by John Walters

“Downtown Josh Brown” is one of my five favorite people on Twitter. For he’s a jolly good follow, for he’s a jolly good follow…

Starting Five

1. Flynn-trigue* **

*The judges will also accept “General Disturbance”

**Another Day of Trump (71)

Apparently, former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn (who, like the person that appeared in this space yesterday, Sally Yates, was fired by The Worst Wing less than one month into his presdiency) is eager to talk to any Intelligence Committee that wants to listen to him in exchange for immunity. “Gen. Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it,” his lawyer, Robert Keiner, said late Thursday. “Should the circumstances permit.”

By that, Keiner elaborated, he meant that General Flynn will speak in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Which is why this quote from Flynn last autumn comes back to bite him in the ass.

2. Final Four: League Of Nations

There are more players in this year's Final Four from this west African nation than there are from Indiana

There are more players in this year’s Final Four from this west African nation than there are from Indiana

I stopped by University of Phoenix Stadium yesterday to pick up my media credential and enjoy a complimentary savory turkey sandwich (and say hello to a journo or two I hadn’t seen in awhile). Anyway, picked up the media guides and was heartened to learn that one team has a “Tut” (who was not born in Arizona nor does he have a condo made ‘a stone’a) and that another has the son of Chris Corchiani and yet another the son of Canadian legend Jay Triano.

Anyway (again with the anyways), here are all the countries represented in this year’s Final Four rosters outside the U.S.A.: Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Estonia, France, Gabon, Israel, Japan, Poland and Senegal. That’s 11 different nations outside the United States and four continents. Only South America and Antarctica are not represented (I hear the AAU ball in Antarctica is lame).

3. I Love You, Manatee

Manatees were thought to be endangered because not even other manatees wanted to have sex with them

Manatees were thought to be endangered because not even other manatees wanted to have sex with them

Good news, no, great news: Manatees are no longer an “endangered species.” The aquatic mammals have been downgraded to a “threatened species.” More manatees and less man, please. Especially in Florida.

4. Hazing at Hamilton

Not a good time for your suburban Phoenix high school football powerhouse to be making news for alleged hazing, with scores of scribes in town for the Final Four. Six players at Chandler Hamilton High School, which opened less than 20 years ago but has already won seven state championships, were arrested on Thursday in connection with hazing incidents. Details of the incidents are not yet available, but the charges were kidnapping, sexual assault and aggravated assault (MH staffers are working diligently to discern if there were any non-pork by-product items placed in hot dog buns).

Hamilton is coached by Steve Belles, a former All-State quarterback at Phoenix St. Mary’s High School who later went on to play at Notre Dame (mostly on special teams). Belles won a state championship in high school and a national championship in college, and I think he may have won both inside Sun Devil Stadium (the h.s. championship game may have been played in Tucson that year).

5. Go To Hel-sinki



You have to love The New York Times for providing five places to go out in Helsinki, Finland. I perused the story and would argue that all five spots have a reasonable facsimile in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn (who’s with me?). If the NYT actually dispatched writer Esha Chhabra to Finland to do this piece, more power to her. Or him.


A Reptile Dysfunction

Never bite the hand that feeds, or the one that slakes your thirst, especially when your bite contains deadly venom.


Music 101

Make A Little Magic

In 1980 the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band released this soft-country-rock tune with the late Nicolette “Gonna Take a Lotta Love” Larson on backup vocals. It felt as if I heard this song all the time on Phoenix adult-contemporary station KOY at the time. The affable KOY morning deejay was a man named Bill Heywood, a local institution. Five years ago Heywood and his wife of 35 years, Susan, took their lives together. Susan was terminally ill and the couple calmly checked themselves into a room and two triggers were pulled.

Remote Patrol

Women’s Final Four

Stanford vs. South Carolina

Mississippi State vs. Connecticut

7 p.m. ESPN

Glad they moved the format back to Friday-Sunday, where it always belonged. Storylines: UConn attempts to extend win streak to 112 and 113 while winning a FIFTH consecutive national championship; the Samuelson sisters of Connecticut and Stanford (the last school to defeat the Huskies, by the way); and Dawn Staley, coach at USC, who will be the next women’s national team coach, succeeding Geno.


by John Walters


This is a little like asking Steve Bannon if he’s heard of George Orwell….

Starting Five

1. Make America Yates Again!*

All you wanna do is testify, Sally, ‘fy, Sally, ‘fy

All you wanna do is testify, Sally, ‘fy, Sally, ‘fy,

All you wanna do is testify, Sally, ‘fy, Sally, ‘fy,

All you wanna do is testify, Sally, ‘fy, Sally, ‘fy

You been running all over the town, pretty,

I guess I’ll have to put your testimony before the House Intelligence Committee...

If you have yet to figure it out, Devin “No Nunes Is Good” Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has little interest in actually uncovering any damning evidence against President Trump and the Worst Wing. Which is why he canceled former  acting Attorney General Sally Yates‘ date  to testify in front of the HIC on Wednesday.

*(Another Day of Trump: Day 70)

Trump fired Yates back in January when she refused to enforce his travel ban.

Incompetence and corruption meets its polar opposite

Incompetence and corruption meets its polar opposite

Later we learned that Yates had apprised The Worst Wing of Michael Flynn eating crackers in bed with the Russians in the first week (January 26)of 45’s presidency, but the Trump Troupe ignored the news for 17 days until the Washington Post reported it, and that forced their hand. Yates is a dangerous person to the Worst Wing and they are trying their best to silence her.

So they got Nunes to cancel her appearance before the HIC for no reason. But Salty Spice says the WH had no hand in that. Call their bluff: Talk, Sally, talk.

2. Bestbrook

Russ makes his

Russ makes his “O” face. Remember, this is a dude who with Kevin Love and Darren Collison as teammates couldn’t get past Memphis in the Final Four

Russell Westbrook: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists last night in an OT win at Orlando. I’ve got nothing new here, other than to say if you’re a Hot Take Artist (HTA) looking to stand out from the crowd by crowing that Westbrook isn’t doing anything special, well, you’re standing out alright. This is someone who comes to perform at his absolute best each and every night (oh, and if he’d have even been halfway interested in winning All-Star Game MVP last month, he’d not have pumped the brakes in the fourth quarter and would’ve won that, too).

3. Mike Adamle and Dementia

Not everyone who plays professional football suffers CTE and/or dementia, but an disturbingly high number of them do. Mike Adamle, a Chicago treasure who set records as an undersized running back at Northwestern in the late Sixties and 1970 (he was the Big Ten MVP and an All-America fullback in 1970, a year in which he set a Northwestern single-game rushing yards record, 316, that still stands), then played six years in the NFL and became famous as NBC’s boyishly handsome sideline reporter for NFL broadcasts, last month announced that he has dementia.

Adamle first became a household name as an NBC sideline reporter in the early Eighties

Adamle first became a household name as an NBC sideline reporter in the early Eighties

Adamle is better-known to millennials as a WWE host and a co-host of The American Gladiators, but no matter how you know him, you think of the 67 year-old as affable and Wally Cleaver-esque. Another sad football footnote.

4. Amazon and Apple

Look, an Ivy League-educated businessman who owns a side biz in D.C. that actually knows what he's doing

Look, an Ivy League-educated businessman who owns a side biz in D.C. that actually knows what he’s doing

Shares of Apple stock (AAPL) hit a record-high this morning ($144.50), which if you adjust for the the 7-for-1 split a few years ago would mean that shares jumped over the $1,000 mark, which a few analysts predicted six or seven years ago and were considered kooks for doing so. In just the past 14 months, shares of Apple are up more than 50%.

Shares of Amazon stock (AMZN) jumped nearly $19 to $874 yesterday. Since the election only five months ago shares of Amazon have risen $157 or 22%. In the past year Amazon stock is up 46%.

These are, as you know, not sleepers. These are two of the best-known tech companies in the world. Go into any bank and try to get 3% annually in an annuity or CD. You can’t.

So is it too late to jump in on either of these? Hell, no.

Google in 2007: $244. Today: $850.

Netflix in 2012: $12.87. Today: $147.

Amazon in 2007: $69. Today: $874.

Apple in 2007: $17. Today: $144.

But wait a second, JW: Don’t you own these stocks? Isn’t it self-serving for you to promote them, so we’ll all buy them and that will increase demand and the price will increase? Unless Warren Buffett is Susie B. in disguise, I don’t think that anyone reading this buying shares will create enough of a bump to move the price. Full disclosure: I own Amazon and Netflix.

By the way, with yesterday’s 2% increase in share price, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos passed Buffett on the Richest Man in the World list and is now in second place, at $75.6 BILLION, behind only Bill Gates. If you are a fan of transparency, this is good news, since Bezos owns the Washington Post, which is doing some of the best reporting on The Worst Wing.

In 2006 Exxon was the world’s largest company by market capitalization and four of the five largest such companies were not tech (only Microsoft was in the Top 5). Today the top five companies by market cap on the planet are all tech (See ya, Tillerson; see ya, old money; NOW do you see why Donald and his old cronies are running so scared?). In order, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook.

Help me help you. In 10 years if your investment t0day in Apple or Amazon or Netflix or Google is not up 100% (that’s an EXTREMELY conservative estimate), my guess is you won’t need to worry about it because cockroaches will be atop the world’s food chain. For my money, literally and figuratively, Amazon is the surest bet on the planet. If you don’t believe me, go visit any mall and see how easy it is these days to find a parking spot.

5. Carmel High: 31 for 31

A month or so late on this—my Indianapolis stringer fell asleep at the wheel again (Dave)—but in February the Carmel (Indiana) High School girls swim team won its unprecedented THIRTY-FIRST (31) CONSECUTIVE state championship. No one else in any other sport is close. The Greyhounds won eight of 11 championship races at the meet.*

Swimming is one of those sports where high schools with plenty of money dominate ( my own has won 26 of the past 27 state championships in Arizona). But there can only be one best, and Mount Carmel is it with those 31 straight states dating back to 1987.

Now here’s the wild part: For all that success, Mount Carmel has never produced an Olympian swimmer.

*Thanks to @bmdoty for this


Jeff Van Gundy on The Vertical this morning:


And that reminded me of this photo:

Music 101

Like A Rolling Stone

One of the landmark live shows of the 20th century, as Bob Dylan and The Band show up at the Royal Albert Hall and the voice of a generation goes electric. Someone in the crowd yells out, “Judas!” and Dylan replies, “I don’t believe you…you’re a liar.” Then he proceeded to go out and perform as if his life depended on it.

Rolling Stone magazine, perhaps not the most unbiased authority (considering the name), ranked this 1965 tune No. 1 on its all time list. If Bob Dylan Live, The 1966 Royal Albert Hall Concert is not in your vinyl or CD rack, you may want to correct that.

Remote Patrol


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. Industrial Disease*

*The judges, for the younger set, want you to know that the above is a Pink Floyd album cover and a Dire Straits song title. Ah, Dire Straits: yes, we see to be approaching them.

Yesterday the Worst Wing signed an Executive Order that will eliminate environmental restrictions on business while denying the fact of climate change. And it’s a fact.

“This is an important moment for EPA,” chief of staff of the EPA Ryan Jackson wrote yesterday. “As the Administrator has mentioned many times, we do not have to choose between environmental protection and economic development.”

Trump at the EPA, which is kinda like watching Dane Cook walk into Lee Strasberg's Actors' Studio

Trump at the EPA, which is kinda like watching Dane Cook walk into Lee Strasberg’s Actors’ Studio

This is like hearing a charlatan weight loss guy tell you that you can eat all the cake and ice cream and beer you want, and still lose weight. Sure. But then, if you’re part of that lower-income, middle America crowd that thinks a diet pill is the antidote to exercise and healthy eating, you probably believe that, too, as you struggle to fit into your 44W trousers.

Mark Knopfler wrote this 35 years ago:

‘they wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
They wanna have a war to keep their factories
They wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese
They wanna have a war to stop Industrial Disease
They’re pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind
They wanna sap your energy incarcerate your mind

Here’s Bill Nye, The Science Guy, who knows more about the physical world than everyone in the Worst Wing combined, explaining that “Clean coal is a myth.”

2.  Ferris Wheels Out Football Coach

Shark's machine of a football team went to two 4A state title games in 11 years.

Shark’s machine of a football team went to two 4A state title games in 11 years.

Remember Jim Sharkey, the Ferris High School football coach who ALLEDGEDLY, ALLEGEDLY, ALLEGEDLY indecently exposed himself to a player or three at a cookout last summer? Sharkey, who took the Saxons to a pair of state championship games in 11 seasons and won one, did not have his contract renewed yesterday.

Maybe he did it. I don’t know. Worth noting that earlier this month, Don Van Lierop, the basketball coach at Ferris, retired from coaching after 30 years. In 2008, after leading Ferris to consecutive state championships and a 59-game win streak, Van Lierop was accused of rape by a female student. Two weeks later she admitted that she had fabricated the story to exact revenge on Van Lierop’s star player.

3. Another Day of Trump (69)

Watch Stephen Colbert‘s monologue for the moments that begin at :25 and 8:00 (if you don’t have time to watch the whole thing).

4. Russian Dressing Down

Three instances, in just one day, of white men lecturing/being dismissive of minorities in professional settings. If you think what Bill O’Reilly, Sean Spicer and this Texas chicken-fried pol who called his fellow council member, who is Latino, “boy,” are doing here is simply talking tough, then you’re just denying what’s plain to see. In each case, they’re talking down to a person because of the color of that person’s skin or their gender. They’re letting them know that they don’t respect them because, independent of their argument, they are female or brown or both.

April Ryan’s question was ill-formed and starting off with “You don’t seem so happy,” was dumb, but for him to lecture her about shaking her head (when she wasn’t) was also poor.

O’Reilly’s comments are the worst. Basically, he knew that Congresswoman Maxine Waters was making a cogent point, so instead of taking that on, he did the old schoolyard tactic of 1) mocking her looks and 2) letting her know that because she is a woman he is always going to be more interested in her physical appearance than what she has to say. He’s a pig and a troglodyte and I hope he dies from a very painful disease.

Fox News, they’re just pigs.


5. Kenya Dig It

Cheptai, the first of six straight Kenyans to finish

Cheptai, the first of six straight Kenyans to finish

At the World Cross-Country Championships in Kampala, Uganda, this weekend (I’m pretty sure SportsCenter led off with this story on Sunday night so my apologies for the regurgitation), the Kenyan women finished in 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th places. Just in case you thought the UConn women were the most dominant distaff team in action this weekend.

That’s a perfect score—only the top four women place, and you get a point for what place you finish, i.e., the lower the score the better—of 10 for the Kenyans, which cannot be topped. It is also unprecedented. So that you can win at Jeopardy or a trivia contest some day, here were the top six finishers, from 1st place on: Irene Cheptai, Alice Nawowuna, Lilian Rengeruk, Hyvin Jepkemoi, Agnes Tirop and Faith Kipyegon.

So, yeah, you could be the fourth fastest female distance runner in the world and not appear in the Olympics because you couldn’t make the Kenyan Olympic team.

For those wondering, the top non-African finisher was the USA’s Aliphine Tuliamuk, who finished 15th and was born and raised in Kenya. Stephanie Bruce, an American from UCSB who finished 22nd, was the first person not of African lineage to finish.

Music 101 

The Cave


Oh, Mumford and Sons. We had such high hopes for you. But where are you now, nearly a full eight years after the release of Sigh No More. Damn, that’s nearly an entire Beatles career. Still loved that album, but will this band be no more than just an updated version of Bruce Hornsby and The Range?

Remote Patrol

McDonald’s All-America Game

7 p.m. ESPN

The best way to induce Kentucky fans to stop sending death threats to referees is to get them to watch this game, which has four future Wildcats in it. Do it for the Bluegrass redass in your life.

Three and Out

by Michael DePaoli


Devin Booker, the 13th pick in the 2015 NBA draft for the Phoenix Suns, scored 70points last Friday in a losing effort against the Boston Celtics.

The real story is that the Phoenix Suns are losing games on purpose in an effort to gain a higher draft choice in the next draft.

And, that is why I have lost interest in the Phoenix Suns. It has become a ME team in an ever-increasing ME sport.

I grew up with the Suns. I was three years old in their first season. We had some great players: Dick Van Arsdale, Connie Hawkins, Paul Westphal, Alvin Adams, Tom Chambers, Kevin Johnson, and Charles Barkley. We had players on the Suns whose effort must be admired, like Danny Ainge, and Jeff Hornacek, and Garfield Heard, and Fourth Quarter Frank Johnson, and Truck Robinson, and Ricky Sobers.

The Suns were rarely the most talented team on the floor, but we won so many games with effort and teamwork. We once had a player named Ron Lee and we used to count how many times he “hit the floor” while chasing a loose ball.

And now, the ownership of the Suns wants to lose games on purpose. They give us a circus act to see how many points can be scored in a lost game. Disgusting.

I am going to guess that there are fifty players in the NBA (No, at least a hundred players!) that could score seventy points in a game if you told them: “We do not care about winning, do not tire yourself out playing defense, just go out there and shoot as often as you want and score as many points as you can.”

But, that is not basketball. That is just low.

I am not knocking Devin Booker, or his talent. I just wish he played on a team that cared about winning.


Tomi Lahren was reportedly fired from Glenn Beck’s show “The Blaze” because she stated on The View:

“I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies.”

And, that is just another example of how conservative ideology falls apart when you start to use your brain.


I am not advocating any boycott. But, I was just remembering that old movie Trading Places, where Eddie Murphy says: “You know, it occurs to me that the best way you hurt rich people is by turning them into poor people.”

And, not that you should, but if you wanted to boycott Trump, you should remember that his empire is highly leveraged, which means that it all could come crashing down if he had two or three bad years.

It sure would be ironic if Trump lived a long life, long enough to become poor, and he had to live in a government-funded nursing home. Yeah, we would call that justice.


by John Walters

Starting Five

From The Snake to snake eyes. And, by the way, this is not the finger the Raiders are giving to their East Bay fans.

From The Snake to snake eyes. And, by the way, this is not the finger the Raiders are giving to their East Bay fans.

1. Commitment To Exodus

The Oakland Raiders are moving—again. That’s three times in the past 37 years. This time it’s to Las Vegas. I’ll have a Newsweek column on this to link here shortly.Viva Los Raiders!

2. UConn, We Yawn*

Napheesa Collier, one of two starters who was named a first team All-American on Monday, paced the Huskies with 28 points and 12 boards (though Geno told Holly Rowe during a break that she wasn’t playing defense)

*The judges will also accept “Huskiezzzzz” or “Husk Ease”

The Huskies down a decent Oregon team by 38 points to gain entry into yet another Final Four—their 10th consecutive Final Four, if you’re keeping score, and 18th overall under Geno Auriemma. You know me: I’m not a “UConn is bad for women’s basketball” guy. I just think what we have here is the case of a head coach who is two to three generations ahead of his peers.

On Monday night’s broadcast Kara Lawson, who is a pretty level-headed gal, repeated her assertion that she believes Connecticut, winners of 111 straight, will win 200 in a row. Barring injuries to at least two starters (something that happened the year I spent with them in 2000-01), I agree with her.

3. The Tomi Lahren Chronicles, a.k.a. “As Andy Warhol Checks His Watch”

Lahren will soon be running for a Soul Cycle

Lahren will soon be running for a seat…at Soul Cycle

It seems like only yesterday—it practically was—when young, blonde and nubile Tomi Lahren was heralding the next wave of blonde Republican mouthpieces. Lahren, an anchor for some network called The Blaze, was appearing on The Daily Show and Real Time, and fielding compliments (and Lord knows what else) from afar from Donald Trump.

Then the 24 year-old UNLV grad appeared on The View and made the fatal mistake of being forthright. Lahren told the panel that she is pro-choice because it would be hypocritical to be in favor of limited government (which hard-line conservatives claim to be) and yet be in favor of the government messing around in our bedrooms (which hard-line conservatives love to do). “You know what?” Lahren said. “I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”

Why do I get the feeling that Lahren will be covering the Red Sox for NESN soon?

Why do I get the feeling that Lahren will be covering the Red Sox for NESN soon?

Tomi, Tomi, Tomi. NEVER hit them with logic. What were you thinking? No, let me rephrase that: What?!? You were thinking?

Anyway, last week The Blaze suspended her show, Tomi. Then on Monday The New York Post reported that The Blaze had “permanently banned” Lahren from its air for voicing her opinion. The Blaze is a patriotic network that is here to defend The Constitution, even if it has to trample an employee’s First Amendment rights to do so (I know that they did not restrict her freedom to voice her opinion; it’s just funny that someone got fired and permanently banned for expressing an opinion by a network that claims to love The Constitution).

Not unlike Milo, Tomi is actually pretty bright and “libtards” who dismiss either of them simply because they defend, for example, Trump, do so at their own peril. LISTEN. Then judge. But what’s funny to me now is, I wonder what Lahren thinks of her party now that she’s seen the other end of that stick. You’re not allowed to disagree with any one of their platforms, even if your principles, values and intellect tell you otherwise. Disobedience is weakness. Loyalty is all.


Now here is a blonde who should be permanently banned, from CNN.


4. ComicCongress*

*Another Day of Trump (Day 68)

These two look like servers at the Steakateria where I worked, except the servers would be much smarter

These two look like servers at the Steakateria where I worked, except the servers would be much smarter

Devin Nunes defending his potentially corrupt and inarguably incompetent handling of the House Intelligence Committee investigation of Trump and Russia by blasting his critics and saying, “It’s all politics here.” Dude, you’re in Washington, D.C.

Paul Ryan stubbornly refusing to surrender his good “Go ahead, neighbor, you can worry my lawn mower” facade as the president he has backed (after first not backing him) blames HIM for the repeal-and-replace rejection.

Sad! Meanwhile, watch this “A Closer Look” from last night if for no other reason than what Seth Meyers points out that Trump’s “Welp” face reminds you of the face a sitcom dad makes just before the closing credits roll (8:00 mark).

5. Baggy Pants and the Nitwit*

*The judges never thought they’d ever have the opportunity to name-drop this 1977 animated series.

Tucson goes Flori, Duh, as a prowler at Miles School on Friday attempted to make a dash and got caught by the baggy pants. Either that or this is the newest exercise in CrossFit. I dunno.


As we mentioned yesterday, today is the 25th anniversary of Christian Laettner’s shot. If you want to read an excellent story on that game, here’s one from one of the best writers whose byline ever appeared in Sports Illustrated, Alexander Wolff.

You know why this story is so outstanding? Reporting. Instead of just Hot-Taking his way through an event, Wolff talked to dozens of people to fashion a narrative. That’s journalism, kids.

Music 101

Drop The Pilot

Look! You get this fantastic Joan Armatrading song with the vintage MTV station identification promo. I didn’t become familiar with Armatrading until I heard her greatest hits album, Track Record, in 1990, but I wished I’d known about her when this single was released in 1983. Joan had some outstanding tunes (this one, “Call Me Names,” “When I Get It Right” and “The Weakness In Me”) and if she’d looked like Tina Turner or Whitney Houston, this Caribbean native would have been huge. She just happened to come along at the peak of MTV AND New Wave music. Bad timing.

Remote Patrol


11 p.m. AMC

Earlier in the day (4:30 p.m.) on this same network there’s another Martin Scorcese film, The Departed, that won Best Picture and landed Scorcese his long overdue Best Director Oscar. But this 1990 film, which was nominated for both of those Oscars but won neither (thanks a lot, Kevin Costner: tatanka!), is far superior to both The Departed and Dances With Wolves. And I’d venture to say that without Goodfellas, maybe we never get The Sopranos, which launched the entire era of Peak TV.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Maye Madness*

*The judges acknowledge that this is almost too easy. They’d have accepted “Luke What You’ve Done!” and “Maye Daye! Maye Daye!”

Twenty-five years ago tomorrow, Christian Laettner of Duke buried a shot as time expired to sink Kentucky on a Sunday in the Elite Eight. Yesterday, different white dude, different Carolina team, and a less dramatic shot, but Luke Maye of North Carolina ended Kentucky’s run to the Final Four with an 18-footer with 00.3 on the clock.

Actually, the final sequence was more reminiscent of last year’s national championship game, except this time the Tar Heels played the role of Villanova. Kentucky’s Malik Monk hit a tough three-pointer (his second in the final :40) to tie the score at 73-73, then Carolina’s Theo Pinson dribbled down court and fed the ball to the trailer, Maye, who calmly buried the shot.

The '92 game was better, but Sunday's certainly was memorable, once the refs got out of the way

The ’92 game was better, but Sunday’s certainly was memorable, once the refs got out of the way

Maye, a 6’8″ sophomore from Huntersville, N.C., did not start but did finish with 17 points and geneticists claim that both of his parents had the clutch gene.

So the Final Four is set: two schools from the Carolinas, two from the Pacific Northwest, two No. 1 seeds, and two schools that have won it all as long as 1939 and as recently as 2009: North Carolina, South Carolina, Gonzaga, Oregon.

So am I gonna get paid, Jason?

2. “America Held Hostage” by Sean Hannity

In 1979, when the Americans were taken hostage at the U.S. embassy in Tehran, ABC’s Ted Koppel became the nation’s most trusted news man. Relatively unknown before the hostage crisis began, Koppel came on the air after local news each night to apprise the country of what was transpiring pertaining only to Iran. They named the show Nightline.

It’s still on today. If you want to credit Koppel and Nightline with being the progenitor of cable news, I’d go there, too. The thing about Koppel: he was serious, he was terse, he was objective, but he’d occasionally slip in a dose of his extremely dry sense of humor.

Fast forward 38 years, and here’s Fox News’ Sean Hannity interviewing Koppel, universally respected, and here’s Koppell telling Hannity, “I think you’re bad for America.”

(We know Hannity is bad for America.)

Each night the days since the hostages had been taken would flash on the screen. Occasionally you'll hear people my age saying something like,

Each night the days since the hostages had been taken would flash on the screen. Occasionally you’ll hear people my age saying something like, “Day 14 of the hostage crisis” as pertaining to any bad situation, and this is why

Worth noting; Ted Koppel was born in England in 1940 after his Jewish parents fled Germany to escape the Nazis. I’d think Koppel is even more sensitive than the average person to nationalism and bigotry, but hey, try telling Hannity that.

Notice, here, that Hannity interrupts the 77 year-old Koppel and the older newsman has to ask him to let him finish his sentence. Sad!

Here’s the money quote (in all caps, so nobody misses it): “YOU HAVE ATTRACTED PEOPLE WHO THINK THAT IDEOLOGY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN FACTS.”

(I’d go further; he’s not “attracted” them so much as he’s promoted that concept)

3. Another Day of Trump (Day 67)

I don’t have a problem with the president playing golf on the weekend (okay, 13 rounds in 66 days may be excessive; who does he think he is, Mark Mulvoy?), but it tells you something about both him and Fox News that this tweet is sent out while elsewhere….



It’s so easy. It’s so f****n’ easy!


 Meanwhile in Huntington Beach, it’s “Welcome To The O.C., Bitch!”


4. The Magnolia State Is Doing Great

The reigning College World Series champion is Coastal Carolina, which is located in Conway, South Carolina.

The reigning college football national champion is Clemson, which is located in Clemson, South Carolina.

And now the University of South Carolina becomes, as far as we can discern, the first school from the Magnolia State to even make the Final Four.

Has one state ever claimed national champions in baseball, football and basketball at the Division I level simultaneously? I’ll invite you to check, but the last time I spotted was 1972 (California), when USC won the national championship in baseball and football and UCLA won it in basketball.

5. To Nome Is To Love Him*

If their smartphones are like mine, the battery will go dead in about 3 minutes in that weather

If their smartphones are like mine, the battery will go dead in about 3 minutes in that weather

*The judges will also accept “Mitch Madness”

We’re way late on this, but 57 year-old Mitch Seavey won the Iditarod Sled Dog Race about 12 days ago, becoming the oldest winner in the race’s history while also finishing in record time. Seavey, who previously won the Iditarod in 2004 and 2013, broke the record of Dallas Seavey, a true son of a Mitch, who set it last year.

Mitch finished in 8 days, 3 hours and 40 minutes. The trail is nearly 1,000 miles.

Mitch and Dallas have now each won three Iditarod races. Mitch is the oldest person ever to win it, Dallas the youngest. Mitch’s dad—Dallas’ granddad— Dan competed in the inaugural Iditarod in 1973.

Music 101


I’ve had access to wheels the past few weeks, which means more radio listening, which means I’ve heard this December 2016 song by Twenty One Pilots quite a bit. In the age of YouTube, I don’t think it really matters how high a song charts (well, it may to the record company and artist) as opposed to how many times the song is downloaded. This tune has already been downloaded more than 21 MILLION times.

Remote Patrol

Women’s Elite Eight

Oregon vs. UConn

7 p.m. ESPN

Gabby Williams

Gabby Williams

Can the Ducks advance to the Final Four in both men’s and women’s hoops? Probably not, as the Fighting Genos have won 110 in a row, but why not tune in? Also, the Cavs are at the Spurs at 8 p.m. on the TNT. Tune in to see who rests!

Three And Out

by Michael DePaoli


An original poem by Michael DePaoli, with props to William Blake

Donald, Donald, burning bright 

Grabs the pu**y in the night,

What immortal hand or Thigh, 

Could turn you into Russian spy? 

In what distant deeps or skies,

Burnt the fire of all your lies? 

From what swamp dare he aspire? 

I hope they tapped your Tower wire,

Your face looks like an orangutan fart,

Twisting the sinews of your black heart,

Many hearts will stop their beat, 

With the healthcare spending you deplete, 

Billions for a useless wall? Are you insane? 

In what furnace did you fry your brain? 

What the anvil? You discriminatory asp,

Unconstitutional is the power you grasp,

At the immigrants you throw your spears, 

You get turned on by poor people’s tears,

You have a fondness for golden shower pee.

Did he who made the Lamb make thee? 

Donald, Donald, burning bright, 

Grabs the pu**y in the night,

What immortal hand or Thigh, 

Could turn you into a Russian spy? 

(If you might like this poem, please buy my eBook: Read More Poetry. No, I do not care whether you might actually read it, just buy it, and often.)


This is a real conversation with a twenty-something restaurant server in Scottsdale, Arizona:

MD: Why do you like Trump?

S: I just do. 

MD: Did you graduate college?

S: No.

MD: Do you smoke pot?

S: Yes. How did you know? 

MD: How often do you get high?

S: All the time. 


Trump held a press conference to blame the Democrats for the failure of Trumpcare to win approval in the House. The Trumpcare bill was pulled before a vote.

The real problem here is that Trump was elected under his promise that he would repeal Obamacare and replace the existing health care law with a new plan that would provide better health insurance that would cover everyone.

Trump lied. Trump was elected under false pretenses. Trump never had such new a plan.

The Trumpcare plan that the Republicans did champion (after years of complaining about Obamacare) was a terrible thing that would have eliminated health insurance for millions of Americans, and it would have caused higher premiums for less insurance.

Thank you, James Madison, the primary creator of our Constitution. Your system of government is still working for the people.

The Weakened Edition

by John Walters

Starting Five

Fox On The Run? Sweet!

Kentucky freshman point guard De’Aaron Fox scored 39 points in the Wildcats’ win over UCLA in Memphis in the Sweet 16 last night. They’ve been letting freshman ball (as opposed to a a freshman, Ball) since 1972-73 in the NCAA tournament, and no frosh has ever scored more points in one game than than the quick, brown Fox. The 6’4″ point guard  from New Orleans with the Sideshow Bob ‘do is pure electricity. Is he a Top 5 draft pick now?

“Sit down girl, I think I love ya’ No, get up girl Show me what you can do!”

2. Speaking of Kentucky Guards Who Can Score…

I'm looking at this pic and thinking, Geez, Leandro Barbosa is back with the Suns?!? Dude owns a time machine.

I’m looking at this pic and thinking, Geez, Leandro Barbosa is back with the Suns?!? Dude owns a time machine.

The Phoenix Suns lost their seventh consecutive game last night, but they don’t really care because coach Earl Watson gave them something else on which to focus: getting second-year guard Devin Booker (whom MH mistakenly predicted would be an All-Star this season) a ton of points. Booker, 6’6″, scored 70 in the Suns’ 130-120 loss at Boston last night,

Booker, 20, played 45 minutes, put up 40 shots overall (the team as a whole hoisted 86) and 11 of the Suns’ 19 threes. He was 24 of 26 from the FT line and scored 28 points in the fourth quarter alone. Only five players have ever scored more points in a single game than Booker did last night—Wilt Chamberlain, Kobe Bryant, David Robinson, David Thompson and Elgin Baylor—and all except Thompson, the original “Sky Walker” whose career was cut short by injuries—are in the Hall of Fame. Booker becomes the only player since Kobe, who scored 81 in 2006, to hit the 70-mark in the past 22 years.

3. A Garden Variety Classic

Chiozza drains a teardrop 23-footer for the win

Chiozza drains a teardrop 23-footer for the win

It was a three-dud night in the Sweet 16 and looking to be an oh-fer in terms of captivating games when Florida went on a 16-3 run against Wisconsin midway through the second half at Madison Square Garden to open up a 12-point lead. Then Wiscy clawed back.

Memorable plays: 1) Zak Showalter‘s running three-pointers, followed by his Discount Double-Check move to Aaron Rodgers, who was seated nearby, to force OT,  2) In overtime, Baby Barry’s come-from-behind block on Khalil Iverson that kept Wiscy from opening up a four-point lead with :34 left, and 3) Chris Chiozza’s length-of-court drive ending with a running three-pointer buzzer beater as time expired. Best last five minutes or so of the tourney.

4. “Talk About…”


I don’t know his name yet, but this SI Kids reporter just asked, first word to last, as good a question as you’ll ever hear in a post-game setting. Kudos to South Carolina’s Frank Martin for acknowledging that.

An aside: When I was in my mid-twenties a kid in junior high begged to come to SI’s offices and hang out for a day to see how we did things. Our excellent Chief of Reporters, Bambi Wulf, set him up with Tim Crothers and myself. The kid’s name? Tyler Kepner. He now covers MLB for The New York Times.

5. TrumpCare Flatlines*

*Another Day Of Trump: Day 65

I don’t have the answers to health care. From a pure supply-and-demand standpoint, I kinda feel like we have a surplus of humanity anyway and I welcome the zombie apocalypse as long as there’s still good barbecue.

But from a pure political standpoint, what a glorious mess for the Trump administration. Obama had a lot of dudes on the Hill agains him in his first term, and he STILL got the ACA passed. Trump has now been in office 64 days, made two major offensives (outside of his weekend trips to Mar-A-Lago), the Muslim Ban and WealthCare, and has lost bigly on both of them.

This is not what “winning so much you’ll be sick of winning” looks like.





by John Walters

Starting Five 

Walton was one of three leading scorers last night with the ball in his hands on a game-winning or tying possession at the end who was unable to close the deal.

Walton was one of three leading scorers last night with the ball in his hands on a game-winning or tying possession at the end who was unable to close the deal.

X’ed Men

In the final four minutes Xavier comes from eight down against Arizona and goes on a 12-2 run to end the game and win by two. We’ll have at least one Catholic school in the Final Four for the second straight year and we will have, for only the sixth time, a regional final between two schools who have never been to a Final Four:


 Three of Thursday’s four games came down to a game-winning or game-tying possession. Michigan’s Derrick Walton and Arizona’s Allonzo Trier missed potential game-winning threes while West Virginia’s Jevon Carter never got a chance to get his off.

Walton, Trier and Carter were their teams’ leading scorers last night.

2. Murray State

I don’t want to take credit for putting this together first: @SportsCenter noted that it’s been a fantastic sports year for American treasure Bill Murray. These are good times for Murray, Santori times.


Last November Murray’s beloved Chicago Cubs won the World Series and now his adopted college team, Xavier, is onto the Elite Eight (Murray’s son, Luke, is a Xavier assistant coach, so he’s got that going for him, which is nice). Can the Musketeers make it to the Final Four? Is this what the Dalai Lama meant when he told Carl Spackler that on his death bed he’d achieve total consciousness? Is Xavier baby-stepping on the road to the Final Four?

3. Phoenix Sons 

At the age of 23, Len was the Suns' oldest starter

At the age of 23, Len was the Suns’ oldest starter

The Suns lost their sixth in a row last night (keeping pace with the Lakers, who have also lost six straight) by falling 126-98 to the NBA’s worst team, the Boo-klynettes. But that isn’t why anyone will remember this game. What made that game historic was the Suns’ starting five:

Marquese Chriss: 19

Derrick Jones, Jr.: 20

Alex Len: 23

Devin Booker: 20

Tyler Ulis: 21

The Suns put the youngest starting five in NBA history on the floor, according to Elias Sports Bureau. That’s funny, since the team’s namesake is the oldest piece of known matter in the galaxy. 60% of the starting five isn’t old enough to drink. Also, the Suns lost by 28 to the worst team in the league, so there’s that.

4. High Nunes

Nunez appears to be the latest link in the Circle of Scum

Nunez appears to be the latest link in the Circle of Scum

*Another Day of Trump (Day 64)

*The judges will also accept “The Devin Made Me Do It” 

The newest member of The Worst Wing (All Trumps except Melania and possibly Barron; Steve Bannon; Sean Spicer; Kellyanne Conway; Mitch McConnell; Reince Priebus; Stephen Miller: Paul Ryan; Jeff Sessions; Rex “My Wife Made Me Do It” Tillerson; Paul Manafort; and of course, Vladimir Putin) is California Congressman Devin Nunes (R-Reprobate).


Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee investigating alleged ties between the Trump team and Russia, apologized yesterday (!) for taking information that he supposedly has acquired about the investigation to the White House and informing them about it. “Is that bad?”


Then Nunes refused to say if other information he has received that is exculpatory came directly from the White House itself and also suddenly became very protective about anonymous sources. “We want people to come forward,” Nunes said without a trace of irony, because that’s how this administration works.

Meanwhile, last night I caught the end of the original, 1956 version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. You can FF to about 1:50 and tell me if you’ve seen a better illustration in film of those of us who’ve been warning against Trump for nearly two years:

5. It’s A Bluth White House

America gets a glimpse of Donald's

America gets a glimpse of Donald’s “O” face….

Major props to Dan Diamond, or @ddiamond, of Politico who some time while you and I were sleeping sussed out that the entire Trump administration is that episode of Arrested Development titled “The One Where They Build a House.”


I won’t reproduce all of Diamond’s tweets here, but the one above launches a 10-tweet storm that eerily and hilariously ties the Bluths to the Trumps and maybe, just maybe, as one @ reply suggested, G.O.B was always meant to represent GOP. Go find his feed from about 12 hours ago (just after 11 p.m. East Coast time) and read the tweets. It’s sad, hilarious and eerie.

Look, America, it's the megalomaniacal, delusional son of a shady real-estate developer!

Look, America, it’s the megalomaniacal, delusional son of a shady real-estate developer!

Even if Trump bankrupts America, financially, ethically and physically, remember, there’s money in that banana stand.

Music 101

Eight Miles High

Few bands epitomized the mid-Sixties counterculture sound better than The Byrds, and this 1966 song is considered to be the genesis of psychedelic rock. It was banned by many stations because of connotations to drug use (note the title), which may be why, although it is a timeless classic, it never reached Top 10 on the charts.

Remote Patrol

Night of Classics

The Godfather

7 p.m. AMC

The Wizard of Oz

8 p.m. TCM

East Regional 

North Carolina-Butler followed by Kentucky-UCLA

7 p.m. CBS

“Now who’s being naive, Kate?” If for some ungodly reason, you’ve never seen The Godfather, correct that tonight. It may be the best American film. Period. Then you can tune in to see the two schools that have won more national championships (19 combined) than anyone else, the Wildcats and Bruins. Good stuff.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Flag-waving Trump supporters can take pride in a pitcher descended from slaves leading the USA to the championship (as Ben Carson reminds us that slaves are immigrants, too).

Flag-waving Trump supporters can take pride in a pitcher descended from slaves leading the USA to the championship (as Ben Carson reminds us that slaves are immigrants, too).

Stroman Argument

For the first time in four tries, the U.S.A. won the World Baseball Classic last night, delivering an 8-0 silencing of Puerto Rico (take that, Bernardo!). Starter Marcus Stroman who stands just 5’8″, gave up just one hit in six-plus innings in Dodger Stadium and Ian Kinsler started things off with a two-run homer. It was Puerto Rico’s first loss in the tournament (they’d beaten the Americans in pool play) in eight games.

Does this bode well for the Yankees’ season?

2. London, New York Attacks 

A fanatic, a car and three innocent victims in London yesterday. The 52 year-old drove his car along Westminster Bridge, striking pedestrians (one of them a man from Utah, Kurt Cochran, who was visiting with his wife to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary), then got out and fatally stabbed an unarmed policeman. He was later shot dead.

Caughman, right, meeting Wyclef Jean

Caughman, right, meeting Wyclef Jean

Meanwhile in New York City, a 28 year-old white supremacist took a bus from Maryland to New York, and probably only wandered a block or two before fatally stabbing 66 year-old Timothy Caughman specifically because he was black. The murderer was apprehended and here’s hoping he’s put in the general population at Riker’s Island for a month.


This morning President Trump tweeted his condolences to one of the two families. You couldn’t have it illustrated more clearly what he and his administration are all about.

3. Another Day Of Trump (Day 63)*

*I’d been toying with the idea of making ‘Another Day of Trump’ a daily item, and then Susie B’s imploring made it a done deal. Here’s hoping we won’t have to take this into the triple digits. P.S. It’s too exhausting to document everything vile Trump and his minions do each day, so pardon me if I just cherry pick on that.

In an interview with Time magazine out today, President Trump runs through every conceivable excuse as to why his lies are fine, even using this reason as his bottom line: “I can’t be doing so badly because I’m president, and you’re not. You know?”

We know.

4. You Go, Norway! (And I’ll Go Mine)

This is what Norwegians consider

This is what Norwegians consider “urban blight”

A recent report by the United Nations ranked Norway number one in terms of happiness. So that makes the Scandinavian nation the happiest place on earth, no? Sorry, Walt.

Having visited Norway and spent more than a week there, I get it. Beautiful scenery, even more beautiful people, and all the lutefisk you can devour. Although the stat geeks may take issue with its Strength of Schedule. Denmark is now No. 2. Basically, if you don’t visit Scandinavia at least once in your life, you’re doing it all wrong.

5. Ruminations on Janet Leigh, Robert Mitchum

Janet Leigh and an otherwise 100% vacant motel in the desert: What could possibly go right?

Janet Leigh and an otherwise 100% vacant motel in the desert: What could possibly go right?

I’ve nearly overdosed on TCM this week and here are two observations (with apologies to all you serious connoisseurs of cinema out there):

A) In her two most famous films, Touch of Evil and Psycho, lovely Janet Leigh finds herself imperiled in an off-the-beaten-path motel in the American southwest that is 100% vacant when she arrives. The films were made just two years apart, and each time Leigh confronts a creepy innkeeper (Dennis Weaver and later Tony Perkins). In the first film Leigh is drugged (heroin, reefer) but survives while in the second, well, you can take a stab at what befalls her.

Mitchum agrees to a strip search before Martin Balsam and Gregory Peck. He's been lifting.

Mitchum agrees to a strip search before Martin Balsam and Gregory Peck. He’s been lifting.

B) In two of his more notorious roles, in the films Night Of The Hunter and Touch Of Evil, Robert Mitchum plays a savage and cunning murderer who pursues children along a river. For the record, those tributaries appear to be the Ohio river and the Cape Fear river.

The Birds: Tippi was trippy

The Birds: Tippi was trippy

C) One more thing: Watching Psycho and The Birds in the same week informs you that Alfred Hitchcock had a thing about overbearing mothers of adult men who find insanely attractive blondes showing up on their doorstep. At least Jessica Tandy’s character was alive.

p.s. If anyone at TCM reads this and is still looking for someone to fill the void left by Robert Osborne‘s recent passing, well, I could never fill his shoes, but I’m more than happy to do a few stand-up intros for you.


Music 101

Same Drugs

At the risk of sounding like the middle-aged white guy I am, I LOVED this performance by Chance The Rapper on the SNL recently because I was expecting a rapper (you know, the name) and what I got instead was the reincarnation of Stevie Wonder. I knew nothing about his music—I’d heard the name—but Mr. The Rapper blew me away with his talent. This song and performance would have fit just as seamlessly on the first season of SNL in 1975 as it did last month.

There’s a sweetness to Chance, who’s only 23 and will be one of the headliners at Lollapalooza this August in his native Chicago.  Consider me a fan.

Remote Patrol

Sweet 16 Games

7 p.m. CBS

Michigan-Oregon followed by Kansas-Purdue

7:30 p.m. TBS 

Gonzaga-West Virginia followed by Arizona-Xavier

Caleb Swanigan, Human Sweatbomb

Caleb Swanigan, Human Sweatbomb

We’ve ridden the Wolverines this far, we’re not abandoning Project Runway tonight. One of the other higher seeds will lose tonight and if I had to pick (and I don’t, but I will), I’d say it will be Gonzaga.