers, sitting/standing in the front row behind home plate? Check.

Marlins Man? Check.

A fan in a neon green shirt making a splendid snag of a screaming liner foul ball? Check.

Erin Andrews’ voice becoming even more nasally after midnight? Check.

Joe Buck making a joke about FOX’s power problem (“We’ve got plenty of quarters for the generator, we can go all night”)? Check.

Ben Zobrist continuously ripping screaming liners to right and right-center? Check.

Eric Hosmer being the goat? Check.

Game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth? Alex Gordon, check.

Bill Simmons, on Twitter, offering Joe Buck $500 to ask A-Rod if he feels a kinship to Bartolo since both were busted for PEDs? Check.

Eric Hosmer being the hero? Check.

3. Kill Retires

It’s also Lauren “So you’re saying there’s a chance?” Holly’s birthday today. Sorry, Jerry.

Minnesota Golden Gopher Jerry Kill, 54, retires not one week after Minnesota Timberwolves basketball coach Flip Saunders, 60, dies of complications related to cancer treat. There’s handwriting, and theres’ the wall.

Kill suffers from epilepsy, as you know, and has suffered a pair of sideline seizures in his tenure with Minnesota. He’s done a solid job with that Big Ten team. Associate head coach Tracy Claeys will take over with Michigan, coming off a bye week and still chapped about the MSU loss, coming to town.

4. Dear, Abby

Just one day after the premiere of Supergirl, another super girl bids adieu

The leading goal scorer in the history of international soccer, Abby Wambach, retires. Wambach, no relation to Judge Wambach from Picket Fences (so many Lauren Holly references in one post), scored 184 goals, 77 of them on headers alone. The 35 year-old has 252 caps since making her international debut in 2001 and The Guardian referred to her as “talismanic,” which does not mean that she hails from an island just off the coast of Australia (I think it means “provoking a remarkable or powerful influence on others, not unlike Skip Bayless”).

5. Where In The World?

Hint: in North America

Yesterday: Looking out onto the Atlantic from the Rua Augusta Arch in Lisbon.

Here’s an alternate view:


Music 101

Young Girl

Is this 1968 classic from Gary Puckett and the Union Gap on Jared Fogle’s playlist? Oh, sure, like the same thought didn’t occur to you? Subject matter notwithstanding, Puckett has an outstanding voice. I’m sure I listened to this tune a thousand times in the back of the wood-paneled station wagon as a lad without having the slightest clue what it was about.

Two items: 1) The song climbed to No. 2 for 3 weeks, but could not overtake Otis Redding’s “Sittin’ On the Dock of the Bay.” 2) Puckett was born in Hibbing, Minnesota, in 1942, or 10 months after fellow Hibbing native Bob Dylan.

Remote Patrol

GOP Debate No. 3

CNBC 8 p.m.

World Series Game 2

FOX 8 p.m.

Do you go with “Heeeeere’s Johnny” or with Carson?

In the polls, at least. Ben Carson, M.D., is your current leader. It’s a CNBC-staged debate, so if there is not a lightning round, I’m going to be disappointed. Jacob deGrom against Johnny Cueto is the mane attraction in K.C.


by John Walters

Happy 30th Birthday to BQQB!

Starting Five

Garnett (51) rag-dolled two U-Dub defenders on this run by Daniel Marx (right),, including JoJo McIntosh (left). “Get back, JoJo!”

1. Red, White and Bruise

If you stayed up late to watch even more college football on Saturday night, you saw this play by Stanford offensive guard and team captain Joshua Garnett. He rag-dolled not one but two Washington defensive players who had the temerity to get in his way, and it is my belief that this play symbolizes the attitudes of three teams whose uniform hues are quite similar: the Cardinal, Alabama and Oklahoma.

All three have one loss, but all three are “Play At Your Own Risk” the remainder of the way. One of these three schools is advancing to the college football playoff if not more. You can print out this column, tape it to your refrigerator and highlight that previous sentence or, if you do not have a printer, simply tape your entire computer to your refrigerator.

Mixon (above) and Perine combined for 355 yards rushing and six TD’s in Saturday’s 63-27 defeat of Texas Tech. That Longhorn blemish will fade into the recesses if they keep playing like this.

While pundits still ruminate on whether Baylor or TCU is the better team, they conveniently forget that the Bears and Horned Frogs still have to play the Sooners (as well as Oklahoma State) and that their feckless schedules leave absolutely no margin for error. If the Sooners, who have a two-headed rushing attack in Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine, and a Manziel clone in Baker Mayfield, can run the table against all three currently unbeaten teams, they’re in.

(That’s Tide quarterback Jacob Coker, above, lowering the boom)

Likewise, Alabama, if they win out (beating LSU and Auburn), are in, in my opinion. Sorry, Ole Miss, even if you do run the table.

And right now Stanford looks as good as any team in the country.

What do these three have in common? Excellent, experienced coaches, solid quarterback play and rushing attacks, and a WHOLE LOT of physicality. These are three teams that will beat you up while beating you.

Yes, they all have one loss. And none of them are currently ranked higher than seventh. Don’t be surprised if you see one, if not all three, of them in the four-team field.

2. That’s So Raven!

Baltimore had the ball with the chance to tie the game late last night in Arizona but Joe Flacco (Flaccometer ranges from “Elite!!!” to “Bum”) threw a red zone pick, just like in their season-opener at Denver. So Baltimore falls to 1-6 even though all six losses have come by eight points or less.

So, yeah, only a few plays are keeping the Ravens from being at least 4-3 instead of 1-6. But as coach John Harbaugh’s brother, Jim, said yesterday, “If worms had machine guns, birds would be scared of them.”

Note: It’s been 17 days since a Har-bro won a football game. Tense times in those homes.

Meanwhile, there was yet another play inside University of Phoenix Stadium involving a running back who appeared to be down but whom the refs decided was not. Remember Michael Dyer of Auburn in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game (if you’re an Oregon fan, you do). Last night Arizona’s Chris Johnson was brought down, but only onto the belly of Baltimore’s 6’1″, 335-pound Brandon Williams.

(In case you are wondering, the Walkers ate Johnson’s intestines, but we think Williams survived by crawling under a dumpster).

(This run put Oregon’s hopes in Dyer straits; I’m already sorry).

It seemed to me that Johnson, though not touching the ground, had his forward progress stopped. The refs should have blown the whistle. They did not and Johnson alertly kept going once Williams released him and ran 62 yards, all the way to the 7. Like Dyer, Johnson’s extra effort earned his team a field goal.

3. Rogue Waves (Cont.)

I’ve said it before and will repeat: Read Susan Casey’s The Wave some day. It’s fascinating (and far better than her first book, The Devil’s Teeth; also, Casey is kinda smokin’ and she knows it). Anyway, she discusses rogue waves, giant swells that seem to emanate from nowhere and are often responsible for ships simply disappearing.

Casey was not taken out by this rogue wave while giving a talk…

The latest example of the damage rogue waves can do: a whale-watching boat off the coast of British Columbia capsized over the weekend when, on a lovely day, it was struck by a rogue wave. Five Britons died, although some 21 or so others aboard were rescued.

4. The Daily Harrumph: WWE at Spring Valley High

Has the girl and her family already appeared on GMA or Today? How soon until the $4 million lawsuit and the out-of-court settlement? ARGHHHH!!!

Let me preface this by saying that I happened to watch a documentary all about the Kent State Massacre last night on Netflix (“The Day the Sixties Died”; recommend it). Anyway, I never knew before watching this that two days before the National Guard opened fire, killing four students, that a group of students had set fire to the ROTC Building on campus. When fire engines responded to the blaze, some students used knifes to puncture the water hoses being used to extinguish the fire.

Which does not, of course, make it okay to open fire using live ammunition on unruly students. But it does add context.

I don’t know what the police officer here at Spring Valley High was thinking, exactly. I also don’t know why this student needed to fail to listen to her teacher, and then to a police officer. What was behind her blatant disregard for her teacher and her fellow students?

I don’t know. Could the cop have used better judgment? Uh huh. But social media and YouTube videos will turn her into a martyr. I think she shoulders some of the blame here, too.

And there it is: my Daily Harrumph!

 5. Where In The World

Yesterday’s Answer: Sheraton Huzhou Hot Spring Resort, China

Music 101

What I Like About You

There are a few bands (Bay City Rollers) that are as famous for being one-hit wonders (Star Land Vocal Band) as The Romantics, but there is no band (Chumbawumba) that is more of a one-hit wonder (The Dream Academy) than this quartet from Detroit. I’d wager that there was not a single dorm party in my four years at college that A) wasn’t broken up by an overly fascist RA and B)  did not include this 1980 tune at some point during the festivities (HEY!).

Remote Patrol

“If you wanna score runs/He can get you some/Lo Cain….

World Series, Game 1

FOX 8 p.m.

It almost (“almost?”) seems wrong and un-American that the NBA is tipping off its season on the same night as Game 1 of the World Series. Seeing as how the NBA season does not begin in earnest until late February (or April), I’m going to pass on advising you watch the Bulls and Cavs (I’m sure Susie B. will fill us in tomorrow below). Matt Harvey gets the start for the LGM! and Edinson Volquez will take the hill for Kansas City, though Erin Andrews will probably only interview Eric Hosmer for the entirety of the Fall Classic.


by John Walters

Happy 29th Birthday to Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen, First of Her Name, Mother of Dragons, Wearer of Wigs (i.e., Emilia Clarke)

Starting Five

Lance Austin, this week’s Jalen Watts-Jackson

1. “What a Time To Be Alive!”

Those were ESPN play-by-play man Mark Jones’s words as Lance Austin of Georgia Tech raced into the end zone on Saturday night in Atlanta in a sequel to Auburn’s Kick Six.

Goodbye, Roberto Aguayo’s record of never having missed a kick of any type in the fourth quarter. Goodbye, Florida State, to a 28-game ACC win streak and to an unbeaten season.

Meanwhile, Jones’s words, “YOU CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT JUST HAPPENED!!! WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!” will now play on a speaker in your bedroom for those intimate, post-coital moments.

Great job by Austin. It had been a full seven days since a team had lost on the game’s final play due to a highly inconceivable special teams gaffe.

2. Hurricane Dabo

No Clemsoning to be seen here….

The number “58” used to be a welcome one at The U. 58 was the number of games Miami won in a row at the old OB — Orange Bowl — in their ’80’s and ’90s heyday. It was also the number of points they put up against Notre Dame in 1985, the nadir of the Fighting Irish and Gerry Faust’s final game.

But on Saturday the Hurricanes lost 58-0, at home, to Clemson. From Orange Bowl to Orange Blowout. As someone noted to me on Twitter on Saturday, “And I thought Patricia would be the worst hurricane this weekend.”

Yesterday, Miami fired fifth-year coach Al Golden. Now how will that dude who flies those planes spend his Saturdays?

3. A RIP to Flip

Saunders took teams to both the NBA Eastern and Western Conference finals…

About three weeks ago I spoke to a friend who told me that Flip Saunders, the once and present coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves, was doing very poorly. Complications from his treatment for Hodgkins lymphoma. Yesterday’s news that Saunders, 60, had passed away was awful, but not a surprise.

Saunders played his basketball at the University of Minnesota and was a local hero in the Twin Cities (he was a college teammate of Kevin McHale’s). He won two CBA championships as a coach and in 17 NBA seasons compiled a 654-594 record. Only 19 coaches have won more NBA games than Flip did.

Here’s a terrific write-up on the man from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune….

4. A Farewell to Glenn?

Rushing the gates at a Cranberries show….

I’ll keep tuning into this AMC show until it fulfills my fantasy of having Christopher Walken do a cameo as a zombie (“The Walken Dead”) while speaking to Rick in that measured metronome of his. “I am not…a flesh-eating…creature…I am just…someone…who cannot find….a Chick-Fil-A.”

Meanwhile, on last night’s 3rd episode of Season 6, one of the show’s longest-appearing characters, and one of our favorites, Glenn, may or may not have died. When Glenn fell off the dumpster, did he land under the body of Nicholas (ie., Were those Nicholas’s sweetbreads the walkers were dining upon?) and crawl to safety beneath the dumpster, or was it his own demise as well?

Glenn showed a lot of guts in taking on the walkers last night (“YEEEEEAHHHHHHH!!!!)

No one, not even Chris Hardwick, is saying. Telling, though, that on the Talking Dead after-show last night, the actor who portrays Glenn (Steven Yeun) did not appear (a standard send-off for other departing cast members) nor was he listed in the weekly farewell montage. Is Glenn autumn’s Jon Snow?

5. Where In The World?

Friday’s Answer: Floralis Generica, Buenos Aires

Music 101 

Kiss Me Deadly

Before he had developed into New Wave’s polished sneer, Billy Idol was a legit punk rocker, the front man for a band named Generation X. This 1978 tune isn’t as punk rock as “Your Generation,” their other hit. It actually sounds as if it longs for some airplay, and it also rhymes “Rockabilly” with “Piccadilly.”

Added: Notice the way Idol sings “tonight” at the end of a line. Sound anything like Billy Corgan singing the same word about 16 years later in the song “Tonight, Tonight?” Coincidence, or was this the inspiration for the Smashing Pumpkins’ hit?

Remote Patrol

World Series of Poker

ESPN2 8:30 p.m. — Midnight

“You down with WSOP?”

    “Yeah, you know me!”

“Let’s get ready to shuuuuuuuuuuffffffffffflllee!”

Here’s to not letting the chips fall where they may….You may think that watching a bunch of men play poker isn’t good television, but host Lon McEachern and analyst Norman Chad are as good at calling poker as any team are at calling any sport. Always entertaining, and even when Chad’s quips bomb, you have to love him for trying. Tonight it is Parts 11-14 of the 19-part 2015 WSOP.



by John Walters

Happy 75th to Pele!

Starting Five

The CBJ are ice cold and we haven’t even had our first frost

1. Goodbye, Columbus?

We’ve barely bid farewell to Columbus Day and already it may be near the time to say goodbye to the Columbus Blue Jackets’ chances of NHL playoff contention. Sure, that’s hyperbole, but the CBJ have started off 0-8 and already fired coach Todd Richards and replaced him with John Tortorella, who led the Tampa Bay Lightning to a Stanley Cup in 2004.

The CBJ, Medium Happy’s new favorite hockey franchise, lost to the Minnesota Wild last night, 3-2. They’ve allowed 37 goals while scoring 15. That’s not good.

2. Swords With Fiends

A man walks into a school in Trollhattan, Sweden, dressed like this. Two students see him, believe it is a prank, and ask to be photographed with him. He obliges. A teacher walks into the hall, sees what’s up, and tells the man to leave. The man, a 21 year-old, fatally stabs the teacher. He killed one other person, a teenage student, before being shot dead by police.

This answers that question, at least in part, What would it be like if guns were far harder to obtain in the U.S.? Mentally deranged people would still walk into schools and wreak havoc, although perhaps not quite as much.

3. The Black List

Classic exchange between ESPN’s premier duo, Neil Everett and Stan Verrett, on last night’s Post-SVP SportsCenter. The set-up: Stan is doing a V/O of Cal-UCLA highlights.

Stan: “And those are UCLA’s ‘City’ uniforms (all black). I don’t like them. I don’t like teams wearing black if black isn’t their normal color.”

Neil: “And you can say that because black is your normal color.”

(Silence for a few seconds….finally, Stan; “You went there?” as both chuckle).

4. Does Bo Know?

For the record, Bomani has always been GREAT to me. I’m sure this morning he is wondering why Whitlock opted to choose this fight, of all fights, to wage publicly and likely without any warning.

There’s no racist conspiracy working for Cousins and working against RG3,” wrote ESPN AOL Sports FOX Sports ESPN FOX columnist Jason Whitlock on his site,, yesterday. Whitlock thus crushed the opinion, framed in numerous posts, of former colleague Bomani Jones of ESPN, who has spent the past few months on Twitter insinuating that both the Redskins’ and the media’s promoting of Kirk Cousins (white) over Robert Griffin III (black) has been racially motivated.

I don’t follow the situation closely enough to parse the truth here. I imagine Bomani has taken this crusade a little too far, but the team is named the Redskins. Racism is their bag, baby. Still, it is quite rare for a nationally known African-American media type to publicly trash a fellow African-American media type’s opinion this way.


Will we be hearing more about this on His and Hers later today?

Meanwhile, Whitlock being Whitlock, he was unable to resist throwing a self-aggrandizing line into his column: “The reason so many people in the media hold me to a standard of perfection is because my record of achievement is so high.” (Resists urge to make “cholesterol level” quip).

Bomani chose to take the high road.

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday: Casa Brutale, Greece

Music 101

Stay With Me

Before this great Scot began tearing pages out of the Great American Songbook, Rod Stewart was a grade-A blues rocker with his band, Faces. When the Rolling Stones poach your lead guitarist (Ron Wood), your band must be doing something right. This 1971 tune climbed up to No. 17 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Remote Patrol

Memphis at Tulsa

ESPN 8 p.m.

Probably not a good idea to dub this team the “Lynch Mob” within 400 miles of Memphis

Dig: The Tigers are 6-0 and last week defeated the team, Ole Miss, that defeated Alabama last month. Quarterback Paxton Lynch is No. 2 on Mel Kiper, Jr.’s board after only Jared Goff (the difference between the two? Lynch’s team wins more often). The AAC has three undefeated schools (Temple and Houston, too) and Justin Fuente’s team will take on both of them on the road next month.


by John Walters

Happy 77th to Doc Brown (also to Jim Ignatowski, Judge Doom, and Taber), a.k.a. Christopher Lloyd. More on him below.

Starting Five

As long as we’re doing that Murphy thing, the Cubs were knocked out of the playoffs after the first full season of Murphy Brown (1989) and during the last full season of Murphy Brown (1998)

1. Awesome Murphy!

As far as my Google searches can tell me, SB Nation (5 days ago) was the first to make a connection between the Mets’ Daniel Murphy, who homered in a sixth straight game last night, and the many other Murphys (goat, GM, announcer, stadium) who have dogged the Cubs over the decades.

So the Cubs must wait at least another year, while the rest of us wonder just what the potential for the Mets may be if they can keep all four young pitchers healthy and happy and in New York City. They’ll own this town.

In 9 postseason games, Murphy, who turned 30 on April Fool’s Day, has 7 home runs and 11 RBI

Also, are the LGM! really going to let Daniel Murphy walk after this season? Especially if he keeps hitting like this?

2. Deja Viewing

Aaron Sorkin script? Check.

Bay Area renegade genius? Check.

Bay Area renegade genius/iconoclast whom underlings found temperamental and impossible to please? Check.

Bay Area renegade genius whose sole humanizing trait was that he was a single dad with a sweet and precocious daughter? Check.

Former cast member from Superbad as the brains behind genius’s wizardry? Check.

Look familiar?

You may think you’re going to see Steve Jobs this weekend, but maybe what you’re really seeing is Moneyball with a fresh coat of paint.

3. They Even Got Huey Lewis & The News

You’ve read more than enough on October 21, 2015 and its connections to Back to the Future II. Enjoy.

4. Take A Walk!

“Put one foot in front of the other…”

While the weather remains kind, here’s a list of the “50 Best Hikes” from Men’s Journal.  Your mileage may vary.

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday: Anaconda Smoke Stack, Anaconda, Montana, the tallest man-made structure between Seattle and Minneapolis.


by John Walters

Happy 50th Birthday, Billy Zabka!!! The Cobra Kai lives….

Starting Five

As I wonder how many bars in New York City are named Murphy’s

1. Murphy’s Lore (Cont.)

Daniel Murphy reportedly won’t re-sign with the Mets next season, but the second baseman has now gone full Carlos Beltran, hitting a home run in his fifth consecutive postseason game last night (four of which came off Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Jon Lester and JakeArrieta). That ties an MLB record.

The Mets won and so now lead the Cubs 3-0 in the NLCS. And yes, we’ll note that the last time Theo Epstein was the GM of a club that had gone more than 80 years since winning a World Series, that franchise fell behind 3-0 in an LCS to a team from New York and then promptly won 8 consecutive games and the World Series. Just sayin’….

2. “Are You O.K.?” Corral


There was a gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, last Sunday, which is not unusual. The historic southeastern Arizona town stages commemorative gunfights daily to draw tourists, reenacting the famous shootout involving Wyatt Earp and others on October 26, 1881.

The problem with last Sunday’s shootout is that one of the gunmen used live rounds of ammunition. Ken Curtis fell to the ground after being struck by a bullet fired by fellow reenactor Tom Carter. Curtis had surgery and should be fine. As for Carter, I can only wonder if they will “Hang ‘Em High” before he is able to catch the “3:10 to Yuma.”

3. “What’s Your Problem?”

Someone on the staff of Jimmy Kimmel Live had a terrific idea for the show’s visit to Brooklyn this week. With JayZ appearing as a guest last night, they riffed on the Brooklyn native’s song, “99 Problems,” by asking New Yorkers “What’s your problem?” 99 times.

Also: There is no K subway line.

4. Hot Carl

Nassib was a freshman during Joe Paterno’s tumultuous final season in Happy Valley

This is Carl Nassib, a 6’7″, 275-pound fifth-year defensive end at Penn State who was not offered a scholarship out of high school. Nassib, younger brother of former Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib, currently leads the nation in Sacks (11.5), Tackles for Loss (15.5), and Fumbles Forced (5).

Schobert is somewhat undersized at 6’2″, 236

We’d call Nassib the second coming of J.J. Watt, who also was not offered (at least not by a B1G school) out of high school and then went on to become an All-American, and perhaps he is. However, there is an outside linebacker at Watt’s alma mater, Wisconsin, who is No. 2 in the nation in all three of those categories (9.5, 14.5, 4), right behind Nassib, and he, too, was not offered a scholly out of high school. His name is Joe Schobert and he, too, is likely an All-American this season.

5. Where In The World?

Hint: Somewhere in the United States

Yesterday: Mount Maunganui, New Zealand

Music 101

Black Balloon

The late ’90s produced A TON of forgettable rock music and bands (Thank you for saving us, Jack White), and the Dolls of Goo Goo probably fit that mold. Still, there were some gems that stay with us (I’ll hear no pleas on behalf of Matchbox 20, though; no redeeming qualities there), such as this 1999 song about a girl struggling with heroin addiction that reached No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Remote Patrol

Royals at Blue Jays, ALCS Game 5

FS1 4 p.m.

You’re up, Joey Bats. It was one weekday afternoon ago today that the Blue Jays — and Rangers — treated us to one of the more memorable elimination games in baseball playoff history. Here we go again as Toronto trails 3-1 in the ALCS to the defending AL champs, Kansas City. Toronto is 3-0 in elimination games this month, but must go 6-0 to advance to the Fall Classic.


by John Walters

Happy 26th, Candace Swanepoel! Life’s a beach.

Starting Five

Lorelai and Rory are returning to Stars Hollow. Coffee! Coffee! COFFEE!

1. More Gilmore

Great news! What, Jaylon Smith is returning for a fourth year? No, not that great, silly. NetFlix has ordered four 90-minute episodes of Gilmore Girls, a show that loved side quips as much as it did Friday night dinners. Sookie and Richard Gilmore won’t be back, but count on seeing Lorelai, Rory, Luke, Emily, Taylor Doose, Kurt and hopefully, a performance or two by Hep Alien.

I have no idea if Logan Huntzberger will return, but really he and Christopher can go suck an egg.

So we might be getting those “final four words” that creator Amy Sherman-Palladino always wanted to put into the series finale.

2. You Had To Be a Big Short, Didn’t Ya?

Bale as Michael Burry should be fabulous

I only read one book about the 2008 sub-prime mortgage disaster — I was too busy throwing darts at photos of Lloyd Blankfein — but the book I did read was The Big Short by Michael Lewis, and it was exquisite. The book takes you through the financial crisis by focusing on the outliers, the few people who had the insight to see the approaching bubble, to bet against the system and conventional wisdom, and to reap huge sums of money. A truly spectacular read and a lesson in sticking to your guns when you know you are right.

Anyway, Hollywood is all in on this one, with a December 11 release and starring roles for Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling (nearly unrecognizable) and Brad Pitt.

3. Poutine Heartthrob

Trudeau is the son of former PM Pierre Trudeau. Canada also believes in political nepotism.

That’s Justin Trudeau, who was either just elected as Canadia’s next prime minister or Canadia’s Next Top Model. He’s even more popular than Jose Bautista right now. Trudeau won on a platform of building a wall — made of ice — between the USA and Canada and promising that the country will produce a Stanley Cup winner while he is in office.

4. Jan Hammers

Frodeno brings that 6’4″ frame crashing toward the finish line

A week or so late here, but Germany’s Jan Frodeno won the Hawaii Ironman two weekends ago in Kona. Frodeno won the gold medal in Beijing in the Olympic triathlon, which is a far shorter course. He becomes the first person, man or woman, to win an Olympic gold medal and the Hawaii Ironman, and that feat probably won’t be seconded until Michael Phelps takes up jogging.

5. Where In The World?

Hint: It’s not Hawaii

Friday’s Answer: Amedi, Kurdistan

Music 101

Room At The Top

Happy 64th birthday to Tom Petty (we love you, but you’re not bumping Candace Swanepoel from that perch, babe; unique views and all)! Gainesville’s favorite son becomes our first repeat offender in this space and instead of posting one of his biggest hits, here’s one from his 1999 album, Echo. Just a consistently excellent musician; yes, I’m a Petty-file (come after me, Chris Hansen, I dare you!).

Remote Patrol

The Grinder

FOX 8:30 p.m.

Yes, we have DAY BASEBALL from Toronto, as well as a playoff game from Wrigley Field tonight, but I’m putting in a little pitch for The Grinder, a FOX sitcom that’s pretty smart and pretty funny. If not tonight, give it a try soon. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage already have fantastic chemistry.



by John Walters

Happy 49th birthday to Jon Favreau, who taught a generation of men exactly what not to do when leaving a phone message for a woman you’ve just met.

Starting Five

O’Neill had an 80-yard punt in the first quarter, but ended the day with the most infamous punt attempt in Michigan football history

1.Fail To The Victors

Two tales of failed fourth downs in the Midwest this weekend and lets begin in Ann Arbor, where a storybook autumn for Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines ended in the worst way possible. You already know the details and have seen the play, so allow me simply to add this: Not only did Michigan State put 11 men on the line, but they absolutely failed to put a man head-to-head against the Wolverine end who was split out to the left (nearer to the MSU sideline).

Not that Blake O’Neill would have eschewed punting the ball to simply throw a ball up toward the left side for a first down, but kudos to Sparty for recognizing that UM was less likely to notice it or alter the plan since he was on the far hashmark — away from UM’s sideline.

Also, remember that MSU only trailed by 2. Once Jalen Watts-Jackson fielded that ball — it flew directly into his arms — he was golden as long as got inside the 20 and was tackled before time ran out. As you may known, JWJ suffered a dislocated hip when his teammates piled atop him in the end zone, which crosses from football into the realm of epic poetry. He’s out at least for the season and, who knows, maybe forever. Still, he has won immortality, which may eventually seem like a fair exchange.

Finally, kudos to ESPN’s Sean McDonough (and in all likelihood, to his spotter) for recognizing the MSU player (Watts-Jackson) who had the ball as the play was taking place. That’s some quick spotting and processing there. It’s also fun to hear McDonough’s voice crack, no?

2. Defeat Formation

What in the world?” — Al Michaels, NBC

I’m trying to give Indianapolis Colt coach Chuck Pagano the benefit of the doubt here. As you know — or can tell from the photo — Indy is facing fourth and 3 from its own 37. The score, as you see, is 27-21 late in the 3rd quarter.

Now, here’s what I DO understand: Griff Whalen, the center on this play, is ordinarily a wide receiver. And, because no one is lined up to his left, Whalen is actually the split end on this same play, so he is an eligible receiver (one of the wonderful quirks of football that I hope they never “fix”).

And here’s what I DON’T understand: Given that the only two conceivable chances of this play working is if 1) the Pats jump offsides or 2) Whalen runs a route and the Pats do not think about covering him, there’s little chance that his play will work if the quarterback is not in a shotgun formation. So why is that?

Meanwhile, how about this PAT block by a Pat, Jamie Collins, after Indy scored a late TD to make it 34-27? I can’t recall ever seeing someone do this before.

Two more things: 1) Be careful when you try to outsmart the smartest guy in the room. New England’s players, to their credit, did not panic. They lined up properly and had three players near Whalen and the QB. 2) What the hell is the punter doing here? He’s line up 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage and at least that far laterally to the football. What is his purpose?

3. Deja Vu at SNL

Sanders, a 74 year-old Jewish man from Brooklyn, had to love the impression that David (above), a 68 year-old Jewish man from Brooklyn, did of him.

— Former Saturday Night Live writer (Check)

–Goes on to greater fame and greater fortune writing and starring in his/her own sitcom (Check)

–Returns to SNL as a presidential candidate (Check).

Yes, Larry David as Bernie Sanders is the new Tina Fey (as Sarah Palin). Unlike Fey, David never achieved any success while at SNL — he quit after one of his sketches was scrapped at the last minute, then told his neighbor, Kenny Kramer, who told him to return to the office on Monday and act as if it had never happened; as you know, that entire anecdote played out later on Seinfeld.

Imagine the vindication David must have felt being able to not only star in the show’s cold open, but also to be given the chance to proclaim, “LIVE FROM NEW YORK….IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT!”

The best part about this is how inseparable David and Sanders are from one another, both physically and metaphysically. I can totally see Bernie Sanders welcoming the Blacks into his home.

What next? As long as Sanders remains in the race, why wouldn’t Lorne Michaels beg David to reprise this role on occasion? And what else is Larry doing right now other than attempting to shoot par?

4. “Character Takes Many Shapes”

The man in the No. 2 jersey is TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, who may or may not win the Heisman Trophy this season, and who may or may not lead the Horned Frogs to the national championship. Both goals are definitely within his grasp.

The girl, I don’t know her name or her circumstances, but she is definitely rooting for Iowa State, which is where Saturday’s game was played. I believe it was Matt Shoultz, the Cyclones’ assistant athletic director of communications, who took this shot and posted it on Twitter.

Judging from the light in the background, this encounter took place during pre-game warmups. That any player from the visiting team took time to notice a wheelchair-bound girl during warm-ups is cool. That it was the best player on either side is tremendous. And I don’t know if someone asked Boykin to speak to her or not, but he did. Great moment, and the kind of photo you used to see in Life magazine.

TCU won, 45-21.

5. The Nature of Wealth

Bella Hadid, who has no involvement in this item but who was forced to hang out with my friend A.J. yesterday (as was Ellie Goulding)

Yesterday’s thought: Wealth is a function of how well you spend your time, not your money. 

I like that one so much I’m going to ask if there are any objections to making this Rule No. 5. No? Okay, the motion is passed.

The postulate: Yes, it certainly is easier to spend your time better if you have more money with which to spend it, but far too many of us wind up chasing the means as opposed to the end.

Which brings us to this Q&A moment with billionaire Warren Buffett, which is worth reading:

Now, you may say, “But J.W., why is Warren Buffett, who is worth about $67 BILLION, still paying so much attention to acquiring wealth at the age of 85 while still living in a modest house in Omaha?” And my answer to that is, “Go ask your mother,” i.e., I haven’t the foggiest.

Music 101

When You Close Your Eyes

Thanks to radio — and the drug-buy scene from Boogie Nights — “Sister Christian” became Night Ranger’s biggest hit. And rightfully so. But I always loved the third single off their 1983 album “Midnight Madness” (Did the NCAA hoops term pre-date the album? I don’t think so), after SC and “You Can Still Rock in America.” This tune hit No. 14 in 1984.

Remote Patrol

ALCS Game 3: Royals at Blue Jays

FS1 8 p.m.

How will Jose Bautista celebrate his 35th birthday?

Good news for Blue Jays fans: Today is Joey Bats’s 35th birthday. Bad news: Harold Reynolds is still calling their games.