IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

 

“And those children that you spit on/As they try to change their world…”

If you follow me on Twitter (or if you don’t, and have a life), you know I’ve been utterly preoccupied with the events in Columbia this week. And it’s left me bewildered. I just watched a doc on Kent State a week ago. I rooted for the family in Sounder (chill out, it’s a joke…but I did). I like to think I’m not an old guy who just hates change.

That’s not for me to judge.

I’ve been bewildered at how much people think all existing rules or truths should be sacrificed as long as people don’t feel threatened or offended. I’ve been bewildered that the most trenchant voice arguing on my side of things is Jason Whitlock. I’ve been bewildered that the same black people, some of them very public, who’ve been ripping me have not a word to say about what Whitlock is writing, at least not publicly.

It feels as if this week we exchanged equality for mequality: the only thing that’s fair is that I get my way.

It feels as if there must be more to this. Money, perhaps. Did Mizzou suddenly become MORE racist once students’ health care and abortion-clinics privileges got cut? I wonder.

I’m quite comfortable with how I treat everyone, regardless of race, creed, bra size, etc. What this week seemed to say to me, with a loud voice, is that if you are white, here are the ground rules: You either agree completely with what any black person says pertaining to racism, or you are racist. There is no middle ground. Just as Ellen DeGeneres said in February of 2014: “Either ’12 Years a Slave’ wins Best Oscar, or you’re all racist.”

I’ve had plenty of discussions with black people on Twitter this week. One of my favorites just ended. After he’d failed on every logical argument and was forced to acknowledge that Chancellor Loftin’s appeasement of Jonathan Butler actually came before the Homecoming parade, he left me with this:

“FACT:You’re butt hurt cause the minority rose up and accomplished something huge.

get a hankie and cry it out. Inaction will not be tolerated any further. Anyone can be taken down. New times my friend.”

I’ve also been called a “wing nut asshole” and an “arrogant prick” by the same people who are fighting for the right not to be offended by defamatory speech. Lots of great irony this week.

I don’t know where this ends. I do know that it doesn’t end in my life time. It may never end in the history of this country.

It’s like, Yes, slavery was awful. Also, yes, most of the white people you direct your anger to come from families who immigrated to the USA after slavery ended. But I guess we still get that white privilege card.

Slavery on this continent is the product of the white man. So, too, is the democracy and republic that is the USA. Which is why, as horrible as slavery was, and nobody disputes that, there aren’t many people eager to leaver this place. Besides, we have the most evolved spectator sports.

I don’t know what else to say. There have been so many injustices that black people have had to deal with and still do. There are also some stories that are a little more nuanced than that (hello, Michael Brown).

I hope Missouri becomes a more enlightened campus. I also wonder what the body count will be on the South Side of Chicago this weekend. It’s a crazy world.

Music 101

For Your Eyes Only

Schmaltzy early ’80s tune, sure, but Sheena Easton was as lovely as any Bond girl. And, like Sean Connery (who is not 007 in this film) she is a great Scot. The song reached Top 5 in the U.S. Note: Blondie wrote a song of the same name hoping it would be selected as the theme, but no dice.

Remote Patrol

SATURDAY
No. 12 Oklahoma at No. 6 Baylor

ABC 8 p.m.

Corey Coleman leads the nation in TD receptions (20) and receiving yardage per game

The CFB rankings explode wide open if the unbeaten Bears fail to hold serve tonight in Waco. And they have Oklahoma State in Stillwater next week. That’s a tough two-fer before meeting TCU. The Sooners are the first team with a winning record Baylor has met all season. Meanwhile, use “Last Channel” to hit FOX and Oregon at No. 7 Stanford. The Ducks have won three straight.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 35th to Ryan Gosling!

and also on this date in 1929, America’s princess was born…

Starting Five

These little piggies went to rebellion

1. Feelings > Facts

Missouri student body prez Payton Head posts on Facebook that the KKK is on campus and that he is “working with” the National Guard, neither of which is true. He later sends out a post apologizing for the “misinformation,” explaining that he was reacting to rumors about the KKK being on campus (from whom? can you tell us who told you that?) but not explaining about the National Guard, because how can there be misinformation about a group you are working with when you are not exactly doing so?

Meanwhile, media reports that Melissa Click has resigned, although all she resigned from was an honorary post with the journalism school, and not from her actual gig.

Sieg heil, Melissa. Sieg heil.

Jonathan Butler sends out a list of DEMANDS — not requests — beginning with a demand that the president of Missouri’s university system apologize for his “white privilege.” Sure, as soon as Butler apologizes for his family having a net worth of more than $10 million (I’m low-balling that).

Facts no longer matter, of course, because a millennial has taken umbrage, and when that happens (and I have personal family history with this), cities must be torched and lives destroyed. This is a little about race. It’s a lot more about a generation that has been coddled and indulged and led to believe that their sh*t — whether they turn it into a poop swastika or not — doesn’t stink.

It does.

2. Down and Out in Sacramento….Again

California’s divorce rate is about to go up

I’m wondering who will be out of the NBA first — Kobe Bryant or George Karl? The Mamba has sat out the past 2 games with a bad back but I’m sure he cannot wait to rejoin his 1-7 team and improve upon that 32.0% field-goal shooting pace. I’ll be surprised if Kobe doesn’t hang it up before the new year.

Meanwhile in the state capitol, DeMarcus Cousins –six seasons, no playoff appearances — is feuding with new coach George Karl. The latter may be a little bit old school — he is a direct branch off the Dean Smith coaching tree — but do you really want to tune a guy out just nine games (2-7) into the season?

On Monday Cousins lit into his coach with a profanity-laced tirade after a loss to the Spurs, but because he used no racial slurs Karl had no right to feel bad about it, of course, and so Cousins wasn’t even suspended (Karl wanted to, but GM Vlade Divac overruled him). George Karl is about to become that other Mizzou professor, the one who resigned when he realized that it’s a crime to make children feel bad.

(I think I’m sort of letting you know how I feel about this issue, no?)

3. Infanticide > Abortion

Leave it to @PFTCommenter to ask the most existential question of the presidential race thus far: Knowing that GOP candidate Ben Carson is both pro-life but yet believes in killing Baby Hitler, he fashioned the Catchiest-22 question imaginable: “Would you abort Baby Hitler?”

It was a classic question that challenged Dr. Carson to prioritizes his values on the fly, and now we know the answer.

4. Where are the Pats?

Maybe next year, guys

Yesterday Sports Illustrated unveiled its 12 finalists for Sportsman of the Year (they’ve already made their choice, if they still go through the process the way that they used to). Not included in that dozen is the best team in the NFL, a team that is 11-0 in this calendar year including a Super Bowl victory, their fourth under  the same coach and quarterback.

Don’t you find that…curious? I mean, there’s no more popular sport in America than the National Football League (“You’re taking on a league that owns a day of the week”) and it’s not like SI hasn’t awarded teams or franchises the honor before.

I’m not even saying that the New England Patriots deserve to win (I’d give it to Serena Williams, but my guess it that they’ll give it to a four-legged equine creature); it’s just sort of funny that New England failed to crack the Top 12, no?

The complete absence of the Pats is in a way damning of the way they operate, no?

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday’s Answer: Flaming Cliffs, Mongolia

Music 101

You Only Live Twice

The only song to both open a James Bond film and end an episode (and in fact, a season) of Mad Men. That’s Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Ol’ Blue Eyes, singing this haunting 1967 title hit.

Remote Patrol

Warriors at Wolves

TNT 8 p.m. 

You know me. You heard me. Time and time…AND TIME…again I begged the Cleveland Cavs not to trade away the first pick (i.e., Andrew Wiggins) for Kevin Love before last season. And by that I mean, I tried to beg LeBron James. But he….didn’t…listen! And so now Andrew Wiggins is the NBA’s most exciting player under age 24 (yes, I know who Anthony Davis is) and his Wolves get a chance tonight at being the first team to take down the Warriors, Come Out and Play this season (9-0).

IT’S ALL HAPPENING

by John Walters

Happy 23rd birthday, Alena Shishkova!

Starting Five

Sophomore MLB Josey Jewell is Iowa’s leading tackler. The only other offer he got was from Northern Iowa.

1. Offense or Defense?

Maybe the Big 12 and Big Ten should have a round robin tournament. Last night the second CFP Rankings were released. Here’s your teams, with B1G in bold and BIG 12 IN CAPS:

1. Clemson

2. Alabama

3. Ohio State

4. Notre Dame

5. Iowa

6. BAYLOR

7. Stanford

8. OKLAHOMA STATE

9. lsu

10. Utah

11. Florida

12. OKLAHOMA

13. Michigan State

14. Michigan

15 TCU

Corey Coleman of Baylor leads the nation in TD catches (20) and receiving ypg (147) but it won’t matter unless Baylor goes 3-0 the rest of the way.

So, basically, the B1G’s top two unbeatens are both ahead of the Big 12’s top two unbeatens. Now, note that the Big 12 has four schools in the Top 7 in the nation in SCORING OFFENSE, including the Top 3: Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, the B1G has four of the Top 8 teams in the nation in Scoring Defense, including the Top 2: Michigan and Wisconsin. Ohio State is No. 6 and Iowa is No. 8. Jeff Long and the committee can say whatever they want, but clearly they appear to value stout defense above explosive offense (so do I, by the way). But that’s what is driving their rankings.

2. U Can’t Handle the Poop!

One news outlet claims that the offending image is actually a year old and may not come from the Mizzou campus

Did the Mizzou Poop Swastika actually happen? Now comes evidence that it is a hoax. People will say, “Even if it is a hoax, that doesn’t excuse racism?” No, it doesn’t excuse rape or genocide, either, but what does that have to do with the price of eggs?

And, by the way, what does a poop swastika have to do with being solely African-American? And didn’t anyone ever live in a men’s dorm? I’m pretty sure I came across more than a few Poop Peace Signs and Poop Escher Prints in college.

3. “But How Am I Supposed to Win My $$$ Back?”

DraftKings and FanDuel are gambling (and grammatically incorrect).
The New York Stock Exchange is investing.

Carry on.

4. Nice Guy Finishes First

It’s also Demi Moore’s 53rd birthday. She used to date Ashton Kutcher before he decided to shack up with a woman who looks exactly like Demi’s daughter.

Joe McKeehen, 25, who was the chip leader throughout the final rounds of the WSOP and who seems like a genuinely nice guy even if he looks a little too much like an adult version of the kid from Two and a Half Men, wins the big pot — and the coveted bracelet—at the Main Event. A cool $7.6 million, with no attitude.

On the final hand, McKeehen held an A-10 when his opponent went all in with a pair of fours. McKeehen caught a 10 on the flop and the rest was legalized gambling-in-Nevada history.

Meanwhile in California, someone bought a lottery ticket at a 7-11 in Chatsworth in early August that turned out to be a $63 million winner. The problem is, they have yet to claim their prize. If no one does so by February 4, it becomes the largest unclaimed lottery prize in history. Was this you, Markazi???

5. Where In The World?

Yesterday: Wieliczka Salt Mine, Poland

Music 101

Live and Let Die

Paul McCartney and Wings performed the title track — key change! — from the 1973 Bond film starring Roger Moore. When you’ve got a job to do/You’ve got to do it well/You’ve got to give the other fella/Helllllllllll! The tune made it all the way to No. 2 on the Billboard charts, the highest-charting Bond theme to that point.

Remote Patrol

The Longest Day 

NetFlix

There’s James Bond leading the charge

This 1962 film, which won 2 Oscars and was nominated for three others, is the perfect complement to Saving Private Ryan and a great idea for Veterans Day. It tells the story of D-Day from both the Allied and German side, and its special effects, considering the time, are outstanding (even if no one seems to bleed when they get shot). As for star power, how’s this: Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, Robert Wagner, Henry Fonda, Paul Anka, Richard Beymer, Roddy McDowall and Fabian.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, wishing the U.S. Marine Corps a happy 240th. Semper Fi!

Starting Five

Melissa Click: So rude and fascist that she’ll probably be working media hospitality for the NCAA at next spring’s Final Four

1. Missouri Loves Company

So much to say, don’t know where to begin. I’ll just leave with you some videos and the politically incorrect thought that it’s refreshing to see a U.S. college campus make national cable news without there being a body count involved.

This, from October 10…

And this, from early yesterday…

…and of course, this, from later yesterday…

Briefly (most of what I’m about to say I’ve already tweeted): There’s no excuse to use a racial slur (unless you’re writing a rap song) and racism is ugly and wrong. But it’s not illegal, because unless it turns to violence it is no more than free speech. There was no systemic racism, at least from this outsider’s perspective, at a campus that recently elected a black, gay student at its student body president.

Meanwhile, as soon as Professor Clickbait and her Mob decided that THEIR cause was more important than free speech, they forfeited any good will their cause may have engendered. In the end this was just another rabble deciding that their rights were the only ones that mattered. Respect begins by respecting the rights of your neighbor.

2. Black and White Lives Matter

This is what happens, Orca, when you demand a minimum wage of 15 baitfish per hour

At last, Sea World San Diego has opted to end its theatrical Killer Whale show…and I’m fine with this as long as they don’t start offering Orca Sushi at concession stands. Dear Professor Click: this is a righteous movement that took off after a member of the media produced a documentary (Blackfish) that fomented good people to action. None of the whales tried to physically intimidate any one. Try it sometime.

3. Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Pokers’ best hand. I wonder how many times during the Miain Event someone actually won with this hand.

Day/Night 3 of the World Series of Poker is tonight. This is it. Either Joe McKeehen, Neil Blumenfeld or Josh Beckley — all of them Yanks — will leave with all the chips and $7.6 million. Even the losers will be able to afford far more than a house of cards.

4. Michael’s Back (Stroke) (Of Genius)

Phelps has won 18 gold medals and appeared in four Olympics

I’ve only started reading Tim Layden‘s cover story on Michael Phelps in SI. First of all, Tim is a truly gifted writer so I look forward to it. Second, it’s a fantastic cover shot. Fantastic.

Third, I’m always weary of hagiographies or redemption songs about athletes/celebrities whose woes are self-induced (I’m jaundiced, sure, but I’ve become immune to the Gary Smithization of any jock), but I’ll wait until I read Tim’s story. Finally, the Meadows in Wickenburg has housed quite a few celebs and jocks of late, including Phelps and also reportedly Johnny Manziel and Tiger Woods. It may be located in Arizona, but it really is the Hotel California (You can check out any time you like/But you can never leave…)

5. Where In The World?

Monday’s Answer: Yungas Road, Bolivia (World’s Most Dangerous Road)

Music 101

Goldfinger

Day 2 of James Bond week, and here’s the brassy Shirley Bassey singing the title song from 1964. For me, this is the Bondiest tune outside of the original Bond theme. It reached No. 8 on the Billboard chart. No word of whether Bassey considered this gig an odd job.

Remote Patrol

Donny!

USA 10:30 p.m.

In the grand tradition of Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and Louis C.K., ad man/TV personality Donny Deutsch is starring in a sitcom about himself. Not bad, actually. My review in Newsweek.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

That’s Hedy!

Happy Birthday to the late Hedy Lamarr, the Rena Sofer of her age. Not only was she a Hollywood siren, but Lamarr and a neighbor received a patent for a frequency-hopping system that they developed during World War II that was basically the antecedent of Wi Fi and Bluetooth. 

Starting Five

When you think the overtime is over, but it’s not yet time

1. Crazy College Football Finishes (Cont.)

We really don’t deserve this, college football. You’re too kind. After The Punt in Ann Arbor and Son of Kick Six in Atlanta and See No Evil, Flag No Evil in Durham, now we get not one but two nutty finishes this week.

The first, in Oxford. With Ole Miss leading Arkansas 52-45 in overtime, the Mach3backs face a 4th-and-25 from the 40. The following ensues. That’s No. 84, tight end Hunter Henry, who threw the first Hail Mary Lateral I can remember seeing, and that’s running Alex Collins who brings it home.

What may be lost to history: 1) Collins fumbled at the end of his run, but a teammate recovered it, and 2) After the Soooey Pigs scored to make it 52-51, quarterback Brandon Allen appeared to be sacked on the 2-point conversion, but the Rebel defender who tackled him, Marquis Haynes, was flagged for a facemark (the right call, alas). Allen, who threw for 442 yards and six touchdowns, ran it in himself on the next play for the victory.

The second finish, though more conventional, was more cataclysmic, at least if you are a fan of Sparty. Nebraska completes a game-winning TD pass against Michigan State with :17 left even though the receiver, Brandon Reilly, clearly was out of bounds before he caught the pass inbounds and clearly was not pushed out. Even the announcers caught that Reilly was out as the play was happening. And I just don’t understand why video review could not overturn this.

Here’s what Big Ten Coordinator of Officials Bill Carollo said by way of explanation: “They can’t review whether it was a force out/contact on the play. They can only review if there was clear evidence of no contact and he (Reilly) re-established himself in the field of play. If he goes out of bounds on his own with no contact, it’s an illegal touch. Therefore the call stood.”

I’ve read that five times and still have no clue what Carollo is saying. Technically, I refer to this as ‘mumbo jumbo.’

2. Will There Be A (nother) Missouri Compromise?

Racial tension at the University of Missouri…a black grad student, Jonathan Butler, decides to go on a hunger strike until university prez Tim Wolfe resigns…black members of the football team decide to go on strike (as opposed to the Mizzou offense, which has been on strike most of the season) and coach Gary Pinkel respects their stand, calling off all football activities yesterday… other members of the Mizzou team not on board with this…I guess what I’m trying to say is take BYU minus the points next Saturday night in Kansas City, where they’ll meet (a certain irony in the whitest football team you can imagine being Mizzou’s opponent this week, no?).

Meanwhile, an unidentified white player on Mizzou’s 4-5 team told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy, “Half the team — players and coaches — are pissed (about the strike). If we were 9-0, this wouldn’t be happening.”

Tim Wolfe. Not popular with many on campus.

Eggs-actly. Racism? Bad (wow, what a bold stand by me). But I don’t know enough about the sitch to say whether Wolfe deserves the blame for the conditions on campus, or even whether they are isolated incidents in a state that’s dealt with so much racial strife in the past 13 months (incited by the Michael Brown death, where there were no angels or innocents on either side).

Black students protested during MIzzou’s recent Homecoming parade. That’s Wolfe sitting atop the back seat

Jonathan Butler went all in on with a pair of 7s, it feels like, and now we see that Wolfe has called his bluff. So how far do you want to take this hunger strike? And who’s to say whether the players who are striking are being courageous or selfish?

3. Reply to Prince Oseph 

“Sign me up!”

I believe I recall reading an article in which Bill Hader told the writer that he’d had a movie idea about responding to an email about a Nigerian prince offering “millions in currency” and that the joke was it happened to be a legitimate offer. With that as your subtext, the new iPhone ad starring Hader has an extra degree of fun.

You know what else is awesome? Only a year ago Hader was doing ads for T-Mobile and taking sh*t from Jonah Hill at a comedy roast for “leaving SNL and landing an endorsement deal with America’s 4th-largest mobile phone carrier.” Now he’s doing ads for Tim Cook. How do you like me now, Jonah?

Simple idea, a ruse that everyone on the internet is familiar with, and a wonderfully gullible lead character chomping on a monster sammich. Funnier in :30 than any sketch SNL has done this season.

4. Donald Ducks Controversy

What’s worse than SNL being offensive? SNL being boring, which is the word we got about Saturday night’s episode with Donald Trump as host. Maybe Lorne Michaels should invite Ben Carson on to “make America great again.” You wouldn’t even have to give him a script. Just let Dr. Carson start talking. Besides, Carsons on NBC late night have a pretty decent track record, no?

5. Where In The World?

Friday’s Answer: Muscat Gate Museum, Oman

Music 101

Nobody Does It Better

Moving on to another theme week at Medium Happy: “James Bond Week.” Is this the best  Bond song? Gotta be in the Top 5: Those are the trenchant vocals of Carly Simon, who ruled the early- to mid-Seventies. This 1977 tune from the film The Spy Who Loved Me, starring Roger Moore, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song.

Remote Patrol

World Series of Poker

ESPN2 8 p.m.

Cannuli does not embrace the “Let the chips fall where they may” ethos

We’ve reached the “November 9,” the final table of the Main Event, No-Limit Texas Hold ‘Em, at the WSOP. This year’s odd wrinkle? The chip leader is an unassuming, affable guy that you’d actually enjoy sitting with at a poker table. Joe McKeehen held 57% of all the chips heading into last night’s play, in which the field was slimmed from 9 to 6. Tonight they’ll get it down to a final 2 players, as long as that takes. My dark horse: A youngster from South Jersey named Thomas Cannuli who looks like a young hit man. Scary intensity, but an instinctive player.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

The Man would have turned 39 today.

Starting Five

1. Simmer Down. Simmer Down Now!

Yes, I’m old enough to remember when SNL cast members portrayed presidents of presidential candidates, from Chevy Chase’s Gerald Ford (in which he never applied makeup) to Dana Carvey’s George Bush to Darrell Hammond’s Bill Clinton to Will Ferrell’s Dubya to Fred Arnisen’s Obama.

Anyway, Donald Trump is HOSTING SNL tomorrow and this has quite a few people upset. And I don’t get it. Most people who oppose a Trump presidency, if I were to go out on a short limb, define themselves as liberals, and as such are fierce protectors of the First Amendment. And that’s really all this is: a late-night comedy show is exercising its First Amendment rights.

If you want to argue that it’s unfair that Trump (Stephen Colbert last night opined that the new film Trumbo is about the love child of Trump and Dumbo) gets 90 minutes of air time that the other candidates do not, my rejoinder is A) He’s not the musical guest, too; it’s not really 90 minutes B) It’s 2015 and we’re going to have more than a dozen freaking debates; I think all of these candidates are receiving adequate air time, C) If seeing Trump on SNL is what persuades someone to vote for him, then maybe we deserve the government we’re getting and finally, D) if you TRULY wanted to protest Trump’s appearance, the best thing to do would be to simply ignore it — and not watch.

Oh, and you and I are SURE that this just got accidentally leaked (funny, by the way; and that is the only mandate SNL serves, or should serve).

2. Brad & Carrie Rule Again


From two nights ago, but every year Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood rule as hosts of the Country Music Awards. How happy they must have made Disney CEO Bob Iger on Wednesday night, as the show aired on ABC and they were able in their monologue to slyly work in product placement for both Star Wars and The Muppets. Stick around for the wonderful dig at Blake Shelton, who took it like a champ (No Gwen? Too soon?)

3. Why Haven’t You Written a Think Piece on What the Demise of Grantland Says About Journalism Yet? 

Grantland Rice on his iPhone. Granny actually played football at Vanderbilt and also served in World War I before writing heroic ledes

When I was in high school, our school newspaper (“The Round Up”) had an editor who would use as many Led Zeppelin songs titles as headlines as he could get away with. He didn’t do it because the titles made great heds, but rather because he was simply being self-indulgent. That dude, Keith Blanchard, later went on to become the Editor-in-Chief of Maxim. You can look it up.

I don’t know what that ditty says about anything… I really enjoyed Andy Greenwald’s Game of Thrones recaps and also anything that Mark Titus had to say about college hoops — he actually channeled the early Simmons’ combo of passion for a sport with a scoundrel’s sense of humor quite well. I did not read it much beyond that. So I’ll miss some of Grantland; I missed My So-Called Life, too, but it didn’t garner ratings.

As for Clay Travis’s advice, here’s what I’d say: Do NOT go into writing to make money. Go into writing because you want to express yourself and because you have that itch. If you’re trying to become wealthy or worse, famous, you’ll probably either wind up compromising your values or will have revealed yourself to have none at all. And if you had no values, why didn’t you just become a hedge-fund manager in the first place? You’d have dressed and eaten better earlier, you know.

Meanwhile, if you follow your heart, you may have a long, slow trudge to wealth and success, but eventually you’ll be able to sue your employer for age discrimination. So there’s that….

4. RIP, “Ace Cool”

What is about Cookes and the Pacific? (I know, the other one had no “e”)

He was 59. Alec “Ace Cool” Cooke was known as a lone wolf among the Big Wave surfers, but he had lived in Hawaii since age 6, the scion of one of Hawaii’s five established sugar plantation families.

Last week he paddled out into Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore to catch a set at twilight, and he has not been seen since. His board was recovered, though, minus the indentation of a shark bite. It’s sort of a legendary way to go if you’re a surfer. I mean, that’s how Bodhi went.

5. Where In The World?

Thursday: Vasyugan, the world’s largest swamp, which is located in….you guessed it….Russia

Music 101

No Day But Today

“There’s only us/There’s only this/Forget regret/Or life is yours to miss…” 

There are better-known closers to end “Show Tunes Week” with, but first of all, we’ll do it again (do not despair), and second, I was lucky enough to see the original cast (almost all of whom are here in this film version) on Broadway, a group that included Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin, Anthony Rapp (yes, he was in Dazed and Confused, too), Adam Pascal and, of course, Adele Dazeem. I still get goose bumps listening to this.

It helps if you remember/know that the show’s creator, Jonathan Larson, died unexpectedly the night before the show’s off-Broadway premiere, which really hammered home that “Life is precious” theme he was going for.

Remote Patrol

SATURDAY

No. 16 Florida State at No. 1 Clemson

ABC 3:30 p.m.

No. 3 LSU at No. 4 Alabama

CBS 8 p.m.

There are people out there who bitch and moan about Verne and Gary, and I simply don’t understand those humans…at…all. The No. 1 CBS crew don’t get every last fact right, but they’re having F-U-N. And aren’t sports supposed to be fun (or did we all lose sight of that fact years ago)? Two fantastic games (with Notre Dame-Pitt as a noon brunch) with legit Heisman talents in Dalvin Cook and Leonard Fournette. Putdown of Clemson I saw from an FSU fan this week: “Clemson’s ‘tradition’s are getting in a bus, touching a rock, and running down a hill. I went to pre-K, too.”

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Bryan Adams turns 56…

…while Ryan Adams turns 41. That is just TOO strange (Ryan’s parents had no idea who Bryan was when they named their baby boy).

Starting Five

Big Red never coached, but Luke is now 5-0 while sitting in for Steve Kerr

1. “Luke, I Am Your Father”

The Golden State Warriors trailed by 10 midway through the fourth quarter last night in a battle of unbeatens, but of course they won by six, 112-106. I was impressed by interim coach Luke Walton (now 5-0), who during the fourth quarter timeout just reminded his Warriors players to “have fun, this is what it’s all about.”

If you stayed up late to watch, I think it was Mike Breen or Jeff Van Gundy who shared the story of how when Walton was a lad, his dad, the undeniably great Bill Walton, would scrawl aphorisms from John Wooden on his lunch bag (“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”). How great is that?

Steph had a game-high 31.

And yes, we noticed that Toronto improved to 5-0 with a victory over OKC.

2. Sleeve Me Alone

LeBron James: These sleeves are the pits

I had been waiting for some NBA player to do this. Last night the best* player in the NBA tore his sleeves mid-game because they were hampering his shooting form. Duh. Remember when the NBA issued sleeved jerseys for all five Christmas Day games last year and you were like, what’s next, herringbone sweaters? The shoulders need a little free range when you’re shooting, Commish Silver. Black sleeves, green sleeves, it don’t matter: It’s the worst sports fashion idea since Constanza’s all-cotton uniforms.

* We write what we must to keep one of our most loyal readers happy.

3. Spectre-tacular


The new James Bond film Spectre opened in the U.K. last weekend and earned $80 million, which is a record for the British Isles. Last night on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, actor Daniel Craig explained just how his character happens to obtain those cars that he seems to run through so often.

4.FANG Bites

We didn’t forget your birthday, Famke Janssen. Happy 51st to a lovely Dutch treat.

FANG is an acronym, coined by CNBC’s Jim Cramer, for the four mega-market cap tech stocks (excluding the mega-mega one, Apple): Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google.

We’d all do well to pay attention to (and buy) them. While you were off trying to win $300 on FanDuel or DraftKings, here’s where these stocks were last November 10th and here’s what their price was at yesterday’s close:

2014                            2015                         % Up

 Facebook (FB)                       $75                             $104                          38.7%

Amazon (AMZN)                    $300                         $641                          113%

NetFlix (NFLX)                      $55                            $114                            107%

Google (GOOG)                      $540                         $728                           34.8%

That’s not bad. Ah, yes, but should you still buy them or do we return to Rule No. 1 (“Gravity always wins”)? I happen to think there’s still a lot of fuel in those rockets, myself. And all four of those companies are built on the idea of “serial monopoly,” or only getting stronger as they devour more market share.

5. Where In The World?

Hint: The world’s largest swamp is not located where you might expect (No Googling!…Okay, go ahead)

Yesterday’s Answer: Mount Fuji, Japan

Music 101

You’re The Top

If you like clever word play (hello!) and a plethora of topical references to the Jazz Age, you’ll never find a more satisfying tune than this Cole Porter gem from the breezy 1934 musical Anything Goes. If you ever see it or have seen it, you’ll recognize how James Cameron stole liberally from its love triangle-on-an-ocean liner plot for Titanic. 

Remote Patrol

Baylor at Kansas State

FS1 7:30 p.m.

We have to work on this form, Jarrett

Seth Russell was lost for the season on October 24 with a fractured cervical vertebra, so what did Baylor and coach Art Briles do? They went to Jarrett. It falls upon true freshman  Jarrett Stidham to lead the No. 6 Bears. Tonight may not be too challenging, but the Waco gang has three Top 15 teams to follow after tonight. Psst: Stidham can play; Russell may be out of a gig.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 32nd to Price Is Right model and former LSU track star Rachel Reynolds

Starting Five

More than 800,000 Royals fans were estimated to have shown up.

1. Royals Flush With Fans

At Union Station yesterday, a throng of Royals fans appeared on a gorgeous afternoon to salute their World Series champions and, judging by the size of the crowd, await the white puffs of smoke heralding the election of a new pope.

Kansas City proper has about 467,000 humans and it is estimated that 800,000 showed up to laud the franchise’s first World Series champions in 30 years (imagine if the Cubs ever win).

Related: “Around The Horn” host Tony Reali noted on Monday’s program that his surname, in Italian, translates to “Royals.”

2. Daily HarrumphLove Is All Around

Few Favorited this development on social media

Twitter replaced its “Favorite” tab with a “Heart” Like yesterday in a maneuver to be more Facebooky…now if only there were someplace on social media for humans to react to this instantly and viscerally, expressing to all of the world how they feel about it.

Me, I had fun renaming films: “I Favorite Huckabees” and “My Heart Year,” for beginners.

3. Tiger, Tiger (and Tiger), Burning Bright

To this point, Notre Dame at Clemson may have been the most impactful game of the season in the rankings…

It’s Death Valley Days in college football, as the initial College Football Playoff rankings have the Clemson Tigers and LSU Tigers 1 and 2. The Memphis Tigers, at 13, are the top Group of 5 school — and have a chance to improve their resume against an undefeated Houston team on November 14, followed by one-loss Temple the following week (not that Memphis and Paxton Lynch will advance to the Football Four — Who are we kidding? — but it could be an interesting run).

…while Stanford’s 11 a.m. start and 16-6 loss in Evanston could be the biggest outlier and wind up costing the Pac-12 a berth.

What I like about this year’s rankings? With the exceptions of Memphis and possibly Florida, every team in the Top 20 will play at least one other team in the Top 20, and mostly in the Top 10, going forward. This will mostly sort itself out.

Easiest path going forward: No, Clemson, I have not forgotten that you already took down No. 5 Notre Dame, but your only tough remaining game is at home this Saturday versus No. 16 Florida State.

Easiest picks to criticize: Ohio State at No. 3 and Alabama at No. 4, based on resumes. Based on eye test, I have no problem with it.

Michigan State basically stole a victory from the Victors, which sets up an awesome final two weekends in the B1G

Biggest error by Selection Committee: Using maths to explain their rankings. As Dan Wolken tweeted yesterday, their stock response should simply be, “We think they’re better.” I mean, why do you put together 12 experts in a room, after all? Any Nate Silver wannabe could crunch numbers and give you a Top 25 the maths way.

How it breaks down per conference:

ACC: Best bet is for Stanford Clemson to win out.

Big Ten: No conference is in better shape, with three current unbeatens. The easiest way to muck this up is if the Fighting Harbaughs upset Ohio State on November 28.

Big 12: Four unbeatens, none of whom have played one another yet, all of whom will. If this turns into the melee from Anchorman, we’ve got trouble (Bob Bowlsby: “That escalated quickly”) . If anyone runs the gauntlet unbeaten, they’re in.

“Oklahoma State used a trident…”

Pac-12: We’ve got trouble. One-loss teams Stanford or Utah need to run the table, and even then it’s not a sure thing.

SEC: Calamity awaits if Alabama beats LSU (and the Iron Bowl is never a gimme, especially since it’s at Jordan-Hare this year). Easiest in is if LSU wins out. If Alabama wins Saturday, it would appreciate LSU beating Ole Miss the following week.

Notre Dame: Win out and you’ve got an outstanding resume and it may come down to whether any Big 12 teams are undefeated. You’re in over a one-loss Big 12 team. As for a one-loss Clemson team, would SelCom place higher value on head-to-head or strength of schedule? We’ll see.

Finally, one guarantee: One of these top ten ranked teams will lose against someone they shouldn’t lose to in November. Wackiness awaits.

4. How Can We Miss You if You Never Go Away?

He couldn’t stay away. Shocker.

How long ago was that poignant Jon Stewart retirement party? Remember the one where Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band played him off? When was it, August?

(By the way, the Navesink River is officially THE place to be. You’ve got Bon Jovi and Stewart on one side of it, and Bruce on the other; “In my hometown, in myyyy  hoooome town…”)

Anyway, less than three full months later, Stewart has signed a four-year development deal with HBO (“It’s not TV, it’s where the smart, cool bros go”). Now that Stewart has taken the bait, how does HBO not inveigle him to dedicate himself to covering, at least in some form, the most fascinating presidential race of this millennium (if not our life times)? As bees in honey drown…

5. Good. Band. Meeting.

The best pre-game warmup in sport

A leftover from the weekend, but New Zealand, a nation of approximately 4 million people, won its second consecutive Rugby World Cup by defeating arch-nemesis Australia, 34-17, in London. Makes sense. The All Blacks became the first nation to win the quadrennial event three times and the first to repeat.

Related: I miss Flight of the Conchords and particularly, the band meetings with Murray (“Brit?” “Here.” “Jermaine?” “Present.”)

Music 101 

Go Go Joseph

“Show Tunes Week” continues: In 1970 two fledgling playwrights by the names of Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Tim Rice (lyrics) coopted the Old Testament story of an abandoned brother and turned it into a Broadway musical smash titled Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (as a grade schooler in Red Bank, I watched the Red Bank Catholic H.S. drama department put on the show seven years later and I can’t imagine it was done any better on Broadway.) This here’s the show stopper, as Joseph (here, Donny Osmond), interpreter of dreams, gets his mojo back while in prison. The Narrator, played here by Maria Friedman from the 1999 straight-to-video movie, is pretty terrific.

Remote Patrol

49th Country Music Awards

ABC 8 p.m.

Not. Happening. Tonight.

The only sure thing is that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert will not be seated next to one another.

Clippers at Warriors

ESPN 10:30 p.m.

If I ran Oracle Arena, I’d play this clip before every tip off. The last two unbeaten teams in the Western Conference (both 4-0) meet in Oakland tonight.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 58th birthday to Dolph Lundgren! “You will lose!”

Starting Five

“My dad played in the NBA!”… “Jinx!”… “Jinx again!”

1. Stephen Up

I’m sorry, but Steph Curry is about to has become my male Taylor Swift. The Warriors aboded the Grizzlies by 50 last night and in doing so set a record for largest margin of victory after four games of an NBA season (combined, that is): 100 points.

Curry had 30 points, which drops his scoring average to 37.0 ppg.

Can we ask, How good a coach is Luke Walton, by the way? 4-0 in his first four NBA games with a margin-of-victory record.

Also, may we ask, Isn’t it about time that Curry earned a righteous nickname? That was the wonderful thing about the Seventies: almost everyone in sports had a nickname.

Finally, here’s Steph and Mrs. Steph lip-synching doing a Dubsmash of a song from Frozen. Adorable. Also, the kid even has acting skills.

2. Grimes & Misdemeanors (a.k.a., The Daily Harrumph)

This is what makes Brian Van Gorder such an excellent underling: he knows when not to pay attention.

Notre Dame football coach Brian Kelly does his weekly press conference at noon today and he is going to be asked about the above. Hopefully, he’ll have a better answer than he did Sunday. 

There are a few points worth making: 1) It is never a good look to put your hands on a staffer and push him/grab him. Never. Understood. 2) Don’t compare this situation to your office, unless you have co-workers who wear helmets. Violent sports such as football and hockey come with a little more testosterone attached. 3) What if David Grimes, a former Notre Dame wide receiver, had been a recidivist offender in terms of chirping at the refs? What if he had been warned by coaches, even by the referee, not to do this again? At this moment the Irish had just received a 15-yard penalty for tripping (on center Nick Martin, who was penalized thrice in the game) and I doubt Kelly was going to be happy about being penalized 30 yards.

I’m sure Kelly knows that he needs to control his temper better. That’s a terrible look for him. And today he will come out, sharply dressed, and field questions with his usual calm and composure. Probably best for him to say, “No matter the circumstance, I need to handle myself better in a moment like that” and if people ask if he has apologized to Grimes, he can say, “We’ve discussed it.”

3. Layers of Wrong

Corn Elder (far right for Miami), who scored the game-winning TD for the Canes, was named ACC Special Teams Player of the Week, while I named the ACC “Mixed Signal Sender of the Week.” And yes that’s a block in the back.

I still cannot shake Miami-Duke, for a few reasons:

1. I’m hearing like 3% in terms of reaction of what a great play Miami made, penalties and mistakes aside. Sorry, but one week after losing 58-0 at home and firing your coach, that was pretty incredible. Duke was 6-1, after all.

2. Why are so many people asking how come the outcome of the game cannot be overturned (good luck retrieving your money from your bookie) as opposed to asking, How come a video replay official cannot see what so many of us saw? What is the reason for that systemic breakdown?

3. The outcomes of games, no matter how incompetently officiated (Don Denkinger, Bush Push, 5th Down, etc.) should never be posthumously overturned. Never. I don’t want to have to wake up the next morning as a fan to find out if my team still won after I watched them win last night.

Video Replay: What could possibly go wrong?

4. Remember when video replay was going to “get it right?” Yes, and wasn’t Titanic unsinkable? Does anyone really believe that by allowing someone in a league office to overturn the outcome of a game you’re going to eliminate errors?

Oh, yeah, that. (Is this the first time Titanic has ever been used as a metaphor?)

5. Meanwhile, what if it had been Miami-Clemson? And what if ACC officials, knowing their best shot to land a team in the CFB playoff was the Tigers, overturned the loss? Now you’ve got another team far outside the ACC whose CFB Playoff fate may be affected by a decision a few self-interested execs made in a board room. That’s not what sport should be about.

6. Not the main issue here, but Miami beat Duke with an interim coach and a backup QB. Also, and this is what amuses me to no end, let’s just say the only thing wrong with the final play was whether his knee was down. And so I ask you, Is Duke’s final TD any more legit, i.e., Did he cross the plane?, than Miami’s? (at 0:54)

And you say, “Well, sure it was, they confirmed it on review.” Oh, so that play is legit because video replay confirmed it but Miami’s is not even though they confirmed it on video replay? “Yeah, but I can see that his knee was down,” you reply. And see the essential paradox of that? It’s not about video replay being the final verdict. It’s about it confirming what you think.

4. Troll Job

Remember Amazon, the company whose newfangled style of retail threatened to put so many brick-and-mortar stores, particularly bookstores, out of business? Well, now Amazon is opening a physical book store, just like the type you used to visit before you could order books on-line from Amazon or read them via Kindle, in Seattle. That is some massive trolling, Jeff Bezos.

Waiting for Ford to come out with a 2016 “Horse and Buggy F-10.”

Maybe Amazon just wants to “re-Kindle” our love of visiting bookstores and hanging out.

5. Where In The World?

Hint: Bill Murray once golfed in its shadow

Monday’s Answer: Munich Residenz

Music 101 

Tomorrow

Remember, it’s “Show Tunes Week” at Medium Happy. It hasn’t happened in quite some time, but Broadway showstoppers used to occasionally climb onto the Billboard Top 40 charts (“Memories” from Cats, for example) and inundate your AM radio. When I was a lad in 1977, a cute tween named Andrea McCardle became a household name for singing this hit from Annie.

Remote Patrol

College Football Playoff

ESPN 7 p.m.

Don not forget Fournette

Gentlemen, start your anger. Where’s TCU? What does Oklahoma State have to do to garner some respect? And whither undefeated Toledo, who will host Northern Illinois on ESPN2 at 8 p.m.? Not to worry. The field will soon sort itself out as just this weekend LSU visits Bama, Florida State takes a trip to Clemson, and TCU travels to Oklahoma State. That’s six teams ranked in the Top 17 all meeting one another.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

…and to the 11th president of the USA, James K. Polk

Happy Birthdays to the 29th president of the USA, Warren G. Harding….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting Five

The Jeurys out on whether Collins should have allowed Familia start the ninth.

1. Harvey Danger

It went from Dark Knight to dark knight rather quickly in Game 5 of the World Series. Met manager Terry Collins tells ace Matt Harvey that he’s taking him out of the game as the Mets are nursing a 2-0 lead after eight innings. Harvey: “No way.”

Okay. Collins is a nice guy, he acquiesces. Harvey allows a leadoff walk off a 3-2 pitch to “He don’t lie, he don’t lie, he don’t lie” Lo Cain, and you saw what happened after that. I was hoping that Harvey would get at least one strikeout in the 9th so we could say we saw both a marathon and a 10-K effort in New York in the same day, but instead we had to settle for a pair of New York City marathons.

The Met lose 7-2 in 12 innings, which means that in three of their four losses, they led in the eighth inning or later. The Royals win their first World Series in 30 years.

2. Suspensions of Disbelief

An eight-lateral kickoff return by Miami gives them the win over Duke. Penalties/things that the refs missed:

A. Probable runner down at :26, B. Clip at :38, C. Crack back block above the shoulder pads at :42

Did the refs miss these? Yes. Was nine minutes a little too long to decide whether or not the man’s knee was down? Certainly. Should a ref in the replay booth be given the onus of basically deciding who wins a game, which in this case he was? Your decision.

Here’s a similar play from Trinity University in Texas, 2007:

The refs blew it, certainly. To me, the clip was the most egregious miss. Still, a two-game suspension is rather excessive. Were any referees suspended during the Bush Push, which was also a climactic play that decided a game? (No.). And I’m not sure if any refs were suspended after the 5th Down game in 1990, either.

3. CFB’s Wild Weekend

“And that’s not all!” As wild as the Miami-Duke finish was — and it was — what was supposed to be a Somnolent Saturday in college football was actually quite thrilling. Nothing quite as good as that “Go  Canes!” return in the first game of the post-Golden era but here’s a few things you may have missed:

Harvard, where they do go to “play school,” ties Ohio State for the nation’s longest winning streak at 21 games. But it wasn’t easy as the Crimson trailed 13-0 at Dartmouth on Friday night midway through the fourth quarter before coming back to win, 14-13. The Crimson scored the game-winner with just :38 remaining. I KNEW I should’ve driven up to Hanover. That’s on me. My bad.

 

 

Michigan holds off Minnesota when Golden Gopher receiver Drew Wolitarsky catches a pass less than a yard shy of the game-winning TD, then the GGs fail to score from that close on the next two plays (a field goal from point-blank range would have sent it to overtime). Wolverines win, 29-26, and collect the Little Brown Jug.

Meanwhile out on the Palouse, Stanford was in trouble all night long versus the Cougars — someone wasn’t too happy about being passed over by College GameDay — but Wazzu’s Erik Powell missed a 43-yard game-winning field goal after already having made 5 ( from 46, 23, 47, 28 and 28 yards) in the wind and rain. Tough to blame him, though. Gotta be better in the red zone, Coach Leach. Stanford survives, 30-28.

When you set a school record for field goals in a game but miss the game-winner against at Top 10 foe: From GOAT to goat.

Finally, how about this play by freshman defensive back Terrill Hanks of New Mexico State, against Idaho in overtime, that snapped the nation’s longest losing streak at 17 games? Hanks actually catches the ball with his ankles. Aggies win, 55-48.

4. Steph Child

He’s even better this year, but he can’t play the Pelicans every night

The NBA plays an 82-game season, so I’m wondering why the Golden State Warriors, who have the league’s MVP, Stephen Curry, and happen to be defending champions, played a team with a man who has been heralded as a future MVP, Anthony Davis, twice before November 1? They’ll only play three times all season, which means you’ll have to wait 133 days before the Warriors and Pelicans next square off, for the last time this year.

Curry will miss them. He scored 40 in their first game last Wednesday night, and 53 on Saturday night.

5. Where In The World?


Friday’s Answer: Avenue of the Baobabs, Madagascar

Music 101

Ol’ Man River

It’s “Show Tunes Week” at MH, and so we’ll begin with this showstopper from Show Boat. That’s William Warfield reprising the classic in this 1951 movie version; it was originally put on screen in 1936 with Paul Robeson singing — Robeson, you may recall, was an All-American football end in 1918 and 1919, which meant he was light years ahead of the integration movement in collegiate sports.

Here’s the Paul Robeson version:

Remote Patrol

NBA Coast to Coast

ESPN 2 8 p.m.

 

I have to give a little love to this show, because I’m glad someone at ESPN understands Short Attention Span Theater. It’s a long NBA season, and most of us would prefer to get a look-in on all the games on a Monday night in November as opposed to suffering through yet another 2 hours of LeBron (I know, I know, Susie B.: he’s magnificent; I’d just like a little variety). Tonight you’ll get look-ins on the Thunder and Rockets, plus LeBron, Steph Curry and Spurs are all in action. SAS is actually in NYC  at MSG (too early) to atone for the most inconceivable loss of the NBA season last winter (it may have cost SAS home-court, if I remember correctly).

Above, that’s Russell Westbrook with the fierce put-back slam. Curry may be the NBA’s MVP, but Russ is the league’s FON: Force Of Nature.