by John Walters

A Medium Happy 85th to everyone's favorite North Dakotan, Angie Dickinson

A Medium Happy 85th to everyone’s favorite North Dakotan, Angie Dickinson

Starting Five

Wild Cards

St. Louis won the Missouri Lottery last night. Its game-winning hit was a double that smacked off the lottery sign in left field, which should have been ruled a ground-rule double, thus preventing the winning run (the baserunner was between second an third) from scoring The umps missed it.

So who’s going to advance to what my old friend Matt Eagan dubbed, a full decade before MLB created it, “The Death Game?” In the A.L. it’s hard to go against Toronto and Baltimore, both 87-72, but there is a potential hot mess looming. The Blue Jays visit Fenway, where Boston will be resting its top guns, while the Orioles visit the Yankees, who will give them a fight.

Miguel Cabrera (36 HR, 105 RBI) has been cleared for takeoff

Miguel Cabrera (36 HR, 105 RBI) has been cleared for takeoff

Detroit (85-73)visits last-place N.L. club Atlanta, but the Braves have actually won 9 of 10. Keep in mind: Detroit’s game with Cleveland yesterday was rained out. If the Tigers are within half a game of either Baltimore or Toronto on Monday morning, they’ll play the Indians at Comerica on Monday. If they win, they’ll play a playoff to get to the playoff on Tuesday—I think. If they win that, there’s the A.L. wildcard game on Wednesday. If they win that, they’ll most likely travel to Texas to play the Rangers on Thursday.

So, from Sunday through Thursday, the Tigers could be looking at games in Atlanta, Detroit, Baltimore, Toronto (or vice-versa on these two) and then Arlington.

In the N.L., it’s simpler, but it’s still anyone’s call as three teams are within two games of one another. The Mets visit Philly, the Cards host Pittsburgh, and the Giants host an already-clinched Los Angeles. Color me as pulling for the Mets and Giants, both of whom are ahead of the Cards.

2.  USA Today Goes Never Trump

More than a few of the men pictured here were in the midst of their last day on earth. One of their peers wrote a pretty insightful piece on the GOP candidate.

More than a few of the men pictured here were in the midst of their last day on earth. One of their peers wrote a pretty insightful piece on the GOP candidate.

The “Nation’s Newspaper,” which has never endorsed a presidential candidate since it began operations in the early 1980s, posted an editorial early this morning in which it disendorsed (Is that a word?) Donald Trump.

“This year, by unanimous consensus of the Editorial Board, one of the candidates…is unfit for the presidency,” the editorial states. Among other things, the articles writes in boldface type that Trump “traffics in prejudice” and that “he is a serial liar.”

Meanwhile, I’d advise reading this essay by The New Yorker’s eminence grace, 96 year-old baseball writer AND World War II veteran Roger Angell, who remarks that Trump’s incident with the Purple Heart back in August was a defining moment. I’ve always thought so, too.

Also meanwhile, Megyn Kelly has gone TOTALLY off the FOX reservation. Here she is scolding Kellyanne Conway last night. There’s a moment early when Kelly says, “Kellyanne, c’mon,” which is how white folks says, “Ni**er, please.” I mean, this is on FOX.   In prime time.

And here’s Howard Stern on Trump and the Iraq War. This should be self-evident to all by now, but just in case someone out there isn’t paying attention: The point isn’t whether or not Trump supported the Iraq War (a lot of good people were duped by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld), it’s that there’s documented evidence that he did, that there is no documented evidence that he did not before the war began, and yet, faced with the audio evidence, he still will obfuscate the truth.

So look at it this way: If this is how brazenly Trump lies when the truth is evident to all, imagine how much the truth matters to him when it is not as crystal-clear.

3. Putt Up or Shut Up

I thought for sure when I first heard about this, considering that the Ryder Cup will be staged in Chaska, Minn., this weekend (let’s pour one out for His Purpleness), that is was either occasional MH contributor Bill Hubbell or his brother-in-law (who’s married to frequent MH contributor Katie). But no, it was North Dakotan David Johnson. Props to European pros Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Andrew Sullivan for pulling the heckler out of the gallery and giving him the opportunity to have a moment he’ll never forget.

4. “And I Wonder, Still I Wonder, Who’ll Stop the Train?”*

*The judges apologize to any Soul Asylum fans reading this, and we know who you are, who’d hoped we’d go in another song direction.

A commuter train in Hoboken, N.J., fails to come to a stop as it pulls into the station yesterday morning, leaving a 34 year-old woman who had been standing on the platform dead. The engineer, Thomas Gallagher, a 29-year veteran of NJ Transit, is hospitalized. I’m going to go ahead and assume Gallagher was not chanting “Allah Akbar” as the train pulled into the station, but America’s favorite alt-right-handed pitcher, Curt Schilling, may beg to differ.


5. The Legend of Dan Cooper

Back for another installment of “The Rest of the Story…” You may already have known this, but I just learned it. In the Fifties there was relatively obscure comic book called “Dan Cooper” about a Royal Canadian Air Force test pilot. He was very adept at ejecting from planes and surviving.

Then, in 1971, a man identifying himself as Dan Cooper boarded a Northwest Orient flight from Portland to Seattle and handed a flight attendant a ransom note. He told her that he had a bomb in his briefcase, and showed it to her, and demanded $200,000. That man, who later parachuted from the plane after it landed in Seattle and he forced the flight crew to remain on board and fly him south, is known to us as D.B. Cooper. 

Dan's the man

Dan’s the man

How did the famed hijacker, who was never found, come to be known as D.B. if he was listed on the passenger manifest as Dan? A single AP writer got the name wrong, and papers all over the country repeated it. And it never was properly corrected.

Anyway, it’s most likely that “Dan Cooper” lifted his nom de criminale from that comic, as he was so inspired, and it’s most likely that he landed in a lake, in late November, near the Washington-Oregon border. He most likely drowned or froze to death first.

Medium Happy’s editorial board is always searching for cool Paul Harvey-type stories. Feel free to write in with historical notes such as this one and yesterday’s and pitch suggestions. We’ll pay you nothing, but there may be a commemorative MH sponge in it for you.

Music 101

Orinoco Flow

Sail away, sail away, sail away….” Did New Age even exist, as a genre or a cultural phenomenon, before Enya wafted into our lives? The Irish singer’s tune hit No. 1 on the UK singles chart for three weeks in the autumn of 1988, but it’s really a tune out of time. It doesn’t belong to an era as much as it does to a mystical place. I really would have liked to see The Ramones cover it. This is a song (and album, Watermark) that gave birth to a million yoga studios. Anyway, the Orinoco is a very long river that runs through Colombia and Venezuela out into the Atlantic. Columbus happened upon it in 1498.

Remote Patrol

No. 7 Stanford at No. 10 Washington

ESPN 9 p.m.

Jake Browning has thrown 14 TDs and just two picks in U-Dub's 4-0 start

Jake Browning has thrown 14 TDs and just two picks in U-Dub’s 4-0 start

Give the Cardinal credit:They’re in the midst of a four-week gauntlet that sees them playing  three difficult road games: at UCLA, at the Huskies, and in two weeks at Notre Dame (we know, we know…that was supposed to be a difficult road game). The Huskies have looked impressive, but who have they played? No one. The Cardinal have already taken down USC and the Bruins. Note: Christian McCaffrey has never scored a touchdown away from Palo Alto.



Sby John Walters

A Medium Happy 62nd to Cindy Morgan, a.k.a. Lacy Underalls.

A Medium Happy 62nd to Cindy Morgan, a.k.a. Lacy Underall. “I was born to love you/I was born to lick your face/I was born to rub you/But you were born to rub me first”

A Quick Salute

Starting Five

Teix Message

Red Sox and Yankees celebrating on the same field at the same time?!? Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria. Too little, too late, after that four-game sweep at Fenway two weekends ago, but the Yankees got a measure of redemption last night.

Trailing 3-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth—with only one hit, an infield number…Did Jeets return???—the Yankees scored five. Closer Craig Kimbrel walked three straight batters, walking in a run and leaving the bases loaded for Mark Teixiera, who then clouted a walk-off grand slam. It was the 409th career home run for Teix, who will retire after Sunday’s game, but the first walk-off. It’s also his second ninth-inning home run in a Yankee come-from-behind win in the past three days.

The Sawx celebrated because earlier in the ninth inning the Blue Jays blew a ninth-inning lead against the Orioles, lost 3-2, and allowed Boston to clinch the A.L. East. It’s the second time in the past five years that Boston has won the A.L. East after finishing last in the division the year before. The second time in five years! That’s wild, and a first.

In David Ortiz’s final series at Yankee Stadium, he is 0 fer 9. The win put the Yanks at 82-76, meaning for the 24th consecutive year, they’ll finish above .500.

2. Get Smart

This was the inspiration for the sneaker phone, no?

This was the inspiration for the sneaker phone, no?

Here’s what Donald Trump said at a rally yesterday in Iowa.

3. Tebow Time

By now, you’ve seen this. The first pitch Tim Tebow sees in the Instructional League in Port St. Lucie, Fla., he hits out. I love the way the pitcher, John Kilichowski, turns to watch the ball sail past him. Very Charlie Brown. And that dude knows he’ll live on YouTube forever now.

Music 101

Portions For Foxes

Meet Rilo Kiley, if you haven’t before. The lead singer is Jenny Lewis, and the band’s name was simply made up, although they often told interviewers they’d found the name in a Scottish sports almanac (you probably have one sitting around your house right now).  This song from 2004 helped them land gigs opening on tours for Bright Eyes and Coldplay.

4. Your Paul Harvey Moment of the Day

The wreck of the SS Central America

The wreck of the SS Central America

So I’m reading a book titled Ship Of Gold.

It’s partly about the wreck of the SS Central America, a ship that sank in a hurricane off the coast of South Carolina in 1857. Some 469 lives were lost—it’s still the largest loss of life in an American shipping disaster unrelated to war—and the ship was carrying TEN TONS of gold (it was taking pilgrims of the California Gold Rush back to their east coast homes when it sunk).

Captain Herndon

Captain Herndon

Anyway, the ill-fated captain of the ship, William Lewis Herndon, had a few years before been possibly the first American to trace a route from the source of the Amazon to the sea, and had written about it quite vividly in a book titled Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon. 

A young man in Keokuk, Iowa, was so inspired by the book that he quit his job at a print shop and decided to travel down the Mississippi to New Orleans, where he would then embark on a ship to Brazil and retrace Herndon’s route. The problem? There were no ships leaving from New Orleans to Brazil. So instead the man just became…Mark Twain.

The author, very young

The author, very young

And now you know…the rest of the story.

5. Blake Bolts (as opposed to Blake Bortles)

Will Barnett go juco for a year, then play at Auburn? The Cam Route? Probably not. My guess is he goes Pac-12 next.

Will Barnett go juco for a year, then play at Auburn? The Cam Route? Probably not. My guess is he goes Pac-12 next.

When you’re the No. 1 team in the nation and the dude who started your season opener at quarterback bolts before the end of the season’s first month, that’s kind of a big deal, no? Alabama quarterback Blake Barnett has left Tuscaloosa. The redshirt frosh QB will transfer.

Barnett, a five-star recruit from Corona, Calif., played the opening two series against USC without much success. He was replaced by true frosh Jalen Hurts and the Tide went on to win 52-6. Handwriting, meet wall. The Tide will roll on without Barnett. It always does. Not sure why he’d leave now, though.

Remote Patrol

Easy A

Oxygen 8 p.m. (and at 10:10 p.m.)

Wanna know when Emma Stone’s cute-and-adorableness first infiltrated the screen? Here it is, a satisfying twist of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, which you were forced to read in high school, as Olive (Stone), becomes the most popular girl at her high school after she is mistakenly thought to be a tramp. Besides, wouldn’t you have loved your movie parents to be Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson? And, oh, but doesn’t Ojai, Calif., seem like a lovely place to grow up. This is a charming film filled with charming actors.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 48th to Naomi Watts—WHAAAAT!?! She split up from Ray Donovan?!?

A Medium Happy 48th to Naomi Watts—WHAAAAT!?! She split up from Ray Donovan?!?

Starting Five

Zaire played two snaps in Saturday's loss to Duke, lining up as a receiver. He was sacked on one play in which he took a handoff and dropped back to pass

Zaire played two snaps in Saturday’s loss to Duke, lining up as a receiver. He was sacked on one play in which he took a handoff and dropped back to pass

“Ask Me Thursday”

How much can change in one month? Not four weeks ago, Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was not saying who his starting quarterback would be for the Sunday, Sept. 5, opener at Texas. Yesterday, on September 27, Kelly was asked how Malik Zaire was adjusting to his backup role to starter DeShone Kizer—on the same day that’s latest NFL Mock Draft declared Kizer the No. 2 overall drat pick for 2017—and Kelly’s reply, based on the fact that the Irish have yet to practice this week but will have practiced three times before he next sees the media on Thursday night, was, “Are you going to be here Thursday? Ask me Thursday.”

Kelly called Kizer's play

Kelly called Kizer’s play “unacceptable” but also said that he would start Saturday versus Syracuse

This was an easy chance for Kelly to simply say, “He’s adjusting well” or “He’s not happy, but he understands his role.” He didn’t take it. Is this 2007 all over again, where Demetrius Jones, the opening day starter, transferred before the third game, a blowout at Michigan? We’ll see. Everyone knows Zaire, the opening day starter in 2015, is not happy being a backup. Everyone also knows that Kizer will likely be the first QB taken next spring. So unless Kizer is injured, Zaire is the backup. Quitting the team now isn’t going to get Zaire on another roster next year any sooner; it would just be a gesture of spite or frustration. Stay tuned. Kelly really does not want to burn Brandon Wimbush’s redshirt. Will he eventually have to?

2. “Put Down Your Phone”

An important and insightful cover story in New York magazine by Andrew Sullivan, in which he decries the complete permeation in our society of mobile devices. One of the more effective ways the essay hammers home its point is by using classic paintings as illustrations, with one of the characters preoccupied with a cell phone. Yes!

3. Any Credit For This Guy?

Pederson has the Eagles at 3-0, with all three wins by double digits

Pederson has the Eagles at 3-0, with all three wins by double digits

Yesterday TBL founder Jason McIntyre tweeted out some good info about how 10 NFL teams have started out 3-0 and won all three games by two touchdowns or more. All 10 made the playoffs that season. The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-0 and have won every game by at least 14 points (granted, they’ve played two bums, the Browns and the Bears, but they did kick the Steelers’ fannies on Sunday, 34-3.

Remember how, in the previous three years, every Eagle win or loss was a referendum on Chip Kelly’s coaching acumen? Kelly is gone now, in San Fran, but as the Eagles soar off to a 3-0 start, it’s not the Eagle coach, Doug Pederson, whose name you hear; it’s rookie QB Carson Wentz’s.

No doubt, Wentz looks as if he’s going to be the answer in Philly for a decade. But Wentz didn’t hold the Steelers to a field goal on Sunday. And how many times have you heard Pederson’s name on ESPN this month?

4. My Favorite Martians

Elon Musk yesterday said that one million humans could be living on Mars by the 2060s. Great. That still leaves TEN MILLION illegal aliens in the United States. Thanks a lot, Elon.

5. Before The Cuck  Crows Three Times…

Three quick lies from Donald Trump, all from a 12-hour window between Monday’s 9 p.m. debate and Tuesday at 9 a.m. Not saying there are not more, just here are three that are easy to expose.

    1. “I never said that global warming is a hoax created by China.” Well, he did tweet it:
      2. “I was just endorsed by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).” No, he wasn’t. A federal agency wouldn’t endorse a presidential candidate and in fact did not. Maybe he meant Vanilla Ice? Or ISIS?
    2. 3. ““I won Slate,” Trump insisted on Fox & Friends Tuesday morning. “I won Drudge in almost 90% of the vote in the poll, I won Time Magazine. I won CBS. I won every single poll other than CNN.” Except that there was no CBS poll, as CBS Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett tweeted soon after Trump’s announcement:

Yo, that’s just Trump, he speaks off the cuff. Great. He also lies. Or doesn’t care about the truth. You can’t do that and be my second-grade teacher. And you wanna be president?

Music 101

I Still Believe

It was quite a crowded room, in the early Eighties, the British New Wave bands room.  The Call largely got lost in the shuffle, as their lead singer was also their bassist but nowhere near as hot as Sting. They were a lot like Simple Minds, but they just made the mistake of not writing a hit song for a John Hughes movie. This 1986 song was not their most popular, but it reached No. 17 on the mainstream charts.

Remote Patrol

Documentary Now: “Parker Gail’s Location Is Everything”

IFC 10 p.m.

Bill Hader is the closest thing to Bill Murray SNL has produced since Murray’s departure, and Documentary Now is just a great way to watch him showcase his talent between films. This script, I’ve read, was largely written by John Mulaney.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 30th to Arielle Vandenberg

A Medium Happy 30th to Arielle Vandenberg

Starting Five

Hillary Hammers Him at Hofstra in Hempstead

“Four-hundred pound” hackers….”I have a much better temperament than she does, I think my strongest asset, by far, is my temperament”….”That makes me smart”….”those lawsuits were settled with no admission of guilt”…”Everyone agrees that (Rosie O’Donnell) deserves it”….”I was going to say something not nice”….”I think I’ve developed good relationships over the last…little while…with African-Americans”….”Law and order”…”Sydney Blumenthal”….”Ask Sean Hannity; somebody ask Sean Hannity!”….And of course, the sniffles.

Trump’s spin doctors, from Kellyanne Conway to Mike Pence, are on the morning shows today saying that he did a good job. They’re paid to say that (so are Hillary’s, of course, except that she doesn’t really have a Kellyanne Conway—”SHE DOESN’T NEED ONE! SHE HAS THE MEDIA!”). He didn’t. Hillary Clinton won Debate I, but it’s more about that Donald Trump lost it. Dreadfully.

For an event that had Super Bowl-level ratings, this reminded me of XXVII: Dallas 52, Buffalo 17. It was close for a quarter, then the Bills imploded. Same thing at Hofstra.

2. Twitter To Join Mickey Mouse Club?

I must say, those birds from Snow White DO look familiar...

I must say, those birds from Snow White DO look familiar…

Reports out that Disney is trying to put together a bid to buy Twitter. That would be a huge add for ESPN.

Microsoft also interested. As are Google and Everyone wants to paint Tom Sawyer’s fence, apparently. It’s all driving the price of the stock up for a company that everyone agrees is an outstanding service, but just does not make any money. The stock is up more than 25% since Thursday.

Will Twitter be sold by Christmas? By Thanksgiving? By Halloween? By Columbus Day? Be the first on your block to find out by being on Twitter….

3. Miami Mourns

Gordon, following his leadoff solo shot

Gordon, following his leadoff solo shot

The Marlins returned to the field Monday, all of the players wearing jerseys that read “Fernandez, 16”, and playing with grief. Dee Gordon led off the bottom of the first with a home run, and Miami sailed to a 7-3 win against the New York Mets.

4. Can We All Just Pool Our Money and Give It To Mike Tyson?

The man with the most punchable face in America, Martin Shkreli, is finally exhibiting a sense of self-awareness. Shkreli is auctioning off a chance to punch him in the face to raise money, apparently, for the son of a friend of his who recently succumbed to cancer (the friend, not the son). The Pharma Bro is offering bidders the chance to either slap or punch him (is he stopping at just one person? Because if he really wants to raise some money…?).

My guess is that Shkreli, a real-life Barney Stinson except with none of the charm, has seen the “Slap Bet” episode of How I Met Your Mother.

5. Fly Girl

The woman on the left is Kate McWilliams, age 26. The young man on the right is Luke Elsworth, age 19. She is a pilot for EasyJet, a British carrier, and he is her co-pilot. Last week the two flew from London to Malta. McWilliams began aviation training with the junior cadets at age 13 and became a first officer, or co-pilot, at age 21. She is believed to be the youngest commercial airline pilot in the world and easily the most obvious People magazine profile subject in history.

Music 101

Feels Like The First Time

I’d largely forgotten about this 1977 song by Foreigner until Skyler Astin revived it in the Pitch Perfect riff-off. This was the first single off the band’s eponymous debut album and it climbed to No. 4 on the Billboard charts. Foreigner had a nice little run between 1977 and the mid-Eighties as the soft man’s Def Leppard.

Remote Patrol

Frontline: The Choice 2016

PBS 9 p.m.

If you are not yet fully drunk and over served on this election, this excellent program will delve further into the two candidates. They won me over on this clip alone, which includes the beat-down by Obama of Trump at the 2011 WHCD, which I said last month would lead off any documentary on Trump’s rise to power that I would do,


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 35th to Serena Williams. Now about that 23rd...

A Medium Happy 35th to Serena Williams. Now about that 23rd…

Starting Five

Fernandez and two friends perished when their boar rammed into this jetty at the mouth of Government Cut in Miami Beach

Fernandez and two friends perished when their boar rammed into this jetty at the mouth of Government Cut in Miami Beach

Jetty Night

Only 24 years old, Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez had already been named to two All-Star Teams and won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2013. Early Sunday morning—a day he was regularly scheduled to pitch, a start that was moved back to today for a few reasons—he and two friends were traveling at a high rate of speed when they either failed to see or failed to properly navigate the entrance to Government Cut, the channel that connects the Atlantic Ocean to Biscayne Bay.

Gone too soon....

Gone too soon….

The Cuban emigre’s brilliance was on display in his final two starts: On September 9 he threw seven shutout innings and struck out 14 Los Angeles Dodgers while outdueling Clayton Kershaw. On September 20 he threw eight shutout innings and whiffed 12 Washington Nationals in a 1-0 win. That’s 26 strikeouts and 15 shutout innings against the  second- and third-best teams in the National League.

2. Less Miles

Miles is passing the Baton....Rouge, but to whom?

Miles is passing the Baton….Rouge, but to whom?

Les Miles is out at LSU. What a fun coach, and a reporter’s dream in terms of filling up a notebook. The Tigers played for two national championships in his eleven-plus seasons, winning one. He leaves with a 114-34 record.

One wonders if the replay booth had not overturned the final play of LSU’s win at Auburn Saturday night (there were at least two reasons to do so, and nearly three), if he’d still have a job this morning. Miles is 62. Either way he’ll be fine.

3. “Going To the Candidates’ Debate…”*

Mass debate fans tonight all over America....

Mass debate fans tonight all over America….

*The judges will also accept ‘Liar, Liar.’

Perhaps Simon and Garfunkel foresaw all of this 49 years ago when their song “Mrs. Robinson” made its debut in The Graduate (the following year the tune would hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts): “Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon/Going to the candidates’ debate/Laugh about it, shout about it/When it’s time to choose/Every way you look at this, you lose...”

Of the top 20 most watched television events in American history, 18 of them are Super Bowls (future anthropologists will have a field day with this, assuming we’re not extinct). The other two programs that finished in the Top 20 were the M*A*S*H finale in 1983 (8th) and the Cheers finale in 1993 (20th). So I have some bad news for you, Sam and Diane: you’re about to be bumped down to No. 21, as ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, CNN, MSNBC,  etc. will all air tonight’s Clinton-Trump debate from Hofstra University.

4. And He Left Us a Wonderful Beverage

Arnold Palmer, who shared a birthday with yours truly, passed away last night at the ago of 87. One of the first sports superstars of the television age, Palmer won four Masters tournaments. Only Jack Nicklaus (six) has won more at Augusta.

Palmer also is credited with inventing his eponymous drink, a half-and-half mixture of lemonade and iced tea, which is my go-to beverage on hot days at the cookoutateria (now that I’m older and appreciate how bad soda is for me…even if it is a wonderful name for George Constanza’s son).

5. Identity Versus Brand*

*The judges are also accepting “ND (Indig)Nation”

When you're unable to leave perfect alone....

When you’re unable to leave perfect alone….

Notre Dame, a 21-point home favorite to Duke on Saturday, lost 38-35. The Irish, despite averaging more than 37 points per game, are now 1-3. The defense stinks, which is why Brian Van Gorder was fired yesterday morning.

Also yesterday, I went on a little Twitter rant about how I’m so over how Notre Dame has Disney-fied itself in the past decade or two. I talked about how I’m tired of the alma mater, I’m tired of “The Shirt,” I loathe the Campus Crossroads project that has made the stadium nearly unrecognizable, I despise FieldTurf, I hate that they eliminated the height requirement for the Irish Guard, and I’m not looking forward to the JumboTron.  I don’t understand why ushers are yelling at people to sit down and shut up as if they’re inside the library.

(This, above, just wouldn’t happen at today’s Notre Dame; the last time it was this loud was on October 15, 2005).

Notre Dame Stadium and Notre Dame game day used to be genuine. Authentic. It was like going to Fenway Park or Wrigley. No longer. Of course I was pilloried as being anti-millennial, or for failing to see that if Notre Dame just had better players, they wouldn’t have lost to Duke. I understand talent means more wins (I was alive last year), but I was searching for a way to better explain my point. And then last night it hit me: Who just beat Notre Dame?


I remember Mike Krzyzwewski’s first season in Durham. I remember what Cameron Indoor Stadium looked like in the early 1980s, and I remember how the students used to pile in and be given the best seats in the gym. And you know what? Roughly 35 years later, nothing has changed. Cameron Indoor feels exactly the same, the students still get the best seats (imagine what wealthy donors would pay for them), and the experience at Duke is pretty much unchanged, right down to Coach K’s coif.

“Reach out, reach out and touch someone…”

Duke, in basketball, gets it. Too bad Notre Dame didn’t follow their lead. I’m still an alum, but there’s very little about the experience at Notre Dame on a Saturday that seems authentic any more. As someone tweeted me last night, they’ve gone from an identity to a brand.

Change isn’t always bad (AC in the press box!) and it isn’t always good (smoke machine as players emerge from the tunnel). Change just is, and each proposal should be evaluated. More than any other football program, Notre Dame traffics in tradition and lore. And it made its oats as the underdog that “what tho the odds be great or small,” won over all. And even if you think that’s blarney, that’s the story (you know, kind of like how The Dude on the side of the library rose on the third day…).

So when that’s your campus fable/myth/legend, and then you completely abandon it to be come the entitled kid, the rich brat that everyone loathes, well, you sacrifice your soul. And when people tell me, “Well, everyone’s doing that these days,” my retort is blunt: “That’s exactly WHY Notre Dame should not.”

Music 101 

The Devil’s Right Hand

So, here’s one to stoke your 2nd Amendment passions. It’s a tune from Steve Earle, a Texas musician who grew up owning lots of guns. He wrote it in the late 1980s. Great personal anecdote from Earle leading into it.

Remote Patrol

Clinton vs. Trump

9 p.m. CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, C-Span

“Let’s get ready to ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuumble!” Listen, the system is broke. The election season should last three months at most and there absolutely NEEDS to be a minimum of three parties. Begin there. But until this happens, and before Trump and Putin nuke the Middle East, this is what we have.




by John Walters

“One, two!” A Medium Happy 67th to the Boss.

Starting Five

Sartorially, at least, the genius does not jump right out at you

Sartorially, at least, the genius does not jump right out at you

1. The Best of Belichick

What the Tom Brady suspension has done is offer a platform for Bill Belichick to demonstrate just how superior he is to his supposed peers. Week 1, at Arizona, a team many believe will make it to the Super Bowl next winter, and the Pats win with no Brady and no Gronk. Week 2, an easy home win versus the Dolphins but 2nd-string QB Jimmy Garoppolo is injured. Last night, down to third-string QB Jacoby Brissett, the Pats shut out the Houston Texans, who entered Gillette Stadium 2-0.

No wonder Jacoby Brissett handed the football to a coach who already owns four Super Bowl rings after scoring his first TD. He knows: this four-game stretch, and yes the Pats will start 4-0, is Bill Belichick’s Pet Sounds. His 5th Symphony. He’s Verbal Kint and every other NFL coach is Chazz Palminteri’s character from The Usual Suspects.

2. “What? No F*ck%n’ Ziti?”

Kudos to Sheffield for not

Kudos to Sheffield for not “disrespecting the Bing.”

Props to Rolling Stone pop culture maven Rob Sheffield for endeavoring to compile a list of “The 100 Greatest TV Shows Of All Time” in which “All Time” equals “Since 1950.” Man, are we human beings overly self-absorbed.

Anyway, you can argue with the order but the Top 10 is pretty solid: The Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Mad Men, The Twilight Zone, Saturday Night Live, All In The Family, The Daily Show.

One man’s contrarian opinion, 1 to 10: Mad Men, Seinfeld, Late Night/Late Show with David Letterman, The Sopranos, All In The Family, The Twilight Zone, Breaking Bad, The Wire, Cheers, The Office (U.K.).

Oscar and Felix should have been in the Top 25

Oscar and Felix should have been in the Top 25

Kudos to Rob for putting the British The Office so high (No. 21) and for not forgetting the one-year wonder that was My So-Called Life.

What did the list not include that it should have? The Carol Burnett Show, ExtrasFrasier, The Cosby Show (it’s not the shows’ faults that Kelsey and Bill are such horrible human beings), Entourage, SCTV, The Newsroom (come at me, Emily Nussbaum!), The Brady Bunch (c’mon, who doesn’t quote it or know it?),

3. Twitter For Sale

Shortly after 9 a.m. David Faber (who never ages) reported on CNBC that he is hearing rumors of an imminent sale of Twitter. Perhaps a little bird told him? How reliable a reporter is Faber? In the moments before he mentioned it, TWTR was down 71 cents in pre-dawn trading on the bottom-of-your-screen crawl. Less than 30 seconds later, TWTR was up $3 to $22-and-change.

Rumor has it that and/or Google are interested in purchasing TWTR. It’s not about profitability. It’s about the scope of the service. Always has been.

4. Stupid Is As Stupid Does

When the “Taking a Knee” doc (I’m putting a moratorium on using “30 For 30”) eventually airs about Colin Kaepernick and what his national anthem protest has incited, these tweets and video clips all from just yesterday will be used….

Here’s San Francisco 49er coach Chip Kelly deftly handling long-time Bay Area curmudgeon Lowell Cohn who is not asking questions as much as he is lecturing Kelly.

Here’s Seattle Mariner catcher Steve Clevenger…


Here’s North Carolina congressman Robert Pittenger telling BBC News Night that African-Americans “the hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” Now, to be fair, Pittenger was also decrying welfare and the perpetual state of misery if being on welfare is your de facto mode of survival, and there he has a point. But the utter insensitivity and tone-deafness of saying that because people are protesting a black man being shot (by a black cop) is mind-boggling.

And here’s Kathy Miller, a former Trump chair woman for Mahoney County in Ohio, telling a reporter, “I don’t think there was any racism until Obama got elected.” I mean, she knows she’s on camera and she’s saying this…

5.  Vin Sanity

Two Fordham Prep alums seated with a Hackley Prep alum

Two Fordham Prep alums seated with a Hackley Prep alum

As the hagiographies and tributes to an unparalleled 67-year career in broadcasting pour in for Vin Scully, I urge you to read this outstanding piece by Keith Olbemann. Wonderful.

Music 101

I’m Going Down

I was compiling a list of Springsteen songs yesterday—I do this about once a month…no reason—and this little gem from Born In The U.S.A. popped up. I doubt it makes anyone’s Top 10 list for Springsteen songs, but it’s such a tight tune, and Max Weinberg’s drumming  at the beginning is impeccable. This is a throwaway song for The Boss, where for anyone else it’s in their Greatest Hits collection.

Remote Patrol

Stanford at UCLA

Saturday 8 p.m. ABC

As our college football-loving friend Borat would say, “Sexy time!” Josh RosenRosen and Christian McCaffrey are given their prime-time Heisman stage in the Rose Bowl. It’s time for Jim Mora to win a game that matters in Westwood, but the Cardinal are just a wrecking ball.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 55th birthday to Catherine Oxenberg....

A Medium Happy 55th birthday to Catherine Oxenberg….

Starting Five

The Last Don II

Huckster, showman, bloviator, serial swindler of OPM with bizarre hair…and Donald Trump. At yesterday’s rally in Cleveland, here’s what boxing promoter Don King had to say: “If you’re poor, you are a poor negro — I would use the n-word — but if you’re rich, you are a rich negro. If you are intelligent, intellectual, you are intellectual negro. If you are a dancing and sliding and gliding nigger– I mean negro — you are a dancing and sliding and gliding negro. You’re going to be a negro ’til you die.”

Later, at a Fox News town hall at an African-American church that was closed to journalists (suck on that irony for a moment), Trump was asked what he would do to curb crime in predominantly black areas, and he said he would consider using “stop-and-frisk” on a national basis. That’s no relation to “stop-and-Fisk,” where officers halt African-American youths and compel them to say hello to a retired American League catcher.

2. Citi Haul

Ender Inciarte's catch was the final play of a three-game sweep by the Braves

Ender Inciarte’s catch was the final play of a three-game sweep by the Braves

*The judges will also accept “Ender’s Game”

The Mets headed into this week with an 80-69 record and the Atlanta Braves, who have the worst record in the National League, arriving at Citi Field for a three-game series. They were atop the N.L. wild-card standings. Now, on the first day of autumn, the Let’s Go’s are looking back ruefully at a three-game sweep by the Braves and are in a dead heat with both the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants: all are 80-72 with 10 games remaining.

Last night Yoenis Cespedes came to the plate with the Mets trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth. With two on and  two out, he lined a shot to right center that looked as if it was headed out, but Ender Inciarte of the Braves robbed him with the catch above.

Oh, and ace Jacob deGrom is lost for the season.

3. Today’s Sermon

If you haven’t read it, here’s Drew Magary’s takedown of Trump voters in GQ yesterday. Now, as much as I enjoyed it in the moment, I think there’s a trend happening this week that will only benefit the GOP candidate. In just this week alone, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and now Magary have unabashedly F-bombed the GOP candidate and/or his supporters in essays, written or oral, to their audiences.

It’s getting to that point of…what? Desperation? Vitriol? Hostility?

Allow me a tepid take here: The moment Trump won/Clinton lost the election was when, on national TV, Jeffrey Tambor proclaimed that he hoped “I will be the last cisgender to play a transgender” on TV. I mean, I live on the liberal UWS and I was sitting there thinking, “Cisgender? You mean, like, ‘man’?”

I mean, we get it: Diversity. Great. There’s just something a little off-putting about an entire nation being scolded about its obstinacy towards transgender folk when, honestly, most of us don’t know any. Tambor might as well have gotten up there and stumped for more almond milk at the Starbucks in Brentwood.

(While we’re at it, there’s something so obnoxious about the Malibu Liberals crowd: people who choose to live in an area that is at least 95% white and affluent telling the rest of us how to interact with one another across racial lines. It’s like when your Catholic priest gives classes on sexual relations in marriage.)

When you constantly scold the largest segment of the population (Caucasian) that everyone else’s lives matter, or that you’re not allowed to present a contrarian view in matters of race or sex based not on the view itself but simply because of your #WhitePrivilege, well, what do you think is going to happen? You’re going to get a lethal backlash. And the man who is reaping the rewards of that backlash is Donald Trump.

Do transgender people deserve to go to the bathroom where they feel comfortable? Of course. Does everyone deserve to be treated with respect, regardless of the color of their skin or religion or sexual orientation? Of course. There’s just this militancy to it all now that there didn’t used to be, and, you know, I really wish Norman Lear were still making sitcoms to show people how to be liberal while retaining a sense of humor about it all.

4. Between Two Ferns 

I haven’t even seen this yet, either, but I figure it’s at least worth one of our five daily items, no?

5. The Afterlife

A close friend sent this yesterday. It’s from a play that he saw. Pretty self-explanatory:

Older people are exiting this life as if it were a movie… “I didn’t get it,” they are saying.

He says, “It didn’t seem to have any plot.” 

“No.” she says, “it seemed like things just kept coming at me. Most of the  time I was confused… and there was way too much sex and violence.” 

“Violence anyway,” he says.
“It was not much for character development either; most of the time people were either shouting or mumbling. Then just when someone started to make sense and I got interested, they died. Then a whole lot of new characters came along and I couldn’t tell who was who.”
“The whole thing lacked subtlety.”
“Some of the scenery was nice.”
They walk on in silence for a while. It is a summer night and they walk slowly, stopping now and then, as if they had no particular place to go. They walk past a streetlamp where some insects are hurling themselves at the light, and then on down the block, fading into the darkness.
She says, “I was never happy with the way I looked.”
“The lighting was bad and I was no good at dialogue,” he says.
“I would have liked to have been a little taller,” she says.

 –Louis Jenkins.  North of the Cities. Will o’ the Wisp Books, 2007.

Music 101

You Light Up My Life

Today is Debby Boone’s 60th birthday. In 1977, with both disco and punk roaring all over the place, this saccharine ballad (from a film of the same name that you never want to see, trust me) hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts and, like a low-pressure system that won’t leave the vicinity and keeps everything humid and sticky, remained there for ten freaking weeks! That was a record at the time. This may help you understand why “The Pina Colada Song (Escape)” was a hit in the same decade. Debby is Pat Boone’s daughter, which makes her kind of the Robin Thicke of the Seventies without all the twerking.

Remote Patrol

Texans at Patriots

8:25 p.m. CBS

Watt's App

Watt’s App

I don’t even much like the NFL and I’d watch this game (if I weren’t moonlighting at mixologist gig). J.J. Watt and a distinct possibility of Gronk on the same field? Plus Jadeveon Clowney and Will Fuller? C’mon, now. Both the Texans and Pats are 2-0 as the latter will likely start third-string QB Jacoby Brissett. Houston’s 3rd-string QB is either Tom Savage or Brandon Weeden, FYI.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 66th to the man who was too wise to grow up, Bill Murray

A Medium Happy 66th to the man who was too wise to grow up, Bill Murray

Starting Five

Pitt Stop

First Hiddleswift, and now Brangelina? This is why I always refer to them separately as William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman, as opposed to MaHuf. If you haven’t heard, Angelina Jolie has filed for divorce from Brad Pitt. They have six children.

2. Warren (Says Her) Piece

I hope Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf knows a good proctologist, because he suffered quite the ass-chewing while being grilled by a Congressional subcommittee on Capitol Hill yesterday. One senator rightly asked Stumpf, after he claimed he first learned about fraud within his company in 2013 even though 1,000 employees had been fired for committing fraud two years earlier, in 2011, “Why doesn’t this prove that a company like yours is not only too big to fail, but too big to manage?”

But it was Elizabeth Warren who seriously ripped him a new one, telling Strumpf that he should resign and referring to his stewardship as “gutless leadership.”

3. The White Knight of Queen of Katwe

The most popular professor in Chapel Hill....

The most popular professor in Chapel Hill….

This is my very close friend Tim Crothers. More than a decade ago, this UNC alum living in Chapel Hill was a regular in soccer coach/icon Anson Dorrance‘s near-daily afternoon roller hockey game. The two developed a friendship.

That led to Tim writing a critically-acclaimed biography of Dorrance, The Man Watching.

That led to Dorrance lobbying Tar Heel hoops coach Roy Williams on Crothers’ behalf for him to write a bio on Williams, which he did, titled Hard Work.

That led to Tim giving a talk at a local seafood restaurant in Chapel Hill on St. Patrick’s Day, 2010, where a man showed him a newspaper clipping (the man had tossed it in the trash three times, but then thought better of it each time and retrieved it) about a young girl from the slums of Kampala, Uganda, who was an international chess champion.

That led to Tim writing a story about the girl, Phiona Mutesi, for ESPN the Magazine, which entailed him traveling first to Uganda and then Siberia, which was nominated for a National Magazine Award, which led to his book, The Queen of Katwe, which has led to the Disney release this Friday in select cities of the film, Queen of Katwe.

One of my favorite things about my friend is his dry and self-deprecating sense of humor. When I spoke to him a week ago, he told me that they’d had a screening of the film in Chapel Hill recently. However, the way films and TV shows are now sent out is they send a link that you can download, but it comes with a password. Well, the theater was given the incorrect password and the movie was delayed. Tim was asked to stretch, to do a Q&A with the crowd during the delay.

He did that for 10 to 15 minutes, but they still had no password. So someone suggested Tim go out in the lobby and sell/sign a few books. He did. He was doing that for half an hour or so when someone approached and said, “You know, they started the movie about 10 minutes ago.” That’s kind of a writer’s life in a nut shell.

There are a lot of celebrated sports writers and sports writers-turned-talking heads out there. Tim Crothers and Steve Rushin are the two best that I know of. They’re the real deal. The story of Phiona Mutesi is a true underdog tale, but so then is the story of Crothers, whom SI  laid off in June of 2001 (along with two other hacks, Bill Nack and Leigh Montville, as well as yours truly), but he has recovered quite nicely.

4. Scranton-Wilkes Barre Tops El Paso

You are not going to derail the Railroaders

You are not going to derail the Railroaders

Not sure why there’s so little fanfare for the championship game of the highest domestic level of baseball outside the Major Leagues, but you probably did not hear that the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Railriders defeated the El Paso Chihuahuas last night in the AAA Championship Game. S/WB’s Chris Parmalee hit a three-run homer before the Railriders made their first out in the first inning, and those were all the runs they needed in the 3-1 victory. S/WB are the Yankees’ top affiliate.

Sanchez is now just six home runs shy of being the Yankees' home run leader this season, despite having made his debut in early August

Sanchez is now just six home runs shy of being the Yankees’ home run leader this season, despite having made his debut in early August

Also last night, S/WB alum Gary Sanchez hit the game-winning homer for the Yanks at Tampa Bay. That’s Filthy Sanchez’s 17th homer in just 43 games, tying him for the most home runs in that opening span in MLB history (he had 10 in 73 games with S/WB this season before being called up in August).

Also, Boston’s David Ortiz hit his 36th home run in Boston’s win at Baltimore. That breaks Dave Kingman’s record for the most home runs by a player in his final season, which makes everyone in Boston implore, “WHY must this be your final season, Big Papi?”

5. Skittles Skam

Here’s Stephen Colbert dismantling Donald Trump, Jr.’s Skittles meme…

Music 101

Smoke On The Water

There’s a classic rock tune whose opening riff you can play on the guitar after just one lesson, and this tune by Deep Purple is it. If someone wants to call this 1972 tune the birth of heavy metal, I’m not sure I’d disagree (though Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne might). The tune peaked at No. 4 in the U.S. and that is, as the deejays at KUPD-FM in Phoenix used to say, “the blazing guitar of Ritchie Blackmore” you are hearing. Vocals by Ian Gillan.

(Listen to the comments by the former band member [not sure which this is] after the song; very funny.)

Remote Patrol

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

TCM 8 p.m.

This 1963 comic bouillabaise, the Cannonball Run of its era, is loaded with Hollywood funny men of the time: Sid Caesar, Milton Berle, Jonathan Winters, Jerry Lewis, Don Knotts, Phil Silvers and Dick Shawn. But it also has Jimmy Durante, Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney and Peter Falk. Everyone is vamping here, just having a good time and basically playing themselves before I assume hitting The Sands or The Desert Inn for happy hour.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 82nd to Sophia Loren (the best)

A Medium Happy 82nd to Sophia Loren (the best)

Starting Five

Just the latest example of the Trump brand of sly wink-wink racism

Just the latest example of the Trump brand of sly wink-wink racism

Birther of a Nation

A few videos from the past few days related to the GOP nominee and why his birtther movement, followed by his blatant attempt last Friday to turn the tables on what is an obvious truth: he started the birther movement and, given numerous opportunities to disavow it between 2011 and last week, he continued to use the “Well, some people are saying…” jab, which is his way of being the Second Hand News Guy from SNL (“I don’t know, Colin; that’s what I hear…”), in order to smear President Obama.

Anyway, these videos speak to it better than I am able to:

And this. One of Seth Meyers‘ best moments thus far. He’s not interested in video-bombing  red carpet interviews with Mario Lopez at the Emmys’ (If you haven’t seen it, watch as Mario is interviewing James Corden and then Jimmy Fallon jumps in to upstage it all; some of you will think that’s Jimmy being hilarious and playful; I kinda think Jimmy is a lot smarter than that. He craves attention and he may not like that Corden has covers on GQ and Rolling Stone recently, or that Jimmy is better at this viral YouTube thing than he is. It’s all kiss-kissy at the interview, but I kinda think Corden was pissed and that Fallon’s old SNL co-workers, Tina and Amy, rolled their eyes if they witnessed this; Jimmy has to be the center of attention; always).

And I don’t have the video yet, but this is what Bono said to CBS’ Charlie Rose this morning when asked about Trump: “Look, America is the best idea the world ever came up with…but Donald Trump is potentially the worst idea that ever happened to America.”

2. This Is What I Was Alluding To Above…

Is it me? Listen to what Jimmy says as he approaches: “You get first? I’ve been doing it longer.” And though there are hugs and laughs, here is what Corden says, “It’s all about this guy (meaning Fallon).” Yup. And look at the painted-on smile Mario is wearing at about the :28 mark as he says, “Finds this very funny, apparently.” No one calls out Fallon on what an insatiable egomaniac he is.

3. The Best of Carson

Wentz is 2-0 for the Eagles

Wentz is 2-0 for the Eagles

So that No. 2 overall pick, rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, was an efficient 21-34 as the Philadelphia Eagles took down the Chicago Bears on the road, 29-14. As extremely loyal MH reader Jacob Anstey commented yesterday, Wentz is the second rookie QB to start in the NFL this season (Dak Prescott) and there could be four by week’s end (Jacoby Brissett of the Pats and Cody Kessler for the Cleveland Browns).

As you know, the QB who has yet to start, who has yet to play, is No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams. The same Rams who have Todd Gurley at RB but have yet to score at touchdown through two games.

4. The Genius of 9/11

This is the answer

This is the answer

Look. I’m sure many of you are sick of reading anything on here that isn’t related to sports (Notre Dame) or pop culture (Taylor Swift). But as the Madness of the Trump Movement escalates, I feel compelled to share this.

Hate them though you will, the masterminds of 9/11 must be looking up from their present state and grinning at how much better their plan worked than even they could’ve conceived. The plan was to knock out the World Trade Center and a few other iconic structures, sure, but it was far more to incite a war between cultures and to recruit other Muslims, usingAmerican hostility and vainglory against America. The more times people listened to an Alan Jackson song (“And I’m Proud to be an American…”), the more a schism would form between us and them. Between U.S. and them.

The attacks of 9/11 were horrific, of course, and the people who committed them and any of their abetters in the Arab world should have been taken out. But if our leaders at the time had understood game theory better, if they had read The Art of War (Rule No. 1: Know Your Enemy), they might have gotten beyond their “LET’S SMASH THAT BUG!” mentality and understood what was actually best for America.

What was better for America would have been to invest in alternative fuels, so that the Middle East would be less economically viable. What was better for America was to not invade Iraq, which had as much to do with 9/11 as North Korea did, and had a murderous tyrant as its leader, like North Korea, but unlike North Korea, has valuable oil reserves, but instead to surgically take out the men (Osama Bin Laden) responsible.

ISIS is a product of the Iraq War; of that there is no doubt. The instability in the Middle East is also partly a product of that war. If you want to talk to me about how we liberated a people, then why aren’t we liberating the people of Saudi Arabia? Their government is cruel and authoritarian and denies its people human rights daily.

And sure, there are Muslims who hate America, and of course their hatred is as much a result of their utter sense of inferiority in the modern world (name all the great Muslim inventors, artists, athletes, etc., in the past 100 years) as it is anything else. It is irrational.

But so is ours. What the Iraq War did, among other things, is create thousands of disabled military vets, and Gold Star families, and pain for people who volunteered because they believed in our just cause. And so it’s heartbreaking to suggest that this was a sham (or to mention how much Dick Cheney profited from the war) and you’re considered unpatriotic if you are.

The argument goes, How dare you show disrespect to the veterans for questioning their sacrifice. But nobody is questioning their valor and everyone does appreciate their sacrifice. But the greater good is to recognize what they were fighting to protect and preserve, such as liberty and free speech (and, sure, the 2nd Amendment, too). And if we as a nation can’t have a candid discussion about whether that war was just us falling into their trap by inciting a greater cultural divide, if we’re supposed to simply bow down and say, “We LOVE our military because they protect us!” without any exploration of the consequences of that military action, then we’re not much better than any other militarized nation.

And so now here we are in 2016, with nearly half the country supporting Trump, blindly treating ISIS as if it’s the Zika virus. As if we should just spray and be done with them. Not understanding that our greatest weapon against religious demagogues is not to isolate and demonize tens of millions of people for the actions of a few Skittles, but to be the beacon of freedom and liberty that so many aspire to be a part of. Does that mean every terrorist will disappear tomorrow? Of course not. But Islamic Jihad is not a country; it’s an idea. You don’t conquer it with conventional weapons; you conquer it with a better idea.

I’ve used this example before, and you may laugh at it because the gravity of “chopping off people’s heads” is much different than stealing all the Christmas decorations in Whoville. But Dr. Seuss was a very, very smart man, probably smarter than most if not all of the people at the U.N. assembly this week. But there it is: the Grinch envied the freedom and love of one culture (Whoville), so he committed a terrorist attack. And what did they do in retaliation? They didn’t attack him back. They remained true to their guiding principles, to the spirt of the holiday that they were celebrating. They locked hands, formed a circle, and reaffirmed what they were about. And the Grinch eventually got the picture.

If you think I’m too much of a simpleton for making that analogy, that’s fine. Yes, ISIS fighters are much more wicked and deadly, but the principles are the same. Remember that Jesus guy you all supposedly love so much and worship in between attending gun shows and Trump rallies? He conquered the world without ever lifting a hand in violence. He understood: nothing defeats a bad idea quite like a better idea.

And, finally, I hope people wake up and stop treating global politics as if it’s a football season. “America First” is not something any Founder ever said or thought. There are no rankings. America is about freedom and liberty and equality. It’s not about world dominance. Donald Trump is trying to persuade people that Americans are the only people in the world who matter; we’re not.

What we do or how we act isn’t implicitly right because it’s what we are doing, or because what we want. There are moral and ethical absolutes, and it doesn’t begin with DOING WHAT’S RIGHT FOR AMERICA. Because honestly, if that’s the way this country had always operated, we’d still have slavery. There’s a reason Abraham Lincoln is almost universally recognized as our greatest president. It’s because he fought for a greater purpose than what was politically or economically expedient at the moment. The idea that Donald Trump could hold the same office as Abe Lincoln, well, it’s quite depressing.


5. Where Everybody Knows His Name

In case you missed it, Bill Murray tended bar in Greenpoint (a section of Brooklyn, directly across the East River from the U.N.) last Saturday night. He was helping out his son, Homer, who was opening up a new bar/restaurant there, 21 Greenpoint.

Music 101

Good Morning, Starshine

Think back to when you were a really little kid. You’re in the backseat of your family station wagon, dad and mom in the front seat. Everything is pretty much as good as it can be. Maybe you’re heading to Carvel. Or going to the beach. And there’s a perfect song to accompany that mood. That’s what Oliver’s 1969 hit is for me. This hit No. 3 that year, two years after it was first introduced in the 1967 musical hit Hair.

Remote Patrol

Giants at Dodgers

ESPN2 10 p.m.

So this happened last night:

And this happened two years ago:

A reminder that Madison Bumgarner was SI’s “Sportsman of the Year” in 2014. The Giants are currently six back of the Dodgers and in a tie with St. Louis for the second wildcard spot. As you know, SF has won the World Series in the last three even-numbered years prior to this one.


by John Walters

A Medium Happy 71st to Randolph Mantooth, the hunkier half of Gage & DeSoto

A Medium Happy 71st to Randolph Mantooth, the hunkier half of Gage & DeSoto

Starting Five

Jackson has accounted for 18 touchdowns in three games and is second in the nation in rushing

Jackson has accounted for 18 touchdowns in three games and is second in the nation in rushing


Were Lamar Jackson and Louisville ready for their closeup versus No. 2 Florida State on Saturday? The 6’3″ sophomore from Boynton Beach, Fla., accounted for 362 all-purpose yards, four rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown in a 63-20 beat down of the Noles.

To be clear, Louisville’s defense was just as good, with five sacks and two forced turnovers. The score was 63-10 until late in garbage time.

It was a long afternoon for the FSU freshman....

It was a long afternoon for the FSU freshman….

The Cards are now a solid No. 3 and face two Top 10 teams on the road (Clemson in two weeks and Houston in November). It’s early, but Lamar Jackson is now the Grange Award frontrunner and the Cards control their playoff destiny. Coach Bobby Petrino, when he gets off the motorcycle, HE’S GOOD!.

2. Let’s Hang On To What We Got*

*The judges will also accept, “When A Mic Drop is a Ball Drop”

First it was Ray-Ray McCloud of Clemson last week (above)….

Then, last Saturday night, versus No. 3 Ohio State, Joe Mixon of No. 14 Oklahoma did the same thing at the end of a 97-yard kickoff return (for some bizarre reason, replay officials never even looked at it and Mixon got away with it).

Then later on Saturday night Cal running back Eric Enwere did it at the end of a 55-yard touchdown run versus Texas with the Golden Bears only leading 50-43. This one was called back, as was the Clemson play.

This crisis of idiocy did not begin this month. Remember Kaelin Clay of Utah last year versus Oregon?

Is it going too far to suppose that the men with the talent and speed to make these plays are a double-edged sword? Part of their upside is their immense belief in themselves (and speed), but the other end of that is that they need to mic-drop the football and bask in adulation? Those of us SMH’ing at them would never have the talent to do what they do.  Cultural Divide Debate Embrace in 3…2…1….

3. Is Network TV Dead?

Sterling K. Brown

Sterling K. Brown

Grand total of Emmy winners from the four major networks—ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC—in prime-time TV: One, Regina King, Best Supporting Actress, Limited Series, ABC, for American Crime.

The cable/streaming nets ruled, and the biggest story is that it’s not even a story any more.

The Emmys finally got it right (I didn’t hear the words “Modern Family” once) as Veep won for Best Comedy, Game of Thrones for Best Drama, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver for Best Variety Talk, Key & Peele for Best Variety Sketch, Kate McKinnon for being Kate McKinnon and The People Vs. O.J. Simpson for Best Limited Series. Three actors from that series—Sterling K. Brown (Chris Darden), Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark) and Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochrane)—deservedly took home Emmys and there was much talk of chains being rocked, while Paulson ended her acceptance speech by paying tribute to Clark, who was in the audience. I’m embedding my own tweet here, but….


Great Moments: Besides Paulson’s speech, Matt Damon walking onstage to troll host Jimmy Kimmel, Kimmel’s mention of Johnnie Cochrane “looking up” from wherever he is, Andy Samberg being Andy Samberg, and the reunion of Sipowicz and Simone.

By the way, returning to the original point of this story, the most celebrated prime-time shows currently on CBS, NBC and ABC (via ESPN) are prime-time NFL telecasts…and Empire. Just so you know….

4. Non-Bronx Bomber

This is Ahmad Khan Rahmani, the man who planted three bombs in New York City and New Jersey over the weekend. No one was killed. Rahmani is a loser (to be clear, the death toll had no impact on whether he was a loser or not). Just another alienated, disaffected person who wants to blame someone else for his inferiority. He’ll be caught soon. Or dead. (UPDATE: Captured before noon)

5. Lost In Boston

Ramirez hit the game-winning three-run walk-off on Thursday, and then another three-run homer and the game-winning solo shot on Sunday night

Ramirez hit the game-winning three-run walk-off on Thursday, and then another three-run homer and the game-winning solo shot on Sunday night

The Yankees entered the ninth inning at Fenway Park on Thursday night with a three-game lead and a chance, with three more outs, to be just three games out of first place (and two back in the wildcard). Masahiro Tanaka, the AL ERA leader, had pitched seven innings of one-run ball. Then Boston struck for five runs and the Yankees lost all four games to the Red Sox (they blew four-run leads in the first and last games of the series).

It’s not officially over for the Bombers, but it sure feels over after that nut punch of a weekend at Fenway. Hanley Ramirez went Manny Ramirez on the Yanks, going 9 for 16 and hitting four home runs in four games. I’m ready for it: Gimme a Cubs vs. Red Sox Fall Classic.

Music 101


In which Joni Mitchell explains why she was unable to attend Woodstock—a TV commitment in NYC; she reveals that she watched it on TV, too—but then just went ahead and wrote a classic song about the concert event of the decade epoch that she was unable to attend even though she was only about 2 1/2 hours away (helicopters, anyone?). Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, her pals whom she’d been playing with in Chicago the night before, made more hay with this tune, but it’s Mitchell’s song.

Remote Patrol

The Tonight Show

NBC 11:35 p.m.

A few days after having Donald Trump as his guest, host Jimmy Fallon welcomes Hillary Clinton. Egg Roulette, anyone?