by John Walters

A Medium Happy 71st to Van the Man….

Starting Five

Bridgewater is two months shy of his 24th birthday.

Teddy: Ballgame?

Awful news for the Minnesota Vikings (and anyone who took him for their fantasy league), as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a non-contact injury at practice yesterday in which he dislocated his knee and tore an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He was dropping back to pass during a drill and appeared to hurt his leg as he planted.

You won’t be seeing the former Louisville QB this season, but the Vikes expect him to make a full recovery. So who steps in for the reigning NFC North champs? Should they try and get Christian Hackenberg from the Jets? Mark Sanchez from the Broncos? What kind of shape is Fran Tarkenton in these days? The current second-string QB is 36 year-old Shaun Hill.

2. Don Amigo

He’ll be so disappointed to learn that they don’t serve taco bowls in Mexico

Is Donald Trump really going to visit Mexico? Yes. Today. He’s going to have a private meeting with Mexican president Nacho Libre  Enrique Pena Nieto. If you’re scoring at home, the last three prominent Americans to visit our neighbor to the south have been Kenny Powers, Sean Penn and now Donald Trump.


Rob Reiner got in a good zinger on the GOP nominee on the Twitters yesterday, but as someone else tweeted, if Trump returns with a check from president Nieto to pay for the wall, that could be a game-changer.

3. Bad Week for ISIS (Good Week For Everyone Else)

Earlier this week ISIS’ spokesman (Isn’t it “spokesperson,” ISIS? Well, isn’t it?) Mohammad al-Adnani was killed, and the Russians are taking the credit for his death (let them; I wanna see ISIS try and attack Putin). Meanwhile, Pentagon officials are saying an American drone strike killed the 39 year-old Syrian, whom Medium Happy sources confirm was also in charge of ISIS’ decorating committee and its reunion committee.

Kids, kids, stop bickering. There are plenty of other ISIS’ers who are out there just waiting to be killed. Share the wealth.

4. Tebow’s Tryout

How did Tim Tebow’s baseball tryout at USC go yesterday? Not terrible, but you won’t be seeing him in the Major Leagues (any time soon). The scouting report: Tebow hit some bombs in BP, 400-plus foot shots, but against live pitching he could not pull a single ball because he has such a long swing. In the outfield he looked sub-par, as was his arm.

Someone will give him a minor-league shot, and why not? But if the messianic 29 year-old is serious about this, he’s going to need all autumn and winter to devote to this pursuit.

5. The Night Of

Box found out you can’t put things so neatly into a…box

So I didn’t say all that much about The Night Of finale yet, so let me say this: I loved what they did. This was never a show that needed to identify THE killer of Andrea Cornish; it was all about watching whether justice was prevailing in terms of the prosecution of Nasir “Naz” Khan.

The finale opens with the three alternative suspects taking the stand, and what we are left to see (as the TV jury) is that any of them may have potentially done it (especially Duane Reade), but it’s not the defense’s job to convict any of them. It’s only defense’s job to sow seeds of reasonable doubt, which it did.

The theme of the finale was redemption, and not even for Naz, who when asked directly if he killed Andrea, replied candidly, “I don’t know.” No, there was redemption here for Detective Box, a pro’s pro who as the trial went on realized that he had done a hasty and sloppy job investigating the case. Now in retirement, he feels bad about the way he left those dishes in the sink. He wants to clean up the mess.

There was also redemption for John Stone, whose efforts (including working with Chandra, whom he would eventually betray) ultimately were what got Naz off. And I absolutely love the final scene, which tells us subtly that Stone saved the cat, which translates to him believing in justice, in second chances, in hope and in life itself. He’s no longer just playing out the string. Great ending (as a middle-aged Upper West Sider named John who lives with a rescue kitty, I may not be unbiased in this assessment).

I loved the minor touches of reality in the finale, as with the entire series: the opening scene at the bar where one of Box’s colleagues suggests someone should write a cop show about a cop “who doesn’t give a shit.” Or Helen Weiss putting her sneakers back on as she exits the court room; everything about the hangdog Box; Freddy not saying goodbye, but looking out the window as Naz departs to his old life. The kitty.

Emmy nominations should be coming to Riz Ahmed (Naz), Michael K. Williams (Freddy), John Turturro (Stone), Bill Camp (Box) and especially to Jeannie Berlin (Helen Weiss), who was just fantastic.

Music 101 

Head Over Heels

By the time this song came out in 1984 off the Go Go’s third album, Talk Show, they were close to disbanding. What might have been. Here they are playing it at the Greek Theater, an outdoor amphitheater in the Hollywood hills, in 1984. The band played there again last night in what they say was their final show. Note: this song peaked at No. 11 in 1984; a year later a different tune with the same title by Tears For Fears peaked at No. 3. Also: guitarist Jane Wiedlin has called this her favorite Go Go’s song; she may have something here.

Remote Patrol

You’ve got five straight nights of football beginning tomorrow. Rest up, or hit the gym, while you are still able.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 86th to the Oracle of Omaha, who has made an average of $2 million per day every day of his life, while living in the same house the past 58 years (he bought it in 1958 for $31,500

Starting Five Three

“We Are The Music Makers, and We Are The Dreamers of Dreams…”

Rest in peace, Gene Wilder. He appeared in at least three Mel Brooks films that I can think of (The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein), while starring in arguably the best “children’s film” of all time, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, back when children’s movies weren’t saccharine or insipid, but challenged both kids and adults to appraise the story on multiple levels.

I love this scene from Willy Wonka; Wilder added the limp and somersault on his own. He wanted to add depth to his character, illustrating that he had a certain sense of mischief and also that he could not entirely be trusted.

As for Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, here are two of most genuinely funny movies ever made, and Wilder starred in both of them (the sane individual setting the table for his co-stars to get all the laughs).

So long, Waco Kid. Goodbye, Dr. Frankenstein (“That’s Franken-STEEN!”)

2. Get Up And Go Go

The greatest all-female rock band in history, The Go Go’s, play their final show tonight at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles. My story on them in Newsweek

3. Duck Dynasty Deadspin


Is it just me or is Clay Travis auditioning to be the next Bill O’Reilly/Sean Hannity for Fox?  I liked Clay well enough when we worked together at AOL Sports and I always respected his intelligence. Lately, though, every issue is “You’re a PC Bromani” (a knock on ESPN’s Bomani Jones, who on Twitter can often seem as militant in the polar opposite direction of Clay) and I’m not.

I’m not sure what Clay believes, or if he actually believes in anything outside of more hits, more clicks. Last week he wrote a piece on how White Privilege is a myth, and while I’d agree that some of the Black Lives Matter/Safe Spaces movement has gone beyond too far, it’s interesting that he never mentioned the Stanford rapist of Dylann Roof’s kid-gloves arrest. Or the homeowner in Arkansas who shot two cops recently and was taken away without being shot himself.

After the Kaepenick episode, Clay wrote a breathless, likely unedited or even second-drafted “takedown” of Kaepernick in which he challenged Kaepernick to tell him, “First, who is getting away with murder? That’s a strong accusation. Who in particular has committed murder in this country and not been charged with it? If you’re going to make this statement then you need to give us particulars that motivate your decision and your beliefs. I don’t want bland generalities, I want specifics here.”

I don’t have all day, Clay, but let’s begin with the cops who killed Eric Garner in Staten Island. And while some cases are murkier than others (Michael Brown, Freddie Gray), it’s comical to think that anyone can’t name situations of black men and women being shot and killed presumptively by cops who will never be tried for a crime.

What I find intriguing/funny is the following: 1) Clay lives in Nashville and writes for an audience that, like himself, has no interest in leaving the South or in seeing life from any other perspective than their own. They’re like a highly successful SEC program in that way:     four cupcakes at home and then and SEC schedule where once every few years we may have to travel as far north at Lexington, Ky., to get a bizarre view of the world. 2) Clay writes this article, “Colin Kaepernick Is an Idiot,” on his site, Outkick the Coverage, but that site is a financial partner of Fox. So let’s not pretend that Fox isn’t making money off that viewpoint, because it is. It’s just easier for Fox, an NFL partner, to excuse it that way.




by John Walters

A Medium Happy 78th to the original Trapper John, M.D., Elliott Gould (right)

Starting Five

Kaepernick, flanked by Gatorade coolers, sits out the Star-Spangled Banner

“If You Don’t Stand For Something…”

The beauty of the First Amendment is that it allows for someone to express wholly unpopular, even outright unpatriotic, views. Which is what San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick has done all preseason—it’s just that last Friday was the first time in three games he was in uniform, so it’s the first time anyone appeared to notice that he was seated during the national anthem.

This is Hot Take gasoline. Perhaps the bigger question is how come we play the national anthem before sporting events (and not before films or theatrical performances). It’s funny  that this little Colintroversy is taking place just a few months before the Nov. 11 release of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, a film that will have a lot to say about the conflation of the National Football League and patriotism.

2. Dak To The Future

Prescott will become the Cowboys’ first rookie starter at QB since Quincy Carter in 2001

Tony Romo’s aching back is back. Romo, who has started the last nine Dallas Cowboy season openers at QB, suffered a transverse fracture in his back after taking a hit early in the Seattle exhibition game last week. So here comes Dak Prescott, the rookie out of Mississippi State, who is the NFL’s top-rated quarterback this preseason, having thrown for the most touchdowns (5) and the most yards (454) and having not thrown a single pick (curiously, Jimmy Garoppolo of New England is the No. 2-rated QB).

Speaking of New England, is a Bledsoe-Brady situation brewing in Big D? Prescott has some decent weapons at his disposal, such as potential Rookie of the Year running back Ezekiel Elliott, and Pro Bowlers Zack Martin (G), Dez Bryant (WR) and Jason Witten (TE). He’s stepping into a great situation, and the Cowboys don’t play a 2015 playoff team that won at least 10 games until Week 5 (Dallas was 4-12 last season).

3. The Other Gang of Eight 

Big Papi is one of three Red Sox in the top five in hitting in the A.L. The mofongo can wait.

As we close in on September, EIGHT American League teams are vying for the two spots for the one-game playoff: the Red Sox (72-58), Orioles (71-59), Tigers (69-61), Royals, Astros and Mariners (68-62), and Yankees (67-62) are all within 4 1/2 games of one another.

Someone will fade, someone will choke, and someone will play .667 ball in the month of September. We just don’t know who yet. The irony, at least for my Yankees, is that they didn’t need to trade both relievers Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman—or either of them—to field the team they have at the moment.

For the heck of it, I’ll pick Boston (best hitting team in A.L.) and K.C. (defending World Series champs, hottest team in August) to advance.

4. Does Gary Johnson Have A Shot?

Gary would become the third Johnson to be president, making it the most popular surname (goodbye, Adams, Bush, Cleveland and Roosevelt) in POTUS history

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson, a triathlete who is far fitter (and younger) than Hillary Clinton OR Donald Trump, appeared on Fox News on Sunday morning sounding like a serious presidential candidate. Johnson needs to be at a 15% minimum in five major polls to be allowed to participate in the upcoming presidential debates. Wouldn’t it be great to at least see a third person on that stage?

Johnson lives in Taos, N.M., in a home he built himself

Born on New Year’s Day, 19523, the 62 year-old Johnson has completed THREE Hawaii Ironmans and has reached every one of the Seven Summits (including Everest). Worth noting: the two previous Johnsons who took office did so as vice presidents who stepped in for assassinated presidents.

5. Top Billings!

Earlier this year, when the Rams announced that they were moving from St. Louis to Los Angeles, I advocated for them to move instead to Montana and become the Billings Bighorns (I still believe it’s a great idea).

Well, Outside magazine just named Billings as the Top Place To Live in America in 2016. See?


Save The Cat!

Isn’t it ironic that the closing scene from The Night Of was a visual expression of the cardinal rule of Hollywood story-telling? Coincidence? We’ll have more on the finale tomorrow, but as a New Yorker I must ask why Raymond Halle was smart enough to not use EZ-Pass at the Queens Midtown Tunnel but too dumb to realize that if he’d taken the 59th Street Bridge, which has no toll, there’d be no video evidence of him leaving the city?

Music 101

Heart and Soul

Does anything say mid-Eighties, post-New Wave synth pop quite like this summer ’87 hit from T’Pau? The vocalist is Carol Decker. The song reached No. 4 in 1987.

Remote Patrol

The Late Show 

CBS 11:35 p.m.

Actor Riz Ahmed (Naz from The Night Of) appears. I really hope they have him drive a taxi from West 87th and this time he learns where to legally make a left turn.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 34th to John Mulaney

Starting Five

Bannon is a world-class panderer

Race, Bannon*

*The judges are Johnny Quest fans

I’ll admit, before this week I though “Alt-Right” was the lap top function to search for keywords. And when I saw the photo of the man above, Steve Bannon, I just assumed that he was the defensive coordinator for the Saints…or the Jaguars.

When Donald Trump elevated Bannon, the CEO of Breitbart News and the de facto Thomas Paine of White Supremacy, to be his campaign CEO, he lifted the veil: he’s out and out pursuing the white supremacist vote. Read this story, 10 months old but very prescient.

It’s this simple: You’re not a racist if you prefer Trump to Hillary. But if you are a racist, you prefer Trump to Hillary. Or, to paraphrase Katrina Pierson, “I’m not a racist; I just prefer white people to the inferior types of people.”

2. Crossbow-dacious

You don’t see the phrase “Triple Crossbow Murder” often, but that’s what took place in suburban Toronto earlier this week. All we know is that two men and one woman were found with fatal crossbow injuries, that the suspect, a 35 year-old man, was seriously wounded, and that none of them were Lannisters.

3. Buckeye Rookies

Last April Joey Bosa and Ezekiel Elliott were taken 3rd and 4th overall in the NFL draft respectively, because they were the two best overall players (the dudes chose before them were quarterbacks who will probably turn out to be Blake Bortles).

We’re one month into training camp and Bosa has yet to show up in San Diego (I lack the mental energy or acumen to determine who’s wrong here, but maybe both sides should compromise?) while Elliott is facing a domestic violence charge in Columbus and was seen visiting a weed store in Seattle (he didn’t buy anything and weed is legal in Washington state) before the Cowboys’ exhibition game there yesterday.

Eli Apple, Taylor Decker and Darron Lee, Ohio State’s three other first-round picks, all seem to be staying out of the news.

By the way, Bosa and Elliott are going to turn out to be excellent pros. We’ll see if the Rams and Eagles regret their choices.

4. Mason Jarring

Mason, a two-year vet, won’t be playing football any time soon, if ever again

Former Auburn running back Tre Mason rushed for 195 yards in the 2014 BCS National Championship Game. He would’ve been MVP if the Tigers could have stopped Florida State’s final drive. He was drafted in the third round by the Rams.

Now, two years later, the Rams say they haven’t heard from him since the end of the 2015 season. And Mason’s mom says he has “the mindset of a 10 year-old” from all the hits he’s taken. Hearing her describe Mason’s behavior, it almost sounds more like early onset schizophrenia, but what do I know?

Anyway, all I remember is marveling at how HARD Mason ran when he rushed the ball. Every running back likes to think he runs with anger, but Mason truly, truly did. He was a runaway train. And now here’s HBO at his team’s training camp, where he is not, doing a series titled Hard Knocks (I haven’t watched; have they mentioned Mason?)

5.  Long Time

It’s been 40 years, and one day, since Boston released its eponymous debut album in 1976. Few albums have ever pervaded the airwaves more deeply than this one did. In the mid- to late Seventies, you either heard disco or you heard a cut off this album, which created a sound using synthesizers, power chords and the inimitable voice of Brad Delp. It was MIT alum Tom Scholz who created the band and basically forged its sound.

The hits: “More Than A Feeling” (as much of a 70’s signature tune as any), “Peace of Mind,” “Foreplay/Long Time,” “Rock and Roll Band,” etc. There’s really not a single dud among the eight tracks. The album has sold more than 17 million copies, the second-best selling debut album after only Guns n’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction.

Also, the cover art. Whose idea was it to turn guitars into spaceships, just a year before Star Wars was released? Brilliant! It’s one of the most iconic album covers ever, too.

Music 101

The Way

In 1998 Fastball released this song off their debut album, All The Pain That Money Can Buy, and it spent seven weeks at No. 1. Frontman Tony Scalzo had read a story about an elderly Texas couple who’d taken off to attend a nearby festival and were later found dead, in their car in a ravine, hundreds of miles in the opposite direction in Arkansas. He chose this as their preferred narrative.

Remote Patrol

California vs Hawaii

10 p.m. ESPN

Webb, like OU’s Baker Mayfield, previously played at Texas Tech

I don’t know why Hawaii and California, representing the two states most like Australia, are opening the college football season in Sydney, but who are we to look gift kangaroos in the mouth? Keep an eye on Golden Bear QB Davis Webb, who by this time next year will be touted as “better than Jared Goff” and then all the Rams fans will have buyer’s remorse.

Note: This is not Australia’s first college football game, U.S. style. In 1987 BYU beat Colorado State in Melbourne before less than 8,000 fans.


by John Walters

Regis Philbin turns 85. That’s bonkos!

and in the interest of fair play…

Blake Lively turns 29

Starting Five

He’s not really that fat

The Sanchize*

*The judges will not accept “Dirty Sanchez,” but will consider “Filthy Sanchez”

In yesterday’s 5-0 win at Seattle, Yankee rookie catcher Gary Sanchez hit his 9th home run of the season—in his 19th Major League game. It was his 7th home run in the past eight games. Sanchez, who’s actually more highly touted for his rocket arm (the M’s tried running on him on Monday night and it went poorly for them) was later intentionally walked—twice.

Sanchez and Judge (right) are the future in The Bronx

What in the name of Kevin Maas is going on? The Yanks (65-61) are still five games back of the Orioles for the second wildcard spot, but they host the O’s this weekend at the Stadium. Win at least 2 of 3, and it’s going to be an intriguing September for a team that sleep-walked through the first four months of the season while walking the .500 tightrope.

2. (Does It Matter) Who Killed Andrea Cornish?

John Stone is guilty….of giving an Emmy-winning performance

The finale of The Night Of arrives Sunday evening on HBO, and to this point I’m not even sure if we can rule out the cat as a suspect. There’s palpable evidence of Duane Reade, the stepfather, the hearse driver, Col. Mustard and even Naz himself being the killer.

And that’s not even going after the neighbor (the man I originally suspected, in a nod to Rear Window), or Duane Reade’s buddy who spoke to the cops (though I don’t suspect him at all). And I guess after seven episodes, the way that this series has progressed, the answer that comes to my mind as to whodunnit is this: Does it really matter?

We’ve gone from wondering who killed Andrea Cornish to seeing how prison life has changed (and begun to agree with) Naz; to how an otherwise scrupulous D.A. will compromise herself to get a coroner to lie on the stand; to how the two men who are most dedicated to this case, Detective Box and John Stone, are both middle-aged loners who never had time for a life.

Maybe Mick Jagger had the best answer to who killed Andrea Cornish: “When, after all, it was you and me.” Or maybe, at least metaphorically, Andrea Cornish killed herself. Regardless, they’re all, we’re all, a little bit guilty of killing her. Does it really matter who actually stabbed her 22 times?

As first dates go, it was eventful

I won’t be surprised if The Night Of doesn’t give us satisfaction. After all, in a murder trial, it’s not the state’s or the defense’s job to find the real killer. It’s their job to prove the guilt or innocence of the person being tried. We’ve seen enough to know that the jury doesn’t know the half of it, so their decision will be less informed than ours. And we don’t know. I’m not sure The Night Of needs or wants to give us closure. I’m half hoping that it doesn’t.

3. “Hold My Gold”

Harper’s bizarre moment: caddying for Katie

Incoming Stanford freshman Katie Ledecky, a Maryland native, was asked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at last night’s Orioles-Nationals game in D.C. Oh, and bring your five gold medals (and one silver) for show-and-tell.

So she did. But then when it came time to make the pitch, Ledecky needed to ditch her bling. So she handed the medals to the best player in baseball. And he held them dutifully as she threw it to home plate (I was sorta hoping that seven other balls were thrown to other catchers but not until Katie’s pitch was almost in the catcher’s mitt). Cool moment.

4. The Odd Couple

Travis and Deitsch as you’ve never seen them before!

One of them is a manipulative, play-to-my-southern-white-male-frat-boy-constituency megalomaniac; the other is a “PC Bromani” from the Upper West Side. And now they’re playing on the same team!

When Sports Illustrated and FOX Sports announced a ““multi-year advertising and editorial agreement,” there were plenty of ramifications that begged questions: Will Stewart Mandel get a better press box seat than Andy Staples? Will the reunion of former AOL Sports editors Barry Werner and Mike Harris (two of my favorites) be synergistic? But the best is, of course, Will Clay Travis and Richard Deitsch learn to coexist?

This is perhaps the most legitimate feud Twitter pillow fight in sports media, with Deitsch once tweeting to Travis that he didn’t profile local sports radio guys (only days before Travis landed his national gig at Fox), and with Travis earlier this year “revealing” or lying that Deitsch had sought work in P.R. at a rival sports web site.

Maybe Jason McIntyre will play Jimmy Carter to their Sadat-and-Begin. We’ll see.

Still, Deitsch has done a lot of great work for with his weekly (and more often) Media column, but most of his favorite targets (Travis, Skip Bayless, Colin Cowherd, Jamie  Horowitz) all work at Fox. So now there’s a conundrum…

Maybe Donald Trump won’t be the only New Yorker to pivot this summer…

5. F.C. PC

The U.S. Women’s National Team suspends Hope Solo six months for her “cowardly” comment regarding how Sweden played in the team’s quarterfinal match at the Olympics. As Eric Trump might say, “Guys. Guys! This is ridiculous.”

But it really is. First, the statement itself is its own punishment. Solo’s sore loser comment will stay with her. Second, Solo is 35 and probably wasn’t going to be in goal for the USA at the next World Cup or Olympics, anyway. And I don’t know of any major matches that USWNT has between now and February, so it’s mostly a symbolic gesture.

Finally, Han Solo called his own crew mate a “big furry oaf” and was never suspended a day by the Rebel Alliance! The rules are so inconsistent!

Music 101


There have been bands name America, Asia and Europe, but there is only one song named after a continent really worth knowing. Toto’s monster hit rose to No. 1 on the charts in early 1983, and rightfully so. It’s sort of life-affirming, no? I like to think of it as the best Peter Gabriel song not written by Peter Gabriel. For the record, this song is not about Rosanna Arquette.

By the way, if you know of an a cappella group that hasn’t at least performed this during rehearsals, let us know. Here’s the Angel City Chorale (yes, out of Los Angeles) hitting it out of the park:

Remote Patrol

The Late Late Show

CBS 12:35 a.m.

James Corden is a likeable bloke, and soon to be on the cover of Rolling Stone, but I don’t much fancy his show. However, we all love Carpool Karaoke, the tail that wags this dog. Tonight’s guest is Britney Spears, who will attempt to sing without writhing in her seat and  gyrating her hips against the host/driver.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy birthday to Cal Ripken, Jr., who has now been alive for 56 consecutive years

Starting Five

The epicenter of the quake was near the town of Norcia

1. Earthquake in Italy

A 6.2 magnitude earth quake rocked central Italy at around 3:36 a.m. local time. There are are at least three dozen dead. The Leaning Tower of Pisa? Still standing.

2. The Human Fund

You get it, right?

Is the Clinton Foundation dirty? I don’t know (okay, yeah, to a degree). A cursory investigation by Medium Happy’s crack investigative staff (my cat and I) found that 88% of the foundation’s money goes directly toward its charitable mission (source: Charity Watch) but when you’ve taken in $2 billion, that means that $240 million that did not go to charity. Which is kind of a lot of money.

The Foundation, which Bill Clinton launched in 1997—the same year that George Costanza launched the Human Fund with the tagline, “Money For People”—when he was in office, can certainly be seen as a quid pro quo for people of influence to have an express lane to the government’s top officials, such as our former Secretary of State. P.J. O’Rourke said it best months ago: “Hillary Clinton is the second-worst thing that could happen to America.”

3. How Come We Don’t Know The Colorado Rockies (And How Come They Kinda Stink?)


You wake up this morning to see that the Colorado Rockies (60-66) have the National League’s leading hitter (DJ LeMahieu, .344) and its leader in home runs and RBI (both Nolan Arenado, 33 and 107). And yet do you EVER hear their names on SportsCenter or just in general? Then there’s rookie Trevor “Toy” Story, who was leading the NL in home runs as a rookie before suffering a season-ending injury earlier this month.

Baseball’s best Nolan since Ryan

Are the Rockies simply a “flyover team?” And is DJ LeMahieu the guy who brings his Mac laptop to parties with a killer EDM play list? Curiously enough, LeMahieu, a 6’4″ 2nd baseman who won a College World Series with LSU in 2009, was drafted by the Chicago Cubs and spent two years with them before being traded to Colorado.

We take this moment to remind you that the Colorado Rockies actually played in a World Series. I know: it sounds so strange to say, but it happened.

4. Seventh-Round Stud

Matakevich moves from Philly to Pittsburgh

Former Temple linebacker Tyler Matakevich is undersized but he isn’t under-hearted (ooh, that’s good! I could be your friendly neighborhood sports columnist!). Matakevich was the most impressive defensive player (with the possible exception o a Clemson defensive lineman or two) I saw Notre Dame face last season (the Ohio State game doesn’t count; I don’t count games that kick off earlier than noon local time, especially on New Year’s Day) but because he is barely 6 feet tall and 230 pounds, he lasted until the 7th round of the NFL Draft, 246th overall.

Matakevich had four straight 100-tackle seasons at Temple and last season was the only player to lead his team in tackles every game. Plus, you never pass on linebackers with Slavic names (everyone knows that). The Steelers wisely selected him.

Now he’s being hailed as one of the best rookies in preseason. Watch some of his tackles (especially the first one, on a special teams play) here. He’s a keeper. He’s got that “Will somebody block that $#&@ guy!?!?” aspect to his game.

5. Where Have You Gone, Wink Martindale?

As host of the Hollwyood Squares, Peter Marshall had the act down cold (and he was the dad of Kansas City Royal first baseman Pete LaCock)

Last week in Deadspin Drew Magary had a typically hilarious and insightful piece about the Golden Age of Game Show Hosts and whether they are going extinct. He explained, and rightly so, that turning a comic into a game show host (Drew Carey, Steve Harvey) does not necessarily translate into good hosting.

The best game show hosts, the men of my youth, such as Peter Marshall, Wink Martindale, Bill Cullen, Gene Rayburn and Allen Ludden, knew how to banter with the celebs while making the contestants feel welcome. They were like Roger Sterling throwing a mid-afternoon cocktail party at the offices of Sterling, Cooper, Draper & Pryce.

Music 101

Don’t Leave Me This Way

In 1977 disco balls hung from every ceiling,  and Thelma Houston‘s song was a smash. It hit No. 1 in April of that year. Houston (born Thelma Jackson; no relation to Whitney) disappeared from the charts as disco did, but…AAAAAAAAAAHHHHH, Baby!

Remote Patrol 

No Country For Old Men

IFC 8 p.m.

Call it. I remember taking my parents to see this movie on Christmas day when it came out. My dad was a tough audience, but even he liked it. This is Tommy Lee Jones’ best performance as a law man, and maybe his second-best (after Lonesome Dove) as a Texas-based character (he was a retired law man in that one). It won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for Javier Bardem. Deserved every  one of ’em.



by Katie McCollow


I’ve lately become addicted to reading Nextdoor, my neighborhood social network. My sister turned me on to it when I was lamenting Craigslist’s high-rape rate; “If only I could purchase a 4×6 area rug and not be scared I’m going to wind up in someone’s trunk,” I believe were my exact words.

“Try Nextdoor,” she said. Whaa? What is this, you say? Here is the description from Nextdoor’s homepage:

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbors and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbors to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.
I quickly signed up for my neighborhood’s site. I love it! On any given day, I can log on and see a post about a lost puppy, suggestions for how to make homemade dandelion wine or a pair of old hockey skates for sale, all on the homepage! Sure, things are subcategorized if you choose to navigate it that way, but I prefer to read it in all it’s newly-posted,  hodge-podge glory. And, everyone signs their posts and comments  with their actual names, and lives around me so if I do go missing after answering an ad for an old rug, it’ll be easier to figure out which basement I’m chained in. Win, win!
But the piece de resistance is the pure entertainment value. Users get to comment/opine on everything posted, and boy, do they.  It’s the best reading this side of a public bathroom stall. 
The following is inspired by Nextdoor, but I encourage you to read, and join the real thing.

For Sale: Yogurt Maker


I have a vintage KitchenAid yogurt maker I got as a wedding gift 37 years ago. Needs agitator; otherwise works great. 50 dollars obo.




                                                            Replies: 4


Angie replied: I have an agitator from an old food processor, I wonder if it would fit? What color is it?  Would you take 47 dollars? Pls PM me


Bob replied: I already have a yogurt maker.
       Brianna responded to Bob: ha ha ha
       Jennifer responded to Bob: I think I’m speaking for a lot of people when I say we don’t appreciate comments like that here and I no longer feel safe
      Michelle, Englebert, Patrick and 16 others like Jennifer’s comment


Fred replied: I don’t mean to shame anyone who took offense to Bob’s comment, but I think it’s important everyone know that I know Bob personally and he actually does have a state-of-the- art yogurt maker. I’ve eaten his yogurt for years, and I know several people tried it at the block party.
       Bob liked Fred’s comment


Matilda replied: Will it double as a crock-pot? If so I will take it.


Looking to Start a Sewing Club


Hi neighbors, I’d like to create an old-fashioned sewing circle this winter. I recently began mending my dish towels by hand, and now I’m hoping to embroider a few. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned and hoping to learn more from others! Snacks, wine, sewing?


                                                               Replies: 3


Patrice replied: That sounds so fun! I’m in. I’m a terrible sewer but I’m great at drinking wine!
         Allejandra, Bill, Samuel and 8 others like this
         Nathan responded to Patrice: I think you mean terrible seamstress.
         Patrice responded to Nathan: But I’m great at drinking wine! ; )


Bella replied: Learn how to get grease stains out of upholstery with this quick tip!


Jennifer replied: Um, am I the only one who thinks this sounds archaic and sexist? Women sewing dishtowels and drinking wine–way to perpetuate outdated stereotypes.  And anyway embroidery and sewing are two very different things.
              Bill, Samuel and 12 others like Jennifer’s comment
              Blythe responded to Jennifer: I have an embroidery hoop I’d be happy to trade for tickets to Blake Shelton next month
              Jess responded to Jennifer: I’m actually a man, so…
              Alicia responded to Jennifer: Jess is my ex. He may not be trying to perpetuate outdated gender stereotypes, but he is definitely trying to bang all his female neighbors.  And he’s obviously mending his dishtowels by hand because he’s too broke to pay his child support.
              Bill, Samuel, Levi, Jason and 53 others like this
              Brianna responded to Alicia: ha ha ha
              Jess replied to Alicia: Your comment is in violation of our agreement


ISO Notebooks and Pencils


Hey neighbors! With my kids just about to start school again, wondering if any of you have some extra notebooks and pencils you’re not using? Or an old lunchbox or two or possibly some canned goods. Appreciate it!




                                                         Replies: 4


Dottie replied: Seriously? Try Walmart.
            Frank, Erica, Alicia and Verdeen like this
           Gregory responded to Dottie: I think it’s offensive that you would A) discourage someone from upcycling non-used paper and canned goods and B) direct them to Walmart, a place no forward- thinking person would frequent.
            Richelle responded to Gregory: I think you’re missing the bigger issue–why is this person having more than one child?
            Deandra responded to Richelle: I can’t have children, and I’m really offended that you said that. I would love to have some kids heading back to school.
            Brad responded to Deandra: Deandra, I’m so sorry to hear that. My cousin’s best friend also can’t have children and she finds it very rewarding to read to Kindergartners. PM me.
            Tad responded to Gregory: Wait, what’s wrong with Walmart?
            Dottie responded to Tad: That’s my point, you cheap f***!
            Bethany responded to Dorothy: I don’t care for that kind of language. This is a community board, not a cruise ship.


Dan replied: I have a lot of canned goods, but mostly beans? If you’re OK with garbanzo beans PM me.
             Sheryl responded to Dan: I have a wonderful garbanzo bean salad recipe. PM me.
             Dee responded to Sheryl: I’d love that recipe too, Sheryl! But my husband is allergic to garbanzo beans. Do you think it would work with leftover baked beans? PM me.
             25 people like this
Peter replied: I have an old chum bucket that could easily be used as a lunchpail. It’s got some paint flakes stuck to it and it’s not real big, but as long as you cut your sandwich into fourths, I think it’d be just fine.
           Alicia likes this
           Jennifer responded to Peter: Chum buckets are barbaric


Beatrice replied: Tad, what school do your kids go to? I have kids, too! We should get them together sometime. I homeschool, though.


Gently Used Tube Socks For Sale


Hi all, I have about 16 pairs of tube socks that I only wore for about three years, mostly for playing field hockey and going rock climbing. I got them from a fire sale at a mortuary. Still a lot of life in them! 10 dollars a pair obo.


                                                      Replies: 0


Looking for Recommendations for a Handyman


Hey friends, I’m wondering if any of you have a name/number for a reliable handyman? My kitchen sink has been clogged for almost 8 days. I’d rather not pay anyone, though, really hoping to work it out as a trade. I make balloon animals.  Also has anyone seen my guinea pig? He went missing right before the sink clogged.  Pictures attached.


                                                     Replies: 2


Noelle replied: My son’s teacher delivers newspapers during the summers, I can see if this is something he could do
          Patrice, Allejandra, Ike and Maryjo like this


Ron replied: Have you been putting the balloons down the sink?
          Gustave responded to Ron: Ha ha, no of course not.


Shanda replied: If you don’t find your guinea pig, I have one you can have.
          Gustave replied to Shanda: I found him! He was in his cage!


Rash of Car Break-ins on 7th Avenue


Hi all, just a heads up that my brother’s dentist’s best friend heard that some vehicles were broken into along 7th Avenue over the holiday weekend. No one has seen anything. I noticed the other day that my Kenny Loggins Greatest Hits CD was missing from my car, though, and I was parked on 6th.


Dell replied: I saw Kenny Loggins in concert in 1982. Epic.
           Yolanda, Steve, Margaret and Xang like this


ISO Nanny


My wife and I are looking for a nanny for our three kids, ages 2, 5 and 8. Must hold Master’s Degree in Early Childhood development, be a certified gourmet chef and have a safe, reliable car no more than two years old, with three rows of seats. Fluent in Cantonese preferable. Live in. Hours are Sun-Saturday, 5 a.m to 10:45 pm and one “date night” sleepover per week. Our kids are allowed one half hour of screen time per 48 hours. Pay is 7 dollars an hour, with possible pay increase after 36 months. No benefits.


                                                       Replies: 1                        


Thea replied to Doug: Hi Doug, my daughter is 13 and would only be available after school three days a week- she has Irish dancing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She is Red Cross-certified, though. She obviously doesn’t drive so you would have to pick her up. She is allergic to soy.
           Noelle, Shannon and Custer like this
           Liz responded to Thea: Where does she take Irish dancing? I’m interested in that for my kids
           Thea responded to Liz: The Irish Institute in Rockville.  It’s a wonderful program–all the wigs are hand-crocheted by cloistered monks.
           Jim, Kathy, Lew and 12 others like this
           Liz replied to Thea: Do you have to be Irish to participate? We did and it turns out we’re 100% German.
           Thea replied to Liz: Oh no! But I’m sure it’s fine for the dance classes
           Jennifer replied to Thea: I’m really offended that you would say “oh no” to finding out someone was German. I’m not German, but still.
            Broderick, Emily, Lucy and Pathilde like this
            Doug responded to Thea: When would she be able to start? PM me.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 38th to the world’s most watched Uber driver, James Corden.

Starting Five

The Greatest Brit: Farah has now won both the men’s 5,000 and 10,000 in consecutive Olympics

Britain? Great!

You know who had a great Olympics  in Rio? The only nation with “Great” in its name (they’re the Tony the Tiger of nations). Sure, the USA steamrolled everyone in the medal count with more golds (46) and more medals (121) than anybody.

But—and here’s the thing—four years after hosting the Summer Games in London, Great Britain, a kingdom of humans with about 20% as many people as the USA, finished second in both golds (27) and silver medals (23), and were third overall behind the USA and China. The Brits, led by Mo Farah’s double in the men’s 5,000 and 10,000, amassed more gold medals and medals overall than than Russia, than Germany, than host nation Brazil (which has the world’s fifth-largest population). Great Britain has the world’s 21st-largest population.

Maybe there is something to this Brexit thing.

2. Mongolian Beef

After their wrestler was, in their minds, stripped of his medal, they did some stripping themselves

(Warning: The names in this story, in terms of spelling, have a degree of difficulty that only Simone Biles would dare attempt in normal settings)

Let’s do what most major news outlets on this story have not: Tell you whether or not the Mongolian coaches and their athlete were wronged or wrong. The answer is the latter.

News stories and tweets made the story all about how Mongolian head wrestling coach Tserenbaatar Tsogtbayar and assistant coach Byambarenchin Bayaraa went berzerk after their wrestler, Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran, lost to Uzbekistan’s  Ikhtiyor Navruzov (phew; the difficult part is over) after receiving a one-point penalty at the end of the bronze medal match. We heard and saw how the two coaches doffed duds, one taking off his shirt and the other going full Upper and Lower Mongolia, losing pants and shirt.

Few news services explained why. Seems that Mandakhnaran was up 7-6 in the closing seconds when he started celebrating (some old and middle-aged white guys, like me, might even refer to it as taunting), which meant that he was not engaging with his opponent. That’s a one-point penalty, which put the match at 7-7, and under the rules, the last man to earn a point, in the case of a tie, wins.

Mongolia chose not to attend the clothing ceremony. Its Olympic contingent leaves Rio with one bronze and one silver medal.

3. A Not So Tragic Tragically Hip Show

When Gord Downie, lead singer of Canadian band The Tragically Hip, announced that he had terminal brain cancer, the band did not shrink out of sight. The 52 year-0ld lead singer led the band on a short summer tour, with last Saturday night’s show in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario, being their fond farewell.

Prime minister Justin Trudeau attended. Canada basically shut down on Saturday evening, as the concert aired on CBC and there were also viewing parties at venues all over. The Tragically Hip never translated south of the border, which may have made them even  more popular in the Great White North.

An estimated 11.7  million people tuned in to watch the band’s final show. That’s about one-third of the population. Imagine 100 million Americans watching anything other than the Super Bowl, which is the only event that draws those types of numbers (%-wise) in the USA.

4. NFL vs NBC: Who’s The Boss!

A funny thing happened on the way to my great career move, Jon….

I still don’t get this. Mike Tirico departs ESPN after 25 years to head to NBC just as the Peacock announces that it is adding Thursday Night Football to its primetime lineup. So it’s assumed Tirico, the voice of Monday Night Football on ESPN, will get that gig.

But now the NFL, which apparently had veto power on whom NBC gets to put in that chair, said, “Nah, no thanks. We want Al.” So now what does the 49 year-old Queens native do, and how does 71 year-old Al Michaels (and we assume, Cris Collinsworth) feel about having his work load doubled? We kinda think Al enjoyed his relatively cush life with Tuesday through Friday free back in Bel Air.

To be fair, Thursday Night Football is only five games per season. CBS also has a 5-game TNF package and the NFL makes its No. 1 team of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms call those. The difference is that Nantz and Simms do Sunday afternoon games and are given a reduced workload on the weekends before their Thursday night games. Michaels and Collinsworth, who work the No. 1-rated show in prime time on Sunday nights, will not be given that option.

The weirdest thing is that Tirico is no neophyte or maverick. He’s not only the consummate professional, but the consummate corporate guy. He never editorializes in any fashion against the establishment, and he’s in his prime. It’s as if the NFL went out of its way to remind NBC who’s the boss (which was an ABC show, but you know…).

So now Sean McDonough has Tirico’s old MNF gig while Tirico, who co-hosted the closing ceremony with Mary Carillo* (*the best) and Ryan Seacrest last night, may not be hosting a sporting event in prime time for at least two years (Pyongyang). What’s he going to do at NBC? American Ninja Warrior? Notre Dame games?

Tirico loves/lives to work. Now he’s not going to be doing college hoops with his buddy Dan Dakich and he’s not going to be doing NFL? And no World Cup? I would not want to be his agent right now; those phone calls must be hot lava.

5.  The Max Factor

Redfield, a senior, has NFL talent, but where will he play next?

It’s officially Notre Dame football season, as Brian Kelly paid the school’s annual tax to the “If you’re gonna talk the talk” gods. Over the weekend six Notre Dame football players were arrested in two separate incidents and the most experienced (talented?) of them, two-year starter at safety Max Redfield, was dismissed.

On Friday night Redfield, linebacker Te’Von Coney, frosh wide receiver Kevin Stephenson,  DB Ashton White and sophomore running back Dexter Williams were headed south on U.S. 31 (for lack of a true north-south interstate in Indiana, you get his highway that winds through towns and where speed limit changes abound) and pulled over for speeding. Inside the car cops, with the help of a drug-sniffing dog named Cartoush, found weed and worse, an unregistered handgun. Redfield copped to the handgun.

Meanwhile, outside the Linebacker Lounge, which is literally a stone’s throw southeast of campus, DB Devin Butler got into a shoving match with a cop as he was dealing with some agitated females (was he the source of the agitation?) and was arrested for assault of an officer. He has been suspended indefinitely.

Max Redfield and Alize Jones (academics). Two starters gone for the season. That’s about the going rate in South Bend, prior to injuries.

Music 101

Take It Easy On Me

“Little River Band” is an Aboriginal phrase that translates roughly to “Styx.” Or maybe “Eagles.” This Aussie band had a string of radio-edible better-than-average hits in the late ’70s and early ’80s whose melodies still invade my mind from time to time: “Reminiscing,”   “Cool Change,” “Lady,” “Lonesome Loser,” “Help Is On Its Way” and this song. LRB never had a No. 1 hit, but all of those songs spent at least 18 weeks on the charts and all but one cracked the top 10.

Remote Patrol

Stranger Things


A boy goes missing in Hawkins, Indiana, in the early 1980s. The town is also the site of a government lab. Then a local diner owner is fatally shot. And a teenage girl disappears. What’s going on?

Take a few ingredients from X-Files, Stand By Me, The Goonies and even E.T. and Poltergeist, and you have Stranger Things, which is more than just its iconic logo. Don’t want to oversell it, but it’s good. The young actors who play Eleven and Mike are phenomenal.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 70th, playa!

Starting Five

In the semi, Canada’s De Grasse almost caught up with Bolt, and both found it funny

The World’s Greatest Athlete

It was not the best of times (Usain Bolt’s 19.78 in the 200 meter final last night), but it was not the worst of times, either. Before Bolt arrived, no man had ever won the 200 meters twice, much less twice in a row. He has now done it three times.

Before Bolt, only Carl Lewis had won the men’s 100 more than once (he did so back to back). Now Bolt has done that three times in a row, too.

If he is part of Jamaica’s third consecutive 4×100-meter gold-medal team, that would be three golds in the world’s three fastest races in three consecutive Olympics. And zero finishes lower than first place. To me, Bolt is the world’s greatest athlete.

The World’s Greatest Athlete (Part II)

It’s tough not to really like Ashton Eaton, so I won’t even try. Last night he became the first American since and only American besides Bob Mathias to win a second consecutive decathlon gold. Eaton also holds the world record in the event.

He is the son of biracial parents who split when he was two. His white mother raised him in rural Oregon, and there were probably a few awkward episodes in his childhood. But Eaton, whose Canadian wife, Brianne, won bronze in the women’s heptathlon, seems like an incredibly grounded and humble dude.

Oh, by the way, “I Am Cait” was canceled this week.

3. I Am Kate

Grace is on track to perhaps earn bronze in the 800

It’s coming up soon, and I’m completely intrigued by the women’s 800 final. Our American favorite is the lovely and demure Kate Grace, a Yale alum whose mom, Kathy Smith, was at the forefront of the aerobics boom back in the 1980s (it was the Pilates of its time).

Maybe the answer is in the last name (I’m already sorry)?

However, the two favorite for gold and silver are Caster Semenya of South Africa and Margaret Wambui of Kenya. Semenya, we know a little about: she’s the athlete who has flummoxed the IOC and IAAF with questions about her actual gender. There’s really no nice way to say it other than biologically, she does not easily fit into either gender. It’s funny, if you watch, before her races Tom Hammond is obviously reading from a pre-written script to describe her ordeal, words that were probably typed by Joe Gesue or Aaron Cohen of NBC Sports to make sure that there are no gaffes.

Wambui is listed at 20 years old

What confounds me, though, is that nothing is ever said of Wambui, whose physique and hairline make you think of that scene where Austin Powers attempts to pull off the “wig” of Michael York’s mother. It’s not Wambui is a man, it’s just that to me she appears every bit as masculine as Semenya, but they only mention Semenya’s situation.

I think Wambui will win tonight.

4. “You’re Fired!”

Maanfort will now retreat to his man-a-cave

On Friday morning Paul “Paulie Walnuts” Manafort was fired/ resigned from the Trump campaign. Donald Trump has always been a kindred spirit to late Yankee boss George Steinbrenner, and apparently both have very little patience with managers. Then again, I bet Manafort would rather have Trump upset with him than Putin. Can’t blame him.

Later, Tiffany Trump resigned from the Trump family.

5. Peak Flori-Duh

Oh, Flori-Duh. You were worried that we had become bored with your standard strip-bar shoot-up or meth-fueled gator rape, so you had to take it nuclear to grab our attention.

What happened? Your typical double murder followed by an attempted face-eating. Austin Harrouf, a 19 year-old “rising sophomore” at Florida State, was out at a popular sports bar, Duffy’s, when he became agitated by the slow service (somewhere some server is racked by guilt). He randomly stormed off, saw a couple sitting in a garage, and fatally stabbed both of them. A neighbor came over to intervene and he too was stabbed—five times—but will survive.

Cops arrived as Harrouf was hunched over the male victim, biting off chunks of his face. They tried to Taser him and used attack dogs, but they could not subdue him. #BathSalts #GTBW

Anyway, the irony of this is that a former high school football teammate of the suspected killer said that the coaches did not play him very much, despite his good size and muscular physique, because he just wasn’t aggressive enough. Also, he was supposedly wearing a “Make America Great Again” ball cap when he committed the murders. Of course.

Music 101


This bluegrass classic from Pure Prairie League, a band out of southern Ohio, wasn’t a hit when it originally appeared on their eponymous debut album in 1972. But as the band played college campuses and as soft rock and bluegrass rose in popularity, the song drew more and more requests. It finally hit the charts in 1975 and peaked at No. 27, but FM radio deejays have never fallen in and out of love with it. They’ve always loved it.


by John Walters


Star, 80

Happy birthday to film legend/sex symbol/conservationist/indie film crusader Robert Redford, who in his prime was bigger than Brad Pitt. Five essential Redford films: Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Way We Were, The Great Gatsby, All The President’s Men (okay, two more: Three Days of the Condor and Jeremiah Johnson)

2. Horton Hears A “Says Who?”

Just when you think the 2016 presidential election cannot get any more surreal….

There were three “Says who’s?” in there, if you’re counting. That’s CNN anchor Brianna Kellar talking to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.

3. Lie of Ryan

Too much fodder here; just know that you should always be suspicious of a 32 year-old man who dyes his hair white.

4. High Hurdles: Trio in Rio

Castlin, Rollins and Ali took bronze, gold and silver, respectively

A dazzling night on the track in Rio, as three American female high hurdlers swept the medals. Brianna Rollins, gold, was the first American to take gold in a track (not field) event in Rio.

5. Life In Aleppo

This is five year-old Omran Daqneesh after an air raid hit his hometown in Syria. No matter what side of the aisle you are on, you must agree that little boys and girls should not be subjected to this madness. Why do adults (adult males, let’s be honest) screw everything up?

Music 101

Lonely Boy

As backup musicians for Linda Ronstadt go, Don Henley and Glenn Frey enjoyed more overall success than Andrew Gold. But in 1977, this tune dominated the air waves, spending five months on the charts and peaking at No. 7. Plus, it has been used in both Boogie Nights and The Nice Guys (<–why did I forget to go see this?). Gold denied that the song is autobiographical even though, like the song’s main character, he was born in the summer of 1951. Here he is performing the song on The Midnight Special (even though he should’ve appeared on Solid Gold, no?) (Later era)