by John Walters
To Sirs With Love
We’re devoting an entire item to Brit birthday boys –and knights — Sir Anthony Hopkins (78) and Sir Ben Kingsley. Besides sharing today as a birthday, and both being septuagenarians, and both being knights, and both also being Oscar winners as Best Actor, they’ve also done something astonishing: been just as brilliant playing horrific but charming villains as well as princes of peace.
In 1992 Hopkins won an Academy Award, of course, for portraying Dr. Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs. But he also played St. Paul in a TV miniseries for CBS in 1981, Peter and Paul (or, as I liked to call it, Poor Man, Poor Man). Kingsley won an Oscar for playing Gandhi (a lawyer by trade) in the eponymous 1982 film, but he steals every scene he is in playing the sadistic and hostile Don Logan in the 2001 movie, Sexy Beast.
Both Silence of the Lambs and Gandhi also won Best Picture at the Oscars.
2. It’s Always Sully In Philadelphia
One day after the Eagles fire coach Chip Kelly, erstwhile Philly favorite son Bill Cosby is arraigned on charges of aggravated indecent assault. For all the dozens of women who have accused Dr. Huxtable of practicing bad medicine, this marks, I believe, his first arrest. As for the case in question, the statute of limitations was coming up on it next month, at the 12-year mark.
Stay tuned, I guess. Cosby made bail, but he surrendered his passport.
3. “What A Time To Be Alive!”
4. Jimbo Divorces Bimbo?*
*I’m already sorry about that hed, but there’s nothing to be done about it now.
One day before Florida State meets Houston in the Peach Bowl, Seminole coach Jimbo Fisher’s divorce from his wife Candi is finalized. Proceedings moved ahead quickly once Jimbo’s attorneys made it clear that they were planning to depose Taylor Jacobs, a former University of Florida and NFL wideout.
Jacobs is now a personal trainer living in Tallahassee. In fact, he was Candi Fisher’s personal trainer. If you are good at math, I’ll let you do the rest of the addition.
And that’s not all!
If the rumored Jimbo & Candi & Taylor love triangle ain’t enough for you, here are 47 more Flori-Duh stories from 2015, compiled by the good folks at Esquire. My favorites are April 13, May 25, July 1 and November 1 and 9, but they’re all good.
5. Reggis Ball So Hard
Auburn defeated Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl, 31-10, last night, but Memphis Tiger 5th-year senior Reggis Ball had two interceptions. After the game Ball approached the Auburn sideline and attempted to snatch two Auburn Tiger footballs as keepsakes –the staff had been warned; apparently he’s done this before.
There was a scuffle. Ball, the younger brother of former Georgia Tech QB Reggie Ball, got away with one football. Then he signed it and posted a photo of it on Instagram. Memphis dismissed Ball from the team immediately, even though he’s a fifth-year senior so there weren’t all that many team activities remaining for him.
Update: “Sources” tell us the ball Reggis pilfered was a kicking team ball, not an actual game ball. Oh.
“Guess I got what I deserved…”
The closing song for the series Breaking Bad, by Badfinger, was written more than 30 years earlier, but it was spot-on perfect for this moment. Walter White finds a scant measure of redemption on his 52nd birthday, setting up a trust fund for his family, poisoning Lydia, giving Skyler the GPS coordinates for Hank’s grave, and liberating Jesse Pinkman. He meets death alone, inside a functioning meth lab, with the hint of a smile on his face.
And yes, that is Kenny Rogers introducing the British band. The song reached No. 14 on the Billboard charts in 1972. You may know them better for their Beatles-esque tune “Day After Day.” Lead singer Pete Ham would hang himself three years later.
College Football Playoff
ESPN & ESPN 2 4 p.m.
Will the most dramatic dropped ball be the one in Times Square (this would be a more intriguing question if Brent Musburger were calling one of the games)? Clemson and Oklahoma at 4 p.m. from Miami Gardens, followed by Michigan State and Alabama at 8 p.m. from Arlington. By the way, Brent and Jesse Palmer are calling the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day. That’ll be fun.